North West Hyrule
Not all paths are open to Link when he first ventures forth from the North Palace. In the map below are shown the limits of his wandering, from Ruto in the mountains of the northwest to Rauru in the south. Parapa Palace is within reach if he travels to the northeast. And yet in this region of Hyrule, buried in the hills and deserts, hidden away in forests and caves, can be found items essential to Link's quest. It is up to him to find them.
Travel to Rauru Town
You begin your quest in the North Palace, along side the sleeping Princess Zelda. You can exit the palace by traveling in either direction. Once outside, you will be subject to doing battle in the wilderness if you encounter a monster icon while walking on the map. Battles in North West Hyrule are not too life threatening. The biggest danger is the Orange Moblins that you find in the strong monster encounters in the woods. They throw spears at you which fall to the ground as the fly. Remember to duck in order to block them with your shield as they fall.
From North Palace, your first destination is Rauru Town, which lies due east of the palace. Along the way, however, you may wish to make a detour and follow the road to the north. Above the road, you will find a little patch of woods (label 1 on the map). If you enter these woods, you will find a small set of trees occupied by blue Ache bats, and a 50 point bag lying on the ground. Collecting this can advance you to your first level increase, raising your vitality to level 2.
Once in Rauru Town, you can rest easy as you are safe from attack here. In the town, approach and speak with the townsfolk (get close and press ) to learn important details about your quest. Some know nothing, but others help with guidance and words of wisdom. Here, too, Link may restore both his life and magic (Hint: These people appear the same in any town. A Life restorer will wear no hat and a red dress while a Magic restorer will be an old lady dressed in orange). In the second segment of town, you may notice another woman step outside her home and walk back and forth (a woman in blue with a hat). Speak to her, and she will invite you inside to talk to her father. Her father happens to be the Wizard of Rauru Town, and he will teach Link his first spell: Shield. This magic is useful for boosting Link's defense against a strong enemy. When you have completed exploring Rauru Town, exit back out to the map.
Travel to Parapa Palace
From Rauru Town, your next destination is Parapa Palace. To get there, you will need to take the cave passage located to the north (label a on the map). Carved from the roots of the mountains, the tunnel to the desert remains the only way open to Link. Darkness hands like a cloak, and there lurks a Lowder which Link must pass. Although in blackness, you can sometimes make out the location of the Lowder by watching the floor and noticing the position of its feet. Defeat the Lowder and move on to the cave exit.
Once you're back outside, you will find yourself in the north east corner of the continent, occupied by a great desert. The palace is located up in the corner, but this is a good time to take another detour. If you follow the desert south down the right side of the mountains, you will come across a path that continues further south. Along the middle of the path, you will find yourself transported into a side view of the path which contains gaps that lead to deadly water below. You must jump across these gaps, while avoiding the harmful bubbles that are floating out of the water and up into the sky. Once you reach the other side, you will find yourself just above a tree lined meadow (label 2 on the map).
Step inside the meadow at the center, and you will once again find yourself in another side view. Search around and you will find the first Heart Container that will increase your health meter from four bars to five. It will also fill the meter completely. However, lurking close nearby is an Orange Goriya who likes to throw boomerangs at anyone seeking the heart container. It may be wiser to challenge and defeat the Goriya before collecting the heart container, but attack with caution; at low levels, the Goriya's boomerang is quite deadly. Once you have collected the heart container, exit the area and travel back north to the palace, once again crossing over the gap filled path in the opposite direction.
In each of the six palaces of Hyrule, you will find an item which you need for your adventure. You must obtain these items as well as set the gems into the stone statues. Pass the silent guardian and enter the first of the palaces, located in Parapa Desert. You'll find that the bridges here aren't built to last. They begin to crumble as you step on them, so hurry across and collect the point bag and the Candle . You'll have to defeat the boss, Horsehead, to reach the statue of the palace.
- A: From the start, you will drop down into this hallway. It is filled with Kobolds that march forward continuously. Be very careful around them, as a touch from their dagger can drain you of 10 valuable experience points! Start off by heading left to room B.
- B: You will see two blue Bots hanging out on the platform above. They may or may not drop down to attack you. Further to the left, you will find a Red Stalfos who will eagerly confront you. Block his attacks high, and then attack his legs low. After a few hits, he will be defeated. Continue to the left, and watch out for a surprise Kobold that appears just before the key. Eliminate him, collect the key, and return to room A on the right. Once there, proceed to the opposite side of the room and advance to room C.
- C: More Kobolds occupy this room. Once you unlock the door and proceed, you will be introduced to another deadly enemy: the Bubble. Not only will touching a Bubble drain you of health, it will also drain your magic. Avoid these at all costs. They are difficult to kill, although a single hit from your sword will stun them just long enough for you to pass through them harmlessly. Continue on to room D.
- D: This room contains two Red Stalfos, good for 30 experience points apiece. Take them down and pass the elevator which leads to a lower floor for now. You will need to collect a key first, so move on to room E.
- E: In this room, you will encounter a Bot and a Bubble as you enter. Destroy the Bot and avoid the Bubble, and advance to the next chamber which contains another Red Stalfos. Defeat it and proceed to the elevator. Beyond the elevator lies a Fairy which can heal you one time per visit to the palace. If you receive her help, you can never receive it again unless you completely exit the palace and return inside. If you touch her when you still have plenty of energy, you will waste the opportunity to fill you health when you truly need it. Ride the elevator up to Room F.
- F: Kobolds will bounce through the narrow hallway here in room F. Time your ascent up the steps so that you do not encounter more Kobolds on the way. You will find a key lying on the floor just before the entrance to room G. Collect and it continue on.
- G: You may find a bot on the floor here as you enter, and Kobolds may bounce down the hallway until you reach the end. A Gooma will be bouncing around, tossing a series of maces at you. Time your approach carefully, so as to slip in between the maces, and attack the Gooma until it is defeated. It is far less of a threat to Link up close, but you should still beware of touching it. Once it is defeated, collect the key that it guarded, and return to the elevator in room F. If you're low on magic, hit the statue behind where the key was to reveal a red potion before you leave. Ride it down and return to the first elevator that you passed in room D. Ride the elevator down to room H.
- H: This is an extremely dangerous room. It is filled entirely with Bubbles. Some move fast and some move slow. The fast Bubbles are extremely difficult to avoid. Bubbles will not only bounce off the terrain, they will also bounce off the sides of the screen. Try to use that to your advantage to control where the Bubbles are able to travel. Do your best to cross over to the opposite side of the room and make it to room I without getting hit too often.
- I: Four blue Bots occupy this room, starting out on the stairs that lead to a crumbling bridge. Once you set foot on this bridge, the platforms will begin to disintegrate and fall away. Standing for too long in any one place can lead to Link falling into the lava below. Keep him moving. Along the way, you will encounter a tantalizing point bag. If you're fast enough, you can squat down and stab it to collect it, and continue moving before it's too late (it helps to jump prior to reaching the bag). Once you reach the other side, continue down the steps to room J. The bridge will always return when you exit and reenter the room.
- J: While this room may seem relatively unoccupied, it has two of the strongest enemies found in this palace; a Gooma and an orange Ironknuckle. You've dealt with one Gooma before, and this one is even easier to approach since there is no step in front of it. The Ironknuckle awaits in the back of the room by the locked door. You must learn to attack the Ironknuckle by jumping in the air and slashing at its head on the way down. Ironknuckles are particularly susceptible to this maneuver. Once the Ironknuckle is defeated, unlock the door and collect the Candle . This candle will allow you to locate enemies in dark places. Now you must return up the elevator and back to the elevator in room E. Gather the Fairy now if you haven't yet, and ride the elevator down to room K.
- K: This room contains the next orange Ironknuckle and a pair of red Stalfos. Defeat the Ironknuckle as you did before, jumping into the air and slashing at its head on the way back down to the ground. Each stab should push it far enough away to prevent it from hitting you. Beyond him, climb up the stairs, easily striking the legs of each Stalfos from the ledge below. Continue on to room L.
- L: A third Gooma will be standing in the vicinity of the locked door. Defeat him and unlock the door to reach a third orange Ironknuckle. Defeat the Ironknuckle to clear the pathway to the final room.
- !: The palace boss, Horsehead, awaits Link in this room. As the first palace boss, Horsehead is rather uncomplicated. Horsehead advances slowly, swinging a powerful mace at Link's head. Link's attacks to his armored body are wasted effort; Instead, he must jump up and strike him directly on his huge head. If you wait on one side of the screen, he will continue to walk towards you. You may wish to activate the spell of Shield for extra protection throughout this battle. Once Horsehead is defeated, collect the key and open the final door to reach the palace statue. The first crystal will climb up to its resting place, and you will automatically advance to the next level of experience.
Travel to Ruto Town
Once you have exited the Palace, you will return to the map, and notice that the palace is been converted to a pile of crumbling ruins. You will be unable to enter it again. With nothing left to do in Parapa Desert, you should head back through the cave. If you collected the Candle, you will now notice that the interior of the cave is brightly lit, and the inhabitant of the cave is quite visible.
On the other side of the cave, you may wish to visit Rauru town simply to refresh and lost health or magic. Ultimately, your next destination is Ruto Town to the north west, but there are two places Link should visit first. The first is the cave south of the North Palace (label b on the map). Inside, you will encounter a couple of Lowders and Octoroks, but most importantly, you will find the first Magic Container , which increases Link's magic meter from four bars to five.
The second place Link should visit is the Desert Cave (label c on the map). This cave is a little more dangerous than the previous cave, as it contains gaps that Link can fall down and perish in if you don't jump carefully. Ache bats fly down from the ceiling, and a strong Red Goriya guards the treasure of the cave found in the back. The treasure is a statue which has been stolen from someone. Collect it and retreat to the entrance of the cave. Once you have completed these two tasks, head straight for Ruto Town.
You may begin to notice that the towns are very similar to one another. Like Rauru Town, this town also features a health healer and a magic healer. Take advantage of them if necessary. More importantly, you will notice a woman step outside of the first house in the second segment of town. If you have not yet collected the statue, she will complain that someone has stolen it from her. If you have retrieved it, she will invite you into her home. Inside this home lives the Wizard of Ruto Town, and he will teach you the important spell of Jump. Without this spell, you will be unable to escape from North West Hyrule by passing through the cave south of Ruto Town. Once you learn it, you will be prepared to visit your next destination: Death Mountain.