Link’s Awakening: Make Your Way Through the Mysterious Forest

Link stepping foot into the mysterious forest. The greenery has a low hanging fog over it, making the area feel ominous.

After you make your way into the Mysterious Forest, the wise Owl will swoop down onto a tree nearby and talk to you through a cutscene. They will mention that the key that you’ll find in the Mysterious Forest is meant to open the entrance to Level 1 – Tail Cave, which is located just south of Mabe Village.

The Owl then flies off, leaving you to your adventures once more. It’s at this point that you can open up your map to take a look at the area.

Table Of Contents

    The Map of the Mysterious Forest

    A view of the map of the mysterious forest showing the player's position near the entrance.

    From your position at the entrance, you’ll need to head a bit east and then go north towards the tree that’s in a clearing by itself. Here, you’ll meet your biggest obstacle in traversing these woods: a magical raccoon.

    Meet the Raccoon

    Link talking to the raccoon in the mysterious forest.

    Despite seeming harmless, this raccoon will prevent you from going to the northern part of the Mysterious Forest, which is where you’ll find the Tail Key in a chest. To get by this pesky mammal, you’re going to need a special item. However, this special item cannot be found in the Mysterious Forest. You’ll need to pick up a vital ingredient (the Toadstool) for it in the western part of the Mysterious Forest before going to Koholint Prairie and seeking help there.

    How to Find the Toadstool

    You’ll need to use one of the hollow log caves in the Mysterious Forest to get to the area where the Toadstool can be found.

    The way to the central log cave from the raccoon's hangout spot. The path is shown with a red arrow on the map.

    To find the entrance to the cave that will lead you to the northwestern part of the Mysterious Forest, head a bit south from the raccoon’s hangout spot and then go east through a small path that’s tricky to see on the map. Keep going east and you’ll see a signpost just outside a hollow log. If you go into the log, you’ll enter a cave full of cracked floor tiles, purple crystals, and a chest.

    How to Get the Chest Surrounded by Purple Crystals

    A chest in a cave surrounded by purple crystals and some rocks.

    The Toadstool is not in this chest, nor are any other collectibles, however, the contents are pretty easy to get, so you might as well loot it while you’re here. You can break the purple crystals with your Sword. Proceed around the room in a clockwise fashion while clearing out the purple crystals. Just don’t stand on the cracked floor tiles too long, or you’ll break them and fall through.

    Pushing a small rock to the left to clear the way in front of a chest.

    After you get rid of the purple crystals, you’ll have an easy time getting the rock out of your way. From the right side, push the rock in front of the chest to the left. This will clear the way in front of the chest, allowing you to open it. Inside the chest is a Purple Rupee that is worth 50 Rupees. After you collect the treasure, proceed north through the corridor leading out of the room.

    Note the Location of a Heart Piece

    Link unable to lift up a skull on the ground that's blocking the way to a heart piece.

    As you get into the other part of the cave, you’ll notice a Heart Piece behind some skulls and rocks. You can’t get this one quite yet, as you’ll need to have the Power Bracelet to move the heavy skulls. You’ll get the Power Bracelet after clearing Level 2 – Bottle Grotto, so, until then, mark the location of this Heart Piece on your map for later.

    Afterward, go south to exit the cave and find yourself in the northwestern part of the Mysterious Forest.

    Pick Up the Toadstool

    The player finding the toadstool that grows in the northwestern part of the forest. Link is holding the reddish mushroom above their head in excitement.

    The moment you exit the cave, you’ll see a conspicuous red mushroom growing beyond 3 shrubs. This is the Toadstool you’re after. Grab it and then backtrack through the cave you just exited. Your next task is to turn the Toadstool into Magic Powder, which will let you take advantage of the raccoon’s dust allergy and move them. To do this, you’ll need the help of the Witch who lives on Koholint Prairie.

    Turning the Toadstool into Magic Powder

    A red arrow pointing the way from the central log cave's entrance to the forest exit that leads to Koholint Prairie.

    After you get back to the other side of the hollow log cave, go north until you see another hollow hog, though this one will be surrounded by rocks you can’t move yet. Note this location for later on your map, as it contains another Heart Piece, though, you’ll need the Hookshot to reach this one, which you won’t get until you tackle Level 5 – Catfish’s Maw.

    From the currently blocked hollow log, go east until you are out of the woods.

    The player entering Koholint Prairie. There is a path leading southeast and a patch of grass with a heart piece surrounded by holes.

    You’ll now find yourself in the western part of Koholint Prairie. To the right, you’ll spot a Heart Piece just beyond some holes. To get it, you’ll need the Roc’s Feather that grants you the ability to jump. Mark this collectible on your map for later and follow the path southward.

    The home of the witch who lives on Koholint Prairie. It is a large dead tree flanked by 2 smaller dead trees. There is also a skull on top the central structure.

    At the end of the path, you’ll find an ominous structure. Fear not, however, as this is the Witch’s Hut. The witch within is friendly, so go inside to meet her.

    Link holding a bag of magic powder above their head in excitement.

    After you talk to the witch, she’ll note that you have the Toadstool, which she refers to as the “Sleepy Toadstool.” When you give this fungus to her, she’ll give you some Magic Powder, which is a vital item for your adventures. As the game then mentions, you can equip the Magic Powder to one of your equipment slots (the X and Y buttons).

    How to Get More Magic Powder if You Run Out

    With your new item, you can now move the raccoon out of your way and more. You can give the Magic Powder a quick test by lighting the unlit torch in the witch’s home, but this is not necessary. If you ever run out of Magic Powder, you can harvest another Toadstool from the same spot in the Mysterious Forest and give it to the witch once more. Alternatively, you can also win some Magic Powder from Trendy Game in Mabe Village.

    Now, with your new tool in hand,  proceed back into the Mysterious Forest.

    Getting Rid of the Raccoon

    Tarin in the Mysterious Forest after getting turned back into a human.

    When you get back to the clearing with the raccoon, equip and use the Magic Powder on them to trigger a cutscene. After the raccoon bounces around the place for a bit, they will turn back into their true form: Tarin. It turns out, this resident of Mabe Village ate a suspicious toadstool that turned them into a raccoon. Now that they’re relieved of their curse, Tarin will head back to Mabe Village.

    Claiming the Tail Key

    The player looting the Tail Key from a chest. They are holding it above their head excitedly.

    Just north of where you rescued Tarin, you’ll find a chest surrounded by 3 shrubs. Open it to claim the Tail Key, which will let you into the first dungeon of the game: Level 1 – Tail Cave. However, before you leave the Mysterious Forest, you should look around for some more collectibles and useful areas.

    All Collectibles and Important Locations in the Mysterious Forest

    Thankfully, this forest isn’t quite as mysterious anymore, so you can explore as you please. Overall, there are 2 Heart Pieces, 3 Secret Seashells, and 1 Great Fairy location in the Mysterious Forest.

    The Great Fairy Location

    Red arrow on the map showing the path that will lead to the great fairy in the mysterious forest.

    From the middle of the forest, close to the signpost outside the central log cave, you can go south and then east along a small path to reach an eastern clearing. In the north of this clearing will be a Great Fairy, who will fully heal you.

    Where to Find the 2 Heart Pieces

    Red numbers showing where to find the 2 heart pieces in the mysterious forest.

    As mentioned before, there is 1 Heart Piece within the cave in the northern part of the Mysterious Forest. However, you’ll need the Power Bracelet and the Hookshot to get it.

    Also mentioned before, you can’t get the other Heart Piece in this area until later as well, though, you’ll just need the Power Bracelet to reach this one. When you have the Power Bracelet, head to the central log cave and move those skulls you saw earlier while you were on your way to get the Toadstool.

    Where to Find the 3 Secret Seashells

    Blue numbers showing the location of all the secret seashells in the mysterious forest.

    For the first Secret Seashell, you’ll need to use the Shovel to dig into a patch of land surrounded by blue flowers. This patch of land is just south of the hollow log cave blocked by rocks in the north of the woods. Keep this trick in mind, because there are other Secret Seashells hidden in other parts of Koholint Island like this.

    To get the second Secret Seashell, head to the northwest exit of the Mysterious Forest and dig by the westernmost trees to find it.

    The last Secret Seashell found in the Mysterious Forest requires you to use the Power Bracelet. As such, you’ll have to come back later for this one. However, when you do, head to the southern part of the woods and move the rock blocking a small clearing. Deal with the red Gel enemies to loot the chest containing the Secret Seashell in peace.

    When you’re done checking out the Mysterious Forest, it’s time to head south to the first dungeon in the game.

    Travel South to the Entrance of Level 1 – Tail Cave

    Red arrow on the map showing the path from the mysterious forest to the entrance of tail cave.

    Head out of the southwestern exit of the Mysterious Forest to find yourself once more in Mabe Village. To reach the entrance of Level 1 – Tail Cave, travel out of the village’s southwestern exit and then head as east as possible. When you can’t go further east, loop around the line of trees and head back towards the west for a bit. Afterward, when you enter the clearing south of some holes, go further south and then east to find the entrance to the dungeon.

    Link looking at 3 statues of worm-like creatures. The middle statue has a keyhole in it.

    All that’s left to do now is to use the Tail Key to unlock the metal bars blocking your path. After that, it will be time to take on Level 1 – Tail Cave.