After you defeat Dethl, a stairway will appear in front of you. Along with it will come the wise Owl’s voice urging you to ascend the stairs.
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The Wise Owl’s Final Words
Walking up the stairs will take you to an area that looks like it is in space. There will be nothing but blackness and twinkling stars around the platform the stairs lead to. However, the wise Owl will soon show up and begin speaking to you.
Your guide throughout this adventure will congratulate you and will then go on to explain their role—as well as their true identity—in addition to telling you some of Koholint Island’s history.
“Young lad… I mean, [Link], the hero! You have defeated the Nightmares!
You have proven your wisdom, courage, and power!
… … … …
As part of the Wind Fish’s spirit…
I am the guardian of this dream world…
But one day, the Nightmares entered the dream and began wreaking havoc.
Then you, [Link], came to rescue the island…
I have always trusted in your courage.
I knew you could turn back the Nightmares.
Thank you, [Link]…
My work is done… The Wind Fish will wake soon.
And with that, the wise Owl will disappear into the night, as Koholint Island soon will. Though, before that, the Wind Fish makes their appearance!
The Wind Fish Speaks!
When the Wind Fish appears out of the starry night sky, you may be a bit surprised to see that it is actually much more like a whale than a true fish. Their large body will be mostly white and black, although they will also be richly ornamented in vibrant garments and jewels. Without delay, this legendary being begins to tell you all about dreams and reality.
“… … … …
I AM THE WIND FISH…
LONG HAS BEEN MY SLUMBER…
IN MY DREAMS… AN EGG APPEARED…
IT WAS SURROUNDED BY AN ISLAND, WITH PEOPLE… ANIMALS…
AN ENTIRE WORLD!
… … … …
BUT, VERILY, IT BE THE NATURE OF DREAMS TO END!
WHEN I DOST AWAKEN, KOHOLINT WILL BE GONE…
ONLY THE MEMORY OF THIS DREAM LAND WILL EXIST IN THE WAKING WORLD…
SOMEDAY, THOU MAY RECALL THIS ISLAND…
THAT MEMORY MAKES THE DREAM WORLD REAL
… … … …
LET US AWAKEN… TOGETHER!
PLAY THE EIGHT INSTRUMENTS!
PLAY THE SONG OF AWAKENING!”
And, following the Wind Fish’s monologue and musical request, Link will then summon the Siren Instruments and play the Song of Awakening.
Watch Koholint Island Disappear
As the Song of Awakening rings out through both dream and reality, you will see flashes of many places you visited on Koholint Island. Images depicting Mabe Village and more will fade out before you’re shown a shot of the entire island dissipating into nothing.
Following this, Link gets swiftly lifted up by a powerful geyser of water that propels him through the void. Relax and enjoy the ride, as this is your exit from the dream world and your entrance into the waking one.
Watch the Final Cutscene and Credits of the Game
Then, abruptly, you’ll enter a 2D animation cutscene. Here, you’ll watch as Link awakens amidst the wreckage of a ship. The young hero then assembles a meager raft from the surrounding debris and then sits upon it, contemplating his lonely fate. However, he won’t be alone for long, as, overhead, a huge shadow appears.
In the sky above swims the Wind Fish! Despite Koholint Island being a dream, it turns out that this legendary being is very much real! After the reveal, the credits begin to roll over a beautiful blue sky.
Throughout the credits, the Wind Fish will be flying among the clouds nearby. As such, it could be assumed that they stick around to keep Link’s company or even help him in some way that doesn’t get directly revealed.
Afterward, you’ll be given a prompt to “Save your cleared game” when the credits finish rolling. This is vital for getting the last Figure from Trendy Game, so be sure to select the “Save” option.
How to Get the Secret Ending
To get the secret ending in The Legend o Zelda: Link’s Awakening, you’ll need to beat the game without dying! That is to say that you need to clear the entire game with zero deaths on your save data.
Here are some tips for beating Link’s Awakening without dying:
- Always carry Secret Medicine on you (losing all Hearts and getting them back with Secret Medicine does not count as a death)
- Get the Blue Tunic upgrade from Color Dungeon (the Blue Tunic reduces the damage you take by 50%)
- Use the Boomerang as much as possible (it’s the best weapon in the game as it lets you attack most enemies from beyond their reach)
What Happens During the Secret Ending?
In the secret ending, in addition to seeing Link and the Wind Fish awaken, you’ll also see Marin’s spirit! Although she does not make a physical appearance, her smiling face will appear after the end of the credits before fading away into the sky. Afterward, a seagull flies off into the distance, representing that Marin’s spirit is now free.
What Does the Ending of Link’s Awakening Mean?
Despite there being some clear exposition from both the wise Owl and the Wind Fish, some things about the game are never directly answered. This leaves some things up for interpretation by gamers, however, there are enough details and hints to formulate a full picture.
Why and How Did Link Arrive On Koholint Island?
After the storm that destroyed Link’s ship, he was knocked unconscious. However, during his sleep, Link drifted within the boundaries of Koholint Island. Either by coincidence or by the purpose of another, it is not known.
Although, there are many theories that state the Wind Fish caused the storm that destroyed Link’s vessel in order to bring him to Koholint Island. With that said, this does not seem to be in character for the Wind Fish at all. Such theories should be considered speculation and not canon information.
But Link being in an unconscious state may have been the main factor that let him enter Koholint Island. In fiction, characters can only usually enter dream worlds while being asleep.
Where Did Koholint Island Come From?
During the Wind Fish’s monologue, they mention that they started dreaming of an egg, which was surrounded by an island. From this, the game directly tells you that the Wind Fish somehow conjured up this dream world subconsciously, though started from the huge egg on Mount Tamaranch and then worked outward to fill in the rest of Koholint Island.
Where Did the Nightmares Come From?
The game tells you that the Nightmares arrived after Koholint Island was created, indicating that they are not a natural part of it. These dream invaders could have come from an outside force. However, it seems more likely that the game’s major enemies were actually conjured up subconsciously by the Wind Fish’s mind, just as the rest of the island was created, although at a later time.
Why Did You Need to Wake Up the Wind Fish?
Having nightmares is unpleasant, but it seems to be especially so for pseudo-deities with creative powers. As the dream Koholint Island was real (albeit temporarily), so were the threats on it. If the Nightmares were to take over the island, it’s possible that they could take over the Wind Fish’s entire psyche and maybe even cause havoc in the real world.
Just imagine if something with the ability to create an entire island suddenly developed evil intentions of conquest. There’s no telling what the Nightmares would be able to do with such god-like power.
Is Marin a Seagull?
Due to the secret ending of the game showing Marin’s face in the sky shortly before a seagull flies past, many people assumed that Marin was actually a seagull that somehow got trapped on the dream Koholint Island.
This is not the case. Marin is not a seagull. The seagull flying off into the sky after Marin’s spirit appears following the end of the credits is symbolic. In many cultures, birds flying are a symbol of freedom. Since Marin desperately wanted to see what life was like off of Koholint Island, the seagull flying away represents Marin’s spirit finally being free from the dream world, despite also meaning that she has faded out of existence.
There are other theories that question if Marin is actually the Wind Fish (or vice versa). This is also not true, as Marin was conjured up by the Wind Fish’s subconscious—just like almost everything else on the island. The only exception to this fact is the Wise Owl, who directly tells you that they are part of the Wind Fish’s spirit and therefore not a conjuration like everything else.
What Happens to Link and the Wind Fish After the Credits?
Link, as the hero of time, goes on to appear in future Legend of Zelda titles. You can safely assume he makes it to land and continues his adventures. It’s also possible that the events of Link’s Awakening happen during another Legend of Zelda game since this entire adventure took place in a dream. Think of any Legend of Zelda game where Link gets shipwrecked; that could be a possible point in the Zelda timeline when the events of Link’s Awakening take place.
However, unlike Link, the Wind Fish’s fate isn’t known. It does not directly appear in any following main series Legend of Zelda games. Although, it does make a small cameo in Hyrule Warriors as part of one of Marin’s attacks and appears as a spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Though, besides these minor appearances, the Wind Fish is never seen or heard from again. While mysterious, this is actually very appropriate for a deity of dreams.