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    Three Hearts Challenge Guide by straytoasters

    Updated: 03/18/06 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

    Legend of Zelda - Three Hearts/No Potions/No Rings Game
    
    Copyright 2006 by Andrew R - Only Gamefaqs should host this.
    Feel free to link to this but please e-mail me the site.
    
    stray_toasters@juno.com
    Feel free to write in with any ideas on how to improve this.
    
    First written 1/06
    
    Table of Contents
    
    #0A Introduction
    #0AA Why I did it
    #0B Who should do it?
    #0C Limitations
    #0D To Save State or Not
    #0E General Hints
    #0F Gameovers
    #0G Outline of Steps
    #0H Note about directions
    
    #00 Overworld Preparation
    #01 Level 1
    #02 Level 2
    #02A Get the Magic Key now?
    #03 Level 3
    #04 Level 4
    #04A Gleeok Strategy
    #05 Level 5
    #05A Blue Darknut Strategies
    #05B Fighting Dodongos with bomb/sword technique
    #07 Level 7
    #07A Triple Digdogger Strategy
    #08 Level 8
    #08A Level 8 First Trip
    #08AB Blue Gohma Strategy
    #06 Level 6
    #06A Wizzrobe Strategies
    #08B Level 8 Second Trip
    #08C Four-Headed Gleeok Strategy
    #09 Level 9
    #09A Level 9 First Trip
    #09AB Silver Arrow Room Strategy
    #09B Level 9 Second Trip
    #09BC Ganon Strategy
    #SQ Second Quest Hints
    
    #0A - Three-Hearts Game FAQ
    
    It amazes me that no one has put up this FAQ before.  Beating Zelda with all
    16 heart containers, 2 bottles of water, and the Magical Sword is hard enough.
    How about beating it with 3 hearts, no rings, no potions, and the Wooden Sword?
    I've done just that on emulator and almost (up to Ganon) on my
    Nintendo.  The idea of fighting Gleeoks, Darknuts, Wizzrobes, and Ganon this way
    must make a lot of people wince, but they can be overcome with practice.
    
    #0AA - Why I did it
    
    For years I've been fascinated by the idea of beating this game with three 
    hearts.  Reading low level guides for SNES RPGs Final Fantasy III/VI and
    Chrono Trigger inspired this guide.  When I was ready to do it on NES, it
    only took two days, and half of that was dying on Level 6.  Another source
    of inspiration was the Swordless Questing FAQ (Use a search engine to find
    it).  Maybe someday I'll play the game with three hearts and NO sword.
    Then I'll have an excuse to suck at Ganon.  :)
    
    #0B - Who should do it?
    
    Anyone who knows this game inside-out and has it down to a fine art.
    This guide assumes you've beaten Zelda the conventional way several
    times and basically glosses over the first three levels, since they're
    still easy with three hearts.  Starting with the fourth level, I'll be
    giving more exact directions.  I assume you know anything not explicitly
    mentioned.  Also, instruction manual names for enemies are freely used
    throughout, because I'm such a geek I know them by heart.  Anyway, the
    other FAQs are around in case you forgot something not mentioned here.
    
    #0C - Limitations
    
    No Glitches.  It's possible to replace Blue Wizzrobes with Red ones.
    Don't be a lame-o.  Take 'em on as the programmers intended.
    
    No Heart Containers.  That's the whole point of this walkthrough.
    If you get a Heart Container by accident, start from the last save.
    Aquamentus' Heart Container can be avoided; see Level 1 below.
    
    No White Sword (can't get with three hearts anyway), Magical Sword (ditto),
    Blue Ring, Red Ring, Blue Potion, or Red Potion.  Strictly no-no's.
    
    You are allowed to get every item in the labyrinths except the
    Red Ring.
    
    You are allowed to buy every shop item except the Blue Ring and
    medicine.
    
    The ONLY free overworld item (that enemies don't drop) you are allowed
    to get is the Power Braclet.  Don't get the Letter, as not having it in
    your inventory proves you could not buy medicine.  There's no
    way to be sure you didn't get a potion from one of the old men who
    gives Heart Containers...DON'T CHEAT!
    
    If you want to make this EVEN HARDER and only use items the game design
    FORCES you to get, skip the following in addition to the above:
    Both Boomerangs, Wand, Red Candle, Magic Book, Magic Key, Magic Shield,
    and Power Braclet.
    
    However, this is insane even for me.  What follows is some
    self-justification for getting these items:
    
    - Boomerang:  Doesn't affect the difficulty too much and frankly, those
    little bats and blobs are not worthy of your skill if you're attempting
    this.
    
    - Wand:  Whether this taints the accomplishment is open to debate, since
    it is almost like getting the White Sword.  But not quite:
    The toughest part of the game, fighting Wizzrobes, is still the toughest.
    Gleeoks and Darknuts will be half as difficult, since they can be blunted
    with the actual Wand.  However, magical blasts don't hurt them,
    so using the Wand forces you to fight up close.
    
    - Red Candle:  Doesn't affect things either way.
    You're only going to burn two bushes in the whole game (the cheap
    Magic Shield merchant and Level 8) and it's useless and dangerous
    as a combat item.  Makes no difference if the Candle is blue or red.
    
    - Magic Book:  Actually, skipping this is recommended.
    While fighting Darknuts in Level 8 with the Wand, flames
    might get in the way, and they won't help against the knights.
    
    - Magic Key:  I've never beaten the game without it,
    so I'm sure not gonna try with three hearts.
    
    - Magic Shield:  Are you kidding?  Okay, maybe after retirement.
    
    - Power Braclet:  Just means more trips through the overworld.
    Who wouldn't love marching from the start to Level 9 over and over?
    
    #0D - To Save State or Not
    
    As of this writing, I can regularly beat Ganon on emulator without
    save stating through the battle.  Of course, I have a save state
    just before the battle.  I can get to him on NES.
    
    Practicing your technique with an emulator (Nessie, my personal
    fave) and save states makes perfect.  I mostly save before a room
    and always try not to in the middle of combat, with a few
    exceptions.  Try to limit saves to milestones, such as passing
    some rooms or finding an item.  Try not to use them at all for
    the first four dungeons, except as a substitute for the regular
    game save.
    
    #0E - General Hints
    
    So, aside from frequent saving, how do you play Zelda with only the minimal
    Heart Containers?  For one, lots of patience.  Rather than rush into battle
    with Darknuts and Wizzrobes, concentrate on avoiding them and look for an
    opening.  When fighting projectile enemies, don't keep an itchy trigger
    finger because you can't block a projectile while using the sword or any
    item.  Make sure a Goriya, Wizzrobe, or Lynnel is not about to fire before
    throwing your own weapon.
    
    Also, lots of practice.  I detailed my strategies for dealing with the
    Blue Darknuts and Wizzrobes in the relevant labyrinths but there's no
    substitute for getting it down yourself.  Use what I've written to
    refine your technique.
    
    Make good use of throwing your sword.  Since you only have three hearts,
    you'll almost always be able to.  What's more, you won't need a lot of
    hearts to refill if you survive any damage.
    
    Exploit the Boomerang.  It won't compensate for lack of skill, but it'll
    save an encounter with one or two Ropes, Zols, Vires, Like-Likes, and any
    overworld enemy aside from Zola (the flying flowers need to stop moving
    before the Boomerang works).  Which goes a long way.
    
    Memorize the route through each dungeon.  No matter how good you are,
    fighting Wizzrobes requires patience and quick thinking, so it's better
    to minimize such battles.  You can't afford to explore too many unnecessary
    rooms, and in Levels 6 and 9 the first needless room you enter could be
    your last.
    
    #OF - Gameovers
    
    Like most hardcore Zelda players, I like to keep my gameovers at zero.
    However, resetting after a gameover, instead of choosing continue, means
    marching straight back to the dungeon, which doesn't take anymore skill
    than not dying in the first place.  For convenience sake, I accepted a
    few gameovers.  After getting the Wand in Level 6, I would have to re-fight
    the first Blue Wizzrobe batch whether I saved or went on and died, so
    I just went on and died.  :D
    
    #0G - Outline of the important steps
    
    1.  Get Wooden Sword.
    
    2.  Get some bombs.  Go left one from the Wooden Sword and
    play the gambling game until you've got enough to buy stuff.
    
    3.  Buy a Blue Candle, Magical Shield, Wooden Arrow, and Bait.
    
    4.  Get Boomerang, Bow, and Triforce in Level 1.
    
    5.  Get Level 2 Triforce - DO NOT get the Magical Boomerang
    however, unless you're willing to face Goriyas using the same.
    
    6.  Get the Raft and Triforce in Level 3.
    
    7.  Get the Ladder and Triforce in Level 4.
    
    8.  Get the Whistle, Bombs Increase, and Triforce in Level 5.
    
    9.  Get the Bombs Increase, Red Candle and Triforce in Level 7.
    
    10.  Get the Magic Key in Level 8 - This is really the only
    dungeon besides Level 9 where I'd recommend two trips.
    
    11.  Get the Wand and Triforce in Level 6 - Try to do it
    in one trip though two may be necessary.
    
    12.  Get the Triforce in Level 8.
    
    13.  Get the Silver Arrow in Level 9.
    
    14.  Kick Ganon's butt or the other way around.
    
    #0H - Note about directions
    
    To make this document look a little neater, directions through a path of
    screens will be abbreviated with the number in-front-of the direction.
    So, 1L, 2U, 3R, 4D would be left a screen, up 2 screens, right 3, and
    down 4.  Yep, I took this idea from the Swordless Questing FAQ.
    
    Oh, and any place where these directions lead to a wall you obviously
    bomb through.  Yeah, I know you know this.  Just being thorough.  :D
    
    #00 - Overworld Preparation
    
    Before going into Level 1, you'll need these in order of importance:  
    Magic Shield, Wooden Arrow, Bombs, Blue Candle, and Enemy Bait
    (Not needed until Level 7, but get it out of the way if you like).
    Using an emulator, it's too easy to get all the needed rupees.
    Just go into a gambling game and save state before picking a
    rupee.  Load state if you pick the wrong one.  The winning rupee
    will be the same.
    
    Using the NES, it'll take more time, since you'll save and reset after
    every win (Or just reset after every loss), but since there's a
    gambling game just 1L of the starting point - bomb the fifth rock
    segment left of the upper path - it only takes a little longer.
    
    Just a friendly reminder in case you forget where to buy these:
    A shop with the Blue Candle is 1U and 1L from the start.  From there
    2L and 2U is the nearest Wooden Arrow.  1U from there is the cheapest
    Bait.  1D and 1R from Level 2 is the cheapest Magic Shield - burn the
    lower tree by the right-hand exit.
    
    #01 - Level 1
    
    Almost anyone who picks up Zelda for the first time will do Level 1 with
    three hearts anyway, so let's skip to the end.  Typically you're forced
    to pick up the Heart Container Aquamentus drops due to the layout of the
    room.  So here's what you do:  Hit him 5 times with the sword, or 2 times
    with the Arrow.  Wait for it to move out in the middle of the room - You
    may need to lure it out by moving around.  When he leaves enough space,
    go to the tile next to the shutter door and finish it off.  You can go
    right without collecting the Heart Container.
    
    And in case there's any doubt, you can hit its head standing on the tile
    where the Heart Container usually appears, then quickly move right as it
    dies.  (Oh yeah, you can use a bomb, too.)
    
    #02 - Level 2
    Again, a cakewalk.  It's your call whether to get the Magical Boomerang.
    This could make Level 7 a nightmare since all Goriyas will switch
    to it as well.  Get all 4 keys in this level by beating all the Ropes
    and Moldorms (snake-like enemies, both), and skip the locked doors to
    save them for later levels.  However...
    
    #02A - Get the Magic Key now?
    Even this early in the game you can get the Magic Key.  You'll need a
    Magic Shield, at least 8 bombs, 2 keys, the Bow & Wooden Arrow, lots
    of manual dexterity, patience, and probably save states.  Skip to
    #08A below and read about it, though you may wanna read #05A first.
    
    #03 - Level 3
    
    Still not so tough with three hearts.  Stay half a tile away from the
    Darknuts if you have to fight them head to head.  Otherwise, just use
    sword blasts.  There's a bunch in the room before the Raft but they
    should be easy to deal with, especially if you had the guts to get
    the Magic Key. See #05A for a more detailed strategy with these
    guys.
    
    If you didn't get the Magic Key, get every key you can find, and in
    the three-sided block room with the three Zols, which is above the
    first Darknut room, don't unlock the left and upper doors.  Actually,
    you can go through the upper door if you want since there's a key on
    the other side, but it's a waste of time.  :p        
    
    When I wasn't that good with Zelda I used to save Manhandla for later.
    In this kind of game, it'll never get easy no matter what you find.
    A well-placed bomb will take it out, but chances are it'll leave the
    flower with one arm, and you're really in trouble.  Two Wand blasts
    or two arrows (faster) will finish it, if your aim anticipates where
    the remaining hand will move.  Otherwise place bombs and run.
    Just remember that of all the boss monsters, only Aquamentus'
    fireballs can be deflected by the big shield.  The others' have
    to be avoided, and this is one of the hardest.
    
    #04 - Level 4
    
    What makes Level 4 a bit hard is that most of the enemies split
    into bats or blobs, which don't drop items.  In other words, you're
    unlikely to find hearts in this level.  Using the Arrow will take
    out a Zol without splitting it, and it may drop items.  But Zols
    only appear in a few rooms.  Try to get to the Gleeok without
    taking a hit.
    
    One caution about Vires - Try to take out the bats they
    split into before hitting another one, preferably getting both
    with the Boomerang.  You can't afford to take a hit from a stupid
    bat in this place.  
    
    Since Level 4 is where things start to get tough, here's some
    directions:   Go 1L to get a key.  From the entrance, go 2U, 1L,
    2U, and 2R. Ignore any locked doors not on this path.  Now you're
    in a room with two Zols and two Like-Likes, who will eat your
    Magic Shield if they catch you.  Take out the blobs and stun the
    sponges with the Boomerang.  They take around 10 hits with the
    Wooden Sword. Stun them before each hit because it's not worth
    buying the Magic Shield again to rush these dudes.  Arrows are
    also effective.
    
    If you want to beat Level 4 now, go 2L, 2U and bomb 2R from the
    Manhandla, then 1R.
    
    Alt. route if you need a key:  Fight the Manhandla instead.
    If you take damage from it playing on NES, it might be a
    good idea to save and come back.  From there, 1U and 1R into
    the bat room.  Grab the key, fight them off, and when you enter
    the next room, quickly go one tile down and right to evade the
    traps.  Now it's 1D and 1R to face Gleeok.
    
    #04A Gleeok Strategy
    
    There's actually a winning strategy for beating Gleeok without a hit.
    If you like to discover things on your own, skip down to level 5.
    Otherwise, observe Gleeok's pattern of movement and look for a good
    place to hit its heads while dodging its unblockable fireballs.
    Need more help?  Stay in the row just above the two blocks and
    you're out of the neck's reach.  You can hit Gleeok's attached
    heads, but it can only hit you with fireballs.  Get a good rhythm
    going:  Slash, dodge, slash, and so forth.  Obviously you'll
    start out with sword beams, but you may want to try fighting
    up close for fun!
    
    As for the flying head, here's another awesome detail to keep in
    mind:  Only one fireball is ever onscreen at a time in this battle,
    no matter how many heads are flying around.  When a head
    spits at you, you know another fireball isn't coming until that one
    goes away.  Work out a rhythm for dodging the heads and fire, and
    look for any opening to attack the dragon.
    
    #05 - Level 5 (Bring 100 rupees!)
    
    We're at a crossroads here.  Most of it is pretty easy but the
    Darknut rooms are tough!  The passageway to the Whistle is guarded
    by a flock of Blue Darknuts, the second most dangerous enemies in
    the game.  If this is your first attempt, it's definitely cool to
    use save states, but practice up so eventually you can wail on
    'em without any trouble.
    
    Anyway, from the entrance go 1R, fire arrows at the bouncing mice
    heads to get a key.  Then go 1U from the entrance and fight the
    easy mummies for another key.  Bomb 2L to face five Blue Darknuts.  
    
    #05A - Blue Darknut Strategies
    
    With full life, anticipate the direction they'll move and fire sword
    beams where you think they'll expose their unshielded sides.  If you
    must fight close-up, stay at least half a tile away when slashing.
    Get a few steps ahead diagonally and let them walk into the path of
    your sword.  For example, if one is marching right, position a little
    northeast and let it come to you.  You can hit it before it's directly
    across from you on the next tile.  Darknuts turn suddenly, so this
    won't work every time.  However, it's usually a bad idea to rush
    them for that very reason.  Also, if you let them come to you and
    they turn, it's easier to get out of the way.  The last thing you
    want is to rush an unshielded spot and have it turn to ram you. 
    
    Use bombs when two or more get together, and keep in mind the explosion
    won't always work due to a glich - If they flash without the telltale
    sound effect, you know it did no damage (See the Swordless Questing FAQ
    for more on this).  Use the blocks in the room for cover as the sword
    will reach from the lower side of the block.  These strategies, plus
    save stating if you're afraid of messing up, will take care of these
    guys.  2 bombs or 8 Wooden Sword hits kill one.  It's very easy
    compared to dealing with Blue Wizzrobes.
    
    -------------------
    
    Now go through the passage, and go 1L.  Hey, more blue guys!  Just
    keep your distance and fire away.  Use the block in the middle to
    hit them as they make a turn and ensure they don't turn into you.
    Get the Whistle, then 1R, 1D, get the key, bomb 1R, and buy the
    bombs increase.
    
    Time to reach Digdogger now.  Go back to the passage.  When you
    come out, the Blue Darknuts will reset.  Wait for a path to open;
    you may need to dash one tile apart from them to get out.  Then go
    1R and 1U.  If you need a key, defeat the three Dodongos, then go
    left and defeat the Zols for a key.  
    
    #05B - Fighting Dodongos with bomb/sword technique
    
    Didn't discover this on my own, but can't remember which FAQ I read
    this in, so thanks whoever mentioned it.
    
    Since you'll have more bombs now, practice killing Dodongos with the
    bomb/sword combo.  Instead of feeding the dinosaur bombs, you stun it
    with a bomb blast and slash it.  However, it's difficult to make the
    bomb explode in the right place, so just feed it a bomb and place
    another bomb in the same spot right away.  You'll almost always
    get a bomb (sometimes a fairy) this way.  This is essential in
    Second Quest Level 8.   
    
    -------------------
    
    Go 1R and 1U from the Dodongo room and defeat all the mummies for a key.
    2U, then 1L and defeat the mummies for another key.  1L, kill the mice,
    and 1L to fight Digdogger.  Blow the Whistle and take it out with bombs.
    The room below doesn't have anything.  Go up and get the Triforce.
    Now it's on to Level 7.    
    
    -------------------
    
    #07 - Level 7 (Bring 100 rupees and Enemy Bait!)
    
    Level 7 is a lot less stressful than Level 6 and the Darknut sections
    of Levels 5 and 8, but you're just as likely
    to die due to the sheer number of Goriyas chucking Boomerangs, each one
    taking a heart.  Bring at least 170 rupees, using the extra 70 for arrows.
    Use three arrows or two arrows and one sword hit to take out the
    Blue Goriyas.  Keep a distance and fire at the closest one, but wait
    for it to stop flashing before firing again.  
    
    There's a bomb in the room above the entrance if you need it.  From this
    same room, go as far right as you can to find a key, ignoring the
    Digdogger on the way.  There are several ways to find the bombs increase.
    The quickest is 1U, 1L, and 2U from the entrance.  Practice killing the
    Dodongos with the bomb/sword technique if you want, or skip them.  
    
    From the bombs increase, 1D, 1R, 2U, 2L, and 2U to reach the map.
    On the way bomb 1R in the Digdogger's room if you need the key, but
    ignore the Digdogger itself.  Oh, and you'll have to feed a docile
    Goriya the bait.  From the map, bomb 1U for rupees if
    needed, or 1R, 1U, 1R for a risky key guarded by five blue Goriyas
    and four statues.  This may actually be just as dangerous as the
    similar Darknut room in Level 8.
    
    From the map, 2R for the Red Candle.  I'd just get it for a trophy,
    but it's useless unless you somehow bypassed the Blue Candle.  
    
    From the Candle, bomb 1R and unlock 1R.  Now you HAVE to fight
    the Digdogger.
    
    #07A - Triple Digdogger Strategy
    
    After blowing the Whistle, Digdogger splits into three little urchins.
    Hats off to jkwikoracle (Gamefaqs poster) who pointed out you can
    lay a bomb, blow the Whistle, and lay another bomb before the little
    Digdoggers get moving.  You've got to switch items real fast, though.
    I'm pressing both 'B' rapidly as the main screen comes back and 'Start'
    as the Whistle blows.  It's a cheese-filled technique but hey, with
    three hearts you have to fight dirty.
    
    -------------------
    
    Go 1U, take out the Dodongos if you wish, and bomb 1R.  Kill five
    Wallmasters and push the middle right block.  Congrats on beating
    Level 7.
    
    Oh yeah, you have to fight the Aquamentus.  *Snore*  Remember to
    stand by the exit before killing him, in case you can't walk past
    the Heart Container.
    
    #08 - Level 8
    
    Two Triforce fragments to go.  Dum dee dum.  Before going into the
    dungeon, here's an overview.  What you have to do now is get the
    Magic Key.
    
    This dungeon is easy, except for the parts that aren't.  That would
    be everything between the doorways.  Three Manhandlas (all optional,
    thankfully).  Two Blue Gohmas.  Loads of Blue Darknuts.  A 4-headed
    Gleeok.  The only thing missing is... better not say it.
    
    If it's any consolation, the layout is straightforward.  Just go up
    until you face the Blue Gohma, and 1R to find the Magic Key.  At this
    point I recommend saving and quitting, then coming back with the Wand.
    Otherwise, go back to Gohma's room, 2D and 1R.  Go through the passage
    and bomb 1U to face the dragon.
    
    It's your call on getting the Magic Book.  I always found it more of a
    liability.  The flames are distracting, can hurt you, and don't kick the
    hard enemies' butts any faster.  Plus you have to fight a Manhandla
    accompanied by two statues for it.  A good eye is needed to distinguish
    between statue fire and monster fire, or especially good dexterity to
    dodge everything.  In any case, save before getting the Book, and see
    if you still want it after fighting Darknuts with the Wand.
    
    #08A - Level 8 First Trip
    
    It's all about the Magic Key, baby.  If you're doing this right after
    Level 2, you'll have four keys, more than enough to make it.  When
    playing I like to get the Magic Key before the Wand, but if you
    want to reverse these steps, by all means, it's your game.
    
    First, go 1U.  You're not going to fight this Manhandla, UNLESS you
    want to trouble saving and refilling bombs.  Make sure you're
    not dodging a bunch of fireballs only to run into another one.  Try to wait
    for a pause in its firing unless you're about to get hit.  When playing this
    on NES I bombed the upper wall, saved, and came back.  Go 1U to face one of
    the toughest rooms in a three-hearts game:
    
    Five Blue Darknuts marching around the room with a fire-breathing stone statue
    in all four corners.  And no blocks to hide behind.  Spend lots of time
    blocking and dodging fire, stay out of their way, and attack when possible.
    Use a combination of Wooden Sword blasts and bombs, basically fighting them
    off the same way you did to get the Whistle.  Try to relax and not get an
    adrenaline rush.  Simply going a long time in this room not taking a hit
    is an accomplishment.  Eventually you'll develop an instinct for weaving
    through a maze of Darknuts.
    
    Oh yeah, do not run out of bombs in this room.  At least one is needed later.
    
    After beating the blue knights, go 1U.  Thankfully a breather, you can avoid
    the enemies in this room.  You may want to bump the bubble for a second of
    invincibility while reaching the doorway.  Be sure the enemies are walking
    away from the locked door.
    
    Go 1U to face 6 Blue Darknuts with two active
    statues in the middle.  Okay, not a breather.  There's good news, though:
    You don't have to fight them!  Weave around them, bomb the top wall, and
    if necessary get to a safe place while it explodes.  Use the statues for
    cover if needed, but stand where their fire can only hit your shield.  If
    you got through the last major blue knight room without using save states,
    this won't be too hard.
    
    Go 1U to encounter another mutant flower Manhandla you'll ignore.
    If you're really paranoid, unlock the locked door and move away, then
    turn back when it's safe.  But you should have enough time to run through
    the locked door altogether.  Go 1U for the second hardest part of the
    Magic Key run.
    
    #08AB - Blue Gohma Strategy
    
    Now it's time to face the Blue Gohma, who wouldn't be so hard if it weren't
    accompanied by an active statue at each corner.  This will be quicker than
    the 5 Darknut/4 statues room, but still tough.  A second after you get in
    its eye will open, so get a hit if you can.  Gohma's eye must be open wide
    for the arrow to connect, and three hits will take it out.  You may have
    to risk getting hit while running into position.  Wait until you're relatively
    close when the eye opens, because it closes fast.  He also likes to fire
    straight down when opening, so just shoot and get out of the way.  
    
    Dodging Gohma's unblockable fireballs is top priority, so keep your attention
    focused on when it shoots.  Be ready to switch cardinal directions on sudden
    notice.  You'll be making staircase motions and ramming fireballs with the
    shield. It may even be necessary to outrun a fireball and sharply turn
    90 degrees all in the name of dodging Gohma fire.  If you predictably move
    back and forth or focus too closely on statues, you're an easier target for
    the crabby spider.  If you have to take a hit, get it from a statue's
    fireball, since Gohma's fire inflicts twice the damage.  Not bad considering
    it has the same graphics.  :p
    
    -------------------
    
    Now that Gohma's gone, go 1R.  With 2 blue and red Darknuts and 2 bouncing
    Pols Voice, this should be one of the easier rooms in the dungeon.  Defeat
    them and claim your prize - the Magic Key.  Now, unless you want to continue
    on and face Gleeok, go to the subscreen, press Up and A on controller 2 (Or
    whatever they're assigned to on emulator), and save.  You do not want to
    fight your way back out of Level 8. Yes, you'll be fighting the same legion
    of Darknuts all over again on the next trip, but with the Wand it's much easier.
    
    #06 - Level 6
    
    AKA Level 8 1/2.  Yeah, Level 6 my patoo.  The only thing worse is Level 9.
    What's really scary is how this is such a nightmare and Level 9 makes it look
    like a walk in the park.
    
    If I don't tell you how to find keys in this dungeon, it's because you're not
    qualified to visit before getting the Magic Key anyway.  Still, there are only
    three locked doors you must go through to get the Wand and one more for Gohma,
    so get the Wand and then go for the Magic Key if you wish.
    
    Now, go 1L into the only easy Wizzrobe room here.  Wait for them to appear,
    move around so none of them are facing you, and slash at anything you can.
    Think of it as proactive revenge for all the stress they'll inflict on you
    from now on.  Go 1U and do not kill the Zols!  Move around them and go 1U
    to fight a bunch of bats with stone statues shooting fire.  If you take a
    hit in this room, go back and kill Zols with the Arrow until all three
    hearts are full.  Spare any remaining at that point.  Go up into a teaser
    room with nothing but traps.  Easy enough to dodge.  Now go 1U and into
    the fire.
    
    #06A - Wizzrobe Strategies
    
    Here's a simple formula to remember.  Red Wizzrobes are easy.
    Blue Wizzrobes are Hell.  Red and Blue together are Hella Hell.
    
    This room has two of both kinds and three Like-Likes, plus a Bubble
    that's kind of annoying but can give you a second to run through
    something deadly.  Getting through this with save states is one thing,
    doing it on NES is another.  Spend some time just avoiding the attacks
    without retaliating.  Keep these in mind:
    
    - Red Wizzrobes only appear, fire once, disappear, and repeat.  They
    all do the same thing together.  Easy to deal with if they're the only
    enemies in the room, yet they greatly add to the difficulty of their
    blue bros.  After they've disappeared for a few seconds, if you can,
    stand still so you don't run into a Red Wizzrobe as they reappear.  
    
    - Blue Wizzrobes glide around the room and may fire magic beams or
    dash diagonally.  They seem unpredictable if you never really pay
    attention, but they're very reactionary.  Not once have I
    seen them fire when Link is not directly across.  They also dash
    right though blocks in their path.  Never be in a straight line
    away from them if you can help it.  Keep a certain distance between
    them, because if you're only a few tiles away diagonally, they may
    dash into you.
    
    - However, if any number of blues are closing in on you, find an open
    spot around them and move through it.  Even if it means going past a
    wizard on the next tile, if it's to get away from them there's a good
    chance they won't react fast enough to hit you.
    
    - The Magic Shield will probably save a few deaths, but don't rely on it.
    Blue Wizzrobes automatically fire when Link is across for a second, and
    they can fire in rapid succession.  Blocking a beam and trying to move
    out of the way is a risk, as the next beam can get you while turning.
    
    - As jkwikoracle reminded me on a Gamefaqs thread, although red does
    less damage than blue with direct contact (one vs. two hearts), beams
    from a red wizard will kill in one hit, while a blue wizard's blast
    kills in two.  Stay out of the reds' line of fire at all cost, even
    if it means lingering across from a blue wizard for a moment.
    
    - Basically, keep a good distance from the blue hoods, out of their
    line of fire, and pause every so often to evade the reappearing red hoods.
    Here's a diagram showing good and bad positions between Link and Blue
    Wizzrobes:
     _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    |     (bad)    (bad)    |		
    |      W L     W        |
    |      L             L  |	
    |  (good) (good, the further the better) 
    |  W                   	|
    |    L     W	        |
    |                      L|
     _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    
    Now, when you go on the attack:
    
    - Take out all the red wizards quickly.  They make fighting the blue ones
    even more hazardous.  One bomb will do it, so it is best to wait until
    they're close together.  All on the same tile, better yet.  If you have
    plenty of bombs and don't feel like waiting, just bomb them individually.
    They don't take a lot of sword hits, so go ahead with that if you're
    confident.
    
    - It is relatively safe to be one tile diagonally from the blue guys.
    They only seem to dash into Link when there's a tile or more between them.
    This means you can position Link a little ways diagonally and let them
    come to you, like Darknuts.
    
    - Never be next to a block when fighting Blue Wizzrobes.  When you have
    to fight them in a room with lots of blocks, I'll have more ways of
    dealing with this.
    
    - And of course, you can stay far away and let them glide into the
    sword blasts.
    
    - 12 Wooden Sword hits or three bombs kill a blue wizard.  Optimally,
    you'll save bombs by killing them with the sword.  Two bombs and two
    Wooden Sword hits do the job, so try this.  Try to get two or more
    with each bomb.
    
    - When there are Like-Likes in the room, as in this one, to deal with
    them or not varies on how comfortable you are dodging Wizzrobes.
    It may be a good idea to take them out after the red ones, but it
    might be better to just avoid them until the blues are gone.
    If you decide to kill them, use arrows, or wand blasts when you get
    it.
    
    -------------------
    
    Now that all the wizards in this room are gone, go 1U to see three
    rows of blocks and more hooded guys (or back to the Zol room in hopes
    of getting items).  If the red ones block the path to the right wall
    or appear on both sides of Link, leave and re-enter.  While blocks
    are an advantage fighting Darknuts, Wizzrobes just use them to trap you.
    Don't tangle with them and bomb 1R. 
    
    Now you're in a dark room.  One tile away is a moat surrounding the
    central platform, so go there if needed to avoid the wizards.
    Then go 1U.   
    Now you'll be in a nice room with Zols and Like-Likes, and the map's
    in here if you kill them.  1L is a Three-Headed Gleeok, 1U is the Wand.
    You can skip the dragon, but take him on with the Wand or Sword if
    you want a challenge.  
    
    When getting the Wand, use some well-placed bombs to take out the
    Wizzrobes. There's plenty of room to manuver, so if one or two blue
    robes are left they're easy to take out with sword fire.  Just don't
    approach them head on if you have to fight up close; get close
    enough so they're not likely to dash your way and let them reach
    you.  The Wand makes a whole lot of enemies easier, especially
    the dreaded Darknuts, but it's totally useless against Wizzrobes.
    
    With the Wand in hand, go 2D.  Kill the Vires in this breather,
    and go 1R for another melee with Wizzrobes of both kinds and
    Like-Likes.  Thankfully this is the last time in the dungeon you
    have to fight them.  When they're all gone go in the passage.
    
    When you come out, go 1D, hug the wall going 1L, dash past the trap
    as you come through the door, dodge some more wizards, and go 1U to
    basically kill the Red Gohma just by looking at it.  Can you believe
    you got 7 Triforce fragments with just three hearts?
    
    #08B - Level 8 Second Trip
    
    Remember the room with 6 Blue Darknuts and 2 statues?  Fight your way
    back there.  The blue knights vanish with 4 Wand hits, but you have
    to hit them with the actual wand; magical blasts don't work.
    Anyway, kill those 6 Darknuts, go 1R, in the passage, have the Arrow
    selected and be ready to take out a bunch of jumping mice.  Then bomb
    1U to face Gleeok with four heads.
    
    #08BA - Four-Headed Gleeok Strategy
    
    For me, figuring out how to defeat the Four-Headed Gleeok was one
    of the best things about playing the game like this, so don't read
    further if you want to discover on your own.  Seriously, I'd rather
    fight room after room of Gleeoks than Wizzrobes.  Go about it as
    you did in Level 4 hitting it with the physical wand, and three heads
    will fly around the screen.  Big whoop.  The heads move in a
    semi-circular pattern, so it shouldn't be too hard to dodge all three.
    Keep to the center row just below the reach of the dragon's neck and
    base your manuvers around the flying heads from there.  When a
    fireball flies at you, rest assured another one isn't coming until
    it fades.  As Yosemite Sam once said, "Dragons is so stupid!"
    
    #09 - Level 9
    
    Surprisingly easy!  Okay, it's still a nightmare, but I was expecting
    it to be even worse.  You can get through the whole thing with only
    four Wizzrobe fights, two per visit.  If you've wondered
    about Ganon being the hardest part of a Three-Heart/No Ring/No Potion
    game, don't wonder any more.  HE IS!
    
    #09A - Level 9 First Trip
    
    2U, bomb 1L, blast the Lanmola centipedes, in the passage.
    2R to fight the first Patra.  Stay far away as possible while the
    little flies launch outward three times, then get in close and swat
    away with the Wand, making little back steps to stay out of their
    radius.  1U and bomb 1L.  Fight the wizards as you did in Level 6.
    I can beat the three blue wizards here using only a few bombs and
    lots of sword hits.  In the passage.
    
    2L, fight another Patra in a room with a key.  This one is easier
    since the little spawn just flip around.  Remember to come back
    here on the next trip.  Go through the passage, avoid the wizards
    and bomb 1U to reach the Silver Arrow room.
    
    #09AB - Silver Arrow Room Strategies
    
    This is a three-sided block room and the only one in the first quest
    where you have to deal with Wizzrobes gliding all over the place.
    The blocks lay out like so:
    
    [][][][][][][][][][]
    		  []
    		  []
    		  []
    [][][][][][][][][][]
    
    Actually, depending on how you exploit the layout and how often the
    Bubbles linger around, this could be easier and faster than usual.
    
    If no reds are blocking the way, get to the center row immediately.
    If there's any in the way, take 'em out with a bomb if you feel
    confident the blue ones won't get you.  Or leave and re-enter until
    the reds show up in a favorable spot.  
    
    Once positioned in the center, never get next to a block except to
    avoid stuff.  For some reason the blue guys will glide through blocks
    and either move out of the perimeter or if they move inside, move
    around the central row.  Of course, if any linger at the row you're
    on, feel free to move up or down a row provided it's a good distance
    from other wizards.  This is more or less how you go about it:
    
    Bad:
    
    	 W W
    [][][][][][][][][][]
             W L   	  []
    		  []
    		  []
    [][][][][][][][][][] 
    
    Good:
    
    	 W 
    [][][][][][][][][][]
           <-W->   	  []
    	   L	  []
    		  []
    [][][][][][][][][][]
    	 W	     
    
    If you have to hit any with the actual sword, keep to the center
    row and let them move horizontally in range.  Chances are you'll
    just bump Bubbles and place bombs to hit two or more at once.
    That's actually pretty easy to do here.
    
    -------------------
    
    With the Silver Arrow in hand, save and come back.  It doesn't
    make any sense to fight in the room below, and you have to refill
    the bomb supply anyway.
    
    #09B - Level 9 Second Trip
    
    Go back to where you fought that second Patra.  Yeah yeah, you have
    to watch that dork say, "Go to the next room" and fight the wizards
    again, but it's easier than fighting them in the room below the
    Arrow.
    
    So, from the Patra room, 1U, 1L, 2U to find the staircase.  On the
    way will be a dark room with Zols followed by a wizard room which 
    requires the ladder to get through.  I let the red ones vanish
    before going up, because that gives the blues time to move away.
    When you go through the door, walk up one tile to avoid the traps
    and start killing wizards the usual way.  Then take the stairs.
    
    Have bombs selected before coming out.  There will be more wizards
    (Fun, isn't it?).  You'll be right of the diamond-formation of blocks
    when you want to be on the left side.
    Trigger the traps on the upper wall and adjust your position if
    needed to stay out of the red wizards' crosshairs.  As the traps
    are moving back, rush to the left side.  Bomb the left wall before
    the traps close in and go through the door as they move back,
    turning to block a magic blast if needed.  This scenario can go
    haywire if you don't trigger the traps on the upper wall right
    away on coming out of the stairs; don't hesitate or else the
    blue wizards will probably get you.
    
    The passage to Ganon's lair is only guarded by a couple of Zols
    and Like-Likes.  *Whew*
    
    Through the passage, fight one more easy Patra, and now face...
    
    #09BA - Ganon Strategy
    
    Will someone tell Nintendo there's a bug in this game?  The final
    boss is invisible.  And he's handed me my rear end about 1,246
    times.  Bumping into Ganon is an instant kill, a fireball takes
    off a heart.  Seriously, this is the one thing about a three-hearts
    game I'd deem "unfairly impossible".
    
    Until you realize even the mighty invisible Ganon has an exploitable
    pattern.  You have to position yourself where Ganon is least
    likely to bump you and dodge the fire from there.  Running around
    the room will get you killed.  Hiding in a corner, dodging, and
    slashing like mad might be what you did with the Magical Sword,
    but it's not going to work now.
    
    Keep in mind this is only a possible strategy.  Just check it
    out and adjust it to your taste.  If you find something
    better, let me know.
    
    What you have to do is watch where the fireballs appear while
    dodging them, and use the positions they start at to anticipate
    where Ganon will be.  The fireballs are aimed directly for Link,
    so it may be necessary to move a little to goad him into a
    pattern you're comfortable with.  It's amazing how many things
    you'll notice trying to fight him sans extra hearts (not to
    mention the Red Ring and other useless junk).  Practice a lot
    with save-states before even thinking about doing it on NES.
    
    I'll be using diagrams to explain the strategy, so here's the key:
    
    The rooms are 12 x 7 tiles (12 horizontal, 7 vertical)
     _ each underscore is a column of tiles
    |  each vertical line is a row of tiles
    
    Coordinates:  (x,y) x:  # of tiles from the right wall
    		    y:  # of tiles from the upper wall
    
    S:  statue
    L:  Link's position
    G:  roughly Ganon's position when you hit him
    1,2,3,etc.:  fireballs in order of appearence
    
    What I like to do is hug the left wall and keep to the center
    three rows, like this:
    
     _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    |S                     S|		
    |                       |
    |L                      |	
    |L                      | 
    |L                      |
    |                       |
    |S                     S|
     _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    
    From there I move up and down to dodge all coming fireballs.
    Vertical movements hugging the wall are the superior way to
    dodge fireballs, but go ahead and move out a column if necessary.
    He's least likely to appear where Link is positioned in the
    diagram, but depending on your movements it's possible to bump
    into him there.  In any case, like Gleeok you need to base your
    tactics from a reliable position and this one I'm comfy with.
    
    Now you've got to use the path of Ganon's fireballs to guess
    where the overgrown aardvark will appear.  Here's a sample pattern:
    
     _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    |S     1               S|		
    |          2            |
    |                       |	
    |                       | 
    |        3              |
    |L G                    |
    |S                     S|
     _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    
    The first fireball shows up at (4,1), the second at (6,2),
    and the third at (5,5).  Assuming you dodge them all, it's
    safe to make it to the lower left corner and stab Ganon at
    the right.  However, let's say that third fireball forms two
    tiles left at (3,5).  If you walk down to stab Ganon, you'll
    just run into him and die.  In this scenario you could stab
    downward from the 5th row, but a fireball will most likely
    get you.
    
    Here's another sample pattern:
    
     _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    |S     3               S|		
    |  4                    |
    |                       |	
    |L G                    | 
    |          2            |
    |                  1    |
    |S                     S|
     _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    
    3 and 4 are really important.  If you see this pattern or similar
    you'll be able to stab Ganon below where 4 passes.
    That's the key - Ganon seems to move towards your position with
    each fireball, so get a feel where you can step a little ways up
    or down after a close fireball and stab him from the right.
    Link's vertical position also matters.  Usually I'll hang in
    the 5th row to goad 1 and 2 from the bottom, then move up for
    3 and 4.  If the fireballs don't show up where you want them
    to, dodge fast and hope he settles into a more favorable pattern. 
    
    Ganon teleports to either the right or left lower corner after
    taking a hit, so it's possible to hit him near the lower left
    and hit him again repeatedly as he teleports there.  This is
    risky, but standing a half to a whole tile above the statue
    lessens the risk of Ganon showing up on top of you.  It's still
    possible to get out of the way if he's stunned.  Beware, as
    hanging near the bottom might goad him into a pattern where
    he'll reach your home base.
    
    Anyway, here's a recap:  Head to the center left wall, dodge
    fireballs until Ganon leaves an opening to hit him in the lower
    left as in pattern one.  He'll probably teleport to the lower
    right corner and start hurling fire.  Stay in the 5th row for
    the first two fireballs and in the 3rd or 4th row for the next two.
    If a fireball comes diagonally from close to the wall, move down
    and stab right, then again in case Ganon shows up there.
    
    Beware:  Ganon may reach the bottom left after you hit him.
    If you don't hit him there right away, you'll have to keep
    dodging until he's in a more opportune pattern.
    
    There's also a good chance of stunning Ganon
    just as he's throwing a fireball, which means a change in timing
    is in order.  Also, even when you deliver the last blow and he
    turns red, direct contact will take you out before firing the
    Silver Arrow.  It is possible for Ganon to appear on top of you
    as you're delivering the last blow (meaning death), but that's
    rarely happened to me.  Then again, I rarely get to the last
    blow, period.  :D
    
    -------------------
    
    If you did this on NES, go to Zelda's room, but don't go
    up to Zelda herself.  You might want to snap a picture
    of the subscreen to prove you really did this.  Then
    save if you don't want to start the second quest over
    this file.  Or don't save if you want to fight
    Ganon again!
    
    #SQ SECOND QUEST HINTS
    
    I don't see much of a reason to do a guide for the second quest.
    Paradoxically the second quest is both tougher and easier than
    the first.  That is, if you struggle with the first quest, the
    second will be tougher.  If you've mastered the first, the second
    will be cake.  Here're a few tips specific to this quest, but
    don't read if you like discovering stuff:
    
    - The gambling game 1L of the starting point is still there.
    All the shops you need to visit are in the same location except
    the Blue Ring/cheap Enemy Bait shop, which is the extreme upper
    right corner of the overworld (Where the Moblin giving you 100
    rupees in the 1st quest would be).
    
    - Clear the first two levels, go to Level 6 for the Ladder, then
    go to Level 8 with 100 rupees and Bait for the Wand, Magic Key,
    and extra bombs.  These powerful items are much easier to find
    in the second quest.
    
    - When running into the old man who asks for a Heart Container
    or 50 rupees, try leaving a Heart Container and see what happens.
    The results are very interesting when you already have just
    three hearts.
    
    - Amazingly enough, there are only two rooms in the 2nd quest
    where you must battle Wizzrobes, to get the Bow in Level 5
    and the Silver Arrow Level 9.  The rest of the Wizzrobes can be
    avoided, or their rooms bypassed altogether.
    You don't need to fight as much as one Wizzrobe in Level 6.
    Just go up until the first stairway and be good at
    dodging them.
    
    - That one room in Level 5 is a doozy, though.
    Five Blue Wizzrobes in this layout:
                      []
    [][][][][][][][]  []
    []            []  [] 
    []      [][][][]  []   
    []                [] 
    [][][][][][][][][][]
    
    When I first looked at this, I was like, "okay, the second quest
    is impossible."  But I pressed on and found it wasn't.
    You have 3 x 3 squares of free space, so stay there and hope
    the robed guys move around you.  The usual rules apply.
    Keep a tile distance from all blocks and move only to let
    a wizard pass by.  This takes some luck and fast reflexes,
    but it can be done.
    Place bombs like mad and if you want to hit a robe on the other
    side, place the bomb directly on the block.  When they're gone,
    push that middle-left block rightward so it doesn't block your
    path (Hey, just in case your palms are twitching from the
    fight 0_o).
    
    - You will have to fight lots of Darknuts.  Get good at that!
    
    - In Level 9, the only stairway you must take is the one to
    Ganon's room.  The rest don't lead anywhere useful you can't
    reach through doorways.  Between this and the lack of forced
    Wizzrobe fights, I'm wondering if the 2nd quest is all it's
    cracked up to be.
    
    Thanks to
    - Gamefaqs for hosting this.
    - Pierre-Hugues Goyet who did the Swordless Quest guide where I
    learned a few things used here (Using the Wand like a sword,
    bombing Wizzrobes).
    - DEngel for contributing the PNG maps.
    - Nintendo and the original Zelda team for nailing a perfect
    balance of gameplay and difficulty that has yet to be matched.