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.