Zelda: Link's Awakening Golden Leaves: using bombs and bananas to find each golden leaf in Kanalet Castle
While people tend to think the real challenge in Zelda games are the dungeons, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening contains quite a bit of action between the dungeons - in fact, going through the steps to get a dungeon key such as the Slime Key is often more taxing than the dungeon itself. Such is the case when Richard tasks you with finding Five Golden Leaves - but luckily we're here to help you to track them all down.
Once you're done with the Bottle Grotto dungeon, you'll be given the hint that you need to head to the Prairie to continue. That's Ukuku Prairie, which is just to the right of Mabe Village on Links Awakening's map. Before you head there, keep in mind that for the next stage of your adventure you'll need a few particular items - so let's cover those first.
Getting a Shovel, Bombs and Bananas to enter Kanalet Castle
We're getting just a little ahead of ourselves, but the Golden Leaf quest takes place inside Kanalet Castle, a huge building on the eastern side of Koholint Island. You're going to need three key items in order to get into the castle and also progress to the next stage of your quest - so let's grab them before you head that way at all.
First off, you'll need the Deluxe Shovel and some Bombs. You may already have these, but if you haven't, you can find both of them in the shop back in Mabe. 10 bombs will cost you 10 rupees, while a shovel will set you back 200 rupees - or you can have it for free if you know how to steal from the Mabe Village item shop.
Secondly, you'll need Bananas. Now, Bananas are part of the 'trading quest' in Link's Awakening, a special side quest where you trade one item for another, then another, then another, eventually trading up to something very useful that Link can use in dungeons and in combat. You'll need the Bananas, the fourth stage in the trading quest, to progress the story - and using the Bananas will also move you onto the fifth stage of the trading quest, so it's a win-win.
If you haven't already progressed the trading quest at this point, here are the basic steps you need to take to get the Bananas:
- In the Trendy Crane Game in Mabe Village, there's a Yoshi Doll, of Mario's favorite Dinosaur Buddy. Win it.
- Take the Yoshi Doll to the double-doored house in the north of Mabe Village. Trade it with the lady inside to get your hands on a Ribbon.
- Now go to Madam MeowMeow's house in the village; this is a house with a main house and a smaller outhouse, a dog house. Enter the Dog House and trade the ribbon with the small BowWow inside to get the Dog Food.
- Head down to the beach, Toronbo Shores. At the northern edge of the beach, just south of Tail Cave, is a house with a crocodile inside. Give him the Dog Food in order to get the Bananas.
Richard, Kiki the Monkey and Kanalet Castle's Entrance
With the Shovel, Bombs and Bananas in hand you can now head to the Prairie. That's just east of Mabe Village, as we said - just to the right of the shops there's some bushes and rocks you can move to get through. In the Prairie, go south to find a house with a man inside who has... a lot of frogs? Talk to him and he talks about getting the Golden Leaf from the Castle. There's five of them, actually - Golden Leaves. By the way, Richard is actually another Nintendo cameo - he's actually from a Japan-only NES Action RPG called "For Frog the Bell Tolls", thus all the frogs in his house.
From his house head east, then north-east in general - you'll see the castle gate, you can't miss it. The gate is closed, but if you hug the castle moat and head east, you'll eventually meet a Monkey, Kiki. This is where the bananas come in. Give Kiki the Monkey your Bananas and the monkeys will build a bridge over the moat so you can get into the castle grounds. They'll also leave behind a Stick from the construction, which is the next item in the trading sequence that ultimately leads to the Boomerang.
The area to the north of the bridge they build seems like a dead end, but look for a lone bush to the left of the phone building. Destroy that bush to reveal some hidden stairs that lead into the castle proper.
5 Golden Leaves in Kanalet Castle
Kanalet Castle is basically a sort of mini-dungeon of sorts in Link's Awakening, and in a sense it resembles a smaller version of Hyrule Castle as it appears in A Link to the Past. Once you take the hidden stairs and the path to emerge inside the castle, you're tasked with finding five Golden Leaves. The castle is structually very simple and requires no guide, but the question is: where is each Golden Leaf? Some are better hidden than others. For the sake of being very clear, here's where they all are:
- Golden Leaf 1: When you first head south down the outside of the left-hand side of the castle, you'll notice a crow up on top of a tree. These crows usually attack you on sight, but this one does not. Pick up a nearby rock and throw it at the tree to make the crow fly down, then kill it. It drops the first Golden Leaf.
- Golden Leaf 2: Follow the castle round from leaf 1 (south, then east) without entering so you get on the right-hand side of the outside courtyard area. There are six pot holes here in a star shape and an enemy, Mad Bomber, that tosses bombs out of the holes at you. Defeat the Mad Bomber to make the second Golden Leaf spawn.
- Golden Leaf 3: Now head inside Kanalet Castle proper. You'll come across some enemies - a couple of Darknuts (who you also fought outside) and a Zol, the red gel enemies. Defeat all three to force the third Golden Leaf to appear.
- Golden Leaf 4: Continue through the castle's linear innards. When you get upstairs, there'll be a lowered area down some steps with two cracked murals on the wall. This is where your bombs come in - you can bomb these to open them up. When you do, a Darknut will appear. Bomb the two walls and kill the Darknuts to get your fourth golden leaf. One to go!
- Golden Leaf 5: This one is nice and simple; recah the final room of Kanalet Castle and you'lll find a unique enemy, the Ball and Chain Soldier. Players of A Link to the Past might remember this guy (or someone like him) was guarding Zelda. Anyway, defeat the Ball and Chain soldier in order to get your hands on the fifth and final Golden Leaf.
Once you're done, return to Richard - your reward will be access to the Pothole Field at the rear of his house, which in turn allows you access to the Slime Key, which'll open up dungeon 3, the Key Cavern. When you get to the owl statue at the end of Pothole Field, it's time to use that shovel!