|...BAY... Your road goes into the bay...|
|— Link's Awakening|
|Mini-boss(es)||Master Stalfos (fought four times)|
|Quest Reward(s)||Wind Marimba|
Catfish's Maw is the fifth dungeon in Link's Awakening and the location of the Wind Marimba. The entrance of this dungeon, which looks like a giant blue catfish, is located within Martha's Bay. The main tool of this dungeon is the Hookshot, which is originally located in a chest, but is stolen by the Master Stalfos, after his first battle with Link. It is obtained after defeating him three additional times. It is necessary to access certain rooms and needed to defeat the boss, Slime Eel. The second mini-boss of the dungeon is a pair of Gohmas.
Entrance to the Maw
After Link leaves the Angler's Tunnel, a Ghost begins following him. He cannot enter the dungeon with the Ghost, and must help the ghost make peace with his death before entering. After that, he can enter. However, the entire entrance is surrounded by rocks, and thus cannot be accessed by swimming on the surface alone. Link needs to dive down at a certain spot on the left side of the rocks and swim through an underwater tunnel to this dungeon.
The interior of the dungeon is mostly sandy floor with brown walls. There also seem to be a lot of purple crystals growing in certain rooms, which can be destroyed by Link's sword. Despite this dungeon being in the middle of a bay, it is actually dry inside, with a few rooms having shallow water and only three rooms being flooded (two of them being flooded side-view rooms).
This dungeon has five mini-boss battles. The first mini-boss is Master Stalfos, who steals the Hookshot from a chest after his first battle with Link. Once defeated, he moves into another room and must be searched for in order to battle again. All of the rooms in which Link battles him can easily be identified by the skull-shaped tiling on the room's floor. Each of these four rooms also has a number of blocks corresponding to the number of the battle that takes place in the room. The other mini-boss is the Gohmas, who can only be reached once Link has the Hookshot and seem to be the "true" mini-bosses of this dungeon, as defeating them creates a portal back to the entrance of the dungeon, unlike Master Stalfos.
The puzzles in this dungeon often involve using the Hookshot to cross long gaps. A variation on this is the appearance of wooden bridges which can only be extended by using the Hookshot on one side of the gap. The dungeon also has a hidden room that is not on the map, next to the boss room. It can only be accessed by diving underwater in a nearby room to enter a side-scrolling area, where Link can climb up a ladder to get to the hidden room. The room contains the Nightmare Key, vital for getting to the boss, Slime Eel.
The room where Link fights the boss is originally a normal room, but Slime Eel lives in the walls of the dungeon and therefore cracks open the walls and floor to attack Link. His tail comes out of the hole in the floor, and rotates around the room, trying to hit Link. It cannot be harmed. Slime Eel's head however appears randomly in the four holes in the wall at regular intervals. Using the Hookshot, Link can pull Slime Eel out and attack his vulnerable midsection.
When looked at on a map, the dungeon is in the shape of what seems to be an eel, likely a reference to the dungeon's boss. The name of this dungeon is simply a reference that the exterior is in the shape of a giant catfish, and that the entrance is the 'maw of the catfish'.
Enemies and Traps
- The entrance to this dungeon is known as the Catfish, and resembles the giant Catfish who gives Link the Quake Medallion in A Link to the Past. Like the aforementioned character, it also appears in a circle of stones.
- The Ocean Floor entrance in Spirit Tracks is also shaped like a giant catfish.
- "Hoot! It has been some time since our paths crossed, lad. You must dive into the waters of Martha's Bay to enter the Catfish's Maw..." — Owl (Link's Awakening)
- "'I've got what was inside this box. Come and get it, if you can!'" — Master Stalfos' note (Link's Awakening)
- "Dive under where torchlight beams do cross..." — Owl Statue (Link's Awakening)
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||ナマズのおおぐち (Namazu no Ōguchi)||Catfish's Maw|
|German||Fisch Maul||Fish's maw|