Varies per Shadow
Shadow Nightmares is the collective name of the various final Bosses in Link's Awakening. The final Nightmare, seemingly a collective of multiple Nightmares, takes on six forms, or Shadows, of former bosses Link has defeated in Link's Awakening, as well as that of A Link to the Past. The Nightmares are the primary antagonists in the Wind Fish's dream on Koholint Island, and are the force single-handedly responsible for the forced, continued slumber of the Wind Fish. Like many of the bosses Link fights in the game, the Shadow Nightmares are self-aware: at the beginning and end of the battle, it reveals the plans to continue the Wind Fish's slumber, and speaks of how its death will signal the end of "its world", respectively.
The Six Shadows
The first shadow is also known as Giant Gel, and is a giant Zol, a common enemy throughout Link's travels on Koholint and his previous adventures. The Giant Zol bounces after Link much like a normal Zol, and occasionally disappears into the ground only to appear elsewhere. While not particularly danagerous, at first the Giant Zol can seem impossible to destroy; striking it with his blade will simply cause it to shatter and reappear elsewhere. However, if Link simply sprinkles Magic Powder on it three times, it will be defeated and proceed to morph into its next form.
The second form is a shadowy version of Agahnim, the evil sorcerer from A Link to the Past. This form can be defeated in the same manner as the true Agahnim, by playing a grueling game of Dead Man's Volley. Link must parry balls of magic back at Agahnim to cause damage. Similar to the true Agahnim battle in A Link to the Past, some blasts of magic cannot be reflected, and will instead scatter, sending smaller bolts across the arena. Agahnim will however not use his lightning attacks or attempt to create fake copies of himself, nor will Link take damage from striking him with his sword like he did in the previous game. After hitting him with his magic enough times, he will spin on the spot before breaking apart and moving to the next form.
The third form will be that of the first boss in Link's Awakening, Moldorm, in technique and in attack strategy. The only changes are that there are no holes to fall down, and Link must strike the tail many more times than the original Nightmare he first fought in the Tail Cave. There is also another, more simple way to defeat the Moldorm; as Nightmare is switching forms, from Agahnim to Moldorm, Link may quickly and continuously slash the transforming mold, slowing and eventually halting the process. Only the head of the Moldorm will successfully form, and after more striking, the boss will simply change into its next shape, or at least sustain enough damage that Link will be able to defeat it quickly and painlessly as compared to its full-bodied form.
Shadow of Ganon
The fourth form is a Nightmare version of The Legend of Zelda's archvillain, Ganon, taking on his appearance from A Link to the Past. The Shadow of Ganon will summon a flurry of Blazing Bats in Link's direction before attacking with its Trident and moving across the room, much as Ganon did in A Link to the Past. To defeat it, Link must use the Spin Attack, or alternatively by using a combination of the Pegasus Boots and his blade, Link can charge at the shadow in a Dash Attack in order to defeat it. After about twelve hits with Link's normal sword it is defeated, and it shall morph into the Lanmola form.
Despite being known as Lanmola, this particular form does not have much relation to its namesake; instead it appears to be the collective form of the Shadow Nightmares that Link sees inbetween each form, making a last ditch attempt to defeat Link. It is seemingly invulnerable to Link's sword and will home in on him, leaving trails of itself behind as it chases him around the room. It can be defeated with a powerful strike, preferably from the Magic Rod, but a Spin Attack, Hookshot, Bomb or the Boomerang will have the same effect. A single strike is all that is requires to stop its charge and cause it to reveal its final, deadly form.
- Main article: DethI
The final form is the only new enemy encountered in this battle, DethI. DethI consists of a large pulsating mass with a single, usually closed eye from which two dark, shadowy arms with huge spiked tips extend outwards.
Once the Nightmare is dealt with, the Owl will speak to Link and a stairway will appear. Link travels up the stairs to speak to the Owl a final time, before the Wind Fish appears. He will confirm that Koholint Island is a dream world, and that Link ended up in his dream after his ship was struck by lightning while he was sailing home. By using the Instrument of the Sirens Link gathered on the island to play the Ballad of the Wind Fish, the Wind Fish finally awakens, dispelling his dream world and returning Link to the sea from whence he came. He awakens on a piece of his former ship and watches as the Wind Fish flies overhead. The dream island of Koholint would only remain in his memories.
- The music played during the battle against DethI in the original and DX versions is the Sub-Boss theme instead of the Shadow Nightmares unique battle theme. This was changed in the Switch version, which supplied DethI with its own boss theme.
- In the original and DX versions, the Shadow Nightmares appear under Link, while in the Switch version, they briefly emerge from Link in a cutscene, implying that they in part embody Link's inner nightmares similar to Link's Shadow from Zelda II.
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||シャドー（風のさかな） (Shadō (Kaze no Sakana))||Shadow (Wind Fish)|
|French||Maléficio l'Ombre du Cauchemar|
|German||Manifestationen der Alpträume||Nightmare Manifestations|
|Names in Other Regions|
|Giant Zol||Agahnim's Shadow||Moldorm||Shadow of Ganon||Lanmola||DethI|
|Japanese||ゾルの影 (Zoru no Kage)||アグニムの影 (Agunimu no Kage)||デグテールの影 (Degutēru no Kage)||ガノンの影 (Ganon no Kage)||シャドー (Shadō)|
|French||Zol Géant||L'ombre d'Agahnim||L'ombre de Moldorm||L'ombre de Ganon||Lanmola||DethI|
- Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 202
- "Hoot! Young lad, I mean... Link , the hero! You have defeated the Nightmares! You have proven your wisdom, courage and power! ... ... ... ... As part of the Wind Fish's spirit, I am the guardian of his dream world... But one day, the Nightmares entered the dream and began wreaking havoc. Then you, Link , came to rescue the island... I have always trusted in your courage to turn back the Nightmares. Thank you, Link ... My work is done... The Wind Fish will wake soon. Good bye...Hoot!" — Owl (Link's Awakening DX)
- "Hoot!Hoot! So you are the lad who owns the sword... Now I understand why the monsters are starting to act so violently... A courageous lad has come to wake the Wind Fish... It is said that you cannot leave the island unless you wake the Wind Fish... You should now go north, to the Mysterious Forest. I will wait for you there! Hoot!" — Owl (Link's Awakening DX)
- "We were born of nightmares... To take over this world, we made the Wind Fish sleep endlessly! If the Wind Fish doesn't wake up, this island will never disappear! We would have been the masters of this place... But you had to come here and disrupt our plans! Heh heh! You can never defeat us!!! Let's rumble!" — Shadow Nightmares (Link's Awakening DX — 329)
- "This island is going to disappear... Our world is going to disappear... Our world... Our... world..." — DethI (Link's Awakening DX)
- "... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... I AM THE WIND FISH... LONG HAS BEEN MY SLUMBER... IN MY DREAMS... AN EGG APPEARED AND WAS SURROUNDED BY AN ISLAND, WITH PEOPLE, ANIMALS, AN ENTIRE WORLD! ... ... ... ... BUT, VERILY, IT BE THE NATURE OF DREAMS TO END! WHEN I DOST AWAKEN, KOHOLINT WILL BE GONE... ONLY THE MEMORY OF THIS DREAM LAND WILL EXIST IN THE WAKING WORLD... SOMEDAY, THOU MAY RECALL THIS ISLAND... THAT MEMORY MUST BE THE REAL DREAM WORLD... ... ... ... ... COME, Link ... LET US AWAKEN... TOGETHER!!" — Wind Fish (Link's Awakening DX)
- "PLAY THE EIGHT INSTRUMENTS! PLAY THE SONG OF AWAKENING!!" — Wind Fish (Link's Awakening DX)