|“||"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!"||„|
|~ The Nightmares|
Shadow Nightmares (AKA The Nightmares or sometimes just Nightmare) are the name of collective group of Nightmares that make up the final boss of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. They resemble enemies from Link's own past, specifically of A Link to the Past and the leader of the Nightmares. It is not known if these beings are seperate entities or different forms of a single being. It is unknown how the Wind Fish came into contact with the Shadow Nightmares. It is interesting to note that the Nightmares are fighting for self-preservation, as if the Wind Fish wakes from his slumber, Koholint Island and its residents will cease to exist.
Each Nightmare transforms into the next upon being defeated.
The Giant Zol, also known as the Giant Gel, is simply a giant form of an enemy Link commonly faces in the overworld known as a Zol. Its behaviour is much like the smaller variant, bouncing towards Link. This is the Giant Zol's only attack, however some would consider this form the most difficult as it's unclear how to damage it. Striking Giant Zol with your sword will cause it to dissapate and reappear soon after without taking damage. However, this form can easily be defeated by sprinkling Magic Powder on it three times.
This form resembles Agahnim, the central antagonist of A Link to the Past, in both as a silhouette and in gameplay. They will attack by firing energy balls at Link in two varieties. One energy blast is round and slow, and the other is small and cross-shaped To defeat Agahnim's Shadow, Link must play a game of Dead Man's Volley. The Volley can only be performed on the former, and if you attempt with the latter, the ball will explode. Speedrunners affectionately call the latter "blue balls", as they are completely random as to which Agahnim's Shadow will use and each "blue ball" can add 5-10 seconds to a run.
Interestingly, with good timing, the Shovel can be used to parry the energy balls similar to using the Bug Net in A Link to the Past.
Moldorm's Shadow resembles the recurring enemy Moldorm, first appearing in A Link to the Past but also as the first main boss in Link's Awakening 's Tail Cave. The battles are identical in strategy, as Link must slash at Moldorm's tail. The Nightmare form actually often is regarded as the easiest of the incarnations of the enemy, as the previous occurences take place surrounded by pits. These pits would send Link down a floor of the dungeon, causing the battle to restart when Link re-enters the boss' room.
An alternate strategy is to continually slash at the transformation from Agahnim to Moldorm, and will either transform to the next form, or sustain enough damage to make the following battle easier. This isn't recommended, as due to a variable overflow glitches, if Link slashes too many times, this can cause Moldorm to have 100+ hit points.
Shadow of Ganon
This form resembles Ganon's appearance and behaviour from A Link to the Past. He summons a swarm of flaming Keese and also throws his Trident at Link. He can be damaged by Spin Attacks or Dash Attacks using the Pegasus Boots. After tweleve hits, this form will morph to the next.
Despite being named after the mini-boss from A Link to the Past, this form shares close to nothing in common with the enemy, as this form mostly looks like the Nightmare's form between other transformations. This form is easily the most difficult of them all, as it moves incredibly fast and it's one and only attack pattern is to take the same place as Link, which can chain the damage incredibly well. It can be defeated by a single attack from the Magic Rod, but a Spin Attack, Bomb, a hit from the Hookshot or the Boomerang will also do the trick.
The final form, and the only form original to Link's Awakening, DethI (spelled "Deth-I" resembling "Death Eye") is described as a pulsating mass with two tentacles and a single eyeball in the center. This form is the only enemy in Link's Awakening that a hard-to-obtain weapon is required to beat. The Bow is required normally. Link must shoot the eye with arrows and jump over the tentacles with the Roc's Feather.
Alternately, if Link has obtained the Boomerang, the reward for the game's extensive trading side-quest, DethI can be taken down in one hit.
- In Hyrule Warriors Legends and Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition, Nightmare's forms show up as a hazards on the Koholint Island Map of the Link's Awakening DLC pack.
- DethI resembles Vaati's true form as he appears in Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures and may have served as the design for the character.
- During the Dethl phase, the mini-boss theme plays as opposed to boss theme.
- DethI shares some resemblance to Bellum of Phantom Hourglass, which offers some evidence to the theory that Phantom Hourglass is a retelling of Link's Awakening in an alternate timeline.