Dodongo's Cavern

Author: Efrain Silva

Dodongo’s Cavern is no place for the fearful. They should never enter. In fact, it’s a place for few brave souls who are committed to the best when it comes to Legend of Zelda gaming experiences, and that’s what we’re going to be talking about here….buckle up. 


Now, in Zelda : Ocarina of Time, the hero Link finds himself going to this seemingly God - forsaken place just shortly after having conquered his way through the Deku Tree and the many challenges presented there. He has thus proven his mettle and is ready for the next onslaught of chaos to arise, this time in the form of a fire - like cavern filled with all kinds of new monsters he has not faced thus far. And he must put forth his best courage and effort if he is to see better days.


The quest of Dodongo’s Cavern picks right up where the one from the Deku Tree leaves off…..


It appears the Deku Tree, after having his curse removed, knows that he is now about to die...it was too late for him. But before dying, he gives Link a precious stone, in emerald green color….it’s one of three that Link must then collect in order to set back the evil that is to continue to befall his world. It’s his only chance. 


Link then heads to Kakariko Village in his quest, where he meets all kinds of new people. He then walks up to Death Mountain, where the fun happens; I say that in a sarcastic manner, though this part of the game is really fun, but because Link faces many threats of danger there. Upon reaching the top of the mountain, Link meets a new tribe for the very first time, and these indigenous mountain folk are known as the Gorons. 


The Gorons are a rock people, made of pure, solid rocks. They eat rocks, bombs and much more. They even have the ability to roll up and roll around, just like a ball. Link befriends them and finds out that the next part of his journey will take him into a little place by the mountain called Dodongo’s Cavern, and it is not a nice place….at least, recently, it’s been more filled with evil and dismay than ever. 


Here in this cavern, Link makes his way around, just as he did the last time...but with puzzles that are slightly harder and with villains that won’t die off as easily. Indeed, the level of challenge has been increased here, and it shows. One of the main foes that Link must face here is that of the Lizalfos, which are a team of lizards carrying swords --- oh, boy! And to make things even a little more challenging, some of them even carry their own shields, too….go figure.


And in the dungeon, or should I say cavern (but you know what I mean), Link must even find himself facing up to 2 of these Lizalfos...at a time. He must use his sword and shield in perfect balance so as to block off their attacks all while making a few strikes of his own, hopefully slashing them down dead in the end. What’s cool about this Zelda “boss dungeon” is also the fact that it’s the very first one to introduce Link, in a 3D world, to the bomb bag….which he uses to carry his bombs. 


Yes, now Link can officially use bombs, and such talent will come in handy soon if he hopes to blast his way through the rest of the dungeon, which he later shows himself quite capable of doing….finally making it to the boss of the dungeon, a nasty monster known as King Dodongo, who does not hit it off well with Link, to put it nicely…..


King Dodongo, a giant Dodongo creature (hence the name, ha…). His main strategy in fighting Link is to inhale as much air as he can, which he will then exhale through flame….Link must watch out not to get burned; his life is on the line here, literally speaking. All it takes is a few burns. Link has one chance to make this work.


What he has to do is time his approach carefully and accurately, taking in that perfect, short window of opportunity that is presented to him every time King Dodongo opens his mouth to inhale….throwing a bomb flower right inside his open mouth. The bomb will then explode inside King Dodongo’s tummy and wound him, causing him to fall over, exposing his vulnerable side ---- which Link can then strike, like mad at, with his sword. And this he does, repeating the process until King Dodongo is finished...for good. 


Well, he’s at least gone for good in this game. But he’ll be back to terrorize Link in future Legend of Zelda games, of which I could perhaps cover in more detail some other time. Either way, know this; King Dodongo will be back….. 


After winning his second major victory, thus far, Link sees another beacon of light open up next to him, kind of like a portal (just as the first one did when successfully defeating Gohma inside the Deku Tree)....which he steps on and rides up into a beam of light….not before collecting his heart piece (a crucial item to have in the game) that enhances his health life. Another dungeon has just been conquered. What’s next for life, perhaps a trip into Jabu - Jabu’s Belly???? 


Yes, that is indeed the next great dungeon Link has to pull his courage to fight through, and hopefully make it through to the other side. He has made it through two, so far, so that’s always good. There is hope for him yet. 


If you want to see how the story continues to unfold, read the next article we wrote, entitled, “Inside Jabu Jabu’s Belly”, or simply pick up The Legend of Zelda : Ocarina of Time from any gaming store selling it.