Link's Awakening Miscellaneous Glitches - Ghost Repellent

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WARNING!

This glitch will inhibit 100% completion on DX, as it will render you unable to fully complete the photo album. Additionaly, should this glitch be proven to have made it into the Switch remake, it will also render one of the Fairy Bottles and one of the Chamber Stones unobtainable.
LA[misc]
Compatible Versions
? B&W DX Remake
1.0 1.1 1.2 1.0 1.1 1.2 SW
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Details
Discovered: Pikachu
Verified: No

Contents

Requirements

  • Obtaining the Flippers from Angler's Tunnel, but not completing that dungeon
  • Obtaining the Hookshot from Catfish's Maw; it does not matter whether or not that dungeon is cleared
  • Not having yet read the tablet at the Southern Face Shrine
  • Not having yet obtained the level 2 Power Bracelet

Instructions

  1. Head to Southern Face Shrine.
  2. Defeat the mini-boss therein.
  3. Read the tablet in the rearmost room of the shrine.
  4. Return to Angler's Tunnel and complete that dungeon.

Alternately:

  1. Head to Southern Face Shrine.
  2. Defeat the mini-boss therein.
  3. Leave the Southern Face Shrine without reading the tablet therein.
  4. Head to the Face Shrine.
  5. Obtain the level 2 Power Bracelet.
  6. Return to Angler's Tunnel and complete that dungeon.

Result

The ghost that normally appears shortly after clearing Angler's Tunnel will not appear, no matter how long you wait. This renders the player unable to complete that part of the quest and collect its associated rewards. The effect is rather benign in B&W, as the player will only miss one Secret Seashell, which can easily be made up elsewhere. In DX, this will cost the player not only the Secret Seashell, but also a photo in the album, which will prevent 100% completion. In the Switch remake (if it somehow made it in there), it will cost the player both the Secret Seashell, but also the Chamber Stone that comes with collecting every single Secret Seashell as well as one of the Fairy Bottles

Explanation

The fact that the ghost can be prevented from appearing is likely due to internal flags. The internal flag associated with obtaining the Hookshot and the one associated with reading the tablet at the rear of the Southern Face Shrine, should both of them have been triggered, will interfere with the flags that summon the ghost shortly after clearing Angler's Tunnel should those flags not have been already triggered beforehand, thus preventing the game from triggering the ghost. Another internal flag that interferes with calling the ghost is triggered upon obtaining the level 2 Power Bracelet from within the Face Shrine.

Such internal flag behavior was likely programmed on the assumption that the player would not leave a dungeon prior to completing it; the programmers assumed that the player would go on to complete a dungeon once they entered it. There are events that explicitly require clearing the first three dungeons to trigger, and even those that do think to leave the dungeon and do some sidequesting in the meanwhile will have to return and complete it in order to reach the next dungeon; the BowWow kidnapping event only triggers upon actually completing Tail Cave, Richard and Kiki will both refuse to help the player should they be escorting BowWow and thus will not help the player until the Bottle Grotto has been cleared and BowWow returned, and the Marin date sequence only triggers upon completion of the Key Cavern. Conversely, there are no actually-mandatory events that explicitly require the completion of any of Angler's Tunnel, Catfish's Maw, Face Shrine, Eagle Tower, and Turtle Rock prior to needing to access the Wind Fish's egg, meaning the player can just raid the dungeon for their items and make it to the next dungeon in line without clearing those dungeons (and from there actually complete those dungeons in any order they so choose), which allows bad internal flag combinations that render what was intended to be a mandatory event not only optional but missable. Although completing dungeons out of sequence can lead to other events (presumably including some intended to be mandatory) being missed as well, those events have no impact on 100% completion at least in B&W and DX.

Note that both the Hookshot and the Southern Face Shrine tablet reading in combination are the first possible internal flag combination required to trigger this anomaly. The anomaly will not trigger, thus the ghost will still appear, should one be triggered but Angler's Tunnel be completed before triggering the other (the player can still get the Hookshot before the ghost sequence if they don't read the tablet, and the player can still read the tablet before getting the ghost if they don't get the Hookshot). Furthermore, reading the tablet at the Southern Face Shrine is optional (that action can be done as soon as the Pegasus Boots are obtained from Key Cavern); the player can go in, grab the Face Key, and hightail it out of there without reading the tablet without triggering the anomaly. However, another internal flag that can prevent the ghost from appearing is triggered upon obtaining the level 2 Power Bracelet, and as obtaining that is unavoidable in order to reach Eagle's Tower, obtaining that will also unavoidably trigger the anomaly should the ghost not have already been called before then.

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