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I'm playing through the original Legend of Zelda for the first time. After beating the second dungeon, I found my way to the sixth. I struggled with a deadly Wizrobe room until I realized that I wasn't on level three.

Is it possible to play through the levels out of order, successfully? Is this a good idea in terms of progression of items?

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old games like that are notorious for dungeon bypass glitches, I'm sure there are a few ways... – ratchet freak Jul 24 '13 at 23:04
@fbueckert You edited out my 3:<. Is that consider good etiquette? – iananananan Jul 25 '13 at 0:56
@iananananan On stackexchange anyone can edit anyone's posts/questions, similar to a wiki (you do need some reputation though). We like to keep things a bit serious and clean in here, so it's not uncommon to see smileys, "thanks" and improper english/capitalization edited. In general this improves the quality of the network as a whole. – orlp Jul 25 '13 at 9:19
@nightcracker Thanks for the clatification. – iananananan Jul 25 '13 at 20:38
up vote 17 down vote accepted

Ignoring glitches/exploits, there is some leeway in the order that dungeons can be completed. With the exception of Dungeon 9 (you must beat the previous 8 dungeons for entrance), you do not have to complete any of the dungeons to complete another one. Some dungeons require you to retrieve items from a different dungeon to either gain access or complete it. (I have omitted bombs and keys as a requirement, but they are probably the most useful tools to make it through the dungeons)

  • Dungeons 1, 2, and 3, can be completed in any order.
  • Dungeon 4, requires you to get the Raft from dungeon 3 in order to enter.
  • Dungeon 5 requires the ladder to complete (available from dungeon 4)
  • Dungeon 6 requires the bow + arrow and ladder to complete.
  • Dungeon 7 requires the magic flute to enter (from level 5), requires the ladder and bait (bought in various shops) to complete.
  • Dungeon 8 requires the candle (bought in a shop) to enter.

Once you are inside a particular dungeon housing one of required magic items for a different dungeon, there are no required items besides bombs and keys to retrieve the item.

Now, this is not to say it is a good idea to do them out of order. The sword upgrades are only available once you get a certain number of heart containers. In order to easily kill monsters in higher numbered dungeons it is advised to complete the lower numbered dungeon so you can get a new heart container and potentially gain access to an upgraded weapon.

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The items found in and required for different levels in this answer applies to the first quest (your first play through the game). During the second quest, you find the items in a different levels, but you can still complete the first 8 levels in any order. – ken.ganong Jul 26 '13 at 19:56

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