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In the Sandship, I have gained access to the captain's quarters in the stern of the ship. However I can't access the room with the Big Chest in it. The chest and the room are blocked off by bars.

If I return to the past, one of the rooms (the rightmost one) is blocked by electricity beams. If I return to the present and then I can enter that room... and then I can stand on the switch to open the trap door to the room with the big chest in it. I shot an arrow through the trap door and opened one set of bars, but I can't progress beyond that.

How do I reach the Big Chest in the Sandship?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

What you are supposed to do is destroy all the Beamos and Technoblins in both rooms, which of course requires the past to be active. So you have to find a way to turn on the past after you've passed through the electric door. You did something like this when you got the map, right?

In the first room, shoot the Timeshift Stone through the grate on the roof to activate it. Get the enemies out of the way, step on the switch, and shoot through the panel to open the next room. Destroy all the Beamos in the room to unlock the chest.

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Thanks for the hint and for the spoiler! I'm going to see if I am smart enough to figure this out based on your hint alone without reading the spoiler... –  Josh Sep 9 '12 at 15:31
    
Thanks! I don't know why I couldn't figure that out on my own. But your hint helped me, didn't even need the spoiler. –  Josh Sep 10 '12 at 15:52
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