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I was helping my little brother through the Forsaken Fortress in The Wind Waker. I was at the square room with the huge doors (right before the area with the moblin guard outside the tower) and was in a barrel, standing still while the moblin sniffed me (the way moblins do), when a rat came up and hit me, removing me from my barrel. The moblin guard immediately yelled and threw his lantern at me, landing me in jail.

Anybody had this happen before, or know what the problem is?

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This is by design. Rats will target Link, even in a barrel. If a rat attacks you while you are in a barrel, your barrel will be removed. This doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. A lot of Forsaken Fortress 1 comes down to sheer luck.

It's helpful to approach the big door from the right-hand side of the room. It's less distance to travel in the barrel, which reduces the chance that you'll be attacked by rats.

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    +1 for tip on which side of the room is best to take. I also have found the right side to be way easier to navigate. – Kyle Rone Feb 14 '17 at 21:46

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