Right at the start of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, you'll discover the Trendy Game. This attraction is in the starting town of Mabe Village, and yet has lasting impact on the later story. That's because you'll need a prize from it to advance in the main quest. It's also just a great place to farm rupees and get heart pieces. So without further ado, here are some ways to improve your crane game and get the best stuff early.
How The Trendy Game Works
The Trendy Game building can be found in the southeast corner of Mabe Village. To get inside, just cut the bushes surrounding it with your sword. Then go in, speak to the man at the counter, and pay 10 rupees to play.
The setup of the crane game is deceptively simple. You push X to move the crane arm up and A to make it go to the right. You hold the button down to move the arm. Letting it go locks it into that position. Once you've pressed both X and A once, the crane arm automatically drops. That means you've got to line up the perfect drop on the first try, or keep paying 10 rupees a piece to have at it.
Crane Game Tips & Tricks
The thing that made it click for me was pressing X before A. For whatever reason, lining up the approximate vertical position first made it easier to accurately align the horizontal.
You'll also notice the little dot of light in the picture above. Obviously, the developers wanted us to use that as a target for where the crane will land. Use it as such.
The items in the back are on moving platforms. To get those you'll want to press A before X. Line the crane up with the end of the platform's path, right at the point where it stops and goes in the other direction. Then hold the X button down. The crane arm should stop against the wall. Wait for the platform to approach, then release the X button as it comes your way. It should time out that the arm drops and the platform moves right into it.
You might accidentally knock an item towards the back, where it will get stuck in between the moving platforms. If that happens, just leave and re-enter. Items reset whenever you leave.
What's The Deal With The Yoshi Doll?
The first thing you'll notice is a Yoshi doll sitting in one of the easy-to-grab areas of the crane game. Grab it as soon as you can, then give it to the mother of many sons who lives in the northernmost house of Mabe Village. She'll thank you by giving you a ribbon, kicking off Link's Awakening's famous trading quest. This quest will have you trading items all around the island of Koholint. You actually need to do it as it yields a mandatory story item. Starting it as early as possible will help the trip feel like less of a slog later on.
The Trendy Game will also reward you with one of your first heart pieces and red/purple rupees. Since the colored rupees give 20/50, it's pure profit if you can get good at fishing them out on the first try. There's nothing like starting a Zelda game with an essential quest item, a piece of heart, and a surplus of rupees.