Chris Houlihan

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Chris Houlihan
ALttP Chris Houlihan room.png
Chris Houlihan's secret room
Main appearance(s)

Chris Houlihan is a character in A Link to the Past.[1]


During September and October of 1990, Nintendo Power held a contest in which a randomly selected winner would get their name programmed in a future NES game. The requirements were to take a photo encountering the enemy Warmech in Final Fantasy and then send it to Nintendo Power by October 15, 1990.[2] The winner of the contest, as the story goes, was one Chris Houlihan, whose name appears in his own secret room in A Link to the Past.

This explanation has been circulating since at least December 1994, when it was mentioned in the Mexican Club Nintendo magazine.[3][4][5] However, certain facts cast doubt upon it. Nintendo Power never announced the winner of that contest. No information about Chris Houlihan was ever found, and he never came forward to tell of this experience. Moreover, there was a very small timeframe (two months) to complete a rather difficult task (Warmech is a rare enemy, found only in a brief section of the game, so players could beat the game and never see it). This leads to the conclusion, albeit speculative, that the contest had no winner, and Chris Houlihan might not even be a real person.[6]

Chris Houlihan Room

Chris Houlihan has a secret room that contains 45 Blue Rupees scattered on a shining blue floor and a Telepathy Tile on the back wall. While the room exists in the A Link to the Past & Four Swords, the Telepathy Tile is not there.[7] The room is not an intended part of normal gameplay, but rather a crash prevention measure. It is a failsafe room that the game sends Link to when it cannot determine which room he should be sent to.


There are five different ways to access the room.[8] One of the most well known methods involves a series of dashes using the Pegasus Boots, starting from the Sanctuary all the way to the Sewer Passageway's entrance. If executed correctly, Link will fall in the underground room. If Link exits the room, he will find himself outside of his house.

Technical Information

The bug occurs when the game detects an error in Link's Y coordinate. It is known to happen 2 different ways:

  1. By using a Bomb to knock Link into the lowest few pixels of the screen. Link can also use the Pegasus Boots to knockback himself backwards. Next, using the Pegasus Boots facing downwards into a screen transition, finding a hole, and dropping into it.
  2. Going into certain rooms (like the Sanctuary or the cave northeast of the Lost Woods) and dashing out of it. As Link leaves the room, the camera shifts down slightly. Then, Link must find a hole and stand next to it, setting a Bomb down and allowing the blast to knock him into the hole.


TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.png
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.


  1. "My name is Chris Houlihan. This is my top secret room. Keep it between us, OK?" — Chris Houlihan (A Link to the Past)
  2. "Have you ever imagined yourself in a NES game? Well, this is your chance! If you meet Warmech, snap a photo of him and send it to the address below by October 15, 1990. One winner will be randomly selected, and his or her name will be programmed into a future Nintendo game!"  (Nintendo Power Volume 16 (Nintendo Power) pg. 13)
  3. Club Nintendo (Mexico), Year 3, Number 12, Dec. 1994. (Editorial Samra) pg. 3
  4. [1], , retrieved December 22, 2020.
  5. [2], , retrieved December 22, 2020.
  6. GTV Japan, Why Can't Chris Houlihan From The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Be Found?, YouTube, published December 18, 2020, retrieved December 22, 2020.
  7. Triforce Legend, Salle de Chris Houlihan dans A Link to the Past (GBA), YouTube, published October 9, 2013, retrieved October 6, 2015.
  8. MaddHatts, 5 Different Entrances to the Chris Houlihan Room, YouTube, published February 15, 2010, retrieved October 6, 2015.