When Link first comes to Dragon Roost Island, Valoo is very upset, yet the Rito who live there do not know why. Unless they can solve the problem, Valoo will not let anyone near to receive his scales, which the Rito need to fly.
Link first learns of the cavern from Medli, a Rito and the Great Valoo's attendant. She wishes to visit Valoo and find out why he is upset. With Link's help, she reaches the cavern, and gives Link a bottle, which allows him access to the cavern as well. The entrance to the cavern is blocked by a moat. A large rock, from the disturbance caused by Valoo, blocked the hole that caused the moat, so Link waters a dried-up Bomb Flower, blows up the rock, and enters the cavern.
Link finds the boss of the dungeon, known as Gohma, in the room below Valoo. It was the Gohma that made Valoo upset by pulling on his tail. Using the Grappling Hook and the weight of Valoo, Link defeats Gohma and restores peace to the island. He then receives the Din's Pearl from Prince Komali as a reward for scaling the cavern.
The dungeon spans most of the inside and some of the outside of Dragon Roost Island. The dungeon is fire themed; Link needs the Water Pot in order to safely navigate the lava pools. The dungeon has one large, main room covering several floors, with ledges and a bridge higher up above the lower floor. Some rooms have doors leading to the outside; often Link must go outside the cavern to climb up stairs on the side of the island and reenter the cavern through another door. The highest set of stairs on the outside crumble as Link climbs them, requiring the use of the Grappling Hook to safely get down. At the top of the highest stairs, Valoo can be seen, breathing fire and obviously angry. Directly below waits the dungeon's boss, Gohma.
Because some believe that Dragon Roost Island was Death Mountain in the past, it is possible that Dragon Roost Cavern is the Fire Temple. This theory is furthered by the abundant amount of similarities between the two temples, as well as the cave paintings in Dragon Roost Cavern that bear a striking resemblance to Volvagia, the boss of the Fire Temple in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It may have also been Dodongo's Cavern, as it is also in Death Mountain, some parts of the cave also look similar to it, and the music is similar.