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- "Darmani! You... You are alive. You always did say, "I cannot die until I've eaten 1000 tons of rock sirloin!""
- — A Goron
Prior to the events of the game, the Goron Hero Darmani was killed attempting to reach Snowhead Temple. After Link obtains the Lens of Truth, he is able to see the ghost of Darmani in Goron Village. Darmani is surprised to find that Link is able to see him, and asks him to follow him. Upon arriving at the Goron Graveyard near the Mountain Village, Darmani relates to Link the story of his death and his lingering feelings of regret for having died without being able to aid his people.
Link plays the "Song of Healing" to heal his sorrows, allowing him to let go; his power is sealed inside the Goron Mask. Using the power of the mask, Link is able to read the writing on Darmani's tomb and learn how to utilize his famous battle techniques. While wearing the mask, the Gorons mistake Link for Darmani. In this form, Link is able to use the Drums of Sleep, and learns the "Goron Lullaby" from the Goron Elder and his son, allowing him to make the cursed Biggoron fall asleep and admitting passage to the Snowhead Temple. After Link defeats Goht and returns Spring back to the mountains, the Goron Elders declare Goron Link, who they believe is Darmani, to be the new Goron Patriarch.
When in Goron form, Link is resistant to the damaging effects of fire, and impervious to damage from lava. However, he will drown if he ventures into deep bodies of water; entering one will cause the screen to fade to black, and Link will be reset to the entrance of the room in a similar fashion to when he falls into a bottomless pit. Goron Link has better traction and will not slide on ice. This form greatly increases Link's strength, allowing him to break large crates and boulders, as well as carry Powder Kegs and other heavy objects. Goron Link attacks by using slow, heavy punches that deal twice as much damage as the Kokiri Sword, and emit purely aesthetic flames through the air.
He can also curl up into a ball by pressing and holding the A button, allowing him to roll around quickly and climb steep slopes he could not otherwise ascend. In this curled state, Link can also perform a ground pound attack by pressing B, damaging any target close enough with shockwaves. While curled up as a ball, Link can initiate rolling; if the rolling perpetuates for a set amount of time (indicated by a fiery circle encircling Link, which increases in strength as he rolls), the speed of Link's rolling increases and spikes protrude from his back, harming targets in his path, as well as providing protection from most attacks. In this high-speed state, however, the Magic Meter is gradually depleted; once empty, Link will resume rolling at a regular speed and will be unable to achieve high speed until the meter is restored. If Link is standing still, then begins rolling while on ice, snow, or sand, he will not have traction and will roll very slowly. The fiery circle around him will still grow, however, allowing Link to charge up for the magic enhanced rolling while in a small area. When the spikes extend, he will gain traction and launch forward at full speed.
Goron Link's defensive posture involves curling into the fetal position, face down, guarded by the Goron's ossified back. This renders him immobile, but guards from the majority of threats. Goron Link cannot be harmed by ReDeads and Gibdos due to his large size, but their shrieks will still paralyze him. Curiously, Goron Link cannot climb ledges or jump (apart from small hops up on low ledges), but has no problem whatsoever performing an evasive backflip or sidestep. The tattoos on Goron Link's arms contain elements of both the Goron and Hylian crests.
Playing the "Elegy of Emptiness" on the Drums of Sleep creates a statue that resembles Darmani.