Goombas appear in Link's Awakening in side-scrolling caves, predominantly in dungeons. They also appear in normal top-down locations in the Eagle's Tower later in the game.
They are based on the rebellious mushroom Goomba enemies from the Mario series. As such, their behavior is largely identical: they simply move back and forth, turning only when they hit an obstacle. However, those found outside of side-scrolling areas will move around randomly. If Link drops from a higher platform or uses the Roc's Feather to land on a Goomba, the enemy will be squashed and defeated. This is a direct reference to Mario's main method of dealing with these foes. If Link does this, he will always be rewarded with a Heart. This can still be done when facing them outside of side-scrolling areas.