Search for The Temple of Light

Readers please note that the following article is both theory and speculative. The theory portions are evidenced as they can be, however speculative sections are not based in solid evidence. Those sections of the article especially only reflect the opinions of the author, and not Zelda Informer as a whole. This article was originally released before the existence of Skyward Sword and Hyrule Historia, so per usual classics month it is entirely possible there are some conflicting ideas with recent findings. That being said, enjoy the work for what it is, and as always, have fun reading a rather “outside the box” theory!

“One in a deep forest… One on a high mountain… One under a vast lake… One within the house of the dead… One inside a goddess of the sand…” These are the words used by Sheik to guide Link to the five temples in Ocarina of Time where Link finds the five corresponding sage medallions. What Sheik, and we as players often overlook, is the sixth temple and medallion – light. Granted that Link receives the medallion from Rauru without the completion of a specific dungeon, there may not be need to further wonder about The Temple of Light.

In Ocarina of Time Link finds himself in The Temple of Light six times, although always during cinematic sequences and not gameplay. Link receives each of the six medallions in the Chamber of Sages, which Rauru notes to be “inside the Temple of Light”. He goes on to say that The Temple of Light is “situated in the very center of the Sacred Realm”. So is that it? Is there where we leave it? Do we as Zelda fans just say that it’s tucked away within the Sacred Realm and is somewhere that we’ll never get to truly explore? Surely the hype in the past over some faked Temple of Light gameplay screenshots reveals how much of an interest we Zelda fans have in this mysterious temple. In this case, it’s best to let curiosity get the better of us, and inspire us to have a look around. We may very well just find that we’ve seen more of The Temple of Light than we think.

Theory: The Temple of Time

The Master Sword Chamber

In Twilight Princess Link journeys deep into the Lost Woods where he discovers the ruins of The Temple of Time. Stepping through the supposed “Door of Time”, he is taken back to when the Temple stood in its full glory. Link goes on to strike the Pedestal of Time with The Master Sword creating a staircase of light which leads through a window and into what is known as “The Temple of Time Dungeon”. Perhaps it would be much more appropriately titled simply as “The Temple of Light”. Let’s look at the evidence.

Rauru says that “The Master Sword…that you pulled out of the Pedestal of Time—was the final key to the Sacred Realm.” Remembering that the Temple of Light is in the Sacred Realm, is it a mere coincidence that Link uses the Master Sword and Pedestal of Time as “keys” to the Temple of Time dungeon in Twilight Princess? Looking at how Link actually enters the temple is a potential indicator of where Link is truly going. He ascends a staircase of light and enters the temple in a very mythical style. He doesn’t just walk in, as one does not simply walk into the Sacred Realm. He had to prove himself with the Master Sword and was then granted access. This may also suggest why the Dominion Rod is kept in the Temple of Time. If it is the Temple of Light within the Sacred Realm, then it is in a place where only those with the “keys” can reach. Namely, the hero.

Comparing the designs of the Master Sword chamber from Ocarina of Time to Twilight Princess, it is clear that the window Link enters is the very window from Ocarina of Time that casts a ray of light upon the Master Sword. Once again, this beam of light has much more significance than just being a design factor, or mere coincidence. It symbolizes the relationship between the Master Sword and the Temple of Light. It alludes to entry to the Temple of Light through that very window. Also noteworthy, is the fact that there is light shining through this window in both Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. This means that the tower that is “The Temple of Time Dungeon” cannot be physically there; otherwise it would be blocking the light. Yet another subtle hint that Link has in fact entered the Sacred Realm.

We should all be familiar with how each of the temples in Ocarina of Time has its corresponding ocarina warp song and warp pad. Notably, the warping song “The Prelude of Light” warps to within the foyer of the Temple of Time. All of the other warping pads lead to a location just outside of the temple, so it is logical that the light warp pad would be just outside where The Temple of Light is: in the Sacred Realm, enterable through the Master Sword Chamber. Not only does the warp pad in Ocarina of Time bear the light medallion, but it is also featured all throughout the Temple of Time Dungeon in Twilight Princess.

Each dungeon in Zelda has its “elemental theme”, whether it is fire, water, forest, sand or something else. Dungeons with sacred architectural designs, like the Temple of Time Dungeon, are interestingly referred to as “light” dungeons. The hints certainly do add up; leaving one major question. If the Temple of Time in Twilight Princess is actually the Temple of Light, why is it corrupted? Theorists would argue that the Sacred Realm remains uncorrupted on the child timeline because Ganondorf never entered. Perhaps the “divine prank” that granted the Triforce to its respective holders on the child timeline lead to leaving the Realm in this state. Although we don’t have all of the answers, there is enough evidence to suggest that The Temple of Light is playable in Twilight Princess, but there is by no means enough evidence to confirm the theory.

Speculation: The Tower of the Gods

The Tower of the Gods

Admittedly, when you think of The Temple of Light, bringing The Wind Waker’s Tower of the Gods into the picture is fairly groundless. However, if we do believe that Twilight Princess’s Temple of Time is the Temple of Light, then The Tower of the Gods has some answers to provide. Not only is it the elemental “light” dungeon of The Wind Waker, but its similarities to The Temple of Time Dungeon are strong. They go much deeper than the plain fact that they are both massive towers.

Let’s briefly go over the similarities between the two. Enemies in both dungeons are of a mechanical nature – be they beamos or armos statues – and lasers are featured in puzzles throughout. Controlling statues is yet another common aspect, whether it is with the Dominion Rod or the Command Melody. The Tower of the Gods has a large bell on top of it, and The Temple of Time has several throughout. Most notably of all is the presence of staircases and bridges of light in the Tower of the Gods, just like the entrance to the Temple of Time Dungeon. Finally, both dungeons posses a puzzle involving scale weights and have a darknut as a miniboss.

Given the similarities, and even the potential that the two are actually the same place just with differences due to game design, we must now consider the potential of the Tower of the Gods being the Temple of Light. This notion is grounded solely in speculation, especially given that the theory discussed earlier in the article must be assumed as true. So, say that we accept the Tower of the Gods as the Temple of Light, how is it possible? How could it work?

Given the split timeline, there is always the potential of parallels. Maybe The Temple of Time is the Temple of Light on the child arc, and the Tower of the Gods is its incarnation on the adult timeline. If we are of the belief that the Sacred Realm is separate of the split timeline, then in Twilight Princess Link is transported to the Temple of Light, whereas in The Wind Waker the Temple of Light is physically manifested on the Great Sea by the Gods. How valid are these possibilities?

Of course, there are many other counterarguments and theoretical points that are just as valid. The Tower of the Gods, being that it is a “test” of the Gods, could very well be based on the Temple of Light. The Tower of the Gods also arises out of the ocean exactly above the Master Sword Chamber. Which does that support more – that the tower came from the Sacred Realm, or that it was a physical tower attached to the Temple of Time. Many a theorist will bring the Oocca into the discussion. As the builders of the Temple of Time alongside the Sages, it is their technology that dominates the Temple of Time Dungeon and The Tower of the Gods. Could they have built the Tower? Could they have built the Temple of Light itself? Is Gohdan a marvel of Ooccan technology? There is no better description for this speculation than “food for thought”, because it gets you thinking, but solid conclusions are near impossible.

Summing Up

Tower of the Gods Bell

Looking at it objectively, there is sufficient evidence to convince some Zelda fans that The Temple of Light is The Temple of Time Dungeon in Twilight Princess. Whatever the reasoning for the corruption of the Sacred Realm may be, it is a highly plausible theory. Stepping into discussions of The Tower of the Gods becomes pure speculation, but it is best to keep an open mind to the possibilities; however obscure.

With Ocarina of Time 3D so close now, it will be interesting to see if there is anything that can help theorists in their search for The Temple of Light. With all of the extra details in graphics and design, could we possibly see any more hints? Could there be any changes to the gameplay or story that are clues? We will have these answers soon enough, but will we ever get to know the true nature of The Temple of Light? Perhaps Skyward Sword will provide more details given that after all, the Master Sword is fundamental to both Skyward Sword and entering The Temple of Light.

Finally, nostalgia! It is a word tossed around a lot, but nothing describes it more than Ocarina of Time, and especially, Ocarina of Time’s credits. An aspect that has always intrigued me is the bell that rings at the conclusion of Ocarina of Time, as Link returns the Master Sword. The key to the Sacred Realm is returned, the Sacred Realm is locked, and we hear that very same bell that The Hero of Wind chimes from atop The Tower of The Gods – at least in sound. With bells also featured throughout The Temple of Time Dungeon, or the potential Temple of Light as we know it, Ocarina of Time’s conclusion leaves this theorist once again pondering the possibilities – regardless of how well they can or cannot be evidenced.

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