The Adult Timeline Theory

This timeline is one of many possible timelines out there, and doesn’t necessarily reflect the ideas of Zelda Informer as a whole, or the writer. Instead, it’s an attempt to explain one of the more popular theories. Rather than try to explain it in a scientific way, I’ve chosen to write it more like a story, a history of Hyrule, supported by in-game quotes and evidence. Be warned that this article contains spoilers!

This timeline is based on two theories, one confirmed, the other not. The first, and confirmed, theory is that the Zelda Timeline actually splits into two after Ocarina of Time. This has been stated multiple times now by Zelda Directors Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma. So sorry to you “linearists” out there who only believe in one Zelda timeline, but the masterminds disagree.

The second theory is that of the two timelines, dubbed the Adult and Child timelines, the 2D Zelda games all fall on the Adult Timeline. This is not the only possible arrangement of the games on an Adult-heavy timeline, but again, just one suggestion. That said, enjoy the timeline.

The Early History of Hyrule

Before time began, before spirits and life existed…

Three golden goddesses descended upon the chaos that was Hyrule…

Din, the goddess of power…

Nayru, the goddess of wisdom…

Farore, the goddess of courage…


With her strong flaming arms, she cultivated the land and created the red earth.


Poured her wisdom onto the earth and gave the spirit of law to the world.


With her rich soul, produced all life forms who would uphold the law.

The three great goddesses, their labors completed, departed for the heavens. And golden sacred triangles remained at the point where the goddesses left the world.

Since then, the sacred triangles have become the basis of our world’s providence.

And, the resting place of the triangles has become the Sacred Realm.

Hyrule's most sacred relic: The Triforce

Hyrule’s most sacred relic: The Triforce

And out of chaos, Hyrule was born, providing a stage upon which the many adventures of Link would play out. It didn’t take long for the first conflict to plague the land. Several accounts from A Link to the Past and Twilight Princess reveal that word of the Sacred Realm began to spread throughout Hyrule, and bloodshed followed soon after. The sacred Triforce, containing the very essence of the Goddesses was said to be able to grant the wishes of anyone who touched it, and it was sought after at all costs.

Twilight Princess reveals that amongst these greed-riddled people, a magic-weilding army, known as the Interlopers, were the greatest offenders.

Wielding powerful sorcery, they tried to establish dominion over the Sacred Realm.

It was then that the goddesses ordered us three light spirits to intervene.

We sealed away the great magic those individuals had mastered.

The dark magic used by the Interlopers was sealed into an item known as the Fused Shadows, and the Interlopers were banished for their crimes. Sent to a darkened alternate dimension, known as the Twilight Realm, the Interlopers were cut off from Hyrule. Only one link between the two worlds, a cursed mirror known as the Mirror of Twilight was left connecting the two, and it was to be guarded by the Sages of Hyrule.

Skyward Sword

The entirety of the events of Skyward Sword is not yet known. We know that a floating land above the clouds of Hyrule, known as Skyloft, serves as the home for Link and Zelda. An unknown force took Zelda to the land below, forcing Link to pursue. At this time, the surface of Hyrule was shrouded in darkness, and patrolled by a race of demons, led by a being known as Demon Lord Ghirahim.

The floating land of Skyloft

The floating land of Skyloft

We know that the origins of the Master Sword are curcial to this game, and so other Hylian tales come into play at this time. Wind Waker and Twilight Princess tell us that the Master Sword came into being by the wisdom of the Sages, and that their prayers to the gods are what empowered the sacred blade to destroy evil.

A Link to the Past states that the Master Sword’s creation was in order to keep the Triforce from falling into the hands of evil. Ocarina of Time adds that the Master Sword serves as the final key inside the Temple of Time, which was built to protect the Sacred Realm and the Triforce.

It’s possible that the stories of Skyward Sword, the Master Sword, and the Interlopers intertwine, but we don’t know for sure at this time. When Skyward Sword is released, Skyward Sword’s story will be further explored.

Ocarina of Time

Some time ago, before the King of Hyrule unified this country, there was a fierce war in our world.

One day, to escape from the fires of the war, a Hylian mother and her baby boy entered this forbidden forest.

The mother was gravely injured… Her only choice was to entrust the child to the Deku Tree, the guardian spirit of the forest.

The Deku Tree could sense that this was a child of destiny, whose fate would affect the entire world, so he took him into the forest.

After the mother passed away, the baby was raised as a Kokiri. And now, finally, the day of destiny has come!

The most famous tale in Hylian history occured shortly after a time of peace was reached in Hyrule. Although the various races of Hyrule were still untrusting of all those around them, the all-out war had ended, and all of the land was united, pledging allegiance to the King of Hyrule. The last race to reach a treaty with Hyrule was the Gerudo thieves of the desert. The Gerudo tribe only gives birth to one male every one hundred years, and that male is destined to be thier leader. Their current leader, an evil sorcerer named Ganondorf, came to Hyrule under false pretenses of peace, in order to learn the secrets of the Sacred Realm and the Triforce.

Along with the Master Sword, the Temple of Time had several other keys required in order to enter the Sacred Realm. Three Spiritual Stones, given to three benevolent races of Hyrule, along with a song from the Royal Family’s magical Ocarina of Time, all served as keys. Ganondorf set off to acquire these, plaguing those who owned the Spiritual Stones with various evils.

The Great Deku Tree was cursed by Ganondorf, and infested with an evil creature known as Ghoma. Link, the young boy who had been left in the forest, took the challenege of ridding the Deku Tree of his curse, but he was too late. With the Deku Tree’s last breaths, he told Link to seek out the Princess of Hyrule and fulfill his destiny. Granting him the Kokiri Emerald, the first of the three Spiritual Stones, he sent Link on his way.

When Link met with Zelda, she revealed that she had been foretold of his coming in a dream. Knowing that Ganondorf’s intentions were not pure, she urged Link to find the other two Spiritual Stones, and enter the Sacred Realm before Ganondorf.

Conquering various evils and earning the trust of the Goron and Zora tribes earned Link the other two Spiritual Stones. When Link returned to Hyrule Castle, he found Zelda fleeing, with Ganondorf in pursuit. As she fled, Zelda threw the Ocarina of Time to Link, and telepathically taught him how to play the Song of Time, in order to open the path to the Sacred Realm.

The three Spiritual Stones gathered at the Temple of Time

The three Spiritual Stones gathered at the Temple of Time

However, when Link pulled the Master Sword, the final key to the Sacred Realm, something unexpected happened. Because Link was not old enough to have the title of Hero of Time, the Master Sword sealed away his spirit inside the Temple of Light, and in his absence, Ganondorf entered the Sacred Realm, and claimed the Triforce. When Link finally awoke seven years later, Ganondorf had conquered Hyrule, turning it into a land of darkness and monsters.

Link pulls the Master Sword from its pedestal

Link pulls the Master Sword from its pedestal

In order to fight Ganondorf, Link sought out the temples of Hyrule, which had been overcome by evil. By ridding each temple of evil, an awakening call was sent to annoint a new Sage to help in the battle. With all but one of the Sages awakened, Link returned to the Temple of Time, where he was reunited with Zelda, the final Sage. Here, it was revealed to Link that Ganondorf did not possess the entire Triforce.

The Triforce…the sacred triangle… it is a balance that weighs the three forces: Power, Wisdom and Courage.

If the heart of the one who holds the sacred triangle has all three forces in balance, that one will gain the True Force to govern all. But, if that one’s heart is not in balance, the Triforce will separate into three parts: Power, Wisdom and Courage.

Only one part will remain for the one who touched the Triforce…the part representing the force that one most believes in. If that one seeks the True Force, that one must acquire the two lost parts. Those two parts will be held within others chosen by destiny, who will bear the Triforce mark on the backs of their hands.

Seven years ago, Ganondorf, the King of Thieves, used the door you opened in the Temple of Time and entered the Sacred Realm. But when he laid his hands on the Triforce, the legend came true.

The one who holds the Triforce of Courage is… You, Link! And the other, who holds the Triforce of Wisdom…is the seventh Sage, who is destined to be the leader of them all… It is I, the Princess of Hyrule, Zelda.

Capturing Zelda, and engaging Link battle, Ganondorf attempts to reclaim the pieces of the Triforce pieces that he lost. When Link defeats him in battle, Ganondorf’s castle crumbles into a pile of rubble. Using his last ounce of strength, Ganondorf draws energy from the Triforce of Power, and is transformed into Ganon, a monstrous beast. Although Link is unable to kill Ganon, he weakens him to the point that Zelda and the other Six Sages are able to cast him into the corrupted Sacred Realm, and seal it shut, trapping him inside.

The Split

With Ganon removed from Hyrule, and peace returned, Zelda decides to use her power as a Sage to return Link, the Hero of Time, to his lost childhood. This action had a greater impact than Zelda could have possibly imagined. By sending Link through time, Zelda actually caused an alternate reality to be born. In her timeline, Ganon was sealed away, and there was no Hero, because she had sent Link away. Link’s arrival did not change the past, but rather allowed him to create a different timeline. A timeline in which Ganondorf never conquered Hyrule.

Zelda sends Link back in time, creating a parallel reality

Zelda sends Link back in time, creating a parallel reality

The evidence in the games, and the creators and developers of the games, all confirm that there are two separate timelines from this point on. One stems from the ending where Zelda is an adult, and thus is known as the Adult Timeline. The other stems from the ending where Link returns to being a child, and thus is known as the Child Timeline.

The Child Timeline

Majora’s Mask

With Hyrule safe, and Link returned to his childhood, he set off into the Lost Woods, in search of Navi, his fairy companion, who had left him when his destiny was completed. In the woods, he was robbed by a Skull Kid wearing an evil mask. Stripped of Epona and the Ocarina of Time, Link chased after the Skull Kid. After falling off a cliff, Link found himself in a strange new world. Having arrived in Termina, a parallel dimension to Hyrule, Link encountered the Skull Kid, who used the powers of the mask to turn him into a Deku Scrub.

As Link interacted with the citizens of Clock Town, the largest city in the center of Termina, he learned that the Skull Kid’s mask was an evil and ancient relic known as Majora’s Mask. With its power, he intended to crash the moon into Termina, destroying the land, in no less than three days.

The moon looms over Termina

The moon looms over Termina

After reclaiming the Ocarina of Time from Skull Kid, Link soon learned he could manipulate time, constantly resetting to the first of the three days. The Happy Mask Salesman, the previous owner of Majora’s Mask who was also robbed by Skull Kid, was able to return Link to his true form, in exchange for Link’s help in reclaiming the evil mask.

Re-living the three day cycle over and over, Link was able to discover more about Termina each time, eventually cleansing its various temples of evils put in them by Skull Kid. With all the temples cleansed, Link was able to summon the Four Giants, guardians of the land, to stop the moon from destroying the land. No longer seeing any use in manipulating Skull Kid, Majora’s Mask was revealed to be a sentient being, and Skull Kid just its puppet. Link pursued Majora’s Mask onto the moon, and defeated it in battle, preserving Termina once and for all.

Twilight Princess


He was the leader of a band of thieves who invaded Hyrule in the hopes of establishing dominion over the Sacred Realm.

He was known as a demon thief, an evil-magic wielder renowned for his ruthlessness…

But he was blind… In all of his fury and might, he was blind to any danger, and thus was he exposed, subdued, and brought to justice.

Yet… By some divine prank, he, too, had been blessed with the chosen power of the gods.

On this alternate history of events, Ganondorf’s attempts on the Sacred Realm still played out. Because there’s some debate as to when exactly the split took place, this could be referring to the first half of Ocarina of Time, or it could be a separate attempt by Ganondorf. In either case, Ganondorf was subdued, and taken to a place known as Arbiter’s grounds.

The execution of Ganondorf

The execution of Ganondorf

This temple also served as a prison and execution hall. Dangerous criminals were given the ultimate penalty for their crimes. Arbiter’s grounds had also come to be the storing place for the Mirror of Twilight, the cursed mirror of old. When the Sages attempted to execute Ganondorf, they discovered that he possessed the Triforce of Power, and drawing on its strength, he broke free of his chains and killed one of the Sages. With no other options available, the Sages chose to activate the Mirror of Twilight, sucking Ganondorf into the Twilight Realm, and removing the threat of his power from Hyrule.

In the Twilight Realm, Ganondorf teamed up with Zant, a Twili sorcerer, helping him usurp the throne. With the combination of Zant’s Twili power and Ganondorf’s Triforce of Power, Zant launched an invasion on Hyrule, overthrowing Hyrule Castle, and forcing Zelda to surrender. By stealing an energy force known as the Tears of Light from the guardian Light Spirits of the land, Zant spread twilight throughout Hyrule.

A new Link, likely descended from the Hero of Time, set out to reverse the spread of Twilight, with the help of Midna, the banished Twilight Princess. Taking the form of a wolf inside of the twilight, Link recovered the Tears of Light, and returned light to the land. As Link battles his way through various corrupted temples, he and Midna recover the broken pieces of the Fused Shadow, containing the Twili Magic that was sealed away so long ago.

Zant soon engages Link and Midna in battle, using the power he recieved from Ganondorf to defeat them, and transform Link into his wolf state permanently. By locating the Master Sword, Link is able to reverse this dark magic, regaining his true from, and obtaining the ability to transform back and forth between his forms at will.

Link and Midna then seek out the broken pieces of the Mirror of Twilight, which Zant shattered to prevent anyone from following him back into the Twilight Realm. By recovering all the pieces, Link and Midna are able to enter the Twilight Realm and fight Zant again, this time defeating him.

Returning to Hyrule, Midna uses the power of the Fused Shadow to break through a barrier that Ganondorf had created around Hyrule Castle, and Link fights and defeats Ganondorf. Stabbing him with the Master Sword through a wound that he recieved from the Sages, Link gives Ganondorf his final blow. As the Triforce symbol fades from his hand, Ganondorf warns Link that this is not the end. Seeing a vision of Zant cracking his neck, Ganondorf’s eyes roll back, and he appears to die standing up.

Ganondorf's demise in Twilight Princess

Ganondorf’s demise in Twilight Princess

In this possible explanation of the timeline, this is the last game currently set in the Child Timeline, so from here, we see how the events of Hyrule unfolded in the other timeline, set after the Adult ending of Ocarina of Time.

The Adult Timeline

After the events of Ocarina of Time, Hyrule was on the path to recovery. People began to move on with their lives, and Hyrule Castle was rebuilt. Then, by some unknown means, Ganon was able to escape from his imprisonment in the darkened Sacred Realm. He again began to use his dark power to take over Hyrule, and the people hoped and prayed that the Hero of Time would return.

The return of Ganon

The return of Ganon

Because Zelda had sent him to another timeline, there was no Hero to save the people, and so eventually they fled to the mountaintops of Hyrule. The Goddesses of Hyrule intervened, sealing Hyrule Castle away, trapping Ganon and his followers, and sealing them in stone. Then they unleashed a Great Flood upon Hyrule. When this was accomplished, Hyrule had become a vast ocean, and its mountaintops had become islands.

Over several centuries the ancient legends of Hyrule were forgotten by most, but on a certain island, the story of the Hero of Time was remembered and honored. On Outset Isle, when young boys reached the age of the Hero of Time, they were dressed as him for the sake of tradition.

Wind Waker

A new Link born on Outset Isle, was unexpectingly plunged into destiny on the very day that he was to war the clothes of the Hero of Time. After taking up the familiar garb for traditional purposes, Link spies the Helmaroc King, a large and evil bird, with a girl in its clutches. Shot down from the birds clutches by a pirate ship, the girl landed in a forest on Outset Isle, and Link learned that she was Tetra, the captain of the pirate ship.

Soon afterwards, the Helmaroc King captured Aryll, Link’s sister, and Link and Tetra joined forces to chase down the Helmaroc King and recover Aryll. Their journey led them to the Forsaken Fortress, formerly the home to a rival group of pirates. Therein, Link found where Aryll was being held, but before he could rescue her, the Helmaroc King discovered him, throwing him into the sea at the command of an unknown being.

Link was recovered from the by a magical talking boat, known as the King of Red Lions, who informs Link that the figure who ordered his exit from the Forsaken Fortress was none other than Ganon. In order to defeat him, several trials had to be passed, and the Tower of the Gods would have to be entered in order to go below the sea and reclaim an ancient weapon. By attaining the three Pearls of the Gods, Link proves his worth to the King of Red Lions, and is taken below the sea to the old Hyrule, where he sets out to retrieve the Master Sword, and defeat Ganondorf once and for all. Upon pulling the Master Sword from its pedestal, Ganon’s minions were released from their stone imprisonment, forcing Link to fight them off.

Link pulls the Master Sword

Link pulls the Master Sword

Soon after, it is revealed to Link and Zelda that the King of Red Lions is actually the spirit of Daphnes, a former King of Hyrule, and that Tetra is a descendant of Princess Zelda, and bears her title. The Triforce of Wisdom had been divided into two pieces, with one remaining with Zelda’s descendants, and the other going to Daphnes. Daphnes unites the pieces together, giving Tetra control of the Triforce of Wisdom. Link returns to the Forsaken Fortress, defeating the Helmaroc King and rescuing his sister. However, when he encounters Ganondorf, he learns that the Master Sword no longer has the power to repel evil, as the Sages responsible for keeping it empowered have are dead.

By awakening new sages to take their place, Link repowers the Master Sword. In order to return to Hyrule beneath the sea, Link has to prove his worth as a Hero by recovering the shards of the Triforce of Courage, which were scattered throughout the Great Sea some time after the Hero of Time left the timeline, leaving the Triforce piece behind. Reuniting the Triforce of Courage, Link is bestowed with the title Hero of Winds by Daphnes, and they return to Hyrule.

Upon their arrival, they discover that Ganondorf has also returned to Hyrule, and has captured Tetra, taking her to his tower. Travelling to the top of the tower, Link encounters Ganondorf, and is dealt a weakening blow. Rather than kill Link or Zelda, Ganondorf instead merely uses his power to rob them of their Triforce pieces in their weakened states. With the three pieces united, Ganondorf prepares to make his wish, a wish for the waters to recede, and for Hyrule to be his once again. Before he can touch the completed Triforce, Daphnes appears and touches it first. Using the power of the Triforce, Daphnes wishes for hope and a future for Link and Tetra, and for Hyrule and Ganondorf to be washed away.

King Daphnes touches the Triforce before Ganondorf

King Daphnes touches the Triforce before Ganondorf

As fulfillment of the King’s wish, the waters begin to pour down all around, as the Triforce disappears, its location unknown. Link and Tetra engage Ganondorf in one last battle, teaming up to defeat him. Link strikes the final blow by stabbing Ganondorf through the head with the Master Sword, and he and Tetra escape to the surface. With their battles with Ganon behind them, they set off together in search of a new land.

Phantom Hourglass

Link and Tetra’s journey led them to a strange place known as the World of the Ocean King. When Tetra was taken away by a mysterious Ghost Ship, Link attempted to rescue her, but was knocked unconscious, washing up on the shores of an island. With the help of a fairy named Ciela, who had suffered amnesia, and the guidance of a wise old man named Oshus, Link set off to find the Ghost Ship.

The dreaded Ghost Ship

The dreaded Ghost Ship

Teaming up with a pirate named Linebeck, Link finds the legendary Phantom Hourglass inside the Temple of the Ocean King. This temple, plagued by a curse, drains the life out of anyone who enters, but its effects can be negated by the Phantom Hourglass’ Sand of Hours. Uncovering sea charts in the Temple of the Ocean King allows Link and Linebeck to travel the seas, in search of the Ghost Ship, Tetra, and rumors of a great treasure.

Along the way, Link rescues the imprisoned fairy spirits of Wisdom and Power, and encounters a third spirit, who looks just like Ciela. Oshus reveals that Ciela has actually split herself into two to avoid the same fate that the other two spirits suffered, and by fusing them together, Ciela becomes the fairy of Courage. Oshus reveals that he too split his spirit in two, and that his true form is that of the Ocean King. Ciela and Oshus did this in order to escape the clutches of Bellum, an evil entity draining the are of all its life force, and residing in the depths of the Temple of the Ocean King.

Link finally succeeds in boarding the Ghost Ship, and finds Tetra, but she has been turned to stone. The Ghost Ship, as it turns out, contains no treasure, but is used by Bellum to lure people in and drain their force. In order to defeat Bellum, Link sets off to find three pure metals that can forge a sword that will pierce through his evil power. Linebeck continues with Link on this quest, only after being promised by the Oshus that he will be granted a wish once he is returned to his original state.

With the three pure metals and the Phantom Hourglass, Link has a blacksmith named Zauz forge the Phantom Sword, and proceeds to the Temple of the Ocean King. Reaching the bottom floor, he engages Bellum in battle. Ciela, now awakened as the Spirit of Time and Courage, reveals that she has the ability to manipulate time, and using this Link is able to expose and attack Bellum’s weak point.

Bellum awaits Link in the Temple of the Ocean King

Bellum awaits Link in the Temple of the Ocean King

Bellum appears to be defeated, but recovers, and escapes the Temple of the Ocean King. Seizing Tetra, he takes over the Ghost Ship, and Link engages him in a battle at sea. After defeating Bellum again, at the cost of Linebeck’s ship being destroyed, Link boards the Ghost Ship, and he and Tetra are both captured by Bellum. Linebeck uses the Phantom Sword to stab Bellum, causing him to drop Link and Tetra. As retaliation, Bellum possess Linebeck, and takes the from of a Phantom. In one final battle, Link defeats Bellum’s new form, and Linebeck is returned to normal.

With Bellum defeated, all the drained force returns to the land, and the Ocean King resumes his true form. As promised, Linebeck is granted one wish, and he wishes for the return of his ship. Meanwhile, the Ocean King thanks Link and Tetra, but tells them that they must return to their “own world” now. Link and Tetra awaken back on Tetra’s ship, and are told by their crew that they have only been gone about ten minutes. Link retains the Phantom Hourglass, but it is no longer part of the Phantom Sword, and it is drained of the Sand of Hours. As Link and Tetra make their exit, Link spots Linebeck sailing off in the distance.

New Hyrule

In a land unknown to Hyrule, a race known as the Lokomo lived. Guided by the Spirits of Good, the people lived in peace, until an evil demon known as Malladus waged war on the land. The Spirits of Good fought until their energy was near expended, but they were unable to completely destroy Malladus. His physical body was destroyed, but his spirit lived on, and so it was sealed inside the Tower of Spirits. The Tower of Spirits, in the middle of the land, was connected to other temples across the land by magical chains, powered by Force Gems.

An artistic depiction of the battle between Malladus and the Spirits of Good

An artistic depiction of the battle between Malladus and the Spirits of Good

These chains became came to be used as train tracks, and the culture of the land began to revolve around the powers of Force. The Lokomo dwindled in numbers until there was only seven left, and most of them began to serve a Sage-like role in the land, guarding the temples.

Sometime after the events of Phantom Hourglass Link and Tetra discovered this new land, and settled there. With the guidance of the Lokomo, Tetra established New Hyrule, accepting her role as the descendant of Princess Zelda.

Spirit Tracks

Two generations later, Link, an aspiring train engineer, is summoned to Hyrule Castle by the new Princess Zelda, who is to honor him as an official Royal Engineer. Warning him of her suspiscions about Hyrule’s Chancellor Cole, she plans to meet Link later. As it turns out, Zelda wishes to investigate the Tower of Spirits to see why the train tracks are starting to disappear. On their way there, the tracks disappear out from under them, and the train crashes. Chancellor Cole, along with his assisstant Byrne, attack Zelda, separating her physical body from her spirit. An evil train known as the Demon Train appears from a portal, smashing the Tower of Spirits, causing it to be broken into several pieces, suspended in air.

The broken Tower of Spirits

The broken Tower of Spirits

Zelda soon discovers that, although her physical body is gone, she can still move around as a spirit, but that Link and the Lokomo tribe are the only one who can see her. At the advice of Anjean, one of the remaining Lokomo, Link and Zelda set off to find the other Lokomo, and to restore the Spirit Tracks by purifying the temples. As they progress, the Tower of Spirits comes together piece by piece, allowing them to climb higher, find new maps, and use these maps to explore new parts of Hyrule. Link and Zelda discover that, by stunning the Phantoms who guard the Tower of Spirits, Zelda can possess them, and use their bodies to solve the various puzzles therein.

Along the way, it is discovered that Byrne is actually a Lokomo himself, and that he betrayed the Spirits of Good, turning instead to Malladus, in an attempt to become more powerful. Link fights and defeats Byrne in battle in the Tower of Spirits, but Byrne buys enough time for Chancellor Cole to reach the top of the Tower of Spirits, where Malladus is sealed. Using Zelda’s body as a vessel, Cole is able to summon Malladus’ spirit. Rather than reward Byrne, Malladus turns on him, causing him near mortal wounds.

After acquiring the Bow of Light and the Compas of Light, Link is granted the Lokomo Sword by Anjean, and sets off to the Dark Realm, where Malladus is residing. After damaging the Demon Train, Link is able to board it. Zelda, donned in a Phantom armor, is able to grasp Malladus long enough for Link to shoot him with the Bow of Light, forcing his spirit out of Zelda’s body, but Zelda is unable to reclaim her body.

Malladus in his spirit form

Malladus in his spirit form

Malladus prepares to possess it again, when Byrne intervenes, stalling Malladus, and telling Zelda she must focus her power in order to reclaim her body. Malladus kills Byrne, and possess Chancellor Cole, and Zelda and Link battle him one last time, defeating him for good with the Bow of Light and the Lokomo Sword. Anjean and the other Lokomos depart for the heavens, as their job as guardians of the land is complete. As they leave, Anjean says that Byrne and the others may return someday, although it will be in a different form.

The Hero of Men

A long, long time ago… when the world was on the verge of being swallowed by shadow…

The tiny Picori appeared from the sky, bringing the hero of men a sword and a golden light.

With wisdom and courage, the hero drove out the darkness.

When peace had been restored, the people enshrined that blade with care.

And the force of the golden light, embodied in Hyrule’s princess, shone forth upon the lands.

The Hero of Men became a legend in Hyrule

The Hero of Men became a legend in Hyrule

With the Triforce and the Master Sword forgotten, when Hyrule again fell under the threat of some unknown evil, a new power was needed to combat it. The “golden light” spoken of became known as the Light Force, perpetuating the Force-centered culture of New Hyrule. The blade, known as the Picori Blade, became an important relic in Hyrule. Many monsters that had attacked the land were sealed inside a Bound Chest, and the Picori Blade was enshrined in it. Swordsmen competitions in Hyrule were held in honor of the tale, and the ultimate honor was the right to touch the Picori Blade.

Soon this event became legend, as the portal connecting Hyrule to the realm of the Minish only opens once every century. The Picori became nothing more than a bedtime story to children.

Minish Cap

When a mysterious stranger wins Hyrule’s swordsmen competiton, Link, the grandson of a blacksmith, is to present him with a sword as a prize. During the ceremony in which the stranger, who is revealed to be a sorcerer named Vaati, is to touch the sacred Picori Blade, Vaati uses dark magic to shatter the blade and open the Bound Chest, believing the Light Force to be inside. Instead, all of the monsters are released into the world, and Vaati turns Zelda into stone, before fleeing.

At the request of Hyrule’s King, Link contacts the Picori, or Minish, as they’ve become known, to find out how he can restore the Picori Blade. Link teams up with a mysterious hat-like creature named Ezlo, and after speaking with the Minish, Link sets off to find the four Elements which can be used to reforge the Picori Blade. As each Element is fused into the Picori Blade, it gains the power to allow Link to create a clone of himself, when standing on specific tiles. When the Picori Blade was infused with all four Elements, it became the Four Sword, allowing Link to split himself into Four.

After learning that the Light Force resides inside of Princess Zelda, Vaati begins to extract it from her, draining her of most of her life force. Link is able to stop him before Zelda is killed, and appears to have slain him, but Vaati uses the power of the Light Force he drained from Zelda to return in a new form. Link continues the battle with Vaait, and he is presumed dead at the ending of the game.

With the power of the Four Sword, Link battles Vaati

With the power of the Four Sword, Link battles Vaati

It turns out that Vaati and Ezlo were both members of the Minish tribe, but that Vaati used the power of a wish-granting hat to give himself a more human, and more powerful form. He then used his powers to turn Ezlo into his hat-like appearance. With Vaati defeated, Zelda is able to use the wishing cap, combined with her remaining power, to undo the damage done to Hyrule by Vaati. Hyrule is restored, and Ezlo and returns to the Minish Realm.

Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures

Long ago, in the kingdom of Hyrule, a wind sorcerer named Vaati appeared.

Vaati terrorized the people of Hyrule and kidnapped many beautiful girls from their homes.

When all hope seemed lost, a young boy carrying little more than a sword appeared.

According to the legends, when the boy drew his sword, he split into four, the four-who-are-one worked together to vanquish Vaati.

The hero used his sword to bind Vaati in a remote area of Hyrule. The people christened the blade the Four Sword and built a shrine around it. There it remained undisturbed for many years.

Ages flowed by…

The wind sorcerer Vaati broke free of his prison and kidnapped Zelda, the princess of Hyrule.

Princess Zelda’s childhood friend Link used the power of the Four Sword to defeat Vaati and seal him away once again.

Vaati’s apparent demise in Minish Cap didn’t stop him from returning to Hyrule. Whether his “death” in Minish Cap was actually the sealing spoken of in Four Swords Adventures, or he was resurrected and the sealing was a separate event, Vaati remained alive, and sealed inside the Four Sword. Over time, Vaati’s powers corrupted the Four Sword, making it so that by pulling it, the holder would instantly turn into four, and not only when used on select tiles.

Vaati was able to escape the Four Sword ages after his sealing, and the current Princess Zelda was kidnapped by him when she investigated the seal. Link drew the Four Sword, becoming the four-who-are-one, and sealed Vaati once again. Soon afterwards, the same Link and Zelda found themselves preparing to protect Hyrule from evil once again.

When dark clouds covered Hyrule, Zelda and Link went to inspect the Four Sword once again. The Six Shrine Maidens of Hyrule, spiritual successors to the Sages, and possibly the Lokomos, use their powers to open up a portal from Hyrule Castle to the Four Sword Sanctuary, but before Link and Zelda can enter, Shadow Link appears. Shadow Link seals Zelda and the Six Shrine Maidens in dark crystals, and teleports them away, before jumping into the portal. Link pursues, and because he is unarmed, is forced to draw the Four Sword to try to fight Shadow Link. Doing so releases Vaati from his seal, and causes Link to split into four. Vaati summons a cyclone, and blows the four-who-are-one away.

The four Links travel Hyrule, discovering and stopping the plots of an army of Shadow Links. They rescue the Six Shrine Maidens along the way, with each Maiden helping them uncover clues about the whereabouts of Zelda, Vaati, and the Dark Mirror responsible for the existence of the Shadow Links. In each new area, Vaati has Dark Barriers that drain the land of its Force, and spread darkness. These barriers are connected to the Dark World, a parallel dimension to Hyrule, and can only be destroyed by powering the Four Sword up with enough Force. The Links learn that the four Elements from Minish Cap, now known as the Royal Jewels, are required to reach the Realm of the Heavens, where both Vaati and Zelda are located. The four Knights of Hyrule, charged with guarding the Royal Jewels, were cursed, and turned into skeletons, and the Links had to defeat them in order to break their curse and earn the Royal Jewels.

One of Vaati's Dark Barriers

One of Vaati’s Dark Barriers

In the Lost Woods, the Links learn that the monsters all worship a King of Darkness, who they at first assume is Vaati. However, a Deku Scrub reveals that the name of the King of Darkness is Vaati, prompting one of the Shrine Maidens to send the four Links to the Gerudo desert, where a man named Ganondorf lives. Unlike the Gerudo of Ocarina of Time, the Gerudo in Four Swords Adventures are said to be honorable, and instead of accepting Ganondorf as their leader, they reject him, and seek to bring him to justice for breaking sacred Gerudo laws, suggesting that this is not the same Ganondorf of old, but a new incarnation, explaining his existence despite his death in Wind Waker. Fearing Gerudo law, he fled to the sacred pyramid, stealing a powerful, evil trident, and was transformed into Ganon, the King of Darkness.

Stealing the Dark Mirror from the Temple of Darkness, Ganon created the army of Shadow Links, and used one of them to trick Link into releasing Vaati. Manipulating Vaati to do his bidding, Ganon was able to remain largely undetected in his conquest of Hyrule, while the four Links battled against Vaati’s forces.

Upon collecting the last of the Royal Jewels, the four Links were able to ascend to the Realm of the Heavens, and challenge Vaati, appearing to vanquish him once again. But when they tried to escape with Zelda, they fell into a trap, and were attacked by Ganon. After weakening him signficantly, the four Links, Zelda, and the Six Shrine Maidens sealed Ganon inside of the Four Sword, placing it back in its pedestal, and casting a seal over it.

Ganon's imprisonment at the end of Four Swords Adventures

Ganon’s imprisonment at the end of Four Swords Adventures.

A Link to the Past

Long ago, in the beautiful kingdom of Hyrule surrounded by mountains and forests…legends told of an omnipotent and omniscient Golden Power that resided in a hidden land. Many people aggressively sought to enter the hidden Golden Land… But no one ever returned. One day evil power began to flow from the Golden Land…

So the King commanded seven wise men to seal the gate to the Land of the Golden Power. That seal should have remained for all time… … …But, when these events were obscured by the mists of time and became legend…

A mysterious wizard known as Agahnim came to Hyrule to release the seal. He eliminated the good King of Hyrule…

Through evil magic, he began to make descendants of the seven wise men vanish, one after another.

An artistic depiction of the Seal War, similar in appearance to Ganon's seal in Four Swords Adventures

An artistic depiction of the Seal War, similar in appearance to Ganon’s seal in Four Swords Adventures

This tale, known as the Imprisoning War, or Seal War, is a mystery in Hylian history. Originally, the tale of Ocarina of Time was said to be the embodiment of this story, but Ocarina of Time is not able to directly connect to A Link to the Past. Either this event is a separate event from Ocarina of Time, or it is the same tale, but when it was “obscured by time and became legend”, some of the elements of the story were changed over time, possibly to reflect the more current situation.

At some point in between Four Swords Adventures and A Link to the Past, Ganon once again became trapped in the corrupted Sacred Realm, or Dark World. If the Dark World of Four Swords Adventures, which is never stated to be a corruption of the Sacred Realm, and the Dark World of A Link to the Past are the same place, it’s possible that Ganon’s sealing inside of the Four Sword actually imprisoned him in the Dark World. Many enemies aren’t physically killed when attacked by the Four Sword, but instead, banished to the Dark World. In Four Swords Adventure’s ending, Ganon is sealed inside the Four Sword, and in A Link to the Past on the Game Boy Advance, the Four Sword is found inside the Dark World, broken into four pieces, possibly explaining Ganon’s entry into the Dark World.

The Triforce will grant the wishes of whoever touches it, as long as that person lives…

That is why it was hidden in the Golden Land. Only a select few knew of its location, but at some point that knowledge was lost…

The person who rediscovered the Golden Land was Ganondorf the evil thief. Luckily, he couldn’t figure outhow to return to the Light World…

A Link to the Past speaks of all knowledge of the Sacred Realm, or Golden Land, being forgotten, which is well explained by the fact that Wind Waker washed Old Hyrule away, and new Hyrule revolved around the Light Force, rather than the Triforce. But when Ganon rediscovered the Sacred Realm, he couldn’t return, and so much like Oshus and Ciela, he split off part of his soul in the form of agahnim, and used his new form to usurp the King of Hyrule, and take over the Kingdom.

By kidnapping the Seven Maiden descendants of the Sages, of the same nature as the Shrine Maidens of Four Swords Adventures, agahnim planned to weaken the Seal on the Sacred Realm, allowing Ganon to make his return to Hyrule, and dominate the world. When Zelda, the last of the Seven Maidens was kidnapped, she was able to summon Link telepathically to her rescue, and from there, Link set off to stop agahnim’s plan.

Proving his worth by acquring the Three Pendants, fashioned out of the Spiritual Stones of Ocarina of Time, Link was able to draw the Master Sword, hidden in the Lost Woods. It is unknown how the Master Sword re-emerged in Hyrule, after its disappearance in Wind Waker. The original Japanese text of the Seal War story talks about the Sages having to search for the Master Sword, so it’s possible it was rediscovered at this time, and moved to its current location.

After acquring the Master Sword, Link learns that Zelda has been kidnapped again, and he chases after her into the upper levels of Hyrule Castle, where he battles Agahnim. Turning agahnim’s own magic against him by reflecting it with the Master Sword, he’s able to weaken agahnim, but Agahnim retaliates by drawing Link into the Dark World.

Agahnim sends Zelda to the Dark World

Agahnim sends Zelda to the Dark World

Travelling between Light and Dark worlds with the use of a Magic Mirror, Link is able to rescue the Seven Maidens from their imprisonment, and with their power, break through the barrier surrounding Ganon’s tower. After defeating agahnim a second time, a bat-like spirit rises out of agahnim’s body, and flies off to a pyramid in the Dark World. When Link follows, he finds Ganon waiting for him, and using the Master Sword and Silver Arrows, he vanquishes Ganon. Stepping into the next room, Link finds the Triforce in its resting place, and with its power, he restores Hyrule and the Sacred Realm, and undoes the damage caused by Ganon.

Link’s Awakening

With Hyrule safe, Link sets off on a journey by sea, but a storm shipwrecks him on a strange island. The island, which turns out to be Koholint, is inhabited by vaguely familiar faces, as well as a host of enemies that Link has previously encountered. As Link travels the island, looking for a way to escape and return home, he encounters dungeons filled with creatures known as Nightmares, and a strange owl guides him, telling him that he must awaken the Wind Fish.

Link on the shores of Koholint Island

Link on the shores of Koholint Island

With each Nightmare defeated, Link acquires a new instrument. These instruments are used to play a special song, the Ballad of the Wind Fish, in order to wake up the creature of the same name. Link learns along his travels that the Wind Fish is actually a deity who has the power to manifest his dreams into reality. As long as the Wind Fish slumbers, Koholint exists. Once a peacefull place, Koholint was invaded by the Nightmares, causing havoc across the dreamland.

Upon successfully collecting all eight instruments, Link enters the giant egg inside which the Wind Fish sleeps, and confronts and defeats the remaining Nightmares, including one which takes a shadowy form resembling Ganon. Link then plays the Ballad of the Wind Fish, waking the ancient deity, and causing Koholint to cease to exist.

The Sleeping Zelda and the Triforce of Courage

It is said that a long time ago, when Hyrule was one country, a great ruler maintained the peace in Hyrule using the Triforce. However, he too was a child of man and he died. Then, the prince of the kingdom should have become king and inherited everything, but he could inherit the Triforce only in part. The Prince searched everywhere for the missing parts, but could not find them. Then, a magaician close to the king brought him some unexpected news. Before he died, the king had said something about the Triforce to only the younger sister of the prince, Princess Zelda. The prince immediately questioned the princess, but she wouldn’t tell him anything. After the prince, the magician threatened to put the princess into an eternal sleep if she did not talk, but even still, she said nothing. In his anger, the magician tried to cast a magic spell on the princess. The surprised prince tried to stop him, but the magaician fought off the prince and went on chanting the spell. Then, when the spell was finally cast, Princess Zelda fell on the spot and entered a sleep from which she might never awake. At the same time, the magician also fell down and breathed his last. In his grief, the prince placed the princess in this room. He hoped that someday she would come back to life. So that this tragedy would never be forgotten, he ordered that every female child born into the royal household shall be given the name Zelda.

The wizard prepares to cast his spell on Zelda

The wizard prepares to cast his spell on Zelda

It is unknown exactly when this tale took place. Originally it was meant to be an explanation for the naming tradition in the Royal Family, but there are multiple stories containing a princess named Zelda that take place early in Hylian history, so it is an unclear exactly when this happened. This story is closely tied with a second story, which fits well after A Link to the Past.

You who’ll control the Triforce of the future. I shall hand down to you the secrets of the Triforce. There are three kinds of Triforce – Power, Wisdom, and Courage. When these three are brought together, the Triforce will show its maximum power. Of the three, I have left Power and Wisdom in the kingdom. but the Triforce Courage I have hidden for a reason. Not everybody can use the Triforce. It requires a strong character with no evil thoughts. But an inborn special quality is also necessary. Unfortunately, I have not found such a person during my lifetime. Therefore, I have decided to cast a spell on all of Hyrule. A crest will appear on a young man with that character who has been brought up correctly, has gained many kinds of experiences and reached a certain age. But, what will happen if someone else uses the Triforce before then? If it is misused, it will produce many evils.

This message, passed down by a ruler of Hyrule, is very likely written by the same great ruler of the first story. Thus, the secret of the Triforce known by Zelda is the location of the Triforce of Courage. The King left Power and Wisdom in Hyrule, setting the stage for the next tale in Zelda.

The Legend of Zelda

One day, an evil army attacked this peaceful little kingdom and stole the Triforce of Power. This army was led by Ganon, the powerful Prince of Darkness who sought to plunge the World into fear and darkness under his rule.

Fearing his wicked rule, Zelda, the princess of this kingdom, split up the Triforce of Wisdom into eight fragments and hid them throughout the realm to save the last remaining Triforce from the cluthes of the evil Ganon.

The Triforce of Wisdom left behind by the King was divided into eight pieces, and hidden, to keep them from evil clutches. It is unknown how Ganon returned from the grave, but when he did so, he was able to attack Hyrule and steal the Triforce of Power.

Meanwhile Impa, Zelda’s nursemaid, and likely a descendant of Impa from Ocarina of Time, fled in search of someone with the courage to defeat Ganon. She stumbled upon a travelling swordsman, who turned out to be a new Link, and he took it upon himself to rescue Zelda. Fighting his way through dungeons, Link acquired the eight pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom, and used them to open a passageway to Ganon’s hideout. Link defeated Ganon with Silver Arrows and a Magical Sword, recovered the Triforce of Power, and saved Zelda.

Link, armed with the Triforce of Wisdom, prepares to fight Ganon

Link, armed with the Triforce of Wisdom, prepares to fight Ganon

Adventure of Link

Several years after The Legend of Zelda, Link is continuing to help Hyrule rebuild, when a Triforce crest appears on his hand. Knowing this crest to be the one spoken of by the King, Impa reveals to Link the story of the Sleeping Zelda, and his destiny of finding the Triforce of Courage.

Link sets off across the great region of Hyrule, battling his way through temples. Each temple has a guardian in it, placed there to test the Hero, and by passing all the tests, Link unlocks the Great Temple. After defeating its guardian, Thunderbird, Link finds an old man guarding the Triforce of Courage, but before he can take it, his shadow breaks freem from him, and he has to fight Shadow Link for the right to the Triforce piece. When this is accomplished, Link brings the Triforce of Courage back to where the Sleeping Zelda lies, and uses the completed Triforce to break the curse put on her.

Link unites the Triforce again

Link unites the Triforce again

Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages

Both of the Oracle games happen at a time when Ganon is dead and the Triforce is completed, and in the hands of the Royal Family, tying in perfectly with Adventure of Link’s ending. In the beginning of each game, Link is summoned by the Triforce, which teleports him to either the land of Holodrum, in Seasons, or Labrynna, in Ages.

The Triforce summons Link

The Triforce summons Link

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