Zelda franchise strategy guide/Locations/Hyrule

Hyrule (ハイラル, Hairaru) is a fantasy world portrayed in The Legend of Zelda video game series created by Nintendo and Nintendo's leading game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, and the setting where most Zelda games take place. It most commonly refers to the Kingdom of Hyrule where the Royal Family of Hyrule resides, but can also apply to the surrounding lands and world not governed by the kingdom. Template:TOClimit

Hyrule in the series edit

The land of Hyrule, first depicted in The Legend of Zelda, released in February 1986 for the Famicom Disk System, is the backdrop for the adventures of the boy-to-hero protagonist Link. During the events of the game, Link progresses through Hyrule, and nine dungeons, the latter of which have become a staple of the series, appearing in every game since.

Many designated areas of Hyrule appear throughout the series, such as the Lost Woods, Kakariko Village, Death Mountain, and Lake Hylia. Several games in the series take place in lands other than Hyrule, including Link's Awakening, set on Koholint Island, Majora's Mask, set in Termina, Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, set in Holodrum and Labrynna respectively, and The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass, both set on the Great Sea, a flooded Hyrule.

Formation of Hyrule edit

Hyrule was formed by the goddesses Din, Farore, and Nayru. According to Hylian legend as depicted in Ocarina of Time, Din created the physical geography of the realm, Nayru set forth the laws that would govern the land, and Farore created the many races who would uphold the law, as well as the flora, and fauna that inhabit the world. Once the goddesses had completed their tasks, they departed for the heavens, and left behind them three golden triangles. Into these they put their power to govern all things; this relic became known as the Triforce.[1] The realm itself was eventually named after its dominant race, the Hylia.[2]

Hylian language edit

Hylian is also the name of the constructed language created by Nintendo to be used by the Hylians. The characters are composed mostly of square-like symbols and dots with a small number of curved or diagonal lines, and changes slightly from game to game. The written form of Hylian is derived from Japanese hiragana, katakana, and romaji in its first appearances (and also is reminiscent of Cyrillic languages), though is based on English in Twilight Princess.

Hylian first appeared in A Link to the Past, though just identified as "the ancient language of the Hylians". Its written form was made up of nonsensical symbols that had to be translated by Link using the mysterious "Book of Mudora" to progress in the game.

In Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, the scripting appeared on signs, gravestones and more. While no official translations or character sets have been released by Nintendo, some fans have created versions themselves[3] by observing and translating the inscriptions in the game and on the game's box art. The script used in The Wind Waker (see below) is also used on the headbands of Kotake and Koume.

In The Wind Waker, the intro sequence had paintings with the language below it, throughout the game there are three spirits (the angler fish-like Jabun, the dragon Valoo, and the Deku Tree), who are all able to speak it. Once the game is finished there is an option for a second quest, in this version of the game all Hylian speech is translated. In Japan, an explanation on the Hylian alphabet was printed on the back of the instruction manual, proving that the language is actually written like Japanese, but using different symbols.[4][5]

In Twilight Princess, the language is represented by an alphabet based directly upon the Latin one, and the Hylian language in the game is in English[6]. The script used in The Wind Waker is also used on tombstones in Kakariko Village Graveyard.

Currency edit

The currency of the Zelda series is called the Rupee, and is used in Hyrule, the Great Sea, Koholint Island, Termina, Labrynna, and Holodrum. Rupees resemble hexagonal crystals or gems, and come in various colors which determine value. Rupees are acquired primarily by defeating enemies, cutting tall grass or bushes, or by opening treasure chests, and are used primarily to purchase items in shops and play minigames. It is revealed in The Minish Cap that the reason why Rupees are usually hidden in grass is because the tiny Minish race hide them in bushes as gifts for humans to find. Link cannot hold more Rupees than his current wallet size (each wallet holding only a certain number of Rupees), and Rupees collected after the wallet reaches capacity are not accumulated. Availability and sizes of Link's wallets vary from game to game, and Link's Rupee-carrying capacity generally starts off small with upgrades to larger wallet sizes available throughout the game (with the exception of The Legend of Zelda, where there is no wallet system, as only 255 Rupees can be collected at any time, as well as A Link to the Past and Link's Awakening, where the player can carry up to 999 Rupees, and Phantom Hourglass, where the maximum Link can carry is 9,999).

Although Rupees are used most often to buy items in shops, occasionally they have other uses. In the original The Legend of Zelda, Link's quiver capacity is limited to the number of Rupees he carries; therefore, when his Rupee stash is depleted, he can no longer use arrows until he collects more. In A Link to the Past, if Link throws 100 Rupees into a certain fairy fountain, a Great Fairy appears to increase his carrying capacity for bombs or arrows, at the player's choice. In Ocarina of Time, collecting five Silver Rupees in a particular room in certain dungeons is a type of puzzle. Rupees are also central to the gameplay in the multiplayer stages of Four Swords. This game contains Black Rupees — which cause the player to drop Rupees all over the ground — and Rupee Shards, which, when eight are collected, become a Rupee of great value. In Phantom Hourglass, the Black Rupee is given the name "Rupoor", and depletes Rupees depending on what size it is whenever Link comes into contact with one. In Twilight Princess, the Magic Armor is magically powered by Rupees, and when Link is hit while wearing it, he loses Rupees instead of hearts. If Link runs out of Rupees while wearing the armor, his mobility is greatly reduced, and he starts taking life damage again when hit.

The only titles so far that feature monetary systems other than Rupees is Oracle of Seasons, where, in addition to Rupees, the Subrosian race accepts only Ore Chunks as currency, and Four Swords Adventures, where the lead characters collect Force Gems rather than Rupees. Rupees are also absent in The Adventure of Link, which has no apparent in-game currency system, but which is generally still assumed to be using the same Rupee-based economy within the kingdom as The Legend of Zelda.

Colors and value edit

The original The Legend of Zelda only has flashing Rupees, worth one, and blue Rupees, worth five. Subsequent games introduced more colors and sizes for Rupees, each denoting a specific value. Generally, green Rupees have the least value, while huge gold or silver Rupees have the most. There are also Rupees that serve puzzle purposes, like the Silver Rupees in Ocarina of Time, and Rupees that drain Link's wallet, like the Rupoors in Phantom Hourglass.

Appearance Value (Rupees) Game
Green 1 The value of Blue and Green Rupees is reversed in Link's Awakening DX
Blue 5
Silver 5 Ocarina of Time (in puzzles)
Yellow 10 The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess
Red 20
Purple 50 Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess
Orange 100 The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess
Silver 100 Majora's Mask
Big green 100 Phantom Hourglass
Big red 100 Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages
Silver 200 The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess
Big orange/gold 200 Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker
Big red 200 Phantom Hourglass
Big gold 300 Phantom Hourglass
Black Removes 10 Phantom Hourglass (referred to as "Rupoor")
Big black Removes 50 Phantom Hourglass (referred to as "Rupoor")

Demographics and government edit

Hylian geography edit

Recurring locations edit

Hyrule Field edit

Otherwise known generally as the overworld or Hyrule overworld, Hyrule Field is the term for the land of Hyrule as a whole, or, more accurately, as the area that connects all of the various locations around Hyrule. Hyrule Field is essential to all of the Zelda games set in the land of Hyrule, as it is where much of the non-dungeon-based gameplay takes place. Valuable items can often be found in holes and under rocks, as well as in bushes and grass scattered throughout Hyrule Field, and all of these things will further Link's various quests. In addition, many enemies can be found in Hyrule Field, many of which yield rewards when defeated. In A Link to the Past and Four Swords Adventures, it is enmeshed with the swamp.

Death Mountain edit

Spectacle Rock at the summit of Death Mountain, as seen in A Link to the Past.

Death Mountain (デスマウンテン, Desu-Maunten) is a large mountain (occasionally a volcano, as well) that first appeared in the original The Legend of Zelda for the Famicom Disk System and NES, and has subsequently appeared in several games since in the series.

Death Mountain, in all of its appearances, is riddled with caves and dungeons, including Ganon's lair in The Legend of Zelda and Goron City, the Fire Temple and Dodongo's Cavern in Ocarina of Time. When viewed from afar (as in Ocarina of Time), Death Mountain appears as an ominous volcano, with a ring of smoke surrounding its peak. It is said in Ocarina of Time that the ring of smoke reflects the state of affairs at the mount: when all is peaceful, the ring is white and calm, but when things go awry, it turns violently ashen, and seemingly aflame. A large number of Tektites and Lynels exist on the outside of the mountain. Boulders also constantly fall from above in certain places. A recurring part of Death Mountain is Spectacle Rock, two large rock formations next to each other that appear in most games along with the mountain itself.

In The Legend of Zelda, Spectacle Rock is the entrance to Ganon's lair, and is heavily guarded. In A Link to the Past, it blocks the way to the Mountain Tower. Two rocks resembling Spectacle Rock appear in Ocarina of Time, inside Death Mountain Crater. One of the rocks has a Piece of Heart on top, but other than that, they hold little importance in the game. In quadrant B-3 of The Wind Waker's Great Sea, there is Spectacle Island, that bears some similar geography to the recurring Spectacle Rock. The island is composed of two circular regions placed closely enough together to form one island.

File:Zelda1 Spectacle Rock.png
Spectacle Rock in The Legend of Zelda.

In The Legend of Zelda, Death Mountain is an area occupying much of the northwestern part of the map. It contains some of the most difficult enemies in the game, and is also where Link enters Levels 5 and 9. Level 9 — Ganon's lair, and the final level in the game — is discovered by bombing a portion of Spectacle Rock, and even then is only accessible after completing all other levels and assembling the Triforce. Death Mountain is inhabited by Tektites, Lynels, and falling rocks. There is a lake on the east end which flows into a waterfall, which in turn flows into a river flowing into Lake Hylia. The Lost Hills are located directly east of the Death Mountain area.

In The Adventure of Link, Death Mountain is in the southwest portion of the map. This area consists of a maze of caves. Here, Spectacle Rock makes its second appearance in the series.

In A Link to the Past, Death Mountain is the area which occupies much of the upper area of the map. It is the location of the Tower of Hera in the Light World, and Ganon's Tower and Turtle Rock in the Dark World. It is again inhabited by Tektites, Lynels, and falling rocks. When first visiting the mountain, Link encounters a lost old man in the cave-system leading to the area. After guiding him through the paths, the old man will heal Link when he visits. Spectacle Rock only exists in the Light World, where it blocks the route to the Tower of Hera, forcing Link to temporarily enter the Dark World to bypass it. Between the rocks is a cave route that leads down and out of the mountain. The Japanese game refers only to the Dark World mountain as Death Mountain, calling the ones in the Light World "Hebra Mountain" instead. This has never happened in any later Zelda games, so it is assumed the change during translation was deliberate and intended by the creators.

In Ocarina of Time, Death Mountain is a volcano located in the far northeast reaches of Hyrule, and is only accessible through Kakariko Village and the Lost Woods (via warp). The Fire Temple is located inside Death Mountain Crater, and houses Volvagia, an ancient dragon. Two rocks resembling Spectacle Rock appear inside Death Mountain Crater, in front of the entrance to the Fire Temple. Their appearance is more conic and heaped, and a Piece of Heart rests on top of one of them. Volcanic smoke billows out of the tips of each rock, though there are no natural chimney stacks visible at the peaks. It is evident from its structure and that of the Fire Temple that the upper floors of the Fire Temple may extend into the interior of these two mounds.

Ocarina of Time also introduces Death Mountain as the place where Gorons live. The Gorons live inside a cave network with four levels called Goron City. Their stable supply of rock (for nourishment) comes from Dodongo's Cavern, which, in the time just before Ganondorf's invasion, had been overrun by the extinct race of Dodongos and the mighty King Dodongo. Beyond Goron City, Death Mountain can be climbed, although Tektites and falling rocks will impede Link's path. Along with an entrance to Death Mountain Crater, a Great Fairy's Fountain is hidden at the summit; the Great Fairy there grants Link her magic power. Inside the crater is a second Great Fairy's Fountain, where Link's magic meter can be doubled.

In The Wind Waker, a location similar to Death Mountain, Dragon Roost Island, exists in the north-east area of the map, and contains a cavern similar to Ocarina of Time's Death Mountain Crater.

In Twilight Princess, Death Mountain is a volcano once again, located close to Kakariko Village. The Goron race live mostly on the outside of the mountain, but also have a volcanic mine area known as the Goron Mines. Lava flows inside the mines, and there is a hot spring located outside behind its entrance. Link is not able to enter the mine at first, but as the story progresses, Gor Coron, a Goron elder temporarily ruling in the patriarch's stead, will allow Link to enter after defeating him at sumo wrestling, to search for their possessed leader Darbus. The entrance to a cavern resembling Ocarina of Time's Dodongo's Cavern can be seen in the distance, near the peak of Death Mountain.

Ganon's Tower edit

In A Link to the Past, Ganon's Tower stands atop Death Mountain in the Dark World, in the same location the Tower of Hera resides in the Light World. Link vanquishes Ganon's alter-ego Agahnim at the peak of the tower, but Ganon rises from the remains and flies to the Pyramid, where Link destroys him.

In the adult half of Ocarina of Time, Ganon's Castle has replaced Hyrule Castle as a dark fortress floating above a lake of lava. Once Link awakens the six sages, they are able to create a rainbow bridge across the lake and into the castle. Inside, Link must destroy six barriers based on the six temples in the game in order to destroy a magical barrier around Ganon's Tower, the central spire of the castle. After Link defeats Ganondorf at the top, the castle crumbles, and Link again fights Ganon in the ruins.

In The Wind Waker, Ganon's Tower lies at the end of a broken road from Hyrule Castle that is cordoned by a magical barrier. After Link shatters the barrier with the Master Sword, he can enter the tower, where he must rematch against the four dungeon bosses in order to proceed into the rest of the tower, in a scenario reminiscent of Ocarina of Time. The tower also possesses an underground labyrinth, and a portal to the Forsaken Fortress. Ganondorf himself waits at the peak of the tower.

While Ganon's Tower does not appear in Twilight Princess, Zant and Ganondorf have taken over Hyrule Castle and warped it to be functionally similar. Undead monsters and ghosts have overrun the graveyard, while Bublins have set up a camp in the gardens. Much of the castle structure, primarily the staircases, has been destroyed since Zant's attack. There is also a perpetual storm in the immediate area of the castle. The background music of the castle also denotes this metamorphosis — while it begins as the traditional "Hyrule Castle" theme, it becomes a mixture of both it and the "Ganon's Castle" theme as Link progresses through the castle, and at the end, is solely Ganon's theme.

Gerudo Valley edit

Gerudo Valley (ゲルドの谷, Gerudo no Tani) is a desert are that appears in A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Four Swords Adventures, and Twilight Princess. It is commonly the home of the Gerudo, a race of female thieves.

The desert first appears in A Link to the Past, in which it is known as the "Desert of Mystery". The desert is located to the west of the swamp, with a narrow canyon connecting it to the rest of the kingdom. It contains the Desert Palace, the hiding place of the Pendant of Power. Thieves, instead, are located mostly in the Lost Woods as well as certain caves.

In Ocarina of Time, Gerudo Valley is located to the west of Hyrule Field, across a ravine carved out by Zora's River, which flows from Hyrule Castle, through the ravine, and to Lake Hylia in a series of cataracts. Just across the ravine is the Gerudo Fortress, where the Gerudo keep their lodging, prison, and training centers. At the other side of the fortress is a large gate leading into the Haunted Wasteland, a large expanse of desert haunted by ghosts. At the other end of the wasteland is the Desert Colossus, and the Spirit Temple within it. The Desert Colossus is an immense statue of the Gerudos' "Goddess of Sand", a naga-like female figure with her palms opened and raised upwards. A replica of the statue lies within the temple. In the child-half of the game, the Spirit Temple is used as a base for Ganon's evil operations, but in the adult, he has moved on to destroy Hyrule Castle, and build a castle of his own there.

In Four Swords Adventures, the "Desert of Doubt" is the home of the Gerudo and Zuna villages. A strong wind blows through the desert, and the Gerudo claim it is meant to keep intruders from the Pyramid. The Pyramid, built by the Zuna, is sacred to both tribes, and is said to contain an evil spirit. The Desert Temple, very similar to both the Desert Palace, is claimed to have been built in order to guard the Pyramid.

In Twilight Princess, which takes place about a century after Ocarina of Time, only the Gerudo Desert remains. It is a barren wasteland, with little of interest except for the Cave of Ordeals, a Bulblin encampment, and the Arbiter's Grounds, an ancient execution site, home to the Sages and Mirror of Twilight. The Arbiter's Grounds, especially the Mirror Chamber, contain many similar snake motifs that imply that it may be a renamed Spirit Temple, or else the original form of the Desert Palace from A Link to the Past, very closely geographically corresponding as it does to the palace's location in the later game. The Twili were once sent here to be imprisoned in the Twilight Realm. Some time after the events of Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf was taken to the Arbiter's Grounds, and after a botched execution, was also imprisoned in the Twilight Realm.

Hyrule Castle edit

Hyrule Castle (ハイラル城, Hairaru-jō) is the home and seat of the royal family of Hyrule. The castle's first appearance was in A Link to the Past, the third game in the series. Each game that contains a Hyrule Castle either features a different layout, or denies the player access to parts that are available in other games.

Though the appearance and architecture of Hyrule Castle vary somewhat, several aspects are consistent throughout multiple Zelda titles. It generally appears as a cross between a motte-and-bailey and concentric castle, with an outer wall surrounding the inner residence, and is usually surrounded by a moat. Especially in the more recent The Legend of Zelda titles, it is a primarily white castle with tall, angular spires covered in bluish rooftops.

File:Hyrule Castle courtyard in A Link to the Past.png
Screenshot of Hyrule Castle courtyard in the Light World in A Link to the Past.

Hyrule Castle first appears in A Link to the Past, where it is situated in the middle of Hyrule, and appears to be the seat of power of the government, as well as the home of Princess Zelda. During the course of the game, Link must break into the castle. He manages to gain entrance via a secret passage on the eastern side of the castle. It has a total of six floors, and features a courtyard and moat. There is also a secret passage within that leads to a sanctuary north of the castle. The castle's counterpart in the Dark World, is the Pyramid of Power, where Ganon received the Triforce.

In Ocarina of Time, the castle is first seen during the opening credits. The castle is situated west of Death Mountain and just directly north of Hyrule Castle Town (which also contains the Market area). The entrance to Hyrule Castle Town alone is protected by a moat and a drawbridge, which lowers only during the day. Beyond Hyrule Castle Town is a path which leads eventually to Hyrule Castle, but features a gate, and several guards along the way. In order to infiltrate the castle, Link must sneak past each guard until he gets to the castle itself, which is surrounded by a moat. Link never directly enters any "important" parts of the castle, but he does manage to enter the courtyard (where he meets Zelda) using a secret entrance on the east side (similar to his infiltration in A Link to the Past). Sometime during the seven years that pass after Link's disappearance, Ganon destroys Hyrule Castle, and replaces it with Ganon's Castle.

File:OoT Hyrule Castle.png
The castle itself, as it appears in Ocarina of Time, stands on a hilltop and has a small moat (not visible from the angle this image was taken).

The castle is a monarchical castle lying north of Hyrule Field, and is the center of most of the game's events. It appears as a cross between a motte-and-bailey and concentric castle, with the moat and outer walls surrounding Hyrule Castle Town, the Temple of Time, and the royalty's inner castle, which stands on a meadowed plateau. The inner castle itself is surrounded by a small moat, and contains extensive gardens. Both the outer and inner castles use drawbridges at their gates.

Hyrule Castle in The Wind Waker.

In The Wind Waker, Hyrule Castle is at first frozen in time, under the Great Sea, and is accessible at the site of the Tower of the Gods. Only the large main hall and a small courtyard may be visited. The main hall contains a statue of the Hero of Time, Link, from Ocarina of Time, that hides the entrance to a basement room housing the Master Sword. Nine stained-glass windows depict the Triforce, Ganon, and the six sages from Ocarina of Time. When Link takes the Master Sword, the castle and the land around it unfreeze. Enemies who were assaulting the castle at the time it was frozen reawaken, and attempt to stop Link from escaping. Additionally, this particular Hyrule Castle does not have the Castle Town from Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess in its immediate vicinity, and stands alone in the midst of the surrounding countryside.

In Four Swords Adventures, Hyrule Castle lies south of Death Mountain, and near the center of Hyrule. The interior is very similar to its A Link to the Past incarnation, while the exterior, as shown on the world map, is based on that in The Wind Waker.

Hyrule Castle also has a significant presence in The Minish Cap. To restore power in the magic sword broken by Vaati, Link must find four elemental artifacts, and imbue the blade with their essence at an Elemental Sanctuary, which can be found in the courtyard of Hyrule Castle. As the story progresses, Vaati disguises himself as the King of Hyrule, possessing control of its guards, and making it harder for Link to enter the castle. Toward the game's end, Vaati transforms the entire castle into Dark Hyrule Castle, which is much larger than normal Hyrule Castle, and filled with many traps and enemies. The normal castle does still possess the upper floors, but they are not shown as the door to them is locked until the transfiguration.

File:Zeldatp-screens (519).jpg
Hyrule Castle as seen in Twilight Princess.

Hyrule Castle plays a central role in Twilight Princess, both geographically and within the storyline. Many of the game's more dramatic moments and plot twists take place within its walls. The structure itself is visible from almost any point in Hyrule, and its grounds and interior are far larger than in any previous Zelda game. The castle also serves as the game's final dungeon, and is possibly the largest dungeon of the game, in terms of sheer floor-space. Link first explores the outer sections, jumping from roof to roof as a wolf, then in his normal form, as the final dungeon. The castle appears to have been besieged by Ganondorf, Zant, or both in succession; there are large amounts of structural damage to the walls.

The castle appears largely concentric, with an outer wall with towers at six points, and a large, strong keep. The castle has four main wings on its ground level; the eastern wing is used by the Bublins in Ganondorf's army as a base camp, with many poorly-constructed towers and walls, which can be torn down by using a large boar to smash them. The western wing and southern wings appear largely intact, the player entering through the southern wing adorned with three towers of the Triforce. The western wing is the place where the player has a final duel with the Bublin leader, who gives Link the key to the keep after recognizing him as "the strongest". The castle also has a throne room with chandeliers, and a platform for the throne, which has been moved for the purposes of gameplay. The upper levels have modest hallways accessible by balcony. The causeway to two of the major six towers can be walked upon, but the towers cannot be explored. Finally, the keep is a long, winding tower, with a second, massive throne room at the top of the tower. The castle also has a hidden graveyard.

Kakariko Village edit

Kakariko Village (カカリコ村, Kakariko-mura) is a small, peaceful village that first appeared in A Link to the Past, and has since reappeared in Ocarina of Time, Four Swords Adventures, and Twilight Princess. Kakariko Village's geographical and historical situation changes in each game, but it retains some signature characteristics throughout all of its appearances. Its background music shares a basic motif (A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time feature similar arrangements, while Twilight Princess only employs brief quotes of the opening melody, the rest being a remix of the Dark World music), all the roofs of the houses are familiarly colored red, the town features a characteristic graveyard, and Cuccos roam the town.

In A Link to the Past, Kakariko Village is west of Hyrule Castle, north of the Desert of Mystery, south of the Lost Woods, and southwest of Death Mountain. Hoping to meet with the sage Sahasrahla, Link can inquire about him throughout the village, though guards are stationed to capture Link, accused of abducting Princess Zelda. Sahasrahla's presumed wife, however, informs Link that the elder has left for the region around Eastern Palace. Exploring the village anyway is still profitable; many side-quests are tied into the village. Later in the game, Link takes the Book of Mudora from the library to the south, though Link is not required to return to the village after clearing the Desert Palace until much later in the game, namely before Misery Mire. This is because Link must awaken the bird trapped within the weather vane in the village by playing the Flute. Once this bird is awakened, Link can use the Flute to warp about the Light World.

A thief named Blind used to have a permanent residence in the village, but by the time Link sees it, it has been abandoned. Blind is the boss of the fourth Dark World dungeon, Blind's Hideout. The Dark World equivalent of Kakariko Village is the "Village of Outcasts", overrun with thieves, gambling establishments, and Moblins. In the place of the weather vane of Kakariko is a demon statue, and several trees have the ability to talk.

The Kakariko Village of Ocarina of Time is located directly at the foot of the Death Mountain, in the north of Hyrule. Villagers there recall Impa, Zelda's nursemaid, opening the formerly Sheikah-exclusive village to the commoners of Hyrule. The villagers also claim that long ago, Impa drove out the Gerudos from the Kakariko area. Dominating the landscape is a windmill, which is used to draw water up from the village's well, the source of water for the villagers. Sheikah legend tells that Impa sealed a great evil in the bottom of the well. Later, when Link learns the Song of Storms as an adult, playing it can overwork the windmill, making it draw up all the water, and, in effect, dry up the well. Another legend tells that a wise man with an eye that could see the truth lived where the well is located now; thus, playing the Song of Storms opens up the well for exploration as a child to find this Lens of Truth.

In Link's adulthood, the great evil imprisoned in Kakariko's well escapes, setting fire to the village, and beating Link and Sheik considerably before retreating into the Shadow Temple, the entrance to which is found in the graveyard adjacent to the village. Impa then goes off to imprison the great evil again by going into the Shadow Temple, but seemingly fails. Link must rescue her by defeating this great evil, an invisible "Phantom Shadow Beast", Bongo Bongo. In defeating the monster, Link rescues and awakens Impa as the Sage of the Shadow Temple.

During the seven-year period of turmoil in Hyrule between Link's drawing of the Master Sword and his awakening, many residents of the capital fled to the village to escape persecution. Talon, the previous proprietor of Lon Lon Ranch, also goes to Kakariko Village when Ingo evicts him. Before Link pulls the Master Sword, it is revealed that Impa wanted the village to be constructed into a "true city", and hired carpenters to do so — however, when Link returns seven years later, the carpenters are gone, and only one building has been made.

In Four Swords Adventures, Kakariko Village is overrun by thieves, and large parts of it are on fire.

In Twilight Princess, Kakariko Village is a barren wasteland inside a canyon. When Link reaches the village, its inhabitants have all been killed, or turned into Twilight creatures, with the exceptions of Renado, the village shaman, his daughter Luda, and Barnes, the owner of a bomb shop. The houses that line the path to Death Mountain are uninhabited and in disrepair. After Link saves the possessed leader of the Goron tribe, Darbus, Gorons come down to the village and help Link reach higher areas of the valley by launching him into the air from their backs. It is also revealed through the Zora queen, Rutela, that the graveyard of the village is sacred to the Zora, because it is a place of peace for them. The graveyard is also where most Zoras of royal blood go to be buried. Like the Gorons, Zora come to the village after Link comes to their aid, though they spend most of their times in the inn's hot spring.

Lake Hylia edit

Lake Hylia (ハイリア湖, Hairia-ko) is a large lake located in Hyrule. In most games, it is fed by a river which flows from a waterfall which flows from a mountain (usually Death Mountain).

In A Link to the Past, Lake Hylia is located in southeast Hyrule, and has a network of small caves coming off it. In the center of the lake is an island featuring a fairy pond inhabited by Venus, Queen of the Fairies, who upgrades Link's ability to carry bombs or arrows if given enough money. The lake itself is fed from Zora's River, which in turn flows from Death Mountain. The lake as it appears in this game resembles a maar.

In Ocarina of Time, Lake Hylia is a lake in the south of Hyrule, and is is fed by water from Zora's River. It is closed off by a gate which can be jumped over on horse back or ignored via a hidden ladder. There are numerous small islands in the lake linked by bridges, the largest containing the Water Temple. During the seven years of Link's sleep, Lake Hylia loses most of its water, due to the presence of Morpha inside the Water Temple. The water returns after Link slays Morpha, however. On the coast of the lake, there is a laboratory and access to a fishing pond.

Lake Hylia is the first level in Four Swords Adventures, and is located in the east of Hyrule. Unlike in other games, where Lake Hylia is a single body of water, this iteration is a series of small lakes connected by rivers.

In The Minish Cap, Lake Hylia is located in the east of Hyrule, and is sourced from Veil Falls, to the north. To the south is the Minish Woods, and to the west Lon Lon Ranch. The lake's most important feature is the Temple of Droplets, the fourth dungeon.

In Twilight Princess, Lake Hylia is one of the three major focal points of Lanayru Province. It is fed by Zora's River, which flows from Zora's Domain. Beneath the surface lies the Lakebed Temple, the motifs and location of which suggest it to be a renamed Water Temple. When Link first enters Lake Hylia in the Twilight Realm, it is almost completely drained of water, due to Zora's Domain being frozen over. On the southern edge of the lake lies the spring of the Light Spirit Lanayru. The Great Bridge of Hylia is the only way to cross Lake Hylia from Hyrule Field. The bridge connects with a rock islet. The lake itself, however, is noticeably deeper and larger than Ocarina of Time's, almost as large as Ocarina of Time's Hyrule Field, and is at the bottom of a large basin, which it barely fills halfway.

Lon Lon Ranch edit

Lon Lon Ranch (ロンロン牧場, Ron Ron Bokujō) is a ranch that appears in several games of the series.

In Ocarina of Time, Lon Lon Ranch is located in the center of Hyrule Field. The four main buildings are the house, the stables, the Cucco coop, and the storage shed. The ranch raises Cuccos, dairy cattle, and horses, including Epona. The interior of the ranch, which is the largest space, boasts a corral for training and raising the horses, where they also graze. The entire ranch is situated on a rocky plateau, and is protected by a high, wooden fence crowned by metal spires. The fence keeps out trespassers and intruders, while maintaining and protecting the livestock within.

When Link is a child, the ranch is owned by Talon and operated by him, his daughter Malon, and their hard-working ranch hand, Ingo. Seven years later, Link learns that Ganondorf has kicked Talon out, then transferred ownership of the ranch to Ingo. "The Fabulous Ingo's 'Ingo Ranch'" has actually prospered, but Malon is forced to work under Ingo, or else he will "treat the horses very badly." During Ganon's reign, Talon is forced to live elsewhere. Taking up residence in Kakariko Village, Talon copes with his depression over losing his daughter and ranch to Ingo by constantly sleeping.

When Link frees Epona and Malon from Ingo's holding, Talon returns home and promises to turn over a new leaf, and to "work hard from now on." Within days, Ingo mysteriously transforms into a nice person, and returns to work as a ranch hand. He and Talon befriend each other, and Malon's relationship with her father is restored and improved.

In Majora's Mask, Link finds Epona in a place called Romani Ranch, which is owned by two young women. One, Romani, looks like the child Malon in Ocarina of Time, and the other, Cremia, looks like the adult Malon. The music in the ranch is the same as the music in Lon Lon Ranch in Ocarina of Time, but without Malon's singing.

In The Minish Cap, Lon Lon Ranch remains much the same, but it is much smaller and only farms dairy cows. It is located to the east of Hyrule Town, instead of the center of Hyrule Field.

Lost Woods edit

Silhouette of Link in the Lost Woods

The Lost Woods (迷いの森, Mayoi no Mori) is a large, maze-like forest.

In The Legend of Zelda, the Lost Woods is a single-screen, repeating area filled with trees. The path forms a cross. It requires a certain pattern of directions (north, west, south, west) in order for the player to pass through successfully. If the player does not know the correct pattern, they are unable to reach western Hyrule without crossing the river north of the large lake.

In A Link to the Past, the Lost Woods is located in the northwestern section of Hyrule, directly north of Kakariko Village. The Master Sword is placed in a large hidden shrine, though numerous fakes are also present. The dark shadows of the trees are also good growing conditions for the Sleepy Mushroom, which can be turned into Magic Powder. The Lost Woods is also inhabited by several thieves, who won't hesitate to rob passersby of their Rupees, should they come too close.

In Link's Awakening, the "Mysterious Forest" is found just north of the village of Mabe. Link's Awakening is set on Koholint Island rather than Hyrule, so these are not the same Lost Woods as are seen in other Zelda games, hence the name change. However, it is likely the forest was inspired by, and intended to remind players of, the Lost Woods.

In Ocarina of Time, the Lost Woods lies directly to the west and north of Kokiri Forest, and is inhabited by Skull Kids. It is a maze of trees that can be navigated by following the sound of Saria's Song. Taking a wrong path leads the player back to the entrance in Kokiri Forest. Portals to Goron City and Zora's River are hidden within the Lost Woods. Located in the northern portion of the woods is the Sacred Forest Meadow. This is the favorite haunt of Saria, Link's friend and the Forest Sage. It is also where the Forest Temple is hidden. According to local lore, whoever enters the forest will turn into a Stalfos (if Hylian) or a Skull Kid (if Kokiri). A Gossip Stone reveals that only Kokiri who have fairy partners may enter the forest and not become lost.

In Majora's Mask, the game begins in the Lost Woods, where Link is ambushed by the Skull Kid. The Terminan equivalent of the Lost Woods is the "Woods of Mystery", located in the Southern Swamp. As with Ocarina of Time, the player must take the correct path through the woods. If they go the wrong way, they are returned to the entrance of the woods. The Woods of Mystery featured a different path on each of the three days in the game's cycle. However, it was possible for a monkey to guide Link through the woods, should he ever need to reach the end. Unlike the Lost Woods from Ocarina of Time, the Woods of Mystery had a minor role in the story, as Link only had to explore the Woods of Mystery to help Koume and, optionally, look for mushrooms with the Mask of Scents.

In Oracle of Seasons, an area called the Lost Woods is the location of the Noble Sword, though it is obviously a different Lost Woods, seeing as the game is set in the land of Holodrum, not Hyrule.

The Lost Woods do not appear in The Wind Waker, as the forest was submerged when the gods flooded Hyrule. Instead, the "Forbidden Woods" appear — however, it is a dungeon, rather than a labyrinth-like overworld area. Early in the game, a Korok also mentions that his race had lived there in the past, until it became overrun by monsters, and they were forced to leave. The boss creature of the dungeon is a plant-monster named Kalle Demos. Also, as mentioned in the Death Mountain section, the map loosely resembles that of Ocarina of Time; the Forbidden Woods are in the southeastern area, much like the map in Ocarina of Time.

The Lost Woods do not appear in The Minish Cap. Instead, a place called "Minish Woods" exists adjacent to Lake Hylia.

The Lost Woods do not appear in Twilight Princess either, but the "Sacred Grove" shares its convoluted design and lack of a mini-map, making it easy to confuse players, and the music is similar to Ocarina of Time's Lost Woods. It is also the residence of a Skull Kid, along with the ruins of a Temple of Time. Link also finds the Master Sword in a forest clearing within the ruins of the temple, which resembles the area in the Lost Woods where the Master Sword was found in A Link to the Past.

By game edit

The Legend of Zelda edit

A map of Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda
Physical geography edit

In the first game, The Legend of Zelda, Death Mountain is located in the north, and the major body of water is in the center of the land, the Lost Woods are in the southwest, a graveyard is in the far west, and some desert regions are in the northeast. A large portion of the map in the southeast is forested, and there are no obvious plains. The reason there are no towns is because Ganon's creatures have swept the land, ravaging the southern region of the kingdom, with the approximate site of the graveyard roughly geographically corresponding to the location of Kakariko Village in A Link to the Past. In Hyrulean legends, it is said that once Ganon's army invaded, all the settlements and people moved north, beyond Death Mountain, as seen in The Adventure of Link. Many towns exist in the north of Hyrule in the game, with the North Castle being where the royalty resides.

Human geography edit

In this area, there is no Hyrule Castle, and all the people Link encounters are elderly, and live in caves or dungeons. In The Adventure of Link, which occurs immediately afterward chronologically, towns were introduced to the series for the first time.

Races and governments edit

The only friendly creatures encountered in The Legend of Zelda are humans, in the form of old men, old women, and shopkeepers. There is a race known as the Zola, which was a mistranslation of the "Zora" race in many other Zelda games, but in this game they are only portrayed as enemies.

The Adventure of Link edit

File:180px-Zelda2 west continent.png
A map of the Western Continent of Hyrule during The Adventure of Link

The Adventure of Link takes place north of the locations of The Legend of Zelda. The expanded Hyrule is divided by sea into two main continents (called the Eastern and Western Continents), and supports at least eight towns. Five of the towns bear the same names of sages from Ocarina of Time (Rauru, Ruto, Saria, Nabooru, and Darunia). Another town, Mido, shares the name of a bossy character in Ocarina of Time's Kokiri Forest.

A Link to the Past edit

A map of Hyrule in A Link to the Past

In A Link to the Past, Hyrule's geography has changed once again. Death Mountain is still on the northern border of Hyrule, with the Lost Woods at its base in the northwest and Zora's River at its base in the northeast. This was the first The Legend of Zelda game to feature Hyrule Castle, which lies in the central fields of the kingdom. Lake Hylia is located in the southeast border of the map, and the Desert of Mystery covers the southwestern corner, with the Great Swamp between them. The main human settlement of Hyrule is Kakariko Village, surrounded by forest on the western side of Hyrule.

There are three prominent temples spread across this Hyrule. The Eastern Palace lies on the far eastern border of Hyrule, north of Lake Hylia, the Desert Palace lies deep in the Desert of Mystery, and the Tower of Hera stands atop the highest peaks of Death Mountain. Each of these temples holds one of the sacred Pendants. There is also a Haunted Grove south-west of the castle where the Flute Boy plays his instrument, and a Sacred Grove deep in the Lost Woods where the Master Sword is hidden.

Ocarina of Time edit

Physical geography edit

The land of Hyrule in the time of Ocarina of Time is very diverse. The landscape is dominated by a large volcanic mountain range and its principal volcano, Death Mountain, in the northeast of the country. To the far west is a large area of desert, known as the Haunted Wasteland, bordered by a canyon, named Gerudo Valley that is a feeder river for a large lake, Lake Hylia in the southwest. Immediately east of Lake Hylia is a large woodland area, known as the Lost Woods. The major water source in Hyrule is the Zora's River, which flows in almost a circle, starting at at Zora's Fountain, forking into Hyrule Castle Town, and into the Lost Woods, where part of the river can be seen in Kokiri Forest. It then flows from Hyrule Castle Town, through Gerudo Valley and into Lake Hylia. The center region of the country is occupied by Hyrule Field, with a hill at its center, on which Lon Lon Ranch is located.

A map of Hyrule in Ocarina of Time
Political geography edit

Human activity in Hyrule has been somewhat limited. There is evidence of farming, by the Magic Beans of Ocarina of Time, though the bean salesman says they aren't selling very well. The Hyrulian economy, judging from the state of Hyrule Castle, seems fairly strong, but dependent on fisheries and trade.

Several settlements have sprung up around Hyrule, the capital generally being based around Hyrule Castle, with other major settlements such as Kakariko Village and various settlements created by races such as the Gorons, Zoras, Gerudo, Kokiri, and others. The Gorons are known to be secluded, and separated from the rest of Hyrule, being high atop Death Mountain, and unreachable by many citizens; the Gerudo people of Ocarina of Time bar access to their settlement, the only entrance to them being a single rope bridge spanning a deep valley, and the Zora only allow entry to their domain by those serving the Royal Family. The Kokiri hold beliefs forbidding them from leaving the forest, and strangers who enter are cursed by the woods into becoming monsters. Some major buildings in Hyrule include Hyrule Castle and the Temple of Time.

The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass edit

By the time of The Wind Waker in the series' mythos, Hyrule has been flooded by a deluge, and has become the Great Sea. Only a collection of mountaintops are still visible above the water, and these form the 65 islands and archipelagos of the Great Sea. The largest of these are Outset Island, Windfall Island, the Forest Haven, the Forsaken Fortress, Mercay Island, Molida Island, and the Isle of Ruins. Some of these islands are references to locations in the Hyrule of other parts of the series, and bear similarities to these places in their locations, cultures and inhabitants.[7] Due to the relatively small size of many of the islands, there are large expanses of ocean between each island, making travel time-consuming until alternate means of travel can be obtained.

Due to the vast nature of the sea, most navigation requires the use of charts. Both The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass have a main Sea Chart which maps the entire area of the Great Sea playable in that game, though neither of them are initially filled in; The Wind Waker requires Link to find and feed Fishmen, who will fill out one of the 49 sections in return (though this is not required to progress in the game), while Phantom Hourglass forces Link to obtain the four sections of its chart by exploring the Temple of the Ocean King. This is a main part of the storyline, as unlike The Wind Waker, these areas can not be explored without the corresponding section of the Sea Chart.

There are also various other charts that Link may find as treasure, or through side-quests, that reveal the locations of sunken treasure or important areas.

Twilight Princess edit

A map of Hyrule in the Nintendo GameCube version of Twilight Princess. The map on the Wii version is a mirror image.

In Twilight Princess, many locations are carried over from Ocarina of Time and other games, although they have been completely redone. Hyrule Castle and Hyrule Castle Town now sit in the middle of the map, surrounded by Hyrule Field, which has been broken up into multiple locations. In addition, the kingdom has now been divided into six political provinces, four of which have been named after their respective light spirits (who have names similar to the goddesses in Ocarina of Time). Other locations include Kakariko Village and Death Mountain, in the Eldin Province, to the east, Ordon Village and Faron Woods, in the Ordona and Faron Provinces respectively, to the south, Zora's Domain to the north, and Lake Hylia, Gerudo Desert and Snowpeak to the west (all locations are mirrored on the Wii version). The Ordona Province is referred to as an annex, and some still refer to it as neighbouring region that is not part of Hyrule itself.

Zora's River (most of which is only accessible during minigames) runs from Zora's Domain to Lake Hylia through a very deep gorge that partially surrounds the eastern section of Hyrule Field. Lake Hylia itself lies far below the western section of Hyrule Field. Notably, Lon Lon Ranch is absent from this game, and the Temple of Time, which, in Ocarina of Time, was located in Hyrule Castle Town to the north, is now found in ruins in the Faron Woods to the south of the map.

For control reasons, the east and west directions in the GameCube and Wii versions of the game are inverted, as the Wii version of the game was mirrored from the original GameCube version. As a result, the Wii version had a considerably altered geographic location of many landmarks in the game (in comparison to previous games).

References edit

  1. Template:Cite video game
  2. A Link to the Past, Japanese Manual: In books left behind for their Hyrulian descendants by the race once closest to the gods, the Hylians (the root word for Hyrule), it is written that the three gods, the "god of power", the "god of wisdom," and the "god of courage," created the state of heaven and earth. (かつて神に最も近い民 族とされたハイリア人(ハイラルの語源でもあります)が、ハイラルの子孫に残した書物の中に三人の神々「力の神」「知恵の神」「勇気の神」による天地創造の様子が書かれています。)
  3. Omniglot.com Ocarina of Time Hylian. Obtained May 28, 2007.
  4. IGN.com Article on Hylian. Obtained May 28, 2007.
  5. Omniglot.com The Wind Waker Hylian. Obtained May 28, 2007.
  6. Omniglot.com Twilight Princess Hylian. Obtained May 28, 2007.
  7. For example, Dragon Roost Island is in the same general area as Death Mountain Crater in Ocarina of Time, and both are large volcanoes that grow the only Bomb Flowers in the overworld.