Zelda franchise strategy guide/Locations/Hyrule Castle

Hyrule Castle (ハイラル城, Hairaru-jō) is the home of the royal family of Hyrule, a mythical land in The Legend of Zelda games. The castle first appears in A Link to the Past, the third 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. There are grounds for speculation that the castle is actually a different castle in each game, or that it is the same castle but was changed in each game for aesthetic or gameplay purposes.

Though the appearance and architecture of Hyrule Castle vary somewhat, several aspects have remained consistent throughout multiple Legend of Zelda titles. For one, it has consistently sported the appearance of a generic European castle. In most of the more recent Legend of Zelda titles, Hyrule Castle is portrayed as a white (and sometimes gray) castle with tall, angular spires and green or purple rooftops, as can be seen in the various pictures below.

Game appearances edit

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

The Legend of Zelda edit

Though there is no actual "Hyrule Castle" in this game, the central location of the fourth dungeon, along with its moat-like surroundings has led to speculation that it may be the ruins of Hyrule Castle.

The Adventure of Link edit

Again, no formal Hyrule Castle is seen in this game, but its equivalent is generally thought to be the North Castle, the resting place of Princess Zelda. Though it does not appear to be at the same central location as the true Hyrule Castles, it is the only "friendly" palace in the game and is surrounded by the traditional moat.

A Link to the Past edit

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

The third game in the series was the first to name a location Hyrule Castle. 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.

In the Dark World/Golden Land, Hyrule Castle becomes the Pyramid of Power where Ganon received the Triforce.

Ocarina of Time edit

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. 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, 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). Hyrule Castle is later destroyed and replaced by Ganon's Castle.

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

The castle and its surrounding area is the arguably most prominent and important place in the game, housing the Temple of Time, a town, many of the game's plot twists, and the game's final bosses, Ganon and Ganondorf. Surrounded by a small village, drawbridge, and moat, it models the stereotypical monarchial or feudalist castle. The king of Hyrule is never seen in the game, although Ganondorf is seen inside the castle at one point, apparently pledging allegiance to the King. The Castles defences are relatively minimal, as it is designed more as a residence then as a fortress, and due to the long peace that Hyrule had enjoyed, large levels of security where generally un-needed. Unfortunatly this made Ganondorfs "coup" relatively simple, with the castle surrendering shortly after it was attacked.

Most of the castle is never seen or explored. The extensive castle gardens and the castle courtyard are the only areas available to explore. The castle courtyard serves several purposes, both as introducing the characters of Princess Zelda and Impa, and as a staging point for embarking on the next series of quests. One curious feature of the courtyard is the paintings of several Nintendo characters, including Mario and Yoshi, as can be seen through one window.

The Beta Quest, a game mode unlockable through usage of a Gameshark, reveals the complete Triforce hidden under the courtyard. This find, although not an answer to obtaining the Triforce sought by gamers, was an interesting twist to players' understanding of the game's original intent to make the Triforce an obtainable item.

File:Hyrule Castle Four Swords Adventures.jpg
Hyrule Castle from Four Swords Adventures.

Four Swords Adventures edit

Hyrule Castle lies just south of Death Mountain, somewhat near the center of Hyrule (seemingly a combination of its locations in A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time).

The interior is very similar to its A Link to the Past incarnation, while the exterior (shown) is based on that in The Wind Waker.

The Minish Cap edit

File:Hyrulecastle minishcap.png
Screenshot of Hyrule Castle in The Minish Cap.

Hyrule Castle has a fairly large presence in the game. 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 Hyrule Castle. As the story progresses, Vaati disguises himself as the king, making getting into the Elemental Sanctuary more difficult, requiring some stealth to make it in successfully. Finally, toward the game's completion, Vaati transforms the entire castle into Dark Hyrule Castle, which is much larger than normal Hyrule Castle and is by far the most difficult dungeon in the game.

The Wind Waker edit

Hyrule Castle in The Wind Waker.

Hyrule Castle, at first frozen in time, is situated under the Great Sea and accessible at the site of the Tower of the Gods. Only the main hall, which contains a secret passage to a room where the Master Sword is found, and a small courtyard may be visited. When Link takes the Master Sword, the castle and the land around it unfreezes. Enemies who were assaulting the castle at the time it was frozen reawaken and must be defeated. As time continues in the game, an area outside the castle is made accessible for Link to explore. In the basement room housing the Master Sword, 9 stained glass windows depict the Triforce, Ganondorf, and the six sages from Ocarina of Time. The music played in this Hyrule castle can be heard again in Twilight Princess, in the flashback of Zant attacking the castle.

Twilight Princess edit

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

Hyrule Castle plays a central role in Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, both geographically and plot-wise. Located in the center of Lanayru Province, 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, although it is a relatively short dungeon compared to the rest. In this dungeon, a small contingent of ghosts appear when Link's heightened wolf senses are used to help Link on certain puzzles-in one room, they point to a painting that must be shot with a bomb arrow; in another, Link must follow the pointing fingers of Hyrule's undead elite, as deviating from the path they indicate places link on floors that will drop out from under him.

After transforming into a wolf, Link is thrown into the castle dungeon, but escapes with Midna to Princess Zelda's chamber, where Zelda explains the castle was overrun by twilight creatures led by Zant. Later in the game, a force field surrounds the castle. At the end of the game, the true nature of the force field is explained. Ganondorf has returned to Hyrule and captured the castle. The final fight with Ganondorf partly takes place in the throne room of the castle, where the first two phases of the battle are fought--Ganondorf first possesses Zelda, but Link is able to defeat him without harming her. Ganondorf then takes the form of a raging boar. After Ganon's exterior form is destroyed, his "spirit" battles Midna, and as a result, the castle seemingly explodes. Ganondorf survives, reforms himself into his true Gerudo form, and the rest of the battle takes place in Hyrule Field.

While it appears to be destroyed in a cutscene near the end of the game, it is seen intact in the credit sequence, possibly rebuilt or restored by the light spirits. The Hyrule Castle throne room itself is seen in pristine condition.

Breath of the Wild edit

Hyrule Castle lies in ruins in the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Super Smash Bros. edit

Hyrule Castle also appears as an arena in Super Smash Bros., but not in the sequel, Super Smash Bros. Melee, where it was replaced by Hyrule Temple. The Hyrule Castle in Super Smash Bros. is the one present in Ocarina of Time, which at the time was the latest The Legend of Zelda game. The Hyrule Temple in Melee is seemingly based off of the general layout of the temple dungeons in The Adventure of Link, including what could be an "elevator" at the bottom.