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Universe of The Legend of Zelda

The universe of The Legend of Zelda is a fictional universe depicted in The Legend of Zelda series of video games. It consists of a variety of lands, the most commonly appearing of these being . The universe was created by Shigeru Miyamoto, a video game developer for Nintendo.

Hyrule

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

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. The realm itself was eventually named after its dominant race, the Hylia.

Hylian language

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 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.

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. The script used in The Wind Waker is also used on tombstones in Kakariko Village Graveyard.

Currency

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.

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.

Demographics and government

Hylian geography

Recurring areas

Death Mountain 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.

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 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 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 is a desert area 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.Hyrule Field 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. Kakariko Village 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 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.Lost Woods

The 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.

Great Sea

By the time of The Wind Waker in the series' mythos, Hyrule has been flooded by a deluge, and has become the . 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. 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.

On the islands of the Great Sea, local commerce is quite advanced. Most of the food is gathered from fishing and small farms, though there are also active merchant, salvage, and shipbuilding businesses.

There are only a few major towns on the Great Sea, foremost of which is Windfall Island. Prior to the events of the game, a large group of pirates competing with Tetra's crew thrived on the island that is now the Forsaken Fortress. However, they were wiped out by Tetra's pirates some time before the events of The Wind Waker, when Ganondorf made it his base of operations.

Cultural impact

References

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