Hyrule Castle as it appears in Twilight Princess
|First appearance||A Link to the Past (1991)|
|Inhabitants||Royal Family of Hyrule|
Hyrule Castle is the home of the Royal Family of Hyrule, a mythical land in the popular Nintendo video game series The Legend of Zelda. The castle's first appearance was in the game The Legend of Zelda: 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.
The castle itself is prone to conflict not only because it houses the head of Hyrule's government, but also because its security is often less than impenetrable. In fact in many of the games Link took advantage of this and was able to sneak into the castle despite all of the security. Hyrule Castle is fairly important in most of the games it has appeared in and is often shown as a dungeon or a level within these games.
The third game in the series was the first to name and give a location to 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 find entrance via a secret passage on the eastern side of the castle. It has a total of six floors and features a courtyard and a moat.
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 another moat and a drawbridge which lowers only during the day. Beyond Hyrule Castle Town is a path which leads 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. However, it was apparently rebuilt, as Hyrule Castle is seen in The Wind Waker, which continues from adult Link's time.
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 bribing or otherwise influencing the king to support his plans. Along with the poor castle defense and the subsequent sack of Hyrule Castle, the entire ruling body of Hyrule is generally made out to seem powerless against him. This is a common theme throughout the Zelda games, leaving room for Link to quest and make right that which the kingdom cannot.
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 Princess Zelda and Impa into the game, 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, which can be seen through one window. hyrule castle is really never explored, though you may be courious whats inside complain to the game creators
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.
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).
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. Dark Hyrule castle is larger in size, and more puzzling in interior, and is considered the most difficult dungeon in the game.
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.
The area in and around Hyrule Castle has changed quite a lot since the earlier games. Although it is common for each game to have different settings (so as not to have the same kind of games), the changes here are worth noting. First of all, Ganon's Tower is not only a different tower from Hyrule Castle, but is only a short walk away from it. Furthermore, the Master Sword is kept in a secret passage under the main chamber, whereas it is normally kept in a fairly known (though unreachable) place (behind the Door of Time). It is also seen to be situated on an island at the heart of Lake Hylia and connected to the mainland via one bridge.
The change in interior from Hyrule Castle is very well possible if one follows the Split Time Theory. The original castle was destroyed in Ocarina of Time, so the new one could have been any shape and size. This also poses the possibility that the Temple of Time was finally destroyed, since the Master Sword has changed locations.
Hyrule Castle plays a fairly important role in the Twilight Princess. Hyrule Castle looks similar to the Wind Waker’s version of the castle with small pointy spires jutting out from its roof and a large bridge connecting it with the surrounding area. It is also the source of the Twilight that is infecting Hyrule. Inside the castle is Princess Zelda, who is being held prisoner by Zant. Early in the game, Link is transformed into a wolf by Twilight and is thrown into the castle dungeon by Shadow beasts. The player escapes, though, with the help of Midna.
Ganondorf's spirit overtakes the castle after he escapes the Twilight Realm through Zant. The castle is surrounded with a force field that blocks any access. After Zant's death, Ganondorf uses Zant's power to resurrect himself, giving himself his body back. The Castle is the last dungeon of the game, with the boss being Ganondorf himself, in two different forms: possessed Zelda, and Dark Beast Ganon, his boar form. After the dark beast form, Midna and Ganondorf battle in the castle and warp Link and Zelda to Hyrule Field, and much of the castle is destroyed in an explosion. Ganondorf rides out into Hyrule Field on horseback; he has defeated Midna. The player then fights him on horseback and in a sword duel, in the end, Link runs the Master Sword into Ganon's chest. The castle is last seen during the credits sequence, revealing that it was rebuilt.
If one looks closely, the area outside of the castle is, in truth, exactly the same as it appeared in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, except developed. Also, before one goes into the room where Link fights Ganon, if one looks in the direction of the south part of the scenery with the Hawkeye, one can see a total of four identical towers with strange runes shining on it.
Non-Zelda series appearances
Super Smash Bros.
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. Super Smash Bros. Hyrule Castle was based on the top of Ocarina of Time's Hyrule Castle, only edited to add platforms to the largest pillar. The Hyrule Temple in Melee is seemingly a combination of various Zelda temples and castles.
| Ezlo · King Daltus · Link · Princess Zelda · Smith · Vaati|
—Full list of characters
|Big Green ChuChu · Gleerok · Mazaal · Big Octorok · Gyorg Pair · Vaati Reborn · Vaati Transfigured · Vaati's Wrath|
| Castor Wilds · Cloud Tops · Eastern Hills · Hyrule Town · Lake Hylia · Lon Lon Ranch · Minish Woods · Mount Crenel · Mt. Crenel's Base · North Hyrule Field · Royal Valley · South Hyrule Field · Trilby Highlands · Veil Falls · Western Wood · Wind Ruins|
|Deepwood Shrine · Cave of Flames · Fortress of Winds · Temple of Droplets · Royal Crypt · Palace of Winds · Dark Hyrule Castle|
|Smith's Sword · White Sword · Four Sword · Small Shield · Mirror Shield · Bombs · Boomerang · Bow · Cane of Pacci · Gust Jar|
|Bottle · Flame Lantern · Flippers · Grip Ring · Mole Mitts · Ocarina of Wind · Power Bracelets · Roc's Cape|
|Elements · Kinstones · Tiger Scrolls|
|Deku · Fairy · Goron · Human · Hylian · Minish · Wind Tribe|