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The Great Plateau is a location from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It is a small region of the Central Hyrule province and the first region discovered and visited by Link after his awakening from the Shrine of Resurrection. However it is actually considered a small isolated part of the larger Hyrule Field region which makes up most of Central Hyrule. According to the Old Man, it is the birthplace of the entire kingdom of Hyrule. The Great Plateau is a secluded piece of land separated from the rest of Hyrule by its massive height and large walls. The plateau is the only place void of fully functional Guardians, although there are Decayed Guardians near an area of the plateau that will reactivate and attack if Link tries to approach and the remains of several Guardian Stalkers can be found on the Plateau revealing it did not escape the Great Calamity as even the Temple of Time suffered damage though its ruins still stand. The Great Plateau Tower is buried deep underground, surrounded by rubble and debris. When activated, it will rise high above the ground and trigger the rise of all the other Sheikah Towers throughout Hyrule. After the tower's activation, Link completes his first four Shrines and obtains his first four Runes for the Sheikah Slate.

Overview

Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.

The Great Plateau region itself is located near the center of Hyrule, southwest of Hyrule Field and northwest of Lake Hylia regions. The Shrine of Resurrection is located there. The ruins of the Temple of Time are located within this region southeast of the Forest of Spirits, and the Eastern Abbey east of the Temple of Time. The Temple of Time contains a Goddess Statue, which Link can pray to. According to the Old Man, the place was the site of many sacred ceremonies before the Great Calamity. The Woodcutter's House is found south of the Temple of Time; this is where the Old Man lives. Owa Daim Shrine is found atop the cliffs near this area. In addition to Woodcutter's House, the Old Man has created several camps, one near the Shrine of Resurrection and another in the Forest of Spirits. Mount Hylia is located in the southwest portion of the plateau near the River of the Dead, and the Keh Namut Shrine lies at its northern edge. While most areas of the Great Plateau are temperate, Mount Hylia and the River of the Dead zones are cold and snowy.

Breath of the Wild Locations Great Plateau (Forest of Spirits)

Link overlooking the Great Plateau

The Eastern Abbey contains the Ja Baij Shrine surrounded by several decayed Guardians who will attack if approached. North of the Eastern Abbey is a steppe-like region where the Great Plateau Tower lies dormant until its awakening. Still further north is where the Oman Au Shrine may be found. Like most regions of Hyrule, several Koroks can be discovered all over the Plateau to be rewarded with Korok Seeds. As it is isolated from the rest of Hyrule, there are no horses to be found and Link is unable to summon Epona using the amiibo Rune within the Plateau itself. However, the Amiibo Rune can be used to summon Wolf Link, though Link must acquire a single rune to activate the Amiibo Rune functionality.

The Plateau contains minor enemies such as Chuchus and Bokoblins. Keese and Stalkoblin also appear on the Plateau at night. White Chuchus and Ice Keese inhabit the cold areas of Plateau. A Stone Talus can be found in a small clearing in the Forest of Spirits. As Link progresses through the game and defeats enemies, Black and Silver Bokoblins will start to appear on the Great Plateau, making travel through the region slightly more dangerous. However the Plateau contains may items that respawn making it useful to stock up on basic supplies and weapons. Additionally Link can use the Bed in the Woodcutter's House as a place to sleep for free (at least until he purchases his house in Hateno Village or gains access to free bed in East Reservoir Lake, or the free Inn in Tarrey Town or Great Deku Tree's Navel in Korok Forest) and home base while visiting the Great Plateau.

Quest

After awakening in the Shrine of Resurrection, acquiring the Sheikah Slate, and encountering the Old Man, Link receives his first main quest "The Isolated Plateau". He is guided to the Great Plateau Tower and must activate it. The Old Man directs Link to find the four Shrines of the Great Plateau and return him back their treasures, the Spirit Orbs. He then reveals himself to be the spirit of King Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule and tells more about the past events. After requesting Link to seek out the Sheikah Impa at Kakariko Village, he offers the paraglider allowing Link to leave the plateau.

As part of The Champions' Ballad DLC, during "EX Champions' Ballad" Link discovers the Shrine of Resurrection is home to the Final Trial located inside a fifth unnamed Divine Beast overseen by Monk Maz Koshia who sends Link on a quest to defeat the four Scourges of the Divine Beasts once more in an Illusionary Realm before facing the monk himself in a boss battle as Link's final test. Upon defeating the monk he awards Link the Master Cycle Zero. Additionally Kass thanks Link for helping complete his mentor's unfinished work The Champions' Ballad by giving him the Picture of the Champions, a printed Camera Rune picture of the Champions taken before the Great Calamity that Kass inherited from his unnamed Sheikah mentor. Link places the picture next to his bed in Link's House.

Background History

According to the Old Man, the Great Plateau was the birthplace of the Kingdom of Hyrule thus was where Hyrule was originally founded which is supported by the Temple of Time which in Ocarina of Time granted access to the Sacred Realm where the holy Triforce rested after the Creation of Hyrule by the Golden Goddesses. The Old Man states that before the Great Calamity, people made pilgrimages to the Temple of Time to pray and hold religious rituals. According to Zelda's Research Notes, Princess Zelda and her Sheikah research team uncovered the Shrine of Resurrection on the Plateau before the Great Calamity.

Purah and Zelda discovered it was an ancient Sheikah medical facility created to treat soldiers injured fighting Calamity Ganon. Zelda decided to restore the old facility back to working order though hoped they would not need to use it. The fact it existed deeply affected the Princess, who wondered as to what injuries could be severe enough to warrant such a facility and just how dangerous a foe Calamity Ganon actually was. Unbeknownst to her or Purah, the Plateau concealed the buried Great Plateau Tower, which could power the four other Shrines on the Plateau as well as cause a chain reaction that would cause other towers and Shrines to activate across Hyrule.

Additionally the Shrine of Resurrection concealed a fifth unnamed Divine Beast, where Monk Maz Koshia awaited to give the Hero the Final Trial. Unfortunately Zelda's father put an end to her research efforts to force her to focus on training to unlock her latent divine sealing powers. Unfortunately she failed to unlock them at the Spring of Wisdom and Calamity Ganon attacked Hyrule Castle. Corrupting the Guardians and four Divine Beasts that defeated him previously, Ganon laid waste to much of Central Hyrule killing Link and Zelda's fellow Champions and King Rhoam who had ironically begun to reconsider his treatment of Zelda and allow her research to continue when she returned from Mount Lanayru.

Link was injured defending Zelda from Guardians though was saved when Zelda's power awoke only for Link to collapse on the verge of death. Fortunately the ancient Spirit of the Master Sword revealed to Zelda that Link could be saved reminding her of the ancient medical facility. After being found by two Sheikah warriors, Zelda insisted Link be taken to the Shrine of Resurrection on Great Plateau. Purah and her subordinate Robbie were entrusted with the task while Impa took possession of Link's Champion's Tunic. Zelda gave Impa instructions and a message to give to Link while giving Purah the Sheikah Slate to place in the Shrine with Link as it contained pictures restore Link's memory should the untested Slumber of Restoration rob Link of his memories.

Zelda was apparently unaware the Sheikah Slate was specifically designed for the Chosen Hero. Zelda entrusted the Master Sword to the Great Deku Tree and sealed both herself and Ganon in Hyrule Castle. Link slumbered in the Shrine for a century under the watch of King Rhoam's spirit which took the form of an old woodcutter living alone on the isolated Great Plateau. The Great Calamity did end up exposing the Great Plateau Tower's Guidance Stone. A century later Link was awakened by Zelda's telepathic plea to awakened as her seal on Ganon was growing weaker. Though mostly healed, his slumber left Link in a weakened amnesiac state.

King Rhoam unsure of how to approach Link, befriended him using his Old Man alter-ego. Link also activated the Great Plateau Tower causing it to rise completely. At the top, he saw Ganon attempt to break free though Zelda managed to restore the seal before pleading with Link to hurry and remember his forgotten past. The Old Man guided Link to four Shrines on the Plateau promising Link his Paraglider in return for the Spirit Orbs located in each Shrine. However this was merely a test to introduce Link to the Shrine trials and give him time to regain and hone his fighting skills and prepare him for more trials in the future.

After obtaining all four, King Rhoam reveals his true identity at the Temple of Time and gives Link the Paraglider along with two quests before disappearing from the Plateau leaving behind a final entry in The Old Man's Diary as a message for Link explaining and apologizing for his deception. Afterwards Link is directed to pray to the temple's Goddess Statue which causes Hylia to reveal the Spirit Orbs are offerings he can trade for a Heart Container or a Stamina Vessel for every four Spirit Orbs ye acquires.

Afterwards Link leaves the Great Plateau to save Hyrule and Zelda from Ganon. Purah later deduces Link activating the Great Plateau Tower caused the other towers to rise up restoring power to the Shrines and that the Sheikah Slate was originally intended to aid him on his quest thus she and Zelda didn't even understand the basics of their purpose and function, though the Great Plateau Tower ironically only became accessible due to the Great Calamity.

Ultimately Zelda and Purah's research of the Shrine of Resurrection saved not only Link, but Hyrule itself by saving the one person capable of defeating Calamity Ganon and the Scourges of the Divine Beasts. Thus Hyrule's birthplace played a key role in the kingdom's rebirth a century after the Great Calamity.

Spoiler warning: Spoilers end here.

Theories

Theory warning: This section contains theoretical information based on the research of one or several other users. It has not been officially verified by Nintendo and its factual accuracy is disputed.

The Old Man says that the Great Plateau is the birthplace of Hyrule. One possible conclusion to draw from this statement is that the Plateau may be in fact be Skyloft from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. However, the lack of landmarks resembling those from Skyloft means the Old Man may have meant something entirely different, although this can be attributed to the long period of time between Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild.

It is speculated, essentially during the early builds and presentations of the game, that the Great Plateau could be the part of the ruins of Hyrule Castle Town from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time where stood the Temple of Time now ruined, and because of other landmarks like the ruined fountain and structures around the plateau. Also the ruined stoned archway leading to the Eastern Abbey could be what has left of the gate Link sneaked pass to get to Hyrule Castle in Ocarina of Time.

Theory warning: Theories end here.

Multilanguage

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 始まりの台地 (Hajimari No Daichi) Plateau of the Beginning
Dutch Vergeten Hoogvlakte Forgotten Plateau
French (Canadian) Plateau de l'Éveil Plateau of Awakening
French (EU) Plateau du Prélude Plateau of the Beginning
German Vergessenes Plateau Forgotten Plateau
Italian Altopiano delle Origini Plateau of Origins
Russian Великое плато (Velikoye plato) Great Plateau
Spanish Meseta de los albores Plateau of the Dawn