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The Legend is section of the Link to the Past Nintendo Player's Guide that covers the back story of all the Zelda games up to the release of that game. It was continued and expanded on both the Link's Awakening and Ocarina of Time Player's Guide as well as the Hyrule Universe website. They (along with Hyrule Historia) are written from the conceit of being based on in-universe encyclopedia documents and discussions by Hyrule scholars, storytellers, and historians concerning 'legends' found in the Castle's library (Hyrule Archives).
...explores the lands, heroes, and mysteries of Hyrule in an encyclopedic format that adds to the richness of the...experience...look back in time to an age of adventure learn about the people and places of Hyrulian culture...access the largest body of knowledge ever collected on the magical implements and enemies of that time. Full maps of both worlds have been included to help the modern-day adventurer along with reconstructions of many dungeons and palaces of ancient Hyrule. For those interested in the epic struggle between Link, Zelda and ganon, illustrated histories reveal all that is known....a treasure trove of trivia on the lives and times of the Hyrulians.
- Link's first call to adventure came in The Legend of Zelda when he had to rescue the Princess.
- The Adventur eof Link forced the hero to confront a new destiny.
- In The Legend of Zelda-A Link to the Past, the epic history of Link is revealed.
The Legend of Zelda
Although The Legend of Zelda appeared first in the series of Zelda adventures, it actually takes place many years after the third game. In this time, Hyrule had declined, becoming a rustic land with few remaining signs of its earlier glory. The land was overrun, and Ganon was to blame. At the heart of the conflict lay a missing piece of Triforce and Princess Zelda.
Of how Ganon came by the Triforce of Power no tale is told. When she discovered that Ganon had acquired a piece of the Triforce, though, Princess Zelda broke the Triforce of Wisdom into eight pieces and hid them. She knew a hero was needed to challenge Ganon, so she sent her nurse, Impa, to search throughout the land, even as Zelda herself was captured.
During her quest, Impa long evaded Ganon's reach, but in a forest glade she too fell into his clutches and would have been carried off if it not ffor the heroic actions of a passing youth named Link. Once the villains had been driven away, Impa told the young man about Zelda's secret. Then, unable to hold back her tears, she told him how the princess had been taken captive.
No sooner had the youth heard the tale of Zelda's sorrow than he pledged to defeat Ganon and rescue the Princess. He set off at once knowing only that he had to collect the eight pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom. At every turn in the path he met monsters and other evil soldiers of Ganon who challenged him in battle.
Link's first task was to find the hidden dungeons where Zelda had secretly hidden the divided Triforce. Many of the entrances were disguised, and only by using all of his wits and the scraps of hints that he picked up along the way was he able to succeed. Inside the dungeons, he met countless enemies, for Ganon's minions had taken hold of even the most remote chambers.
After countless adventures, Link gathered all eight pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom, then he scaled Death Mountain and gained entrance to Spectacle Rock. Ganon's great maze dwarfed any that Link had yet encountered. In a hidden chamber, he discovered a magical Silver Arrow and, taking the prize, he traced his way through the maze until he came face-to-face with Ganon himself. The battle between youthful hero and vlllainous foe raged across the chamber, but Ganon remained invisible (sic), seemingly unaffected by the cuts of Link's sword. As Link began to tire, he tried a last, desperate strategy, putting the Silver Arrow to the test. The bowstring sang and the arrow flew straight. Ganon was destroyed!
With the defeat of Ganon, Link's mind turned to the purpose that had driven him here--the rescue of Princess Zelda. One chamber remained to be explored and Link pushed ahead. Here Zelda greeted him and the pieces of the Triforces of Power and Wisdom were reunited.
With the destruction of Ganon and the power of the Triforce restrored, peace reigned once more in Hyrule. Princess Zelda now ruled the land, and the country prospered. It seemed as if the shadow of Ganon had been destroyed forever. But the youthful hero of the age remained ever vigilent. Wherever Link roamed, he looked for signs of Ganon's return, for he could not believe that he had truly banished evil from the land.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link The Adventure of Link takes several years after The Legend of Zelda. An older, taller, and perhaps wiser Link has seen the country prosper and villages spring up. But peace is a fragile commodity in Hyrule and history has a way of repeating itself. On his second adventure, Link becomes a master of magic as well as a fighter. He visits many towns, fights new enemies and travels across the sea.
Marked by the sign on his hand, Link was destined to become a hero, but in the peaceful days following his first quest, he became restless. He wandered the forests, crossed the deserts and delved into the caverns of Hyrule, looking for clues to explain his feelings of unease. In time he became aware of a whisper that passed between the birds, beasts, and even through the blades of grass: there was a new magic in the land, nameless and terrifying.
Lying as still as mable, Princess Zelda slept the dreamless sleep of enchantment. When Link found her thus arrayed in the North Palace, he saw at once that she was spellbound. His greatest fear had come to pass. By refusing to reveal the secret power of the Triforce to a wizard, Zelda had brought on her own downfall. But all was not lost. If Link somehow unlocked the mystery of the Great Palace, he could save Zelda and the Triforce of Courage.
Again Link took to the fields and forests, but these places had become wild and dangerous, inhavited by enemies of old. Link found himself relying on his wits and swordplay at every step. Creatures he had never before seen also waylaid him: spiders called Deelers that dropped from the trees, tall Geldarms that rose from the sands of the Tantari Desert, and of course Moblins, armed with spears and hatred.
Link's mission was to enter each of six palaces and restore a missing crystal to a statue. Together the statues created a magical lock on the Great Palace. Only by replacing the six crystals could Link open the final door. In each palace, however, he had to battle a Statue Guardian of great strength: Barba the Dragon, Ironknuckle the Knight, Carock the Wizard and others.
As he closed the palaces, Link crossed the whole of Hyrule, from Ruto in the northwest to Death Mountain in the south, from the Island Palace in the Stormy Straights to Maze Island in the Far Eastern Sea. He helped villagers when he could, but he never lost sight of his ultimate goal. Finally after uncovering the secrets of Old Kasuto, Link pushed on to the Great Palace where he met the Thunderbird.
Once the Thunderbird was vanquished, Link thought that Zelda and Hyrule would be saved, but it was not to be...not yet. Exhausted from his journeying, Link had one more enemy to defeat--an enemy so unexpected that he did not know what to do, for the enemy was his own shadow.
Back in the mists of time, before the era of The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link, Hyrule was a land of fabulous palaces and magic. It was also a troubled land, and the divisions of Light and Dark were tearing it apart. The origins of this conflict lay even deeper in the shadows of time, with the coming of the Triforce and the greed of Ganondorf, King of Thieves.
To comprehend Hyrule and Link's desperate quest, one must first know the ancient legend of the Triforce. In the Golden Land, where it was placed by the creators of the world, the Triforce beckoned to people. Ganon and his band of thieves long searched for the secret entrance to the Golden Land, eventually stumbling upon it. Then Ganon defeated his fellows for possession of the Triforce.
In a period known as the Imprisoning War, the King of Hyrule brought seven wisemen together to seal the door to the Golden Land, for Ganon's evil power had been spilling forth, causing destruction and darkness. The once peaceful land became a place of dreadful rumors of the coming of a magical enemy. At this time the Master Sword was forged, but there was no hero valiant enough to wield it.
Before the wise men could seal off the Golden Land and the Triforce, Ganon's army surged into Hyrule and besieged the castle. The Knights of Hyrule fought heroically, but the power of the Triforce controlled their enemies, giving them inhuman strength. The battle raged back and forth through the gate. Many foes fell in the tide of battle, but too many Knights also were lost. It seemed that they were beyond hope.
Then, at the end of the day, the wise men finally succeeded in blocking the door to Ganon's Realm. With the power of their master removed, the enemies fled or threw themselves into the moat. Hyrule was saved and over the years the Golden Land, which then became known as the Dark World, faded from memory of the people.
The people of Hyrule may have forgotten about the Dark World, but the master of that evil land had not forgotten about Hyrule. Ganon brooded in his prison, surrounded by reminders of his fall. He grew ever more bitter as the dark years passed like the wailing of cold winds on a winter's night. Ambition burned in his eyes. He would find a way to wreak vengeance and claim total power.
Many centuries passed with Ganon and the Triforce safely locked away. Then the disasters began.: plague, drought, quakes and fire. The King sought sage advice and a wizard named Agahnim stepped forth and ended the strange disasters. He became a powerful advisor to the King, but he kept his true plans to himself. It seemed like a Golden Age, but it wouldn't last.
Once Agahnim had consolidated his power, he began to abuse it. First to fall victim were the ancestors of the seven wise men. The wizard imprisoned six maidens in crystal cocoons and they were never seen again. The Princess Zelda herself was taken as she sent a telepathic plea into the night. The Hylian gift that enabled Zelda to send her message also allowed Link to hear her.
Having received Zelda's message, Link felt compelled to save her, but his uncle forbade him to leave the house. Link's uncle thought that the lad's courage outweighed his common sense, yet he knew that something had to be done to save Zelda. Turning away form Link, he gripped his sword. He knew a secret entrance into the castle, although he didn't know the way out.
Link couldn't tell how much time passed since his Uncle had left--a minute? an hour? The only thing he knew was that Zelda had spoken to him. He had to help her! Taking a lamp to light his way, Link stepped into the lashing rain and headed toward the castle.
As Link floundered about in the storm, he heard a second telepathic message from Zelda telling of a secret route into the castle. When he found the entrance, he also found his uncle inside, wounded and unable to carry on. Link took his Uncle's sword and promised to return.
Then the great quest began...