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The War of the Bound Chest is an event mentioned in The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. The war was a conflict between a swarm of all the monsters in the world, and the people of Hyrule. The world was on the verge of being swallowed by shadow, until the Minish, then known as the Picori, came from the sky to bring the Hero of Men, two gifts: a sword known as the Picori Blade, and the magical Light Force. The Light Force was a source of limitless magical power, and combining its power with that of the Picori Blade, the Hero of Men was able to drive the Monsters back and lock them all within an enchanted chest, binding the chest with the Picori Blade itself.
This chest, kept locked by the Picori Blade, came to be known in Hylian lore as the Bound Chest. As a result, peace was restored to Hyrule, and the new kingdom of Hyrule was allowed to continue to grow and prosper. The Light Force was then magically sealed within Hyrule's princess and passed down to her heirs in succession, a secret that not even the best historians in Hyrule knew.
The secret of the Light Force was only depicted in one place, in a series of stained glass windows within the Elemental Sanctuary that links the Minish World to the realm of Hyrule. Here was depicted the War of the Bound Chest, the coming of the Minish, the triumph of the Hero of Men, and the sealing of the Light Force within Hyrule's princess. It is unknown who the Hero of Men or the current Princess of Hyrule were at the time.
Without Hyrule Historia
According to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the nation of Hyrule was unified shortly after the Hero of Time was born, and yet The Minish Cap is already set in Hyrule, and King Gustaf claims to have ruled "countless ages" before the story's events. This implies that either The Minish Cap and the war are set long after Ocarina of Time, or that the "Hyrule" in The Minish Cap only consists of the original kingdom, before the Hyrulean Civil War which took control of the surrounding areas and tribes. This is seemingly backed up by the geography of The Minish Cap, which depicts a much smaller Hyrule Castle Town, and has Lake Hylia much closer to its source, indicating less erosion. However, this could also imply that the game is instead set in New Hyrule, though the use of many of the same landmarks makes this awkward. Furthermore, the narration of the war does not indicate that any major demon was driving the army of Monsters, implying that this was possibly the very first wave of monsters. Finally, while the Triforce symbol is present in several places in the game (as well as "Triumph Forks" appearing written in Hylian), the Triforce itself is never mentioned in relation to the Light Force, possibly indicating that the culture is not yet familiar with it (though there is no proof of any connection between the two).
With Hyrule Historia
The Minish Cap, according to Hyrule Historia, lies between the events of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Ocarina of Time. Given the settings of the three games in terms of geography and the aforementioned theoretical unfamiliarity with the Triforce, it is possible that the War of the Bound Chest was the result of the monsters from the Skyward Sword era gaining strength over King Gustaf's "countless ages", enough to challenge the humans that had descended from the sky and were forming the first Hyrule Kingdom. As for the Triforce not being a factor, it may have been that the first settlers from the Skyward Sword event sought to protect the Triforce from abuse and refused to resort to it even with the threat of the monsters. Alternatively, it may have moved on to the Sacred Realm, seeing as the Triforce rarely stays in one place after being wished upon. With the Triforce being protected or not even present over these assumed "countless ages", it could be asserted then that the people at large were not aware of its existence or importance, or did not wish to draw attention to it, hence the minimal depictions. According to the timeline presented in Historia, the Triforce did not become a major factor in contention until the Unification Wars and the events unfolding into Ocarina of Time; it could be that while it was not used in the War of the Bound Chest, rumors of its power were sparked and grew over time into the "gold rush" of the wars preceding Ocarina of Time. Historia, however, is subject to possible retcon as the series continues to evolve.
Events in The Legend of Zelda series
|Age of Burning Fields · Creation of Hyrule · Great Calamity · Great Cataclysm · Great Flood · Peace Agreement · Shipwreck|
|Great War of Ikana · Hyrulean Civil War · Imprisoning War · War of the Bound Chest|
|Carnival of Time · Champion Festival · Hyrule Festival · Korok Ceremony · Picori Festival · Picori Festival Tournament · Wing Ceremony|
|Autumn · Spring · Summer · Winter|
|Blood Moon · Endless Day · Endless Night · Graduation Ceremony · Horde Battle · Jam Session · Lunar Phases · Oasis Flight · Restoration Ceremony|
|Bad Uncle Rupee's Ashen Rupeeland · Destruction of Termina · Game Over|
| 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|