Table of Contents:
- Backstory Questions
- How do we know TWW is connected to OoT?
- How did Ganondorf escape from the Sacred Realm?
- What kinds of seals exist on/in ancient Hyrule after the flood?
- What happened to the Triforce between OoT and TWW?
- How did Ganondorf escape from Hyrule prior to TWW, and why did it take so long?
- Main Game Questions
- How is TWW Link related to OoT Link, if it all?
- Who is the King of Red Lions, and what motivates him?
- Why do Valoo, the Deku Tree, and Jabun all expect the Hero of Time to return?
- How much does Tetra know about her past before she meets the King?
- During which time period did the King of Hyrule and the sages Laruto and Fado live?
- Why are a lot of enemies a lot different from the way they are in other games?
- What is the relationship between the Rito and the races that used to live in Hyrule?
- Why does the Master Sword require sages praying for it here, but not in other games?
- Geography/Landmark Questions
- Does TWW's geography match up with OoT's geography?
- Where in Hyrule is the Hyrule Castle we see in TWW?
- When was Ganon's Tower constructed?
- Ending Questions
- How could the King use such a simple trick to take the Triforce from Ganondorf?
- The Triforce crests remain on Zelda's and Ganondorf's hands, even after the Triforce pieces are floating in the air. What does this mean?
- Why does Ganondorf smirk when the King takes the Triforce, and laugh after he makes his wish? Is he insane?
- Why does the King decide to destroy Hyrule? Couldn't he have just used the Triforce to destroy Ganondorf?
- What ultimately happens to the Triforce?
- # Is Ganondorf actually dead in the end?
- Timeline Placement Questions
- How long after OoT does TWW take place?
- Which games take place between OoT and TWW?
- Since Hyrule is destroyed at the end of TWW, doesn't this mean any game that takes place in Hyrule cannot take place after TWW (and thus make take place before TWW)?
How do we know TWW is connected to OoT?
There is much evidence connecting TWW to OoT. In fact, the connection between OoT and TWW is the strongest connection ever seen between two Zelda games that are supposed to take place in different time periods. As a result, there is no disagreement that I know of that TWW takes place long after OoT. Below I will list the major connections present in TWW.
- The legend in the intro, and various quotes from the game, refer to the Hero of Time and his adventures. The Hero of Time is said to have traveled through time to defeat a great evil person who had stolen the Triforce. Wielding the Master Sword, the Hero of Time saved Hyrule. He then left Hyrule and never returned. This is exactly what happened in OoT, and Link is shown leaving Hyrule in MM. There are no other Zelda games featuring a Hero of Time who time travels to save Hyrule.
- In Hyrule Castle, in the Master Sword chamber, stain glass windows show the sages from OoT. They are even in the same poses they were in when they sealed Ganon.
How did Ganondorf escape from the Sacred Realm?
TWW does not say how Ganondorf escaped from the Sacred Realm prior to TWW. But from what we know from other games, we can come up with some possible scenarios. At the end of OoT, Ganondorf promised to kill the descendants of the sages: "When this seal is broken.... That is when I will exterminate your descendants!! As long as the Triforce of Power is in my hand...." We also know from ALttP that, in order to break the seven sages' seal, Ganon needed to sacrifice the descendants of the sages and use their life force to break the seal. Based on this evidence, it is thought that Ganondorf escaped from the Sacred Realm prior to TWW by killing all of the sealing sages' descendants. This would also explain why there are no longer seven sealing sage descendants around after this point, only the two who are keeping the Master Sword powered up. It is true that Ganondorf may have killed the sages' descendants after escaping from the Sacred Realm. But in this case, how Ganondorf actually escapes from the Sacred Realm in the first place is purely speculation.
What kinds of seals exist on/in ancient Hyrule after the flood?
As the gods flooded Hyrule, several seals seem to have been created to keep Hyrule safe. A kind of bubble was placed around Hyrule to protect it from the ocean above. This way it would not be destroyed, only sealed away. This also would trap Ganondorf in Hyrule. Second, the Master Sword in Hyrule Castle became the key to a seal that froze Hyrule in time. This seal also effectively sealed Ganondorf and his power in Hyrule, preventing him from acting to break the seal or interfere in the world above. This seal was also created around the same time as the flood, while Moblins and Darknuts ransacked Hyrule Castle. Finally, at some unspecified time, Ganondorf placed a barrier around Hyrule Castle. This barrier prevented anyone from leaving Hyrule Castle, and thus going to the temples to find out what happened to the two sages keeping the Master Sword powered up. It is likely that Ganondorf erected this barrier after escaping from Hyrule to the surface world, because the King of Red Lions seems surprised to see it. However, it probably could have been created anytime from right before the flood up to right before TWW. That is, it was probably created after Ganondorf had the two MS sages killed.
There may or may not be one other seal. According to the Nintendo Power Gallery, Jalhalla and Molgera are both "Protectors of the Seal." The game itself never says anything about them protecting a seal, so we have very little to go on. There are several possibilities:
- They are protecting some kind of seal on the Master Sword which keeps its power at bay. However, the game implies that the Master Sword lost its power merely because the two sages were killed and could no longer pray to the gods. There is no implication of a seal here. However, there could have been a seal placed on the Master Sword that kept it from displaying its true power, and which could only be defeated if the right sages prayed to the gods directly.
- They may just be protecting the "gap" in the seal over Hyrule keeping the water out. There are gaps because it is possible to enter the temples of Hyrule through entrances in the high mountains of Hyrule (which are islands in TWW). So in a way, they are protecting this seal as well.
- They can be thought to be protecting Ganon's Barrier around Hyrule Castle, because the Master Sword is able to break the barrier, and they are keeping the Master Sword from regaining its power.
What happened to the Triforce between OoT and TWW?
From OoT's ending, we know that Ganondorf still has the Triforce of Power when he is sealed in the Sacred Realm. He continues to hold onto it until the end of TWW.
After OoT, the Triforce of Wisdom was kept safe from Ganondorf by the Royal Family. After Ganondorf's escape, and Hyrule's flooding, there was no longer a Royal Family. So, the King of Hyrule decided to split up the Triforce of Wisdom. He kept part of it himself, and left the other part in the hands of the Royal Family's descendants, who escaped to the surface world. When the time came to revive Hyrule once more, the rightful princess would be awakened to the knowledge of her heritage by reuniting the Triforce of Wisdom. The King explains it to Tetra this way: "This necklace you wear is part of a sacred treasure called the Triforce of Wisdom, which has been passed down for many ages within the royal family of Hyrule. Your mother passed this down to you and instructed you to treasure it...and to guard it with your life. Am I not correct? The Triforce of Wisdom is none other than the sacred power of the gods that we have kept from Ganon's clutches for so many long years. The gods placed upon your ancestors the task of protecting it from evil's grasp."
At the end of OoT, the Triforce of Courage is held by Link, the Hero of Time. But when he left Hyrule, and is was longer the hero, the Triforce of Courage was split into eight shards and hidden throughout Hyrule. The King tells the story to Link this way: "A piece of the Triforce was given to the Hero of Time and he kept it safe, much as Zelda kept hers. That sacred piece is known as the Triforce of Courage. When the Hero of Time was called to embark on another journey and left the land of Hyrule, he was separated from the elements that made him a hero. It is said that at that time, the Triforce of Courage was split into eight shards and hidden throughout the land. Even I do not know where they rest, but this much I do know: they lie hidden somewhere in this Great Sea." It is not known exactly what is meant by the Hero of Time being separated from the elements that made him a hero. This partly depends on one's interpretation of the OoT ending. Perhaps the Triforce of Courage left Link's body and split apart violently when Link traveled back in time (in the adult ending). Or, perhaps it left Link's body and split when he fell into Termina in MM (in the child ending). Or (in the child ending again), perhaps Link gave it to the Royal Family before he left, and they decided to split it and hide it around Hyrule. In any case, the Triforce of Courage presumably remains split and hidden in this manner until TWW, when Link finds the pieces and reunites the Triforce of Courage.
How did Ganondorf escape from Hyrule prior to TWW, and why did it take so long?
Ganondorf was able to create a portal in his Tower, which led to the world above. This portal leads to the Forsaken Fortress, which is presumably why Ganondorf set up his base of operations there. You can open this portal yourself by solving a puzzle in Ganon's Tower. When you do, the King of Red Lions says, "I see... So this is the portal through which Ganon was able to seep into the unsuspecting world above. Link, we shall make use of this path that Ganon created for himself."
Why did Ganon wait for centuries to escape, if all he had to do was create a portal? The answer is that he probably didn't have a choice. Ganondorf's body, and most of his power, was frozen in time when the gods flooded Hyrule. Being frozen in time has a way of keeping you from doing things the way you normally do. It can be thought that, even though Ganondorf's body was frozen, his mind was not, or it figured out out to unfreeze itself. It can also be thought that one's soul is in a way outside of time, so freezing time will not affect this part of the soul. So, it seems that it took centuries for Ganondorf to teach himself to create a portal to the world above with only the powers of his mind. He may not have been able to even use the Triforce of Power. The fact that it took centuries to achieve this should indicate that this is not an easy feat, even for somebody as powerful as Ganondorf.
Main Game Questions
Why does the Master Sword require sages praying for it here, but not in other games?
There are several possible explanations for this.
- The Master Sword always requires sages to pray for it to keep the power of evil's bane in it. We just don't see them in other games.
- The Master Sword loses its power over time. It's like a battery that needs to be recharged at periodic intervals. If a sage prays for it to keep its power, its power will be "renewed" for a time. Otherwise it will run out of juice.
- There is some kind of seal or curse on the Master Sword after OoT which requires intervention by sages to keep the Master Sword from losing its power. Ganondorf might be the one who cast this seal or curse. This might explain why Jalhalla and Molgera are called "Protectors of the Seal" in the Nintendo Gallery.
Timeline Placement Questions
How long after OoT does TWW take place?
There are many centuries separating OoT from TWW. We know this from several quotes in the game. From the intro, "The boy's tale was passed down through generations until it became legend..." So generations passed between OoT and Ganondorf's escape from the Sacred Realm. When the King of Hyrule talks about Hyrule's flooding, he says, "So, before the sealing of the kingdom, the gods chose those who would build a new country and commanded them to take refuge on the mountaintops. Those people were your ancestors. Hundreds of years have passed since then..." So there are hundreds of years between the flood and TWW. Therefore, TWW happens many hundreds of years after OoT.
There is a very common misconception among fans that TWW takes place exactly one hundred years after OoT. The source of this misconception is an interview of Eiji Aonuma, the game's director, conducted at the 2002 Wind Waker summit. It seems that Aonuma used an ambiguous Japanese word, and some translators translated him as saying "one hundred years." Other translators, however, translated this to "hundreds of years." (To see that this is true, look at the IGN version of the interview, and then look at the uncut GamePro version.) Among those who know about this inconsistency, it is generally assumed that Aonuma was mistranslated, and that he meant to say "hundreds" since this is what the game itself says. Unfortunately, the mistranslation made its way into the official NOA transcript of the interview. Even more unfortunately, this version of the interview as published on both nintendo.com and Nintendo Power Magazine. So this piece of misinformation has been picked up by countless gullible Zelda fans.