The Endless Sea

Warning: contains spoilers for The Wind Waker

King Daphnes, through means unknown, received communion with the divine, and only he truly grasped the gravity of what was happening in what he enacted as his plan. He told his people to trust in the goddesses, and ordered the people of Hyrule to retreat to the highest mountaintops, including his heirs with their part of the Triforce of Wisdom. Then with sacred instruments passed through the royal line, he enacted a spell that called about a strange transformation. As Ganon and his minions breached the final resistance and invaded Hyrule Castle, the King resonated the harmonics of the Ocarina of Time through another instrument, the Wind Waker, and using the Master Sword as a key between, called upon the gods for aid.

Hyrule became frozen in time, sealed in a pocket of inaction just before catastrophe could strike. Ganon and his underlings were trapped in this same moment, as was King Daphnes, who remained behind to ensure his divine blood kept the seal intact.

Then the rains began. A great flood covered the land of Hyrule, changing the nature of the very world. A vast ocean came into being as the flood waters climbed higher and higher, and the mountaintops became islands on this new sea.

The survivors found themselves now living a life tied to the ocean, and as centuries turned into millennia, much in the way the land of Skyloft was forgotten, so to did the old kingdom of Hyrule fade into obscure legend. Little did the people of the Great Sea know that beneath the waves, transfixed in time, Hyrule remained.

The Wind Waker

No seal can hold back a being that possesses the Triforce of Power for long, and Ganon eventually freed himself from his imprisonment in time. He willed his being to manifest again on the surface of the Great Sea, now once again as the Gerudo thief Ganondorf. Recouping his power in a new mortal form, Ganondorf set his base of operations in an old pirate lair known as the Forsaken Fortress and sent his creations of dark magic across the seas, seeking the descendants of the Royal Family and the Triforce of Wisdom carried with them.

Meanwhile, on a certain island, a young man who unknowingly bore the Hero’s spirit donned the green garb associated with the Hero of Time. Named Link in honor of the legend, this boy and his younger sister Aryll were raised by their lone grandmother on an island where tradition dictated young men dresed as the Hero when they came of age, a sign of their growing courage. However, Link’s birthday was interrupted by the arrival of gigantic, frightening bird being pursued by a pirate ship, a young woman clutched in its talons. Through a series of circumstances and mishaps the bird lost its original prey but gained another when it managed to fly away with Aryll in its grasp.

Desperate to save his sister, Link negotiated passage with the woman he had rescued from the bird, the pirate captain Tetra. She begrudgingly allowed Link aboard and the crew made their way across the Great Sea to the Forsaken Fortress, where the giant bird known as the Helmaroc King roosted, and where many other women with long ears had been taken prisoner. The pirates helped Link sneak into the fortress, but his rescue attempt was thwarted by the Helmaroc King. At the behest of its master, Ganondorf, Link was flung out to sea and left for dead.

But Link would be rescued himself, scooped from the sea by an enchanted red boat. The vessel’s animate figurehead introduced itself to Link as the King of Red Lions, and told the boy what he knew about Ganondorf and his plot. In order to rescue Aryll, Link would need to acquire three sacred pearls kept by guardian spirits across the sea, so that he might gain the power to defeat Ganondorf. The King of Red Lions also gave Link the mysterious Wind Waker to change the winds and manipulate the currents.

Together, the unlikely pair sailed the Great Sea in pursuit of the pearls, facing danger and helping put a stop to Ganondorf’s evil wherever they went. They aided the Rito tribe of Dragonroost Island by slaying a monster tormenting the sky spirit Valoo, and were rewarded with Din’s Pearl; they traveled to Forest Haven and rescued a wayward Korok from the Forbidden Woods nearby to receive Farore’s Pearl from the Great Deku Tree; and they sailed storm-wracked seas in pursuit of the misplaced water spirit Jabun, who bestowed Nayru’s Pearl on them. Once acquired, the pearls were used together to summon the Tower of Gods from the depths of the sea, a final trial to prove Link’s worth as a hero. Link overcame the perils of the tower and was rewarded with magical passage beneath the waves, to the sunken and frozen kingdom of Hyrule.

Within the time-locked depths of Hyrule Castle, Link was drawn to a hidden chamber, where he discovered the Master Sword resting in a pedestal. He drew the blade and time’s flow returned to Hyrule, though the kingdom remained un-flooded thanks to the divine barrier enacted centuries ago. Now armed the legendary sword, Link returned to the surface and boldly entered the Forsaken Fortress a second time, ready to challenge Ganondorf. He rescued the captured maidens and his sister Aryll, and while Tetra and her pirates took the girls to safety, Link slew the Helmaroc King after a mighty battle.

Link confronted Ganondorf at last, yet found himself easily defeated by the wicked sorcerer – Ganondorf’s power had been further unsealed when the flow of time returned to Hyrule, Link unwittingly granting him this boon when he withdrew the Master Sword. Furthermore, the power to destroy evil had been squelched when he slew the Earth and Wind sages, and was powerless to effect Ganondorf. Before the evil king could deal a killing blow, Tetra appeared and intervened, and in the struggle Ganondorf’s Triforce resonated with a necklace Tetra wore, revealing it to be a fragment of the Triforce of Wisdom. Before Ganondorf could seize the opportunity, Link and Tetra were rescued at the last moment by members of the Rito tribe, and the dragon Valoo destroyed the Forsaken Fortress to cover their escape.

Link and Tetra returned to Hyrule, seeking the truth of the matter. There at last they met King Daphnes, who was also freed from the time lock and who had been the one behind the King of Red Lions, guiding Link on his quest. He revealed that he has gambled on Link being worthy of the Hero’s mantel, and had put Link through the trials of the pearls that he might prove his worth; that Link now wielded the Master Sword was evidence that the King’s faith had been well placed. He also gave his fragment of the Triforce of Wisdom to Tetra, and with the sacred triangle completed confirmed her royal blood: she was the new Princess Zelda, bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom.

While Tetra remained in Hyrule to stay hidden from Ganodorf, Link and the King of Red Lions set off to restore the power of the Master Sword. The Earth and Wind Temples remained intact, their entrances on mountain peaks that were now islands. Within each, Link met the spirits of the fallen sages, who tasked Link with finding new sages to rejuvenate the Master Sword: he found them in Medli of the Rito and Makar of the Koroks, Sages of Earth and Wind respectively. Together with each Link purged their respective temples of Ganon’s vile magic and destroyed the monsters that had killed Laruto and Fado, ensconcing the sages in their rightful place.

Now all that remained was finding the lost Triforce of Courage, left behind and fragmented when the Hero of Time departed the world eons ago. Link’s quest was a treasure hunt across the Great Sea, chasing rumors and following charts to eventually recover the pieces of the mysterious relic, but over time he achieved this goal and became the new bearer of the Triforce of Courage. With this final act, Link became the Hero of Winds, and fully unlocked his potential.

Yet Ganondorf had reemerged from the ashes of the Forsaken Fortress undaunted. Just before Link returned to Hyrule with his labors completed, the sorcerer spirited Tetra away to his tower in the Gerudo Desert, hoping to draw Link – and the Triforce he posessed – to him. King Daphnes could do nothing to stop it, and it fell to the Hero of Winds to follow his destined path and face the evil king. Link was forced to defeat ghostly echoes of his previous battles within Ganon’s lair, before coming face to face with Ganondorf once again. Though Link defeated Ganon is his unleashed bestial form, the battle weakened the Hero enough that Ganondorf was able to subdue him and claim his Triforce. At the apex of Ganon’s Tower, for the first time in thousands of years, the Triforces of Power, Wisdom and Courage were united again as one omnipotent relic.

But before Ganondorf could lay a hand on the Triforce and make his dream of ruling Hyrule a reality, King Daphnes suddenly appeared and reached the relic first, instead wishing for hope for the future and the destruction of Hyrule beneath the waves, choosing to drown the past along with Ganondorf. The Triforce vanished, and Ganondorf laughed madly as his goal vanished with it. As the ocean began to flood the world around them, Ganondorf fought Link and Tetra with wild abandon to ensure that they would die with him. Tetra’s Light Arrows and Link’s Master Sword combined to defeat Ganondorf, and Link struck the finishing blow by planting the Blade of Evil’s Bane in Ganondorf’s head. Without the Triforce of Power, Ganondorf could not regenerate, and his body turned to stone; thus forever ended the reign of Mandrag Ganon.

King Daphnes expressed his regret that he was tied to the past, and that he left nothing for his descendants to trult inherit. He encouraged Link and Tetra to find their own place, make their own future, and find their own land. With these parting words, the last King of Hyrule was buried with his kingdom, and Link and Tetra were carried safely to the surface by the monarch’s wish.

Tetra was forever changed by this experience, the pirate captain now knowing her true history. She did not forget the sacrifice her living ancestor had made, and felt in her soul the desire to seek out and find a new land to carry on the legacy of the lost kingdom. And so, with her loyal crew and the Hero of winds at her side, she set sail into the unknown, in search of a place to start Hyrule anew.

The Endless Sea

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