- A Brief Background To The Calamity
- The Construction Of The Guardians, And Banishment Of The Sheikah – 10,000 Years Ago
- The Revival Of Calamity Ganon – 100 Years Ago
- The Legends And Champions Of Hyrule
- The Battle Against Calamity Ganon
- Hyrule As It Stands Today
When it comes to timelines, The Legend of Zelda is likely one of the most inconsistent and shrouded ones there is, though by intent. Nintendo has spoken plenty of times about how Zelda games are first formed as a game before any thought is put into where they place into the timeline, if at all.
Skyward Sword sought to put an order to it all, with Nintendo even establishing a proper timeline in the Hyrule Historia book. But The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild stands uniquely, in having a very deep and long lore set before the actual story of the game itself, with legends that stretch back for thousands of years, with the most critical one being what exactly occurred 100 years ago.
Even though Age Of Calamity mainly retells the events of 100 years ago, certain events of the game make it non-canon to Breath of the Wild. As such, this article will only work off details established in the game itself, and the Creating A Champion book.
A Brief Background To The Calamity
Irrespective of Breath of the Wild itself for a moment, Ganon is a constant of the series' cyclical nature. The naming is important here, as they signify different things. As established in Skyward Sword, Demise is the personification of evil. This has manifested in many ways across the series, but primarily through Ganon. Ganon, however, is different from Ganondorf. Ganondorf is the man, born every 100 years as the only male to the Gerudo people. Ganon is more akin to reincarnation and can take different forms, such as Dark Beast Ganon, Calamity Ganon, and so on.
Within the specific lore of Breath of the Wild, there is no Ganondorf, just Ganon as the manifestation of evil through Calamity Ganon. Calamity Ganon had attacked Hyrule in cycles over the years, though was always sealed away by two fated defenders. 10,000 years ago, this changed. The Sheikah clan became involved.
The Construction Of The Guardians, And Banishment Of The Sheikah – 10,000 Years Ago
Originally a unified clan at this point in time, the Sheikah noted the cyclical nature of Calamity Ganon's return and the two who would defeat him. They decided that they could help defend Hyrule, rather than let destruction be wrought across the land once again. As such, they entered into the service of the royal family to construct machines for them that could defeat Ganon.
To this end, they constructed the Guardians. In the current time, they are found throughout Hyrule corrupted by the Calamity, though at the time were essential in battling the forces of evil. Alongside this, they also constructed the four Divine Beasts, Vah Ruta, Vah Rudania, Vah Medoh, and Vah Naboris. These were each piloted by champions and proved essential to defeating Calamity Ganon.
However, there was a downside. The Sheikah clan at this point had far outpaced Hyrule in terms of technological advancement, the Guardians and Divine Beasts being proof of this. As such, the king of Hyrule at this time had the Sheikah banished for fear of their power, and wished to keep his kingdom safe from them, perhaps with even a little fear that they could challenge his divine right to rule. As such, the Sheikah split. One settled in Kakariko village to live out a peaceful existence, while the other fled to the Gerudo desert, and became the Calamity-praising Yiga clan.
The Revival Of Calamity Ganon – 100 Years Ago
By this point in time, despite the king of 10,000 years ago burying all unorthodox methods of defeating the Calamity, the cycle was well-known. The people of Hyrule would return, though they did not know when. Fortunately, the Royal Family had a fortune teller in their employ. It's not exactly clear who this fortune teller was, be it a trusted advisor, inherited role, or even the Queen herself, though she was well respected. When she warned of the imminent revival of Calamity Ganon, King Rhoam brought the country to arms.
However, there was an extra inkling of support in the prophecy, that great weapons lay dormant beneath the ground. Excavations were ordered across Hyrule to discover these weapons. Without the help of the Sheikah or any true idea of what they were even looking for, the search took plenty of time. However, they bore fruit, with the four Divine Beasts and plentiful Guardians being discovered.
A wrinkle had occurred, however. Zelda was only young, and her mother had suddenly died. Women of the royal family are blessed with the ability to seal away Ganon, yet Zelda's mother passed away before she ever had a chance to train her to seal away Ganon. Suddenly, the Divine Beasts and Guardians became an essential part of simply surviving, rather than a means of efficient victory.
To their luck, two members of the Sheikah clan, Robbie and Pura, came to the aid of the Hylians. They were researchers themselves and had a much better understanding of these ancient beasts than anyone else. Yet for every advancement, they faced a setback. They uncover a new Divine Beasts but haven't yet found a pilot. They mobilise the Guardians, and the Yiga clanappearsr thirsty for blood. They were fighting an uphill battle where everything was against them.
The Legends And Champions Of Hyrule
The core of the tale of Hyrule is always three central figures. For Breath of the Wild, this is also expanded to include the four Champions that pilot the Divine Beasts. They are as follows:
The most frequent embodiment of Demise's evil in the cycle of Hyrule, they specifically come in the form of Calamity Ganon here. In this Hyrule, they attack the kingdom in cycles and are always defeated by the two defenders, most frequently known as Link and Zelda. The source of Ganon in this world is unknown, but they are immortal of a kind. Every time they appear, they are sealed away by Zelda until they revive once again.
The hero of every game, Link is, typically, not anyone special. Unlike Ganon, which appears in a fabled form, or Zelda, who is named as the first daughter to each king of Hyrule, Link is comparatively a nobody. The Link of Breath of the Wild was likely a country knight from Hateno village, who caught the eye of the Royal Family for his prestige. After finding the legendary Master Sword and becoming its chosen wielder, he was made the personal knight of Princess Zelda, and quite literally put down his life for her.
Zelda is the namesake of every entry in the series, even if she doesn't appear in all of them. In this world, she's quite a different character than previous entries. She is not perfect and up to the task. She's just a girl who's been tasked with an impossible mission. Her mother dies, her father neglects her worries, and everyone around seems much more capable of their mission than she is. She wants nothing more than to witness Hyrule, yet she's destined to throw her life away due to the hubris of a past king.
Of all the people of Hyrule who could have been chosen to become a Champion, Urbosa was the most logical. She was the well-respected chief of the Gerudo and a close friend of Zelda's mother. She had known Zelda since her youth and was one of the few people the young princess would confide in. For Urbosa, this was an honour, though also made her take on a motherly role to Zelda in her mother's absence. She pilots Vah Naboris.
Born as the daughter of King Dorephan of the Zora, Mipha was a skilled and beloved individual. The Zora had some of the closest relations with the Hylians, so choosing Mipha as Champion only made sense. However, she was more closely associated with Link, who visited her often as a child. She was smitten with the young knight, at times envious of the attention he gave Zelda. She pilots Vah Ruta, named for one of her ancestors.
The Goron were a people that kept mainly to themselves in the volcanic region of Eldin. That said, Daruk, a respected elder of the Goron people, happily obliged the offer of being champion. He was already closely associated with Link, proud of both his endless prowess and appetite. He pilots Vah Rudania.
The Rito are a proud and solitary people even to this day, though Revalia stood out in all the wrong ways, entirely by his own choice. He was egregiously proud of his talent with a bow and felt it was obvious he should be chosen to defend Hyrule, that the plan would fail without him. In fact, he hated that he had to play as support to Link, rather than being the centre of attention himself. He pilots Vah Medoh.
The Battle Against Calamity Ganon
After an achingly long time preparing, Calamity Ganon had completed its revival. The Champions were in place, though hastily. Zelda had survived numerous assassination attempts, yet still did not have a handle on her skills. The Calamity did not care.
Yet all of their preparations were for naught. Having been defeated by the Guardians before, the Calamity corrupted them into its fighting force. Without the Sheikah of the past who understood them, there was no way to defend against this. The Guardians trampled Castle Town to dust. The Calamity then turned its gaze to the Divine Beasts, infecting each of them. It could not control them, though rendered them inactive, trapping their champions inside.
With Zelda's powers still sealed and the technology of the Sheikah turned against them, they had nothing left. Link may have been a warrior of legend, but even he could not defeat the Calamity alone. In fact, he died to protect Zelda. He was laid to rest in a Sheikah chamber, until the day he awoke once again. The battle was lost, but perhaps the calamity could still be defeated.
Hyrule As It Stands Today
100 years later, Link reawakens on the Grand Plateau, the world a dramatically different place from when he last walked it. Calamity Ganon swirled across the sky, wild Guardians still rampaged across the land, and the world lay in ruins. Only small pockets of civilisation remained in the far reaches of the land. Yet there was still hope. Ganon had been sealed by Zelda before she fell unconscious. It was not permanent, but it was enough. Hyrule could still be saved.
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