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When the evil Ganondorf gets his hands on the Dark Triforce, an ancient artifact harnessing some of the real Triforce's power, he transforms into an all-powerful new form, and the only one who can stop him is a young villager boy named Link.
The plot for the game.
The game starts with an opening sequence explaining that some ancient shamans were able to harness some of the Triforce's power into a much smaller artifact, but it went terribly wrong, and they accidentally created the Dark Triforce, which they had to hide deep in an underground cavern so it would never fall into the wrong hands.
In a small village in Hyrule, a boy named Link is waken up by a violent rumbling. He runs outside, and his neighbor tells him it was a small tremor, and that strange things have been happening. The neighbor tells Link that she is heading to the castle for safety in case another one strikes, as many others have been doing. Link goes with her, but along the way they are attacked by Moblins. In a tutorial battle, the neighbor tells Link how to evade them using the rolling move, and how Z targeting works.
With the Moblins defeated, Link and his neighbor get away, but get separated while running away from some more monsters. In the woods, Link finds a wooden sword on the ground, and picks it up, using it as his starting sword. Link sets out to find his neighbor, and runs into several more enemies. After saving his neighbor from a River Zora, Link is approached by some guards, who tell him that the forest is too dangerous, and they must follow them to the castle.
Attack on the Castle
Link and co. reach the castle, only to see that it is under attack by Dodongos. The guards are worried, because Princess Zelda is inside the castle, and so they rush to rescue her. As Link and his neighbor run off from the Dodongos, they are attacked by the Dodongo King. They manage to successfully escape, and hide in the woods. As Link's neighbor hides safely in a small cave, Link goes to see if it's safe yet. Suddenly, another earthquake happens, and Link falls into a pit. At the bottom of the pit, he finds a tunnel system, and discovers it leads to the castle dungeon. He finds Zelda hiding in the dungeon, and she tells him it's not safe. They are attacked by Dodongos, and after defeating them Link takes it upon himself to get the princess safely out of the dungeon. When they get back up into the castle, they find a mysterious green-skinned man, surrounded by a ball of blue energy, opening a vortex. He notices the two watching him, and so he grabs the princess, blasts Link away with an energy beam, and escapes through the vortex.
Link gets up, but the vortex closes before he go inside. However, the green man has dropped some of his things, including some bombs. Link picks up the bombs, when the Dodongo King comes crashing in out of nowhere. Link runs away, and bumps into a scared old man in the hallway. The old man tells Link he has lead the Dodongo King into his hiding spot, and the old man begins to lecture Link when the Dodongo King nearly kills them. After Link saves him, the old man explains that Dodongos "dislike smoke". Link is confused, but the old man says that Link must use the bombs. A boss battle happens between Link and the Dodongo King. Link defeats the monster using the bombs, which create smoke after exploding. With their king defeated, the other Dodongos flee from the area. Link asks the old man who the green-skinned man was, but the old man gets up and runs away.
Link goes after the old man, but outside the castle he bumps into the Happy Mask Salesman, a wandering shopkeeper who sells masks. The Happy Mask Salesman seems oblivious to what has just happened, but asks Link to come with him to his newly opened mask shop in the village.
The Happy Mask Shop
Link and the Happy Mask Salesman arrive in the village, and see that people are cleaning up from the several earthquakes. In the Happy Mask Shop, the Salesman shows Link all the masks he has, but realizes that his rupees have been stolen. He tells Link that a Deku Scrub delinquent has been repeatedly stealing his things, and taking them back to his home at the Deku Stronghold. However, they cannot get it back as the guards only allow Deku Scrubs to enter.
While sitting in his shop, Happy Mask Salesman notices the Deku Mask hanging up on the wall. He gives it to Link, and tells him that the mask will turn him into a Deku Scrub, allowing him to get into the Stronghold. Link puts on the mask, and magically transforms into Deku Link. Link takes off to the Deku Stronghold, and the guards let him in. In the Stronghold, Link looks around for the delinquent, and when he finds him must convince him to give back the Mask Salesman's rupees. The delinquent runs away, and Link gives chase. However, he bumps into an elderly Deku Scrub. The Deku tells Link that he needs to stop rushing, or to get a horse if he really wants to go fast. The Deku takes Link to the horse stable that he owns, and gives Link a horse named Epona.
Link gets on the horse, and goes to find the delinquent. After catching the delinquent, Link gets the rupees back, and returns them to the Salesman, who allows him to keep the mask in return for retrieving the rupees. The Salesman tells Link that whenever he helps him out, he can get another mask as a reward, and that each mask has many great abilities. Link tells the Salesman that he needs to go back to see if his neighbor is okay, but as Link leaves the shop another earthquake happens.
The Water Temple
As the ground violently shakes, a huge pit forms in the ground, and out of it comes several Skulltulas. Link battles the Skulltulas in the violently shaking village, and defeats them. After the earthquake stops, Link attempts to leave the village, only to be stopped by two guards, who tell him that it is too dangerous right now, and that they have been advised to keep everyone in the village. Link wanders through the village, and begins hearing rumors about a mysterious green-skinned man. Link confronts a strange man in a fairy suit, named Tingle. Tingle tells Link that the earthquakes didn't start until after people saw the green-skinned man walking through town, into the woods, and that's where he should start investigating.
Link heads into the woods, stealthily sneaking past the guards. In the woods, he finds a mysterious temple, shrouded with fog, on the other side of a river. Link sees Tingle flying up in the sky with some balloons tied to him, and upon seeing Link, Tingle waves, only for his balloons to be popped by a Helmaroc. Tingle plummets to the ground, but Link catches him. Tingle thanks Link, and realizes that Link needs to cross the river. Tingle guides Link to a shop in the woods, run by a man named Beedle. Beedle is selling a raft, and Tingle buys it for Link. Link and Tingle ride the raft across the river to the mysterious temple, and go inside, only to see that it leads down into a huge tunnel system, full of water. While rafting through the tunnels, Link and Tingle are attacked by an overgrown Water Tektite. It abducts Tingle, and Link chases after it, fighting off smaller Water Tektites along the way. Upon reaching the end of the tunnel system, Link discovers that it has brought him out into Lake Hylia.
Suddenly, two Zoras pop up from under the water, and tell Link that it is too dangerous for a child to be out and about in Lake Hylia by himself, especially since the Water Temple has been invaded by a Big Octo. The Zoras tell Link that as of now only Zora guards like themselves are allowed near the Temple at this time. The Zoras take Link back to the woods, and leave him there.
The Zora Mask
While walking through the village, Link runs into a villager who tells him that the Target Practice game is now open, and if you succeed you can win your own bow. Link goes to the Target Practice, and after winning receives his own bow, with a limited amount of arrows. The Target Practice man also tells Link that if he has bombs he will be able to attach them to his arrows, making exploding bomb arrows. The Happy Mask Salesman walks by and notices Link has a bow now. The Mask Salesman tells Link that he needs help getting back a certain mask of his that got lost in the last earthquake, and somehow got stuck up in a tree.
The Salesman takes Link into the woods where the mask got lost, but they are attacked by Stalfos along the way. After fighting the Stalfos, Link spots the Mask Salesman's lost Zora Mask up in a tree, and shoots it down with an arrow. Link brings it back to the Salesman, who remembers his policy on favors, and that he promised Link a free mask any time he helped him out. He lets Link keep the Zora Mask, telling him it can turn him into a Zora. Link puts on the mask and makes his way back out to Lake Hylia, where he poses as a Water Temple guard. After swimming down to the Water Temple, Link sees that Tingle is trapped inside. Link tries to save Tingle, but the Big Octo appears and takes him away. Link tries to fight the Big Octo but Water Tektites appear, and attack him.
After fighting the Water Tektites, Link confronts the Big Octo, and defeats it. Link saves Tingle, when Tingle spots the green-skinned man, standing by the exit. Link and Tingle go after the green-skinned man, chasing him throughout the Temple, and into another portal. Link and Tingle get separated from the stranger after going through the portal, and see they are trapped in some sort of alternate dimension, which looks exactly like Hyrule but darker and gloomier, with art and imagery showing a black version of the Triforce.
While wandering through the dark alternate Hyrule, Link and Tingle discover a strange, darker version of the Happy Mask Shop, but the Mask Salesman inside is a quieter, sadder counterpart of the actual Mask Salesman. The Sad Mask Salesman explains that, as far as everyone knows, they were created by the "Great King", Ganondorf, their master and ruler.
Leaving Tingle and the Sad Mask Salesman back at the Mask Shop, Link takes off on his own to go see Ganondorf at his castle. When Link reaches the castle, he sees two Moblin guards who refuse to let him in. Link is attacked by a hoard of Moblins, and after defeating them all he is approached by a huge Darknut. Link manages to defeat the Darknut, and enters the castle.
Upon entering, Link sees the green-skinned man, only to discover that he is in fact Ganondorf. Ganondorf and Link have a very brief battle, only for Ganondorf to brutally defeat the young hero. Ganondorf orders his guards to take away the defeated boy, and so Ganondorf's Moblins lock Link away in the Forest Maze.
Link wanders through the deadly labyrinth, and eventually finds a journal on the ground belonging to one of the previous prisoners, revealing that deep inside the maze lives a deadly beast. However, Link also finds out there is a way out of the maze, but only the bravest and most skilled warriors can escape.
Link heads off to search for the exit, running into many powerful enemies along the way. Link eventually comes face to face with a trio of heavily armored Mighty Darknuts, but manages to defeat them. Link is suddenly attacked by the giant Gasoringo, a fire-breathing plant monster. A boss battle ensues, and Link manages to slay the giant beast.
Link eventually discovers a hidden chamber, with strange markings engraved on the walls. The markings seem to reveal that Ganondorf is a descendant of the Prince of Darkness, the original Ganondorf who took over the land many years ago, only to be defeated by a young boy clad in green. In the chamber, Link finds a sword stuck in stone, and manages to pull it out. The sword is none other than the Master Sword, the Blade of Evil's Bane which Ganondorf hid away in the Forest Maze, guarded by the Gasoringo, so nobody would be able to find it.
Link battles his way through the Forest Maze, and eventually finds a rundown temple at the end of the Maze. Link enters, and finds a silver gem inside a chest. The gem has a strange symbol on it, and Link takes it. Link is ambushed by some more Darknuts, but defeats them with ease. One of the Darknuts drops a key, which Link takes with him back to the Forest Maze entrance. Link unlocks the gate, and walks outside, battling and defeating the Moblin guards.
Ganondorf sends out his soldiers to find Link, who is on the run through Ganondorf's kingdom. Link makes it back to the Mask Shop, where Tingle and the Sad Mask Salesman are waiting. Link shows them the Gem, and Tingle tells Link that it is the legendary Seismic Gem, an ancient jewel capable of generating and controlling earthquakes. Tingle realizes that Ganondorf must have been using it to distract people as he attacked the castle.
The Shop is attacked by Moblins, thanks to villagers having reported seeing Link. Tingle tells Link to use the Gem, and Link causes a huge earthquake. Link is able to use the Gem to create a huge rock wave for him and his allies to ride on, escaping the village. Link and his friends are attacked by a mysterious dark figure, that turns out to be an evil version of Link.
Some Moblins show up and take Tingle and the Salesman away, as Dark Link is about to slay his good counterpart, only to be stopped by a mysterious ninja. Dark Link retreats, and the ninja helps Link up. The ninja introduces itself as Sheik, and tells Link that Ganondorf used an ancient artifact known as the Dark Triforce to create this alternate dimension. The two heroes head for the castle, and Sheik blows the gate down with bombs.
Inside the castle, the two fight their way through hordes of monsters, and enter the dungeons, where Tingle and the Sad Mask Salesman are being held hostage. Ganondorf appears, and attacks the two. Sheik's mask comes off, and Link sees that she is actually the princess Zelda. Ganondorf takes Zelda, and fires off an energy beam at Link, which transports him back to his dimension.
Return to Hyrule
In Hyrule Village, Link falls out of the sky and lands on the ground. Link sees that the village has been all but destroyed, and is approached by the Happy Mask Salesman. The Salesman tells Link that one day a portal opened, and an army of monsters came through. The monsters have taken over Hyrule Castle, and now the kingdom belongs to Ganondorf.
Link heads to Hyrule Castle to battle Ganondorf, and fights through many Moblins. He arrives at the castle, and upon entering sees Dark Link waiting for him. The two have a brief sword battle, but Link eventually manages to incapacitate his dark self. Three Darknuts appear, and Link defeats them. Link runs up the stairs to the throne room, being attacked by Bokoblins along the way. Link enters the throne room, and sees Ganondorf waiting for him. Ganondorf tells Link that he needs him and the Princess to help him complete his plan, and so he zaps Link with an energy blast, rendering him unconscious.
Link wakes up, imprisoned in the dungeon, and sees Zelda in the cell next to him. She tells him that the Dark Triforce has ancient magic powers held within it that can only be activated by Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf together. Link's weapons have all been taken away, except for the Seismic Gem, which Ganondorf's dimwitted henchmen thought was just a useless rock. Link pulls out the Gem, and causes another huge earthquake, that ends up destroying Link and Zelda's cells and freeing them.
Link is the main protagonist, and the character that you play as.
- Princess Zelda / Sheik
Zelda is the princess of Hyrule, who disguises herself as the ninja Sheik to hide from Ganondorf.
Ganondorf is the evil warlord who has gotten his hands on the Dark Triforce.
- Dark Link
Dark Link is an evil clone of Link created by the cosmic-powered Ganondorf.
Tingle is an eccentric and creepy wanderer who Link encounters throughout the game. He is obsessed with fairies, and wants to be one.
- Happy Mask Salesman
The Happy Mask Salesman is a mysterious mask salesman who makes Link go on several quests to retrieve different masks throughout the game, and at the end of the game gives Link the Fierce Deity's Mask to defeat the cosmic-powered Ganondorf. He has an alternate dimension counterpart known as the Sad Mask Salesman, who is much more depressed and gloomy.
Epona is Link's horse who is given to him by the elderly Deku Scrub.
Beedle is a shopkeeper in Hyrule. Whenever the player walks into his store but refuses to purchase anything, he gets very furious and kicks them out.
There are six masks in the game. Only three are needed to complete the game (the Deku Mask, Zora Mask, and Fierce Deity Mask), while the others are earned by completing quests for the Happy Mask Salesman, and are mainly needed to complete certain side-quests.
- Hyrule Castle
- Deku Stronghold
- Hyrule Village
- Happy Mask Shop
- Auction House
- Target Practice
- Race Tracks
- Horse Stables
- Hyrule Castle
- Hylian Woods
- Beedle's Shop
- Abandoned Temple
- Underground Tunnel System
- Hylian Sea
- Octorok Island
- Seaside Cavern
- Zora Kingdom
- Ganondorf's Island Fortress
- Water Temple
- Ganon's Realm
- Ganon's Castle
- Forest Maze
- Forest Temple
- Dark Hyrule Village
- Sad Mask Shop
1. Dodongo King
Ruler of the Dodongos. Defeated with bombs.
2. Big Octo
Legendary squid creature that resides in the Water Temple.
Dreaded plant beast of the Forest Maze.
Giant arachnid monster.
5. Dark Link
Evil Link clone created by Ganondorf.
- Wooden Sword
- Bomb Arrows
- Fire Arrows
- Ice Arrows
- Master Sword
- Seismic Gem
- Deku Mask
- Zora Mask
- Goron Mask
- Keaton Mask
- Great Fairy Mask
- Fierce Deity Mask
Placement in the Timeline
The game takes place several centuries after Zelda II, with Hyrule being freed from Ganon's rule. This game's Ganondorf is a descendant of Zelda 1-2's Ganon. This game's Zelda is a descendant of the original Zelda, and this game's Link is a reincarnation of the original Link, garbed in green to represent his Kokiri heritage. The Happy Mask Salesman's backstory is once again left ambiguous.