History of Hyrule
On this page you will find the history of Hyrules creation as is told by the manual to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. For anyone viewing this that for some crazy reason doesn't know what Hyrule is, it's the mythical land where the Zelda series takes place. The part about the Triforce and the chronology of the legend is my own personal ideas based on what I've played and what I've read.
Creation of Hyrule
Before life began, before the world had form, three golden goddesses descended upon the chaotic land of Hyrule. They were Din, the Goddess of Power, Nayru, the Goddess of Wisdom, and Farore, the Goddess of Courage.
Din, with her strong flaming arms, cultivated the land to create the earth. Nayru poured her wisdom onto the earth to give the spirit of law to the world. Farore's rich soul created all life forms who would uphold the law.
These three great goddesses returned to the heavens, leaving behind the golden sacred Triforce. Since then, the Triforce has become the basis for Hyrule's providence. Where the Triforce stood became sacred land.
At the exact point where the three goddesses left Hyrule and entered the heavens, they left behind three mystical golden triangles. Together these three triangles came to be known as the holy Triforce. The three parts consisted of the Triforce of Wisdom, the Triforce of Power, and the Triforce of Courage. As a whole, the Triforce has the power to grant the wishes of one who touches it. However, the way the Triforce grants these wishes are a direct reflection of the heart of the wisher. If one pure of heart touches it with all three essences in balance, the world would enter a golden age. If one with an evil heart touches it without all three in balance, disaster will strike. The Triforce does not differentiate between the two, it just reflects and grants the wishes. So when Ganon finally seized control over the Triforce, it reflected what was in his heart and turned the Golden Land into the Dark World.
NOTE: There is no such thing as an "official" LOZ timeline. I just like the idea of piecing it all together into one large legend. This is how I see it...
The Legend begins with the story that unfolds in "Ocarina of Time." When the young Hero of Time removed the Master Sword from it's pedestal and open the gates to the Sacred Realm, he unknowingly let Ganondorf sneak through. Ganondorf then found the Triforce. It's my belief that when he touched it, he became immortal with the Triforce of Power that infused itself within him. He did not however have all three essences in balance, so the Triforce split. The remaining two pieces infused themselves within two beings who best represented the respected essences. Princess Zelda was adorned with Wisdom and the Hero of Time with Courage.
While link was trapped within the Sacred Realm for 7 years, Ganondorf returned to Hyrule with his new found power and ravaged Hyrule castle and sent the land into a time of darkness. When the Hero was ready, he set off to awaken the Sages that could seal Ganondorf away in the Sacred Realm forever. After this was accomplished, Princess Zelda sent the Hero back 7 years to resume his life as a child...
This is where the story splits along two paths. The path of time that continued from the time of the adult hero and the time that continued after the Hero returned back 7 years.
The path that unfolds for the young Hero leads into "Majora's Mask." Link searches for his lost fairy companion, Navi in the Lost Woods when he's ambushed by a Skull Kid and two fairies. The Skull Kid steals the Ocarina of Time. Link gives chase only to stumble down a hole leading him into the land of Termina where he has three days to prevent an ominous moon from destroying the land. The fate of Ganondorf is sort of a mystery, but I look at it this way. Although he was sealed away in the future, by the way of the Triforce (hey, this is a ficticious world...things can work illogically), Ganondorf was erased from the past and remained in the Sacred Realm where time has no place.
After questing in Termina, Link returned to Hyrule Castle. He walked deep within the Castle when the Triforce appeared before him. "Link... Link... Accept the quest of the Triforce!" Link is then teleported to a distant land. Here's where the Oracle of Seasons and Ages unfold. At the end of the quest, Koume and Kotake attempt to bring Ganon back. Their spell was only strong enough to bring back a shadow of Ganon...only the sacrifice of Princess Zelda could complete the resurrection. But of course, Link prevailed and Ganon remained sealed away. This is where the legend ends so far on that time path...
The other path of time...the future holds much more. There was peace in Hyrule for quite a time before the coming of the wizard, Agahnim and the story that unfolds in "A Link to the Past." Using the decendents of the Sages, Ganon uses Agahnim as a pawn to open a gateway from the Sacred Realm to Hyrule. The new Hero foils the plot by freeing those decendents of the Sages and defeating Ganon once more (or so he thought...). After Link defeated Ganon and while he was speaking with the Triforce and before making his wish, I believe the servants of Ganon quickly took their fallen lord's body out of the Pyramid of Power and brought him forth to Hyrule and in hiding, prepared for his revival.
Having believed Ganon dead and Hyrule safe, Link set off to better train himself. When he left Hyrule, the Triforce of Courage was split across the land (this explains the scenario for "Wind Waker"). Here unfolds the story of "Link's Awakening." While Link was questing in Koholint and wherever else he ended up after that, Ganon was revived in Hyrule.
Many years had passed before Ganon began his evil campaign across Hyrule. The people prayed that the Hero would return to defeat this evil once more, but he did not appear. The gods sunk the land of Hyrule deep below the ocean and sealed it away. All that remained were islands. Ganon would still find a way to the lands above the Great Sea. There in the Foresaken Fortress, he plotted to find Princess Zelda by capturing all girls with long ears. The plan was working to perfection until the Helmaroc King caught a female pirate named Tetra. The bird was chased down by pirates and shot by catapult; dropping Tetra in the woods high atop Outset Island. A young boy named Link and his sister Aryll witnessed it all. With that, Link set off to see if the girl was ok. After this was confirmed, they headed out of the forest only to witness the capture of Aryll. Link joined the pirates to set off and rescue his sister and here unfolds the story of "The Wind Waker."
At the end of this saga, the King of Hyrule wishes upon the Triforce that the land of Hyrule be forever sunk below the sea. Link and Zelda battle Ganon until Link deals the final blow...sinking the Master Sword into Ganon's head, sealing him in stone. With Hyrule sunk, Link, Zelda and the pirates sail off to find a new land...
Eventually the land they find I believe to be the location of "The Legend of Zelda" and "Zelda II: The Adventure of Link." They claim this land to be the new Hyrule. This would explain the complete change of geography between these two games and the others. Now one might bring up the fact that the land of "Ocarina of Time" was different from "A Link to the Past." I attribute that to differences of interpretation. All the same major landmarks are the same in both these games, just differing somewhat in exact location. Zelda I and II are completely different, thus it must be a new land altogether. The Triforce was also split so no future generation would be tempted by the power. The Great Palace was built to forever hide the Triforce of Courage until one fit to handle the power would come to claim it. The remaining two Triforce remained in the royal family.
Many more years of peace reigned in the land. Eventually there came a new King of Hyrule who had a son and daughter. When the king died, the prince inherited the Triforce of Power and to the Princess the Triforce of Wisdom. The Princess also was the only one who knew the secret of the Triforce of Courage, passed on from the King to her. The Prince tried to attain this information, but the Princess wouldn't talk. A wizard also wanted the information. Infuriated with no response from Zelda, he cast a sleeping spell on the princess. The Prince locked the Princess in a magically sealed room and declared all future Princesses of the land be named Zelda in memorial...
Now here's where I've added my own part to the Legend to try and fuse it together. Many, many years somewhere along the line, a fisherman pulled up the Master Sword (called the Magic Sword in Zelda I) and brought it to the land of New Hyrule (this is the old man that holds it in Zelda I until you're ready to wield it). When he pulled it up, Ganon was set free and found his way to New Hyrule. When Princess Zelda became aware of this, she split the triforce of Wisdom into eight pieces. She couldn't stop Ganon from re-ataining the Triforce of Power however. The Triforce of Courage remained secretly hidden in the Great Palace far across the sea in Eastern Hyrule. Before being captured by Ganon, Zelda sent her attendant Impa out to find a Hero with the courage to defeat Ganon. She eventually came by him by chance in the woods....saved from attacking Moblins and told him her story. Here is where the story of "The Legend of Zelda" unfolds.
Link sets off, collects and reforms the Triforce of Wisdom and makes his way to the final showdown with Ganon. The Hero prevails and reduces Ganon to ashes.
Ganon may have been defeated, but his legions remained. Only the blood of the Hero sprinkled upon the ashes of the fallen Ganon would revive the King of Evil. On the 16th birthday of the Hero, the symbol of the Triforce of Courage began to resonate upon his hand. Impa took Link to the North Palace far north of Death Mountain and told him the Legend of Zelda...the legend of the wizard, the prince and the eternal sleeping spell cast upon the former Princess of ages past. Link was able to open the sacred room and read the old scrolls detailing the whereabouts of the long hidden Triforce of Courage. It is here where the story of "Zelda II: The Adventure of Link" unfolds. Link quests to unlock the seal on the Great Palace and gain the Triforce of Courage to complete the Triforce once again and awaken the fallen Princess...which he does after an epic battle with his own shadow.
This is all that has been told of the Legend...