The country of Hyrule encompasses the majority of the civilized world, where Hylians and most other known races reside. Geographically, the landmass referred to as Hyrule encompasses two distinct halves, notably Northern Hyrule and Southern Hyrule. The Eastern Sea, or at least part of it, is widely considered to be a portion of Hyrule as well. All who reside in Hyrule are generally referred to as "Hyruleans," and most of them speak the Hylian language.
The land encompasses many different climates over a span exceeding 100,000 square miles, including arctic regions to the north, tropical islands to the east, savannas in the south, and mountains to the west. Its central area encompasses desert terrain, marshlands, various woodlands, fields, rivers, lakes, bays, mountains, and hills. Monsters are known to roam outside of cities, and as such more remote regions are not fully mapped. It is common for travelers to wander into locales seemingly undiscovered or forgotten by the people of Hyrule.
It is commonly believed that Hylians are the most widespread land-dwelling race in Hyrule. Most Hylians, and their allies, thus consider Castle Town to be the official capitol and largest city of Hyrule, and its Royal Family to be the ultimate rulers of the land. Any who follow Ganon, however, would instead claim the King of Darkness himself to be the true ruler, and mark Death Mountain as the capitol.
Notably, Subrosians reside in the land of Subrosia, which lies well beneath Hyrule, an underground country. Though it is not widely known, the Twilight Realm is loosely and magically connected to Hyrule, explaining its handful of Twili inhabitants.
A History of Dawn to Darkness
An account of Hyrule's recent history is cataloged in a manuscript referred to as A History of Dawn to Darkness. This script entails the details of Ganon's invasion of Southern Hyrule, which took place roughly 18 years ago. It is believed this script was originally created by a long lost sage, who some know by the name Bitoko. A replication of this script is found below.
A more in-depth history, from the sages of Hyrule past, can be found here.
- Even before the first stones of civilization, before the first sons and daughters and kings and queens, evil has always lurked in the lands of Hyrule. Far off, distant beyond imagination, yet somehow near beyond focus. The shadow around the corner, a glimpse in your eye, or in the stories told at night, even the peaceful people of Hyrule held fears for the darkness. Perhaps they had simply passed too many myths down over the years, or perhaps it is simply in the nature of people to hold fears, but long before anyone could say they had seen it, evil had a name in the lands of Hyrule.
- Ganon, they called him. A terrible creature, wrought from the purest malice and greed that could rest in the heart of anything alive. Some said he was once a man, driven beyond humanity by the deepest forms of evil that rest far below the earth. Others said he was always a beast, the king of savages who had risen to herald evil’s name wherever he walked. A cursed creature, Ganon’s very footsteps were said to corrupt the very life they crushed. The known likes of evil, savagery, hatred, and blackness held no comparison to the one they called Ganon. To some, Ganon would only be an idea of pure rancidness and darkness, the cause of your nightmares and the path to corruption; others truly believed the monster to be real. For all, though, the name was ash on the tongue, a thought to be perished before conception.
- When the world revealed the birth of evil itself, Hyrule mourned. South of the Lower Wilds, the King of Darkness reared his monstrous head with a vengeance for Hyrule’s blood. Armored in corruption and wielding a portion of Din’s power, Ganon arrived in Hyrule with an army of destruction at his back. With ferocity unknown to the inhabitants, he led his assault as a scourge upon the land, ravaging villages and sacking towns as he went. Survivors were not expected.
- Southern Hyrule, the child of the more aged nation of Northern Hyrule, was all but defenseless to the coming storm. While always a tough and rugged bunch, no amount of defense could have stopped the wave of darkness from covering their lands. Those who would live to tell of the atrocities they witnessed often wished they had not lived at all, and the civilization of the south was reduced to rubble in under a year of conquest. Ganon’s domination was all but complete, and those alive were forced into hiding. Caves, outposts, mountains and anywhere barren enough to avoid evil’s eye became the homes of the Hyruleans.
- Pockets of the living remained, but Ganon’s gaze was on a greater prize. He sought to complete the power of the goddesses that he possessed, and nothing would stand in his path. The tide of darkness moved north, and hardly three years after his appearance, Ganon’s armies prepared to lay siege on the great city of the Gorons. Wrought from stone and built by the toughest of the Hyruleans, Goron City offered the first imposition against the onslaught and for a time the rushing flows of darkness halted at the shores of the city’s walls.
- For three full years, the tower gates forged from Goron Iron stood impenetrable to Ganon’s siege, the mighty Gorons of the city fighting with strength like no other. As they received supplies from the north, they continued the fight, beating back wave after wave of evil with bombs, boulders, and courage as raw as the rocks they ate. For all their efforts, though, the noble race faced a foe of savage determination. Halfway through the third year of the siege, Ganon’s forces completed a path through the mountains and encircled the city.
- Placing the mighty dragon called Volvagia over the rear gates of the city, Ganon’s forces cut off the supply line for the Gorons, choking off any sort of attack in the narrow passes of Death Mountain. Trapped and surrounded, the Gorons began to falter. Before long, the losses were too great and the Gorons were pushed into the inner city. They held out for as long as they could, but completely trapped in their city, even escape would be difficult. The Gorons needed a savior, and the goddesses provided one.
- Clad in green and wielding the legendary Master Sword, the Hero of Legend emerged in Hyrule’s darkest hour. Signaled in advance, a group of the bravest Goron warriors burst through the lines covering the northern entrance to their city, fighting for the hope of their people. With the distraction, the Hero of Legend confronted Volvagia himself on a peak not far from Goron City, slaying the dragon and bringing courage to all of the citizens still alive. Their way free was prepared, but the city was on the verge of collapse.
- As the Gorons retreated down the other side of Death Mountain into the north, the Patriarch of Goron City and his closest brothers fought to open a way for the Hero of Legend into the center of the city. With heroism unknown to almost all of Hyrule, they grappled with evil and fell one by one as Link carved a path toward the heart of Death Mountain. Patriarch of the city and leader of his people, the mighty Goron “Big Brother” expended his life in opening the doors to the Goron Throne, opening the way for Link with his last breaths. Plunging into the darkness, the Hero of Legend vanished from the world’s eye as he confronted the King of Evil within the mountain.
- With bated breaths, every man, woman, and child waited to hear of the Hero’s plight on Death Mountain. Days turned into weeks; weeks turned into months, and the Hyruleans began to fear that their Hero had fallen. Only, despite everything, neither champion of goodness nor of evil emerged as a victor. In the aftermath of the complete taking of Goron City, both Link and Ganon could not be found. While the forces of evil remained vigilant on the shattered walls of the city, neither did they advance nor did they retreat.
- It was as if the breath of the fight had been snuffed out of the Hyruleans, waiting for an end that never seemed to come. Years passed, and the Gorons who had fled the city moved into Hyrule Castle Town, unable to go home. By word of scout, reports came in that the darkness in the south had not vanished, and talks began of organizing a fleet to send southbound. But as if wanting to conclude that Ganon may not have been real at all, many of the Hylian nobles of Castle-Town began to grow restless with the idea of war, and for more than ten long years the kingdom of Hyrule fell into stagnation.
- Always wondering and never sure, it would take years before Hyrule could bring itself to move once more. In recent days, though, darkness has churned again. While the King of Hyrule finally begins his long-delayed assault into territory mostly unknown now, the sands of fate rustle in the wind. Darkness grows once more in Southern Hyrule, a malignant disease come back to life and sniffing for prey, and those still alive wonder if they will be for long. The Hero of Legends has vanished, now, and other heroes must rise instead.
Years are listed with both “B.G.” and “A.G.” after them. These refer to “before Ganon” and “after Ganon,” respectively. When Ganon invaded Southern Hyrule, the system that the Hylians used to keep track of years was discarded and replaced with this one. Ganon invaded in 1 A.G, and anything before that event or after that event is referred to accordingly.
- 18 A.G: Modern day.
- 17 A.G: Hyrule thaws. Ikana is discovered by Southern Hylians.
- 16 A.G: Impa and the port of Mido are built. Exploration of the Eastern Sea becomes more widespread. Hyrule freezes over.
- 15 A.G: Ruto is retaken from Ganon's forces by the Southern Hylians.
- 6 A.G: Goron City falls. Link defeats Volvagia and enters Goron City. Ganon’s advance ceases. The war begins to stagnate.
- 3 A.G: Ganon unleashes his siege upon Goron City.
- 2 A.G: Southern Hyrule is conquered by Ganon’s forces.
- 1 A.G: Ganon and his evil army emerge. His siege begins. The events of A History of Dawn to Darkness begin.
- 79 B.G: Western Caves discovered. Hylians begin preparing a safe haven there for potential disaster.
- 83 B.G: Construction of Kakariko Village is finished.
- 133 B.G: Ruto and Rauru are settled by Hylians. Gerudo settle the Eastern Caves, turning it into a fortress. Kakariko Village construction begins.
- 134 B.G: Hylians begin exploring the region now known as Southern Hyrule. Kasuto and Saria are founded.
- Before 135 B.G: Unknown.
|Places in Hyrule|
|Northern Hyrule||Castle Town · Darunia · Death Mountain · Impa · Great Bay · Lake Hylia · Lon Lon Ranch · Mido · Mountain Village · Moruge Swamp · Nabooru · Rolling Ridge · Snowhead · Woodfall|
|Southern Hyrule||Eastern Caves · Eyeglass Lake · Kakariko · Kasuto · Kokiri Forest · Ikana · Lower Wilds · Monster Village · Mogma Ridge · Rauru · Saria · Tantari Desert · Ruto · Western Caves|
|The Great Sea||Crescent Island · Dragon Roost Island · Forsaken Fortress · Haunted Wasteland · Knuckle Rock · Koholint Island · Mother and Child Isles · Natzu Triangle · Subrosian Glacier · Windfall Island|
|Other Realms||Dark World · Subrosia · Twilight Realm|