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"It appears that the time has finally come for you to start your adventure! You will encounter many hardships ahead... That is your fate. Don't feel discouraged, even during the toughest times! Go straight this way and you will see Hyrule Castle. You will meet a princess there..."
Kaepora Gaebora

Hyrule Castle (ハイラル城 Hairaru-jō) is a recurring location in the Legend of Zelda series. It is the ancestral home of the Royal Family of Hyrule. Each game that contains a Hyrule Castle either features a different layout, or denies the player access to parts that are available in other games. There are grounds for speculation that the castle is actually a different castle in each game, or that it is the same castle but was changed in each game for aesthetic or gameplay purposes.

The castle itself is prone to conflict not only because it houses the head of Hyrule's government, but also because its security is often less than impenetrable. In fact, in many of the games, Link takes advantage of this and manages to sneak into the castle in spite of security measures. Hyrule Castle is fairly important in most of the games in which it has appeared, and occasionally serves as a dungeon in certain games.


Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Main article: Secret Passage
Main article: Hyrule Castle Tower

Artwork of Hyrule Castle from A Link to the Past

Hyrule Castle Garden from A Link to the Past

Hyrule Castle is situated in the middle of Hyrule and appears to be the seat of power of the government as well as the home of Princess Zelda. During the course of the game, Link must break into the castle on more than one occasion. He manages to find entrance via a secret passage on the eastern side of the castle. It has a total of six floors and features a courtyard and a moat. In the Dark World, the Pyramid, Ganon's final refuge which serves as the arena for the final battle, is located where Hyrule Castle was found in the Light World.

When Link first enters the castle via the secret entrance, he finds his uncle mortally wounded near the entrance. Before he dies, he gives Link the Fighter's Sword and Fighter's Shield. After navigating the rest of the castle, Link finds Princess Zelda who is guarded by a Ball & Chain Trooper. After it is defeated, she and Link escape to the Sanctuary through the Secret Passage in the sewers.

Later in the game, after Link retrieves the Master Sword from the Lost Woods, he must return to Hyrule Castle to save Princess Zelda. Link breaks the seal placed on Hyrule Castle Tower with the Master Sword and ascends it. At the top of the tower, Link encounters Agahnim, however, he is too late in stopping him from sending Zelda to the Dark World. Link uses the Master Sword to deflect Agahnim's magic against him. Upon his defeat, Agahnim sends Link to the Dark World as well. Sahasrahla then contacts Link, telling him to free the Seven Maidens in order to gain entry into Ganon's Tower and defeat Ganon.

Compared to other dungeons in the game, it cannot be re-entered after defeating Agahnim for the first time at Hyrule Castle Tower.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Hyrule Castle from Ocarina of Time

Hyrule Castle is situated west of Death Mountain and directly north of Hyrule Field. Surrounded by a town, drawbridge, and moat, it models the stereotypical monarchial or feudalistic castle. The castle and its surrounding area is arguably the most prominent and important place in the game, housing the Temple of Time, the Hyrule Castle Town, many of the game's plot twists, and the game's final boss. Most of the castle is never seen or explored - the extensive castle gardens and the Castle Courtyard are the only areas Link can access.

Separating Hyrule Castle Town from the castle are the castle grounds, a grassy area patrolled by Hyrulean Soldiers. Sneaking past the guards, Link manages to gain entrance to the courtyard area, which is guarded day and night; however, at daytime, the security is a little more lax, allowing Link to sneak past the patrols and meet with Princess Zelda in the central courtyard. Here, Zelda tells Link about the prophesied destruction to come and what she believes her prophetic dreams symbolize. Impa teaches Link "Zelda's Lullaby" and helps him escape undetected.

Sometime after Link gathered the three Spiritual Stones, Ganondorf leads an assault to overtake the castle and apparently kill the King of Hyrule, leaving Princess Zelda and Impa to escape with the Ocarina of Time. Seven years after, Hyrule Castle is shown to have been completely destroyed after Ganondorf's rise to power and replaced with Ganon's Castle, Ganondorf's own dark seat of power.

One curious feature of the courtyard is the paintings of several Nintendo characters, including Mario and Yoshi, which can be seen through one window. The Beta Quest, a game mode unlockable through usage of a GameShark, reveals the complete Triforce hidden beneath the courtyard. This find, although not an answer to obtaining the Triforce sought by gamers, was an interesting twist to players' understanding of the game's possible original intent to make the Triforce an obtainable item.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords

Hyrule Castle from Four Swords

Hyrule Castle is featured in the DSiWare release of the game, appearing as it did in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past as a part of the Realm of Memories. Both the exterior and interior are playable, in the form of the first and second stages of the Silver Door respectively.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Hyrule Castle from The Wind Waker

Hyrule Castle is situated under the Great Sea; a portal leading to the sunken land of Hyrule is found near the Tower of the Gods. Upon arrival, Hyrule Castle is caught in temporal stasis. Only the main hall, which contains a secret passage to a room where the Master Sword is found, and a small courtyard may be visited. When Link removes the Master Sword from the pedestal, the flow of time is restored, inadvertently causing a horde of Moblins and Darknuts, who had been attacking the castle when the flow of time was stopped, to be awakened. They must be defeated for Link to leave. As time continues in the game, an area outside the castle, as well as Ganon's Tower is made accessible for Link to explore. The music that can be heard inside the castle is a reinstrumentalized version of the Hyrule Castle from A Link to the Past.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

Hyrule Castle from Four Swords Adventures

Hyrule Castle is located south of Death Mountain and serves as the third and final stage of the Whereabouts of the Wind stage. As the level begins, Link, having just exited the Cave of No Return, arrives in the exterior courtyard of Hyrule Castle. Two bomb-throwing soldiers patrol the top of the castle walls, and Link must traverse an underground cave to gain access to the top of the wall. There Link can activate the switch, opening the gate to the castle. Upon entering the inner courtyard, Link is faced with a Chief Soldier and sixteen Hyrulean Soldiers.

The interior of the castle is very similar to Hyrule Castle from A Link to the Past. After exploring the inner chambers and the roof, which contain many items such as the Fire Rod, Bombs, the Bow, Boomerang, Blue Bracelet, and four Heart Containers, Link will appear at a large arena where he must fight a Ball and Chain Trooper and numerous Hyrulean soldiers. After they are defeated, Force Gems fill the arena. After finding the two River Zora in the next area, they combine to form the Queen of Fairies. She helps Link by destroying the barrier blocking the way to the first maiden. After traveling through the rest of the castle, Link is faced with the final boss of the Whereabouts of the Wind, Phantom Ganon. After he is defeated, the first maiden is released.

An issue of Tingle Times can be found here. It details how Tingle witnessed the Queen of Fairies entering the castle and speculates that she has been captured.

Hyrule Castle is later revisited as part of the third and final stage of Level 4 - Near the Fields, Infiltration of Hyrule Castle. This time it is set at night, and in order to successfully gain entrance into the castle, the Links must be careful not to be caught by the searchlights used to spot intruders.

A section of Hyrule Castle also appears as a stage in the Shadow Battle multiplayer mode.

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

Hyrule Castle Garden from The Minish Cap

Hyrule Castle, located in the northern region of Hyrule, has a fairly large presence in the game. Link first travels to the castle to deliver Smith's Sword, a sword forged for the winner of the tournament held during the Picori Festival. The winner, Vaati, reveals his ambition to remove the Picori Blade from the chest it seals in hopes of gaining the Light Force supposedly contained therein. He successfully opens the chest, but does not find the Light Force inside. Before venturing off in search for the Light Force, he turns Princess Zelda to stone. To restore power in the magic sword broken by Vaati, Link must find four elemental artifacts and imbue the blade with their essence inside the Elemental Sanctuary, which can be found in Hyrule Castle. As the story progresses, Vaati disguises himself as the king, making getting into the Elemental Sanctuary more difficult, requiring some stealth to make it in successfully. Finally, toward the game's completion, Vaati transforms the entire castle into Dark Hyrule Castle, a larger castle filled with enemies and puzzles, which serves as the game's final dungeon.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Artwork of Hyrule Castle from Twilight Princess

Hyrule Castle is located at the geographical center of Hyrule, and borders to Hyrule Castle Town. Inside the castle is Princess Zelda, who is being held prisoner by Zant. Early in the game, Link is transformed into a wolf by Twilight and is thrown into the castle dungeon by Shadow Beasts. He escapes, though, with the help of Midna.

The roofs of Hyrule Castle from Twilight Princess

Ganondorf's spirit overtakes the castle after he escapes the Twilight Realm through Zant. The castle is surrounded with a force field that blocks any access. After Zant's death, Ganondorf uses Zant's power to resurrect himself, giving himself his body back. The Castle is the last dungeon of the game, with the boss being Ganondorf himself, in two different forms: Possessed Zelda, and Dark Beast Ganon, his boar form. After Link defeats Ganondorf in his dark beast form, Midna warps Link and Zelda to Hyrule Field before she and Ganondorf battle in the castle; much of the castle is destroyed entirely in a subsequent explosion. Ganondorf rides out into Hyrule Field on horseback with Midna's helmet, the Fused Shadow she always wears, in his hands to show that he has defeated her. Link and Zelda then fight him on horseback and, in the climactic sword duel, Link runs the Master Sword into Ganon's chest. The castle is last seen during the credits sequence, revealing that it was somehow rebuilt.

If one looks closely, the area outside of the castle is, in truth, exactly the same as it appeared in The Wind Waker, except more developed. Also, before one goes into the room where Link fights Ganon, if one looks in the direction of the southern part of the scenery with the Hawkeye, one can see a total of four identical towers with strange runes shining on them. The music that can be heard inside the castle is based on the first part of the one from A Link to The Past and the last notes of Ganondorf's Theme. Inside the castle's central tower, the music increases in rhythm, and slowly changes into the entire Ganon's Theme as Link gets closer to the boss chamber.

Strangely, possibly due to Ganondorf's barrier or a glitch, once Link goes through the arch leading to the steps which lead to the castle gates, it instantly becomes daytime and starts raining, regardless of what the time or weather is like outside. This effect is only contained in the area after the arch and the castle itself and is irreversible.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

Hyrule Castle from Spirit Tracks

Hyrule Castle is constructed in New Hyrule and is the home to Princess Zelda. At the beginning of Spirit Tracks, Link must complete a "Final Exam" by going in his train from Aboda Village to Hyrule Castle within 300 seconds. The structure is similar to the castle in Ocarina of Time as there is a Castle Town and a castle. In the castle, Link is bestowed the title of Royal Engineer. From there, Link must find a way to get into Princess Zelda's room without being stopped by the guards. Then, Link will have to navigate Princess Zelda out of the castle and into the market without letting her be seen.

In Princess Zelda's throne in the Throne Room, there is a stained glass window depicting an image of Tetra. Furthermore, there is a symbol appearing throughout the castle that seems to be two swords crossed in front of a dragon's head. The two swords crossed appears to be the same as the symbol on the sail of Tetra's Pirate Ship, and the dragon looks very similar to the one on the prow of the pirate ship. There is also a special pathway at the back of the castle that leads to the Tower of Spirits. Link can only use this pathway when he acquires the Recruit's Sword. Link can also take part in a Training Game in the castle, in a special training room with Russell and the other soldiers.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Hyrule Castle, with Lorule Castle depicted as its reflection

Hyrule Castle is the same as that depicted in A Link to the Past. It is mirrored by a counterpart castle in the world of Lorule. A series of paintings within the castle depict the events of The Ocarina of Time, in which the Seven Sages seal Ganondorf in the Sacred Realm.

After Link clears the Eastern Palace, he tells Sahasrahla of Yuga's intention to turn Princess Zelda into a Portrait, and the two make their way to Hyrule Castle to warn her. Unfortunately, by the time they arrive, Yuga has already surrounded the castle walls with a magical barrier that can only be pierced by the Master Sword. Seeing that Link already has the Pendant of Courage, Sahasrala instructs Link to find the other two pendants so that he may claim the Master Sword and enter the castle.

Once Inside Hyrule Castle, Link fights his way through Hyrule Guards only to witnesses Yuga turn Zelda into a painting before he can do anything to stop him. Link continues to fight to the top floor, where he does battle with Yuga. Yuga eventually tires of the battle and retreats to Lorule Castle, but Link is able to follow him through a Fissure.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Hyrule Castle overview in Breath of the Wild

Hyrule Castle appears as a central location in Breath of the Wild and once again serves as the final dungeon. After destroying much of Hyrule, Princess Zelda used her sealing powers to seal both herself and Calamity Ganon inside of Hyrule Castle. Calamity Ganon can be seen floating over the castle in the beginning of the game attempting to free himself, before Zelda uses her power to restore the seal before Ganon can break free completely. In the game it appears to be a mix of its appearance in The Wind Waker with the style seen in Twilight Princess as a castle perched on a small island with deep moat surrounding it. The Castle itself is quite massive and imposing as it contains a castle dungeon, dining hall, library, armory, Princess Zelda's Room, her study, and the King's study. According to Robbie, the Guardians where originally buried under Hyrule Castle before they were excavated by the Royal Family and the Sheikah in preparation for Ganon's prophesized return.

Before the Great Calamity, Hyrule Castle was originally home to King Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule and his daughter Princess Zelda of the Royal Family of Hyrule, as did Zelda's late mother who passed some time after Zelda was born.

The castle was protected by Hyrulean Soldiers and Knights of Hyrule, with the best of Knights of Hyrule being selected to serve as members of the Royal Family's elite royal guard detail, a group that both Link and his father belonged to.

100 years before the events of Breath of the Wild, Hyrule Castle was an important cultural and political center of the Kingdom of Hyrule. King Rhoam and Zelda became aware that the seal placed on Calamity Ganon inside the castle would soon break. In order to combat Ganon`s return, King Rhoam and Zelda secretly sought the aid of their Sheikah allies to help excavate and get the Guardians working so they could fight alongside the Divine Beasts against Ganon.

However the Sheikah had lost much of their knowledge about their ancestors technology as they were unaware that the Sheikah Slate was intended to be used by the Hero Chosen by the Master Sword, and as a result, Zelda was unable to access the Shrines where the ancient Sheikah Monks dwell.

During the Great Calamity, Calamity Ganon finally returned and having learned from his previous defeat, used his power to corrupt both the Guardians and the Divine Beasts. devastating Hyrule itself. King Rhoam and the four Champions during the chaos, with Princess Zelda and Link barely managing to survive the slaughter. Link was placed in the Slumber of Restoration inside the Shrine of Resurrection, while Zelda returned to the castle and sealed both herself and Ganon within.

Despite being sealed, Ganon`s influence and malice still spread through the castle and surrounding areas, turning the area into a no man's land guarded by Ganon's minions and corrupted Guardians. However as a result, the Divine Beasts became dormant and other areas of Hyrule survived despite the apparent loss of its royal family and armies. Additionally, the spirit of King Rhoam chose to remain in the living world as a Ghost in order to watch over and guide Link once he awoke, using his death to his advantage to aid Link in his quest to save his kingdom and free his daughter.

The castle contains rare and powerful equipment such as "Royal" series and "Royal Guard" series.

Link can also obtain the Hylian Shield by defeating a Stalnox imprisoned in Hyrule Castle Lockup and Stone Talus (Rare) fought in the East Passage. Link can find recipes for Fruitcake and Monster Cake in the castle library. Zelda's Diary can be found in her room and Zelda's Research Notes can be found in her study, while King Rhoam's Journal can be found in the King's Study. Lynels can be fought in the Castle's Gatehouses.

Spoiler warning: Spoilers end here.

Other appearances

Subseries warning: This article or section contains information on a subseries within the Legend of Zelda series and should be considered part of its own separate canon.

Link's Crossbow Training

Hyrule Castle serves as the location for Hyrule Castle: Defender.

Hyrule Warriors

Link looking at Hyrule Castle after Cia's defeat in Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Caste can be seen in the background of both Hyrule Field and Ganon's Tower stages. Though the main castle itself is inaccessible to the player (similar to its depiction in Ocarina of Time), Zelda's Bedroom is briefly seen in the game's opening cutscene after Zelda awakens from her prophetic dream that warns of the approaching darkness and her room balcony is seen in the cutscenes Hyrule returning to normal after Cia's defeat. During the opening cutscene, the outer part of the castle's fortifications is shown to have a training yard where Hyrulean Forces' recruits train and where Zelda first notices a gifted young trainee named Link. The only accessible portion of the castle itself is the Castle Keep which appears on the southwest portion of Hyrule Field. The Castle Keep is implied to be an important part of the Castle's defenses in Armies of Ruin and Liberation of the Triforce. During the Armies of Ruin scenario, Link and the Hyrulean Forces defend Hyrule Castle from an invasion by Cia's Dark Forces. In Liberation of the Triforce, Ganondorf's Forces capture Hyrule Castle while the Hyrulean Forces are busy fighting its top generals, Ghirahim and Zant in Gerudo Desert. Ganondorf transforms it into Ganon's Tower and turns the surrounding Hyrule Field into a hellish wasteland.

The battle scarred Castle Keep and Hyrule Castle after Ganon's defeat in Hyrule Warriors

However the Hyrulean Forces eventually reclaim the Castle Keep which causes Ganon's Tower disappear, leaving behind a ruined and battle scarred Hyrule Castle. This causes Ganondorf's power to weaken, forcing him to use the Triforce to transform into the mighty Ganon, only to be defeated by the Hyrulean Forces and resealed by the Triforce.

Hyrule Warriors Legends

Like in Hyrule Warriors, Hyrule Castle appears in the Hyrule Field and Ganon's Tower stages.

In Linkle's Tale, Linkle's main goal is to reach Hyrule Castle. However her poor sense of direction and her failure to notice road Signs pointing the way to the castle, result in Linkle ending up getting lost and finding herself in various conflicts in different locations and eras. Humorously, Linkle's victory cutscene pokes fun at this, by having Linkle examine her compass and crude map to determine the correct route to Hyrule Castle before continuing onward, failing to miss a nearby road sign point the correct path while Linkle rushes off in the opposite direction it is pointing to (the sign itself is part of the cutscene and thus is sometimes pointing in a contradictory direction in certain stages).

Hyrule Castle from The Wind Waker in Hyrule Warriors Legends

In Wind Waker: The Search for Cia, Hyrule Castle from The Wind Waker is depicted in a stylized cutscene.

Subseries warning: Subseries information ends here.

Non-canonical appearances

Non-canon warning: This article or section contains non-canonical information that is not considered to be an official part of the Legend of Zelda series and should not be considered part of the overall storyline.

The Legend of Zelda: Mystical Seed of Courage

Hyrule Castle was set to appear in the unreleased game Mystical Seed of Courage. In the game a section of the castle that contained the Rod of Seasons had been sent to another dimension. It is possible that this area of the castle became the Temple of Seasons featured in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons.

The Legend of Zelda animated series

Link lives in Hyrule Castle with Princess Zelda. It is from here that King Harkinian rules over all of Hyrule. Hyrule Castle has many residents, including the castle handyman, Doof, and it is often a hot spot for attempted sieges by Ganon and his minions.

Super Smash Bros. series

Hyrule Castle from Super Smash Bros.

Hyrule Castle appears as stage in Super Smash Bros., and is based on the design of Ocarina of Time's Hyrule Castle. It is one of the biggest stages in the game and features a tower in the center that can be climbed. Tornadoes will sometimes appear on the stage, damaging players and sending them into the air. Death Mountain can be seen in the background. It was later released as DLC for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U.

The castle can be seen in the background of the Bridge of Eldin stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Soulcalibur II

On the Nintendo GameCube version of Soulcalibur II, a picture of Hyrule Castle appears in the end credits when the player beats Arcade Mode as Link.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time manga

Similar to the game, Link and Zelda encounter each other in the courtyard. Unlike in the game, however, they also encounter Ganondorf in the courtyard, who was implied to be eavesdropping on their conversation, and also inadvertently lets slip that he may have sent the Gerudo to ambush Zelda at Hyrule Castle Town. In addition, shortly after Link retrieves the Zora's Sapphire, he and his followers set the castle on fire, and is implied to have murdered the king as well, vowing to have Zelda experience "eternal sleep" in the burning castle with her father while Impa and Zelda are attempting to escape. He also ends up snatching Link's fairy ocarina (which he mistook for the Ocarina of Time) during their brief encounter.

Mario Kart 8

Hyrule Castle appears on Hyrule Circuit. The track goes through a portion of the castle, including a room containing the Master Sword.

Non-canon warning: Non-canonical information ends here.


See also