Dark World

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Dark World
The Dark World from A Link to the Past
Main appearance(s)
Related place(s)

The Dark World,(ALttP | FSA)[1] also known as the Evil Realm,(OoT)[2] is a recurring location in The Legend of Zelda series. It is a dimension parallel to the kingdom Hyrule, which is referred to as being a part the Light World in contrast, and a corrupted incarnation of the Sacred Realm.[3] The Dark World debuted in A Link to the Past, making it the first of many realms alternate to Hyrule to appear in the series, the others being Termina, the Twilight Realm, the World of the Ocean King, and Lorule.

Though Four Swords Adventures also features a Dark World of its own, it does not seem to share a connection with the one in A Link to the Past. It should be noted that the former game features several references to A Link to the Past. According to Hyrule Historia, a Dark World is again featured in Twilight Princess, though this realm is the combination of Hyrule and the Twilight Realm.[4]


The Era of the Hero of Time

The Hero of Time's Defeat

During the events of Ocarina of Time, the Hero of Time unintentionally allowed Ganondorf to enter the Sacred Realm and obtain the Triforce of Power from the Temple of Light, resulting in the realm's transformation into the Dark World as a reflection of the greed and evil in his heart.[5][6] Seven years later, in the Downfall branch of the timeline, Ganondorf defeated the Hero of Time and obtained the remaining Triforce pieces of Courage and Wisdom from Link and Princess Zelda before being sealed by the seven Sages inside the corrupted Sacred Realm.[7]

The Imprisoning War

The Seven Sages creating their seal on the Dark World

A few years later, following a short-lived peace in the kingdom of Hyrule, the seal on the Dark World began to weaken, and many greedy people throughout the land who had heard legends of the power of the Triforce sought out the former "Golden Land" and disappeared inside it, transforming into monstrous representations of themselves, seemingly unaware that it was now under the control of Ganondorf.[8] As the disappearances went on and fighting broke out over the corrupted realm, the seal was broken and evil power began to flow forth from the entrance. In response to the impending threat to the kingdom, the seven Sages of that era, as ordered by the current King of Hyrule, began to seal the Dark World just as their predecessors had done in the past. To stop the Sages in casting their seal, many monsters rushed forth from the Dark World's entrance, but Hyrule's bravest knights fought to protect the Sages, many of them dying in the battle. They had bought enough time for the seven sages to successfully seal the Dark World, and the new seal held for many ages to come. The battle went on to become known as the Imprisoning War.[9]

The Era of Light and Dark

Many years later, the wizard Agahnim began capturing maidens, who were the descendants of the seven sages.[10] One by one, he sent them to the Dark World and used their power to weaken the seven sages' seal. Before he could send Princess Zelda, the final maiden, to the Dark World, she telepathically pleas to Link, who manages to rescue her from Hyrule Castle's dungeon, but it is only a matter of time before she is recaptured by Agahnim. Link rushes to Hyrule Castle to save her again, but he instead witnesses Agahnim casting a spell as he sends Zelda into the Dark World, finally breaking the seven sages' seal.[11][12] Link confronts the Wizard, but before he could deal the final blow, Agahnim pulls Link into the Dark World.[13]

Now in the Dark World, atop the Pyramid of Power, Link is telepathically contacted by Sahasrahla, the Kakariko Village elder, who informs Link of the connection between the Dark and Light worlds at the Hyrule Castle gate.[14] Sahasrahla also prompts Link to save the seven maidens, as their powers can help stop Agahnim.[15] After rescuing a maiden, she will share her knowledge with Link, who learns that Agahnim’s true intent was to free Ganon from the Dark World.[16] Link also finds out from the maidens that he may be the last in the line of the knights who fought at the Imprisoning War, meaning he is destined to fight Ganon.[17][18] After saving Zelda from Turtle Rock, Link confronts Agahnim at Ganon's Tower and defeats the wizard for the last time. Ganon’s shadow is seen leaving Agahnim’s body, and it escapes to the Pyramid of Power. Link faces Ganon at the Pyramid of Power, and after a long battle, Link defeats him. With Ganon gone, the Triforce can now have a new owner. Link takes it in his hands and makes a wish on it to right many wrongs in the Light World, and the Sacred Realm is restored.


A Link to the Past

In A Link to the Past, the Dark World is a fully explorable Overworld. Once the Sacred Realm, or Golden Land, this world was twisted when Ganondorf claimed the Golden Power, or the Triforce. Its layout is very similar to the Light World’s, but there are notable differences. It contains many of its own unique locations, namely a large structure at the Dark World’s center called the Pyramid of Power. Everything in the Dark World, naturally, appears darker. Many structures and buildings are in a state of disrepair, specifically in the Village of Outcasts. All the grass is brown and withered, and the water is an unnatural jade color.

Even the world’s inhabitants are warped, due to Ganon’s power over the Triforce. People have turned into monsters, anthropomorphic animals like foxes, or objects such as trees. Even other creatures from the Light World, like Cuccos, take on more sinister forms here. While the Sacred Realm normally changes to reflect the heart of the one who enters it, the Dark World seems to have a reverse effect.[19] The form that living things take in the Dark World is a reflection of what is inside their hearts and minds. When Link first enters the Dark World through a Portal on Death Mountain, he is transformed into a helpless rabbit, perhaps an indication of his pure nature.[20] However, if Link obtains a Moon Pearl from the Tower of Hera, he can keep his true form even in the Dark World.[21]

Around Hyrule, there are many magical transporters that lead to the Dark World, but entering these portals is normally a one-way trip. Hearing legends of Golden Power, many people sought after it and became trapped in the Dark World.[22][23] While most are trapped in the Dark World, Link can return to the Light World through the aid of the Magic Mirror, given to him by a lost old man for guiding him to through a cave. The Magic Mirror transports Link from the Dark World into the Light World.[24] After using the mirror, it leaves behind a portal in the Light World so Link can return to where he left the Dark World.

Four Swords Adventures

The Dark World in Four Swords Adventures

The Dark World of Four Swords Adventures can be accessed and exited via Moon Gates, which Link can see because he holds the Four Sword, which also allows him to see inhabitants and objects of the Dark World as shadows in the Light World.[25] Many Moon Gates require a Moon Pearl to be activated.[26][27] While Link usually enters the Dark World through Moon Gates, he can also be forced into it by a Floormaster. In the Village of the Blue Maiden, many children have been taken to it by “a dark shadow”.[28][29] Through a Moon Gate, the Dark World appears hazy, and the shadows seen in the Light World now appear as physical objects; the music is even an eerier version of the current area’s theme. While the Dark World looks much like the normal world, many objects and buildings are moved around.[30] This sometimes allows for Link to travel to places in the Light World that he could not reach without Moon Gates. While in the Dark, Link can lift his counterparts in the Light World and move them across gaps, which can be done to reach new areas and solve puzzles.[31]

The Dark World also appears as an area and the fifth Level in northwestern Hyrule, though it is different from the one entered via Moon Gates. This Level contains the Lost Woods, Kakariko Village, and the Temple of Darkness. In search of the Dark Mirror, Link ventures here, where a cloud of darkness has covered Hyrule.[32] It turned the Lost Woods, once called the Forest of Light, into a dark place inhabited by fell creatures.[33] While it is originally thought that this darkness was spread by Vaati and Shadow Link, who have been running rampant all over Hyrule, it is soon learned from Deku Scrubs in the forest that Ganon is its true source.[34][35] When Link leaves the Lost Woods and travels to Kakariko Village, he finds that the town, and even many of its citizens, has been corrupted by the darkness. It can be assumed that the same would happen to the rest of Hyrule if Link does not save it.[36] After aiding Kakariko Village, Link goes to the Temple of Darkness, where the Dark Mirror was hidden to keep it away from the rest of the world.[37] After he clears the Temple of Darkness, he finds that the Dark Mirror has been taken, and it is the likely source of the many Shadow Links.[38]

Twilight Princess

Hyrule Historia states that an iteration of the Dark World appears in Twilight Princess. Ganondorf's wish was to unite the Twilight Realm and Hyrule into a single world known as the Dark World.[4] Following Ganondorf's wish, Zant began a conquest to corrupt Hyrule by covering it in Twilight, a light-absorbing substance he created. Those trapped within the Twilight are transformed into ghostly beings unaware of their state, and monsters take on dark forms. Link enters Hyrule's Twilight multiple times, defeating the Shadow Insects each time, to restore the Light of the Spirits of Light and return the corrupted regions to their former state.

Spirit Tracks

The Dark World itself does not make an appearance in Spirit Tracks, though the similarly named Dark Realm plays a role in the story. In the Japanese version of the game, the Dark World and the Dark Realm share the same name.

Other Appearances

A Link to the Past (Ishinomori)

Link being transported to the Dark World

In the A Link to the Past comic by Shotaro Ishinomori, the events of the Dark World are heavily abridged: Skull Woods and Thieves' Town are entirely removed, and Link only saves two Maidens before rescuing Princess Zelda in Turtle Rock. Though Link enters Misery Mire and the Ice Palace, no maidens are imprisoned there. Link cannot travel freely between worlds and is trapped in the Dark World once Agahnim transports him there. Moreover, the young hero maintains his form in the Dark World by controlling his emotions, while in the game the Moon Pearl is needed to maintain human form.

After failing to save Princess Zelda from Agahnim's clutches, Link kills Agahnim by deflecting his own magic, but Agahnim, with his final breath, manages to transport Link into the Dark World.[39] Instead of turning into a rabbit when he stumbles into the Dark World like in the game, Link momentarily turns into a beast before suppressing his negative emotions and managing to stay in his human form.[40] He then resumes his search for the princess,[41] and befriends Epheremelda the fairy after rescuing her from monsters.[42]

Helping Link out as a guide, Link and his fairy companion successfully free two Maidens from their crystals, with one of them revealing to Link that Zelda is imprisoned inside Turtle Rock.[43] Link, with the help of Roam, a knight who is searching for the Silver Arrow in the Dark World, shows up and aids the young hero in defeating the monster in Turtle Rock.[44] With Zelda now saved, the trio head to Ganon's Tower, where Ganon rises from the defeated body of an Agahnim specter. Link stuns the beast with the Master Sword,[45] allowing Zelda to fire a Silver Arrow from Roam's crossbow and defeat Ganon. The Triforce rises from Ganon's body and asks Link to touch it with one wish in his heart as its new master.[46] The Triforce transports them back to the now-peaceful Hyrule, with the Dark World vanishing and releasing all of the people who had been trapped there.[47]


TMC Forest Minish Artwork.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.png
JapanJapanese闇の世界 (Yami no Sekai)[48]Same as English.
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.

See Also


  1. Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 229,(ALttP), 29,(OoT | OoT3D) 267 (FSA)
  2. "Ancient Creators of Hyrule! Now open the sealed door, and send the Evil Incarnation of Darkness into the void of the Evil Realm!" — Rauru (Ocarina of Time 3D)
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time — Official Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo Co., Ltd.) pg. 6
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Ganondorf was sent to the Twilight Realm. There, the Demon King granted the ambitious Zant magical powers and began plotting to unite the Light World and the Twilight Realm into a single realm known as the Dark World"  (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 114)
  5. "The Sacred Realm is a mirror that reflects the hearts of those who set foot in it. An evil heart will turn the realm into a living hell. [...] Using the Triforce of Power, Ganondorf became the Demon King. The Sacred Realm was distorted into a nightmarish world where demons ran amuck."  (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 87)
  6. "The Sacred Realm Becomes the Dark World"  (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 69)
  7. "At last, Ganondorf found himself in the possession of the Triforce of Wisdom that dwelt within Princess Zelda, and the Triforce of Courage that dwelt in Link. [...] The Seven Sages of Hyrule, led by Princess Zelda, sealed Ganon and the Triforce in the Sacred Realm as a final resort."  (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 92)
  8. ". . . There were many who knew of the existence of the Triforce and the entrance to the Sacred Realm because of the events set in motion by Ganondorf. Their lust aroused, they rushed to gain access to the holy land in their quest to obtain the power of the gods. Little did they realize that the Sacred Realm had been transformed into the Dark World by Ganondorf’s evil heart. None returned from their adventures. Instead, only the power of darkness flowed forth."  (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 93)
  9. "The king of Hyrule ordered the Seven Sages to seal the Sacred Realm. The Knights of Hyrule guarded the sages as they offered up their prayers, but demons descended upon them from within the Sacred Realm, and a fierce battle unfolded in which the majority of the combatants were killed. The entrance to the Sacred Realm was sealed once again, tight enough that it should never have been reopened."  (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 93)
  10. "Kidnapping those maidens must be part of the wizard's plot! I'm sure he is trying to somehow use the power of the descendants of the wise men..." — Lost Old Man (A Link to the Past)
  11. "Ahah... Link! I have been waiting for you! Heh heh heh... I was hoping I could make Zelda vanish in front of your eyes. Behold! The last moment of Princess Zelda!" — Agahnim (A Link to the Past)
  12. "With this, the seal of the seven wise men is at last broken." — Agahnim (A Link to the Past)
  13. "Grrrrugh! Well met! Like the true Hero that you are... But I am not ready to admit defeat yet. I will draw you into the Dark World!" — Agahnim (A Link to the Past)
  14. "The wizard has broken the wise men's seal and opened a gate to link the worlds at Hyrule Castle." — Sahasrahla (A Link to the Past)
  15. "You must also rescue the seven maidens who Agahnim sent to the Dark World. As members of the blood-line of the seven wise men, they have power that will surely help you." — Sahasrahla (A Link to the Past)
  16. "Ganon captured us because he couldn't break the seal of the wise men with his power alone. And then, using the wizard Agahnim as his pawn, he drew us to the Dark World. After cracking the seal with our powers, he sealed us inside of these crystals." — Maiden (A Link to the Past)
  17. "As the wise men sealed the way to the Dark World, the Knights Of Hyrule defended them from the attacks of evil monsters. I heard that the Knights Of Hyrule were nearly wiped out in that battle... You are perhaps the last one to carry on the blood-line of the Knights..." — Maiden (A Link to the Past)
  18. "Only a person of the Knights Of Hyrule, who protected the royalty of Hylia, can become the Hero...You are of their blood-line, aren't you?" — Maiden (A Link to the Past)
  19. "The resting place of the sacred triangle, the Sacred Realm, is a mirror that reflects what is in the heart... the heart of one who enters it... If an evil heart, the Realm will become full of evil; if pure, the Realm will become a paradise." — Sheik (Ocarina of Time)
  20. "Oh? Who are you, Mr. Bunny? This world is like the real world, but evil has twisted it. The Golden Power is what changed your shape to reflect what is in your heart and mind. I am always changing my mind, so I turned into a ball." — Bully's Friend (A Link to the Past)
  21. "An orb known as the Moon Pearl is in this tower. Whoever holds the Moon Pearl is protected so that his form will not change in the Dark World." — Sahasrahla (A Link to the Past)
  22. " I came here to get the Power Of Gold but now I'm a freak and I can't go back to the real world!" — Bully (A Link to the Past)
  23. "I once lived in the Lost Woods, until the day I wandered into a magic transporter..." — Talking Timber (A Link to the Past)
  24. "Thank you for your kindness to an old man like me. Uhh... I wanted to give you this. If you wander into a magical transporter, gaze into this mirror." — Lost Old Man (A Link to the Past)
  25. "Link, are you now able to wield the Four Sword? It's a sacred sword able to smite the darkness. And that's not all. It also grants you the power to see the shadowy Dark World." — Kaepora Gaebora (Four Swords Adventures)
  26. "Take a Moon Pearl to the spot where you sensed the Moon Gate." — Hylian (Four Swords Adventures)
  27. " You got a Moon Pearl! This mysterious gem guides its bearer into the Dark World." — N/A (Four Swords Adventures)
  28. " The people of this village... They're being spirited away by some force. It may be that the Dark World is drawing them in." — Kaepora Gaebora (Four Swords Adventures)
  29. "…She was attacked by a giant tornado and a dark shadow that kidnapped her." — Hylian (Four Swords Adventures)
  30. " This world is like a darkened mirror of your own... It looks familiar, but in truth it is very different. Much like you four..." — Mage (Four Swords Adventures)
  31. "Players in the Dark World can pick up players in the normal world!" (Four Swords Adventures manual, pg. 33)
  32. "My forest has lost its light. Darkness covers it like a shroud. Link, will you go to the forest? Perhaps you will find some clues there. In the heart of the forest is a temple. The Dark Mirror can be found there." — White Maiden (Four Swords Adventures)
  33. "Legends speak of a mirror in which a dark tribe was sealed away long ago. I understand it's supposed to be hidden now somewhere in the Forest of Light. The forest's been covered by pitch-black clouds recently. It's a Forest of Dark now." — Dampé (Four Swords Adventures)
  34. "Everything's going swell lately! And we have Ganon, King of Darkness, to thank! Huh? Vaati? What's that? No, Vaati's old news. Ganon's the King of Darkness! Forget Vaati!" — Deku Scrub (Four Swords Adventures)
  35. "Soon, Lord Ganon's power will change all of Hyrule's forests into Lost Woods! Once that happens, we'll be able to travel freely!" — Deku Scrub (Four Swords Adventures)
  36. "Kakariko was once home to many kind people. Now, however, it's become a rather dangerous place. The darkness that cloaks its people has cost many of them their humanity. It's madness. How much stronger will this darkness in Hyrule grow?" — Kaepora Gaebora (Four Swords Adventures)
  37. "In the heart of the forest is a temple. The Dark Mirror can be found there. […It was] secreted away and hidden in the forest temple to sever its connection to this world." — White Maiden (Four Swords Adventures)
  38. "Someone's stolen the Dark Mirror! That mirror reveals the wickedness within a person and brings it to life. It's an item of terrible, dark power. No good can come from this. Shadow Link!! Could he be your evil reflection, cast by the Dark Mirror?" — White Maiden (Four Swords Adventures)
  39. "It appears you are not such a fool after all... But it makes no difference... My defeat will not restore the wise men's seal, on the contrary... [...] And with my final breath... you will join Zelda in... the Dark World!"  (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 5,6)
  40. "Oh no! My negative emotions are turning me into a beast! I must not surrender to these emotions! I'll live a beast's life--forever! I won't!"  (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 8)
  41. "I will never give up! I will find Zelda even in the Dark World!"  (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 8)
  42. "Uggh! You're an ugly little mannn...but you have my thanksss for helping my Epheremelda... I sssaw your sssword and thought you were the knight..."  (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 4)
  43. "Thank you for saving me, Link! I know you are searching for Zelda. She is being held in a rock that looks like a turtle. But this rock is located at the end of this world..."  (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 8)
  44. "Move it, hero! Without that head, the monster's fire and ice will mix violently! You can guess what happens next!"  (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 1)
  45. "His sword... I am paralyzed..."  (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 6)
  46. "Welcome, Link... I am the Essence of the Triforce. [...] You have totally destroyed Ganon. The Triforce is waiting for a new master. Its Golden Power is in your hands--touch it with a wish in your heart."  (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 8)
  47. "Following Ganon's defeat, the Dark World vanished, releasing many who had been trapped there in monstrous form. The longed-for peace once again returned to Hyrule."  (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 12)
  48. A Link to the Past manual, pg. 11
Major locations in the Dark World

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Click on a location

TLoZ Shield Emblem.pngTAoL Magical Sword Artwork 2.pngALttP logo.pngLADX Wind Fish's Egg Sprite.pngOoT Ocarina of Time Render.pngMM3D Majora's Mask Render.pngOracle of Ages - Harp of Ages.pngRod of Seasons.pngFS logo.pngTWW Wind Waker Render.pngFSA Four Sword Artwork.pngTMC Ezlo Artwork.pngTP Midna Icon.pngThe Phantom Hourglass.pngST Spirit Flute Collection Icon.pngSkyward SwordA Link Between WorldsTri Force HeroesBreath of the WildLink's Crossbow TrainingHyrule Warriors

Breath of the Wild

Divine Beasts

Divine Beast Vah Ruta  · Divine Beast Vah Rudania  · Divine Beast Vah Medoh  · Divine Beast Vah Naboris  · Final Trial [EX 2]

Other Dungeons

Trial of the Sword [EX 1] · Hyrule Castle

Ancient Shrines

Akh Va'quot · Bosh Kala · Chaas Qeta · Daag Chokah · Dagah Keek · Dah Kaso · Dah Hesho · Daka Tuss · Dako Tah · Daqa Koh ·
Daqo Chisay · Dila Maag · Dow Na'eh  · Dunba Taag · Gee Ha'rah · Gorae Torr · Ha Dahamar · Hawa Koth · Hia Miu · Hila Rao · Ishto Soh ·
Ja Baij · Jee Noh · Jitan Sa'mi · Joloo Nah · Ka'o Makagh · Kaam Ya'tak · Kah Mael Shrine · Kah Okeo Shrine · Kah Yah Shrine · Kam Urog Shrine · Katah Chuki · Katosa Aug  · Kay Noh · Kaya Wan · Kayra Mah · Ke'nai Shakah · Keeha Yoog · Keh Namut · Kema Kosassa ·
Kema Zoos · Keo Ruug · Ketoh Wawai · Korgu Chideh · Korsh O'hu · Kuh Takkar · Kuhn Sidajj · Lakna Rokee · Lanno Kooh · Maag Halan · Maag No'rah · Maka Rah · Mezza Lo · Mijah Rokee · Mirro Shaz · Misae Suma · Mo'a Keet · Mogg Latan · Monya Toma · Mozo Shenno ·
Muwo Jeem · Myahm Agana · Namika Ozz · Ne'ez Yohma · Noya Neha · Oman Au · Owa Daim · Pumaag Nitae · Qua Raym · Qaza Tokki · Qukah Nata · Raqa Zunzo · Ree Dahee · Rin Oyaa · Ritaag Zumo · Rok Uwog · Rona Kachta · Rota Ooh · Rucco Maag · Saas Ko'sah ·
Sah Dahaj · Sasa Kai · Sha Gehma · Sha Warvo · Shada Naw · Shae Katha · Shae Loya · Shae Mo'sah · Shai Utoh · Shai Yota · Shee Vaneer · Shee Venath · Sheem Dagoze · Sheh Rata · Sho Dantu · Shoda Sah · Shoqa Tatone · Shora Hah · Soh Kofi · Suma Sahma · Ta'loh Naeg ·
Tah Muhl · Tahno O'ah · Tawa Jinn · Tena Ko'sah · Tho Kayu · To Quomo · Toh Yahsa · Toto Sah · Tu Ka'loh · Tutsuwa Nima · Voo Lota ·
Wahgo Katta · Ya Naga · Yah Rin · Zalta Wa · Ze Kahso · Zuna Kai

Ancient Shrines [EX 2]

Etsu Korima · Kamia Omuna · Kee Dafunia · Keive Tala · Kiah Toza · Kihiro Moh · Mah Eliya · Noe Rajee · Rinu Honika · Rohta Chigah · Ruvo Korbah · Sato Koda · Sharo Lun · Shira Gomar · Takama Shiri · Yowaka Ita