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The Era of Decline is the name given to the era of Hyrule in the Fallen Hero Timeline, starting from the tragedy of Princess Zelda I to at least the end of The Adventure of Link.[1][2]


The Separation of the Triforce[]

At some point long after the events of A Link Between Worlds, with the Triforce being united again following the defeat of Yuga Ganon, the kingdom saw a time of great peace where the royalty of Hyrule used the complete Triforce to maintain harmony across the kingdom. Eventually, one of its kings bore two children, the elder being a son and the younger being a girl traditionally named "Zelda".

As his life was coming to its end, the king felt that his son was unworthy to wield the full power of the Triforce and as a precaution has it separated, with Power and Wisdom remaining with the royal family while the Triforce of Courage was hidden away by the king inside of the Great Palace and kept hidden due to a powerful spell called the "Binding Force", but not before the king could intrust his daughter with the secret of the third piece's location.

Having it so that the mark of the one worthy to wield the Triforce of Courage would one day appear to reunite the relic, the king passed away and his son took the crown. However, the prince would later realize that he lacked the full power of the triforce and a loyal magician explained that his sister was entrusted with the secret. Furious, the king demanded his sister tell him where the final piece of the Triforce was located but the princess remained loyal to her father's wishes and refused to tell her brother. The magician threatened Zelda with a spell that could put her in eternal sleep if she refused to talk but when she continue to remain silent, he made good on his threat and cursed her, with the magician dying as a result.

Realizing his terrible actions, the remorseful king placed his sister inside of a sealed chamber within the North Castle and makes a royal decree that all females born into the Royal Family will from thereon be named "Zelda", but as a law instead of tradition as has been done in the past. From there on, the knowledge of the Triforce of Courage would fade away into legend and everyone believing there are only two pieces of the Triforce.

Ganon Returns (The Legend of Zelda)[]

Due to the Royal Family possessing an incomplete Triforce, the Kingdom of Hyrule gradually begins to decline over the coming years with its borders receding and eventually devolves into only a fraction of its former glory under the name of "Lesser Hyrule", where the kingdom is in a much less stable condition and peace is fleeting. This ultimately comes to a head when Ganon is revived after centuries to once again claim the Triforce for himself. After rallying an army of monsters, he invades the kingdom and succeeds in obtaining the Triforce of Power.

Before he can claim the Triforce of Wisdom, the Princess Zelda of the time splits it into eight fragments and scatters them across the small kingdom, each being hidden away in an underground dungeon. She then sends her attendant Impa to flee and find someone courageous enough to reunite the Triforce of Wisdom and use it to destroy Ganon. Immediately afterwards, Zelda is captured by Ganon's forces and taken back with him to his lair within Death Mountain to the north while he sends his troops to hunt down Impa.

After escaping, Impa finds herself surrounded by Ganon's minions but is saved by a traveling youth named Link who defeats the monsters and helps the elderly woman. Realizing his bravery, Impa explains the situation and Link agrees to the quest, going off the find the underground labyrinths and defeat the guardians of each level, claiming a fragment until he collects all eight and reunites them into the Triforce of Wisdom. With the relic in-hand, the boy makes his way to Death Mountain and after picking up the Silver Arrows, is able to strike Ganon down with them and reduce him to a pile of ash. With the Prince of Darkness now dead, Link claims the Triforce of Power and extinguishes the prison of fire keeping Zelda locked up. She thanks Link for his valiant efforts and claims that peace will once again return to Hyrule thank to its hero.

The Curse is Lifted (The Adventure of Link)[]

Several years after the events of the previous game, Link is now 16-years-old and is helping with the restoration of Hyrule following Ganon's death. However, one day he notices a strange symbol on the back of his hand and after showing it to Impa, she guides him to the North Castle where the Princess Zelda of legend still sleeps to this day. After explaining the story, she tells Link he is the one destined to reclaim the lost piece of the Triforce and awaken the ancient princess, giving him six crystals and a script that only the chosen one can read.

Finding he can read it, Link realizes it comes from the ancient king explaining his reasons for hiding the Triforce of Courage and tells him that the path to the Great Palace will only reveal itself when the crystals are placed in the heads of six statues scattered across Hyrule inside of six smaller palaces. With this knowledge in hand, Link sets off once again but he soon realizes that some of Ganon's minions who survived their master's death are out searching for him, so they can sacrifice him and use his blood to resurrect Ganon from the ashes.

Making his way to different towns and palaces scattered across the kingdom, Link succeeds in defeating the guardians of these dungeons and placing each of the crystals, which shows him the way to the Great Palace hidden deep within the Valley of Death. There, Link makes his way through the greatest of dungeons and comes across a powerful creature named Thunderbird, which he manages to defeat and walks into a chamber where he finds an old magician guarding the Triforce of Courage. As one final test, the magician forces Link to fight his greatest adversary: his own shadow. Proving to be his own worst enemy and match, Link struggles but just manages to defeat the dark incarnation and prove his worth, allowing him to return to the North Castle with the Triforce of Courage.

Upon his arrival, Link brings the relic to the Triforces of Power and Wisdom and for the first time in centuries, the three pieces of the Triforces unite to form the complete power of the golden relic. This power succeeds in causing Zelda the First to awaken after many years. She proceeds to thank Link with a kiss and allowing the Royal Family to once again possess the true Triforce, marking a new era for the kingdom.


  1. Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 108 (TLoZ | TAoL)
  2. Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 69