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The Great Calamity refers to two distant events in Hyrule's history related to the resurgence of the Calamity Ganon in Breath of the Wild.


Breath of the Wild[]

The First Great Calamity[]

The first Great Calamity refers to the original emergence of Calamity Ganon, 10,000 years before the events of Breath of the Wild. Ganondorf rose to conquer Hyrule Kingdom as the Calamity, a monstrous creature imbuing pure hatred – or, Malice. As this was anticipated by the Hylian civilization, opposing Ganon was an unnamed knight chosen by the Sword that Seals the Darkness, and a Princess blessed with an unspecified "sacred power" (illustrated by a Triforce symbol on the Calamity Ganon Tapestry displayed at Impa's home in Kakariko Village),[1] and the mechanical creations of the then-highly advanced Sheikah tribe: the Guardians and the four Divine Beasts. The Hylian side was victorious and Calamity Ganon was successfully sealed. It was then prophesied that Ganon would eventually break free of the seal as he always had. Sometime after this, the King of Hyrule began to see the Sheikah and their incredibly advanced technology as a threat to Hyrule, and banished the tribe from the kingdom, scattering them throughout the land. As a result, the Sheikah decided to cast away their technology and adopt simpler lives, resulting in the secrets of their sciences being lost to time.[2][3]

The Second Great Calamity[]

The second Great Calamity is an event from Breath of the Wild. This event serves as the main historical context of the game. It corresponds to the disaster caused by Calamity Ganon throughout Hyrule Kingdom that occurred on Princess Zelda's 17th birthday, one hundred years prior to event of the game. After Link awakens at the Shrine of Resurrection at the beginning of Breath of the Wild, he discovers much of Hyrule Kingdom ruined and devastated by Ganon's forces. However, thanks to Princess Zelda sealing herself and Calamity Ganon away in Hyrule Castle the rest of Hyrule Kingdom managed to survive and somewhat rebuild.

10,000 years after the first Great Calamity, during the reign of Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule, it was foretold that the return of Calamity Ganon was imminent. This prompted King Rhoam to conduct archeological surveys and unearth the forgotten Sheikah machines,[4] in preparation to confront Calamity Ganon as their ancestors had done 10,000 years prior. They eventually recovered the mechanical army, and were able to reactivate and use them. The teenage Princess Zelda assisted them in their research, as she still had trouble awakening her powers. King Rhoam then requested each race of Hyrule Kingdom produce a Champion to pilot a Divine Beast, and four elite warriors were selected from across the kingdom by Princess Zelda herself: Mipha, crown Princess of the Zora, Daruk the Goron, Revali the Rito, and Urbosa the Gerudo chieftain. They were each tasked with the duty of piloting a Divine Beast to assist the Hylian Champion, the knight Link. The final key to defeating Calamity Ganon was the divine sealing powers of the royal family's bloodline, and the death of Hyrule's Queen saw this immense duty fall to Princess Zelda. As she was now the sole bearer of this birthright, King Rhoam ordered Princess Zelda to focus on awakening her divine sealing powers, to the exclusion of all else.

Unfortunately, having learned from his previous defeat, Calamity Ganon created four phantom embodiments of himself representing the elements of fire, water, thunder, and wind, each tasked with corrupting and taking control the Divine Beasts, and killing the four Champions. Succeeding in taking control of the Divine Beasts and killing their respective Champion, Calamity Ganon proceeded to take control of the army of Guardians using his Malice, and turned the machines against Hyrule Kingdom. He then destroyed Hyrule Castle Town and devastated much of Hyrule Kingdom, slaughtering countless innocents. Amidst the chaos, King Rhoam was killed, and the remaining soldiers and Knights of Hyrule who survived the attack on the castle were helpless against the Guardian onslaught, and were forced to retreat to a massive citadel in Akkala. The final remnants of the Hyrulean Army took their final stand in Akkala Citadel, the kingdom's largest stronghold, which was all but destroyed in the historic battle, leaving the once great structure in ruins.

Hyrule's allies fared far better than the doomed kingdom. Ganon's attack focused squarely on the heartlands of Hyrule, and though the Guardians advanced throughout the kingdom, but they did not invade or attack the realms of the Gerudo, Rito, or the Gorons. A single Guardian advanced into Zora's Domain, though, before being hurled into a ravine by the Zora King Dorephan before it could cause any damage to the Domain.

Link and Princess Zelda, meanwhile, were ambushed by the Guardians in Central Hyrule, and retreated south to Fort Hateno, where they made their desperate last stand against an army of Guardians. Though Link skillfully wielded the True Master Sword, which reacted to Ganon's corruption within the Guardians, and managed to take several down, there were simply too many, and he was eventually overcome. It was here, faced with the impending death of a loved one, that Princess Zelda's powers were truly awakened, allowing her to shut down the Guardians with a blinding ray of light which purged them of Ganon's influence. Though the Guardians were stopped, Link was nonetheless greatly injured, and seemingly died in Princess Zelda's arms. Heartbroken, Princess Zelda wept in despair. As if responding to her cries, the spirit within the Master Sword suddenly spoke to Princess Zelda, and revealed to her that Link could still be saved by using the Shrine of Resurrection, an ancient Sheikah medical facility her research team had discovered. Wasting no time, Princess Zelda ordered her Sheikah allies, Impa, Purah, and Robbie, to carry Link to the Shrine of Resurrection upon the Great Plateau, and to place him in an experimental Slumber of Restoration. Princess Zelda then returned the battle-damaged Master Sword to its pedestal in front of the The Great Deku Tree, promising the blade that Link would one day return for it. In a final sacrifice, Princess Zelda marched alone on Hyrule Castle and used her newly awoken powers to seal both Calamity Ganon and herself inside.

With Calamity Ganon sealed, however temporarily, the devastated kingdom of Hyrule was left to rebuild. Though no longer free to rampage, Calamity Ganon's power still remained, as his armies of monsters and some corrupted Guardians remained in the land to wreak havoc. Periodically, an event known as the Blood Moon would occur, reviving any of Ganon's army that had fallen, practically ensuring an eternal stalemate with the survivors left in Hyrule. The kingdom was reduced to several settlements scattered about the land.

100 years later, with Calamity Ganon close to breaking free of Princess Zelda's seal, Link awakens at the Shrine of Resurrection. After freeing the Divine Beasts and allowing the spirits of the Champions to take back control, regaining his lost memories, and regaining the Master Sword, Link goes on to face Calamity Ganon just as he overpowers Princess Zelda's magic, and after being defeated the ensuing battle, the Princess uses her magic to definitively seal Calamity Ganon away, finally ending the Second Great Calamity.

Other Appearances[]

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity[]

The arrival of the Guardian Terrako from the future in which the events of Breath of the Wild occur produces an alternate timeline, where the events of the second Great Calamity unfold and end quite differently. In this version of events, King Rhoam survived the attack on Hyrule Castle and the four Four Champions are able to be saved. Being led by Zelda-who succeeded in activating her sealing power-the people of Kingdom of Hyrule united to fight Astor, and eventually Calamity Ganon atop Hyrule Castle. Zelda, Link, and their allies subsequently prevail in defeating them both.


TMC Forest Minish Artwork Names in other regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite
CanadaFrenchCAGrand Fléau[5]Great Scourge
This table was generated using translation pages.
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  1. "We also learned of a princess with a sacred power and her appointed knight, chosen by the sword that seals the darkness. It was they who sealed Ganon away using the power of these ancient relics." — King Rhoam (Breath of the Wild)
  2. "At one point, our technology was praised as the power of the gods...but eventually the people turned on it. Turned on us. Our creations came to be viewed as a threat to the Kingdom. The Sheikah became outcasts, forced into exile. Some, like us, chose to cast off our technological advances and strove to live normal lives." — Cado (Breath of the Wild)
  3. "It's said that, some time ago, they had advanced techniques that were more powerful than anything anyone had seen. But that power put them at odds with the king at the time, and they were scattered across the land..." — Rensa (Breath of the Wild)
  4. "But there was also...a prophecy. "The signs of a resurrection of Calamity Ganon are clear. And the power to oppose it lies dormant beneath the ground." We decided to heed the prophecy and began excavating large areas of land. Is wasn't long before we discovered several ancient relics made by the hands of our distant ancestors." — King Rhoam (Breath of the Wild)
  5. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity pour Nintendo Switch - Détails du jeu Nintendo, www.nintendo.com, retrieved September 8, 2020.