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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.


First Great Calamity

The first Great Calamity refers to the first emergence of Calamity Ganon, 10,000 years before the events of Breath of the Wild. Ganondorf, having given up on his endless cycle of reincarnation, rose to conquer Hyrule as a monstrous creature of pure Malice — the Calamity. Anticipated by the then-highly advanced Hylian civilization, opposing Ganon were an unnamed knight designated 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 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, prompting King Rhoam to conduct archeological surveys and unearth the forgotten Sheikah machines, 9,900 years after the first Great Calamity.[2]

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 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 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 managed to survive and somewhat rebuild.

Ten thousand years after the First Calamity, during the reign of Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule, it was foretold that the return of Calamity Ganon was imminent. The prophecy of Ganon's return forced the Royal Family and the Sheikah still loyal to the kingdom to excavate ancient technology, 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 Zelda assisted them in their research, as she still had trouble awakening her powers. King Rhoam then requested each race of Hyrule produce a Champion, and four elite warriors were selected from across the kingdom by 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 recent death of Hyrule's Queen saw this immense duty fall to Zelda. As she was now the sole bearer of this birthright, the King ordered 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 Champions, Calamity Ganon proceeded to take control of the army of Guardians using his Malice, and turned the machines against Hyrule. He then destroyed Hyrule Castle Town and devastated much of Hyrule, 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, they did not reach the realms of the Gerudo, Rito, or the Gorons. A single Guardian ventured into Zora's Domain, though, before being hurled into a ravine by the Zora king Dorephan.

Link and 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 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 Zelda's arms. Heartbroken, Zelda wept in despair. As if responding to her cries, the spirit within the Master Sword suddenly spoke to 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, 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. Zelda then returned the battle-damaged Master Sword to its pedestal in front of the Great Deku Tree, promising the blade that Link would one day return for it. In a final sacrifice, Zelda marched alone on Hyrule Castle and used her newly awoken powers to seal both Calamity Ganon and herself inside, ending the Second Great Calamity.

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 Champion are able to be saved. Being led by Princess 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.png Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite.png
CanadaFrenchCAGrand Fléau[3]Great Scourge
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.


  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. "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)
  3. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity pour Nintendo Switch - Détails du jeu Nintendo, www.nintendo.com, retrieved September 8, 2020.