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This article is about the Imprisoning War depicted in A Link to the Past. For the Imprisoning War seen in Tears of the Kingdom, go to Imprisoning War.

The term Imprisoning War refers to two separate events, one as part of the backstory to A Link to the Past[1] and one as part of the backstory to Tears of the Kingdom.[2] Beyond both having the same name and ending with the sealing of Ganon by the Sages, the two wars have otherwise very little in common.

The Imprisoning War taking place before A Link to the Past was the first time in the series that Ganon's history was explained. It was later revealed to stem from events that occurred in Ocarina of Time.[3]

History from A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time[]

When the Hero of Time opened the Door of Time and drew the Master Sword, the Gerudo thief Ganondorf invaded the Sacred Realm. Ganondorf used the Triforce of Power to become the King of Evil,[4][note 1] and in the Fallen Hero Timeline, Ganondorf stole the completed Triforce and became the Dark Beast Ganon.[3][7][8][note 2] When Ganon made his wish to rule the world, the Sacred Realm was transformed into a twisted copy of Hyrule born out of his avarice called the Dark World.[12][13][14]

Many years later,[15][note 3] greedy beings were beckoned by an evil power that flowed from the Sacred Realm to become monsters.[18][19][20][note 4] The monsters swarmed out of the Dark World and attacked Hyrule. To save the kingdom, the King of Hyrule ordered the Seven Sages to seal the entrance to the Dark World. The Knights of Hyrule joined forces with the Sages to wage war against the horde of monsters in the Imprisoning War. The Knights were nearly wiped out buying time for the Sages to complete their magical seal.[22][23][24][25] All of Hyrule rejoiced in victory.[26]

Due to the cost of resources and lives in the fight over the Sacred Realm, the Imprisoning War left Hyrule impoverished.[27]


  • Deleted text from Four Swords Adventures shows that the game originally included such elements as the Six Sages, the Master Sword, the Magic Mirror, and the Hylian language being forgotten.[28][29] Because the game also has many direct references to A Link to the Past, this has led many to believe that Four Swords Adventures was originally intended to be the game in which the Imprisoning War occurred. However, the game also has numerous references to other Zelda games, which were deliberately added to the game by its director, Toshiaki Suzuki.[30] While the final game itself doesn't reflect the events of the Imprisoning War, it does, in theory, work as a possible prelude to said war. But with that game's official timeline placement positioning it on a different timeline branch, it remains separate from the Imprisoning War at this time.


TMC Forest Minish Artwork Names in other regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite
JapanJapanese封印戦争 (Fūin Sensō)[31]Sealing War
FranceFrenchEUGuerre du Sceau[32]War of the Seal
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.


  1. According to the English translation of the A Link to the Past manual, Ganondorf's followers used black magic to open the Sacred Realm by accident when "no one, not even the Hylian sages" was certain of its location. Ganondorf killed his followers in a long running battle, claimed the completed Triforce for himself with his blood-stained hands, and made a wish.[5] This is inconsistent with Ocarina of Time, where the imbalance of power, wisdom, and courage in Ganondorf caused the Triforce to split apart;[6] and with the reference to the Fallen Hero Timeline in Encyclopedia, where Ganon takes two of the pieces of the Triforce that Princess Zelda and Link had.[3]
  2. According to the manual of A Link to the Past, the Master Sword was forged by the people of Hyrule to repulse the power of the Triforce wielded by Ganon, and the Seven Wise Men (or Sages in later English media) searched for a hero valiant enough to take up the sword.[9] This was truncated in the manual of A Link to the Past & Four Swords and later contradicted by Ocarina of Time, in which the Master Sword was already behind the Door of Time during the events of the game and the Hero of Time was the cause of Ganon entering the Sacred Realm to begin with;[4] and by Skyward Sword, in which the Goddess Sword (created by the Goddess Hylia) was upgraded into the True Master Sword (by Fi and the Hero she calls "Master") before Hyrule was founded and while the Triforce was in Skyloft.[10][11]
  3. The Ataru Cagiva adaptation of A Link to the Past places the Imprisoning War 600 years before the events of the story. The English manual of A Link to the Past places the Imprisoning War "many centuries" before the game,[16] while the text of the game places it three or four generations before it.[17]
  4. The English translation of the manual of A Link to the Past mentions that people of greed were drawn to the evil power flowing from the Dark World and became part of Ganon's army.[21] The original Japanese text of the manual does not mention that the greedy men became part of Ganon's army. In addition, the English version mentions that the King commanded Seven Wise Men, while the Japanese version mentions that the King commanded Seven Sages. The English version of the Encyclopedia revises all mentions of Wise Men from A Link to the Past's game and manual to Sages, and likewise does not specify that the greedy people are part of Ganon's army.

See Also[]

External links[]


  1. Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 10 (Series)
  2. "This is the Imprisoning War and the events that led up to it!" — Princess Zelda (Tears of the Kingdom)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "The hero fails. Ganondorf steals the Triforces of Wisdom and Courage and transforms into the Dark Beast Ganon. The Seven Sages, including Princess Zelda, seal the unified Triforce and Ganon in the Sacred Realm." (Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 11)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The towering Door of Time, at the heart of the Temple of Time, was erected to prevent anyone but the chosen hero from approaching the Master Sword's pedestal. [...] When young Link opened the door and drew the Master Sword, Ganondorf was right behind him. The Gerudo thief invaded the Sacred Realm and used the Triforce of Power to become the King of Evil." (Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 24)
  5. "Many aggressively searched for the wish-granting Triforce, but no one, not even the Hylian sages, was sure of its location; the knowledge had been lost over time. [...] One day, quite by accident, a gate to the Golden Land of the Triforce was opened by a gang of thieves skilled in the black arts. This land was like no other. In a long running battle, the leader of the thieves fought his way past his followers in lust for the Golden Power. After vanquishing his own followers, the leader stood triumphant over the Triforce and grasped it with his blood- stained hands. He heard a whispered voice: "If thou hast a strong desire or dream, wish for it..." And in reply, the roaring laughter of the brigand leader echoed across time and space and even reached the far-off land of Hyrule. The name of this king of thieves is Ganondorf Dragmire, but he is known by his alias, Mandrag Ganon, which means Ganon of the Enchanted Thieves." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 4, 5)
  6. "The Triforce does not discriminate between good and evil desires, but a balance of power, wisdom and courage is required to unlock its full force, and one must demonstrate these qualities through sacred trials. [...] In Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf [...] touches it, and it splits apart. All that remains in him is the Triforce of Power, while Wisdom resides within Princess Zelda and Courage within Link, a boy who will become the Hero of Time." (Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 13)
  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. His true power achieved, he transformed into the Demon King." (Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 92)
  8. "The Hero of Time, Link, challenged [Ganondorf] in a battle that would determine Hyrule's very existence, and lost." (Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 93)
  9. "Suspecting that Ganon's power was based on the Triforce's magic, the people of Hyrule forged a sword resistant to magic which could repulse even powers granted by the Triforce. This mighty weapon became known as the blade of evil's bane, or the Master Sword. It was so powerful that only one pure of heart and strong of body could wield it. As the Seven Wise Men searched for a valiant person to take up the Master Sword, Ganon's evil army swarmed from the tainted Golden Land into Hyrule and attacked the castle." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 5, 6)
  10. "The Master Sword is originally a blade known as the Goddess Sword, created by [the goddess] Hylia to help protect the people of the world from evil. Fi, the spirit of the sword, guides a hero she calls "Master" in Skyward Sword. The blade they forge with the three sacred flames becomes the Master Sword of legend." (Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 83)
  11. "In order to pursue Zelda, Link took on the trials that would turn the Goddess Sword into the Master Sword, granting him the power to open a second door in the sealed temple deep in Faron Woods. He tempered the sword with three Sacred Flames hidden throughout the land and used the power of its Skyward Strike to restore the temple's Gate of Time. [...] Link returned to the present and sought the legendary Triforce within Skyloft. Using its awesome power, he eliminated the Imprisoned, a twisted form of Demise who had broken the seal." (Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 292)
  12. "This world was once the Golden Land where the Triforce was hidden. But because Ganon, the leader of the thieves, wished it, this world was transformed..." — Maiden (A Link to the Past)
  13. "Ganon's wish was to conquer the world. That wish changed the Golden Land to the Dark World." — Essence of the Triforce (A Link to the Past, Super Nintendo Entertainment System)
  14. "The Dark World is a kind of second Hyrule, born of Ganon's avarice. It exists in parallel to the Light World, a mirror that reflects a world full of gloom and despair, standing in opposition to all that is good. [...] By invading the Sacred Realm and touching the Triforce, Ganondorf transforms the realm into the Dark World. It overflows with malice and becomes the domain of monsters." (Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 29)
  15. "Many Years Later" (Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 93)
  16. "Many centuries have passed since the Imprisoning War. The land of Hyrule healed its wounds and the people lived in peace for a long time. Memories of the vicious Imprisoning War faded over the generations… So it is no surprise that no one was prepared for the new disasters that have recently struck Hyrule." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 6)
  17. "Three or four generations ago, an order of knights protected the royalty of the Hylia. These Knights Of Hyrule were also guardians of the Pendant Of Courage. Unfortunately, most of them were destroyed in the great war against evil that took place when the seven wise men created their seal." — Sahasrahla (A Link to the Past, Super Nintendo Entertainment System)
  18. "However, in time evil power began to flow from the Golden Land and greedy men were drawn there to become members of Ganon's army." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 5)
  19. "After many years, an opening was found that led from our fair Hyrule to the Golden Land, where the mystical Triforce was still hidden. Many sought treasure in this place, but none returned--Only beings of great evil emerged from the Golden Land." (A Link to the Past & Four Swords manual, pg. 14)
  20. "This world of darkness was born from Ganon's wicked heart. Beings from the Light World who wander into it are transformed. The greedy become monsters; others become animals or plants." (Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 229)
  21. "I do not know what Ganon wished for from the Triforce. However, in time evil power began to flow from the Golden Land and greedy men were drawn there to become members of Ganon's army." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 5)
  22. "Vile demons poured out of the Sacred Realm, which had been turned into the Dark World [...] by Ganon's evil heart. The Seven Sages of that era sealed the realm in a ferocious battle known as the Imprisoning War. The clan of knights tasked with guarding the sages was nearly wiped out in the process." (Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 24)
  23. "One day, evil began to pour forth from the Sacred Realm and the king ordered the Seven Sages to seal the entrance in an event that came to be known as the Imprisoning War." (Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 226)
  24. "As the sages 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..." — Maiden (A Link to the Past)
  25. "The wise men and the Knights Of Hyrule combined forces to wage war on this evil horde. The Knights took the full brunt of the fierce attack, and although they fought courageously many a brave soul was lost that day, However, their lives were not lost in vain, for they bought precious time for the Seven Wise Men to magically seal Ganon in the Golden Land." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 6)
  26. "All of Hyrule rejoiced at the victory that upheld peace and order over Ganon's evil and chaos." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 6)
  27. "The Imprisoning War ushers in an era of impoverishment across Hyrule, its people and resources largely spent warring over the Sacred Realm." (Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 69)
  28. Translation of Japanese Game Texts, Legends Alliance Forums.
  29. Translation of Japanese Game Texts, Legends Alliance Forums.
  30. "Actually, the individual director of this game Toshiaki Suzuki, is a big fan of the Zelda series. So one thing that he did with this game that I really want to praise him for and the work that he's done on it, was he went back and looked at a lot of past Zelda games, and he took elements almost from each game. So if you're playing through, and if the only Zelda game that you played was The Wind Waker, you'll look at that and say that this is very familiar to The Wind Waker. Or for people that know Ocarina very well, might be able to pick up little hints from Ocarina. Obviously, it's not like we have the same exact same puzzles in these games, but kind of puzzles that evoke some of the same ideas and will give people a sense of familiarity and at the same time getting something new. He did a really good job with it and it's almost kind of a typical theme for the Zelda game - each new Zelda game has a lot of elements of past Zelda games in it, and he did a really good job of putting all the elements in this one?" —Eiji Aonuma (GameInformer Eiji Aonuma Interview - May 17th, 2004 - Game Developer's Conference)
  31. A Link to the Past manual, pg. 7
  32. Encyclopedia, Les Éditions Soleil, pg. 109