First Great Calamity
buried the technology
Yiga clan formation
Second Great Calamity
began to use the ancient technology
Zelda began her training to attain her divine sealing power
Calamity Ganon began his return by surrounding Hyrule Castle in a dark storm. Responding to the oncoming Calamity, the Champions took to their Divine Beasts and Princess Zelda, despite not having any sign of her powers, resolved to face Calamity Ganon alongside Link. However, as they prepared to confront Calamity Ganon, he unleashed a burst of Malice from high above Hyrule Castle, infesting the Guardians intended to hinder him. This allowed him to assume control of the Guardians and overrun Hyrule Castle, killing those inside and crippling the chain of command for the royal army. By fusing his Malice with the ancient Sheikah technology, Calamity Ganon created the Blights and used them to infiltrate the Divine Beasts and dispatch the Champions inside, trapping their spirits within.
With the King and the Champions defeated, Link and Zelda fled south to the woods near the Bottomless Swamp along the Hylia River. There, Zelda lamented that Hyrule Kingdom fell due to her inability to use the divine sealing power. Around this time, a division of the Hyrulean army fled to the Akkala Citadel to make their last stand against the invading Guardian forces, only to be overwhelmed and utterly defeated. A second division was stationed at Fort Hateno with the purpose of defending Hateno Village from the oncoming Guardian threat. Link and Princess Zelda took refuge at Fort Hateno, where Link joined forces with the soldiers protecting the Fort. In the ensuing battle, Link defeated many Guardian Stalkers but was ultimately mortally wounded. Despite Zelda's pleas for him to flee, Link continued to defend the princess against the Guardians. In her desperation to preserve his life, she instinctively threw herself between the hero and a Guardian, awakening her holy power in the form of a giant hemisphere of golden light that cleanses the surrounding Guardians of their Malice.
Succumbing to his wounds, Link collapses in Zelda's arms as she mourns for the hero and his grave sacrifice. Despite the hero's condition, Princess Zelda's newfound powers allow her to hear a voice emanating from the Master Sword, who informs her that Link can still survive. With this knowledge, she instructs members of the Sheikah tribe to take his body to the Shrine of Resurrection, where Purah places him under the Slumber of Resurrection in the hopes of mending his body and reviving him from his dire condition. Meanwhile, Princess Zelda travels to the Korok Forest to place the Master Sword under the guard of the Great Deku Tree. Assuring the spirit inside the Master Sword that Link will appear to reclaim it, she leaves for Hyrule Castle with the intent of containing Calamity Ganon within the Castle until Link awakens from his slumber to face Calamity Ganon himself.
Over the course of the following century, the citizens of Hyrule adapted to life without a central government and took to living in scattered communities, as most of the towns and settlements were destroyed and fell to ruin in wake of the Guardians' onslaught during the Great Calamity. Many Guardians remained under Calamity Ganon's control and the majority of them concentrated around Hyrule Castle and the surrounding area of Hyrule Field, forcing the remaining Hylian populace to take refuge elsewhere. Tales of the Calamity and the hero who gave his life fighting for Hyrule passed along the Hylians. Rumors spread among the Hylians that the hero who fell in battle at Fort Hateno survived and that he entered a deep sleep to fight again.
The loss of Mipha, the Zora Champion, embittered the proud Zora warriors, fostering a deep-seated sense of xenophobia towards Hylians among them as they viewed Link to have stolen her away from them only to lead her to her untimely death. Consequently, Hylian travelers became a rarity for the denizens of Zora's Domain. However, the Zora royal family understood the tragic circumstances and fostered no ill will towards Link.
The members of the Sheikah took care to prepare for Link's return. The head of the clan, Impa, chose to wait patiently in Kakariko Village to guide Link in his journey to wrest control of the Divine Beasts back from Calamity Ganon and save the heir to the family that their clan is sworn to serve. Ten years following the Great Calamity, Purah settled in Hateno Village and founded the Hateno Ancient Tech Lab to research the ancient technology in the hopes of finding ways to combat Calamity Ganon and assist the reformation of the Kingdom of Hyrule following Ganon's defeat. Robbie, Purah's subordinate, parted with her and left for the northeastern reaches of Hyrule, establishing the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab to conduct his own research independently.
The spirits of the four deceased Champions and King Rhoam pass on.
- "We of the Sheikah tribe have long been heralded as a people of great wisdom. Our technology became the key to sealing Ganon away during the Great Calamity, some ten thousand years ago. 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. Others fostered a hatred toward the kingdom that shunned them. These sad souls swore their allegiance to Ganon. They now call themselves the Yiga Clan. Their sole mission is to eliminate all who stand against Ganon. Please, dear hero...be careful out there. Recently the Yiga Clan has become active again. It is because of your awakening, I'm afraid. However, rest assured that we have strict orders from Lady Impa to protect you with our lives." — Cado (Breath of the Wild)
- "Let's stop wasting time! We're gonna need everything we got to take that thing down! Now Champions! To your Divine Beasts! Show that swirling swine who's boss! Link will need to meet Ganon head on when we attack! This needs to be a unified assault! Little guy! You get to Hyrule Castle. You can count on us for support. But it's up to you to pound Ganon into oblivion!" — Daruk (Breath of the Wild)
- "No! I am not a child anymore! I may not be much use on the battlefield... But there must... There must be something I can do to help!" — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- "How... How did it come to this? The Divine Beasts... The Guardians... They've all turned against us... It was.... Calamity Ganon. It turned them all against us! And everyone—Mipha, Urbosa, Revali and Daruk... They're all trapped inside those things... It's all my fault! Our only hope for defeating Ganon is lost all because I couldn't harness this cursed power! Everything—everything I've done up until now... It was all for nothing... So I really am just a failure! All my friends...the entire kingdom...my father most of all... I tried, and I failed them all... I've left them...all to die." — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- "Link, save yourself! Go! I'll be fine! Don't worry about me! Run!" — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- "NO! [...] Was... Was that...? The power..." — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- "No, no... Link! Get up! You're going to be just fine..." — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- "The sword...? So he can... He can still be saved?" — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- "Your master will come for you. Until then, you shall rest safely here. Although the Slumber of Restoration will most certainly deprive him of his memories, please trust me when I say that I know he will arrive before you yet again." — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- "The Master Sword... I heard it speak to me. It seems that my role is unfinished. There is still something I must do." — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- "However... The princess survived...to face Ganon alone." — King Rhoam (Breath of the Wild)
- "Link... You are our final hope. The fate of Hyrule rests with you." — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- "Do you know the story of the warrior who fought here at Fort Hateno? [No, tell me.] So 100 years ago, we had these special warriors called Champions. The warrior who fought here was supposedly one of them. I heard the others all died in the big fight." — Garill (Breath of the Wild)
- "The warrior, though... Some say he gave his life here too. But others think he went into a deep sleep to prepare to fight another day. Which would mean he's still alive, right? I wonder if I'll still be around when he wakes up. I'd love to meet the guy." — Garill (Breath of the Wild)
- "Are you some sorta traveler? [That's right.] Well, I'll be... The village has grown to be quite a lively place. I suppose that's on acocunt of things bein' so peaceful in general. [Peaceful?] Oh, yes... When I was a child, this whole region wasn't in a state fit to be sown, much less harvested. Hyrule Castle and Castle Town had been destroyed, and all the lovely folks there fell victim to... Well...back in bygone days, we called it the Calamity. But words often fall meaningless when we try to describe the tragic events of a certain magnitude..." — Uma (Breath of the Wild)
- "Yes, yes... And now how could an old lady like me help you out there? [The Calamity?] The Calamity, yes... I didn't come along until everything was already over... I was born during the Age of Burning Fields. By the time I was old enough to be aware of it, the plants around Hateno Village were budding... We were self-sufficient. Even so, Hyrule Castle and the Castle Town remain a home ground for the forces of the Calamity to this very day... Those who are older than I might know more about it..." — Uma (Breath of the Wild)
- "[Hyrule Castle?] Hyrule Castle was the governing center of Hyrule, home to the king and the beautiful princess. Brave souls from nearby villages would all set their sights there, do great deeds, and return home draped in glory. Hyrule Castle, once strong and proud, was corrupted by the Calamity...and it's still in that state today." — Uma (Breath of the Wild)
- "[Castle Town?] They say that Castle Town was once a center both for commerce and knowledge. That reminds me... Do you have a map? You should be able to see the ruins of Castle Town in the center of your map. Just looking at those ruins now...it really gives you an idea of the destruction that went on there." — Uma (Breath of the Wild)
- "We'll make our way to Zora's Domain. Divine Beast Vah Ruta...looks like it stopped working. Let's investigate the situation." — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- "Mipha's father... I believe he would like to hear more about her. The least we can do is visit him and offer him some closure. Although Ganon is gone for now, there is still so much more for us to do. And so many painful memories that we must bear. I believe in my heart, that if all of us work together...we can restore Hyrule to its former glory. Perhaps...even beyond. But it all must start with us. Let's be off." — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
- "I can no longer hear the voice inside the sword. I suppose it would make sense if my power had dwindled over the past 100 years... I'm surprised to admit it... But I can accept that." — Princess Zelda (Breath of the Wild)