Hyrule, once known only as the Surface, is the name of the magical kingdom that serves as the iconic setting for a majority of the games in theZelda series. It is usually depicted as a beautiful and prosperous land blessed with deep forests, tall mountains, vast lakes, a barren desert, great cities, villages, and many ancient temples hidden throughout.
Once ruled by the goddess Hylia as an unnamed land in ancient times, it became established as the Kingdom of Hyrule by the descendants of her mortal incarnation, the sacred bloodline that would go on to become known as the Royal Family of Hyrule. At the northern center of Hyrule is seated Hyrule Castle, where the family reside, and a bustling town surrounded by a stonewall, populated mostly by the Hylians and a variety of shops. To the west of the kingdom can often be seen a desert, forests to the south and south-east and a mountain range to the east and north-east.
The kingdom has its own long and unique history with many wars and conflicts over theTriforce, deities, legendary relics, historical heroes and villains. It is connected to a variety of different realms or universes via magical artefacts and portals, including but not limited to the Sacred Realm, the Twilight Realm, its own direct parallel world Lorule and, to a lesser extent, Termina. The story of the Sacred Realm and the Triforce would shape Hyrule's future in the centuries that followed its establishment, becoming the basis of its providence. It is also home to a multitude of different races and tribes, each inhabiting a different part of the country and sometimes protecting its legendary relics and guarding its temples.
After the birth of the Gerudo thief from the western desert, Ganondorf, who wishes to conquer the kingdom for himself using the Triforce's tremendous power, a young heroclad in a green tunic and armed with the legendary Master Sword will often rise up to save the land from destruction and defeat him. The hero is often assisted in this effort by the kingdom's young princesses, traditionally named Zelda. This would become a repeated history that would doom Hyrule on several occasions, one account resulting in its destruction by the Great Flood. Following the flood, it was succeeded by a new kingdom named after it.
Hyrule is home to numerous races which are scattered all across the land, each inhabiting a different part of the kingdom. The main distinction between Hyrule's inhabitants is that of Hylians and Hyruleans. Hylian refers to the specific race prominently appearing throughout Hyrule. Hyrulean refers to the many humanoid and non humanoid races that have inhabited Hyrule.
With the exception of the Hylians, most of the races have preferred environments and primarily reside among members of their own race. Moreover, few of Hyrule's races are limited to residency in just this one kingdom. Other lands of theLegend of Zelda series have featured these, and even more exotic races.
The Hylians are the dominant race of the realm, with close ties to the goddesses as their chosen people.The Hylians are extremely abundant and are quite similar to humans on earth. Unlike most other races of Hyrule, Hylians tend to live in large cities, such as Hyrule Castle Town or Kakariko Village. They are said to be born with magic-infused blood and use magic quite often.
The Gerudo are a race of largely female thieves who hail from the desert far to the west of Hyrule. They live in theGerudo's Fortress, nestled in the cliffs of Gerudo Valley, where they guard the entrance to the desert. According to Gerudo lore, only one male Gerudo is born every century, and that single male is to become King of the Gerudo. It is hinted that the Gerudo take on relationships with Hylian men for reproductive purposes. The Gerudo have a largely Arabesque appearance, even carrying scimitar-like swords for protection.
The Kokiri, a humanoid, child-like race, reside deep in the Kokiri Forest under the protection of the Great Deku Tree. With long lifespans and never aging, these small beings are the dominant race of the forest and are the guardians of theForest Temple deep in the Lost Woods. They have only ever appeared in Hyrule, making them unique to the land, unlike other races.
The mysterious Sheikah are a race of ninja-like shadow warriors, said to be the guardians of the Royal Family of Hyrule. They are said to have been the builders and founders of Kakariko Village. Little definite information is known about this race, but speculation abounds as to their history and the reasons for their subsequent disappearance. The Sheikah have red-colored eyes but are otherwise a humanoid race of beings quite similar in appearance to Hylians and humans.
The Wind Tribe are a race of humanoid beings who have magical powers strongly connected to the winds, as the guardians of the Wind Element. They were responsible for the construction of the Fortress of Winds in the Wind Ruins just south of Castor Wilds as well as thePalace of Winds and the Tower of Winds above Hyrule.They were said to have been the favorite tribe of Gustaf, an ancient King of Hyrule.After living in the marshlands of the Castor Wilds for a time, the Wind Tribe abandoned the Wind Ruins and the Fortress of Winds, leaving for the Cloud Tops and taking the Wind Element with them. In the Cloud Tops, they have made the Tower of Winds their home as well as the road to the Palace of Winds.
The Zoras are aquatic, amphibious creatures that inhabit the waters of the kingdom, and are found in different forms which differ greatly in appearance and behavior. River Zoras occupy the rivers and appear more fish-like and aggressive, and can spit fireballs at passers-by, whereas Sea Zoras seem to be more peaceful and appear to be a hybrid between human and fish. Zora’s Domain is home to much of the Zora race, and is the source of all of Hyrule’s water in most stories set in Hyrule. The Zoras are often ruled by a monarchy themselves, the Royal Family of the Zoras usually headed by King Zora, though they also swear allegiance to the central Hyrulean government.They serve the Royal Family of Hyrule largely by guarding Hyrule’s water supply.
The Gorons are a race of rock-consuming, golem-like creatures that inhabit the mountainous regions and rocky areas of Hyrule, largely Death Mountain.They possess superhuman strength and the ability to curl up into a ball and roll at high speeds, and are completely heat-resistant, able to wade through lava for extended periods of time. They have formed an alliance with the Royal Family of Hyrule, answering to the central government headed by the King of Hyrule.However, in the day-to-day governing of their tribe, they live under a council of elders typically headed by a patriarch, such as Darunia or Darbus.
Also inhabiting the forests of the kingdom are the plant-like race known as the Deku. The Deku of Hyrule are composed of the Deku Scrubs, which spit nuts as passersby or try to sell wares to those whom they meet. Typically these Deku Scrubs will live near a Deku Flower, into which they can retreat. The Deku do not appear to have any allegiance to any form of government in Hyrule. The term "Deku" has referred to Great Deku Tree,Deku Baba, and
many items related to the forest nature of the creatures.
The Zuna are a race of desert-dwelling nomads featured so far only in Four Swords Adventures, where they inhabit the Desert of Doubt alongside the Gerudo. They are a race of green-skinned humanoid beings that are said to be descended from the ancient tribe that built the Pyramid and sealed the Trident of Power there.Outside of that, little is known of their race's origins or how they came to live in Hyrule. They live in a small village in the central part of the Desert of Doubt, in small huts with flowers atop their roofs.
The Minish are a race of tiny beings who are largely responsible for Rupees and countless objects such as Magic Jarsand Bombs being hidden in the weeds, grass, and beneath the pots throughout Hyrule. They are said to be concerned with bringing happiness to humans. The Minish seemingly did not originate from Hyrule however, as their homeland is said to be the Minish Realm that is connected to Hyrule. The passageway connecting the two worlds, the Minish Door, opens only temporarily once a century to allow the Minish to traverse to or from Hyrule. Though they primarily live in the Minish Village deep in the Minish Woods of Hyrule, they are also scattered around Hyrule, such as in Hyrule Town, Castor Wilds, and even up on Mount Crenel.
The strange Oocca race inhabits the City in the Sky, floating high above Hyrule. Only fragments of the Oocca's history have been revealed. They are said to be the creators of the Dominion Rod (known to their tribe as the "Rod of the Heavens"), a magical rod that possesses the power to infuse life into certain statues found scattered across Hyrule.They are hinted to have had a close connection to both the Royal Family of Hyrule and the Sheikah, as they left the Ancient Sky Book to the Sheikah tribe upon departing for the City in the Sky. The Oocca maintained relations with the Royal Family even after they left for the skies, by means of the "Messenger to the Heavens" who would carry the "Rod of the Heavens" and journey between the surface and the city by the Sky Cannon. The Oocca have mysteriously lost touch with the surface-dwellers of Hyrule and nobody has seen one in living memory, causing many to believe their existence to be a myth.
Aside from the following races, Hyrule's inhabitants include many familiar animals such as horses, cows, dogs, cats, and the like. The distinction between Animals and Beasts lies in the aggressiveness of the two. Hyrulean beasts are very varied; the primary categorization used by the Legend of Zelda series' creators is the ones found in the Overworld and those of the Underworlds of Hyrule.
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