Many SPOILERS are contained throughout these posts. You have been warned!

Termina - The Realm of Time

Continuing off of my theory on the Sacred Realm being part of Hyrule, what does that mean for the parallel dimension of Termina that Link slips into in Majora's Mask?

First, some background info:

- Before Ocarina of Time, Hyrule was at war. The different religions factions and races of Hyrule were all fighting over control of the Sacred Realm. In the end, the fighting stopped and Hyrule became united as one country.

- The royal family of Hyrule, the waters of the Zora people, the shadows of the Sheikah village, the fires of the Death Mountain tribe, the protectors of the Forest, and the spirits of the Gerudo Desert then collaborated together to guard the Sacred Realm. The door of time was guarded by the 3 spiritual stones of different tribes and the Ocarina of Time. The Sacred Realm itself was guarded by 7 sages, who were eventually replaced by 1 member from each tribe.

- Rauru, the sage of Light, was the only sage who wasn't replaced. The origins of the original seven sages seem to be from the Sacred Realm itself, the "World of Light". They originally built the Temple of Light to guard the triforce. When Link awakes in the chamber of sages, only Rauru remains alive, the other original sages have been killed.

- The "World of Light" became sealed off from the rest of Hyrule when the Temple of Time was built to guard it, hence it became known as the "Sacred Realm".

- So Rauru, the sage of Light, is a member of the now-sealed world of light. The other 6 sages are each from different tribes with different elemental powers. The only one who's element is unknown, is the 7th sage, Zelda.

- The Ocarina of Time was the sacred item possessed by the royal family. For this reason, the royal family might be connected to the element of time like the Zoras are to water, Gorons to fire, etc... Therefore, the 7th sage is the sage of time.

What I think this means, is that the 7 different factions in OoT are all connected to different "realms" in the Zelda universe.

- Rauru's power is from the realm of light/Sacred Realm
- Saria's power comes from the realm of forest
- Darunia's power comes from the realm of fire
- Ruto's power comes from the realm of water (is this actually the Ocean Realm?)
- Impa's power comes from the realm of shadow (this might actually be the Twilight Realm)
- Nabooru's power comes from the realm of spirits.
- Zelda's power comes from the realm of time.

Spirit Tracks also supports this. The land in ST is divided up into different "Realms".

If the royal family is connected to the realm of time, and the Temple of Time is located near them, then maybe the realm of time is located near them as well?

The seal on the Temple of Time might have also had the effect of sealing up the "Realm of Time" into its own dimension. The land of Termina is certainly a different realm from the rest of the world. The people of Termina come together to celebrate the "Festival of Time" in Clock Town. They worship time itself, like the people of light worship the Triforce.

Think back to the child ending of OoT. Navi flies away from Link and out through the window in the Temple of Time. The game immediately following that event is Majora's Mask. At the beginning of MM, Link is searching through an unknown part of the forest looking for Navi... Maybe the Realm of Time is located on the outskirts of the Temple of Time/Castle Town, and this is where Link went searching for Navi and fell into Termina.

Then what does the skull kid have to do with the Realm of Time? The Skull Kid is from the forest, the realm of protectors. The forest people are tied to the element of Courage. Courage comes from feelings such as hope, trust, and friendship. The Skull Kid lost all of those things when his friends, the four giants of Termina, left him.

Skull Kid felt betrayed. Then after the Skull Kid found the cursed Majora's Mask, he went on a rampage getting revenge on the people of Termina for taking his friends away. The cursed power of Majora's Mask is a dark force that feeds off anger, hatred, and sadness. The Skull Kid turned to this power of darkness, and with his anger he threatened to destroy Termina by making an angry moon fall down onto it.

The Realm of Time was nearly destroyed by the power of anger. But Link collected the masks of people who he made happy, and gave them to the Skull Kid as an act of friendship. The masks symbolized a timeless friendship that stays with Link even after he rewinds time. Thus Link proved to Skull Kid that friendship is eternal, and the cursed power of Majora's Mask no longer affected him...


Hyrule's Sacred Realm

The Sacred Realm in the Zelda series has always been very mysterious. It seems to be like an alternate dimension, but it is also described as being located somewhere in Hyrule. What is the Sacred Realm really? Is it just the arbitrary name given to the resting place of the triforce, with no other meaning attached? Or does it serve another purpose?

Here's a brief review of each game's description of the Sacred Realm.
Starting with the most recent description of it.

Twilight Princess:

When all was chaos, the goddesses descended and gave order and life to the world. They granted power equally to all who dwelt in the light, and then returned to the heavens. The lands where the goddesses descended came to be known as the Sacred Realm. For ages, the people lived at ease, content in mind and body… But soon, word of the Sacred Realm spread through Hyrule, and a great battle ensued…

That doesn't tell us much, it actually kind of confuses things a bit. But let's look at the translation of that text from the Japanese version of Twilight Princess:

The goddesses descended to the world of chaos where there was nothing at all, and created life and order. And after granting power equally to all people, they returned to the heavens. For a long time, the world was at peace, with people's hearts being deeply faithful… But at length, a rivalry ensued over Hyrule, the holy land.

This quote doesn't even mention the Sacred Realm at all, and simply states that Hyrule is what was faught over during the early wars. When you take these two quotes literally, it almost seems like Hyrule IS the Sacred Realm. In a way, I suppose it is.

Ocarina of Time:

The three great goddesses, their labors completed, departed for the heavens. And golden sacred triangles remained at the point where the goddesses left the world. Since then, the sacred triangles have become the basis of our world's providence. And, the resting place of the triangles has become the Sacred Realm.
-Deku Tree

OoT states that the resting place of the triforce has "become" the Sacred Realm, suggesting that it wasn't always called that. In fact, the "Sacred Realm" used to be just a certain place within Hyrule. That place is the point where the goddesses left the triforce. After the sages built the Temple of Time to protect the entrance to this place, it became a closed off "realm" known as the Sacred Realm.

There's also this useful piece of information:

The resting place of the sacred triangle, the Sacred Realm, is a mirror that reflects what is in the heart....

It's almost as if the Sacred Realm gives off divine powers just by being near it...

A Link to the Past:

Hyrule, where many Hylian relics have been left, is an area very much tied to myth. One such example is an old saying about the Triforce.

"The golden power lies somewhere descended from the heavens. He who claims it as his own shall have their desires granted by the gods."

The people, seeking the Golden Power, began searching for the Sacred Realm. Many reports began to surface; lying beneath the relics of the desert, inside the graves of the race of people in the high mountains, but no one ever found it.

Longing soon became greed, and it was not uncommon for blood to be spilt for certain information. The more carefree people had to live days of disquiet.

That is, until one day, completely by chance, the entrance to the Sacred Realm was opened by by a certain group of thieves.
-SNES manual (Japanese version)

According to this backstory, the Sacred Realm was hidden somewhere in Hyrule. At that time, nobody could find it until this group of thieves stumbled upon it. If we take the quotes from Twilight Princess, they now match up. Since the Sacred Realm is within Hyrule, and in the time that TP describes, the Sacred Realm was unsealed, the terms "Hyrule" and "Sacred Realm" can be used interchangeably here.

Putting it all together:

Hyrule is the holy land where the goddesses descended onto the world of chaos, and the Sacred Realm is the point where the goddesses departed for the heavens. To me, this description of the Sacred Realm seems to imply that there is something very important and mystical about this physical location where the goddesses left the triforce. This sacred place seems to grant god-like abilities to anyone who merely enters it.

"The triforce grants the wishes in the heart of the one who touches it"
"The Sacred Realm is a mirror that reflects the heart of the one who enters it"

I believe these two statements are related. Both have to do with your proximity to the divine powers that created the world. In the case of the triforce, touching it grants your wishes. In the case of the Sacred Realm, entering it brings you so close to the realm of the gods, that you become close to being a god yourself.

As mentioned before, the Sacred Realm is not a closed, alternate dimension. It was only called the Sacred Realm by the time of OoT. In fact, I would imagine before the Temple of Time was built to as a seal around the Sacred Realm, Hyrule itself was basically the Sacred Realm, and anyone could go into the Temple of Light to worship the sacred light given off by the Triforce. They lived in a temporary paradise up until the first seal was made.

Eventually, people started fighting over the triforce, so the 7 sages sealed away its location in order to keep it from being corrupted by evil. That location then became known as the "Sacred Realm". The sages remained in the SR to borrow power from the gods. Each sage carries with them a medallion, an artifact which grants other people the power of that particular sage, in the same way that the triforce grants the holder the power of the goddesses. The sages are like gods themselves because they reside in the Sacred Realm, the point closest to the realm of the gods, and they left behind medallions in various temples as symbols of their power.

The Sacred Realm is what makes Hyrule the holy land of the gods. Hyrule contains relics that grant the power of the gods to its holders. The Ocarina of Time, the Harp, the Sage Medallions, the Dominion Rod... and of course the Triforce. It also hides within it the Sacred Realm, the place where gods descend/depart and leave behind their powers.

The Sacred Realm is obviously very important to the story of the Legend of Zelda. The very proximity of Hyrule to the Sacred Realm of the gods makes Hyrule into mystical realm where legends are born and destinies are written...


Funniest quotes from Portal 2

Announcer: Good morning. You have been in suspension for -FIFTY- days. In
compliance with state and federal regulations, all testing candidates in the
Aperture Science Extended Relaxation Center must be revived periodically for a
mandatory physical and mental wellness exercise.
Announcer: You will hear a buzzer. When you hear the buzzer, look up at the
ceiling. [BUZZER]
Announcer: Good. You will hear a buzzer. When you hear the buzzer, look down at
the floor. [BUZZER]
Announcer: Good. This completes the gymnastic portion of your mandatory
physical and mental wellness exercise.
Announcer: There is a framed painting on the wall. Please go stand in front of
Announcer: This is art. You will hear a buzzer. When you hear the buzzer, stare
at the art. [BUZZER]
Announcer: You should now feel mentally reinvigorated. If you suspect staring
at art has not provided the required intellectual sustenance, reflect briefly
on this classical music.

Announcer: If you are a non-employee who has discovered this facility amid the
ruins of civilization, welcome! And remember: Testing is the future, and the
future starts with you.
Announcer: Good work getting this far, future-starter! That said, if you are
simple-minded, old, or irradiated in such a way that the future should not
start with you, please return to your primitive tribe and send back someone
better- qualified for testing.

Announcer: This next test is very dangerous. To help you remain tranquil in the
face of almost certain death, smooth jazz will be deployed in three. Two. One.

Announcer: Warning! Neurotoxin pressure has reached dangerously unlethal

Announcer: At the time of this recording, Federal disclosure policies require
us to inform you that this next test is probably lethal and to redirect you to
a safer test environment.
Announcer: We will attempt to comply with these now non-existent agencies by
playing some more smooth jazz.


Ganon plays Phantom Hourglass - Part 2

Well I guess I'd better go along with Linebeck on his ship before he becomes the main character or something...

Seems that he's going to be Link's travel companion this time around. A worthy successor to the great talking dragon boat!

Linebeck: Well, look who's gracing our presence! It's old man Oshus!

Oshus: The bridge has been fixed, so I thought I'd check up on the youngsters here... You're an amazing lad to emerge alive from the temple, Link! Very courageous for one so early in his years...

Linebeck: You sent me into that treacherous temple too, you old barnacle!

Oshus: Any who enter the temple unprepared will find it a terrifying ordeal... And most would lose heart and flee for their lives upon hearing me say it. But evidently, there are true heroes among us...

Linebeck: Preen my feathers a little more, old man! Yep, I'm famous, all right!

Oshus: Not you, fool! You're a wreck! You'd be sunk by now if our young friend here hadn't shown up!

Linebeck: I was injured! On a typical day, I blaze through one or two such temples...before breakfast!

Oshus: Calm yourself, Linebeck, and tell me what you've made of the temple's map.

Linebeck: I've inspected it fully. My trained eye finds that it holds no secrets at all! But wait, old man! What do you know of this map?

Oshus: Hohoho... Has the map's puzzle eluded you, Linebeck? If I may see the map...
A standard map would simply show you where to go, would it not?

It's a scratch and win map! Touch the right spot and win the ability to move on to the next level!


Skyward Sword story predictions

While most of us Zelda fans are looking forward to the exciting gameplay of Skyward Sword and the unique Wii Motion Plus control scheme, there's also quite a lot to look forward to in the story and overall timeline references. Looking at what we know about Skyward Sword so far, it seems to be consistent with a lot of the story elements from the last console Zelda title, Twilight Princess. Here's an article that details the parallel themes between the two games.

Skyward Sword as an Expansion of Twilight Princess’ Themes

First of all, the director of the Zelda games, Eiji Aunuma, has expressed great interest in fixing up the Zelda timeline with future games. He wrote the bulk of the story for Twilight Princess as an attempt to tie in to older games and provide some foresight into the stories of future games. Although it was given major changes by Mitsuhiro Takano and Aya Kyogoku which removed some of the connections, Twilight Princess still did its job of establishing the basis for a new story arc.

Since 1998, Ocarina of Time has been considered the major focal point of the story, from which all future Zelda games are based on. Skyward Sword will be the next major focal point in the Zelda timeline. When Aunuma wrote the story for Twilight Princess, he already had his ideas for Skyward Sword in mind, and TP began to shift the focus away from OoT and instead used the ideas for Skyward Sword as its main backstory.


Super Mario 3D Land info/predictions

Nintendo's newest Mario title coming out for the 3DS seems like it'll be quite interesting... Currently the 3DS is lacking in original titles, but Nintendo's newest Mario title will definitely be one of those things that warrants buying a new system. Mario games have a proven track record of getting better and better with each new evolution of the series. What we know about Super Mario 3D Land so far:

- It combines elements from 3D Mario and 2D Mario games to make a completely new game engine. The game's being built ground-up for the 3DS, and it will make use of the gyroscope to put a unique spin on the gameplay.
- As always the case with Mario games, the level designs are unique and interesting. Director Yoshiaki Koizumi also designed and directed Super Mario Galaxy, his influence on this title will undoubtedly make it great.
- It's likely to make use of the 3D effects in some cool ways that we haven't seen yet...
- Shigeru Miyamoto describes this particular game as "completely original" and a cross between Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 64.
- The tanooki suit from SMB3 returns, as well as some other old powerups along with new ones.

11 minute gameplay video:

Release date is November 2011. If you have a 3DS, this is not a game you'll want to miss out on. Super Mario 3D Land is the type of game that defines what gaming is all about. It's going to be amazing and will certainly be one of the iconic Mario games to be remembered for generations to come.