Origins of the Legend of Zelda

By Leo Damascus

Author's Notes: I found a website that is broadcasting (as far as I can tell legally) the Legend of Zelda cartoon from the 1980-90s. It is an excellent cartoon, but in episode 1 Link is already in service to Hyrule. I got to wondering how it was that Link came from the "Hero's Life" discussed in that episode ("The Ringer") to the castle life he has through the entire series. So, I wrote this story.


Episode 1: Link's Origins

Zelda rushed through the hallways of the castle as fast as she could. She had been swimming in the falls by the lost mountains with some of the other girls from the kingdom, but news of the attack on Hyrule spread quickly. Her father had been wounded in battle, and she came to tend to his injuries.

As she approached her father's bedroom, she saw one of the Kingdom's magicians leaving the room. She ran up to him; maybe he could explain what was going on.

"How is my father doing?" Zelda inquired. "Can I see him?"

The magician didn't make eye contact with Zelda. "I'm sorry, but you can't see your father right now," he said to his feet. "He has been jinxed by the enemy. He's very contagious right now, and will die if we don't get the eye of a Zora within 24 hours."

Zelda stared blankly into the air in front of her. A slight tear was forming in her eye, but she paid no attention to it. "Didn't we have one of those in the castle storage?"

"About that, princess..." The magician was still talking to his feet. "I needed to cure myself after treating your father. After treating myself, we were out of Zora eyes."

Zelda was infuriated. "It's your job to treat my father!" she yelled.

"Well excuuuuuuse me, princess. I was on the brink of death in there."

"And on the brink of unemployment! You're fired! I don't ever want to see you near the castle again!"

The magician escorted himself out of the castle.

Zelda was no longer fighting her tears. She was letting them flow out of her eyes as rivers. She wailed, "Isn't there anyone who can help my father?"


The Zora was spitting fireballs left and right. It was practically surrounded by a flaming inferno. But that did not stop Link. He was able to dodge everything the Zora threw at him. Eventually the Zora tired itself out and had to dive for air.

"Where do you think you're going?" Link said to the beast, pointing his sword at it. The Zora had never faced a foe this competent before. It was dumbfounded that anything could battle like that. It took a moment to analyze its worthy foe, but that was its fatal mistake. Link's sword fired a jet of light directly at it, dematerializing the beast so that only an eyeball remained.

Link picked up the eyeball, examining the treasure. "All right!" he screamed.

A fairy came out of the bushes. "Link," it said. "Where have you been? I've been looking all over for you."

The fairy's hair was a color that wasn't quite blonde, and wasn't quite brown. She wore a pink animal skin on her body that Link had made for her. Her real name was Miff, but Link had nicknamed her Spryte.

Link sheathed his sword. "I've been kicking butt, Spryte. There's nothing more rewarding than that on a day as lucky as today has been."

"Huh? What do you mean, Link?"

"Well I wake up from our campsite in the lost mountains, and there are all these girls swimming in the falls. So I watch them until they scatter, and try to follow them. But this Zora comes out. I slay it, saving all the girls, and getting one of these valuable Zora eyes as a reward. Not to mention all my adoring Lady fans."

"And where are those adoring Lady fans?" asked Spryte. Link looked around. She was right. All the girls had fled from the scene while Link was battling the Zora.

"Spryte," Link said seriously. "Please don't tell me these things."

"Don't worry Link," Spryte said, batting her eyes. "You've still got one."

"Your three inches tall, Spryte. It wouldn't work out."

Link sheathed his sword. He put the Zora's eye in a satchel tied to his belt. "You didn't happen to see a merchant's cave while you were looking for me, did you?" Link asked Spryte.

"No, but the Hyrule castle isn't too far from here. There is bound to be a merchant there somewhere."

"Which direction is it?"

"To the west a bit."

Link pointed his finger west. "Onward!" he shouted.


The merchant smiled as his customer left. "A pleasure doing business," he said. "Next customer, please."

Link stepped up to the stall. The merchant greeted him. "How can I help you today?"

Link pulled the eye out of the satchel on his belt. "I'd like to sell today," he said to the merchant.

The merchant eyed the Zora eye patiently. This man obviously didn't know how much the eye was worth. The princess Zelda had set a reward of 900 rupees to whoever could deliver a Zora's eye to the castle. The merchant, trying not to reveal his thoughts, turned to Link and announced, "It is in a somewhat shabby condition. I suppose I can give you 10 rupees for it."

Link put the eye back in his satchel. "Spryte," he said to his fairy friend. "Let's go find a merchant who won't insult my intelligence."

The merchant screamed in desperation, "I'll give you 700 rupees for it!"

"Now that's more like it," Link said with a smile on his face. "Why the sudden increase?"

"Well, um..." The merchant tried his hardest to think of a reasonable excuse, but none came. Spryte, however, had been listening to a conversation two Hylians had been having not too far from the stall.

"Do you think anyone will get the eye?" one said.

"No. I hate to think it, but I believe we'll be getting a king soon," said the other.

"Bite your tongue," said the first. "The whole kingdom is praying for our beloved king. And I daresay, 900 rupees for a Zora's eye may be just the incentive needed to find some hero brave enough..." Spryte didn't listen to the rest of the conversation. She ran straight to Link and whispered the information about the eye to him.

Link smiled and bowed to the merchant. "I'm sorry," he said, "but a more enticing offer than yours has presented itself. I'm meeting the princess tonight."


"Princess," said the man knocking on Zelda's door. "Princess, there is someone who wishes to meet with you."

Zelda left her bedroom, thanked the man for his information, and went to the front door of the keep. There, a guard introduced the man who wanted to meet with her as Link. He wore a green tunic and hat. The hat looked like a sleeping cap. Underneath his tunic were the normal brown clothes of a peasant. His pupils were completely black, a color matching his hair perfectly. His face, although very dirty, shined.

Link removed the Zora's eye from his satchel. Zelda reached to get it. Link noticed her long, golden hair fly over her shoulder as she extended her hand. Her magical green eyes glowed with excitement over the package. He could feel her smooth hand as it brushed him. Link could tell he was going to like this girl.

"Oh, right," Zelda said after taking the eye. "I owe you 900 rupees."

Link shook his head. "Keep it princess." That was all he said.

It confused Spryte. This wasn't the aggressive Link she'd known from childhood. She rushed up to Link's ear and said, half screaming, half whispering in his ear, "What are you doing, Link? Didn't we come here to get paid?"

"Will you excuse me a second, princess," Link said. "I'll be right back."

He turned to Spryte, and in a similar half whisper, half scream told her, "Spryte, I've got a plan for something better." Spryte was confused. "We need that money to buy food, Link."

Link was glanced back at the princess to ensure she was still there. She was still there. She was giving the eye to one of her servants, who immediately left to treat the king. Link turned back to Spryte and said, "I'm going to try and get us a job here. We may even be able to live here, getting fed with the royals, and never even worrying about getting food again."

Link didn't wait for Spryte's response.

"Well princess," Link said turning to Zelda, "I had better be off. Unless there is something else I can do for you."

"I'm sorry, I don't believe a caught your name," Zelda said.

"Link's the name. I'm a wandering hero by profession, but would like some steady employment."

"I have one thing you might be able to help with, Link. But you must be warned of the job conditions."

"Fire away," said Link. A smile was creeping its way up his face.

"Any dishonorable discharge, and your title will be changed to 'The Evil.' Anyone with this title can be legally hunted by all bounty hunters in Hyrule."

"Okay," Link said. The smile hadn't faded.

"You will live in the castle, and respond to my every order and command."

Zelda closed her eyes, as if trying to acess the back regions of her mind to remember all the essential info. Link started leaning closer to the princess.

"For your main assignment, you will be required to lose your life fulfilling it if needs be."

Links lips were a mere inch away from Zelda's. Then Spryte flew between them, shocking Link and making him pull his face away. Zelda opened her eyes.

"Hey," Spryte said. "What about me? I'm not sure the princess will want me hanging around."

"Well then," said Link. "I guess you'll have to leave Spryte."

Zelda turned to the fairy. "You could probably do some maid work around the keep to justify your staying here."

"Thank you princess," said Spryte. She smiled and flew over to Link, who didn't share her joy.

"Follow me," Zelda said to Link. She started walking down one of the larger hallways, with Link and Spryte following behind. "Not too long before you got here, Link," said Zelda, never slowing her walking pace, "I fired a wizard named Gannon for saving his own life at the expense of my father's. That's why I even needed the Zora's eye from you."

"So you want me to assassinate him?" Link said hopefully.

"Not exactly. He stole something very precious to the royal family."

"So, you want me to retrieve it."

They had reached their desired destination, a room at the highest tower, guarded only by a wooden door. "Maybe this will explain better," Zelda said, opening the door.

The room was empty, except for a single pedestal. On that pedestal lied a green triangle. It glowed, filling the room with a dim green light. The sun that came in through the window, though, provided more light.

"This is the triforce of wisdom, Link," said Zelda. "The evil wizard, Gannon, has the triforce of power." She looked out the window. "Whoever gets both triforces will rule this land forever. You must help me Link."

Link turned to Zelda. "Hey, for you, Zelda, anything."

Zelda smiled.

"So, I suppose you want me to guard this thing?" Link said, pointing to the Triforce of Wisdom.

"Yes, Link; that's exactly what I want," Zelda replied.

"May I have a kiss for my trouble?"

He had asked it so quick, Zelda didn't know how to respond. She quickly evaluated the circumstance quickly in her head. He had given her the eye, not to mention committed to protecting the triforce.

"All right," she said. She closed her eyes, and Link closed his. The two of them leaned in closer to each other. Their lips were a mere quarter of an inch away.

"Your highness!" The servant Zelda had given the Zora's eye to earlier came bursting into the room. Zelda turned her attention away from Link, and ran to the servant. Link, however, continued moving forward until falling to the floor.

"The eye worked! The king is back to normal!"

The servant and Zelda ran out of the room, back to the king. Link gave a tremendous yelp of pain, followed by a loud "Excuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!"

"Aww, poor Link," said Spryte. Then she flew over and kissed Link on the forehead.


Author's Notes: In the cartoon and the game, Link's enemy is the pig-like creature, Gannon. The 3-D games describe Gannon as having a human form (Gannondorf), but no such form exists for Gannon in the cartoon. In my last episode, though, I wrote Gannon in a way that suggested that he was a Hylian. So, this episode is designed to patch that inconsistency, as well as describe a few more things about Gannon.


Episode 2: Gannon's Origins

Gannon's speed running to the woods was hindered greatly. But he feared for his life staying near the castle. He planned to stay in the woods, so he took his favorite possession with him (a magic book), as well as the triforce of Power that he'd stolen from the royal family shortly after his dishonorable discharge.

The triforce was much heavier than he'd originally thought. He had to carry it with both hands, his magic book in his mouth. He felt slightly silly, fleeing like this beyond the peasants in the streets, but he was thankful none of them had heard yet about his discharge. He knew a large bounty would be on his head soon.

"Hey," called one of the merchants he was fleeing past. "You seem to have a large load there. Can I offer you something to ease your burden?"

Gannon spit the book out of his mouth. "What can you do?"

The merchant smiled. It wasn't a pleasant smile; it clashed with his face. When he smiled, his long crooked nose became upturned, and his equally long and crooked ears folded into the back of his head. His yellow teeth bore the fierceness of a wild dog's, as well as the stench.

"Sleezenose is my name, and pedaling's my game," said the merchant. "What you need is this. The magic words inside will ensure that you never have to carry anything again."

Sleezenose pulled out a book of his own. Its cover was red. On the front it had only a triangle. Gannon instantly coveted this book.

"All right," said Gannon. "Give it to me, I'm in a hurry."

"Not so fast," said Sleezenose. "I can't just give it to you. I need something in return."

Gannon glanced at the triforce. Nah, he thought to himself. Too valuable.

Gannon's only other possession was his own book. Its cover was an ugly shade, halfway between red and brown. It had a line, three dots, and a cross on it. The reasons for these inscriptions Gannon never discovered.

Gannon said, "Fine. You can have this book. I've memorized most of the spells anyway."

"Excellent," said Sleezenose. "I'm sure you'll enjoy your new possession."

The trade, book for book was made. Gannon then put his new book in his mouth, picked up the triforce, and continued on to the woods.

Sleezenose watched his customer as he shrunk into the distance.

"Fool," Sleezenose muttered to himself. "He should learn to try merchandise before purchasing it. That book never worked for me, and I'll be darned if it works for him."

Sleezenose then picked up his new book. He opened it to see what was inside, but instead met a flame jumping out of the pages. He closed the book, partly out of fright, and partly winching from the burn.

"I've no use for a book that I cannot read," Sleezenose said to himself. Just then, an old man in red robes passed by.

"Excuse me," called Sleezenose to the old man. "Can I interest you in a magic book?"


Link tossed and turned in his new bed: a four-poster covered in the finest velvet blankets found in the Magical Kingdom of Hyrule. He hadn't dreamt while he slept, nor had he slept more than a few hours. Even so, his sleep was almost over.

There came a pounding at the door. "Link," came the familiar voice of Spryte, "the princess wanted you to report for duty at sunrise, and the sun has been up for a while now."

Link slowly rose out of bed. As his eyes came into focus, he looked into the mirror across the room from him. He saw himself, in royal bedclothes. They were somewhat effeminate. They were sky blue, and consisted only a silk shirt, large enough to cover his legs in a way similar to a skirt.

Link screamed loudly.

The door flew open as Spryte flew into the room. "What's wrong, Link?" she screamed.

"Look at me," Link said in disgust. "Look what I've become. I'm turning into a pansy!"

Spryte calmed down. "You're not turning into a pansy Link," she said.

"Yes I am! Look at this! What kind of a wuss am I, wearing this stupid thing?!"

"I think it looks cute," Spryte said.

Link glanced at Spryte through the corner of his eye. "I'm going to get dressed now," he said, sounding slightly disturbed.

When Spryte left the room, Link put on his usual green ensemble. He left his bedroom, and went to meet Zelda in the room with the triforce. Spryte secretly followed him.

"It's about time, hero," Zelda said when Link arrived. She had been waiting for hours for Link to get up.

"Sorry, princess," said Link. "I guess I overslept, a little."

"A little?!" yelled Zelda. "The sun has been up for three hours now! Do you have any idea how much time I've wasted waiting for you here?"

"I just figured, being the great hero I am, I needed to have a good night's rest. And, while I was at it, a good afternoon's rest, too," Link said.

"Don't make me regret hiring you," Zelda snapped.

"Well excuuuuuuuuse me, princess."

Link and Zelda both turned their attention to the triforce, though neither could knew why. A woman's voice filled the room. It was a majestic voice, speaking in verse. It said:

"A watchful eye, needn't be

Only in reality

The sleeping dragon, breathing fire

Guards its treasure, without tire."

Spryte nodded her head. "I see," she whispered to herself. But Link still heard her. "Spryte," he yelled. "Have you been spying on me?"

"Well, um..."

"Wait," said Zelda. "Do you have any clue what that was supposed to mean?"

"Of course," said Spryte triumphantly. "The triforce said that Link doesn't always have to be awake when he's guarding the triforce. He'll wake up when he needs to."

"You hear that, Zelda?" said Link. "It said I get to sleep in. And since it's the Triforce of Wisdom, it must be right."

"Well," Zelda said reluctantly. "I guess you can sleep, then. We just need to move your room up here first."

"Great," said Link. "Just call me when you're done."

"Trust me. You'll know," Zelda chuckled.

"How's that?"

"You're going to be moving your stuff yourself," Zelda said.

"But, I..."

"What? You work for me, remember?" said Zelda. She went to the door, then turned around and winked. "Consider it your first assignment," she said. A triumphant stroll led her out the door.


"Let's see," Gannon said to himself. He had been traveling a whole night and day. He finally made it deep enough into the woods that he felt safe from the bounty hunter's arrow. He decided that now was a good time to try out his newly purchased book.

"The introduction says to read the final page before attempting any of the other spells," Gannon said aloud. He flipped the book to the end. The last page contained only one instruction: The emerald will give you your hearts desire when you utter the words, "Dduw chan allu, anrhega 'm 'm awydda," in the God of Power's ears. Until then, this book has no use.

Gannon screamed the words aloud, "DDUW CHAN ALLU, ANRHEGA 'M 'M AWYDDA!" A blinding flash of light filled the forest. Gannon had gone blind. Amidst the black abyss of his vision, though, he could still see the triforce of power's eyes.

"So," it said to him. "Someone finally learned my power. And now you want power, I believe?"

Gannon did not speak. He dared not to; his fear was greater than he had ever experienced before.

"A little shy, aren't we?" the triforce said to Gannon. "No matter, I know your thoughts. I've read the history of your mind, and learned of your dispute with the castle. Although I am meant for nobler deeds, you did utter the magic phrase. I will assist you in your deed."

Gannon still didn't speak. His fear was diminishing, but still predominant.

Slowly his vision returned. The green paradise that was the forest slowly faded back into existence. It was raining. It had started while Gannon was blind. The triforce was lying in a puddle. Gannon went to retrieve it, but stopped when he saw his reflection. What he saw shocked him.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Gannon screamed.

Link's attention turned toward the window. Something awful was happening to someone out there, he just knew it. The high-pitched scream rung through his ears.

"What's the matter, Link?" asked Spryte.

"That scream," Link said. "It's horrible. Someone out there is in need of assistance. Yet, I'm stuck here, unable to help whoever it is."

Spryte flew onto Link's shoulder. "I know how you are feeling," said Spryte. "But you need to pick your battles, Link. Right now, the princess needs you."

Link unsheathed his sword, stared at it for a moment, and then put it back. "I guess you're right," Link said. "I needn't worry about the screaming person right away."


The immediate shock of his appearance had left Gannon. Living in the woods, he didn't need to confront the reality that he was now a pig like creature. He had, however, noticed an immediate increase in strength.

Gannon was thumbing through the book as quickly as he could. He begun quickly to love the power he had received from the triforce. He wanted more, and wouldn't stop until the whole world was his.

He quickly found many useful spells. One let him shoot light from his hands so compressed that it would burn objects. One led him to a world underground, which Gannon claimed for himself. One created a giant jar, from which creatures would spring to do his bidding. There was one that let him teleport to any place in his underground kingdom. Then, there was his favorite: a spell that let him create objects, and some tiny creatures, with his mind.

"This is great," said Gannon. "I'll be able to get back at Zelda, and rule over Hyrule!"

Gannon summoned forth an army of minions, consisting of Moblins, Stalfos, and every other creature of Hyrule that one could hate.

"Now, my minions attack!"

Gannon watched proudly as his army marched to Hyrule. His proud stare, however, was interrupted, by the triforce.

"This won't work, Gannon," it said. "Should you reach power, it will be threw an iron fist; iron rusts."

A smirk slithered its way up Gannon's lip. "Only in the rain," he said.


Spryte was gazing out the window. She noticed some movement in the forest's trees. It was a very violent movement, which was peculiar because there was only a light wind that day.

"Link," she called. "You should come see this."

Link looked out the window just in time to see the army of creatures march out of the forest. His hand found its way to his sword. He unsheathed it without even looking down.

"Tell the princess, Spryte," Link said, never taking his gaze from the window.

Spryte flew out the door, down the hall, and to the Zelda's room. She was out of breath when entering.

"What's wrong, Spryte?" Zelda asked, setting down the green book she'd been reading.

Spryte exhaled the words, "Monsters... Link... Army... hurry!"

Zelda ran to the window. She too saw the legion of creatures swelling from the forest. They were near the castle now, and needed to be dealt with immediately.

She yelled from her window, "We're under attack!" An army of Hyrule's own responded her cry. They ran through the streets to meet this evil legion. They quickly found their way to Gannon's army, but were received rather badly. The first wave of men was destroyed in a matter of seconds, and the second wave refused to engage in combat. Instead, they fled to the East Most Peninsula.

Zelda watched in terror as the legion of monsters fell upon the castle.

As the castle wall chipped away, Gannon felt the joy of revenge growing within him. His minions were completing their task, and all was going well. Then, suddenly, a pink light flew to the ground, slaying five of his monsters.

"What was that?!" roared Gannon.

The source of the light emerged, and Gannon found himself confronting Link. Sword in hand, and battle ready, Link aimed at his opponent. Gannon quickly shot a beam from his finger, knocking Link's sword from his hand. Link regrouped, pulling a bow and arrow from the satchel on his belt. He pulled back, and an arrow appeared magically. He fired it directly at Gannon, but Gannon dodged it.

"Who are you?" Gannon yelled. Link didn't answer; Zelda did it for him.

"Link," Zelda called. "I saw you fighting from the window. I came to help."

Gannon leered at Zelda. "Nice of you to drop by," he said in a malicious tone. He snapped his fingers, and his entire army of monsters turned their attention to Zelda and Link. Gannon laughed, and disappeared in a puff of smoke.

"What now, hero?" Zelda asked an accusatory tone. Link grabbed her hand and hurried with her back toward the castle. They had made it as far as the bridge before meeting the army. But upon this meeting, Link jumped off the bridge with Zelda toward the moat below. He fired beams of light from his sword directly into the water below, causing himself to fly safely onto a rock nearby. Zelda, on the other hand, fell directly into the water.

"Nice job, hero," she said with contempt.

Link was shocked. "Hey!" he said loudly. "Excuuuuuuuuuse me, princess."

"Not so loud," Spryte whispered. It shocked both Link and Zelda, who thought that Spryte was still in the castle, rather than following them. "There are still monsters on the bridge."

"Not for long," Link said, aiming his sword toward the army. A beam of light shot from his blade directly into one of the monsters. It de-energized the instant it was hit. One by one, Link repeated this process, until the whole army had been defeated. He sheathed his sword.

"Ta da!" Link sang triumphantly. "Saved your life princess! Kiss me!"

Zelda stood up, and walked over to Link. Once she was sure she had his full attention, she gave her reply.

"I don't like wet kisses."

Zelda climbed out of the moat and returned to the castle.

"Darn it!" said Link. "I was that close!"


"Any minute now," Gannon announced to himself, "my minions will return to me, with Hyrule in hand."

Gannon was in his underworld palace, in his throne room. It consisted merely of a throne atop a large staircase, the giant jar he'd created earlier, and the triforce of power.

Suddenly, the jar became active. Monsters appeared in it. They kept on appearing for quite some time, until the jar was near overflowing.

"Why," said Gannon, "that looks like..."

"Your entire army?" said the triforce. Gannon glared at it, but it continued talking. "You won't be able to take Hyrule using sheer force. Although weak in power at this time, they posses great wisdom. Zelda was inspired by the triforce of wisdom to hire Link. There was nothing you could do to defeat him, and unless you outsmart him, there never will be."

"How?" said Gannon. "How can I outsmart him?"

The triforce glowed brilliantly, casting a blood red light brilliantly across the cave. Then, quietly, it said, "Take away the source of their source of wisdom."

"Their triforce," said Gannon.



Don't forget to stop by Leo Damascus' forums Bored and Simple to discuss this great fan-fiction!

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