Friday Favorites: Versions of Hyrule

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!
World building is important to me in video games. I love being invested in the land and the people in it whenever I play. The Legend of Zelda games tend to take place in Hyrule and there are plenty of fantastic versions of the land.
Ocarina of Time’s Hyrule
Mainly for nostalgia purposes, Ocarina of Time’s Hyrule is one of my favorites mainly because it was my first introduction to the world. I was amazed at the different races of people and monsters that populated the land, as well as all the different landscapes and dungeons that were available to explore.
Skyward Sword’s Hyrule
Technically speaking, Hyrule doesn’t really exist just yet in Skyward Sword’s time. Instead, it’s called the Surface (or Grooseland, according to one character) since the kingdom isn’t established. I was in love with the graphics of this game and seeing the potential kingdom was fun, even if there were parts of the Surface that I wasn’t too fond of.
Twilight Princess’s Hyrule
If the competition between Wind Waker and Twilight Princess still existed, I would be on Twilight Princess’s side. Twilight Princess probably has some of my favorite graphics when it comes to the Zelda games, and I loved the expansive world I could explore while riding around on my horse. Twilight Princess probably also has one of my favorite versions of Kakariko Village — it’s sparse, but I adore the NPCs.
Breath of the Wild’s Hyrule
A desolated version of the kingdom, Breath of the Wild’s enormous map ensured that there was always plenty to explore and discover, especially with all the Easter eggs from previous Zelda games. It has one of my favorite endgames as well. True, the final boss was a tad easy, but it was in proportion to how hard you worked in helping the rest of Hyrule. The more Divine Beasts you freed, the more help Link had from the previous Champions in defeating Calamity Ganon. The more shrines you discovered, the more stamina or hearts you had for health in the final battle. The better prepared you were, the more skills you practiced, the easier the final fight. Jett, I wish I had this answer when we were talking about it during my Deltarune stream!

What is your favorite version of Hyrule?

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Readers Comments (5)

  1. No need to have all of the answers in the moment, though it’s cool that you remembered our Breath of the Wild talk thought it through long enough to give it a subtle nod here. I may or may not have referenced one of our conversations on that same stream in a post that should be going up in the near future 🙂 As long as someone has something to add, all of the threads are open. Heck, I just threw in a tangentially-related link on the preferred gender post from a while back because women’s baseball needs to be a thing.
    Conceptually, I like the idea that the more you help Hyrule by defeating the beasts, the easier Ganon is at the end. What did irk me was that the particulars of that final battle weren’t all that exciting to me. Compared to the intense and involved sword fight of Twilight Princess, or the incredible final sequence in Ocarina of Time, including the multiple phases of that fight and the collapsing castle, Calamity Ganon was a regular boss fight with a shooting gallery at the end.
    Issues with the final battle aside, Breath of the Wild’s Hyrule is also my favourite. That massive world felt like it had an endless amount of adventure to it, and all I had to do was walk around or jump off a mountain before something noteworthy arose.

    • Missing an “and” between talk and thought. Writing complete sentences is hard.

    • Sounds good to me! I saw those links, I have to go through them. 🙂 I love that you keep finding stuff and sticking them on there, haha!
      I see what you mean about the final battle. I probably will mind it more if/when I defeat the final boss again. As for the shooting gallery… I can be horrible at the sequences where you would fight on horseback, haha! So, that probably made that part of the fighting a little more exciting to me. That part in Twilight Princess where you control Epona and Zelda is with you with her light arrows? Can’t tell you how many times I got thrown off while the queen there held on to the horse by the strength of her thighs, looking down at me and probably wondering why the hell they entrusted the protection of Hyrule to me. xD
      With all that said, yes, Breath of the Wild’s world was amazing!

      • First off, love your description of that horseback sequence. Very unique and evocative way of describing that moment 🙂
        Second, while Breath of the Wild and Twilight Princess both had similar horseback riding sequences, the former used it as the climax, while the latter used it as a secondary step that led to a fantastic sword duel. When I fired the last shot and the game ended, I was let down that there wasn’t more.
        Finally, from Zelda to Grand Theft Auto, shooting while driving a vehicle in ANY game is tough. Trying to steer a vehicle one way while looking and aiming another is a lot to juggle.

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