The Reality of Koholint Island & Detailed Zelda Timeline Analysis: The Conclusion
This is not something I can summarize briefly, so to understand what is being talked about here, you will have to read my 2 previous blogs first and then this one.
After yet another playthrough of Ocarina of Time I noticed another very interesting thing that I wanted to bring up as evidence for my idea that the island that is Eastern Hyrule in Zelda II was once Koholint Island in Link's Awakening. So this is the second addendum to my original blog and the final one in what is now Part 3 in a trilogy of blogs dealing with the reality of Koholint Island. You can find the first 2 parts below and I highly recommend reading them before reading this to understand the context of what is discussed in this blog:
Part 1: Zelda Mysteries: Reading Between the Lines Part 3: The Annexation of Koholint Island to Hyrule
Now let's get started with Part 3.
The Landscape of Koholint vs. The Landscape Eastern Hyrule
As you may recall, in Part 1 the question regarding the possibility of Koholint Island being materialized as an actual island & annexed offshore to Hyrule as Eastern Hyrule in Zelda II was posed. The very first thing I did after posing that question was compare the general shapes of Koholint Island from Link's Awakening to Eastern Hyrule in Zelda II. I mentioned how if you rotate the image of Koholint Island I posted in Part 1, how it could be superimposed on top of the image of Eastern Hyrule to a certain degree. Thanks to REVULSIVE who was able to rotate the image of Koholint for me (since I don't have software that does that), we can now have a better comparison of the 2 islands.
The shapes of the 2 islands are amazingly similar, especially regarding the concave shape of Martha's Bay on the eastern part of Koholint Island when compared to the similar concave shape of the bay situated between Nabooru & the Ocean Palace (Level 5) on the eastern side of Eastern Hyrule. In Part 1, I continued to elaborate on how certain areas of Koholint Island correspond to areas on Eastern Hyrule.
The Mountain Town of Darunia happens to fall around the same area where the Western Tal Tal Mountains on the northwest side of Koholint are; not far from where the Wind Fish's egg on Mount Tamaranch was before it would disappear as a result of the Wind Fish waking up.
Another thing that's apparent is that the northeastern part of Eastern Hyrule doesn't protrude into the ocean as much as the corresponding area of Koholint Island (circled in red). That corresponding part of Koholint is the Eastern Tal Tal Mountains where the Eagle's Tower is located. But if you look further at the entire Eastern Hyrule, you'll see Maze Island bridged to the rest of the island.
Given how Maze Island is about the same size & shape of that circled part of the Eastern Tal Tal Mountains and is rocky with a mountainous terrain, it's as if a sizable chunk of the northeastern part of Koholint Island broke off somehow & became Maze Island following its materialization.
Anyway, in Part 1 I continued speculating about these corresponding areas and how it's possible that the Ocean Palace itself could be the former Catfish's Maw from Link's Awakening, how Goponga Swamp corresponds to that swamp north of the deserted Kasuto (the swamp with the extra life doll), and how the Eastern Toronbo Shore beach area at the south corresponds to the shores off the Three Eye Rocks. Another thing I speculated in Part 1 and what I would like to elaborate on in this blog, is how the Mabe Village & Mysterious Woods areas could have become that lava wasteland south of the Great Palace. At first, I thought that this was contradictory to the point I was trying to make, but when I played through Ocarina of Time again, I noticed something in the game that explains the lava wasteland.
In Ocarina of Time, when Link enters the Fire Temple and meets Darunia, he tells Link how Ganondorf revived the ancient fire-breathing dragon, Volvagia. And more importantly, he warns that if Volvagia escapes, all of Hyrule will become a burning wasteland. When I read this again, the term wasteland popped up as I remembered that's the exact term I used to describe the area south of the Great Palace on Eastern Hyrule. Furthermore, a burning wasteland is exactly what that area is!
In fact it looks as if the trees & soil of the Mysterious Woods & Mabe Village in its entirety were burned down to the very rock and became a fiery wasteland. And if we look a little further to the east, we find the last of the 6 palaces in the game that Link must place a crystal in to undo the Binding Force of the Great Palace. That palace is the Three Eye Rock Palace, and the most interesting thing about it regarding what Darunia told Link in Ocarina of Time is its guardian/boss, Barba.
In the original Zelda II, the name Barba was a mistranslation of his Japanese name Barubajia, which is the same name Volvagia has in the Japanese version of Ocarina of Time. So this means that Barba is Volvagia and what Darunia said about Volvagia about turning Hyrule into a burning wasteland applies to Barba! The difference between Zelda II and Ocarina of Time is that in Zelda II, its was the king of Hyrule instead of Ganon(dorf) who was responsible for the resurrection of Barba/Volvagia since he was the one who created all the palaces and their guardians as the manual stated.
Those who read Part 1 know that after analyzing various facts & events such as the golden age of Hyrule and the Triforce's location, I created an interpretation that explains that this king was the same king who returned at the end of A Link to the Past thanks to the Link in that same game who was the same Link in the Oracle games and Link's Awakening. So since the king resurrected Barba in this case, then he did so with a purpose. The creation of all the palaces & their guardians would have likely been done with the full Triforce, so it may be safe to assume the king had control over Barba with the Triforce. A likely scenario following the materialization of Koholint Island as Eastern Hyrule would be the king visiting Eastern Hyrule. As I pointed out in Parts 1 & 2, Eastern Hyrule would be deserted since the inhabitants of Koholint Island were not dreams but real like Link, Prince Richard, the Mad Batter, and other characters found in non-dream worlds of other games. So when the inhabitants of Koholint like Marin, Tarin, Papahl, etc woke up, they would wake up in the spot in which they were pulled into the dream & not Koholint itself because there was no Koholint until it was materialized by the Triforce. Therefore the king visited what was then the recently materialized Koholint Island when it was lacking any humans or animals. He could have even sent out soldiers or others to scout the land to ensure that there was indeed nobody on the island. Then the king was nearing his death & sought out an heir for the Triforce of Courage, which was mentioned in the Zelda II manual.
He was unable to find an heir worthy of the Triforce of Courage in his lifetime. In Part 2, I provided four possible explanations for this:
1. Link (from ALttP, the Oracle games, and LA) dying before the king did
2. Link leaving on another adventure when the king was near death & not being available to inherit the Triforce
3. Link leaving to somewhere in Eastern Hyrule (the former Koholint Island) to settle down & start a family with Marin, losing contact with the king & being unavailable to inherit the Triforce for that reason
4. Link & his entire bloodline being cursed & infused with the presence of the Shadow Nightmares that bound themselves to him as his shadow following their return when Koholint Island was materialized (see Part 2 for a detailed explanation)
The Burning of Eastern Hyrule: 2 Scenarios
Given any of the above 4 scenarios about why the Link from A Link to the Past, the Oracle games, and Link's Awakening was not available/eligible to inherit the Triforce of Courage thereby prompting the king to create the palaces & place the Triforce of Courage in the Great Palace, there are 2 scenarios how that lava wasteland came to be:
1. The king, shortly before his death, would have scouted the areas on which the 6 palaces and the Great Palace would be built, and upon confirmation that nobody was living in the area south of the Great Palace, he had Barba raze that area into a burning wasteland to make it so that only one worthy of the Triforce of Courage could make his way to the Great Palace. After all, Barba was the boss of the Three Eye Rocks Palace & wasn't far from that wasteland.
2. Upon resurrecting Barba, the king at first did not have control of him and Barba escaped to burn down that part of Eastern Hyrule/Koholint Island before the king with the Triforce or Link (had he been cursed by the Nightmares to become ineligible of inheriting the Triforce of Courage) stopped Barba & lured him into the Three Eye Rocks Palace. Given this scenario, another interesting thing to notice is Barba's trajectory. With the Mountain Town of Darunia being associated with the Goron Darunia who Barba/Volvagia has a history with, Barba could have instinctively been making his way to that area, which is north of the Great Palace, where he could have been stopped/gained control over right around the border at the Great Palace.
Summary: Koholint Island became Eastern Hyrule
So that's my complete analysis of the landscape of the 2 islands and how the idea that Koholint Island was materialized into an actual island that became Eastern Hyrule is extremely plausible given the similarities in the landscapes, explanations to account for the differences, and especially given the context of the timeline & how it all fits in when all the scenarios in Parts 1-3 of this trilogy of blogs are considered. It also accounts for the existence of that island, which was never seen in any of the games preceding Zelda II in the timeline, though it would have existed in the original game The Legend of Zelda, which focused only on the southern portion of mainland Hyrule when you look at the full overworld map of Zelda II.
The Magician from Zelda II
I also wanted to follow up something I brought up in Part 2 regarding the Shadow Nightmares of Link's Awakening. I talked about how the shadows of Ganon & Agahnim from that game weren't merely bosses that mimicked those characters but the actual spirits of the respective fallen enemies from A Link to the Past and the Oracle Games (regarding Ganon who was briefly resurrected in the combined ending of those games). I mentioned in the scenario where Link & his bloodline were cursed with their presence following the materialization of Koholint Island that 4 of the 6 Shadow Nightmares (excluding Agahnim & Ganon's shadows) combined & infused themselves with Link to create his shadow--the same shadow that Link's descendant in Zelda II fought before claiming the Triforce of Courage.
We all know how Ganon's Shadow went on to be resurrected or reincarnated again as the Ganon from The Legend of Zelda following his defeat in Link's Awakening and the materialization of Koholint Island. The materialization of Koholint is the explanation I gave in Part 2 for Ganon's spirit's return to the real world following the events of Link's Awakening. But what happened to Agahnim's shadow following Koholint Island's materialization?
As we know, Agahnim is the wizard who in the backstory of A Link to the Past gains the king's trust and takes over Hyrule while sending the 7 maidens to the Dark World to open up the Wise Men's seal & release his master Ganon. Ganon even calls him his alter ego & through telepathy of sorts, Ganon influences events on Hyrule (the Light World) while he's stuck in the Dark World. Once Agahnim goes to the Dark World after Link defeats him for the first time, he even gets possessed by Ganon's essence. He is like a weaker double of Ganon, which is how the Japanese version of A Link to the Past describes him. In that version, Ganon calls Agahnim a bunshin, which is the same word used to describe the doubles of Meg the Poe Sister in the Forest Temple in the Japanese version of Ocarina of Time.
There are various clues however that may reveal what happened to Agahnim. If we check out his appearance, note the blue skin he has along with the long fingernails, and the cloak that covers most of his body & face. Then there's the fact that he's a magician and one who became close to the royal family to gain their trust. Now let's look at another character.
The Magician mentioned in the Zelda II manual is very similar to Agahnim in many ways. He has similar blue skin, similar long fingernails, is also a wizard/magician, wears a cloak covering most of his body, and also injected himself into the affairs of the royal family & gained their trust. In the Magician's case, he got close to the prince of Hyrule after he became the new king to find out where the Triforce of Courage was hidden. The manual stated that this Magician too was close to the wise king prior to his death & he told the prince (new king) of Hyrule that the wise king only told Zelda where the Triforce of Courage was located. When the prince (new king) asked Zelda (his sister), she refused to tell him. Unlike the prince, the Magician got very angry and threatened to put Zelda under a spell of eternal sleep if she didn't divulge its whereabouts. She still refused and the Magician went a step further and cast his spell on Zelda, which cost him his life. Several circumstances here point out to the Magician and Agahnim being one and the same.
Now remember that in Part 1 of these blogs, I put the branch of the timeline containing the games from A Link to the Past to Zelda II in context & created an explanation that the king who is referred to in the Zelda II manual & who ruled in the golden age of Hyrule is the one who returns at the end of A Link to the Past when the full Triforce is brought to Hyrule by Link. Even though this means that same king would have allowed a magician to get close to him again, there is a difference. This time, he did not trust anyone but his daughter with the location of the final part of the Triforce despite declaring his son (the prince) as the heir of the other 2 pieces. Furthermore, I explained in Part 1 that this means the Zelda placed under the sleeping spell who Link saves in Zelda II is the same one featured in A Link to the Past.
Even though the prince referred to in the Zelda II manual who was never seen in A Link to the Past but is the brother of the Zelda in that game would have been present during the events of Agahnim's betrayal of the royal family, he was temporarily blinded by his greed for the Triforce of Courage and allowed the Magician to participate in the interrogation of its location, which he later on regretted. So what do I think?
The Magician's (Agahnim's) Motives
Now let's look at the Magician's motives. He went as far as to cast a spell that cost him his life. Why would he do this? Well there are 2 reasons:
1. The first reason is that he was serving someone else and upon realizing that he wasn't going to get what he wanted, he delivered a suicide attack. Who would he be serving? Ganon of course. No logical person would kill themselves unless they were completely dedicated to serving someone who wanted the same thing they were after (the Triforce). Since Ganon's will was to get the Triforce & Agahnim didn't have a will of his own, he would do anything including sacrifice himself to get it. It's possible that the Magician/Agahnim didn't know he would die prior to casting the spell. Since Ganon was dead and existed as a shadow during these events, getting the full Triforce would surely help resurrect him much sooner than he otherwise would. The Magician knew where to find the Triforces of Power & Wisdom, so he was focused on the part that was missing. And when Zelda refused even after his threat, he attacked her with the spell. Even if the Magician/Agahnim knew he would die, he would know that putting Zelda to sleep would prompt a hero to search for & unearth the Triforce of Courage which Ganon or his underlings could take once he returned.
2. The second reason the Magician/Agahnim went as far as he did is revenge and that relates to the target of the Magician's suicide attack, namely Princess Zelda. Since in my analysis this is the same Zelda as the one featured in A Link to the Past and the same one who existed during Link's adventure in Link's Awakening (though not seen in that game), Agahnim would have a score to settle with her regarding her role in breaking the seal around Ganon's Tower in addition to getting back at her for not divulging the information about the location of the Triforce of Courage. So for Zelda helping Link in ALttP & not spilling the beans on the whereabouts of the Triforce of Courage, the Magician/Agahnim did what he did for revenge as well.
Summary: Agahnim post-Link's Awakening
So there you have it. Agahnim found a way to take a physical form after the materialization of his defeated shadow (along with the materialization of the other Shadow Nightmares & Koholint Island itself) in the real world (Hyrule), was weakened without the presence of Ganon in his usual living form, and disguised himself as another magician to infiltrate Hyrule Castle so he could get his hands on the Triforce under the new king's (i.e. the former prince of Hyrule; aka Zelda's brother) rule. He used the new king's greed for the missing piece of the Triforce to participate in the interrogation of its whereabouts and upon failing cast a spell that cost him his life, yet put Zelda into a deep sleep.
Sources & Special Thanks:
- REVULSIVE (for the rotated image of Koholint Island)
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link manual
- My walkthrough of Zelda II
- My walkthrough of Link's Awakening
- My walkthrough of The Legend of Zelda (1st Quest)