Legend Of Zelda: Everything You Need To Know About The Calamity

Compared to the normally happy-go-lucky games of Nintendo, The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild is pretty dang dour. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where Ganon has basically won and Link has to sleep for a century to recover from injuries he sustained in battle. The Great Calamity took an awful toll on Hyrule, but thankfully, you get to set things right by defeating Calamity Ganon and freeing Zelda from her 100-year long mission to keep him at bay.

But how exactly did The Great Calamity happen? Breath Of The Wild only doles out bits of information about how one of the worst periods in Hyrule’s history occurred. Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity is out this week to fill in some of the gaps of this timeline. To get you up to speed for that adventure, here’s what you need to know about The Great Calamity.

What Is The Great Calamity?

The Great Calamity refers to the war between Hyrule and Calamity Ganon. In case you were confused about the difference between Calamity Ganon and regular old boring Ganon, Calamity Ganon is basically the pure evil of Ganon distilled into an all-powerful being. Instead of trying to reshape itself into a Gerudo or pig-like form, this essence of malevolence turned itself a demi-god of destruction able to wreak havoc upon the land of Hyrule. It’s a bad thing.

The first Calamity actually occurs 10,000 years prior to the events of Breath Of The Wild. Calamity Ganon is defeated thanks to the help of an unnamed hero and princess – wonder who they could have been – along with mechanical devices called Guardians and four Champions controlling giant, animal-shaped war machines known as The Divine Beasts. These were created by the scientifically advanced Sheikah Tribe, who built them to aid Hyrule in the upcoming war. Ironically, these machines that were built to stave off Calamity Canon would eventually lead to the downfall of the entire kingdom.

How Did The Great Calamity Happen?

9900 years after the first Calamity and 100 years prior to the events of Breath Of The Wild, a prophecy foretells of the return of Calamity Ganon. So, to prevent a new Calamity, King Rhoam orders the Sheikah tribe to excavate the long-dormant Divine Beasts, gathers a new group of Champions to control them, and instructs Zelda to develop the powers she inherited from her royal bloodline that will help to seal Calamity Ganon away.

Unfortunately, things don’t go as well this time as Calamity Ganon has come up with a pretty solid game plan during his time away.  He possesses the Guardians and turns them on the people of Hyrule. He then takes over each of the Divine Beasts and kills the Champions controlling them. In the ensuing mayhem, King Rhoam is killed, the Hyrulean army is decimated, and Hyrule is reduced to ruins as monsters overrun the land.

What Happened To Everyone Involved?

Link – the wielder of the Master Sword and the personal protector of Princess Zelda – is gravely injured trying to save Zelda from possessed Guardians. Intense emotional distress within Zelda allows her latent powers to finally manifest, which allows her to shut down the Guardians. In an effort to save his life, Zelda orders Sheikah Tribe members Impa, Robbie, and Purah to place Link’s body in the Shrine Of Resurrection atop the Great Plateau in the hopes that he’ll wake up someday. She then uses her powers to seal herself and Calamity Ganon away in Hyrule Castle. That’s where they all remain for the next 100 years leading up to Breath Of The Wild.

The four Champions controlling the Divine Beasts each represented a different race from across the lands of Hyrule. The Zora sent their princess, Mipha; the Gerudo chose their Chieftain, Urbosa; the Gorons selected one of their mightiest warriors, Daruk; and finally, the Rito were represented by the cocky and flamboyant Revali. All of these characters formed a bond with both Link and Zelda, but perished when Calamity Ganon emerged and took control of the Divine Beasts. Their spirits linger within the Beasts until Link arrives a century later to purge Calamity Ganon’s influence from each of the giant machines.

Impa, Robbie, and Purah would somehow manage to live for the next 100 years. Impa – who served as Zelda’s royal advisor – would remain in Kakariko Village as their elder and await Link’s arrival. Robbie and Purah each open up their own scientific research labs in Akkala and Hateno. Robbie falls in love with a sentient Ancient Oven named Cherry, while Purah manages to de-age herself to the state of a child due to a botched experiment.

While the inventions of the Sheikah Tribe help to defeat Calamity Ganon, they’re seen as too powerful by the people of Hyrule and shunned by society. This causes some of the tribe members to splinter off and form the villainous Yiga Tribe. They swear loyalty to Ganon and cause trouble across the land. They would attempt to assassinate Zelda multiple times only to be foiled repeatedly by Link and the other Champions. They would also fail to hunt down Impa, Robbie, and Purah over the next century.

Time To Enter The Age Of Calamity

Now you know a little more about The Great Calamity and the people involved. It’s a surprisingly dark and messy storyline for a Zelda title, which may be why it’s resonated with so many players. So if you want to see how things get as dire as they do in Breath Of The Wild – and want to murder thousands of Moblins at the same time – then you might want to check out Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity.

NEXT: Genshin Impact Is Decreasing The Difficulty Of The Childe Boss Fight — Here’s Why That’s A Good Thing

  • TheGamer Originals
  • Nintendo
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Breath of the Wild
  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Jamie Latour is a writer and actor based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. From his hyperactive childhood to his….Well, still hyperactive adulthood, he’s been writing and performing in some capacity for practically his entire life. His love for video games goes all the way back to the age of 4, playing Mega Man 3 for the first time on his NES. He’s an avid gamer and can be found nowadays either messing around in Red Dead 2, or being cheap as can be as Reaper in Overwatch. He’s still starting out when it comes to making online content, but aside from his writing he can found on his Twitch page under the handle SpontaneousJames. You can also find him on social media as @SpontaneousJam on Twitter (because Spontaneous James was too long apparently).

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