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Tectonic Activity - Explaining the Differences in Hyrule's Geography (OoT/TP)

Discussion in 'Zelda Theory' started by Castle, May 17, 2016.

  1. Castle

    Castle Ch!ld0fV!si0n

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    So I'm still trying to make sense of the discrepancies between the Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess maps.

    My last thread on the subject suggested that tectonic activity is responsible for TP's Death Mountain and may explain its perplexing location compared to previous games.

    http://zeldadungeon.net/forum/threads/snowpeak-is-death-mountain.55135/

    But taking a gander at the terrain of Twilight Princess one can identify signs of heavy tectonic activity all over the map.

    First of all, in general Hyrule's terrain in Twilight Princess is extremely rugged. This is true for both navigable spaces as well as backdrops which tend to be the most rugged. Hyrule field features lots of hills, abrupt outcroppings of rock and most notably massive crevasse running straight through and all around them. The entirety of Eldin Field is essentially a plateau or mesa completely surrounded by deep, seemingly bottomless gorges. Even the forest region features rugged terrain, deep gorges, stark outcroppings of rock and vast highlands bordering the region. The flattest region of Hyrule in TP is the desert, and even it features the occasional outcropping, rolling terrain and is itself a highland plateau far removed from Lake Hylia by a massive cliff and bordered by highlands.

    Lake Hylia is the most telling. The lake in TP is far far larger than before. It is also situated in an extensive valley. In OoT it was a lake on a flat plain. In ALttP it was a marshy wetland. In TP it occupies a massive basin bordered by cliffs and spanned by bridges. In order to get to the lakebed you have to travel many meters down. In one corner there are many spires of flat-top rock jutting up from the lakebed. TP's extensive river region features mind blowing evidence of a highland region ripped apart.

    Where the desert seems to have been pushed upwards, Lake Hylia seems to have been collapsed downwards.

    My theory? At some point after OoT Hyrule suffered MASSIVE geological instability that literally changed the map. This would account for the change in scale between OoT and TPs much larger atlas. It would also account for the relative change in position between Hyrule's various regions as well as the drastic change in appearance of each individual region. It tore massive holes in Hyrules geography that are still evident.

    Socially, Hyrule also still features signs of recovery from such an event, with the Goron's massive complex from OoT notably absent and Hyrule Castle Town serving as the Hylian's sole civic center while Kakariko and Ordon serve as provincial towns. Hyrule Castle Town's inexplicably massive scale may be evidence of a building boom that often follows periods of civic destruction. TP's Kakariko Village is not the same as OoT's and appears to be little more than a fledgling frontier town. And Old Kakariko in TP is evidently OoT's Kakariko Village yet the two bear no resemblance. It is possible that OoT's Kakariko was leveled and some shoddy attempt was made to rebuild it and quickly abandoned. This would account for Old Kakariko's buildings consisting of little more than their front facades. Then there are the unidentifiable ruins found through Hyrule, such as the low walls and paved areas in Eldin Field some theorize are the remains of Lon Lon Ranch and of course what many believe to be the ruins of old Castle Town from OoT in the forest. An earthquake leveling OoT's Castle Town may explain the new location of Hyrule Castle in TP (spacial dependencies notwithstanding - which is why I am inclined to believe that the ruins in the forest are not castle town).

    Obviously such an event would have had dire ramifications for Hyrule and its denizens. But what could have caused it? Was it natural or the result of a more man-made calamity a-la The Wind Waker's Great Flood? Could magic or divine intervention be to blame for such massive geological upheaval? To my knowledge, nowhere in TP is such a memorable event ever mentioned or alluded to. It may be taboo to mention it, but if it were the result of conflict you'd think people would be more inclined to discuss it. It is also likely that such a calamitous event would be attributed to the Gods which would loosen people's lips on the matter even more. But for whatever reason it never comes up as a point of discussion.

    What about the theory itself? Does it hold weight? Is it bupkus? Is there any other evidence or speculation in support of or contrary to this theory? And could it have a bearing on Hyrule's history and narrative in past and future games?
     
  2. SpiritOfTheHero

    SpiritOfTheHero

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    That's an extremely solid, and well-thought out analysis of the changing geography from OoT to TP. I will need time to actually formulate an articulate response to this but what I can say is that in my personal opinion; I think that TP's Hyrule is evidence of political expansion to include new territory such as the Ordona Province, and the Faron Province which were likely not originally part of Hylian jurisdiction.

    I also believe that the Temple of Time in TP is the former Forest Temple as the Sacred Grove is heavily implied to be The Lost Woods, but maybe, during that cataclysm of geological instability of Hyrule from OoT to TP, the Temple of Time in OoT Castle Town was completely levelled, and the Forest Temple from OoT was converted into a new Temple of Time? If the event was as severe as you say, it would have taken centuries to rebuild, which explains why TP's Temple of Time is in ruins.
     
  3. Castle

    Castle Ch!ld0fV!si0n

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    The political expansion could also be further evidence of a geological calamity affecting hyrule. Such calamaties as plague, famine, war affect migration. If geological instability had rocked Hyrule, the various peoples could have ventured out into new territories seeking relief. This would account for the settlement of Ordon and the abandonment of Old Kakariko and subsequent resettlement of the village in Twilight Princess. It could also account for the Snowpeak Ruins as a theorized outpost for a Hylian expedition into the Snowpeak region. After the calamities subsided migration could have suddenly halted with most of the populace remaining in the rebuilt Castle Town and leaving the frontier settlements like Ordon and Kakariko sparsely populated. Without the need to settle the Snowpeak region (not to mention its inhospitable conditions) the theorized expedition would have withdrawn and left the manor house to ruin.
     
  4. YIGAhim

    YIGAhim Sole Survivor Forum Volunteer

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    Tectonic plates move at the same pace as your growing fingernails.

    There was not long enough of a time in between games for tectonic activity to make much sense with this conclusion, unless the tectonic activity spiked due to something Ganon did or something
     
  5. SpiritOfTheHero

    SpiritOfTheHero

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    Well, in TP, the Sages at the Mirror Chamber at the Arbiter's Grounds talk about some sort of viscious calamity that Ganondorf was sentenced for, I don't recall what exactly for though. There's also the fierce war of the interlopers but this was likely early into Zelda continuity, likely post-SS. All in all, maybe this calamity that Ganondorf commited created a fierce earthquake which decimated Hyrule.
     
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  6. YIGAhim

    YIGAhim Sole Survivor Forum Volunteer

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    Very possible. I wish HH expanded on what Ganondorf did to deserve a Sword through his heart. I don't know when exactly that happened to him, however, and if it was recent, then there's no way the world of Hyrule would havev recovered fast enough for TP to make sense
     
  7. SpiritOfTheHero

    SpiritOfTheHero

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    Well, it's implied that it was recent.... if I had to estimate the timeframe in-game, I would say within the last 10 years max. Definitely long enough for Hyrule to recover from whatever it was that Ganondorf did.
     
  8. YIGAhim

    YIGAhim Sole Survivor Forum Volunteer

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    I can buy that. Maybe what he did will be expanded upon next game
     
  9. SpiritOfTheHero

    SpiritOfTheHero

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    I sure hope so, I'm eager to know what it was that he did. I also do think that the Twilight Realm is in fact the Dark World from A Link to the Past.
     
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  10. Spiritual Mask Salesman

    Spiritual Mask Salesman ~ Deus' Pug Smuggler ~

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    A tectonic shift inbetween OoT and TP evidently occured. The path of the Zora river has changed drastically between the games, and I believe it is following a fault line, water tends to move in the path with least resistence.

    The desert is higher up than Lake Hylia, and unaccessible. There are even fault lines found in the Gerudo Desert in TP. Perhaps there was a strike-slip fault in that vicinity? On the otherhand, the Lake could have become deeper and larger simply by erosion. But that'd take a very long time, so the former theory would be the more plausible answer.

    Zora's Domain perplexes me. It was licated to the east of Death Mountain, but in Twilight Princess it is located to its northwest. I doubt tectonic shifts could explain that, it's more likely that Zora's Domain in TP isn't the same one as in OoT.

    Now a very wild theory. The Lost Woods connects places in Hyrule that, geographically, are far away. Could it be possible that the Lost Woods has caused some abnormal shifts in geographical locations?
     
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  11. SpiritOfTheHero

    SpiritOfTheHero

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    Is it possible that the tectonic shift from OoT to TP that levelled a large portion of Hyrule began in the Gerudo Province? There's a large gorge in OoT just prior to entering the Gerudo Fortress with a huge river of water leading directly into Lake Hylia, it's possible that this geological instability caused the river to increase in rapidity and volume, and that would have flooded Lake Hylia even further - thus increasing its size but it wouldn't explain how Gerudo Desert is much further up and virtually inaccessible without unconventional means.

    It's possible that the Lost Woods have created geographical shifting in Hylian territory but I am not sure to what extent this is true. I would say though that the Master Sword being located in the Sacred Grove/Lost Woods is reasonable as it was located in the Lost Woods in ALttP.
     
  12. Castle

    Castle Ch!ld0fV!si0n

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    The problem with basing any theory off the location of Zora's Domain relative to Death Mountain is the map flip ninty pulled between the Cube and Wii versions. Which atlas is "official?" Since the map is flipped on the north/south vertical axis, one of the versions features the true orientation.
     
  13. SpiritOfTheHero

    SpiritOfTheHero

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    Well, on the Wii version (Which is the version of TP that I own), it was said for the Wii, that the map and everything was mirrored to accomodate the Wii Remote which would be held in the right hand. So, the GameCube would be the official version of orientation.
     
  14. Castle

    Castle Ch!ld0fV!si0n

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    That is my reasoning as well, but who's to say? Not even nintendo, arguably, since they tend to play so fast and loose with canon in regards to consistency.
     
  15. SpiritOfTheHero

    SpiritOfTheHero

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    We
    Well, we can always go by release date, the Wii version came out later, so the GameCube version would be the logical choice of map orientation/region orientation.