• Welcome to ZD Forums! You must create an account and log in to see and participate in the Shoutbox chat on this main index page.

What country is The Kingdom of Hyrule based on?

What country/continent do you think Hyrule is based on?

  • Europe (England, France, Germany)

    Votes: 18 100.0%
  • Africa (Egypt)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Middle East (Israel)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    18
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Location
Canada
So, what country does everyone think Hyrule is supposed to be based on? I don't think it's Oriental as Hylians have Christian like characteristics, The Temple of Time in Ocarina of Time and earlier LoZ games have a Christian theme. The Book of Magic in The Legend of Zelda even has a cross on it, like The Holy Bible, a Christian book. Some fans have speculated Hyrule is like The Promised Land and is therefore based on The Middle East, specifically, Ancient Israel but the terrain in the game suggests a European setting, specifically, I'm thinking Northern Europe, such as England, or even France, maybe even Germany based on the lush fields and countryside.

What does everyone else think?
 

Spiritual Mask Salesman

~ ZD's Pug Smuggler ~
Staff member
ZD Legend
Comm. Coordinator
Site Staff
Joined
Oct 18, 2011
Location
The astral plane
It's pretty obvious that it has a Europeon vibe, as the games normally take place in a medieval era. The medieval era, or Dark Ages, in reality, mainly only occured in Europe. Meanwhile Asian and Arabic culture continued to flourish. The medieval architectural inspiration can only be drawn from Europe. And the lush countryside definitely has a Europeon feel to it.

I must point out , I've seen it suggested that the Gerudo Desert, and the Gerudo tribe, might be based off of Middle Eastern culture. In the past, and even presentely there were desert nomads. We have stories like Arabian Nights which depict arabs specifically as thieves. It just so happens the Gerudo are a nomadic desert people who are thieves. In the original Nintendo 64 version of Ocarina of Time, the Gerudo symbol actually was the Islamic symbol.





I'm not sure if it caused outrage, but to avoid backlash, the Gerudo symbol was changed.
 

YIGAhim

Sole Survivor
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Location
Stomp
Gender
Male
It is absolutely based off of Europe, but as said, the Gerudo is clearly based off of the middle east
 

Pen

The game is on!
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Location
Sweden
I think it depends a lot on what version of Hyrule as well as what part of Hyrule we're talking about.

Hyrule in the first three games I'd say is heavily influenced by medieval Europe based on the architecture we see in those games and in their official artwork. As for the Hyrule we see in OoT I'd say mostly the same, however the Gerudo area seems so be very based in the Middle East/northern Africa because of the symbols, the clothing, the weaponry etc.

Twilight Princess is probably the most Eoropean of them all, I'd say, because it shows us a variety of different types of civilisations. From the farming village of Ordon to the crowded capital of Castle Town. It's all very clearly different "classes" of medieval Europe. The exceptions in this game would be Kakariko and the Hidden Village, which both resemble towns from the American west of the 1800s or somewhere around there.

Breath of the Wild carries on the medieval Europe vibe to a large extent for obvious reasons, but we also saw them expand on the Middle Eastern/north African themes of the Gerudo area, which was nice. And Lurelin Village didn't seem very Europeas to me either. Instead it reminded me of an island somewhere in the Caribbean or in the Pacific Ocean. But the most pleasant surprise I got from BotW was in the Sheikah and Yiga areas. I think it's quite funny that it took them all the way until this game to create some eastern Asian areas in Hyrule; namely Kakariko Village and the Yiga Clan Hideout. These areas look as if they come straight out of Japan's Sengoku era, and I for one was overjoyed to have places like these in Zelda. Additionally the three dragons in the game as well as the many monks in the shrines are clearly inspired by eastern Asian culture, and I hope to see Nintendo take Hyrule even further in this direction in future Zelda games. :)
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Location
Canada
I think it depends a lot on what version of Hyrule as well as what part of Hyrule we're talking about.

Hyrule in the first three games I'd say is heavily influenced by medieval Europe based on the architecture we see in those games and in their official artwork. As for the Hyrule we see in OoT I'd say mostly the same, however the Gerudo area seems so be very based in the Middle East/northern Africa because of the symbols, the clothing, the weaponry etc.

Twilight Princess is probably the most Eoropean of them all, I'd say, because it shows us a variety of different types of civilisations. From the farming village of Ordon to the crowded capital of Castle Town. It's all very clearly different "classes" of medieval Europe. The exceptions in this game would be Kakariko and the Hidden Village, which both resemble towns from the American west of the 1800s or somewhere around there.

Breath of the Wild carries on the medieval Europe vibe to a large extent for obvious reasons, but we also saw them expand on the Middle Eastern/north African themes of the Gerudo area, which was nice. And Lurelin Village didn't seem very Europeas to me either. Instead it reminded me of an island somewhere in the Caribbean or in the Pacific Ocean. But the most pleasant surprise I got from BotW was in the Sheikah and Yiga areas. I think it's quite funny that it took them all the way until this game to create some eastern Asian areas in Hyrule; namely Kakariko Village and the Yiga Clan Hideout. These areas look as if they come straight out of Japan's Sengoku era, and I for one was overjoyed to have places like these in Zelda. Additionally the three dragons in the game as well as the many monks in the shrines are clearly inspired by eastern Asian culture, and I hope to see Nintendo take Hyrule even further in this direction in future Zelda games. :)
That makes sense, but I think in terms of archetypes; the Hylians are without a doubt, based on Europeans whereas the Gerudo are based perhaps on Arabic, Egyptian, or even Hebrew peoples. I think generally, Hyrule Proper where Hyrule Castle, and Castle Town are located as well as the many villages are European (English and French mainly) inspired but Gerudo Desert, I feel could be Middle Eastern (Israelite, Egyptian, Arabic - something along those lines). If I had to name a country; I'd have to say that it's a blend of both African/European themes.

Insofar as time periods are concerned, I personally feel that Ocarina of Time occurs during the mid-Medieval era, something around the 1100-1200s, and Twilight Pricess would be the high-Medieval era, so, 1300-1400s. A game such as A Link To The Past would be early Medieval era, and Skyward Sword would undoubtedly be pre-Middle Ages, and be considered the Ancient era of the Zelda continuity. I'm not sure what time period Breath of the Wild would fall into though.
 

Castle

Ch!ld0fV!si0n
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Location
Crisis? What Crisis?
Gender
Pan-decepticon-transdeliberate-selfidentifying-sodiumbased-extraexistential-temporal anomaly
Europe, for certain. The Zelda series is (or was) inspired by classic medieval fantasy. Aspects of the King Arthur legend are very apparent in the first game. It's essentially a crusade for the holy grail. Or in TLoZ's case, the Triforce.

Zelda II and ALttP both strongly feature medieval aesthetics, although Zelda II seems to have some Mediterranean aesthetic as well. Ancient Greek or Roman.

Nowhere in the series is the medieval fairy tale more obvious than in ALttP and Ocarina of Time, the latter of which features some obviously middle eastern or arabic influence as well. Historically, the history of Europe and the Middle East are heavily intertwined as it is for the Hylians and the Gerudo in Ocarina.

Even the early games featured Christian crosses in their aesthetic. The "sanctuary" in ALttP strongly resembles a Christian church as does the Temple of Time in Ocarina. Castles throughout the series are of European influence. English long swords and kite shields of medieval origin are common throughout the series. Kakariko Village is a quintessential medieval village in every game except Twilight Princess.

Recently however the series has strayed a bit from its medieval fantasy roots. The aesthetic of Suckward and BotW are fairly "unique" to the series. Majora's Mask strays far from the series' medieval European trappings and Wind Waker is obviously set in a Caribbean inspired setting. Twilight Princess is one of the more recent titles to retain its medieval European aesthetic and it lays it on pretty thick.
 

Hero of Pizza Time

Happy Mask Shop's #1 employee
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Location
Behind you!
Gender
opresive strait wite mail
I think it's a mix of medieval Europe, Biblical Israel, and Japan.
We see the medieval Europe part abundantly with the architecture, weaponry, society etc.
Hyrule does seem to be an allegory for Israel. A promised land given by a god to people. The flooding of Hyrule, while not a parallel to an event that exclusively happened in Israel, might be based on an event described in both the Bible and Torah and is important to the Judeo-Christain belief system.
Hyrule also draws a lot of inspiration from Japanese history and society. Even the Triforce itself was based on a symbol of the Hojo clan. Shigeru Miyamoto himself has said that the original Zelda game was based on his adventures as a kid growing up in Japan. Many of the names sound pretty Asian to me also (Rauru, Yuga, Sheik, etc.), so there is a lot of Japanese inspiration too.
There is maybe a bit of Indian too because of the three goddesses, although that combined with the whole chosen hero thing makes it feel a bit more greek.


Edit: When it came to the European part of the inspiration, I always assumed somewhere like England or Germany, and that might be true for the 2D games, but from Ocarina of Time onward, I would say Spain. Well, I would first like to point out that a lot of the guards have spears, which is not something I believe was common in the Celtic region. Also, due to the location, Spain was one of the most, well, multicultural places in Europe. You had Catholics, you had Jews, you had Muslims, you had whites, you had dark-skinned people; of course, a lot of these people were kicked out eventually but they were there for a time. And that brings us to the climate, which houses middle eastern deserts, temperate forests and snowy areas simultaneously. Again, Spain is in a strange location: In Europe, but also neighbors with North Africa, so it has a different climate than a lot of Europe.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Location
Canada
I think it's a mix of medieval Europe, Biblical Israel, and Japan.
We see the medieval Europe part abundantly with the architecture, weaponry, society etc.
Hyrule does seem to be an allegory for Israel. A promised land given by a god to people. The flooding of Hyrule, while not a parallel to an event that exclusively happened in Israel, might be based on an event described in both the Bible and Torah and is important to the Judeo-Christain belief system.
Hyrule also draws a lot of inspiration from Japanese history and society. Even the Triforce itself was based on a symbol of the Hojo clan. Shigeru Miyamoto himself has said that the original Zelda game was based on his adventures as a kid growing up in Japan. Many of the names sound pretty Asian to me also (Rauru, Yuga, Sheik, etc.), so there is a lot of Japanese inspiration too.
There is maybe a bit of Indian too because of the three goddesses, although that combined with the whole chosen hero thing makes it feel a bit more greek.
There's definitely a blend of various mythologies and religions in the LoZ universe. Hyrule being The Promised Land would make sense, entrusted to Hylians by the goddess Hylia, but Hylians are also clearly an allegory for Europeans, most likely Keltic peoples.

The Gerudos are likely a representation of Arabians/Egyptians... something like that with Gerudo Desert being a metaphor for Egypt or Saudi Arabia.

The collection of deities in LoZ is a reflection of Greek mythology, especially given the nature of Link's adventures. He is summoned, often supernaturally, by the voice of a deity or a messenger to a divine being such as Rauru in OoT summoning Adult Link, the Sages would be representatives of the goddesses' themselves, but I reckon even that role could befall to the light spirits who could be ambassadors or mediators.

I think it's quite obvious that Link's characteristics and role as a hero are modeled after the epic hero from Greek mythology.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
I think it’s like Scotland or Ireland because it’s religion it seems very similar to the Celtic religion of Druidism. It describes becoming a part of the tree when you die if you’re parts are buried around a tree. This reminds me of Flute Boy in ALttP becoming a tree, and the great deku tree being a tree deity of sorts. Druidism is also a multi-god religion, similar to the “Hylian Religion”.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
I've always seen Hungary or Romania as real-world counterpart to Hyrule: a region distinctly European, but distinctly on the periphery, and too close to the Middle East for comfort. Link feels Russian to me, or maybe German; and there are versions of "Maria Morevna" that gave me a really Zelda-ish vibe.

But Hyrule has always been a lush, rainy country with a lot of fountains and springs, even before Breath of the Wild. France and Britain are like that, for sure, but how rainy does Wallachia get?
 

Dio

~ ZD's Pug Dealer ~
Joined
Jul 6, 2011
Location
England
Gender
Gingerblackmexicanjew
Each game takes different influences. For Ocarina of Time I would say Hyrule field and to an extent the towns give off a vibe similar to Tuscany. The buildings seem to have that same colour scheme. The red roofs and the white walls. The lush fields surrounding are also similar to that area. Italy is also home to volcanoes.


The Gerudo desert area however seems to be inspired by the Middle East and maybe Egypt to some extent considering the grand statues and the presence of Anubis. The Gerudo garb seems to be influenced by Arabian styling. And their symbol used to be the moon and star of Islam.
 

Alita the Pun

Dmitri
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Location
Nintendo Memeverse
Gender
A Mellophone Player... Mellophonista?
if we are talking OoT, it seems to be inspired by medieval Europe, probably not German as Germany has many mountains and we usually see castles built on these high points or near rivers (esp. the Rhine) Also, medieval Germany was mostly split into "tribes" for lack of a better term and didn't have any real government until only a few hundred years ago. because of this, we would have secluded, isolated castles where one family (and its patrons) would stay and defend rather than these big castles that govern over the fiefdoms and such. I think that Hyrule is much more reminiscent of England or France. the architecture of the castles certainly agree with this. we see this from the large grey stone castles with a wall encircling the main town while there is a special keep reserved for royalty. it seems that the further away you go from the royal palace, the less well off people are. still it is a thriving town. We also see the royal family's crest draped over the castle like is seen in these western kingdoms. We can also see this little settlement of Kakariko which would be an ideal location for an independent village outside of the protection of Hyrule castle's walls and drawbridge. it has an easily defendable position, nestled at the foot of a mountain with only one way up, making an tactically ideal choke point. if we take a look at the gerudo town, we see the mystery and intrigue that the Eastern countries had in the eyes of the western powers like France and England. the gerudo have this exotic atmosphere that we see in medieval depictions of India and China. I think that this is really interesting!!
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top Bottom