From Gamehiker Wiki
|The Master Sword resting in the Lost Woods.|
|Debut||The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past|
The Master Sword is a magical sword known as the blade of evil's bane which has been featured as an emblematic item of the The Legend of Zelda series since its introduction in A Link to the Past. It is wielded only by a true hero such as Link and is particularly effective against Ganon, possessor of the Triforce of Power. Its origins were explored in Skyward Sword, which featured the Master Sword in its earlier form as the Goddess Sword.
The Master Sword is said to have been forged long before the time of Ganon as instructed by a 'divine oracle' and is said to have been made to prevent the Triforce from being stolen by those with evil hearts. Skyward Sword revealed that it was instead made by the goddess Hylia, and it had to be infused with three flames before reaching its full power. Within The Wind Waker, the source of its power comes from two of the sages, whose prayers to the gods give the sword the power to defeat evil. Without them, it becomes dull and closer to being a normal sword (but still particularly powerful). It is uncertain if this applies outside of The Wind Waker, as the Master Sword does not suffer from this problem in any other game with the exception of Skyward Sword, where the sword started off in a weaker form.
This sword has been used many times by heroes through the ages (all of the known users being incarnations of Link), as Hylia created it for her chosen hero. When it is not in use, the Master Sword usually is resting in a pedestal at once of several locations, although the Hyrule Historia has implied that nearly all of these places are the same geographical locations. In most cases, the sword is used as a key of different sorts and effects its environment after being withdrawn. To claim the Master Sword, three objects (which correspond to the three parts of the Triforce) must usually be obtained beforehand. In Skyward Sword, the sword was also shown to have a spirit known as Fi who acted as a guide to Link. There is no clear sign of her presence in other games, but this may be because she appeared to have entered an eternal sleep within the Master Sword at the end of the game.
The sword and Fi were originally created by Hylia to help her chosen hero to destroy Demise for good. The sword was originally known as the Goddess Sword, and it was kept in a secret shrine on the Isle of the Goddess in Skyloft. When the time came for Link's destiny to begin, Fi guided Link to the shrine and convinced him to draw the sword. The Goddess Sword was able to perform a variety of functions, especially whenever it was charged with holy light by performing the Skyward Strike. The sword was also used to access Silent Realms at certain points, and Fi maintained a dowsing feature for the sword. Throughout Link's quest, he also used the sword to reseal Demise's form as The Imprisoned several times.
Although the Goddess Sword was useful, it was not at its full potential. Link eventually traveled across the three provinces in search of the three sacred flames that were needed to strengthen his sword. Each flame corresponded with one of the three Golden Goddesses and also proved Link worthy of receiving a Triforce piece. The first flame made the sword longer and twice as powerful. The second flame made allowed the sword to dowse for Goddess Cubes. The third and final flame granted infused the sword with a sacred white light that demons reviled. It was at this point that the Goddess Sword revealed its true form as the Master Sword. With the Goddess Sword at its full potential as the Master Sword, Link was able reactivate the dormant Gate of Time at the Temple of Hylia to reach its past version. In the past, Zelda blessed the sword with Hylia's power, which fully unlocked the Master Sword's ultimate form. This granted the sword the mystical power to drive back demons and made Link its sole wielder.
Within the Sky Keep, Link was able to use the Master Sword to access Silent Realm-like areas which held the three Triforce pieces. In the final battles, the Master Sword was used to defeat Ghirahim and destroy Demise. Afterwards, Link placed the Master Sword within a pedestal in the Temple of Hylia while still in the distant past. Fi entered an eternal slumber. Demise's residual consciousness was apparently absorbed into the sword and sealed away, where these remains would slowly decay into nothing. When they returned to the present, the Master Sword was still resting at the Sealed Temple with a light shining on it, although there was no acknowledgment of the sword and pedestal not being visible in earlier portions of the game.
Ocarina of Time
The Master Sword was hidden within the Temple of Time (implied to be built around the Sealed Temple), where it was kept in the Pedestal of Time and could only be reached when the Song of Time was played on the Ocarina of Time with the presence of the three Spiritual Stones to open the Door of Time. Drawing the Master Sword from the pedestal would open a gate to the Sacred Realm. However, the sword could only be drawn by the Hero of Time, and as Link was too young to be the hero of legend, drawing the Master Sword caused him to be placed into a slumber for seven years within the Sacred Realm.
Aside from being Link's primary weapon upon his waking, the Master Sword also functioned as Link's means for time travel. Returning the Master Sword to the Pedestal of Time would send him back to his childhood, and drawing it again would send him back to the future. The Master Sword proved necessary for Link's first battle with Ganondorf and was instrumental for his ultimate defeat, at which point he was sealed within the Evil Realm. At the end of the game, Princess Zelda used the Ocarina of Time to send Link back to his childhood years. Link arrived in the Temple of Time and returned the Master Sword to its resting place (seemingly at a time prior to Link's first drawing it and opening the Sacred Realm), which permanently closed the gates between the two times as they independently became two different timelines. The Master Sword still existed in the other timeline as well, where Zelda returned it to the Temple of Time and closed the Door of Time.
The Master Sword was found in the ruins of the Temple of Time near Faron Forest, known as the Sacred Grove (which seems to have been intended as a way of bridging its different locations in Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past). When Link was trapped in his wolf form by Zant's curse, approaching the Master Sword caused its holy power to cleanse Link and restored his human form. Link then drew the sword and used it in his quest. During return visits to the sanctuary, Link could briefly dip the Master Sword back into its pedestal to open new areas, including the "real" Temple of Time. In the final battle, Link impaled Ganondorf on the Master Sword, leading to Ganondorf's supposed death. In the game's ending credits, the Master Sword was shown to have been returned to its pedestal.
The Wind Waker
The Master Sword was found in the basement of Hyrule Castle (an area adorned with stain glass windows depicting scenes from Ocarina of Time), underneath the Great Sea. Link pulled the Master Sword from its pedestal, causing time to un-freeze in Hyrule Castle. Link attempted to use the Master Sword against Ganondorf, but he failed due to the fact that the Master Sword had grown dull without the prayers of the sages, Laruto and Fado, whom had been killed by Ganon.
Link sought out the two new Sages, Medli and Makar, and he brought them to their respective temples. With their prayers, the Master Sword was restored to full power. Link then used it in battle with Ganondorf. In the end, Link defeated Ganondorf by planting the Master Sword in his head, which turned him into stone. Ganondorf's petrified body and the Master Sword that was still lodged in it were left at the bottom of the Great Sea.
It is uncertain exactly what happened to the Master Sword in this timeline. Link was known to wield it against Ganon and died during the battle. The Hyrula Historia, the only source for this timeline, does not mention what happened to the sword afterwards. The backstory for A Link to the Past does mention that the King of Hyrule and the sages tried to find the Master Sword and a hero capable of wielding it after Ganon found the Triforce, but they could not find either one, which led to them sealing Ganon away by themselves. This account seems to have been retconned out by Hyrule Historia's story, so it is uncertain how the Master Sword goes from Link's possession to being in a pedestal by the events of A Link to the Past.
A Link to the Past
The backstory of the game mentions that during the Imprisoning War, the Within the game, the Master Sword was found in the Lost Woods, and the Hyrula Historia implies that the forest is the rotted form of a temple (most likely the Temple of Time) which held the Master Sword. Link was able to claim it after gathering all three of the Pendants of Virtue. The drawing of the Master Sword also cleared all of the fog in the Lost Woods and allowed Link to shoot sword beams. With the Master Sword in his possession, Link destroyed the barrier blocking off the tower of Hyrule Castle and battled various monsters of the Dark World.
The Master Sword could additionally be upgraded into the Tempered Sword with help from the dwarven smithies. It could then be further upgraded (or simply bypassed straight) into the Golden Sword by Venus, Queen of Fairies. At the end of the game, Link returned the Master Sword to its pedestal, where it would sleep forever.
The Oracle games
The Master Sword also appeared in one of the two Oracle games (Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages). It only appeared if certain conditions were met. It could be accessed either as the final part of a trading sidequest or by distributing passwords between the two games. Depending on the path, the Master Sword is either upgraded from the Noble Sword (casting into doubt the authenticity of the sword's presence in the games) or obtained separately. The Master Sword's appearance in these games does not seem to be canon, as the Hyrula Historia does not acknowledge it, and the Oracle games are positioned as direct sequels to A Link to the Past, where the Master Sword was just left in the Lost Woods forever.
There are a total of four variable paths towards getting the Master Sword depending on the order the two games are played with and whether the trading sidequest or password is done first. By going through the trading sidequest after the passwords (meaning that the upgrade would be used to make the Wooden Sword into the Noble Sword), the Master Sword is obtained as an independent item. In Oracle of Seasons, it could notably be found within a grove in Holodrum's Lost Woods (which is evocative of its earlier appearances and seems the most likely to fit into continuity). In Oracle of Ages, Link receives a Broken Sword from an Old Zora in exchange for a Sea Ukulele. According to the Old Zora, it once was a Hero's Sword that was given to his ancestors long ago by a hero (possibly a former Link). The sword is repaired as the Master Sword in a "ceremony" (actually a minigame) that a man holds on Restoration Wall.
The other two options are for upgrading a Noble Sword obtained during the trading sidequest using the passwords. In Oracle of Ages (one that is linked to an "Oracle of Ages"), the sword is upgraded by King Zora out of gratitude after he receives a message from a Zora that he sent to Holodrum. In Oracle of Seasons, an old man living under the Clock Shop in Holodrum Village will subject Link to a test after hearing from a hag in Labrynna, and if Link passes, the old man then gives the sword new power, which could upgrade it from a Noble Sword to Master Sword. The Master Sword is not necessary for defeating Ganon or beating the game.
- The Master Sword also appears as an item in Animal Crossing and Animal Crossing: Wild World.
- The Master Sword is Link's primary weapon in Super Smash Bros., Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. A trophy of the Master Sword appears in Super Smash Bros. Melee. The trophy incorrectly states that the Master Sword first appeared in Ocarina of Time.
- The Master Sword also appears in Soul Caliber II as Link's default weapon.
- In A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, and The Wind Waker, getting the Master Sword required getting three different but otherwise similar objects: Pendants, Spiritual Stones, and Pearls respectively. Similarly, in Skyward Sword the Goddess Sword became the Master Sword after being empowered by three Sacred Flames. In all of these instances, each object is notably associated with a different goddess.