Growing up in the halls of Hyrule Castle, young Princess Zelda, referred to by the Great Deku Tree as the Princess of Destiny, was growing concerned with one of her father's associates, the Gerudo king Ganondorf, and a vision of his treachery did not help matters. Expressing her concerns with her guardian and nursemaid Impa, she continued to watch the Gerudo despite her inability to do anything about him. This changed when a young Kokiri boy named Link snuck into her garden courtyard.
Der nächste Meilenstein erschien im Jahre 1998 für den Nintendo 64: „Ocarina of Time“ bot erstmals 3D-Grafik. Des Weiteren ist von diesem Zeitpunkt an die namensgebende Okarina ein weiteres Markenzeichen der Serie. Mit „The Wind Waker“ erschien 2003 der erste Ableger für den Gamecube, in dem man nicht in Hyrule, sondern auf einer Inselwelt unterwegs ist. Darauf folgte 2006 ein weiteres Zelda im alternativen Gewand: In „Twilight Princess“ für Gamecube und Wii lernt der Spieler eine neue Prinzessin Zelda kennen und kann Link auf Knopfdruck in einen Wolf verwandeln.
According to the in-game backstories, the world of Hyrule was created by the three golden goddesses: Din, Farore, and Nayru. Before departing, the goddesses left a sacred artifact called the Triforce, which could grant powers to the user. It physically manifests itself as three golden triangles in which each embodies one of the goddesses' virtues: Power, Courage, and Wisdom. However, because the Triforce has no will of its own and it could not judge between good and evil, it would grant any wish indiscriminately. Because of this, it was placed within an alternate world called the "Sacred Realm" or the "Golden Land" until one worthy of its power and has balanced virtues of Power, Wisdom, and Courage in their heart could obtain it, in its entirety. If a person is not of a balanced heart, the triforce part that the user mostly believes in will stay with that person and the remainder will seek out others. In order to master and control the triforce as a whole, the user must get the other parts found in other individuals and bring them together to reunite them. The Sacred Realm can itself be affected by the heart of those who enters it: those who are pure will make it a paradise, while those who are evil will transform it into a dark realm.