The Great Cataclysm is mentioned in a prophecy of the Seven Sages that is referred to in A Link to the Past. At the conclusion of the Imprisoning War, which took place ages before the events covered in the game, the Seven Sages sealed the entrance to the Dark World, keeping Ganon restrained within the realm, although the Triforce was still in his possession. The Cataclysm refers to a series of actions on Ganon's part, aiming with them to break the Seal of the Seven Sages and conquer Hyrule. Another part of the prophecy mentions that a hero is going to appear and defeat Ganon.
Ganon used a wizard named Agahnim as an alter ego in order to achieve his aim. First, Agahnim was able to gain the trust of the King by dealing with a series of disasters that occurred earlier in Hyrule. Although the origin of the disasters is not known, it is very possible that Agahnim himself was the cause. He proceeded by removing the King and taking his place on the throne. A spell was cast on the soldiers, brainwashing them, and ultimately giving him full control over the castle. The next phase was to abduct seven Maidens, descendants of the Seven Sages, in order to transport them to the Dark World. By sacrificing them, Ganon would finally be able to break the Seal.
At the beginning of the game, Link is summoned telepathically by Princess Zelda, who is imprisoned in the castle. She is the only one of the Maidens that is still left in Hyrule. The rest of them have already been transported by Agahnim in the Dark World. After leaving her in the safety of the Sanctuary, Link meets Sahasrahla, who instructs him to retrieve three pendants, scattered across different parts of Hyrule. Only then he will be able to retrieve the Master Sword, which was specially crafted to be effective, even against one that would have the Triforce in his possession.
Link discovers the Master Sword in the Lost Woods. The inscription engraved on its pedestal read that when the Great Cataclysm occurs, a hero carrying the three pendants will draw the sword. The hero will be a descendant of the Knights of Hyrule. As it proved, the hero that the inscription was referring, was Link, probably the last descendant in the bloodline of the Knights, who fought along the Sages during the Imprisoning War.
The point where Link pulled the Master Sword out of its pedestal was critical, as Ganon was almost successful in his plan to release the seal. Agahnim had already found Zelda and was about to send her to the Dark World. When Link returned to the castle to face Agahnim, it was too late for Zelda. Nevertheless, Link defeated Agahnim and proceeded to rescue the Maidens from their imprisonment in the Dark World. The maiden Link rescues in the Skull Woods, makes a reference to another part of the prophecy, which states that whenever an evil person seizes the Triforce, a hero is destined to rise up and vanquish the evil one. Furthermore, the prophecy states that the hero must be of the bloodline of the Knights of Hyrule. This seems to indicate that the Cataclysm ends with the battle between the Hero armed with the Master Sword and the evil person holding the Triforce.
Book of Mudora
Another reference to the prophecy is made when Link meets Aginah, in the Desert of Mystery. He explains that according to the prophecy, Link, if indeed is the hero that will defeat Ganon, has to use the book of Mudora, in order for him to be able to read the language of the Hylians.
- In the instruction manual for Link's Awakening, another reference to the prophecy is made. Link "fulfilled the Hyrulean prophecy of the Legendary Hero and destroyed the evil tyrant Ganon."
|Names in Other Regions|
|Italian||Grande Cataclisma||Great Cataclysm|
- Translation, comparison, and analysis of the story told in the manual of A Link to the Past
- Translation, comparison, and analysis of the quotes in A Link to the Past
- "I am Aginah. I sense something is happening in the Golden Land the seven wise men sealed... This must be an omen of the Great Cataclysm foretold by the people of Hylian blood..." — Aginah (A Link to the Past)
- "My name is Azinar. It seems that something is happening inside the sacred land that the Seven Sages sealed... A prediction handed down among the descendants of the Hylians, starting with the Seven Sages, tells of a "Great Catastrophe"." — Aginah (A Link to the Past — Japanese version)
- "I never imagined a boy like you could give me so much trouble. It's unbelievable that you defeated my alterego, Agahnim the Dark Wizard, twice!" — Ganon (A Link to the Past)
- "Link, I am surprised a young man like you is searching for the sword of evil's bane. Not just anyone can use that weapon. Legends say only the Hero who has won the three Pendants can wield the sword." — Sahasrahla (A Link to the Past)
- "The Hero's triumph on Cataclysm's Eve wins three symbols of virtue. The Master Sword he retrieves, keeping the Knight's line true." — Pedestal of the Master Sword (A Link to the Past)
- "『オオイナル ワザワイ』のふりかかる時、３つの紋章をかかげし『勇者』来たりて、その手で、この剣を引きめくであろう。その者ナイトの一族の血をひく者なり。 (When the "Great Catastrophe" befalleth, the "Hero" carrying three crests shall come, and by those hands shall he draw out this sword. That person will be one who doth carry the blood of Knight Family.)" — Pedestal of the Master Sword (A Link to the Past — Japanese version)
- "I heard that the Knights Of Hyrule were nearly wiped out in that battle... You are perhaps the last one to carry on the blood-line of the Knights... It is ironic that the last one in the line has the potential to become the Hero of legend." — Maiden in Village of Outcasts (A Link to the Past)
- "Only a short time remains until the gate at the castle linking the worlds opens completely." — Maiden in Ice Palace (A Link to the Past)
- "Do you know the prophecy of the Great Cataclysm? This is the way I heard it... If a person with an evil heart gets the Triforce, a Hero is destined to appear...and he alone must face the person who unleashed the Great Cataclysm. If the evil one destroys the Hero, nothing can save the world from his wicked reign. Only a member of the Knights of Hyrule, who protected the Hylian royalty, can become the Hero... You are of their bloodline, aren't you? Then you must rescue Zelda without fail!" — Skull Woods Maiden (A Link to the Past)
- "…『オオイナル ワザワイ』の予言は知っていますか？私は、こうきいています…。 もしも、悪しき心をもつ者がトライフォースを手にするならば、『勇者』が必ず現れ、この『オオイナル ワザワイ』のもととなる者をうつであろうしかし、『勇者』が倒れた時は悪しき心の者に世界は、おおわれてしまうであろう、と…。 そう、『勇者』になれるのは、ハイリアの王家を守っていたナイトの一族の者だけのはず… あなたは、その血をひいていたのね。 ゼルダ姫を必ず救ってあげてね。 (Do you know the prophesy of the "Great Catastrophe"? I heard it like this... 'If one with an evil heart claims the Triforce, a "Hero" will unfailingly appear, and shall defeat the one who will become the origin of this "Great Catastrophe". However, if the "Hero" were to fall, the world would be engulfed by the evil-hearted one'... Yes, the only ones who are supposed to be able to become the "Hero" are those of the Knight Family that protected the Hylian royal family... You carry their blood, don't you. Make sure to rescue Princess Zelda.)" — Skull Woods Maiden (A Link to the Past — Japanese version)
- "The prophecy says, "The Hero will stand in the desert holding the Book Of Mudora." If you have the Book Of Mudora you can read the language of the Hylia People. It should be in the house of books in the village...You must get it! If you are the person who will be The Hero..." — Aginah (A Link to the Past)
- "Though you fulfilled the Hyrulean prophecy of the Legendary Hero and destroyed the evil tyrant Ganon, the land of Hyrule enjoyed only a precarious peace." (Link's Awakening manual, pg. 4)