Note: This article examines the storyline of the Zelda series, so it contains spoilers for the games in question. Check out the series introduction here. The previous entry in this series was Skyward Sword.
Next in the official Hyrule Historia timeline is 2005’s Minish Cap.
The opening legend talks about “The Hero of Men” describing how “when the world was on the verge of being swallowed by shadow the tiny Picori appeared from the sky, bringing the hero of men a sword and golden light. With wisdom and courage the hero drove out the darkness. When peace had been restored, the people had enshrined that blade with care.”
The game opens with the Picori festival, a celebration celebrating the legend. Listening to the stories around Hyrule town square we learn that the Picori Festival is held every year; however, every hundred years the Picori come to Hyrule and that this is the 100th year since the last time the Picori were seen in Hyrule. The wording of the legend leads me to believe that this game takes place, at the very least, 200 years after the events of Skyward Sword. The reason being that if it had only been 100 years it would make more sense for the townsfolk to say,” The Picori haven’t been seen in 100 years” but they seem to know that every hundred years that Picori reappear.
The opening legend seems to point to the events of Skyward Sword with the sword and golden light coming from the sky. Sure, it says that the tiny Picori brought the sword from the but we will justify that change by noting that the legend has been down through hundreds of years.
Again when we are introduced to our hero he is asleep. He is the grandson of Smith, Hyrule’s blacksmith and life long friend of the King. Due to his grandfather’s relationship with the king Link is a childhood friend of the Princess Zelda.
Zelda plays a smaller role in the Minish cap. This is the first time we see her as a princess in the series and once again she is said to be gifted with special powers. She is turned into stone in the first few minutes of the game and stays that way for the majority of the story. When Link is able to save Zelda from Vaati’s attempt to steal the Light force within her she reveals to him that she saw visions of his heroics. She and Link head to the Elemental Sanctuary where Vaati appears again and is subsequently defeated again. Zelda uses her pure heart and the minish cap to wish for Hyrule to return to its peaceful state, making all the monsters disappear and its people return to normal.
The Minish Cap introduced Vaati, an evil and powerful minish wind mage. For the Picori Festival there is a annual sword-fighting tournament in which Vaati was the victor. The champion of the tournament is presented with an award (in this case the sword which Link’s grandfather makes) in front of the chest that is sealed with the Picori Blade. Vaati believe that the legendary Light Force was sealed in the chest; however, when he breaks the seal he finds that it does not contain the Light force but evil forces, thus releasing the evil into the world. In his search for the legendary Light Force he turns Princess Zelda into stone, fearing that fabled mysterious powers might interfere.
The Master sword does not make an appearance in this game and at this point in the timeline there is nothing to suggest that the Master Sword and Picori Blade are the same. They do have some similarities though. Both are powerful blades that have magic infused into them, both have the power to cut through evil where regular blades do not and both had to be tempered before being strong enough to defeat the main antagonist for their respective stories.
Concerning the Light Force and the Tri Force, the The Light Force looks like one of the three golden triangles that make up the omnipotent Triforce. According to the Hyrule Historia, the Light Force is “a source of infinite power from the heavens that holds the enormous power of the Force, which originally dwelled in all things” (p.78). So while the Triforce is not specifically mentioned in The Minish Cap the Light Force is what seems to give it it’s power.
The next game in the chronology is The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords (the only game in the series that required at least two players), not to be confused with Four Sword Adventures which comes later in the series, we will see the return of Vaati.