If you’ve spent any amount of time in Breath of the Wild’s version of Hyrule, you’ve no doubt noticed numerous location-based references to past Zelda games. Mountains, rivers, huts and more all bear referential names that conjure memories of nearly every Zelda game in the series – so let’s try to name as many as we can!
We’re going zone by zone, location by location and examining the names to see if they’re callbacks to prior characters and/or locations. It’s a visual treat, I assure you! For example, didja know the Pillars of Levia is a reference to a Skyward Sword beast?
Neat! These numerous references make this particular version of Hyrule feel “lived in” and as if it’s the last in all the potential timelines. Why else would it have dozens of areas named after historical figures if those historical figures didn’t exist? Plus you get cool stuff like letters switching places or Cs becoming Ss over time, which just cements the idea that these names have been around so long that time has altered their spelling.
For slightly easier comparisons, here are the ones I jotted down in my notes.
LIKELY SPOILERS FOR PAST ZELDA GAMES AHEAD!
Mount / Lake Hylia – Hylia is the primary goddess of the series, Skyward Sword makes this muddy by suggesting Zelda IS Hylia. First real one is LttP, though there is a big lake in Zelda 1 that you’d think would retroactively become Lake Hylia. It’s also in Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, Minish Cap, lots of places. First time it’s been a mountain?
Temple of Time – famous from OoT, where the master sword waits. It’s also in Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess. Lots of lore implications and suggestions, SS one is very different, really cool pockets of time sprinkled around.
CENTRAL HYRULE / HYRULE FIELD
Hyrule Field – Recurring name for open hub areas, properly named in OoT, Minish Cap and Twilight Princess. Usually connects but BotW is so open.
Ranch Ruins – This looks a lot like Lon Lon Ranch, but devastated.
Rebonack, Orsedd, Helmhead, Carok etc – All Zelda II bosses
Manhala, Digdogg, Aquame – All Zelda 1 bosses! Gleeok is in there somewhere
Breach of Demise – Demise is the final boss of Skyward Sword
Mount Gustaff – Minish Cap character, ancient Hyrule king who’s already dead but you learn about him
Mount Daphnes – The King from Wind Waker, aka the King of Red Lions!
Weathervane Meadow – You use weathervanes to zip around Link Between Worlds
Mabe Prairie – Starting town of Link’s Awakening. Mable Ridge might also reference this?
Dueling Peaks – Mostly known from the Zelda I art, which had a huge impact on me
Nabi Lakes – Possibly Navi, as B and V are very similar in Japanese and Spanish
Owlan Bridge – Character from Skyward Sword, teaches you about Loftwings
Horwell Bridge – Another Loftwing instructor, oversees the Wing Ceremony
Eagus Bridge – Another Skyloft person, swordsman who teaches you basics
Batrea Lake – Demon from SS that wants to be human, you give him gratitude crystals
Lake Siela – Probably Ciela, main fairy from Phantom Hourglass.
Pillars of Levia – Levias, from Skyward Sword. Giant whale flying around Thunderhead
Sahasra Slope – Elder in LttP, LTW. Gives Link dash boots in LttP
Bonooru’s Stand – He was the dancing scarecrow in OoT at Lake Hylia. Adult Link later meets…
Pierre – The OTHER scarecrow
Lanayru Range / Bluff / Road – Recurring dragon or spirit from Twilight and Skyward Sword
Tarm Point – Tarm Ruins from Oracle of Seasons, which is part of…
Lodrum Headland – Oracle of Seasons takes place in Holodrom
Brynna Plain – Labrynna is the location for Oracle of Ages
Samasa Plain – Samasa Desert is a location Oracle of Seasons
Lanayru – Recurring spirit / dragon from TP and SS
Horon Lagoon – Horon Village is a primary location in Oracle of Ages
Talus Plateau – A cave in Four Swords, but is also a type of cave IRL
Ja’Abu Ridge – Probably Jabu Jabu, the giant whale in OoT
Rutala Dam – Referencing Queen Rutela in Twilight Princess, who was in turn a reference to OoT Ruto..
Ruto Mountain / Lake – Ruto was the Zora princess from OoT. You meet her as child and Adult Link
Molida Island – Location in Phantom Hourglass, Temple of Courage is here
Linebeck Island – Linebeck is the Jack Sparrow-y pirate companion in PH and ST
Zauz Island – Blacksmith in PH who forges your sword to battle Bellum
Bannan Island – Location in PH
Goponga Island – Swamp in Link’s Awakening
Mercay Island – Islands in Phantom Hourglass
Tabahl Woods – Dead forest wasteland in Link’s Awakening
Tal Tal Peak – Famous Tal Tal Heights in LA, great song
Mikau Lake – Rockin’ Zora from Majora’s Mask, Indigo-Gos
Lulu Lake – Vocalist for Indigo-Gos
Toto Lake – Manager for Inigo-Gos
Davdi (David), Knuckel (Knuckle), Ankel (Ankle), Tingel – Islands named after Tingle etc Appear in WW and Minish Cap, Tingle from MM and various. Love the misspellings
Veiled Falls – Veil Falls are in Minish Cap
Ralis Pond – Son of Queen Rutela in Twilight Princess
Eldin itself is a spirit in Twilight Princess, a dragon in Skyward Sword
Crenel Hills / Peak – Location in Minish Cap
Trilby Plain / Valley – On the way to Mount Crenel in MC, you’ll run through Trilby Highlands
Pico Pond – The Picori are the little dudes in Minish Cap. Your sword is the Picori Sword
Gero Pond – Don Gero is the conductor of the Frog Choir in MM
Gorko Lake – Goron from Skyward Sword, explorer you encounter several times
Gortram Cliff – Goron from SS. runs a minigame thingy
Lake Darman – Darmani is a Goron ghost in MM, essentially become him with the mask
Darunia Lake – Darunia is the main Goron chief in OoT, sage of Fire
Darb Pond – Darbus is a Guile-haired Goron in Twilight Princess
GREAT HYRULE FOREST AREA
Lost Woods – A recurring location, much like Kakariko Village
Rauru Hillside – Sage of Light in OoT, also the big owl that talks to you. But also began as a town in Zelda II
Lake Saria – Saria is the Kokiri friend of Link, sage of the forest, also a town in Zelda II
Mekar Island – He’s a Kokiri / Korok dude in Wind Waker, plays violin with you
Mido Swamp – Another OoT character and Zelda II town. Dude who won’t let you pass
Aldor Foothills – Another Korok from WW
Elma Knolls – Another Korok from WW
Drenan Highlands – Drona is a Korok, name change but likely a reference
Irch Plains – Another Korok
Seres Scablands – Seres is from LBW, one of the new sages descended from the ones who beat Ganon
Satori Mountan – Maybe Satoru Iwata?
GERUDO HIGHLANDS / DESERT
Spectacle Rock – Twin rocks that’ve been around since the first game. In LttP as well
Yarna Valley – A desert in Link’s Awakening
Faron is a recurring spirit and dragon, TP and SS
Lake Floria – Lake in Skyward Sword
Martha’s Landing – Mermaid in Link’s Awakening
Koholit Rock – Koholint Island is the setting for LA
Lake Totori – Toto is a Zora from MM, so this could be another play on names
Hebra’s Plunge – Hebra Hills from Four Swords Adventures. Looks like Spectacle Rock + LttP in Japan, the Light World equivalent of DM was Hebra Mountain
I cross referenced a lot of information & footage with various helpful wikis (Gamepedia, Zelda Dungeon) – check ’em out!
This is hardly a complete list, however. I’m sure I’ve missed more than a few, so if you know of any, please call them out in either these comments or on the YouTube page.