From Zelda Legends Wiki
This holy golden relic is one of the most important shapers of Hyrule's history. The Triforce, made up of three golden triangles, has the power to grant the desires of whoever touches it. The Triforce is made of three pieces, representing power, wisdom, and courage. Only when it is united can its full power be used. This has led to a long, convoluted struggle to obtain the Triforce, waged between those who would use it for good, and those who would use it for evil.
The Triforce is presented somewhat differently in the Japanese and American versions of ALttP. Among those who are aware of the differences among the Japanese and American games, the prevailing opinion is that the American games are not accurate translations of the original games. Thus, when differences exist, I try to keep the two conceptions of the Triforce separate, instead of trying to harmonize them.
OriginDin, Goddess of Power, Nayru, Goddess of Wisdom, and Farore, Goddess of Courage. When these three gods were finished creating Hyrule out of the chaos, they left once more for the heavens. But before they left, they created three golden triangles, which they placed at the point where they left the world, a hidden place. This hidden place became sacred land, the resting place of the Triforce. "Since then," says the Deku Tree in OoT, "the sacred triangles have become the basis of our world's providence. And, the resting place of the triangles has become the Sacred Realm."
The Triforce, a symbol of the goddesses' strength, was imbued with mysterious powers. According to the ALttP US manual, "a small but powerful portion of the essence of the gods was held in this mighty artifact, which was to guide the intelligent life on the world of Hyrule." Each part of the Triforce represents an aspect of each of the goddesses: power, wisdom, and courage. "Although it was an inanimate object," the ALttP US manual says, "the Triforce had the power to bestow three titles which gave the person who received them great powers: 'The Forger of Strength', 'The Keeper of Knowledge', and 'The Juror of Courage'. From its hiding place in the so-called Golden Land where the gods placed it, the Triforce beckoned people from the outside world to seek it in the hope that someone worthy of these titles would find it."
The Japanese ALttP manual tells a slightly different version. There is no mention of the gods leaving a portion of their essence in the Triforce. Rather, the Triforce was made only as a symbol of the gods' power. Nor was it left to "guide the intelligent life" of Hyrule. Rather, it was left to govern or rule the world.
The Triforce has the ability to grant one's wishes. It will obey only the first person who touches it, for as long as that person lives. That person may apparently also give the Triforce up, so that it will stop obeying him. (This is apparently what Zelda did with the Triforce of Wisdom in LoZ, when she split the ToW and hid it in the Underworld.)
According to the ALttP manual, "the Triforce, being an inanimate object, cannot judge between good and evil." This seems to be true only in so far as the Triforce is an inanimate (i.e. nonliving) object that was created for a set purpose - to grant the wishes of whoever claims it. In this sense, the Triforce may be viewed as a kind of magical object. The Triforce certainly does have some properties of inanimate matter. Each piece of the Triforce can be separated from the others, and exists on its own as one single golden triangle. A Triforce piece can even be split into pieces and put back together again, which also seems to argue for its existence as inanimate, unthinking, but nevertheless magical, matter. (The Triforce of Wisdom was split into eight pieces in LoZ, and the Triforce of Courage was split into eight pieces after OoT, when the Hero of Time left Hyrule.)
However, the Triforce is also presented as a kind of "person" who is capable of thought, judgement, and action. In ALttP, the Triforce is said to have whispered to Ganondorf when he reached the Triforce. (The Japanese version literally says that the "crest's spirit" whispered.) At the end of ALttP, the "Essence of the Triforce" talks to Link, explaining Ganon's motives. According to the ALttP intro, the Triforce was said to be omniscient and omnipotent. Mere matter cannot have knowledge or the ability to act, since inanimate matter cannot act or think on its own. As shown in the Oracle games, the Triforce can apparently act on its own, sending heroes on quests. (It is also possible that somebody was using the Triforce. But Link hears a voice telling him to accept the "quest of the Triforce," which seems to imply that the Triforce itself is speaking.) Nor should one ignore how the Triforce became the basis for Hyrule's providence.
The Japanese ALttP manual never calls the Triforce an inanimate object. It is always treated as though it is a being capable of thought. Furthermore, the Triforce being an "inanimate object" is not given as the reason why the Triforce could not judge Ganon's wishes as good or evil. Rather, the Triforce could not judge "because only the gods can do that." This seems to say that only the gods truly have the authority to judge between good and evil. The Triforce, on the other hand, is only an agent of the gods, and has not been given the authority to judge actions. It does seem to know the difference between good and evil. At the end of ALttP, the Essence of the Triforce talks about good and bad people, good and bad wishes. The Triforce sends Link on a quest against evil in the Oracle games, which implies that it is not a neutral party in the fight between good and evil. It just happens that the Triforce has a duty to grant the wishes of whoever touches it. Even if it knows it is being used for evil, it does not have the authority to judge the wishes of its holder, by refusing to obey them for example. The Triforce must obey, that is what it was made to do.
So, it seems that the Triforce is not merely tangible matter. The Triforce can be considered to have a dual nature: "inanimate, but magical, matter" and "intelligent essence or spirit," so to speak. Perhaps the goddesses choose to interact with Hyrule through the Triforce, when it is not being used. The exact nature of this essence or spirit is not made clear. Is it actually the same person as the gods, acting in the "body" of the Triforce, or is the Triforce is a separate person from the gods, who obeys them?
It is interesting to note that the Triforce pieces do not seem to have a fixed size. The Triforce pieces are a lot bigger when the Triforce is united. Compare these screenshots:
This effect can also sort of be seen at the end of ALttP. The united Triforce is huge as it floats in the air. At the end of its speech, it shrinks in size as it descends.
An interesting fact about the Triforce is told only in the Japanese ALttP manual. According to this source, the Triforce contains three "crests," (literally symbols or pictures of the Triforce, like those you see on the ground in OoT). Apparently, each part of the Triforce has a crest. Furthermore, these crests have "spirits" or perhaps share one spirit. (This spirit whispered to Ganondorf when he approached the Triforce, and presumably talked to Link at the end of ALttP.) The point is that the crests, in so far as they are symbols with spirits, might be completely separable from their corresponding physical golden triangles. This becomes important in certain theories about how the Triforce is used.
Another interesting property of the Triforce is resonance. In the context of the Triforce, this is defined as a strong, usually visible reaction when two Triforce pieces come close together, and try to recombine. When Link faces Ganondorf in his Tower in OoT, Ganondorf observes: "The Triforce parts are resonating... They are combining into one again." The Triforce has an inherent ability to recombine, so when the pieces come close to each other they "resonate," coming out of hiding. This naturally causes the appropriate Triforce crest to display, assuming nobody is holding it back. (Presumably Zelda prevented her ToW from resonating while she was disguised as Sheik. Otherwise Ganondorf could have easily sensed the resonance and found her.) Resonance can also be seen in TWW. When Ganondorf grabs Tetra, her piece of the Triforce of Wisdom glows, and the ToP symbol appears on Ganondorf's hand. Ganondorf exclaims, "My Triforce of Power is resonating!" There is also Triforce resonance in the final battle of TWW.
Using the Triforce
At the end of ALttP, the Essence of the Triforce says that "the Triforce will grant the wishes in the heart and mind of the person who touches it. If a person with a good heart touches it, it will make his good wishes come true... If an evil-hearted person touches it, it grants his evil wishes. The stronger the wish, the more powerful the Triforce's expression of that wish." It is evident that the Triforce somehow "reads" what is in your mind, finding out what your greatest desire is. It will grant your most fervent wish, be it good or evil.
Several rules govern what happens when somebody tries to claim the united Triforce. As told by Sheik in OoT:
The Triforce...the sacred triangle... it is a balance that weighs the three forces: Power, Wisdom and Courage. If the heart of the one who holds the sacred triangle has all three forces in balance, that one will gain the True Force to govern all. But, if that one's heart is not in balance, the Triforce will separate into three parts: Power, Wisdom and Courage. Only one part will remain for the one who touched the Triforce...the part representing the force that one most believes in. If that one seeks the True Force, that one must acquire the two lost parts. Those two parts will be held within others chosen by destiny, who will bear the Triforce mark on the backs of their hands.
The Triforce shows its maximum power when the three pieces of the Triforce are brought together. To gain the True Force to govern all, all one must do is obtain the Triforce of Power, Wisdom, and Courage. While it is not clear exactly what powers are granted by each Triforce piece individually, it would make sense that each piece only grants the force it represents. For example, the Triforce of Wisdom grants only the wisdom necessary to carry out one's wish, not the power or the courage. Having two pieces will give you two forces. Only when you have all three pieces can you fully carry out your wish. Hyrule's history shows that it is not easy for someone with an evil heart to get all three pieces. Legends, and history, show that a hero is fated to appear whenever Hyrule is threatened by evil.
OoT and TWW demonstrate that the Triforce pieces are held "within" their holders. Sheik: "Those two parts will be held within others chosen by destiny..." King of Red Lions: "Oh! What is this? There, on your hand--the Triforce piece now dwells within you!" Ganondorf in TWW: "Do not fear. I will not kill you... I merely have need of the power that dwells within you." This seems to imply that the physical golden triangles somehow "disappear" into the spirit or heart of that person. Ganondorf doesn't just take Link's ToC in TWW: he seems to somehow "extract" it from Link's body, perhaps by using the property of resonance. On the other hand, when Link makes his wish at the end of AoL, the golden triangles leave his body and float above his head.
According to ALttP, the Triforce obeys the first person who touches it, for as long as they live. Tree in Palace of Darkness: "It will obey only the first person who touches it." Maiden in Swamp Palace: "The Triforce will grant the wishes of whoever touches it, as long as that person lives..." We are left to wonder what happens if a Triforce holder willingly gives up the Triforce, or happens to stop touching his Triforce piece for just a moment. The lack of a specification here causes a problem in TWW. Ganondorf steals the whole Triforce, but in the process is not touching any part of it momentarily. Just as he reaches out to touch the united Triforce, he discovers that the King of Hyrule is already touching it. Furthermore, the Triforce obeys the King instead of Ganondorf, and Ganondorf seems powerless to stop the King. So, one must conclude that the Triforce does not necessarily obey only whoever touches it first. In fact, the King seems to be mocking Ganondorf's previous words: "The power of the gods... The Triforce! He who touches it will have whatever he desires granted!" The King refers to these words when he says: "He who touches it will have whatever he desires granted... That is what you said, is it not, Ganondorf?" This seems to imply that the Triforce obeys whoever happens to be touching it, not whoever touched it first, for as long as they live and as long as they touch it.
The Triforce Symbol
The Triforce symbol will appear on one's hand under certain circumstances. If one obtains one or more parts of the Triforce, the Triforce symbol will appear on that person's hand under special circumstances. The symbol is dimmed, while the part of the Triforce that the person holds glows bright. For example, in OoT the Triforce of Power symbol appeared on Ganondorf's hand, the Triforce of Wisdom on Zelda's, and the Triforce of Courage on Link's. However, the symbols did not display all of the time, only under rare circumstances. The ToW symbol appeared on Zelda's hand in the Temple of Time when she took off her disguise, on the hands of all the Triforce piece holders when they were together in Ganon's Tower, and on Link's (and perhaps Zelda's) hand in the child ending of OoT, when Link goes to see Zelda. (Don't take my word for it, watch the game carefully and you'll see this is true.) In other words, the symbol only appears when other holders come close to each other, and are not trying to keep the symbol a secret. Ganondorf attributes this to resonance (as discussed above).
The symbols also appear at various times during the final battle of TWW. This also can be attributed to resonance. In fact, if you watch the final battle closely, you will notice that the Triforce symbol remains on the hands of Ganondorf and Zelda even after the Triforce pieces have been taken from them. Even when the King has touched the Triforce and made his wish, the symbols are still there. (Again, don't take my word for it. Watch the final battle sequence very carefully and you'll see that this is true.)
This leads back to the interesting conundrum of whether the Triforce is obeying two masters. If the Triforce is obeying someone else, shouldn't the crest transfer to them? One possible solution is that the Triforce symbol on one's hand indicates that this person ought to have control over that Triforce piece. In other words, the "crest spirit" resides with them, and shows itself on their hand. However, the crest's spirit will only obey whoever holds the entire physical golden triangle, regardless of who the crest resides with. ALttP says that the Triforce obeys the first person who touches it, as long as they live. This may be reinterpreted to mean that the crest resides in the heart of whoever touched that piece of the Triforce first, for as long as they live. But it obeys them only while they hold that Triforce piece. This would explain why the crests remain with Zelda, Ganondorf, and Link, yet obey the King, who touches the whole Triforce.
This may also explain why, in AoL, the Triforce symbol appears on Link's hand as he approaches his sixteenth birthday. Long ago, somebody cast a spell on Hyrule, to make the crest of the kingdom appear on a certain person's hand. Even though Link does not yet have the ToC piece, the ToC's crest nevertheless resides in Link's heart. Whoever cast the spell on Hyrule made sure that the ToC spirit would transfer to whoever was fated to use the ToC.
In the Oracle games, the Triforce symbol appears on Link's hand, but none of the pieces are lit. We are told that the Triforce symbol is there because Link is the legendary hero who was fated to appear. Din says, "That is a sacred mark in Hyrule. If it's the true symbol, then you are a hero with a special fate, Link." The Spirit of Summer says, "Ancient Hyrulean legends say the hero destined to overthrow evil has a [Triforce symbol] on his left hand." Perhaps we may suppose that the Triforce itself stamped Link with this mark, so people would know who he was. None of the pieces are glowing because the crests reside in their golden triangles, not inside of Link.
Link in ALttP has no Triforce mark on his hand. Perhaps we may say this is because Ganon holds the whole Triforce, along with all the crests. There is no chance for the Triforce to give Link a mark.
The Triforce may have been used sometime during Hyrule's ancient history (long before OoT). At any rate, it is clear that at some point in Hyrule's early history, the entrance to the Sacred Realm was hidden by the sages, to protect the Triforce from evil ones. The Temple of Light was built in the middle of the Sacred Realm to house the Triforce. (This temple may have already been there, but by all indications the Sacred Realm started out with nothing in it but the Triforce.) The entrance to the Sacred Realm was locked away within the Temple of Time in the kingdom of Hyrule, with a complex magical key.
The person who rediscovered the Triforce's resting place was Ganondorf, king of thieves. As told in ALttP and OoT, Ganondorf wished to rule the world. At first he could only obtain the Triforce of Power, because the Triforce split when he grasped it with blood-stained hands. But even only this part of the Triforce allowed him to conquer Hyrule. Unsatisfied, Ganondorf looked for the missing pieces, so he could conquer the world. As part of his wish, Ganondorf eventually turned himself into Ganon, but he was sealed along with his evil in the tainted Sacred Realm.
Ganon has turned up several times in Hyrule's history, attempting to take the Triforce for himself and rule the world with it. However, he has been foiled time and again by the legendary hero. This hero has always worn green clothes and carried the name of Link. At times, Link has carried the Triforce himself, using it to do many good things. The following table shows the location of the Triforce, or who has it, in each game. I show the games in the standard NOA order so it makes sense, but other orders are possible.
|Game||Triforce of Power||Triforce of Wisdom||Triforce of Courage|
|Pre-OoT||United in Sacred Realm|
|Pre-TWW||Ganon(dorf)||Royal Family, passed on to Zelda's descendants after the flood||Hidden around Hyrule|
|ALttP||All pieces with Ganon (supposedly) until Link defeats him and claims the whole Triforce. Supposedly brings Triforce back with him to Hyrule|
|Oracles||United in Hyrule Castle|
|Pre-LoZ||In Hyrule (with the people?)||With the Royal Family (Zelda?)||Hidden in palace in Valley of Death|
|LoZ||Ganon, until Link defeats him and takes it||Hidden around Hyrule, until Link reunites it||Still hidden|
|AoL||Link||Link||Still hidden, until Link finds it|
One might notice that many places in the world of Hyrule are decorated with the Triforce symbol. This is because, as told in the AoL manual, the Triforce is the crest of the kingdom of Hyrule. Much knowledge of ancient things was held by the Hylian people, one group of which made Hyrule their kingdom. The Hylia were the chosen people of the gods, so it is only natural that they would make the Triforce their symbol of choice. The Triforce symbol can be seen on clothes, shields, buildings, and temples, not only in Hyrule but in other lands as well.
"Legend of Zelda" Manual
- "A long, long time ago the World was in an age of Chaos. In the midst of this chaos, in a little kingdom in the land of Hyrule, a legend was being banded down from generation to generation, the legend of the "Triforce"; golden triangles possessing mystical powers. One day, an evil army attacked this peaceful little kingdom and stole the Triforce of Power. This army was led by Ganon, the powerful Prince of Darkness who sought to plunge the World into fear and darkness under his rule. Fearing his wicked rule, Zelda, the princess of this kingdom, split up the Triforce of Wisdom into eight fragments and hid them throughout the realm to save the last remaining Triforce from the cluthes of the evil Ganon." (p.3)
- "Burning with a sense of justice, Link resolved to save Zelda, but Ganon was a powerful opponent. He held the Triforce of Power. And so, in order to fight off Ganon, Link had to bring the scattered eight fragments of the Triforce of Wisdom together to rebuild the mystical triangle. If he couldn't do this, there would be no chance Link could fight his way into Death Mountain where Ganon lived." (p.4)
"Adventure of Link" Manual
- "At the end of a fierce fight, Link overthrew Ganon, took back the Triforce and rescued Princess Zelda." (p.3)
- "It is said that long ago, when Hyrule was one country, a great ruler maintained the peace in Hyrule using the Triforce. However, the king too was a child of man and he died. Then, the prince of the kingdom should have become king and inherited everything, but he could inherit the Triforce only in part. The Prince searched everywhere for the missing parts, but could not find them. Then, a magician close to the king brought him some unexpected news. Before he died, the king had said something about the Triforce to only the younger sister of the prince, Princess Zelda." (pp.6-7. "The legend of Zelda" told by Impa to Link)
- "You who'll control the Triforce of the future. I shall hand down to you the secrets of the Triforce. There are three kinds of Triforce - Power, Wisdom, and Courage. When these three are brought together, the Triforce will show its maximum power. Of the three, I have left Power and Wisdom in the kingdom. But the Triforce of Courage I have hidden for a reason. Not everybody can use the Triforce. It requires a strong character with no evil thoughts. But an inborn special quality is also necessary. Unfortunately, I have not found such a person during my lifetime. Therefore, I have decided to cast a spell on all of Hyrule. A crest will appear on a young man with that character who has been brought up correctly, has gained many kinds of experiences and reached a certain age. But, what will happen if someone else uses the Triforce before then? If it is misused, it will produce many evils. The Triforce of Courage is hidden in the Great Palace in the Valley of Death on the largest island in Hyrule. However, to enter there you must first fight the guardians and undo the "binding force." When you have defeated the guardians, which I made to prevent enemies from invading the six palaces in Hyrule, set a crystal in the forehead of the statue you find. When you have set crystals in all of the statues in the six palaces, the "binding force: placed on the Valley of Death will be removed and you will be able to enter the great palace. There you must fight the last guardian. And you can obtain the Triforce only by defeating that guardian. There's nothing to fear. You are the one to get the Triforce. You are the beacon of hope for Hyrule." (pp.9-11. The scroll that Link reads)
- "The magic spell cast upon Princess Zelda will sure to be broken if the Triforce is used. Please, Link. Unite the Triforce and save the princess. And bring back peace to Hyrule." (p.12. Impa talking to Link)
"A Link to the Past" Manual
- "To set the stage for this adventure of the legendary Hero of Hyrule, it will be informative to delve into the Triforce myth, an ancient epic about the creation of the world that is still believed in the land of Hyrule." (p.3)
- "After the gods had finished their work, they left the world, but not before creating a symbol of their strength, a golden triangle known as the Triforce. A small but powerful portion of the essence of the gods was held in this mighty artifact, which was to guide the intelligent life on the world of Hyrule." (p.3)
- "Although it was an inanimate object, the Triforce had the power to bestow three titles which gave the person who received them great powers: "The Forger of Strength", "The Keeper of Knowledge", and "The Juror of Courage". From its hiding place in the so-called Golden Land where the gods placed it, the Triforce beckoned people from the outside world to seek it in the hope that someone worthy of these titles would find it." (p.3)
- "In Hyrule, there are many Hylian buildings which are mentioned repeatedly in the legends. These buildings, which now lie in ruin, pale shadows of their former splendor, are closely tied to the Triforce. Some were said to house the Triforce itself..." (p.4)
- "If it were only a symbol of the gods, the Triforce would be coveted by many. But a verse from the Book Of Mudora (a collection of Hylian legends and lore) made the Triforce even more desirable: In a realm beyond sight, The sky shines gold, not blue. There, the Triforce's might Makes mortal dreams come true." (p.4)
- "Many aggressively searched for the wish-granting Triforce, but no one, not even the Hylian sages, was sure of its location; the knowledge had been lost over time. Some said the Triforce lay under the desert, others said it was in the cemetary in the shadow of Death Mountain, but no one ever found it. That yearning for the Triforce soon turned to lust for power, which in turn led to the spilling of blood. Soon the only motive left among those searching for the Triforce was pure greed." (pp.4-5)
- "One day, quite by accident, a gate to the Golden Land of the Triforce was opened by a gang of thieves skilled in the black arts. This land was like no other. In the gathering twilight, the Triforce shone from its resting place high above the world. In a long running battle, the leader of the thieves fought his way past his followers in a lust for the Golden Power. After vanquishing his own followers, the leader stood triumphant over the Triforce and grasped it with his blood- stained hands. He heard a whispered voice: "If thou has a strong desire or dream, wish for it..." And in reply, the roaring laughter of the brigand leader echoed across time and space and even reached the far-off land of Hyrule." (p.5)
- "The Triforce, being an inanimate object, cannot judge between good and evil. Therefore, it could not know that Ganon's wishes were evil; it merely granted them. Suspecting that Ganon's power was based on the Triforce's magic, the people of Hyrule forged a sword resistant to magic which could repulse even powers granted by the Triforce. This mighty weapon became known as the blade of evil's bane, or the Master Sword. It was so powerful that only one who was pure of heart and strong of body could wield it." (p.5)
- "Moon Pearl - People who enter the Dark World are transformed into a shape that reflects what is in their hearts. You can prevent this by obtaining the Moon Pearl, which protects its bearer from the power of the Triforce." (p.24)
"A Link to the Past"
Long ago, in the beautiful kingdom of Hyrule surrounded by mountains and forests... legends told of an omnipotent and omniscient Golden Power that resided in a hidden land.
The Golden Power is what changed your shape to reflect what is in your heart and mind.
Getting the Moon Pearl:
You found the Moon Pearl! This protects The Hero from the changing effects of the Golden Power.
It is now only a matter of time before evil power covers this land... After all, the legendary Hero cannot defeat us, the tribe of evil, when we are armed with the Power of Gold.
Tree in Palace of Darkness area:
You're new here, aren't you? Did you come here looking for the Power Of Gold? Well, you're too late. It will obey only the first person who touches it. The man who last claimed the Power Of Gold wished for this world. It reflects his heart. Yes, I came here because of greed for the Golden Power, and look what happened to me... To restore the Golden Land, a person worthy of the Golden Power must defeat the man who created this place... Until that time, I am stuck in this bizarre shape. But what a mischievous thing to leave lying around... The Power Of Gold... Triforce...
Surprisingly, the Triforce created this world to fulfill Ganon's wish. What is Ganon's wish, you ask? It is to rule the entire cosmos! Don't you think it might be possible with the power of the Triforce behind you?
Maiden in Swamp Palace:
...The Triforce will grant the wishes of whoever touches it, as long as that person lives... That is why it was hidden in the Golden Land. Only a select few knew of its location, but at some point that knowledge was lost...
Maiden in Skull Woods Palace:
...Do you know the prophecy of the Great Cataclysm? This is the way I heard it... If a person who has an evil heart gets the Triforce, a Hero is destined to appear... ...and he alone must face the person who began the Great Cataclysm. If the evil one destroys the Hero, nothing can save the world from his wicked reign. Only a person of the Knights Of Hyrule, who protected the royalty of Hylia, can become the Hero...
Maiden in Ice Palace:
If you defeat Ganon, this world will vanish and the Triforce will wait for a new holder.
The Essence of the Triforce:
The Triforce will grant the wishes in the heart and mind of the person who touches it. If a person with a good heart touches it, it will make his good wishes come true... If an evil- hearted person touches it, it grants his evil wishes. The stronger the wish, the more powerful the Triforce's expression of that wish. Ganon's wish was to conquer the world. That wish changed the Golden Land to the Dark World. Ganon was building up his power here so he could conquer the Light World and make his wish come completely true. But now, you have totally destroyed Ganon. His Dark World will vanish. The Triforce is waiting for a new owner. Its Golden Power is in your hands... Now, touch it with a wish in your heart.
"Ocarina of Time" Manual
- "These three great goddesses returned to the heavens, leaving behind the golden sacred Triforce. Since then, the Triforce has become the basis for Hyrule's providence. Where the Triforce stood became Sacred Land." (p.5)
"Ocarina of Time"
Deku Tree, after Gohma is defeated:
For it is in that Sacred Realm that one will find the divine relic, the Triforce, which contains the essence of the gods...
The three great goddesses, their labors completed, departed for the heavens. And golden sacred triangles remained at the point where the goddesses left the world. Since then, the sacred triangles have become the basis of our world's providence. And, the resting place of the triangles has become the Sacred Realm.
Zelda, telling Link the secret of the Sacred Realm that has been passed down by the Royal Family:
The three goddesses hid the Triforce containing the power of the gods somewhere in Hyrule. The power to grant the wish of the one who holds the Triforce in his hands. If someone with a righteous heart makes a wish, it will lead Hyrule to a golden age of prosperity.... If someone with an evil mind has his wish granted, the world will be consumed by evil...That is what has been told.... So, the ancient Sages built the Temple of Time to protect the Triforce from evil ones.
He obtained the Triforce from the Temple of Light, and with its power, he became the King of Evil... His evil power radiated from the temples of Hyrule, and in seven short years, it transformed Hyrule into a world of monsters. My power now has only little influence, even in this Sacred Realm... Namely, this Chamber of Sages.
Sheik/Zelda, in Temple of Time:
Another unknown legend of the Triforce passed down by the shadow folk, the Sheikahs.... If you would seek the sacred triangle, listen well... The resting place of the sacred triangle, the Sacred Realm, is a mirror that reflects what is in the heart... the heart of one who enters it... If an evil heart, the Realm will become full of evil; if pure, the Realm will become a paradise. The Triforce...the sacred triangle... it is a balance that weighs the three forces: Power, Wisdom and Courage. If the heart of the one who holds the sacred triangle has all three forces in balance, that one will gain the True Force to govern all. But, if that one's heart is not in balance, the Triforce will separate into three parts: Power, Wisdom and Courage. Only one part will remain for the one who touched the Triforce...the part representing the force that one most believes in. If that one seeks the True Force, that one must acquire the two lost parts. Those two parts will be held within others chosen by destiny, who will bear the Triforce mark on the backs of their hands. Seven years ago, Ganondorf, the King of Thieves, used the door you opened in the Temple of Time and entered the Sacred Realm. But when he laid his hands on the Triforce, the legend came true. The one who holds the Triforce of Courage is... You, Link! And the other, who holds the Triforce of Wisdom... is the seventh Sage, who is destined to be the leader of them all... It is I, the Princess of Hyrule, Zelda.
Ganondorf, kidnapping Zelda:
My only mistake was to slightly underestimate the power of this kid... No... It was not the kid's power I misjudged, it was the power of the Triforce of Courage! But, with the Triforce of Wisdom that Zelda has... When I obtain these two Triforces... Then, I will become the true ruler of the world!!
Ganondorf, confronted by Link:
The Triforce parts are resonating... They are combining into one again... The two Triforce parts that I could not capture on that day seven years ago... I didn't expect they would be hidden within you two! And now, finally, all the Triforce parts have gathered here! These toys are too much for you! I command you to return them to me!
Zelda, after Ganondorf's defeat:
Ganondorf...pitiful man... Without a strong, righteous mind, he could not control the power of the gods...and...
Ganondorf, being sealed:
YOU... CURSE YOU...ZELDA! CURSE YOU...SAGES!! CURSE YOU...Link! Someday... When this seal is broken.... That is when I will exterminate your descendants!! As long as the Triforce of Power is in my hand....
"Oracle of Seasons"
Din, when you first meet her:
That is a sacred mark in Hyrule. If it's the true symbol, then you are a hero with a special fate, Link.
If the ▲ on your left hand is real, then you may be the hero who will save the world.
Spirit of Summer:
Ancient Hyrulean legends say the hero destined to overthrow evil has a ▲ on his left hand.
The three ▲ on your left hand symbolize power, wisdom and courage-- these are the mark of the hero who is fated to appear when peace crumbles in Hyrule.
"Oracle of Ages"
Impa, while possessed:
I see a ▲ on the back of your left hand. That is the sign of a Hyrulean hero!
"The Wind Waker"
My Triforce of Power is resonating!
Ha! At long last, I have found you... Princess Zelda!
King of Red Lions:
A piece of the Triforce was given to the Hero of Time and he kept it safe, much as Zelda kept hers.
That sacred piece is known as the Triforce of Courage.
When the Hero of Time was called to embark on another journey and left the land of Hyrule, he was separated from the elements that made him a hero.
It is said that at that time, the Triforce of Courage was split into eight shards and hidden throughout the land.
Even I do not know where they rest, but this much I do know: they lie hidden somewhere in this Great Sea.
King of Red Lions, at Tower of the Gods:
Well done, Link. You must show the Triforce piece you have assembled to the gods. Oh! What is this? There, on your hand--the Triforce piece now dwells within you!
It is the Triforce of Courage--proof that you are indeed the true hero.
You have controlled the wind and crossed the seas, and here, near the end of your quest, the power of the gods has been bestowed upon you... Surely, from this moment on, you shall be known as the Hero of Winds...
It can only be called fate. ...That here, I would again gather the three with the crests. ...That I should lay my hand on that which grants the wishes of the beholder. That when power, wisdom, and courage come together, the gods would have no choice but to come down... The power of the gods... The Triforce! He who touches it will have whatever he desires granted! Already, the crest of wisdom is mine... All that remains... Do not fear. I will not kill you... I merely have need of the power that dwells within you.
The Japanese name for the Triforce - TORAIFŌSU - seems to be a transliteration of the westernized name "Triforce." So, it seems that the Triforce's name is actually made by combining the western roots "tri" and "force" - meaning, obviously, three forces.
Each force of the Triforce (power, wisdom, courage), however, has its own kanji. These kanji are as follows:
|Power||力||force, strength, energy, might, power, agency, authority, influence, vigor, stress, emphasis, exertions, endeavors, efficacy, help, support, good offices, ability, faculty, capability, attainment, means, resources|
|Wisdom||知恵||wisdom, wit, sagacity, sense, intelligence, advice|
|Courage||勇気||courage, bravery, valour, nerve, boldness|
Each Triforce piece is named by using the "no" particle to connect the kanji with TORAIFŌSU. In the early days of bad translation, this led to humorous mistakes, since it is easy to mix up the word order when the "no" particle is involved. The LoZ intro (which was apparently written by the Japanese staff in "Engrish"), for example, says that "Gannon" stole the "Triforce with power." Zelda hid the "Triforce with wisdom." This isn't technically wrong, but it's an awkward translation, at best.
More early Triforce confusion can be found in the 1998 Official Nintendo Player's guide, on page 8: "Its peace was protected by a golden triangle known as "Triforce." One day the "Triforce" was stolen and the Princess was captured by Ganon and his evil henchmen. To succeed against the "power" of Triforce, you must obtain the remaining Triforce of Wisdom." It seems the writers weren't clear on how to handle this "Triforce" concept. It is also unclear from their description whether you are fighting against the Triforce of Power that Ganon has, or against the power of the Triforce. "Power" of Triforce could be an improper translation of "Chikara no TORAIFŌSU," or it could be referring to the inherent power of the Triforce relic - i.e., its power to grant wishes.
The "Triforce" shape was originally a Japanese Shinto symbol. (Shinto is the native religion of the Japanese.) I have not been able to discover the significance of this shape, but I know that it appears on many temples and old homes in Japan. Zelda Universe has an article on the subject.
This shape can also be found in many unexpected places. Sometimes companies use the shape for a logo. Case in point:
This shape is also the first step of a famous fractal called the Sierpinski Triangle. Repeated applications of the pattern give you something like this:
Other appearances of the Triforce in Zelda Games
Ocarina of Time
The adult Malon in OoT has an apron with the a little white Triforce on it.