Deep in a forest just outside of Hyrule, a young Link lay passed out just outside of a large tree with a hole twice his size, while an ominous, deep voice called out from seemingly nowhere.
“Link…You have to get up now Link…” Hearing this voice, the young boy snapped awake and shakily got to his feet, slightly disoriented. He looked around, finding he was actually surprisingly aware of his surroundings as if he had been here before, yet he had no memory of it. The trees around him were extremely tall, so tall, in fact, that he could not see the top, and their towering leaves blocked out the majority of the noonday sun, leaving the woods in a sort of dappled semidarkness. A thick fog blanketed the ground; twisting around his feet, and around the endless tree trunks. He searched around him in the clearing of pine trees that surrounded him, yet however long he looked; he still saw no origin of the voice that had woken him moments earlier. It was as though he was all alone, though he could sense he was not.
All he could remember was his name, home, and friends. He had no clue of how he got there and why. Still feeling a little disoriented, as well as slightly weak, he headed for home, whichever that way was. Not knowing which way to walk, he looked for any sign of a possible trail, to lead outside of the forest. All he could find was a narrow, scarcely walked path that he doubted led anywhere, but it was his best bet, so he began walking along the thin, twisting trail through the dense forest.
After stumbling along the trail for what must have been hours, it began to widen, and finally, Link found something worth noting. He had come upon a large, hollow log that was right in the center of the path and seemed to lead to either an exit or another part of the forest. Either could help him, so thinking of his friends and home, he walked through. On the other side, he recognized where he was. He wasn't home, but he wasn’t far from it. He was back in the Lost Woods. Ahead of him was a kid sitting on a tall stump, his back to Link, seemingly staring into space.
“Who are you?” Link asked, walking up to the stump, eyes fixed on the kid who seemed to be dressed in clothing that was made of leaves and the bark of the trees. The boy turned his head to link, and link stifled a gasp. His face was the shape of a skull.
“You can call me Skull Kid,” the boy stated simply, leaping from his perch and landing lightly on the ground
“So what brings you here, child of the forest? Not many of your kind venture this far into my sacred haven.” The Skull Kid asked, tilting his head in a curious manner. Link moved back. Something didn’t feel right. It was as though he met this Skull Kid before, yet didn’t remember, much like the mysterious forest he had just come out of. Nevertheless, knowing that he wasn’t far from home, he started to talk to the boy. He figured that if the strange kid wanted to harm him, he would have done it by now, and he seemed to have an idea about what was going on. “I had woken up in a strange forest with no memory of how I got there or what I was doing there.”
The kid straightened out his head, a strange look on his face.
“So you are the on chosen to bear the burden of time.” He pulled out an ocarina from an unseen pocket and played a single, short note on it.
”The Goddesses really know how to pick the least qualified and equipped, huh.” He played another note then continued.
“You have a long journey ahead of you. In time, you will forget this whole encounter, not to mention even the few things you still do remember about your past. You will gain a new identity, yet you will retain your old one as well. Let my words be warning to you, though you will not remember them. “
“What are you talking about? What were you doing here anyways?” link had wanted to ask more questions, but couldn’t, due to the fact that the kid vanished into thin air right in front of his eyes. What did he mean by a long journey? Moreover, how could he forget something as random, and seemingly as important as this? Yet because this Skull Kid made absolutely no sense, and because he had a now faint idea where he was going, he could not afford to dwell here, on these thoughts. He proceeded towards his home and friends, walking through the familiar maze of clearings and groves, feeling like he hadn’t been there in years, then realizing, chances are, he hadn’t.
Many minutes later, he walked through the final log that led into the village he was remembering less and less of as the minutes passed. He had finally made it. He was home. He walked out of Lost Woods into the quaint village, now thoroughly exhausted. Everyone was working as if his arrival was nonexistent, with the exception of a single Kokiri, with green hair, who was smiling at him from the window of her tree cottage. Sadly, he was too weak to make it there and he collapsed on the ground, his vision blackening slowly. The last thing he saw was Saria, running out of her tree towards him, then the blackness overtook him and he sank into an icy abyss
Link slowly blinked awake. He was lying on a soft bed, Saria sitting next to him.
“How are you feeling?” She said, tenderly touching his head to make sure he wasn’t running a fever. ”What happened to you, anyways? I saw you faint as I came out of my house. You didn’t wake up for two days and the other Kokiri were beginning to believe you never would” Link could only sit up and slowly shook his head. He didn’t know what to tell her but somehow managed to formulate words.
“I have no idea. All I remember is waking up with you sitting next to me. I don’t remember anything else before that.” He held his palms to his temples as he tried to remember, but it was fruitless. Nothing helped. Nothing ever helped.
In the days, weeks and years following, link began to re-learn his life, piece by piece; each of the Kokiris, as well as the Deku Tree, played their part, doing what they could to help him remember. Soon, he began to fall in love with the forest, making it once again his home. Seven years have passed since then, and the land of Hyrule is once again in desperate need of help. This is where the journey begins; or in a sense, continues.
It was an ordinary day in the Lost Woods as Link had set out to meet Saria at their usual spot. After so many years playing in the Lost Woods as a kid, Link had no trouble traversing the tricky maze. A wrong turn in that part of the forest could either have you falling into a bottomless pit or have you walking for what seems forever, while you're really not going anywhere. However, for yet unknown reasons, as Link rounded a corner he found himself face to face with a Deku Scrub. Normally these creatures are docile and like to do business with travelers. This one, however, was different. The scrub popped up and shot a seed straight towards Link. Almost instinctively, he grabbed the nearest stick, swung at it, and sent it flying right back at his foe. It hit so hard that it knocked the scrub over and it disintegrated before his eyes. Something about this seemed familiar. Not wanting to waste any more time and risking being chewed out by Saria, he dashed past its burrow and continued on.
The woods were normally quiet, only changing to protect the Sanctuary that sat deep within. He pondered as to what could have caused the Scrub to attack. As he got deeper, he found that more and more Scrubs were acting funny. It didn't matter how many times he asked himself, he could not think of anything that could cause them to act that way, to go completely against their nature. He had finally reached the entrance to the Sanctuary. The path ahead was not clear as he had hoped. He was ambushed by three Deku Scrubs this time. Yet again, this all felt familiar. He ducked and dodged every seed as he looked for the perfect opportunity to run in and knock them off balance. When he was finally able to make his attack, he had also somehow managed to hit and knock all three back. Luckily, the Sanctuary was just ahead so he didn't have to worry about any more enemies.
Finally reaching his destination, he walked up the long steps and found Saria sitting on a small stump playing her ocarina and playing with the spirits of the forest. Not wanting to disturb her and wanting her to finish playing, he crept up to her making as little noise as possible.
“It took you long enough.”
She lowered the instrument and the music stopped. This made all the dancing spirits scatter.
“If you're going to try and sneak up on me, don't do it when I'm playing with the spirits. They can see you and I can understand them.”
Link stopped his sneaking and walked the rest of the way up to her.
“I don't know how you got here without any trouble but almost every turn had me fighting.”
Saria got up off her seat and looked into his eyes with concern. No words were spoken for quite some time. With Saria and her look of fear and concern and Link trying to figure out what she was thinking, the only noise was from birds in the trees and bugs flying around. Link finally took a step back and broke the silence.
“So, would you have any idea why the Deku Scrubs have been acting up?”
Saria finally snapped out of her little trance and shook her head.
“How would I know? I know I can speak with the spirits of the forest, but they would have told me when something odd was happening and I would have found a way to warn you.”
The day seemed to pass like nothing as they talked about the troubles brewing. They tried to figure out why it happened as Link was traveling to the Sanctuary and not when Saria had made her journey. The sun began to set and they decided to head home. On their way back, Saria finally saw what he was talking about as she kept seeing the burrows they inhabited.
Later that evening, as Link lay sleeping soundly, Saria could be seen sitting atop her home playing her cherished ocarina. Not meaning to, Link awakens to her beautiful musical score and joins her onto of her roof.
Link proceeded to wipe his eyes, erasing any signs of sleeping. He then became fully aware of his surroundings.
“Why are you up so late?”
All Saria could do was look him in the eyes with the same look of concern on her face as before.
“I had an awful dream, and I think you should see the Great Deku Tree. The forest is changing and I have a feeling you'll have to leave because of it.”
She put her ocarina down, grabbed Link and held him tightly in her arms.
“If you have to leave, I don't know what I'll do.”
Link sat beside her and she proceeded to lay her head in his lap. She then began to doze off.
“Besides, who else would I play with? Mido is a fool and a klutz.”
Link gave a smile before he too fell asleep.
Morning came and Link awoke to find himself on Saria's roof. He looked around and found that Saria had left. He decided that after his morning routines, he would do as Saria wished and would make the journey to see The Great Deku Tree. Before he had set off on his journey, however, Link decided to stop by her place to see if she was there. He knew she wouldn't but he told himself that it never hurts to check. The only other place she could possibly be was their usual spot.
He wondered why she would be there when the forest was acting up. Nevertheless, he set out anyways. He needed to let Saria know he was going to take her advice and see the old tree. He also wanted to ask her if she would join him, seeing as how she might be right and he wanted to spend as much time with her as possible in case he did have to leave.
He decided that he would trek through the Lost Woods before heading to the Deku Tree. Amazingly, not one Scrub was to be found. Not even the burrows from yesterday were there. He finally came upon a gloomy Saria sitting on her stump holding her legs in her hands. She heard Link as he approached
“I don't think I can. I don't think I could handle the news if I am right.”
A tear began to run down her face. Link saw this, approached her, and lightly brushed it away.
“Don't worry. If it comes to that, I'll make sure I'll come back safely.”
She got up and walked away without saying anything else. Link just stood there. He wanted to cry with her but he needed to be strong right now. He needed to be able to show her that nothing will be able to stop him.
Link returned to his home to grab all of his traveling gear; a knife, some food and his life savings in rupees (which was only 300), and set out to get his or rather Saria's questions answered. As he walked past Saria's house, he considered whether or not to check in on her. Deciding it would be best not to, he walked on. The path ahead of him was long, and depending on what happens, could be even longer. He didn't know what to expect but he made a promise that he had to keep no matter what.
As Link set out to see the Great Deku Tree, Mido, the most arrogant of the Kokiris walks up and kicked him square in his rear end.
“OUCH! What was that for?”
With a menacing glare, Mido laughs with full force.
“You must think that you're so special because the Deku Tree lets you see him anytime you want? Well look here mister special, you may be able to do whatever you want, but you'll never be one of us!”
As usual, Link just looks away and continues his journey as he hears nothing but ramblings behind him. Although he had not gotten far, Link began to think a lot about what would happen if Saria were right and how he would react if he ever had to leave his childhood friend. Link then heard a familiar voice. It was a deep and guttural tone.
“You have journeyed here to ask many questions and seek answers. Sadly I can only answer three.”
As our Hero looks up to greet the tree, he notices something wrong. A large mark, possibly from a sword, is etched into the side of the Deku tree.
“What is that...?”
Link was quickly interrupted.
“Think before you ask your question boy. You get only three questions and three answers.”
Deku tree had a bit of an angry look on his face at this point.
“I know I raised you to be smarter than that.”
With that said Link sat down and proceeded to think about his questions. He needed to think about how to ask them so that he could get the answers he is looking for.
Finished with his thoughts, Link finally stood up and asked his first question.
“Great Deku Tree, why am I different from the others?”
The talking tree closed his eyes and sighed. He knew that question was bound to surface.
“It is not a matter of why you're different, but where you come from. You and the Kokiri are essentially the same. You just come from different realms. You, my dear boy, are a noble Hylian, protectors of the land of Hyrule, while the Kokiri are protectors of the forest. Same can be said about the Gorons being the protectors of the mountains and the Zoras protect the waters. We may look different but we are all children of the three Great Goddesses. Your People play a big role in the life of this land. Hylians may be protectors of the entire land of Hyrule and very skilled in battle, but they can't do everything. The Kokiri, with their small bodies, can get through the forests easier, making it possible for stealth attacks. Gorons have their rock hard bodies to withstand the harsh conditions up on Death Mountain. The Zoras have their flippers and gills to travel through the lake and rivers. And finally, the Gerudo, although thieves; are skilled at weaponry. They fashioned the weapons and armor your people used in battle. We may all have our own realms but we all have important roles to play. We work together to protect this land. Now, what is your second question child?”
There was no hesitation after the Deku Tree finished speaking. Link was prepared for any answer he was about to receive.
“What happened to my parents and why was I left to be raised in this forest?”
With an eager ear, Link sat down again to ready himself for the tragic tale of his upbringing.
“Many years ago, a vile man named Ganondorf pulled an army together from the underbelly of this world and set them loose. As we were bombarded with their relentless attacks, your parents thought it best that you be raised in the forest. We could hide you away from the evils that lurked in the shadows and when the time was right, like now, tell you your past and what you as a Hylian are capable of. Sadly your parents did not make it. Your father died while protecting you and your mother. Your mother had perished soon after she took an injury while getting you here. She willed herself to ask for my assistance by caring for you and telling me this tragic tale. You are destined for great things boy and although perilous, you will succeed.”
With his and Saria's fears realized, Link rose up and proceeded to ask his final question.
“Why am I the Destined one?”
“Sorry but I am not allowed to answer that question. You must figure that out on your own. Now enter my body Link. Inside you will find the armor and weapon that was left to you by your mother. Although old, they should last you until you get to the next village.”
With a disappointed look on his face, mostly from not knowing where he had to go next and not being able to ask, Link marched on and entered the Deku Tree with a bit of fear and curiosity.
Inside he sees a pedestal with his new garb, an old partially rusted shield, a map, a sheathed sword, and hiding behind the garb a bag filled with 500 rupees and a note.
Link; if we are not around to see you grow up, just know that we did all we could to keep this land beautiful for you. The quest you are now about to embark on is going to be long and very dangerous. Please be safe my child. I know you will make the Great Goddesses and us proud.
After a bit of mourning, our hero finally emerges from the tree. “Now go child and make this land peaceful once more.”
With a fire in his eyes and an ache in his heart, Link set out to Saria's house to tell her what the Great Deku Tree had told him.
On the way to her place, he thought long and hard about the easiest way to tell her. He knew whatever he was to say, it was going to end in tears. The future held much for him and whether he was ready or not he was going to have to face it.
With a knot in his throat, Link lightly knocked on Saria's door. With sweat running down his forehead, he began to think telling her would be a bad idea. Before he could walk away, however, the door opened and a scared and lonely face appeared. Right away he knew that there wouldn't be much to say seeing as how from her looks, she already knew.
He was quickly cut off by Saria.
“I knew my fears were true. You don't need to say anything. I think it would be best if we did not talk about this and you just leave in the morning.”
As she slammed the door, Link could see a tear forming in the corner of her eye. Seeing as how there was nothing else he could do, Link went back to his place, washed up and tried to get some rest.