ZeldaBlog

The Power of Gold

September 6th, 2006 at 2:43 am by The Missing Link

I remember a while back hearing a quote about the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring from some member of its production staff. In it they referred to the party that marched to Mordor to really be ten in number rather than the otherwise obvious nine. He mentioned that they chose to personify the One Ring itself as a member in their party, a member with its own personality–its own way of being–such that its influence could be felt as if it were a real entity and not just some ordinary artifact.

I’ve often wondered about whether the Triforce could be viewed in much the same way as this. The Triforce, however, unlike the One Ring, always has seemed to be much more a mysterious artifact, playing the role more often as a mere prize to be held by the winning party at the end of the day. In many ways it acts as a non-participant in the minor war games between Link and Ganon, good and evil. In short, an artifact and nothing more.

At the same time, however, the Triforce’s true nature is still something of a mystery. In many of the games, it doesn’t get the chance to say its mind or demonstrate any sense of will. After all, it’s not like we actually get to see the Triforce 90 percent of the time, and when we do, we usually don’t get a moment to interview it because, well, Ganondorf is there. (Cheeky jerk. All I need is an interview with the Triforce and I’d be a professional reporter! No more silly ZeldaBlog for me!) But seriously, there have been times when it has shown some sense of spirit, some proof that it isn’t just a thing that silently does the willing of its owner, and the emphasis here is on the “silent” part. It has shown the ability to speak, and we have heard from it precisely twice over the past games. Without any other way to determine the true nature of the Triforce, this is all we have to go on.

As such, let us dig into the first quote, which comes from the ending sequence to A Link to the Past:

Welcome, Link[.] I am 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….

Hearing this for the nth time puts me into two minds as to why the Triforce speaks to Link. One side of me is chomping at the bit to say, “Look here, friends and neighbours! That’s proof of sentience! The Triforce is alive!” But things aren’t as simple as they seem, and that’s where the other side of my gut resides. If the Triforce indeed was created by the goddesses on their departure from Hyrule (which it was… (or was it? Dun dun dun!)), this could very well be the analogue of the answering machine left by the goddesses should someone ever happen upon the Triforce. I mean, with the exception of them saying Link’s name, it sounds almost identical to something like this:

Thank you for saving the Triforce! Your wish is very important to us, so please stay on the line while we wait for the next available triangle to process your transfer of ownership…. Have you ever had a wish that you wanted granted? With the Triforce, you can do all that and more! Whether you’re wishing for serene peace or wanton power, the Triforce is ready to suit your needs at any time, day or night! With a few simple words, your heart’s content will be yours! …The average wait time from this point onward will be… seventeen… screens’ full of text…. How passionate are you to have your wish granted? You should know that Triforce Incorporated cares about you and your desires! The stronger your wish, the more we will do to make sure that you, the customer, is pleased. If you really are passionate, make sure to mention your interest in our Extreme Wish Combo Package…. Please continue to hold; our next available triangle will be with you shortly….

Honestly now! It just drones on, reciting the laws that bind its otherwise supreme cosmic power, revealing how to care for it, feed it, and change its diaper. Now don’t mistake me; I’m not disparaging the quote or calling it silly; it really is a befitting end to what I personally believe to be the greatest Zelda title on the planet. But from the perspective of analysing the Triforce, the dialogue is drab, it shows no emotion or motivation. For all we know, it could very well be a lifeless, monotone object… or Ben Stein, your choice.

The second quote comes to us from the opening sequence of Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons. Get ready for it; it’s a doozy:

Accept our quest, hero!

Did you catch that? Let me repeat that for you again, in case you missed it.

Accept our quest, hero!

Yup, that’s it. Four little words. You might think that this is a little off-kilter for what we expect of the Triforce (it is; I blame Capcom), but nevertheless it’s canon, and we’ve got to stomach it. This one little sentence is all we have to tell us everything and more about the Triforce’s persona, but believe it or not, these are probably the four most telling words in the Triforce’s entire repertoire. How so? Let me explain.

We cannot say for certain what Link wished for on the Triforce when he obtained it (or indeed which of the Links the Oracles Link might be). However, we know that the Link in the Oracles games must be “pure of heart” because he is able to wield the Master Sword in the games (after a very convoluted exchange of complex passwords between the two cartridges). So Link’s wish is almost certainly something that would be quite beneficial for Hyrule and not something that is self-serving. In short, he wouldn’t be begging of the ol’ Triforce, “Please, I beg you! Make me have a life full of quests to solve because I have needs! I don’t care if I endanger Hyrule or anywhere else! I need quests! Now!” Thus, for the Triforce to elect for him to go on what could very well be the longest quest of all the Zelda titles (since Ages and Seasons together tell one story) is a very odd interpretation of whatever in the world Link wished upon the Triforce, especially when you consider, as we saw in A Link to the Past, that the Triforce can pull an I Dream of Jeannie and just poof things back to Happyland with the nod of its head… er… upper triangle.

So what’s its game here? “Hero! Glad to see you, pal! Look, I wanted to tell you that there’s some bad things going down over on some islands way out there; some people you know are up to no good. And I know you wanted me to do this whole ‘peace’ thing and be all wonderful for everyone, but you messed up and said your wish was just for Hyrule. Too bad, so sad! Next time, read the fine print on the Wish Contract, mmkay? But look, I’m willing to make you an offer you cannot refuse! I’ll just poof you over there and start you out with no items, and then you can take it from there! What do you say? No? Well, I said you couldn’t refuse it, so off you go! Poof!” Sure, that sounds rather ridiculous when put into whimsical speech, but honestly, what else could it be? The Triforce is all-powerful, is it not? Can’t it just make things all happy again?

Well, if it could, why wasn’t Ganon able to fulfil his wish? Did he not follow the Terms and Conditions Clause? It’s a hard sell since he’s gotten several Linkwhopin’s over the past few centuries. (At the same time, Ganondorf only was able to snag all three pieces of the Triforce once in his entire career–talk about leaving a bad legacy for his kids!–so theoretically, he might not have known? Shrug.) Either way, there’s an escape clause written into the Triforce which puts restrictions in place. Where there’s a villian, so there must be a hero… and vice versa. Ganon and Link have played this dance of temporary victories for all too many games now. Ganon always comes back at that opportune moment, cheating death many times. Link always has to go back and put the smackdown on Ganon to seal him away for another century or three. Wishes aren’t perfect.

But the Triforce seems to know what Link is driving at, even though it’s only given “semi-phenomenal, nearly cosmic powers.” And so it’s willing to help out in its limited way. It’s “I’ll get you what you want, but you have to do it yourself this time, bucko.” But this is just really more of the same, more of what the Triforce just does. It takes in the wish of its holder and expresses it in proportion to the weight of the need. In the Oracles, Link doesn’t know of a master scheme to resurrect the King of Evil; thus, no automatic Hulk Smash on Ganondorf. (Link so should have brought the Triforce along to Holodrum and Labrynna when he went on this quest. Imagine seeing what would happen when he found out Ganon was coming back. Ah well, his mistake. Whoops!)

So for this reason, what little true sentience the Triforce seems to have can be explained away by a simple disembodied voice left behind by the goddesses to “be the ball Triforce” and a simple automaton following a set of rules that governs what the Triforce does for a living. With so little other evidence (read: none) that the Triforce could be a living, breathing entity, I am left to conclude that our Triforce, the Power of Gold, is just another treasure.

At least until the next Zelda game comes out to challenge that.

Filed under Editorials, A Link to the Past, Oracle of Ages, Oracle of Seasons

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32 Messages from the Gossip Stones about “The Power of Gold”

    Comments

    • 1. TSA says:

    The Triforce is a very mysterious and powerful device and it’s mystery is exceeded only by it’s power.

    I’m interested that it said “our” and not “my”. Maybe it thinks of itself as seperate entities, but confined in the same ‘body’? It wouldn’t surprise me, three godesses left at the same exit point (I believe), but only one artifact was left behind. Sooo, it’s kinda like the three godesses rolled into one body, but retaining their own thoughts, etc!

    BTW, I’m not trying to state that the Triforce is actually the godesses, just turned into shiny triangles. It is a pretty trippy idea for a fanfic or something…

    vixxe said:

    I’m interested that it said “our” and not “my”. Maybe it thinks of itself as seperate entities, but confined in the same ‘body’? It wouldn’t surprise me, three godesses left at the same exit point (I believe), but only one artifact was left behind. Sooo, it’s kinda like the three godesses rolled into one body, but retaining their own thoughts, etc!

    I wouldn’t have spotted it out without you. I noticed it does have a different entity within the artifact, like a genie in the lamp, look what this quote means:

    The Essence of the Triforce said:

    Welcome, Link[.] I am the Essence Of The Triforce…
    (((Ok, the essence of the ‘Force.)))

    The Triforce will grant the wishes in the heart and mind of the person who touches it….
    (((Wait, did it refer to itself in the third person view?

    The Triforce is waiting for a new owner. Its Golden Power is in your hands[.] Now, touch it with a wish in your heart….
    (((Okay, it has to be a separate entity)))

    The triple parentheses is me talking. and the emphasis’ are mine. I guess it’s a separate entity, or it is really pompous (meaning it is smart)

    I never thought it was sentient, in fact, doesn’t it say as much in the Link to the Past’s backstory? I know some people don’t like the English translation of that, but I do think I remember it saying something along the lines of ‘the Triforce, being an inanimate thing, cannot tell good from evil, it merely grants the wishes made on it.’

    I always believed that it was the Goddesses speaking through the Triforce, maybe they were watching th situation closely but as higher beings it was beneath them to interfere (untill the situation became too dangerous leading to Wind Waker) so it was upto the bloodline of the Hero created by the Goddesses to lay the smack down (Can you smelllllllll what the Link’s cookin) on evil. So when Link vanquished Ganon and claimed the full Triforce for himself the Goddesses gave him a little advice through the Triforce giving a hint on what he should wish for, you know what they say Goddesses move in mysterious ways, lol.

    I think the triforce is to shiny.

    Very mysterious the Triforce is. Powerful it can be.

    Heh, we can all have fun with all of those theories!

    I have another one:
    What if it was like Yoda said: “Your father he is.”
    Soooo maybe the Triforce is Link’s father! Why not?
    :)

    Disclaimer: I know that some parts of my theory detailed below do not exactly follow what Ocarina of Time tells us in its opening sequence; I’m just having a bit of fun. :)

    It’s true that The Minish Cap isn’t part of The Super Special Official Nintendo Timeline(TM) [the unshakeably exact chronological order of Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, Wind Waker, and Phantom Hourglass]. While previous games have explained away finding items in grass as people dropping things there and forgetting them, allowing you to later discover them, in this game the Minish / Picori are said to hide helpful things, like kinstones, shells, rupees, etc. If we are to apply this knowledge to the other games, it more concisely explains why you can always cut grass to find hearts, fairies, and other objects that “normal” people could not possibly be carrying. Also in TMC, the Minish give “original” Link the [Master?] Four Sword and the “light force,” which is obviously the Triforce.

    Based upon this, it seems to me that the Minish are servants of Din, Nayru, and Farore. They do various things on the planet to keep the Goddesses’ most precious creations–people–happy. Small things like putting hearts in tall grass are what most Minish can accomplish; inventors such as Ezlo try for much bigger things to add joy to humans’ lives. Perhaps this is why the Triforce is imperfect: it was not made directly by the Goddesses for the people to use and potentially ruin things in Their world, but by Their workers in an attempt to make all people happy… leaving it quite vulnerable to those with evil hearts. (Obviously the Minish don’t have the all-seeing powers of the Goddesses, or they wouldn’t have created the silly cap that gives the game its plot! ;D)

    I’m overthinking this, right? XD

    • 10. Sage says:

    So… you saying that there are godesses but the minsh made the triforce? o_O …

    Oh dont mind that, thats just my melted brain on the floor.

    Very interesting article though, TML. I personally have always thought of the triforce as just an object. If it was alive, it would just lay the smack down on Ganon by itself. Right? Riiiiight?

    the triforce is suposed to be the goddesess power.why it talked? Im not sure,maybe its powerful enough to talk,maybe its din,nayru,and farores “self” or “essence”,maybe nintendo messed up and forgot the triforce CANT TALK!!! im not sure,all I know is that it dosnt care if a wish is good or evil,leading me to believe it is pure..um..talking power ;) . and

    Emily said:

    While previous games have explained away finding items in grass as people dropping things there and forgetting them, allowing you to later discover them, in this game the Minish / Picori are said to hide helpful things, like kinstones, shells, rupees, etc.

    that makes me think…do the minish knock the fairys out and throw them in the grass :P ? based on the info we have from MC it looks like it.

    Sage said:

    Oh dont mind that, thats just my melted brain on the floor.

    Do you want a mop?
    Anyway, I think that the Triforce is a thing of fluctuating power. It doesn’t always have every abillity. Sometimes it can talk other times it can’t. Its sentience kinda comes and goes. its a Prototype for a much cooler thing maybe? And the godesses make link and Ganon fight to teset its effect and its power.

    What you said, Emily, is kinda my theory too, but I had something else in mind in other parts… *mysterious pause*

    I still think it has a mind of its own, but only speaks when needed to, like in ALttP, Link probably was too stressed to make his own wish, so the Triforce gave him a little nudge. It maybe nuetral in the batlle between good and evil, but that don’t mean a wish-making object has to be mindless, whether people want to accept it as a creation of the Minish, or the Golden Goddesses (I believe the former)

    I think the thing should give all the money of Bill Gates and all his corperations.

    Perhaps the Triforce is indeed a sentient being, but has a collective mind (since more often than not it’s split). This would explain the “our” in OoS/OoA and possibly the third-person reference in LttP.

    I can see it now…

    “We are the Triforce. Your resistance is futile. Prepare to have your wishes granted.”

    I tend to go for beleiving the Triforce is non-sentient. I mean really, when Ganon first found the Triforce, it probably said the same thing to Link, except with replacing all the “Link”s with “Ganondorf”. And of course it didn’t have the whole Light World/Dark World explaination. I can’t think of any precedents, but it seems to me that very often mythical artifacts often explain themselves telepathically to those who encounter and use their powers. That does not mean sentience.

    As for the quote from the Oracles, this can probably be considered fan-fiction, but if the Triforce was in the Castle, it was probably under the control of the Hylians, and it would not be suprising that the wish it was acting on would be something like:

    “Protect Hyrule from evil forces.”

    If this was the case, sending Link on the quest would merely be the triforce functioning to fufill a grander wish it was acting on, since the revival of Ganon would probably cause havoc for Hyrule’s Department of Homeland Security.

    And the games were made by Capcom.

    SmashManiac said:

    Heh, we can all have fun with all of those theories!

    I have another one:
    What if it was like Yoda said: “Your father he is.”
    Soooo maybe the Triforce is Link’s father! Why not?
    :)

    Well, since the Trifore was left by the Goddesses, wouldn’t it be “the Triforce is Link’s mother”?
    Even though I personally think that idea is absolutly redundant.

    t_mo_therapy said:

    As for the quote from the Oracles, this can probably be considered fan-fiction, but if the Triforce was in the Castle, it was probably under the control of the Hylians, and it would not be suprising that the wish it was acting on would be something like:

    “Protect Hyrule from evil forces.”

    If this was the case, sending Link on the quest would merely be the triforce functioning to fufill a grander wish it was acting on, since the revival of Ganon would probably cause havoc for Hyrule’s Department of Homeland Security.

    And the games were made by Capcom.

    *explodes out of anger, and leave a ten foot hole in the ceiling* BAAAHHH!!! I hate it when people prejudice the Oracle game just because “they’re Capcom games,” that just drives me nuts, they are canon, even TML said so! Read:

    The Missing Link said:
    Yup, that’s it. Four little words. You might think that this is a little off-kilter for what we expect of the Triforce, but nevertheless it’s canon…

    Do not doubt Nintendo! You guys won’t consider the CD-i series canonical, why not Oracles, oh wait. *in a mocking twelve year old voice* “It’s not canon because it was made by Capcom.” Okay, forgive me for blowing up like that, and I perfectly know it was not part of this subject, but I wish people would be a little more accepting. Anyways, the Triforce was told (theoretically) to give anyone a wish, so technically, it has sentience, it just does what it was designed to, grant ANYONE’s wish, good or evil, besides, if it could control who gives it wishes, then there would be no evil to fight, or no good to fight evil, it’s perfectly balanced so the balance between good and evil are kept up in check. Besides, it’d be boring if no one got greedy and coveted the Triforce, and why physics are broken all the time for Ganon to keep coming back from the dead, just to get the Triforce and/or Zelda.

    Here’s a thought. In Hyrule, the triforce is on everything. Swords, shields, doors, EVERYTHING! Maybe the people of the land already belived in the Triforce (I know they were created five minutes ago.) before the Godesses left, and the magical backlash of two worlds crossing at the edges (See ToS) created a physical form of the collective mindset of the people. Maybe the Triforce was an accedent, and has nothing to do with the Goddesses.

    Zen Blade said:

    Very mysterious the Triforce is. Powerful it can be.

    Amen to that.

    SmashManiac said:

    Heh, we can all have fun with all of those theories!

    I have another one:
    What if it was like Yoda said: “Your father he is.”
    Soooo maybe the Triforce is Link’s father! Why not?
    :)

    It’s better than the theory that Link is Tingle(EVIL!!!!!!) and Tingle is his own father.

    Nevira Shadowfire said:

    I can see it now…

    “We are the Triforce. Your resistance is futile. Prepare to have your wishes granted.”

    LOL!!!

    skywalker001 said:

    SmashManiac said:

    Heh, we can all have fun with all of those theories!

    I have another one:
    What if it was like Yoda said: “Your father he is.”
    Soooo maybe the Triforce is Link’s father! Why not?
    :)

    It’s better than the theory that Link is Tingle(EVIL!!!!!!) and Tingle is his own father.

    Tingle is his own father… well that would explain everything!

    Hyrulian Hero said:

    Do not doubt Nintendo! You guys won’t consider the CD-i series canonical, why not Oracles, oh wait. *in a mocking twelve year old voice* “It’s not canon because it was made by Capcom.” Okay, forgive me for blowing up like that, and I perfectly know it was not part of this subject, but I wish people would be a little more accepting.

    If someone can believe that the CD-i games are not canon because they were made by Philips, then what does prevent a similar attitude about Capcom’s games from being justified? The answer: nothing at all. So mock not someone’s beliefs; I won’t stand for it.

    I merely have come to terms that, despite how drab the plot and nonsensical the cast is in the Oracles, Nintendo means for this to be canon (after all, the larger story does make sense at some level); thus so it is.

    [TML: Strike one, sir.

    If you wish to be allowed to comment to the articles here, you’d best read the Rules of the Blog. For the record, you violated Rules #1, #2, #3, and #5.]

    Personally, I always believe thought the Triforce could “speak.” Although, I think it only speaks to the the hero. Sort of the godesses explain what exactly happened and what the Triforce is. I always took the essence of the Triforce to be it’s creators. To add to that I don’t think the Minish or the light force to be related to the Triforce in anyway. I simply thought the light force was the magic the royal family always seemed to have(though seen most often in Zelda). But those are only my thoughts.

    hyruleking said:

    whats with the big words?

    Oh *NAVI* Not another super-spammer -_- Dude, this is not a chat room, this is a blog, people will get angry, and read this before you come back to comment again. And I’d watch what your saying, TML is the creator of this place.

    Anyways, aren’t most ancient relics that were created by gods or goddesses capable of speaking? Like in Greek Mythology, or NorseMythology, or something like that? If so, then the Triforce shouldn’t be any different.

    If the Triforce is Links Father who’s his mother? How’d that work? And lastly, why the F*navi* would he have an uncle. That would be cool to have the triforce as a younger brother.
    Me: Give me a Wii NOW, or I throw your G.I. Joe in the toilet.
    TForce: Fine, here ya go.

    I found the text on the triforce (from oot) on line and this is what it says:

    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.

    also:

    The three goddesses hid the Triforce containing the power of the gods somewhere in Hyrule.

    sounds like they never intended to make the triforce.its probably just some of there power that was released when they left.Im still not sure why it talks though :P .maybe its part of them.

    Because it can. If I was a Golden Power that could grant any wish I’d wish to be able to talk.
    I wonder if it gets bored.

    Light Link 007 said:

    Because it can. If I was a Golden Power that could grant any wish I’d wish to be able to talk.
    I wonder if it gets bored.

    but it has to be touched first,and the triforce has no hands ;) .

    When your a sentient inanimate object, who has no purpose save for one, and can last forever, you would beat boredom by sleeping, or resting, so you don’t get bored. Imagine if the Triforce dreamed. And anything that grants wishes cannot grant its own wish, otherwise, it would wish it cannot grant wishes.

    The CD-I games didn’t even have Nintendo involved with them at all, and the Oracle games had Nintendo super-vising Capcom, it wasn’t all Capcom.

    to subjcect:

    I think the quote from the Oracle games was the goddesses speaking, it just sounds like the goddesses to me from the way it talked, but in AL-ttP, it was the Triforce, hence why it says the Essence of The Triforce.

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