Several years after the events of The Legend of Zelda, just before his sixteenth birthday, Link notices a strange mark on the back of his left hand, similar to that of the crest of Hyrule. He seeks out Impa, who responds by taking Link to the tower of North Castle, where a maiden lies in a deep sleep. Impa tells Link that the maiden is Zelda, a princess of Hyrule from long ago, and the origin of the "Legend of Zelda". A long time ago the Prince of Hyrule had tried to obtain the Triforce, but Zelda refused to tell him the location of it. In order to extract the information from her, he brought in a Magician to interrogate her. Unable to find out any information, the wizard cast a sleeping spell on her, which also resulted in his own death. The prince, being unable to reverse the spell, had his sister placed in the castle tower, in the hope that she would one day be awakened. He decreed that all females born to the royal family from that point on would be named Zelda, in remembrance of this tragedy. Impa says that the mark on Link's hand means that he is the chosen hero to awaken Zelda. She gives Link a chest containing six crystals and ancient writings indicating that each crystal needs to be placed in a different palace in Hyrule. This will open the way to the Great Palace, which contains the Triforce of Courage, which has the power to awaken the enchanted Zelda. Taking the crystals, Link sets out to restore them to their palaces. Meanwhile, the followers of Ganon are seeking to kill Link, as sprinkling his blood on Ganon's ashes would supposedly resurrect their master. Ultimately, Link restores the crystals to the six palaces, and with the crystals in place, the entrance to the Great Palace is opened. After venturing deep inside, Link is made to battle and defeat a shadowy doppelgänger of himself known as Dark Link. After Dark Link is defeated, Link claims the Triforce and uses it to awaken Zelda, who embraces Link while a curtain falls in front of them.
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