It was over before it even began. Link knew it. Even before the Master Sword was found, even before the hero noticed the glowing Triforce piece.
Known as many different things, Link had made life's journey. From servant to traveler, from traveler to hero. Only few knew the true identity that was hidden within that green tunic and hat. Only few knew the true name of Hyrule's hero.
"Linn!" the elderly man's voice snapped the girl out of her thoughts.
"Master Marius!" Linn was flustered. "I apologize… I was just…"
"Daydreaming? 'T is a fault of all servants. Do not worry."
"Does the princess need something yet again?" Linn was annoyed.
"Now, now. It is the king's wish that his daughter be presented in the finest way. Two weeks until her birthday and already the cooks are planning the best feast and the servants are dusting and polishing every nook and cranny!"
"And you and I, Master Marius?"
"Well, as one of the head servants, I must see to it that everything is done perfectly. I assigned jobs to the ones that I knew would be best doing it."
"So what am I best at?"
Linn smiled slightly.
"Unfortunately… that cannot help any preparations."
"I was thinking about my future man…"
"You know… my knight in shining armor… my…"
"Ah, I know that not to be realistic… yet I dream of someone… someone to sweep me off my feet." Linn had once again entered into her fantasy world, where a tall, dark, and handsome man awaited on his valiant steed.
She never imagined that those dreams would actually come true… to every last detail. The next day, she was riding her copper mare, Epona, a horse given to her by her stable boy friend. She was thinking about how much she hated spoiled girls… like Princess Zelda. Her green servant's gown was tossed in the wind that she felt against her white stockings. She had gone far, lost in her daydreams yet again. She didn't know that she had ridden far from the castle… far from Hyrule Field… far into a golden desert.
"Halt! Who are you?!" a woman called out to her.
"Uh… Oh no!" Linn realized that she was far from home.
"I am so sorry! I-I… I'm lost… I…" She paused, trying to collect her thoughts. "Wait… I'm in Gerudo Desert!"
"No duh, Blondie! What else? You're riding a horse?"
"I'm sorry, ma'am… I didn't mean to trespass."
"Sheila, leave her to me," came a deep voice.
"My king!" the woman bowed low. "Yes sire…" She left.
"I am sorry about her. Sheila tends to… overreact at times."
Linn was enchanted by the man before her. His fire-red hair seemed to shine like the desert sun. His dark eyes were almost hypnotizing. And, just like in her visions, he was tall, clad in dark armor, and riding a brilliant black stallion. He was the man of her dreams. She knew that from the beginning.
"Well, young lady." The young man rode up next to her. "What is your name?"
"L-Linn," she could barely speak.
"A beautiful name," he smiled. "It matches your own beauty."
She blushed. "I-I… Thank you…" Her cobalt eyes sparkled. "And your name, Sir King?"
"My name is Ganondorf."
It was the name that would be the terror of the kingdom. Yet, to Linn, it was the name that made her heart flutter. It was a year after she had met her 'King Charming', and Linn had been freed of her servant duties. She now was just a poor traveler. She wanted to meet each race, explore each area, and learn each story. She never knew that she would have a story of her own.
"Linn… I've never been so far away from the desert…" Ganondorf looked up at the trees.
"That is precisely why we're out touring the kingdom!" Linn said matter-of-factly. "Ganny… you gotta get out of the sun, hon."
"Ha… I was born in the sun, my dear. The shade from these trees is what bothers me."
The times they had were beautiful. Their romance seemed like it was meant to be. Linn was happy. Ganondorf was happy. Hyrule was happy.
As she traveled side-by-side with Ganondorf, they came across a sacred shine, surrounded by several people there to pray to the gods. The shrine had an inscription: "Here is the place where the Triforce was created. What remains of the golden goddesses lies elsewhere, never meant to be contained by one person."
"Wisdom, Courage, and Power," Linn whispered. "The balance of a perfect being."
"Anyone who seeks the Triforce must have all three," Ganondorf added.
"If they can even find the Triforce."
"That would be amazing… to see that sacred power."
Both Linn and Ganondorf had become well known among the people of each region. Everyone could count on seeing them riding side by side on their horses, looking at each other rather than the road ahead.
Epona was starting to slow down, so Linn let her rest as she and Ganondorf sat on a small wooden fence overlooking a short cliff. "Do you ever wonder about your destiny?" Linn asked.
"My destiny?" Ganondorf thought. "Perhaps a little because of my duty as king. I hope that I can be strong for my people."
"Gerudos think highly of men to force kingship upon them."
Linn looked out at the setting sun. She paused before saying, "Am I in your destiny?"
Ganondorf looked over at her. "Am I in yours?"
She smiled and looked at him. "Touché. Of course you are, Ganny."
"And you are indeed in mine, Linn."
They moved closer and kissed.
Their destinies would indeed cross. Ganondorf was away from Linn for a while, at which time he got a hold of the Triforce and received the part of power. It was then that he became… a monster.
The people did not know the source of the darkness, but they feared it so much, they dared not find out. Linn was the only one courageous enough to go.
However, she knew that no one would let a girl carry a sword, so she cut her dress as a tunic, slid on large boots and warrior gloves, and hid her hair under a green hat. When on her way to find the source of the darkness, she was asked, "What is your name?"
"Lin—k…" she had said, almost saying her true name.
"Good luck, heroic Link."
She made her way on her mare, looking for where the darkness was most concentrated. She made it across the desert. "Gerudo Desert is the source? But how, why?" She feared the answer. Her eyes soon fell upon a great tower.
"Stranger! You dare not go in there!" a voice called out to her. It was none other than Sheila. She did not recognize her either. "Our king… he has become evil… powerful… unstoppable."
"No… not Ganondorf…"
"I'm afraid so. He had found the golden treasure… Now, we fear the worse."
"The Triforce?! He got his hands on the Triforce?!"
Link jumped off her horse and ran into the tower. Many enemies lined the path to the top of the tower, causing her to finally use the sword and shield. The sword was merely a Hylian sword and the shield was the beautiful and artistic Hylian shield. She knew she would need a more powerful weapon in the future.
As she made her way up the last winding staircase, she couldn't help but shudder at what may lie ahead. Would she see the man of her dreams? Or would she see something terrible… inhuman? She quickened her pace. Tears started welling up in her eyes. "Ganny… what's going on?"
She finally reached the large doors that would undoubtedly lead her to her love. Now hesitant, she slowly opened one and slid inside.
"You have come," the voice seemed heavier. Ganondorf's shadow was all she saw, looking out the window at the dark desert.
"Ganondorf… is it true?" she spoke as Link, not Linn, for fear of his knowing who she was.
Despite this, he knew that he was talking to Linn. "My dear… it is all true. My power is great now. I have become like a god! I am…" he turned to face her, "the King of Darkness!" His eyes flashed with power, and he smiled evilly.
"No… Ganny, no!" Tears were now streaming down her face, uncontrollable. "How could you?!"
"My dear… why do you cry? You can join me! We'll be together, forever… with all the power in the world! We'll reign over Hyrule and the kingdoms beyond!"
"Join me, my dear. We shall forever be the rulers of this world!"
"N-Never! I can't…" She clenched her fists. "I love you, Ganny, but I cannot let you do this! You are striking fear into everyone! You are murdering some! I can't let you do this!"
"If you are not with me… you are against me!" He raised his hand and a powerful firebolt was unleashed from it.
Link flew backwards. "I'm sorry to have to do this…" She drew her sword and ran at him. He pulled his own blade, a huge, black sword. The swords clashed, but Link was again blown back.
"You don't seriously expect to match me with such a weak sword!"
She came at him again, resulting in her flying back again and her sword breaking. She looked at it, terrified.
"I shall give you one last chance. Come with me… and your life shall be spared… my love."
"I… can't. You have become… a monster…"
"You want to see monster? I'll show you a monster!" He transformed into a great beast with horns and large, sharp claws. He grew several feet taller as well.
"Ganondorf… what have you done?"
"Forget the man you once knew!" the beast roared. "I am Ganon, King of Darkness, future king of all the land… and soon, all the world!"
Link was no match… she knew it. That was also when the terrible truth dawned upon her that Ganondorf and her… it was over before it barely began! She held up the weak shield, bracing for what she knew would be a powerful attack. Was this the end of her? Would she really die… by the hand of her love?
Before the blow landed, she was transported to the sacred realm. Surrounding her were seven beings, neither human nor spirit… they seemed… in between. They were the seven sages.
"Greetings hero," one of them said. "We have waited for you. You have seen the darkness that you are up against. Do you know what you must do?"
"I'm not the one for the job…" Link whispered. "You don't know me…"
"Linn, Hylian, servant, then traveler, now hero. We have been watching you. Ganondorf is no longer the man you knew. He has changed… darkness has gotten to him… and now… only you can stop him!"
"No… I can't! I love him!"
"And the true Ganondorf… whose heart also loved you… is now almost completely gone. I know it will be hard… but you must destroy the evil!"
"You carry the mark of the Triforce of Courage, dear girl."
Link looked at her left hand. Indeed, the mark they spoke of was glowing brightly in this realm.
"Find the Sword of Evil's Bane. It should be hidden within Farore's Forest. We are depending on you, Link."
Of course, the blade they spoke of was the Master Sword. They warped her immediately to the entrance of the thick forest named after the goddess whose mark she carried. She entered, unsure. Angrily striking every monster that got in her way, she made her way through the maze of trees until she saw a peculiar source of light. As she moved toward it, she saw that it was shining on a long, purple-hilted blade. "The Master Sword…" she whispered. She stepped up to it. It seemed stuck in the large stone, but she tried to pull it. Using all her strength, she was finally able to get it out. She slashed with it, to get the feel of it, then brought it up above her head, looking at it in awe. "The Sword of Evil's Bane…"
Everyone who knows this legend of Link knows that the sword was not the only item needed. The hero never expected to need the help of Princess Zelda. However, the time came, and Link saw that Princess Zelda was not the girl Linn thought she was. She, too, was a strong hero.
Link had battled every enemy that stood in her way. She had passed through every dungeon that blocked her path. She had solved every puzzle, mastered every obstacle, and gained all the experience she needed. It was time, and she knew it.
"I waited for the moment when we would meet again in battle!" Ganon roared.
"Your murderous ways will come to an end!" Link shouted back at the fiend.
"Are you ready, hero?" Zelda called. Even she did not know the identity of Link. She thought that 'he' was just a young boy who happened to carry the Mark of Courage.
"Ready as I'll ever be!"
Though it was difficult, the two of them managed to weaken Ganon. Finally, there was one last shot of a Light Arrow. Ganon roared in painful defeat. Link approached the evil beast.
Ganon began to shrink to his human form. "Linn…" he whispered. "Linn… you have done well… thank the gods…"
Linn realized that Ganondorf was temporarily uncontrolled by darkness, due to the light arrows. "Princess! I can take it from here!" she called.
Princess Zelda nodded and left.
"Linn… We always knew… our destinies would intertwine…"
"You must finish the job."
"The darkness will return to me… please. I apologize for what I put you through… what I put everyone through."
"I can't… I can't kill you…"
"You must… You must stop me before…" He stopped and clutched his head. "Oh, what have I done?!"
"Strike now, Linn! It's the only way!"
Linn knew she had to… for the good of Hyrule. She raised her sword and looked away. "I will always love you… Ganny."
"And I you, Linn."
She stabbed her sword downward. She hesitated before turning and looking at what remained. Her sword was once again in stone, but it was now in the shape of Ganondorf. The darkness was sealed away forever. Tears flowed from her eyes. "Ganny… you were the biggest hero of all…"
The deed was done. Linn returned to Hyrule Field with a hero's welcome. She returned to her home and started crying again. She placed her hand on her heart, and immediately, it started glowing with the triangle mark. She smiled through her tears as she realized what that meant:
Ganondorf was still very much alive… within her heart.