Geeking Out! Zelda Collector’s Puzzle!

I didn’t even know this existed until today! A friend took me to the Ontario Mills shopping mall yesterday, where all the shops are twice the size of the same shops at my local mall. We walked into a Hot Topic and I stumbled across a rack of board games. First thing to catch my eye was the Zelda-themed Monopoly game, but it was too pricey for me. Sitting nearby on top of a few Supernatural-themed Ouija boards was this jigsaw puzzle, and I immediately bought it. If you want to buy it as well, you can do so at Amazon.

If it had been a puzzle of one of the established game maps, I might have passed it up, but it’s more than that. Somebody took the time to merge several of the different versions of Hyrule all together, and the result is really cool in my opinion, especially as I study it and try to puzzle out what each landmark is and what game it originates from. There is Hylian writing on the map but I’m having trouble deciphering it; some of it is obvious, such as “Hyrule Field” in the center (the Hylian even looks like English right there), but the rest is more difficult. I’ll take time to figure it out eventually, probably after I put and glue all 550 pieces of this puzzle together to get the full size image (right now I’m staring at the box and this image), but for now I’m just having fun identifying stuff through memory and best guesses.

In the center area are the landmarks from Ocarina of Time, such as the Kokiri Forest (with the Deku Tree), Lon Lon Ranch (near the exact center of the map), Hyrule Castle to the north of that, and Death Mountain to the northeast of that with Kakariko Village at its base. To the east (and slightly north) of Death Mountain is a town; its location indicates it must be from Adventure of Link, with the tower shown probably being where Princess Zelda sleeps during that game. I base this on Adventure of Link being the only game featuring Death Mountain as a southern mountain range dividing two areas of Hyrule instead of a northern border that cannot be passed. Further east are floating islands, which must be from Skyward Sword because that’s the only game (to my memory) to feature such land marks.

Switching directions to the west of Death Mountain, that cave with the two high peaks strikes me as Spectacle Rock from the original Zelda game (the location of the final dungeon). Beyond that, I want to say the tower structure is the Arbiter’s Grounds from Twilight Princess (with that howling wolf below possibly proving it). The forest at its border could be the Lost Woods, as that is the location in A Link to the Past. In the western center of the map, however, that forest could possibly be the actual Lost Woods; the Deku creature inhabits the Lost Woods in Ocarina of Time and the location is approximate to where the Lost Woods were found in the original NES game. I could be wrong about this though; my first inclination was that it’s the Deku Palace and surrounding swamp from Majora’s Mask, but that takes place in Termina, not Hyrule.

The desert in the southwest corner of the map looks an an amalgamation of the desert area in A Link to the Past. It’s the exact same spot, with the same large rib bones, and I believe the mummy represents the Desert Palace. The half-sunken ship and scorpion would indicate the desert area of Skyward Sword. I have no idea about that castle, though, nor do I have any idea about that mountain with the dragon sitting on top.

The lake at the foot of the aforementioned mountain is Lake Hylia from Ocarina of Time (it has the building at the shore with the bridges to the islands). It’s location on the map, however, being lower center, made me first think it was the lake from the original Zelda (where dungeons one and four are found), and the fact that there is a large field south and east of the lake, with a river winding south, makes me think this was intentional, because that matches the map of the original game.

Finally, my nerd examination of this map comes to the eastern border… and I admit I’m a little stumped. I believe the center east of the map is representing Zora’s Domain, a sort of combination of its geography in A Link to the Past (the river to the secluded lake) and Ocarina of Time (the waterfall and its higher elevation). That special-looking gate with the sentinel statues doesn’t ring any bells for me, nor does that building structure below it. The cave at the edge strikes me as the fishing pond from Twilight Princess. And then you have the ocean, which interestingly is in the same spot as Lake Hylia in A Link to the Past. Lake Hylia moves around a lot in the games.

And for me, that’s what makes this map so cool. In the interest of keeping their games looking fresh, Nintendo has never maintained a stable geography for Hyrule; everything moves around a lot (Lake Hylia and the Lost Woods being the primary offenders). It’s very obvious that a lot of work went into creating this map, and it’s awesome! I’ve already spent a couple hours poring over this jigsaw puzzle and I haven’t even started putting the actual thing together!

7 thoughts on “Geeking Out! Zelda Collector’s Puzzle!

  1. Danny

    Nice analysis. It certainly helps me make sense of some of it. I’ve spent the past 30 minutes or so decoding the alphabet (not consistent with other things you’ll see online). It’s not complete, and certain letters repeat. But as far I can tell you are completely right except there is no mention of lost woods in the text. In the lower center, it says _aron _oods. Every letter written there is confirmed by another place, but those would be the only time for an f and a w. I think it is “Faron woods.” With f being the same(ish) letter as r and w being the same(ish) as e (unless you prefer “raron eoods.”

    There is gerudo desert in the south western corner, and above that, I am stuck… I want to say it says “Captor Wilds” but what the heck is that??? Could be wrong about the c but it looks the same as in castle. The p was a fill in the blank guess…. I am confident in the following: _-A-_T-O-R/F W/E-I-L/N-D/G-S
    So… second words wilds or winds, I think… captor winds??? I dunno. You seem like you’ve got a more comprehensive knowledge of Zelda games, so do you have any ideas what that one is?

    By the way, the bottom says “Hyrule World Atlas”, in case you didn’t know (like me, prior to my little linguistic exercise).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting, and for figuring out the Hylian! You made some awesome discoveries!

      First, I am confident your deciphering of “Faron Woods” is right on the money; in Twilight Princess, Faron Woods is located in the bottom-center of the map, which is EXACTLY where the collector’s map puts it. That simply can’t be a coincidence.

      Regarding Gerudo Desert, that is very interesting. My analysis focused on Ocarina of Time’s placement of Gerudo Desert in the northwest, and I had *totally* forgotten that Twilight Princess and Four Swords Adventures moved Gerudo Desert to the southwest instead. Once again your deciphering skills are not only dead-on, but the location totally matches game geography. However, this now leaves me at something of a loss regarding the tower structure in the northwest.

      Interesting aside: I just noticed, while looking at the map for Four Swords Adventures, that Lake Hylia is elevated with a waterfall in the center-east. (To my knowledge, this is the ONLY game where Lake Hylia ever looks like that in that area of the map.) There is VERY similar geography on the collector’s map that I took for Zora’s Domain, but now believe may be a combination of Zora’s Domain AND Lake Hylia.

      Finally, your last point where you were stuck: WOW. You honestly got me giddy. That’s Castor Wilds (with an S), the marsh/swamp area from Minish Cap!!! It’s even in the relatively-correct spot! The collector’s map actually got the GBA game in there!! And I would never have picked up on that if you hadn’t figured out most of the letters! Thank you! And thank you for taking the time to comment!

      P.S. Yes, it’s good to know what the title is. 🙂

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      1. Danny Gallagher

        Thanks for the reply!! I suspected your extensive would fill the gaps. I’m very impressed and so happy we got it figured out!!

        What a cool little puzzle. XD

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  2. Kimberly

    Just got this puzzle and I’m in love with trying to put all the worlds together! To your point earlier about the dragon on the mountain, I’m almost positive that that represents dragon roost island from the wind waker game. I have no idea about exact locations but it’s the only point in any Zelda game that I recall there being a dragon on a mountain and it would be a shame for this amazing collectors puzzle to leave out such an awesome part of the series!

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    1. Hi Kimberly! Thank you for commenting!

      I believe you are right about that being Dragon Roost Island! To my knowledge there is no other landmark like that in the Zelda series (somebody correct me if I’m wrong). Considering the artist went so far as to include a landmark from Minish Cap, I can’t imagine they would have forgotten Wind Waker, so I’m pretty sure you’ve nailed it.

      In addition, It suddenly dawned on me that the large fish creature in the water in the southeast corner could possibly represent the Catfish’s Maw dungeon from Link’s Awakening. I love looking at this map. 🙂

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