Palace of Winds
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|Location(s)||Realm of the Heavens|
Four Swords Adventures
The Minish Cap
|Main Item||Roc's Cape|
|Mini-boss(es)||Red Dark Nut|
|Quest Reward(s)||Princess Zelda rescued|
The Palace of Winds, also known as Vaati's Palace, is a recurring location within the Legend of Zelda series, appearing in all three titles of the Four Swords sub-series. It is portrayed as an immense floating building or set of buildings that floats in the sky high above Hyrule's surface. Though it first featured as a base of operations for the wind sorcerer Vaati, its origins were later revealed to have been nobler prior to its occupation by the evil sorcerer. Any wishing to visit the palace must find a means of reaching the heavens where the palace floats high above the clouds; a structure known as the Tower of Winds has served as the road to the palace on more than one occasion. The palace usually plays a prominent role in the events of each game, serving either as a major dungeon to be explored to reach the game's end or as the final dungeon of the game.
The full history of the Palace of Winds is not completely known. The locale first appeared in Four Swords as the abode of Vaati, a wind sorcerer that had terrorized Hyrule long before the events of the game. This background was preserved for the palace in its second appearance a short time later, in Four Swords Adventures, where it once again serves as Vaati's stronghold and serves as the final dungeon of the game. However, the true origins of the palace were not revealed until the release of The Minish Cap.
It is revealed in The Minish Cap that the Palace of Winds did not begin as Vaati's personal residence, but rather as the sanctified home of one of the Four Elements that are the crystalline manifestations of the four major elements of the world, this element being the Wind Element. The palace was originally a creation of a special tribe of people closely linked to the winds known as the Wind Tribe, who were said to have constructed the palace when they still lived in the Wind Ruins just south of the mire known as Castor Wilds in southeastern Hyrule. Eventually, the Wind Tribe chose to join the winds they studied and worshiped so much, and to this end, they used their magic to raise the Palace of Winds up into the sky, constructing a new home for themselves there that would also serve as the road to the palace, the Tower of Winds, which also floated above the Cloud Tops just beneath the Palace of Winds itself. For generations following this, the Palace of Winds was guarded by the Wind Tribe, who sought to protect the Wind Element from those unworthy of possessing it.
In Four Swords, the Palace of Winds is called Vaati's Palace and is the final level to unite the four Links and reseal the Wind Sorcerer Vaati within his prison. It is stated in the game's prologue to have been the personal dwelling of the Wind Sorcerer Vaati many long years in the past, when he terrorized Hyrule's people and captured beautiful maidens that struck his fancy, whom he would then carry off to his palace among the clouds to keep for his own pleasure. At the game's beginning, Link and Zelda go to check on the seal of Vaati's prison, which is kept locked by a key, the Four Sword. They are soon after ambushed by the wind sorcerer himself, who had escaped due to the weakening seal on his prison and had hidden nearby when he heard the pair approaching. He kidnaps Zelda and states his intent to make her his bride before knocking Link out and carrying Zelda off to his palace in the sky above Hyrule. Left with no choice, Link is forced to draw the Four Sword from its resting place in order to reach the palace and confront Vaati, causing him to be split into four copies of himself.
The four Links are then forced to go on a quest across Hyrule to find the Great Keys that can open the way to the palace and thus allow them to rescue Zelda from Vaati. Eventually, they succeed in this effort and are able to reach the heavens where Vaati's Palace awaits amongst the clouds. Inside the vast palace, the four Links are forced to battle numerous foes while also trying to keep from falling to their deaths from the palace's heights, in order to reach its top and take on the Wind Sorcerer himself. With the power of the Four Sword, they succeed in besting him once again atop the palace, resealing him within the Four Sword's blade and freeing Princess Zelda from her captivity.
Beyond its establishment as Vaati's residence, no other information about the palace's origins are revealed in this game, though it would reappear in later games.
Four Swords Adventures
In Four Swords Adventures, the Palace of Winds is the third and final stage in the Realm of the Heavens, the eighth level of the game. As is implied by the name of the level it is located in and following in the footsteps of the game's predecessor, the palace floats in the sky high above Hyrule's surface and once again serves as Vaati's dwelling. In the opening of the game, Princess Zelda and the other six Shrine Maidens that act as Hyrule's sages seek to check the seal on Vaati's prison at the Four Sword Sanctuary after dark clouds blanket the skies of Hyrule. However, the maidens and Zelda are soon after kidnapped by Shadow Link, who draws Link to the Four Sword Sanctuary and tricks him into withdrawing the Four Sword from its pedestal, causing Link to split into four colored versions of himself and releasing Vaati in the process. The four Links then go on a quest to find the Shrine Maidens and recover the four Royal Jewels that can restore the road to the Realm of the Heavens, the Tower of Winds.
After succeeding in rescuing the Shrine Maidens and recovering the four Royal Jewels from across Hyrule, the four Links ascend the restored Tower of Winds and free Princess Zelda from the clutches of Frostare before finding the roof and entering the Realm of the Heavens. There they battle the fiercest of foes they've encountered yet and put an end to Shadow Link by recovering the Dark Mirror in the Dark Cloud. From there they reach the Palace of Winds, which heavily resembles its previous incarnation in Four Swords. Here they ascend the palace and do battle with Vaati, seemingly ultimately vanquishing him for good. However, with Vaati dead, his power is no longer present to sustain the Palace of Winds, causing it to begin to collapse. Though they succeed in escaping the collapsing palace with Zelda and try to make their way down the similarly collapsing Tower of Winds, the true evil behind Vaati's release and the evil plaguing Hyrule, Ganon, charges after them out of the ruin of the Palace of Winds, forcing a confrontation amongst the remains of the Tower of Winds with the heroes, who ultimately seal him away within the Four Sword with the aid of the Shrine Maidens.
|Enemies Encountered in this Area||Items Obtained in this Area|
The Minish Cap
In The Minish Cap, the Palace of Winds is the dungeon where Link receives the Wind Element, which allows him to finally restore the Picori Blade by transforming it into the Four Sword. The featured treasure is the Roc's Cape, and the boss is the Gyorg Pair. The palace houses many enemies, including Puffstools, Bombarossas and Wizzrobes. The Palace of Winds essentially consists of two major parts: inside the palace and outside the palace. The Roc's Cape is received outside the palace, but the Dungeon Map, Compass, and Big Key aren't seen until Link finally enters the palace. To enter the palace, Link must climb to the highest level of the first section and drop down to the entrance. There, a Red Dark Nut guards the palace. It is in this game that the palace's origins (and ironically those of the Tower of Winds) are revealed, giving it much more background. In this game, the palace is revealed to have been a construction of the magical Wind Tribe, a race of humanoid beings that once lived in the Wind Ruins just south of Castor Wilds and now live amongst the Cloud Tops during the events of the game. It is implied that the palace was constructed while the tribe still resided in the Fortress of Winds with the sole purpose of being the home of the Wind Element. However, as time went by, the Wind Tribe chose to join the winds they studied so much, using their magic to raise the palace up into the heavens along with the Wind Element. There amongst the Cloud Tops, they constructed a new home, the Tower of Winds, and made it the road to the palace above them. For generations, they continued to guard the palace as the surface world largely forgot about them and their move to the heavens, though Gustaf, king of Hyrule during the time they departed, remained aware of this and kept a special Kinstone that would open the way to the Cloud Tops atop Veil Falls at Veil Springs.
After having searched the Fortress of Winds and finding the Wind Element not to be located there, Link pursued the Water Element in the depths of the Temple of Droplets. However, he is left without a lead to the Wind Element's location afterward, until he is greeted by the spirit of King Gustaf just outside the Temple of Droplets, where he tells the hero to visit him if he seeks to rescue Princess Zelda from her fate at Vaati's hands. Link eventually finds his way to Royal Valley, Gustaf's resting place, and meets once more with the late monarch's spirit, where he turns over to Link the Kinstone piece needed to reach the top of Veil Falls, the so-called "Source of the Flow". Using the Kinstone piece, Link is able to reach the whirlwind that is the portal to the Cloud Tops at the top of Veil Springs and launches himself up into the heavens in search of the final element. There he works his way up to the Tower of Winds, where he meets with the Wind Tribe and is granted access to the Palace of Winds above the tower by the leader of the Wind Tribe, Siroc. The palace presents Link with his greatest challenge yet as he braves the dangerous heights of the structure, having to work just to reach the palace's inner chambers. Inside, he confronts many powerful enemies that have taken root there to reach the summit of the palace, where he discovers that a Gyorg Pair has descended from the skies and taken hold of the Wind Element, flying high above the Palace of Winds preying upon any who dare to confront them. With much courage and agility (and help from the Roc's Cape, the treasure of the palace), the young hero is able to defeat the beasts and recover the Wind Element, allowing him to at last revive the Picori Blade as the legendary Four Sword.
Minor Enemies and Traps
- In Four Swords, one of the possible settings of this level is considerably more difficult than the others.
- In Four Swords, the symbol for Vaati's Palace is that of the Wind Element. This same element is found within the palace in Four Swords Adventures
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||風の宮殿 (Kaze no Kyūden)|
|Spanish||Palacio de los Vientos|
|French||Palais du Vent|
|German||Palast der Winde|
|Italian||Palazzo dei Venti|