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Link SCII artwork.jpg
Artwork of Link, a Hylian, from the GameCube version of Soulcalibur II.
First appearance The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991, implicit)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998, explicit)
Latest appearance The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (2023)
Notable member(s)
Princess Zelda
Variant of Human
Not to be confused with Hylia.

Hylians, also known as the Hylia, are one of the main races in The Legend of Zelda series. The Hylians and the most of Hyrule is governed by the Royal Family. They are similar to humans but have some mystical powers, such as pointed ears allowing them to communicate telepathically. Several of the major characters are Hylian, including Link and Princess Zelda.

The Hylians have a close alliance with the Sheikah, a race physically resembling Hylians and having great physical, magical and technological prowess.


The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past[edit]

While humans had Hylian characteristics in earlier games, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the first game to directly refer to Hylians by name. According to the manual for the Super NES version, Hylia is the root word for Hyrule. Believed to be the people closest to the gods, the Hylians left writings of a creation myth involving the three gods for their descendants. Hylians were distinguished from other humans by their long, pointed ears, which were said to be capable of hearing the voices of the gods. They were also said to have heightened senses and the ability to use magic. The Hylians passed on their knowledge to their descendants, who spread to various places of the world, with Hyrule itself retaining many Hylian artifacts, including the legendary Master Sword.[1] In the game, there exist monoliths inscribed with ancient Hylian, which must be translated using the Book of Mudora.

It is suggested that the Hylian bloodline waned over time until becoming a legend to their contemporary descendants, which is confirmed to have occurred after the Imprisoning War in Hyrule Historia.[2]

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time[edit]

In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, most Hylians live in the Hyrule Castle Town or the neighboring Kakariko Village. A few Hylians live outside these locations, specifically Talon of Lon Lon Ranch and the Lake Scientist of Lake Hylia.

Although Link grew up in Kokiri Forest, he later discovers that he is a Hylian and not of the Kokiri race.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker[edit]

When searching for Princess Zelda in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Ganondorf has young girls with pointed ears kidnapped, knowing that Zelda has strong Hylian heritage.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword[edit]

Predecessors of Hylians appear in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. In the game's legend, the goddess, Hylia, took her chosen people to an outcropping of earth and sent it skyward, creating Skyloft. According to Hyrule Historia, these people who share roots with Hylia later settled on the surface world, which came to be known as Hyrule.[3]

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ハイリア


  1. ^ Johan, Zethar II, and David Butler. "A Link to the Past" Manual Comparison. The Legends of Zelda. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  2. ^ Hyrule Historia, page 93.
  3. ^ Hyrule Historia, page 77.
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