Following the defeat of Ganon in A Link to the Past, it became Hyrule tradition to use the Triforce to preserve peace over the land. Worried that this powerful artifact could once again fall into the wrong hands, one ruler of Hyrule hid the Triforce of Courage, placing a spell on it that would identify its rightful owner by making a crest appear on his or her body. The King passes, leaving his successor with an incomplete Triforce, which angers Hyrule's new ruler. With the assistance of an evil wizard, he interrogates his sister, Zelda, about the location of the Triforce of Courage, but when she refuses to tell him, the King uses the wizard's magic to send Princess Zelda into a state of eternal slumber. Later, overcome with grief and guilt, the King seals Princess Zelda in the North Castle, in the hopes that someone will one day be able to break her curse.
Generations pass, and with no rightful heir to the Triforce of Courage, Hyrule becomes a shadow of its former self. Ganon once again returns to the land and seizes the Triforce of Power, causing the current Princess Zelda to hide the eight fragments of her Triforce throughout the land, and away from his grasp. Zelda turns to her nursemaid, Impa, to find a person with the power to defeat Ganon, and the Princess' caretaker soon stumbles across Link, who takes up the quest to reassemble the Triforce of Wisdom and defeat Ganon. Using this newfound power, Link defeats Ganon and the Triforces of Wisdom and Power are once again reunited--though the Triforce of Courage remains missing.