So this is the City of Hyrule! It’s a big place - much bigger than anything you could have imagined back at the forest. How are you going to find a way in the castle with so many guards about?
Welcome to Hyrule Castle Town! As you enter the city, you’ll pass by a door just inside the city gates. Inside is a guardhouse with a sizable collection of jars and a bored guard looking for some excitement. What to do? Break all the jars, of course! Inside you’ll find a slew of Rupees that will probably nearly fill your wallet. You can also smash up the crates in this room by rolling into them to find Skulltula Token 4.
Once you’ve broken stuff to your heart’s content, you can continue down the path into the city marketplace. It’s a bustling place, full of merchants, shoppers, and general city-goers. Most of the spots in town aren’t essential to your quest, so take some time to explore and get familiar with the city. We’ll point out the notable spots.
What you really need to do is to talk to the short red-haired girl at the north end of town - if you keep heading straight past the fountain in the center of the square you’ll find her. She’ll comment on your funny forest clothes and tell you about her derelict father. Yes, this idle chatter seems inconsequential now, but it’ll serve a purpose later.
From here, you can try your hand at the Shooting Gallery to try to win a Big Seed Satchel, or you can just press on towards the castle. Kaepora Gaebora will greet you there and remind you that on the castle grounds time will again flow as normal. Ram into the tree up ahead to reveal the Skulltula holding Token 5, and then head along the path and investigate the castle gate. It’s unfortunately shut tight, and while if you keep on pestering the guard eventually he’ll accept a bribe and open the gate, there’s no way of getting all the way into the castle just yet.
Retreat back to the market - you’ll see that the red-haired girl is missing! Turns out she footed it over to the castle grounds while you weren’t looking. If you turn right around and go back the way you came you’ll see her waiting at the foot of the cliff on your right. Talk to her and she’ll ask you to go find her dad. She suspects he’s napping somewhere, so she gives you a small egg that will hatch into a chicken at the next sunup in order to wake him.
There’s another way into the castle that doesn’t involve bribery. If you look at the cliff wall nearby where Malon is standing, you’ll see a series of vines. You can climb them just like the ones in the Deku Tree - but bear in mind that it’s best to just climb straight up these rather than trying to adjust to the left and to the right. At the top you’ll be able to walk along the cliff until you reach the top of the gate. There’s a ladder you can use to descend down to the guardhouse and out into the castle yard.
From there you can sneak across the yard to the castle proper. This will generally eat up quite a bit of the incubation time for the Weird Egg, so take your time. Alternatively, you can wait until nightfall and return to the city to collect Heart Piece 1, then try to slip past the guards - that will guarantee that the Cucco will hatch at about the same time you reach the castle.
To get past the guards, follow the path until it begins to curve to the left. Ignore the dead-end detour for now - you’ll have to come back here later to get what’s hidden there - and start walking slowly up the hillside, off the beaten path. If you’re careful, you’ll avoid the sight of the guards blocking the road as well as the one keeping watch over the hilltop. Make a beeline across the grassy yard, avoiding the main path at all costs, until you reach a rough-looking wall. You can climb it just like a vine-covered wall and from the cliff above you have easy access to the castle moat. Jump into the moat and let it carry you - trying to take the path will just result in you getting caught.
At the far corner of the moat is a small ledge you can use to hoist yourself out. You can discard your caution here since there aren’t any more guards to spot you. Head to your left as soon as you’re back on dry land and you’ll find the sleeping Talon alongside a couple of milk crates. Your Cucco has probably hatched by now, so assign it to an item button, approach him, and let it give out a crow.
He’ll wake up with a start and realize that he forgot all about his daughter before rushing off to meet her. His departure opens a ledge that you can push the milk crates off of to create a stepping stool. Jump from the crates over to the drain on the other side of the moat. You can crawl through it to get into the castle gardens.
Finally, you’re inside the castle! Take a few steps forward and you’ll run into an area being patrolled by a guard. The viewpoint in Hyrule Castle is a fixed perspective that lets you see everything in any individual sector of the gardens, so you can make sure you stay as far away from the guards as possible. This first section is easy - just wait for the guard to start walking away from the main path and make a break for it.
The second section’s a bit harder because you have to deal with two guards making a circuit around two fountains. It can be kind of hard to see which way the guards are facing when they’re walking behind the fountains, so wait for them to both walk between the fountains before you make your move.
The third section is actually pretty easy - there’s a single guard walking around an area filled with Rupees. If you’re feeling bold you can rush in and try to grab some spare change, but otherwise just wait for him to face the back wall and run. Alternatively, you can climb up the stairs and walk across the narrow plank that runs over the little garden, but you have to be really careful so as not to fall.
The fourth section has two guards walking around a monolith. They walk at different speeds, so you don’t have to worry about getting caught in an impossible loop. It’s best to try to trail at a distance behind them as they’re both crossing the front of the statue so that when they move around to the back you can quickly bolt to the next area.
The fifth and final section is slightly tricky because you can’t necessarily see both the guards very well. Luckily their movements aren’t too difficult to track. They both move at a pretty fast pace, though, so as soon as you see an opening, run as fast as you can!
At the far end of the garden you’ll find a courtyard. A young girl is waiting for you at the opposite end - none other than the famous Princess Zelda. She’ll explain the situation with the man from the desert - the Gerudo thief, Ganondorf - and entreat you to gather the remaining two Spiritual Stones so that you can save the Triforce from his vile grasp. You’ll need to climb Death Mountain, a dangerous place that only those with royal permission can visit. Zelda will write you a note that you can use to gain passage - it’ll replace the Cucco in your inventory.
Now that you’ve got a royal mission to fulfill, you’d better make haste to leave the castle. Before you can exit the courtyard, though, Zelda’s bodyguard, the great Impa, shows up to teach you the song of the Hyrule royal family: Zelda’s Lullaby. This melody will serve as proof that you are the messenger of the royal family - even to those who won’t recognize your letter of permission. Memorize it well.
Impa will escort you out of the castle and back to Hyrule Field, where she’ll point you in the direction of Death Mountain. There are a few things you should do before you head up the mountain, so follow the instructions in the next chapter first.
There’s an optional upgrade for your Deku Seeds that you can pick up in the Hyrule Castle Market if you’re good enough. Head over to the Shooting Gallery - it’s the building to the left of the path to the castle grounds with the bulls-eye logo on it, you can’t miss it - and pay the fee to play. To win at the Shooting Gallery game, you have to get a perfect score by picking off all the Rupee targets that move across the screen. Fortunately, they appear in a preset order:
Succeed and you’ll get a bigger seed bag that can hold up to 40 Deku Seeds!
Ocarina of Time screenshots courtesy of AceofSuns. Screenshots will eventually be replaced with 3DS version images, which are not presently available for hopefully obvious reasons.