Wow, the 3DS remake's graphics are amazing!

Well, sort of.

A National Geographic photograph has been circulating around the web these past 24 hours with the tag “Forest Temple exisits!”

While the semblance is striking, it is certainly not exact. Yet one wonders if this is where the Zelda Team’s inspiration for the beloved Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time came from.

More photographs and information about the temple after the jump!

Temple of Buddha?

So where can you find this mystical looking temple? In the gorgeous country of Cambodia! This is the famous Ta Prohm temple in Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. Built in the 12th century, it was founded by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddist university and monastery. When the Khmer empire fell in the 15th century, the temple was left untouched and abandoned for centuries, allowing the jungle to overgrow and embrace it.

Alas, that is about to change. This year an effort to restore the temple has begun with shrubs and trees being removed.

Another factoid: Ta Prohm temple was seen as a location in the film Tomb Raider.

If Cambodia is too far for you to visit, we have you covered with several more photographs of the awesome temple below.

Source: National Geographic
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  • Thareous33

    Wow, this is an amazing bit of news. I can see where Nintendo might have gotten the inspiration for the Forest Templr. It certainly holds quite a resemblance, if we are comparing this to OoTs Temple. And it is also a movie site? Man, now I really want to see Tomb Raider. ;-j

  • riomhaire

    They don’t really look anything alike other than being stone buildings with trees. One has Georgian influences in the architecture and the other is Cambodian.

    • TrevorM

      obviously they arent gonna me it exactly the same :/ its called inspiration not copying.

  • ZoraMikau

    This is amazing! I feel bad that they're cleaning up the place, as you know that's just not good. But still, amazing! Nintendo had to get atleast some inspiration from this.

  • ZoraMikau


  • For those unaware, these photos were actually some of the inspiration and reference photos we used to make ZU's temple layout! The more you know. 😉

    • Gerudude

      So the site has had a Temple like layout since the very beginning?

      • No, no – we launched this layout on June 25, 2008 (just over two years ago). The photos above were references and inspiration for our current layout 😛

  • Cukeman

    That's the temple they used in the Tomb Raider movie. It really doesn't have the greco-roman architecture seen in the Forest Temple

  • Askorak

    Meh, nothing special.

  • Twilit mask of time

    The first picture looks really similar, but once you look at the pics of the whole building and stuff they really don't look that alike

    • They said it was inspiration, not a replica.

  • Glimdo

    it actually to me looks like the temple of time enterance in TP more than the forest temple

    • Elijah

      I can kinda see it

    • SixMultipliedByNine

      Very true. Especially since the Forest Temple in OoT wasn't that run down. And I don't think Buddhist monks had hookshots then so the entrance just isn't the same.

    • lawliliCious

      exactly my thought.

  • Chainoftermina

    just as long as this stone building doesn't have freaky music or annoying multicolored ghosts…….

    • ZeldaGurl_

      Lulz, I agree. Aaand, lets hope there are none of those ceiling-clinging hands either…. *shivers*.

      Also, I'm glad to see something that's real that might have inspired Zelda. I know Miyamoto talked about exploring caves and tunnels when he was a kid, so that's where a lot came from, but to see something as spectacular as this? Wow, it's just amazing! I just hope that people can see the resemblance for the architecture, and not necessarily for the whole religion debate. Lets not take it out of context, shall we?

      This is truly amazing, and who knows? Maybe we'll discover some more Zelda inspirations!^^

  • aw9000

    im just about to go there and play the minuet of the forest right now! 🙂

  • gorons4sale814

    picture # 5….hyperbolic time chamber…

    • Chainoftermina


  • *picks guitar and plays minuit of forest*

    sh*t, i'm still here 🙁

    • gorons4sale814

      i just played it on my ocarina of time..didnt work.. 🙁

  • romkastomka

    niiice, i will see some real photos of salia ;D

    • jordawn

      saria* 😉

  • At first glance I said "Hey, that was in Tomb Raider!" …. Guess I was right. I'd like to go there some day.

  • Striking resemblance indeed!

  • Keith

    Imma go 'splorin' for heart pieces and temple bosses, boiz~!

  • Serefina

    It also looks like a temple from the old Eternal Darkness game on Gamecube.

  • Seen

    It's nice that they plan on restoring the building.

    I bet 50 dollars that the place will have reported ghost sightings a few years after it's finished.

    • Annabeth

      Haha, me too.

  • floatisland

    I'd love to explore that place, looks really awesome.

  • Jack

    Whenever I hear that they'll be cleaning up an ancient temple like this, it makes me feel kind of sad. It makes it feel a lot less mysterious and a lot more like a tourist trap.

  • Keimori

    nice, i like stuff like this, you cant see how it would have inspired zelda forest temple. thank for shareing this.^_^ i forsee a "holiday in cambodia!"

  • Shadow

    WOW, I'd really like to explore this place. I doubt that Nintendo used this as inspiration though, since it makes the forest temple look plain and boring by comparison! If they could take inspiration from this, I know it'd be awesome to explore. But, if it truly is a unique location, I'd vote to conserve it the way it is rather than restore it.

  • Sendazora

    I luv how the trees are strewn across the whole temple.
    it really shows the power of mother nature given time.
    I think that thats what lacked in the forest temple in OoT.
    Although it is a good temple, it just doesnt show off natures
    dominance over man made structures. as much as i would
    have liked.

  • jordanteixeira

    No way! Im moving to Cambodia when I get the chance!

  • lawliliCious

    Entrence to the Temple of Time in TP!

  • gvan11ian

    now i wanna see the inspiration for the Shadow Temple, the Spirit Temple and the Water Temple

    • YourCowsOnFire

      well this is my opinion so its not anyways true but here we go

      Forest temple = Angkhor Wat/ Georgian Architecture
      Fire Temple = uhh kind of a toughy but the stone reminds me of the city of Petra nd the faces in the fire maze room reminds me of the stone faces in Mayan ruins
      Water Temple = also hard but the architecture looks arabic or persian, check out the statues and tiles in the Blue Mosque in Turkey, again its just my opinion
      Temple of Time = Chatres Cathedral, both have a simplistic layout, nd the front looks similar minus the circular stained glass window
      Shadow Temple = if this wasnt inspired by the Paris Catacombs, then I dont know anything
      Spirit Temple = not a female colussus but Abu Simbel may have inspired it, both inside and the Ramses statues

      look these places up, its neat seeing real world references in Zelda but its cool how it keeps flavor in the temple layouts

  • Valdek

    what?! they are cleaning it up and stuff…. man, that’s just wrong, i would rather go to it as it is now then when they fix it all up. and by the way, epic, just epic is the word to describe this place, hopefully there aren’t any monsters in there that inspired Zelda too lol.

  • The architecture is astounding, it's a shame that this temple is going to be tampered with though. I'd personally move to keep it as it is, it's rare to find ancient sites overrun by nature that are as well-preserved as this one.

    "The flow of time is always cruel… It's speed seems different for each person, but no one can change it… A thing that doesn't change with time is a memory of younger days… In order to come back here again, play the Minuet of Forest." –Sheik

  • Joko tree

    Right all I need now is a sword and a shield.

  • sudha

    i like this temple my great ambition is see the temple

  • venkatesh

    hu great man

  • Sora