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The Legend of Zelda Timeline AND YOU!!!
by 
Editor
February 11, 2011, 02:32:49
 
Why is it that we love Zelda? The puzzles, the wacky characters, the BOSSES!? I'll tell you what I love about it- the story. While at first glance it might seem like most of the Zelda games have fairly simple plots, the overall web of how all the games connect keeps dedicated fans constantly coming up with new theories on the chronology of the Zelda franchise. Jumping right in can get overwhelming- but I'm here to help.

THIS IS:





Basic Knowledge
Before you can even think about thinking about the Zelda Timeline, there are a few things that you should know:

-All Zelda games take place in the same universe.
-Every game released has some sort of reference to another game in the series.
-The CD-i and BS Zelda games are not canon.
-There are multiple Links and Zeldas.
-There are at least two incarnations of Ganon.
-The Triforce's location/owner/status varies from game to game.
-Skyward Sword is the first game in the timeline.

Remember those!


The Official Zelda Timeline
Originally, this editorial laid out a theoretical timeline. Nintendo has since revealed the official Zelda timeline in the 25th Anniversary Hyrule Historia Zelda art book. Here is the full timeline, translated:


Nintendo's timeline doesn't perfectly match the one I had come up with- in fact, no one had guessed that the timeline would split into three branches. The only major difference between the Hyrule Historia timeline and the one I had put together is the placement of the Four Swords games. I said that Four Swords Adventures is a prequel to A Link to the Past showing the origin of Ganon, with Four Swords as a direct prequel to Four Swords Adventures. Four Swords Adventures' new placement makes sense; however, placing Four Swords directly after Minish Cap contradicts Four Swords Adventures' prologue, where it is implied that Four Swords took place only a few years prior to Four Swords Adventures. Despite this, I'll be using Nintendo's timeline for the rest of this editorial.

The Split
One of the most significant events in the entire Zelda universe is the ending of Ocarina of Time. After saving Hyrule and sealing Ganondorf away, Link is sent back in time by Zelda using the Ocarina of Time. Link appears standing in front of the Master Sword as a child. He then goes to Hyrule Castle to meet with young Zelda, just like at the beginning of the game. Since Zelda is still in Hyrule Castle, Link had to have been sent back in time to before he first opened the Door of Time- yet the Door of Time is open anyway.

What all this complicated time travel mumbo-jumbo boils down to is the Timeline Split. Back in the Hyrule that Link saved as an adult, Zelda, the Sages and the citizens of Hyrule go on living in peace until The Great Flood. This is known as the "Adult Timeline." The Hyrule that Link goes back in time to is known as the "Child Timeline." Upon meeting Zelda, Link warns her that her plan to stop Ganondorf will not work, and that they should wait until he makes a wrong move and reveals himself. Eventually, Ganondorf is caught, put on trial, and sealed in the Twilight Realm, as seen in Twilight Princess. Meanwhile, Link journeys to Termina and saves the land from Majora's Mask.

Now that the official timeline has been revealed, we've found out that the timeline splits off into a third branch at the end of Ocarina of Time. While the other two branches exist together as alternate universes, the third branch is a "What if?" scenario, taking the place of the Adult Timeline and preventing the Child Timeline from ever coming into existence. The third timeline allows for Ocarina of Time to act as the backstory for A Link to the Past- the Hero of Time is killed in the final confrontation with Ganon, leading to the Imprisoning War, where Ganon is sealed away by the seven sages.

Before Nintendo revealed the official timeline, one of the hottest points of timeline debate was whether there was a split or not. For some of the arguments for and against the split, check out this post.


The Official Timeline Explained
After looking at Nintendo's official timeline, you might have a few questions. In this section, I've put together a more in-depth version of the timeline to shed some light on the gray areas.

*Hyrule and the Triforce are created by the three goddesses, Din, Farore, and Nayru.*

*Skyward Sword's Backstory: Civilization advances to a point where intelligent robots exist. Demise attacks Hyrule and wipes out nearly all humans- the survivors are sent to the sky on a chunk of land that would later be known as Skyloft. The godess Hylia defeats and seals away Demise.*

Skyward Sword- The Master Sword is created and humans return to the surface. Before being sealed into the Master Sword, Demise prophecizes that his evil will return again and again in a never-ending cycle.

*Hyrule is founded once again. Hundreds of years pass.*

*Minish Cap's Backstory: The Picori create the Picori Sword and give it to a hero to seal away Hyrule's monsters.*

Minish Cap- Monsters are re-released into Hyrule. The Picori Sword is broken and reforged as the Four Sword. The Wind Sorcerer Vaati is defeated.

*Some time passes.*

Four Swords- Vaati breaks free of the Four Sword and kidnaps Princess Zelda (It is unclear whether Vaati was sealed in the Four Sword at the end of Minish Cap or sometime later). Zelda’s childhood friend, Link, saves her and seals Vaati back in the Four Sword.

*Hundreds of years pass.*

Ocarina of Time- The Split.


Adult Timeline

Ocarina of Time- The Triforce is broken into three parts. Power goes to Ganondorf, Wisdom to Zelda, Courage to Link. Ganon is defeated by Link and sealed away in the Sacred Realm. Link is sent back in time to his childhood. The Triforce of Courage is shattered and scattered across Hyrule.

*Wind Waker's Backstory: Ganondorf breaks free. Hyrule is flooded by the gods. Hundreds of years pass.*

Wind Waker- Ganondorf is killed. The Triforce is reassembled. Hyrule is washed away for good. Link and Tetra (Zelda) set out to find new land to settle on.

Phantom Hourglass- Craziness ensues on a high seas adventure with Link and Tetra.

*Link and Tetra find new land. They call the new land Hyrule and found a new kingdom. A hundred years pass.*

Spirit Tracks- A new Link saves Hyrule from an ancient demon.


Child Timeline

Ocarina of Time- After being sent back to the past, Link warns Zelda that Ganondorf plans to take over Hyrule, and that the best course of action would be to do nothing.

*Twilight Princess' Backstory: Ganondorf is eventually caught, trialed, and sealed away in the Twilight Realm.*

Majora's Mask- Link goes off to the Lost Woods on Epona to search for an old friend (presumably Navi). The Skull Kid steals Epona and the Ocarina of Time. Link follows the Skull Kid to Termina and finds out that in three days, the moon will crash into the earth and kill everyone.

*About a hundred years pass.*

Twilight Princess- Ganondorf, still stuck in the Twilight Realm, takes advantage of a power-hungry young Twili named Zant. Zant and Ganondorf invade Hyrule, only to be killed by a new Link.

*Some time passes.*

Four Swords Adventures- A mysterious Shadow Link causes some ruckus at the Four Sword shrine. A new Link and Zelda go to investigate. Link draws the Four Sword, releasing Vaati from his seal, and goes off to save the maidens of the shrine. Eventually Link finds out that Shadow Link and Vaati were just distractions. The real threat is a young Gerudo named Ganondorf, who stole an ancient trident and underwent a transformation into Ganon. Link kills Vaati and seals Ganon in the Four Sword.


Failure Timeline

Ocarina of Time- Link dies in the final battle against Ganon.

*A Link to the Past's Backstory: After the Hero of Time's death, the Imprisoning War began. No one was able to weild the Master Sword and kill Ganon, so he was sealed in the Sacred Realm (now the Dark World) by the sages. Some time passes.*

A Link to the Past- A priest named Agahnim tricks the people of Hyrule into putting him into a position of power. He captures the seven maidens (including Zelda) descended from the Sages who imprisoned Ganon. A new Link recovers the Master Sword and finds out that Agahnim was just Ganon's pawn. Link ventures to the Dark World, rescues the maidens and kills Ganon. Upon killing Ganon, Link finds the Triforce and wishes for all of Ganon's influences to leave Hyrule, sending the world into a period of peace and prosperity.

*Some time passes.*

Oracle of Ages / Oracle of Seasons- A new Link journies to Hyrule castle and sees the Triforce. It transports him to a foreign land that is being threatened by a new villian, either Veran or Onox, depending on which game is played first. It is eventually revealed that this new villian is just a pawn of Koume and Kotake, two of Ganon's most loyal followers. Their master plan is to revive Ganon- but of course, Link stops them and kills their bastardized half-revived Ganon. His work done, Link sets off on a boat.

Link's Awakening- Link's boat crashes and he lands on a strange island.

*Some time passes.*

*Zelda II's Backstory: Long story short, the Triforce of Courage is hidden away in the Great Palace and Princess Zelda is put under a sleeping spell. More time passes.*

The Legend of Zelda- A new Zelda is captured by Ganon (this is the same Ganon from A Link to the Past, but it isn't explained how he was resurrected). Ganon steals the Triforce of Power; Zelda manages to shatter the Triforce of Wisdom and scatter it across the land of Hyrule. A new Link sets out to recover the pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom, rescue Zelda, kill Ganon and get the Triforce of Power back. He does.

*A few years pass.*

Zelda II: Adventures of Link- Link finds out about the sleeping Zelda. The only way to break the spell is to use the Triforce of Courage in conjunction with the other two pieces of the Triforce. Link sets out to recover the Triforce of Courage from the Great Palace. Meanwhile, followers of Ganon try to kill Link and use his blood to revive Ganon. They fail, Link succeeds. The Triforce is whole again.


The Future of the Legend of Zelda Series
So where does Zelda go from here? All of the loose ends left by Ocarina of Time have been tied up, and the Old Hyrule, along with nearly every single important plot item, is lost in the Adult Timeline. A sequel to Spirit Tracks would need a new villian and new plot that has nothing to do with the Triforce. That is, unless the Triforce and Master Sword somehow come back.

A sequel to Four Swords Adventures would make the most sense at this point; Ganon is still sealed in the Four Sword in that timeline. Besides, who wouldn't want a Wii U or 3DS online Four Swords game?

Skyward Sword has opened up a whole new onslaught of possibilities for the next Zelda game. We could have a series of prequels taking place in the technologically advanced Hyrule that the Timeshift Stones gave us a glimpse at, or we could have a direct sequel that ties up a few of the loose ends from Skyward Sword.


What Else is There?
Now you know all there is to know about Zelda, right? WRONG! The Zelda universe is rich with unsolved mysteries. Take a look at any Zelda fansite. There are constant discussions and analyses about even the most obscure facts. Why did the Zoras evolve into birds, but the Gorons just stayed the same? How many groups of sages are there, and how are they connected? Why are there giant phallic pillars in Majora's Mask? The list goes on and on. So get out there and start analyzing!

Special thanks to the Zelda Wiki for remembering what I didn't and Triforcebun for making the banner art. And thank YOU for reading! Be sure to read the comment thread for a lot of great discussion!

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Posted: 02/11/11, 02:32:49  - Edited by 
 on: 05/17/13, 08:46:18    
 
Why not sign up for a (free) account and create your own content?
 
V_s said:

Then what happened to future Link? He just seems to have evaporated somewhere along the way while his essence remained and enlightened past Link in your theory. Is that right?

Yeah, basically.


Posted by 
 on: 02/26/11, 02:30:19
*bumpity bump*

So I'm replaying Twilight Princess in the leadup to Skyward Sword next week (*shakes fist at Stache*), and I've just made it to the Mirror Chamber.

Which has led me to wonder about this 'divine prank' that suddenly granted Ganondorf the Triforce of Power, to the complete shock of the sages.

Now think about it: When was the first time we saw the Triforce split and why? Ocarina of Time, because when Ganondorf claimed it in that game, he valued Power sending the other two pieces of the Triforce to Link and Zelda.


....What's to say that couldn't have happened again?

Theory: After the Child ending of OoT, Young Link meets Zelda and warns her of Ganondorf's plan. They do not open the Door of Time this time around, Ganondorf never claims the Triforce of Power, and thus Ganondorf's attack is eventually defeated by the Hylian forces (whether or not the King believed Zelda's warning or not, either way).

The sages capture Ganondorf and prepare to execute him as per Twilight Princess, at which point he mysteriously gains the Triforce of Power. How? Because with their part done, and Ganondorf captured, Princess Zelda gets another brilliant idea into her head to go check out the Sacred realm for herself. Best of intentions and all that.
She moves to claim the Triforce...and again it splits. She holds onto the Triforce of Wisdom for the same reason that Ganondorf kept the Triforce of Power originally (she valued it more)....and those chosen by destiny, Link *and* Ganondorf, receive their respective pieces. In Ganondorf's case, just in time to avoid his execution at the hands of the sages.


Posted by 
 on: 11/19/11, 00:46:57  - Edited by 
 on: 11/19/11, 03:31:58
You weren't supposed to bump this! I'm going to revamp it after Skyward Sword!

That's an interesting theory, and I suppose it could explain why Ganondorf was able to get to the Sacred Realm in A Link to the Past's prolouge. The Temple of Time is the only entrance that we know of to the Sacred Realm, so unless Ganondorf found another way in, he would have had to get past the Master Sword somehow. I can see how Zelda might have been able to "undo" the Master Sword's seal to get to the Triforce herself

Blah, after typing that I remembered that the Temple of Time doesn't exist anymore in Twilight Princess. Sort of.


Posted by 
 on: 11/19/11, 01:17:33  - Edited by 
 on: 12/04/11, 18:55:20
Shadowlink said:
*bumpity bump*

Now think about it: When was the first time we saw the Triforce split and why? Ocarina of Tim, because when Ganondorf claimed it in that game, he valued Power sending the other two pieces of the Triforce to Link and Zelda.

Ocarina of Tim? Does that star Tim the Enchanter from Monty Python.


Posted by 
 on: 11/19/11, 03:09:13
@Earendil

I'm Tim. It's my Ocarina.


Posted by 
 on: 11/19/11, 03:31:36
lol


Posted by 
 on: 11/19/11, 03:46:35
My question is: When they sealed Ganondorf away in the Twilight Realm, why was Ganondorf allowed to be around anyone there and thus he takes advantage of Zant and Midna gets booted out, ect. I mean, you just don't send the bad guy to some other dimension for him to reek havoc there. Its like, you are outta here Ganondorf, let those Twili losers feel your pain...we don't like those people anyways.....

I know the sages are not thinking that, but at the same time, one would think to warn the Twili, like pin a not on Ganondorf, saying not to let him near anyone, ect or something like that.


Posted by 
 on: 11/19/11, 03:59:40
@gamewizard65

Well I don't think they planned to send him there. He was to be executed. Then he gained the Triforceof Power and was breaking free. So in desperation they opened the Twilight Realm and dropped him in. It was a sort of last minute thing.

Lucky they had that mirror hanging around their stabbing stone, eh?


Posted by 
 on: 11/19/11, 06:34:12
Shadowlink said:
They do not open the Door of Time this time around, Ganondorf never claims the Triforce of Power, and thus Ganondorf's attack is eventually defeated by the Hylian forces (whether or not the King believed Zelda's warning or not, either way).

Um... Ganondorf didn't have the Triforce of Power the first time he attacked Hyrule Castle, and he still managed to take it over. Him getting or not getting the Triforce of Power should have played no part whatsoever in him being captured.

As for Ganondorf having the Triforce of Power in TP, I don't buy it. The mark acts more like the Triforce marks from AoL and the Oracles (i.e., games where the mark wasn't indicative of possession of the Triforce) than it does the Triforce marks from OoT and TWW. The marks are never referred to as the Triforce in TP. They are said to appear just because Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf were chosen by the gods and granted special powers for whatever occult plan the gods had in mind.

If we're operating with a single timeline it makes no sense for the three to have the Triforce because the Triforce of Courage is supposed to be split into 8 pieces already, and the Triforce of Power is with OoT Ganondorf in the Sacred Realm. (And the Triforce of Wisdom may even be split in two already.) If we're operating with a split timeline in mind, then the Triforce has to be whole in the Sacred Realm for ALttP, and I don't see that happening terribly easily if Zelda went and split it again between OoT and ALttP. Besides, only Link can open up the door to the Sacred Realm, and future Zelda specifically told Link to close the Door of Time back in the past (never mind the fact that opening the door would cause Link to fall asleep again for 7 more years). I doubt Link would be up for opening it again.

gamewizard65 said:
My question is: When they sealed Ganondorf away in the Twilight Realm, why was Ganondorf allowed to be around anyone there and thus he takes advantage of Zant and Midna gets booted out, ect.

It's because the Arbiter's Grounds is where criminals were taken to be tried and executed if found guilty. (Apparently the Japanese version of the game even says that it was believed that the Mirror of Twilight caused criminals' souls to be sent directly to hell, as that's what the Hylian people eventually came to believe the Twilight Realm really was.) When Ganondorf was executed but he didn't die (and then broke out of his restraints and started killing sages), they used the only other thing they could to save themselves: the Mirror of Twilight.


Posted by 
 on: 11/19/11, 10:36:26
@V_s

You're assuming that he could have held the castle. He took the castle thanks to the element of surprise (which may not have existed thanks to Link's warning), and even if the attack did succeed like it did originally, he's still vulnerable to an eventual counter-attack. I'm sure neither the Zoras or the Gorons would have sat idly by whilst Hyrule fell.

And we know he was eventually defeated, purely because he was captured as per Twilight Princess. Obtaining the Triforce of Power in OoT was what allowed him to consolidate his power after his initial attack.

V_s said:
[ref=id=4575&pagenumber=3#197602]Shadowlink said:[/ref][quote]They do not open the Door of Time this time around, Ganondorf never claims the Triforce of Power, and thus Ganondorf's attack is eventually defeated by the Hylian forces (whether or not the King believed Zelda's warning or not, either way).

Um... Ganondorf didn't have the Triforce of Power the first time he attacked Hyrule Castle, and he still managed to take it over. Him getting or not getting the Triforce of Power should have played no part whatsoever in him being captured.

As for Ganondorf having the Triforce of Power in TP, I don't buy it. The mark acts more like the Triforce marks from AoL and the Oracles (i.e., games where the mark wasn't indicative of possession of the Triforce) than it does the Triforce marks from OoT and TWW. The marks are never referred to as the Triforce in TP. They are said to appear just because Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf were chosen by the gods and granted special powers for whatever occult plan the gods had in mind.

I'm not sure if I buy that interpretation either. Why would they have powers without actually holding their parts of the Triforce? More importantly, if Ganondorf *always* had that power, he wouldn't have waited until he was chained up and about to be executed to use it. It came to him then and there, that seems to indicate Ganondorf acquiring the Triforce of power in that instant.

If we're operating with a split timeline in mind,


We are .

...then the Triforce has to be whole in the Sacred Realm for ALttP, and I don't see that happening terribly easily if Zelda went and split it again between OoT and ALttP.

Why not? The Triforce was reconstituted at the end of TWW after all. Nothing to stop that happening again.

Besides, only Link can open up the door to the Sacred Realm, and future Zelda specifically told Link to close the Door of Time back in the past (never mind the fact that opening the door would cause Link to fall asleep again for 7 more years). I doubt Link would be up for opening it again.

True. I thought of that after I posted. Although Secret Tunnel suggests that maybe Zelda had the ability to bypass the seal of the Master Sword. (A bit of a reach I know). The other possibility is that we don't know how much time passed between the end of OoT and the execution scene in Twilight Princess. As you say Ganondorf did successfully attack the castle. Maybe that kicked off a 7 year war. And at the end, with Ganondorf defeated, that's when Link and Zelda opened the way to the Sacred Realm together.


Posted by 
 on: 11/19/11, 11:18:47
Pretty damn sure there ain't no timeline. When they make a new game in the series it's really easy to say it takes place here or here, and it doesn't even really matter. They'll always be adding to it forever so what's the real point. Metroid has a much more tangible timeline and even then they've added to it a ton.

Really don't think there's a timeline. Nintendo of all won't have the foresight to actually follow this/care. It's like asking for a Mario timeline. Aside from a very general reference here and there, I'd hardly consider any of these actual stories with any sort of continuity.

I treat every game as a general Legend, as the name implies. These are fables.


Posted by 
 on: 11/19/11, 15:09:41
@carlosrox

They'e literally said there is a 'working timeline' of some kind but they don't want to officially release it because they wanna be able to change it if necessary.


Posted by 
 on: 11/19/11, 15:30:03
Shadowlink said:
You're assuming that he could have held the castle. He took the castle thanks to the element of surprise (which may not have existed thanks to Link's warning), and even if the attack did succeed like it did originally, he's still vulnerable to an eventual counter-attack. I'm sure neither the Zoras or the Gorons would have sat idly by whilst Hyrule fell.

Nah, I was assuming that you were speaking specifically about the invasion to capture the castle. We know he succeeded in that without the Triforce of Power. That's all I was saying. I didn't even consider whether he held the castle. However, given that Ganondorf must not have returned to Castle Town for some time (since upon returning to the point right before you pull the Master Sword, Ganondorf isn't inside Castle Town, and you're actually able to spend a decent amount of time in the past before he finally checks in on the Temple of Time and claims the Triforce of Power), it obviously wasn't reclaimed by Hyrule at all while Link was still in the past (be that before pulling the Master Sword or after returning to the past via Master Sword).

Shadowlink said:
And we know he was eventually defeated, purely because he was captured as per Twilight Princess.

Well that would be assuming that TP Ganondorf is the same guy as OoT/TWW Ganondorf. (Though it is an understandable assumption if you believe that Aonuma's quotes always trump in-game evidence.)

Shadowlink said:
I'm not sure if I buy that interpretation either. Why would they have powers without actually holding their parts of the Triforce? More importantly, if Ganondorf *always* had that power, he wouldn't have waited until he was chained up and about to be executed to use it. It came to him then and there, that seems to indicate Ganondorf acquiring the Triforce of power in that instant.

Why did Link have new, unique powers after getting his marks in AoL and the Oracles despite not having the Triforce in those games? Zelda specifically says in TP that being chosen by the gods granted them these special powers. The marks represent that they were the chosen ones of the gods. (Note that not everyone was chosen by the gods at the same time. Ganondorf was chosen quite some time before TP, Zelda immediately before TP, and Link shortly after TP began.)

I am not suggesting that Ganondorf always had that power. It clearly came to him right at that moment of execution. However, we are told by both Zelda and the sages that the gods were responsible for bestowing these powers upon the chosen three. We are never given any reason to believe that the Triforce had anything to do with these abilities.

Shadowlink said:
We are .

Fair enough, but I like to discuss both as evenly as is called for since the games themselves support the single timeline despite developer quotes seemingly supporting the split timeline.

Shadowlink said:
Why not? The Triforce was reconstituted at the end of TWW after all. Nothing to stop that happening again.

The "why not" would be because the Triforce of Power didn't appear outside Ganondorf's body after his death (ignoring the fact that that's what should have happened if it was the actual Triforce), so if it is the Triforce of Power, we now have no idea where it is, and no one is claiming it. On top of that, Link is seen leaving Hyrule at the end of the game, but we are shown nothing suggesting that he's leaving the Triforce of Courage behind. It's a lot harder to reassemble when two of the pieces seem to disappear from the kingdom.

@carlosrox - The problem with that interpretation is that, not only has it been confirmed multiple times by Nintendo that there is actually a timeline, but the games support this as well because every single game in the series made by Nintendo is originally made as a direct sequel or prequel to an already existing game in the series.

On top of that, the word "legend" in the Zelda universe doesn't seem to mean "fable". Its meaning seems to be more akin to a historical tale. After all, every single legend that can be corroborated in-game is found to be 100% accurate (with the very small exceptions of Tingle not actually being a fairy in the Legend of the Fairy, and depending on which translation you use, possibly the story of the Hero of Time not actually being a young boy when he defeated Ganon as told in TWW's back story).


Posted by 
 on: 11/19/11, 21:23:59  - Edited by 
 on: 11/19/11, 21:27:48
V_s said:
On Outset Island we are told that the young boys were dressed in the clothing of the Hero of Time whenever the children came of age (whenever they became the same age as the Hero of Time). TWW Link was just a child when he became the same age as the Hero of Time, so that means that Outset Island celebrates the child Link as the Hero of Time. In the adult timeline, however, the child Link did nothing except let Ganondorf into the Sacred Realm so he could steal the Triforce. In the child timeline, however, when Link went back in time, the legend of the Hero of Time got spread around and the child Link became famous as the Hero of Time before he left Hyrule in the events of MM. So the people on Outset Island appear to be referring back to an event that only happened in the child timeline.

While revamping the OP I thought of a counterargument to this. It all depends on how you interpret MM's intro:

Majora's Mask Intro said:
In the land of Hyrule, there
echoes a legend. A legend held
dearly by the Royal Family that
tells of a boy...

A boy who,
after battling evil and saving
Hyrule, crept away from the land
that had made him a legend...

Done with the battles he once
waged across time, he embarked
on a journey. A secret and
personal journey...

A journey in search of a
beloved and invaluable friend...

A friend with whom he parted
ways when he finally fulfilled his
heroic destiny and took his place
among legends...

We don't know who the narrator is. Saying that Link became famous in the Child Timeline only holds up if we assume that the narrator is a random citizen of Hyrule. If we assume that the narrator is omnipresent, then it makes sense for him/her to know all about Link's past adventures. There's also the possibility that Zelda or some other member of the Royal Family is the narrator, which would also make sense, especially since the legend is "held dearly by the Royal Family." And if we're being really technical it says that Link parted ways with Navi when he took his place among legends. Link parted ways with Navi right when he got back to the past- there was no time for him to take his place among legends. That quote has to be referring to Adult Link.


Posted by 
 on: 11/20/11, 03:30:44  - Edited by 
 on: 11/20/11, 03:32:09
Completely random theory- Not really timeline related.

The Magic Armour in Twilight Princess. It hungers for rupees.....much like a certain 35-year old creepy fairy wannabe.

The Magic Armour haunted by the spirit of Tingle confirmed.


Posted by 
 on: 11/20/11, 03:55:17
From what I understand about Skyward Sword... You can take about half of the "known" Zelda timeline and throw it out the window.


Posted by 
 on: 11/20/11, 04:19:21
@Shadowlink

Obviously it's made from the hide of a Rupee Like.

So what does everyone think about Skyward Sword's place in the timeline? It sort of contradicted A Link to the Past's backstory, but it could have done much worse. Technically, the Master Sword was forged to prevent the Triforce from being misused, and technically it was created by the people of Hyrule.

At first I hated how the Gorons were all over the place and they never actually gathered at Eldin Volcano, but now that I think about it, it makes sense. Why would Hyrule have had a big Civil War between its races if there wasn't some sort of conflict over territory?

I think for the sake of timeline discussion it would be best to ignore Skyward Sword's paradoxial time travel mechanics. Actually, I have a theory about how that sort of time travel can work: if observing something in the present prevents it from being created in the past, then it can't exist in the present until someone alters the past.

I also think that the Skyloftians, the Wind Tribe and the Oocca are one and the same.


Posted by 
 on: 12/04/11, 19:06:23
Secret_Tunnel said:
-In Wind Waker, Tingle tells Link about how Tingle's ancestor helped Link's ancestor long ago. The only time this ever happens is in Majora's Mask, which takes place in the Child Timeline. Since Wind Waker takes place in the Adult Timeline, there's no way Tingle could possibly know about this. Therefore, there can't be a split. The counterargument to this is that it's just an example of a "Nintendo nod" to another game, like how Link appears in Super Mario RPG.

You know, with the Tingle statue being in Skyward Sword in Zelda's room, frankly, they could perhaps just do a game from early in the series timeline in the future that utilizes Tingle again and thus the Wind Waker Tingle could reference that. It doesn't make sense now but perhaps it will one day.


Posted by 
 on: 12/04/11, 19:53:47
Interesting OP. Typically, I've read it that the LoZ/AoL/LTTP games take place after Wind Waker in the Adult Timeline, and the child timeline leads to Twilight Princess and that's currently where it's left off. Both arguments have a lot of merit. I do believe there is a split, and I think you have to treat Aonuma's quote as solid, at least until something in the games definitively redacts this. I guess I never thought about the older games following TP instead of WW, but it makes just as much sense.

The Oocca are definitely the Skyloftians after thousands of years.

I wish Nintendo just came out and said which timeline the NES/SNES games follow. Even if they don't want to release the timeline, just throw us a bone. "Yeah, they came after Wind Waker" or "Yeah, they came after Twilight Princess."

In any case, Skyward Sword through Ocarina of Time, and Ocarina of Time through TP/WW are pretty airtight right now. The big question is which games follow TP and which games follow WW. Maybe that's why they haven't revealed anything, because ultimately they plan a game that bridges TP or WW to LTTP. Or, it could just be that they are making it up as they go along.

It still wouldn't shock me if they do go and make new games set before Skyward Sword, and dodge the whole post-OoT timeline aspect. Would give them a good excuse to tinker with the setting (more high-tech, industrialized stuff), and have Zelda games that don't involve Zelda and Ganon, master swords and so on. We'll see about that.

In any case, here's my thoughts on Skyward Sword's time travel (from the official thread):

TheBigG753 said:


PogueSquadron said:

I am pretty confused at how this game handles time travel though. It's pretty inconsistent, but hey, what would a Zelda game be without some confusing time travel elements? Earlier on, the game establishes the idea that things in the past have already happened. Zelda goes back in time and goes to sleep in order to keep the seal on Demise. However, LINK also goes back in time to destroy Demise...but if that was the case, then him and Zelda never would've gone down to the surface to begin with, no? There wouldn't have been an "imprisoned" because Link eventually goes back in time to destroy Demise. It would've made more sense if Demise had been reborn in the present and Link vanquished him there.

The new Temple of Time is now built around the Master Sword and awaits for Ocarina of Time to happen, which is pretty cool. I suppose then, that either another Temple of Time is built near Hyrule Castle, or that Hyrule Castle is relocated some time after Ocarina of Time? It really doesn't matter, but it's always been a tad confusing to see The Temple of Time right outside Hyrule Castle in OoT, but is then miles away in the woods in TP (and later, in a Link to the Past).

Yeah, it's weird. Either they overlooked something somewhere, which is entirely possible, or there's still some unexplained stuff going on. It's a little different than OoT's time travel, because that reverted Link to his younger/older self and replaced the Link in the time he was traveling to. Here, there were two Impas of different ages that existed in the same time.

The twist is that, when you first go to the Sealed Temple, you can see Zelda in her "shell" behind those doors. At least we think it's Zelda. And Demise is clearly imprisoned at this point, and this is all before Zelda goes back through the gate of time in the Lanayru desert. On top of this, supposedly old Impa is wearing the bracelet the entire game. Time is definitely not portrayed in a standard fashion here.

It's almost like the Gate of Time affects the future when the past is changed, but only in a linear fashion. The future that was already existing doesn't get reverted. Since Link/Zelda/etc. are the travelers through the gate, their future is more or less unchanged since they are the ones directly manipulating time. Their time would be construed as linear, from the present, back through to the past, and back to the present. Because, I think that there were multiple seals put on Demise that were necessary, but don't cancel each other out. Basically, they banish Demise in the present, but Ghirahim introduces a new event in the past that requires Demise to be sealed away again, this time in the Master sword. So, I think that the "first" sealing of Demise still occurs, but a second one had to happen as well. And both are reflected in the present, at the end.

But then there's the idea someone had (Zelda Informer website, I think) that the present time in the game is portrayed such that ANYTHING that changes in the past during the game, affects the present as its experienced by Link throughout the game. That this would explain Zelda being in sleep when you first get to the surface, Impa wearing the bracelet the entire game, etc. Even if Zelda hadn't gone back through the gate yet IN THE PRESENT, the changes that would eventually be made on the other side of the time gate still warp how the present is perceived. It's an interesting way to present the concept of time. On the other hand, there's instances where this falls short. For instance, by this rule, the tree that you planted in the past would always have been there in the present, and it isn't.

Maybe the best explanation, is that the portrayal of the present only reflects people/objects that traveled to the past (but are otherwise, from the present). Zelda, the bracelet, are things from the present that went back to the past. Link physically plants the sapling, but technically, the sapling is from the past and gets planted in the past -- in this case, you would see a change in the present that wasn't already there. And this would also cover Demise, since he wasn't from the future and the final battle was created in the past. This explains why Demise in "Ganondorf" form wasn't around in the present the entire game, and that the second seal at the end was required. This is really the only explanation of the strange time portrayal that really makes sense.

All this is making my head hurt, though. I thought everything seemed cleanly and nicely wrapped up when I beat the game. Then I come on to message boards and read about what people discovered, I start thinking about it again, and start becoming confused. If it's portrayal of time is as I speculated in the last paragraph, it's a pretty brilliant touch on Nintendo's part. Or it could just be a couple of oversights that we are all overthinking!

EDIT:

And to take this a step further, I think this rules out any "split timeline" occurring at the end of SS, like with OoT. Because in this case, time is shown to be continuous in the way the present is impacted. It's different with Ocarina, where Link is truly from the past. It's not like Older Link goes back through the door of time, and is still Older Link in the past (and Young Link is also there). It's different in that sense. With the door of time closed, actions of the past (at the end of OoT) no longer impact the future after Ganon's defeat. In Skyward Sword, you could argue that there may have been a split timeline if Zelda and Link decided to stay in the past for whatever reason. But everything is back where it belongs in the end (and remember that -- technically, Link is not where he belongs at the end of OoT -- the first "time travel" wasn't really time travel, Link was just asleep for 7 years). The final seal on Demise is the Master Sword, as shown in the present at the end of the game.

This sets up nicely for Ocarina of Time and beyond. Obviously, Demise is released when Link pulls the Master Sword later on, and is incarnated in Ganondorf. As for the location of the Temple of Time, it's a gray area. We know that it moved once, since it was originally in the desert in the distant past. It's probably in the same location as OoT at the end of Skyward Sword, only because it seems to make sense that that's where they'd start building a town.

TP takes place a heck of a long time after OoT, so it's unclear if the temple moved or Hyrule Castle moved. It's probably more likely that the temple was moved to a more secluded location after the events of OoT, and since there's a precedence set now for moving the Temple of Time around. Everything in TP is just so much bigger in scope, that it's tough to gauge how close stuff really is meant to be,

Cool, thanks.


Posted by 
 on: 12/04/11, 20:35:35  - Edited by 
 on: 12/04/11, 20:57:26
@TheBigG753

You don't need to black out your spoilers in here.

LoZ and AoL could take place in the Adult Timeline if we assume that the Triforce went back to the Sacred Realm after Wind Waker and then someone found it. ALttP couldn't take place in the Adult Timeline because the Master Sword is on the ocean floor embedded in Ganondorf's head.

I don't like comparing the geography of the games to each other. Once we start doing that NOTHING works. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief when it comes to the developers wanting Hyrule to look a little bit different in each game.


Posted by 
 on: 12/04/11, 20:48:07  - Edited by 
 on: 12/04/11, 20:49:33
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