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Legend of Zelda Timeline Revealed

Black Majik

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That Zelda timeline we posted yesterday? Yeah, it's basically been confirmed, courtesy of resident translator and longtime Zelda community member GlitterBerri. It's true – the timeline is a three-branch one, with the traditional Adult and Child split we all know and love founded in Ocarina of Time, plus an alternate story that has Link fail to defeat Ganon in the future, thus leading to the events that conclude the Imprisoning War.

Ancient Tales: Skyward SwordThe Minish CapFour SwordsOcarina of Time

Classic Tales: A Link to the PastOraclesLink's AwakeningThe Legend of ZeldaThe Adventure of Link

Child Tales: Majora's MaskTwilight PrincessFour Swords Adventures

Adult Tales: The Wind WakerPhantom HourglassSpirit Tracks

What we didn't have was a specific explanation concerning the Classic timeline including A Link to the Past…until now.

Branch 1: Link is defeated by Ganon in OoT.

Branch 2: Link comes back from the future in OoT and tells Zelda what's going to happen, she sends him away.

Branch 3: There is no longer a hero in the future of OoT since Link was sent back.

After Link dies in Ocarina of Time, Ganon obtains the entire Triforce. The Seven Sages seal away Ganon and the whole Triforce as a last resort, but villains with their eyes on the Triforce make for the Sacred Realm, which eventually turns into the Dark World and is filled with evil power. The Seven Sages then try to seal away the Sacred Realm itself, but end up fighting with monsters. This is the Imprisoning War of A Link to the Past.

                 → MM → TP → 4 Swords Plus


SS → Minish Cap → 4 Swords → OoT → ALttP → OoS/OoA → LA → LoZ → AoL


                 → TWW → Phantom Hourglass → Spirit Tracks

It looks as though the idea is to have the story of people making a grab for the Sacred Realm and the final seals on the Sacred Realm play out after Link's defeat in this alternate story. Sure, a number of the elements of the Imprisoning War are already fulfilled in Ocarina of Time; this finishes the job, as well as explaining why the Triforce is complete in A Link to the Past.

Source: Hyrule Historia


Somehow Nintendo have made a timeline that makes sense but is over-complicated in every way. They even fit Four Swords in somehow.

Edited by Black Majik
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Yea, that seems very complicated. I always assumed WW would be the "last" in the series, not counting other games that take place on The Great Ocean. But the branching timelines thing seems a bit off to me, since its going off the fact that something happened that didn't, Link dying against Ganondorf in OoT

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So a significant part of the Zelda timeline is contingent on you never finding that one fucking key you need in the Water Temple? o_O

Suddenly the frustrations of my youth don't seem so minor. The entire series was hinging on that temple!

This timeline, while cool and all, basically tries to make sense out of something which has no ability to properly fit together. Hence the need to make it hinge on an alternate ending.

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With reference to the N64/GC/Wii games I think that from OoT onwards you can see where they've tried to make the games fit together with shared back stories and references to each other, but as far as the old gen console games and anything on hand held go I find it hard to see where these games can ever fit into a proper time line that does make sense with the exception of maybe a Link to the Past.

The problem for me is that it's clear that the likes of Spirit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass were made to give hand helds Zelda games moreso than further the Zelda "story", they're just too detached and too different to fit in with the likes of OoT or whatever.

I know there is an official document held by Nintendo detailing the time line, but I've always liked the idea that the story (or stories) are simply legends, and legends sometimes get confused and muddled as they're passed down through generation.

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