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Nintendo reveals Legend of Zelda series timeline

TheNatural

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Jun 23, 2010
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Thought this was threadworthy, they apparently revealed it in a new encyclopedia/art book sold in Japan. Here's apparently the official timeline:

The Zelda series starts with a simple progression. The first four games in the timeline, from earliest to latest are:

1. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
3. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords
4. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Here's where things get complicated, because Ocarina deals with a leap in time and technically only spells out one of those timelines with its ending. However, if these reports are to be believed, Nintendo has generated three scenarios based on Ocarina of Time.

The first, which we'll call Timeline A, assumes Link actually fails to stop Ganon. How or why this is a logical storyline path is a bit lost on us, because the game resolves that battle, but regardless, here are the games that follow Timeline A:

5-A. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
6-A. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages
7-A. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
8-A. The Legend of Zelda
9-A. The Legend of Zelda II: The Adventures of Link

So there's that - many games based on an odd presumption. Regardless, the next path, Timeline B, works from the presented ending of Ocarina of Time, featuring Link returning to live through his childhood. As we all know, Majora's Mask picks up shortly after Ocarina's ending, leading to these games:

5-B. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
6-B. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
7-B. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

One more timeline for you. This one starts with Ganon's defeat in the Ocarina of Time era, and progresses from there - from the time that Link advanced and eventually left so he could be a child once again. Here are the games in Timeline C:

5-C. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
6-C. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
7-C. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

More here:

http://wii.ign.com/articles/121/1215301p1.html
 

sphagnum

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Oct 26, 2009
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The big question is going to come down to how the failed timeline splits off. A lot of people are going to feel insulted if it's a "what if" timeline rather than having a solid time travel mechanic behind it.
 

TheNatural

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Jun 23, 2010
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time to reboot the series

I suggest the game version of this:

 

Buddha Beam

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Jan 22, 2010
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I hope the WiiU Zelda has 3 Links in it now. And you get to bounce between all 3 timelines, thus really fucking it all up.
 

PetriP-TNT

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Jul 13, 2007
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Do you hear that? That's the sound of 1000s of Zelda fanboys crying over their false timelines on their fanfictions.

I don't get that C timeline? So Link stayed as adult and then used something to live as a kid?

edit: some guy on reddit explained the same thing that sphagnum did below me so nevermind that Q
 

sphagnum

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Oct 26, 2009
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Three timelines is pretty odd. I'm a bit confused how a couple could result in radically different timelines but whatever.

Child Timeline - Link defeats Ganon in OoT, gets sent back in time to stop him before he can gain the Triforce of Power. Does so, goes off to Termina (and TP and FSA follow).

Adult Timeline - Link defeats Ganon in OoT, gets sent back in time to stop him before he can gain the Triforce of Power. Since Link is gone, when Ganon breaks out of his sealing, nobody can stop him and the gods flood Hyrule leading to Wind Waker (and PH and ST).

Failed Timeline - Ganon defeats Link in OoT and the classic games follow.
 

Elfforkusu

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I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
 

ShdwDrake

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Dont all of the Zeldas normally start off in the village then? Also, how come he keeps losing the master sword?
 

Orayn

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The only parts of this that threw me for a loop were official positions for the Oracle Games and Four Swords Adventures, since it seems like those could really go just about anywhere.

Link's Awakening is similar in that you could place it just about anywhere in the "Old World" timeline of LoZ, AoL, and LttP without really breaking anything.

Dont all of the Zeldas normally start off in the village then? Also, how come he keeps losing the master sword?

I imagine it's something like the Wheel of Time series where there are certain items and people that "stick" to the timeline and will always reappear in one form or another.
 

The Technomancer

card-carrying scientician
Jun 18, 2009
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Still lots of questions I want answered. What were the actual events leading up to the flooding of the world in Wind Waker? Was the sealing of Ganon we saw in TP a re-interpretation of the events of Ocarina, or was there an additional "game" in there? What happens to reduce Hyrule to the condition it's seen in in the original LoZ? Oh, and where do the events that lead to the sealing of the Twilli fall? I assume in the first block.

(I haven't played Ocarina or Wind Waker in ages, I may be mis-remembering some of this)
 

TheNatural

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Jun 23, 2010
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Three timelines is pretty odd. I'm a bit confused how a couple could result in radically different timelines but whatever.

I think it's basically like this:

Failed timeline = What happens in Hyrule after young Link disappears and becomes adult Link. He's not there anymore so he split off from that timeframe and Ganon goes on to rule.

Adult timeline = Link winner, he goes on to live his life as an adult

Child timeline = Link winner, he goes back in time as a child and still lives his childhood

Then again, I watch Fringe so my mind is used to these kind of weird ass things. There's a parallel universe for each action, when you leave your timestream, that timestream still goes on without you.
 

Mama Robotnik

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Apr 11, 2008
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Timeline A:

What happens between Link to the Past and Zelda 1 that causes the world to dry up into an apocalyptic desert/endless canyon with the last humans hiding underground?

Who resurrected Ganon in Zelda 1? The only people with the capability were Koume and Kotake, and they were executed by Link in OOS/OOA. Whose suffering fuels this resurrection spell (in the Oracle games, it took the suffering of two parallel worlds in multiple timelines to provide enough agony to fuel Ganon's aborted resurrection)?

Who is the sleeping Princess in the final game?


Timeline B:

How does Vaati become enslaved to Ganondorf?

Timeline C:

How did Ganondorf escape the sacred realm?


Timelines A and C

Where the hell is Majora's Mask in these timelines? If it wasn't destroyed as per Timeline B, then Hyrule's most powerful, sadistic and dangerous villain might find a way to return.
 

alr1ght

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Sep 25, 2005
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let's throw shit at a wall and have a laugh at our fans trying to decipher it.
 

Red

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The only parts of this that threw me for a curve were official positions for the Oracle Games and Four Swords Adventures, since it seems like those could really go just about anywhere.

Link's Awakening is similar in that you could place it just about anywhere in the "Old World" timeline of LoZ, AoL, and LttP without really breaking anything.

Same goes for the first and second games.
 

bloodforge

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Don't even see why it even needs a timeline. Just take each game for what they are and not worry about if they all link up.
 

Hot Coldman

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Timeline A:

What happens between Link to the Past and Zelda 1 that causes the world to dry up into an apocalyptic desert/endless canyon with the last humans hiding underground?

Who resurrected Ganon in Zelda 1? The only people with the capability were Koume and Kotake, and they were executed by Link in OOS/OOA? Whose suffering fuels this spell?

Who is the sleeping Princess in the final game?


Timeline B:

No questions yet.

Timeline C:

How did Ganondorf escape the sacred realm?

The answers:
You're not supposed to care
 

SmithnCo

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Child Timeline - Link defeats Ganon in OoT, gets sent back in time to stop him before he can gain the Triforce of Power. Does so, goes off to Termina (and TP and FSA follow).

Adult Timeline - Link defeats Ganon in OoT, gets sent back in time to stop him before he can gain the Triforce of Power. Since Link is gone, when Ganon breaks out of his sealing, nobody can stop him and the gods flood Hyrule leading to Wind Waker (and PH and ST).

Failed Timeline - Ganon defeats Link in OoT and the classic games follow.

Ah, okay. Forgot about the stopping Ganon from getting the Triforce of Power thing.
 

olimpia84

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WOW this is ground breaking. Nintendo outsmarted all them fans and fics with this. Time to carefully read this and analyze it so that it makes sense.
 

Jaded Alyx

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Do you hear that? That's the sound of 1000s of Zelda fanboys crying over their false timelines on their fanfictions.

I don't get that C timeline? So Link stayed as adult and then used something to live as a kid?
No, the timeline follows the period when he defeated Ganon at the end of OoT. Since he no longer exists in that time (Zelda sent him back to continue his life as a kid), no Link was around to save Hyrule hence why the Goddesses flooded it (The Wind Waker)
Dont all of the Zeldas normally start off in the village then? Also, how come he keeps losing the master sword?

Different Links, generations apart?
 

The Technomancer

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Jun 18, 2009
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I am confused about the B and C differentiation explanation

At the end of Ocarina Link goes back in time. That leaves the remains of that future spiraling off into the C future, while Link's actions as a child again in the past creates the B timeline.
 

Big One

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Sep 8, 2009
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What happens between Link to the Past and Zelda 1 that causes the world to dry up into an apocalyptic desert/endless canyon with the last humans hiding underground?
It doesn't, this is just your interpretation of it.

Who resurrected Ganon in Zelda 1? The only people with the capability were Koume and Kotake, and they were executed by Link in OOS/OOA? Whose suffering fuels this resurrection spell (in the Oracle games, it took the suffering of two parallel worlds in multiple timelines to provide enough agony to fuel Ganon's aborted resurrection)?
This is specifically explained in Skyward Sword so play that and then ask this question.

Who is the sleeping Princess in the final game?
Zelda, though we don't have any confirmation on when it actually takes place yet.

How did Ganondorf escape the sacred realm?
MAGIC I suppose. Ganondorf broke out of the Sacred Realm in TWO timelines afterall