A Legend and a Timeline

Alex from ZeldaInformer, sent over this great new Zelda Timeline piece he wrote:

The Legend of Zelda has a rich history, full of wars between factions, the rise and fall of kingdoms, and the emergence of heroes to battle against the demons that plague the world. For many years, Hyrule scholars have pored into the stories that make up this grand body of works, trying to unravel its mysteries. Among these mysteries, foremost is that Supreme Question: how do these stories link together, and in what order do they fall chronologically?

One of the biggest challenges theorists have faced is how best to include all the stories in the bigger picture of the Hyrule universe without contradictions. The most notable problem is the multitude of stories that appear to be sequels to Ocarina of Time. Though the creators have demonstrated that two alternate histories stem from the ending of Ocarina, the fact still remains that A Link to the Past, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess all portray Ganon’s exploits following his sealing by the sages. That’s three different stories, with only two different possible histories – one that leads into Wind Waker while the other leads into Twilight Princess. Mathematically speaking it just doesn’t add up.

People have devised their own ways around this problem. Some say Ocarina’s legends were simply confused with the events of a later story, such as Four Swords Adventures, rather than serving as A Link to the Past’s immediate backdrop; others proclaim that A Link to the Past is no longer supposed to be Ocarina’s sequel at all. These answers have always left a bittersweet taste in some theorists’ mouths, however, myself among them.

So what is there to do with cases such as this? Perhaps the answer has been painfully obvious all along. The series is called “The ‘Legend’ of Zelda” – might they be simply that, a series of mythic tales set in the Hyrule universe, not necessarily a literal account of Hyrule’s history? When comparing the chronology of Hyrule to that of other bodies of legends, namely mythologies such as those belonging to the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and so forth, we see that contradictions are commonplace among ancient lore. Nonetheless, each of these stories attempts to fit itself at some point in the grand scheme of a greater mythical tradition.

With this framework as a starting point, I set out to decipher Hyrule’s history in much the same way. Discarding the traditional historical approach to theorizing was a challenge, but the fruits of the effort have certainly paid off. The first step was to line out all the official chronological placements of stories, from the original all the way to Spirit Tracks.

The Classic Timeline:

[Read on]

mickeydelorenzo@yahoo.com'
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About the author:

Mickey – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.


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  • SirVenom

    Suggestion for amendment: “A Link to the Past [sic]” – there's no “A” in the title ; )

  • Bakanineinstein

    There is one way so far that I've noted that all the games fit nicely together & without issue…

    SS
    MC
    FS
    OoT
    _______________________________^____
    (Kid) (Adult)
    MM MM
    TP WW
    LttP PH
    _^_
    (Hyrule) (Golden Land/New Hyrule)
    FSA OoX
    LA
    LoZ
    AoL

    I'm not foolish enough to claim to have put more thought into this series then… Well hell just about ANY seriously dedicated Zelda fan out there… But I have done my homework… More than twice actually and I would like to tend to think I seem to have picked up on something that for one reason or another a lot of dedicated Zelda fans missed…

    As I'm sure you've noted from my example of the time line it doesn't split just once but twice… And not because of it being a case of the games not fitting perfectly into any other known configuration at this time… (Like in the good example given from the above article)

    The history of Hyrule also splits after the events of LttP because at the end of that game Link makes a wish onto the full Triforce IN THE GOLDEN LAND which then grants the wisher his/her deepest desire (Just like it did for Ganon) by making a mirror image of what's inside there hart and giving them there own world exactly as they so wished for it… (According to the lour of that game… Which we also had the whole “turning into a pink bunny thing” to further back that up as proof)

    For Link it would seem he wanted Hyrule back exactly the way it was before it was touched by Ganon's Evil's… But how do we know he simply didn't take the Trifoce out of the Golden Land with him?… Well… There are a few subtle clues…

    The first & most strikingly noteworthy is in the Oracle games opining animations of Link making his way to Hyrule castle which was right where Ganons shrine was in the Dark World… And just like in the Dark World it has also all of a sudden become the place of residence for the Triforce… (Because Link gave it to the King that he wished back to life)

    The second mentioning of this is in The Adventure of Link where they bring up mentioning of a “Dark World”… Although it's certain that at the time of making AoL this was meant to be interpreted only as a place where all of Ganon's evil force's came from… But I'm also certain that as the series has evolved so to have even the most subtle & casual of meanings… (You know… Meanings like… OoT is the “earliest” game in the series)

    None of that can firmly discount the possibility that Link would have simply made his wish & then left the Golden Land however… That sad if Ganon couldn't just up & do it then how could Link?… And further still According to LttP & OoT the Sacred Realm / Golden Land was the resting place of the Triforce and despite the oh so many times it's been proven to the contrary both games stated that the Triforce could never be moved from it's resting place…

    This would make since in seeing it's power given to it's “destined user in OoT & TP” even if it's not there in Physical form… It would even make since for LoZ & AoL where it's broken into fragments IF they are indeed in the Golden Land… But WW comes along & smash's that notion like a phantom train wreck…

    So in short there is nothing that would have ever prevented Link from leaving the Golden Land with the Tryforce other then being told he couldn't do it… (That said it was still in Hyrule Castle at the end of the day so it's your call as to rather if or if not Link would have been dumb enough to tempt fate & risk loosing everything)

    Anyawhoo… Sorry for the wall-o-text and uh… Yeah… Anyone insane enough to have read that… Thoughts?…

    • SirVenom

      Interesting – the two splits in the timeline do make sense.

      • Bakanineinstein

        Thanks… Derp… I wish there was an edit button I could have used for that mess… At the time of posting it here zeldainformer was down for whatever reason so the version of my comment that I posted here comes off as more of rambling to me rather than just pointing out the few details & connections I wanted too & then getting on with it… :/

        Also for whatever unknown reason my time line scale didn't post right here nor would it have there… So I made this thing which might be annoyingly long but easier to read nevertheless…

        SS
        to
        MC
        to
        FS
        to
        OoT
        split 1
        (Adult)split 1
        WW
        to
        PH
        to
        ST
        (Kid)split 1
        MM
        to
        TP
        to
        LttP
        split 2
        (Hyrule)split 2
        FSA
        (Golden Land/New Hyrule)split 2
        OoX
        to
        LA
        to
        LoZ
        to
        AoL

        To anyone who's read this I deeply apologize for any confusion I may have cased & basically making a mess out of text… @_@,

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