Official Zelda Timeline Revealed! Sort of.

tnr zelda timeline

There’s a lot to love about The Legend of Zelda. The countless dungeons, the addictive exploration, the fact that it’s inspired by God Shigeru Miyamoto’s childhood. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of Zelda’s appeal is the mystery surrounding each game, or more specifically, what each game means to the history of Hyrule.

Fans have been speculating about their favourite Zelda game’s place in the greater timeline for years. And Nintendo have been feeding that speculation with every release. Majora’s Mask is a sequel to Ocarina of Time. The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess are both sequels to Ocarina/Majora, but in parallel timelines. Spirit Tracks is a sequel to Phantom Hourglass, which itself is a sequel to The Wind Waker. These little links (heh) between games have kept fans guessing, and arguing, for years.

But around the release of Oracle of Ages/Oracle of Seasons, Nintendo decided to finally put an end to the speculation. Posted on zelda.com in 2001, a time when internet culture wasn’t quite so malicious, the document aimed to clear up the timeline from The Legend of Zelda (NES) to Oracle of Ages/Oracle of Seasons (GBC). And they got it so, so wrong.

First of all, this document claims that every Zelda game features the same Link, which is completely ridiculous. It’s generally accepted that almost every Zelda game features a different version of Link, other than direct sequels like Ocarina/Majora and Wind Waker/Phantom Hourglass. The Zelda games span countless centuries, with Ocarina of Time alone being placed hundreds of years before A Link To The Past. Secondly, if this timeline was true, then Zelda is kind of a bitch, considering every time she meets Link she acts like she doesn’t know him. Also apparently they’re both immortal.

To Nintendo’s credit, the document is prefaced with a scapegoat, stating that this is just one of many theories. It’s still pretty ridiculous though. The document no longer exists on zelda.com, but thanks to the glorious Way Back Machine, we’ve got the whole thing here for your viewing (and scoffing) pleasure:

Here, we lay out the Hero of Time’s most notable accomplishments in an abbreviated format. We have studied this timeline very carefully, and believe that it represents one of the most accurate chronological arrangement of Link’s actions. Of course, other scholars have formulated different theories. Since there is no way to prove these theories, they will likely be debated for centuries to come.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64)

Link’s first adventure began when he was just a boy. Though young, Link possessed the adventurous spirit to recover three Spiritual Stones and the strength of mind to travel forward through time to save the seven Sages. Link watched as the black-hearted warrior Ganondorf was transformed into Ganon, King of Evil. Through bravery and skillful swordplay, Link was able to defeat Ganon and rescue Princess Zelda from his malicious grasp.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (Nintendo 64)

Soon after Link rescued Princess Zelda from Ganon’s evil grip, he found himself face-to-face with a completely different kind of evil — the wicked power of Majora’s Mask. Link traveled from Hyrule to an alternate dimension called Termina, where he struggled against time to stop the suicidal moon from crashing into the world.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Super Nintendo Entertainment System)

When this chapter opens, Link is living with his uncle in Hyrule. A wandering wizard named Agahnim (later discovered to be the puppet of Ganon) forced his way onto the throne of Hyrule and imprisoned the children of the seven Sages, as well as Princess Zelda. Traveling between the Light World and the Dark World, Link used his skills to free the seven captives and their magical crystals. Link eventually unlocked Ganon’s Dark Tower, temporarily defeating the King of Evil and rescuing Princess Zelda for the second time.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (Game Boy Color)

For reasons known only by himself, Link one day attempted to study the legendary Triforce more closely than ever before. He tapped into the relic’s ancient power, and was transported to the land of Labrynna. There, Link discovered that Veran, Sorceress of Shadows had kidnapped Nayru, the Oracle of Ages. Veran used Nayru’s power to travel back in time and alter Labrynna’s history so that she could rule over the present. Link uncovered the Harp of Ages and embarked on a quest to recover the eight Essences of Time. After many days of adventuring, Link was able to ultimately defeat Veran and restore order to Labrynna.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (Game Boy Color)

Summoned perhaps by the three Goddesses themselves, Link found himself inexplicably warped from Hyrule to a new land known as Holodrum. Link arrived in this distant realm just in time to observe General Onox ruthlessly kidnap Din, the Oracle of Seasons. With the Oracle held captive, Holodrum’s natural cycle of seasons became helplessly twisted. Using the powerful Rod of Seasons and other weapons, Link was able to recover eight Essences of Nature and pierce the hardened armor of General Onox. Ultimately, he was able to defeat an even greater foe as well.

The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo Entertainment System)

Link learned from Zelda’s servant Impa that the young Princess had once again been captured by the persistent monster. Before her capture, she managed to scatter the eight pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom throughout her kingdom. Link proved himself to be a worthy adventurer once again by recovering these magical relics and freeing Zelda from Ganon’s grip.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (Nintendo Entertainment System)

After Ganon’s defeat, the citizens of Hyrule enjoyed a new golden age. During this period of prosperity, Link learned that Princess Zelda had fallen into a never-ending sleep at the hands of a mysterious sorcerer. Link embarked on a new quest, and valiantly gathered six shards of a magical crystal to break the seal that locked the gate of the Great Palace. Link was able to awaken Princess Zelda from her unnatural slumber, but only after battling a shadowy duplicate of himself that many historians believe to have been conjured by the hand of Ganon.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

During an overseas crossing to Eastern Hyrule, Link encountered a terrible storm and became shipwrecked on Koholint Island. Even though his mind was distracted by thoughts of never seeing Princess Zelda again, Link still managed to save the day by waking the legendary Wind Fish and restoring peace to the island.

The effects of waking the Wind Fish caused the entire ordeal to remained forever clouded in Link’s memory, and he never quite knew whether he had dreamed the entire adventure, or whether he had once again slipped into a parallel universe. Many of the names of the people he met and the places he went were inspired by his very first adventure when he was just a boy. Regardless of the circumstances, the quest had seemed very real to Link and he discovered that he still had a lot of work to do when he landed in Eastern Hyrule.


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One Comment on "Official Zelda Timeline Revealed! Sort of."

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