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Zelda timeline leaked

Does it make any sense to you?

It's the moment that Legend Of Zelda fans have been waiting for. The Legend Of Zelda timeline is explained in a new book called Hyrule Historia. It's out today in Japan and one fan who has purchased it has revealed the contents.

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According to the fan, the main timeline begins with The Legend Of Zelda Skyward Sword which is followed by Minish Cap and Four Swords but it all gets confusing around Ocarina Of Time when it seems that the timeline splits three ways depending not only on the time differences within the game but also on the outcome of the N64 adventure.

If Link defeats Ganon and continues on his childhood path, the story continues with Majora's Mask while the Adult Link timeline continues with Wind Waker. However, according to this interpretation as posted on Kotaku, the Link To The Past timeline is based on the assumption that Link failed. Failed to do what? Defeat Ganon? But didn't we do that? Well, Ocarina Of Time was quite hard so perhaps for some people, things move on to Link To The Past.

Main Timeline

1. Skyward Sword

2. Minish Cap

3. Four Swords

4. Ocarina Of Time

Split 1: Link defeats Ganon - childhood branch

a) Majora's Mask

b) Twilight Princess

c) Four Swords Adventures

Split 2: Link defeats Ganon - adult branch

a) Wind Waker

b) Phantom Hourglass

c) Spirit Tracks

Split 3: Link fails in Ocarina Of Time

a) A Link To The Past

b) Oracles

c) Link's Awakening

d) The Legend Of Zelda

e) The Legend Of Zelda II

What do you think of the timeline?

Comments

117 comments so far...
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  1. Linkfan42 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 14:09

    This actually makes quite a bit of sense. I'd never thought of a three way split...

  2. PureAwesomeness Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 14:11

    Woah. My brain has kinda imploded right now.

  3. SuperSonicConzor Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 14:14

    Mother of Hylia... Holy Ghirahim... This is... AMAZING! (But I thought ALttP was a prequel to LoZ and AoL...)

    EDIT: I see now- ALttp IS before LoZ and AoL... Wow, that makes SO MUCH SENSE!!

  4. TenTen Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 14:16

    Wait, if Minish cap is after skyward sword, then how come link has his cap in ss?

  5. shy guy 64 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 14:20

    cool hope its real

    the first two at the end though :lol:

  6. Oxo64 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 14:22

    Now that I see it, it makes a lot of sense. :D

  7. noodle link Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 14:23

    If you think about it, this actually makes perfect sense.

    Oh, and @TenTen, Skyward Sword is the origin story of the entire series. The first ever Link costumes were knight uniforms.

  8. TenTen Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 14:34

    If you think about it, this actually makes perfect sense.

    Oh, and @TenTen, Skyward Sword is the origin story of the entire series. The first ever Link costumes were knight uniforms.


    Ah, thanks for explaining

  9. PeterR Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 14:38

    i was almost sure i remembered references to wind waker in minish cap. oh well maybe im misremembering or maybe it was a prophesized or something. very nice having a timeline though

  10. Choccie Milk Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 14:39

    Awesome it's quite simple really. A three way split gives the developers a lot of scope for the future. Which one would you consider to be what actualy happened? :P

  11. garsh303 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 14:50

    With the Minish Cap after Skyward Sword, it might be a bit weird seeming as Link already has a green cap on in SS and not in MC, but all the games have different origins of the clothing, it's more about Ganon, Zelda, the Triforce and Link, not about how the clothing works out. And also, I guessed, from research, that AoL would be the latest (as in years.

  12. MartinIsAwesome Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 14:53

    Maybe when the third split happens if Link gets caught by the guards in the Castle Courtyard serveral hundred times and things "You know what, screw it. This is totally not worth the hastle."

  13. garsh303 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 14:58

    Mother of Hylia... Holy Ghirahim... This is... AMAZING! (But I thought ALttP was a prequel to LoZ and AoL...)


    Um, it is. ALttP is just after the failure of OoT, and then LoZ and AoL are the last two parts after it.

  14. Hylian_Grouch Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:00

    i was expecting there to be lots of branches. i thought the timeline might split twice, not once into three though...
    it was bound to be something like that

  15. Gazry Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:09

    I remember thinking, many years ago while playing OoT, that if I never bothered to play through the game then I would have already technically saved Hyrule. Ganondorf actually uses young Link to get through the door of time and into the Sacred Realm, as only Young Link could have gathered the 3 Spiritual Stones, and also only Link could lift the Master Sword as the hero of time.

    So, it kind of can make sense. In the new split, Link failed to gather the stones, and therefore Ganon had to find a new way to enter the Sacred Realm, or wait until his next chance in ALTTP (although I have never played this game so I'm unsure what happens)

  16. Poke-J Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:11

    So why isn't there a "Link fails" split for every game?

  17. TheRexFactor Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:12

    A Link to the Past has Ganon sealed in the Dark World (corrupted Sacred Realm) from the start.

    Implication being that he reached the Sacred Realm in OoT and somehow, without Link, the Hyrule Knights and Sages sealed him in there.

  18. garsh303 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:17

    Let's see. In the supposed Child Timeline, Ganon ends up in the Four Sword. In the Adult Timeline, Ganon is ended in Wind Waker, with the Master Sword in his head. In the Alternate Timeline (the one with the failure in OoT), Ganon is ended in LoZ, but, if there is failure in AoL, he returns. But if you complete it, he can never come back.

  19. adam8949 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:24

    So this means for those of us who have completed OoT (many times) the games in split 3 never happened.

  20. Gazry Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:26

    A Link to the Past has Ganon sealed in the Dark World (corrupted Sacred Realm) from the start.

    Implication being that he reached the Sacred Realm in OoT and somehow, without Link, the Hyrule Knights and Sages sealed him in there.

    Thanks. Makes sense, he still found a way to reach the place but wasn't able to leave.

    We've got to remember that most of the time it is a different Link, there are few Direct sequels. Even though a game follows on from the timeline, there could still be 2, 3 or more generations of 'hero of time' stories in between.

  21. ditto9 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:27

    How is it that this not only makes perfect sense and also no sense at all haha.
    Guess the Majora's Mask/Lost Wood/Stalfos in TP theory is correct then!!

  22. Switzerninmaster Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:30

    Who's to say that there isn't multiple splits taking part in every game? Maybe when I die in SS, that means there are no other games etc etc. I still think they make it up as they go along

  23. IPecksU Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:36

    this is screaming ADD DLC for an alternate ending in oot 3D or maybe even a new version of oot from ganondorfs point of view preferably on wii u. it could be pretty brutal

  24. rockin ronbob Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:39

    yes ok. but how do you complete OoT as child link? :?: :?

  25. darkprince Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:42

    what I do not get is how did ganon get the trident of power, if the first time he has it was in FSA. then the trident reappears in the third timeline in alttp.

    so how does that work??

  26. yugebo Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:45

    Does that mean after Link goes back in time after defeating Gannon, then completes Majoura's mask, Twilight princess and 4 sword adventures, does he fight in wind waker after 7 years?

  27. SuperSonicConzor Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:49

    Mother of Hylia... Holy Ghirahim... This is... AMAZING! (But I thought ALttP was a prequel to LoZ and AoL...)


    Um, it is. ALttP is just after the failure of OoT, and then LoZ and AoL are the last two parts after it.

    Heh, sorry, I was so excited I must have misread it... If this turns out to be true, it'll be a giant leap in the world on Zelda.

  28. clarkie123 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:53

    No-one bite my head off here - I aren't the biggest Zelda fan - but isn't Link a child in WW, PH and ST? So how is that the 'adult branch'?

  29. zapper01 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:56

    I don't really get the third split as I haven't played any of those games.

    yes ok. but how do you complete OoT as child link? :?: :?


    You don't. The alternate timeline is created when Link travels back in time and warns Zelda about Ganondorf, so he is imprisoned and the events of the game are undone, while the adult timeline is created when Link defeats Ganondorf in the future.

  30. Ollie Raiden Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:57

    Oh hey, this is great. I just found an old timeline theory I made around 2005, and I was actually pretty close. (This of course predates quite a few of the games and the reveal that the timeline splits three ways)
    For those that are interested, here is my original theory line: Timeline from 04 or 05

  31. Ollie Raiden Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:58

    No-one bite my head off here - I aren't the biggest Zelda fan - but isn't Link a child in WW, PH and ST? So how is that the 'adult branch'?


    It's a different Link :)

  32. SuperSonicConzor Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:58

    @clarkie123 In Ocarina of Time, as soon as Link pulls the Master Sword from the Pedestal of Time, he is aged seven years. After he defeats Ganondorf, Princess Zelda sends him back to his own time where he can prevent Ganondorf from even taking over Hyrule, yet the adult version still remains. From here on, the timeline is split and all of the young Links in TWW, PH and ST are either descendants or "next in line" as it were of the Hero of Time.

  33. Gazry Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 15:59

    No-one bite my head off here - I aren't the biggest Zelda fan - but isn't Link a child in WW, PH and ST? So how is that the 'adult branch'?

    Same Branch does not mean same Link, it just means the generations go on as if that particular ending happened. In most Zelda games there is a little bit at the start explaining the history/legend about the Hero of time.

    In fact in alot of the games the characters act as if the Legend has not came true for a long long time and Hyrule has been in peace for many years/generations.

  34. clarkie123 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 16:04

    Thanks @Gazry, @SuperSonicConzor and @Ollie Raiden. Makes a lot more sense now :)

  35. Buffalo_K Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 16:05

    My mind has turned to mush from how much sense it makes.

  36. ARWING64 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 16:07

    What about the CD-I games? Ha kidding those games weren't Legend of Zelda

  37. PuAl Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 16:13

    @Choccie Milk

    I'd say that timeline 3 is the one that happened, if only because the original game takes place in that timeline and as such we should view all other games in the series by their relation to it, thus making the other two timelines the 'alternate' ones, and the timeline where Link failed in OoT the real one. Of course opinions may vary, but this one makes the most sense logically based on the conventions of game and film chronology.

  38. RedBearLuX Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 16:14

    It's one of those things now revealed it was like 'oh yeah I feel real stupid now...' Because it's obvious really I always thought the time line split, Adult and Child, but I never realised there was a whole other event where Link doesn't stop Ganondorf.

    I'm a bit dissapointed that this time line has been released though, this was one of the biggest discussed things of any game let alone Zelda, and now all that speculation is gone... oh well at least those fools who believed there was no split time line have been proved wrong :P

  39. Everegreen Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 16:14

    Hmm... it doesn't seem quite as exciting now that it's been "leaked". Maybe this fan was wrong? But I don't know - I'll look more into this. I've been waiting for ages for the timeline to be revealed but now that it has (if it really has), all I'm thinking is, I couldn't care less.

  40. Drenful Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 16:18

    YES YES!!!!!

  41. Daz_Dagon Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 16:20

    Is this real? Link fails? Ok that sounds ridiculous. If this is real I might just lose intrest in zelda. Skyward sword was a bit of a let down for me.

  42. rag33 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 16:22

    The four Links from FSA are in Spirit Tracks multiplayer.............. *timeline explodes*

  43. GoddessSword Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 16:34

    Even the cat needs a sit down after seeing this...

  44. nintyspong3826 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 16:38

    My mind is blown.

    Also hilarious that everyone was wrong and some will be moaning for years. Nice one Nintendo :D

  45. King Seda Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 16:50

    THIS. IS. NOT. CONFIRMED.

    Said "fan" has apparently translated the timeline, however declines posting pictures or scans of the magazine. He has posted no proof whatsoever, yet for some reason Kotaku is backing him. When it is translated with scans provided, and if this turns out to be true, then I'll believe it.

  46. jimbrennan3DS Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 16:55

    Of course everyone forgot that time is sill continuous even if there re splits so the timeline where link has disappeared is viable, Nintendo will need to explain how some things like Minish Cap and a Link to the Past fit in, but if this is true, then THANK YOU NINTENDO!!!!!!!!

  47. Beyond Birthday Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 17:11

    Eh? It works and it doesn't work at the same time.

  48. Waldy565 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 17:15

    makes sense actually, but link fails?! oh well...

  49. Jimmybidz Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 17:17

    what's the video got anything to do with it ? LOL
    Yes it's got Ocarina Of Time gameplay but ??/??

  50. Beyond Birthday Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 17:19

    makes sense actually, but link fails?! oh well...

    I see it more as Zelda fails to warn Hyrule against Ganon in the past at the end of OoT, he gets into the Sacred Realm and is somehow sealed there, as that's where he is in ALttP.

  51. mr gnome Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 17:21

    it makes sense i guess the like fails in ocarina is like a parallel world or summin

  52. LFOB Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 17:24

    oh ******* **** what the **** they actually ******* released the ******* timeline... OH ************* **** **** **** **** **** *************** ************* **** *************!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  53. RubbishGamer Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 17:27

    not sure about four swords adventures placement, but other than that it's freaking brilliant!!

  54. EleventhDoctor Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 17:27

    Wow this is really incredible! :D I might actually play through the games following each split from the Main one ! OMG THIS IS AN AMAZING IDEA, BRB FOR A YEAR I'M BUSY. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  55. Fidu Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 17:46

    Oh... my... I had a theory about a three-way-split back in June 2010, and it looks almost exactly the same. I'm amazed.

  56. MrChewtoy Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 17:50

    I suppose the "Link Fails" branch could be when he went back in time in OoT, but he was unable to convince them Ganon was evil. Since no matter what you do you have to kill him in the future, but we just assume he succeeds when he goes back in time.

  57. hazzamadazzla Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 18:00

    Wow this is a really interesting timeline, I predicted that there would be a split for two timelines but I wouldn't have guessed three branches!! I hope in future zelda games they don't tell us where they fit in to the timeline so that there will still be a bit of mystery surrounding the timeline until nobody has a clue in another 25 years time :)

  58. mr.AR Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 18:08

    O.O....Wooaah..Cool mayorly cool..interesting with the splits there..They MUST realease a english version!!

  59. yoshiking1 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 18:09

    I hope the timeline rejoinds so link has to face vaati,Ganondorf,Ghiram and all the other villans @ once
    Link gets the whole triforce in SS so how does he have 1 piece in OOT :?:

  60. Dean Thompson Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 18:10

    The split makes sense, that is, it it not so much a matter of failing but a presumption of how time works. Briefly put, it assumes that when you start messing about with the timeline, rather than overwriting the past by changing the future, you make a separate reality.

    So even though we did complete the game (or not in my girlfriend's case) the horrible future created by Link's absence still exists in some reality.

    Though something tells me ONM figured that out already.

  61. Oocoo Jr. Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 18:11

    But hang on, seeing as how most of the games feature a different version of Link, why does the split matter?

  62. emperor ing Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 18:33

    Well it makes sense that's for sure, although I won't believe it until I've seen something proper that confirms it. Like an explanation, proof scans, or an official English translation.

    Still not half bad, but I still prefer my own unrelated parallel universes theory.

  63. Everegreen Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 18:56

    So why isn't there a "Link fails" split for every game?


    ^That's what I was thinking

  64. Super Sonic444 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 18:57

    Ah, my favourite game is second. I haven't played Skyward Sword yet (getting it for Christmas) so I'll be glad to see what's before it (and if there are any links!)
    I honestly thought that Minish Cap was first, giving the idea of the hat and all. Perhaps we will get a game before Skyward Sword with no backstory?

  65. OracleOfPokemon Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 19:27

    There's one big mistake here. It undoes the whole making sense thing.

    In Wind Waker, the Triforce of Courage (awarded to Link in Ocarina of Time) is shattered into 8 pieces because OoT Link left Hyrule to go to Termina to find Navi. But in this timeline, Wind Waker happens directly after OoT, so how did the Triforce shatter? This means that Majora's Mask must be in the same timeline as either Wind Waker [i]or[i] Ocarina of Time.

    Think about it, it makes sense.

  66. stealth1497 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 19:52

    Having now released the timeline, which we can assume is definitive, how can nintendo add to it? :? If I'm being a bit stupid in saying this please say so, but surely they can't add to a series that has clear beginnings, middles and endings (plurals used for the 3 separate sections)?

  67. Baker1000 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 20:28

    Well I never.

    Although it looks like they've just lumped all the 2D games outside of the Four Sword trilogy into one timeline for the sake of it.

  68. Violet Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 20:36

    Four Swords Adventures being after Twilight Princess doesn't make any sense when its meant to be a sequel to Four Swords...

  69. LuigisBrother Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 20:45

    I can feel the very fabric of time and space braking up. What will interweb people argue about??!! next game should say that time has shattered and then link has to rebuild it through a series of games while keeping hyrule safe. it makes sense, IT JUST DOES :shock:

  70. jinglepupskye Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 20:53

    Oracle, Windwaker happens some time after the adult branch of Ocarina of Time. We know that Link left, and after re-watching the opening to Windwaker it says "the boy's (Link) tale was passed down through generations". When Link died (even of old age) the Triforce could have ended up anywhere, either with the next person worthy of it or just sitting around waiting to be picked up again. Majora's Mask doesn't have to be involved in any of that.

    As far as LttP goes it doesn't necessarily have to take place in a timeline where OoT Link failed - in fact it's unlikely that it did. The opening credits of LttP are being told from a perspective far in the future from when those events took place, and have become legend. They say that many of the knights were killed in a battle in order to protect the sages long enough for them to cast a seal on the Dark World - well what if that battle was Oot? That game is told from a very limited perspective, Link's. At some point Ganondorf must have attacked Castle Town, and the knights would have fought back, some had already been killed when Zelda was escaping with Impa. How many knights are likely to have survived this fight, and be able to protect the sages if Link wasn't available to do it? The Castle Town in Ganondorf's future is a total wreck.

    Link could have become seen as a Hero/Knight, and over the years with re-tellings of the legend the seven years could have become compressed, and made it seem like it was all done in one big event. Thus Link 'protected' rather than 'rescued', and his deeds became intermingled with the fight the knights put up for Castle Town. The manual of LttP also mentions that several buildings were closely tied to the legend, and were even said to house the Triforce itself. It specifically mentions the desert and graveyard - the locations of the Spirit and Shadow temples, which were involved in OoT. Maybe people forgot why they were important, and what happened there, just that they were. Another point that may suggest that OoT Link was seen as a knight is the statement that LttP Link will then retrieve the Master Sword "keeping the knight's line true." Though that could go either way!

  71. Zeldakid Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 21:03

    wow :O makes a lot of sense now thinking the fact that link could fail :O! amazing ideas i just hope the supposed new Zelda game there gonna make on 3ds is somewhere in the timeline of split 1 :) would be amazing to see some sort of adventure in the lost woods :).

  72. MrChewtoy Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 21:33

    So why isn't there a "Link fails" split for every game?


    ^That's what I was thinking


    Read my post higher up. I think it's that child Link failed to stop Ganon after he went back in time, not during the battle as adult Link (since effectively he can't fail that).

  73. Amerterasu16 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 21:40

    RRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! CONFUSIIIIIIIIING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought it would be much simpler!

  74. Ollie Raiden Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 21:54

    There's one big mistake here. It undoes the whole making sense thing.

    In Wind Waker, the Triforce of Courage (awarded to Link in Ocarina of Time) is shattered into 8 pieces because OoT Link left Hyrule to go to Termina to find Navi. But in this timeline, Wind Waker happens directly after OoT, so how did the Triforce shatter? This means that Majora's Mask must be in the same timeline as either Wind Waker [i]or[i] Ocarina of Time.

    Think about it, it makes sense.


    I think it makes more sense that Wind Waker is a result of a split in the adult story. The prologue states that the hero "did not return" after Ganon came back. There was no way for him to come back to the adult timeline, since the Door of Time was sealed and the Master Sword behind it. There was nothing stopping Link coming back from Termina post-Majora's Mask, so maybe he did just that. I don't think the focus should be on the Triforce of Courage being shattered in Wind Waker, but rather that the hero didn't return when Ganon escaped.
    Maybe it shattered as a result of Hyrule being flooded. I can't remember if it's ever mentioned in the story, been a while since WW

  75. Choccie Milk Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 21:56

    I'm guessing for all the people who say there are inconcistencies that it's fully explained in the actual book.

  76. stealth1497 Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 22:25

    I'm guessing for all the people who say there are inconcistencies that it's fully explained in the actual book.

    That is a good shout (never said that, always wanted to :) ) so...NINTENDO RELEASE THE DAMN BOOK!!! please

  77. CraigEmberson Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 23:32

    Wait, if Minish cap is after skyward sword, then how come link has his cap in ss?


    Ezlo was never the origin of the caps Link wears... Ezlo just happened to be turned into a cap that Link wore. People just assumed that must be the cap's origin. The real origin is that it was the uniform of the Knight Academy... That later became the Kokiri (which the Kikwi later disguised themself as, in tribute to the Hero of the Goddess - Skyward Sword Link). As Link was sent back in time to live out his childhood, that then leads into Majora's Mask, meaning the future reality that was created during the changes in time was left without it's Hero of Time - So the Goddesses passed the Spirit of the Hero into The Wind Waker Link... That's why Ganondorf was able to break from the seal because the Hero's Spirit once again existed. In the Childhood part of the timeline, Twilight Princess Link's clothes are described as "The Hero's Clothes" and it says they're ancient clothes that were once worn by the Hero chosen by the Gods - That's Skyward Sword Link, as well as the Bow in Skyward Sword being passed down to Twilight Princesses Link as it's called "The Hero's Bow" and is identical the one in Skyward Sword, which was a purposeful design for Skyward's Bow. A Link to the Past featured the second Link that was fully able to claim the Triforce... The end of A Link to the Past coincides with the opening to the Oracle games, which show ALttP Link going to the castle to get the Triforce and when he arrives, he is sent on two trials by the Goddesses, which reveal that they're all to stop Twinrova from resurrecting Ganon. Link sets off in his boat and in Link's Awakening, he is caught in a thunderstorm and his boat is wrecked and he is knocked unconcious - His spirit and his dream seemingly coincides with the dream of the Wind Fish, who is more than likely to be Levias hundreds of years after Skyward Sword. Afterwards, he finally wakes up and sees the Wind Fish flying in the Sky. Plus, the Minish Cap confirms the existance of the old "Sky Race"... It makes so much sense now.

  78. CraigEmberson Wednesday 21st Dec 2011 at 23:38

    A Link to the Past has Ganon sealed in the Dark World (corrupted Sacred Realm) from the start.

    Implication being that he reached the Sacred Realm in OoT and somehow, without Link, the Hyrule Knights and Sages sealed him in there.

    Thanks. Makes sense, he still found a way to reach the place but wasn't able to leave.

    We've got to remember that most of the time it is a different Link, there are few Direct sequels. Even though a game follows on from the timeline, there could still be 2, 3 or more generations of 'hero of time' stories in between.


    That's not possible... When Zelda sent him back to live out his childhood, (Him being the Hero of Time and all) left the Adult Timeline without it's hero... As the Wind Waker describes that he disappeared from the world, so people had to rely on praying to the Gods to help instead. The Goddesses implanted the remnants of the Spirit of the Hero (once created by Hylia pre-Skyward Sword) and they went to The Wind Waker Link by destiny, that's why they say it makes no sense that he is not blood of the Hero of Time, yet he is just like him. I recall Jabun saying so and he is Jabu-Jabu in the future (there is a source that says Jabun once went by the name Jabu Jabu).

  79. Medea Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 00:22

    Dissapointing. This timelines rather stupid

  80. MD1500 Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 02:49

    There's obviously still gaps. The Zelda series isn't finished. This isn't the full timeline.
    Nintendo have just said where all the released games fit in.

    It's like giving you chapters 1-3, 7-9, and 12-15 of a book and moaning that reading it from start to finish doesn't make sense.

  81. Medea Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 03:52

    I'll Just stick to my time line and ignore theirs

    SS-OOT-MM-TP-TWW-PH-ST

  82. Keniahten Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 04:48

    my brain hurts..... how does this work? :?

  83. CraigEmberson Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 05:44

    what I do not get is how did ganon get the trident of power, if the first time he has it was in FSA. then the trident reappears in the third timeline in alttp.

    so how does that work??


    It's pretty simple... You're forgetting that each 3 of the splits in the timeline stem from the same world and original events - Therefore, even in different outcomes, the Trident would still exist in the world in every one - It's just some games haven't felt the need to explore it within a part of the timeline, at least not yet.

  84. CraigEmberson Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 05:50

    I'll Just stick to my time line and ignore theirs

    SS-OOT-MM-TP-TWW-PH-ST


    That's pretty ridiculous, seeing as there's always been a known split in the timeline via Miyamoto and Aonuma saying so... Twilight Princess is obviously a different outcome, as Child Link hasn't become the Hero of Time but in the future he did.

    In the Child section where he is sent back, nobody knows him as the Hero of Time because he did not defeat Ganondorf in that time or that dimension - They sentenced him to prison to be executed and years after during execution, he used the Triforce of Power to break free and was sent to the Twilight Realm and all this happened as a result of Link meeting with Zelda at the end of Ocarina, to warn her of what was going to happen in the future. As he was sent back in time, it meant he no longer existed in his adult form in the future dimension where he defeated Ganondorf, so that version of Hyrule was left without it's hero, as the Wind Waker states he disappeared and never returned - that's because he was sent back in time. Not even the Goddesses could find him, why do you think they flooded Hyrule? Nothing comes in between Ocarina of Time's future part of the timeline and the Wind Waker - Not unless they were to make a game that ended with the flood but even then, there would be no Link, so it wouldn't be possible. There's this kind of information that all Zelda fans should know by now, otherwise you're not particularly a very good Zelda fan (I visit Zelda sites every day, it means a lot to me).

  85. Pokemon Luke Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 07:49

    If Link Failed To Defeat Ganon Or Ganondorf Woudlnt He Have Been Killed?

  86. golden toad Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 08:29

    So, will one of the next games see the three timelines come together and the three different Links team up and defeat Ganon one final time?

  87. mrmariomaster Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 09:17

    ???????????????????????????????????????? Hmmm I better think about this today

  88. Mario84 Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 09:20

    I'm sorry, but this seems like a fudged-together storyline that in my opinion spoils the games for what they are, legends.

  89. TheImprobableOne Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 10:42

    Wow. I'm half over joyed, half in mute shock. I certainly didn't think the first two would be at the end.

  90. Everegreen Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 10:53


    ^That's what I was thinking


    Read my post higher up. I think it's that child Link failed to stop Ganon after he went back in time, not during the battle as adult Link (since effectively he can't fail that).

    Okay, that makes more sense.

  91. PureAwesomeness Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 11:01

    Come to think of it, I don't even think this is the real deal. Didn't Aonoma confirm fairly recently that there actually isn't a timeline split? If Aonoma was telling the truth, then this couldn't possibly be the true timeline because it has not one but three splits. Furthermore, this timeline has yet to be confirmed by him and the other Zelda producers, since they know what the proper timeline is like.
    To me, it looks as if the guys who put together the timeline placed a random timeline in where Link fails just to make sure that the 2D Zelda games get a place in it, but it's not actually the real thing.

  92. issun1412 Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 11:05

    skyward sword then minish cap actually makes sense. Where you find the wind element on the sky island must be what's left of skyloft. Also in the minish cap manga it says why the wind island is there (to escape from evil) and the reasons are almost identical to those of skyloft. But where did Links' Grandpa in Minish cap come from?

  93. ChipsNGravy Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 12:10

    Yes, I agree with what people now seem to be realising, that this, above all other models, makes perfect sense.

    Split 3, sets it up perfectly for the games that follow, in that they no longer have Ganondoft in them, they just have Ganon (Link to the Past, Zelda 1, Zelda 2 etc. all have Ganon, that pig type thing). And, as we all know, Ganondorf evolves into Ganon at the end of Ocarina, therefore not able to be Ganondorf anymore.

    Split 1, again works, Link having gone back in time and never giving Ganondorf the chance to enter the sacred realm by opening the door of time and yanking out the Master Sword. This sets up Twilight Princess perfectly, because in that game we're told that Ganondorf was trialled and condemned to death by the sages. Probably after link got back in Ocarina and tells Zelda that Ganondorf really was a git, and to get him in cuffs!

  94. Pikablu Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 16:19

    [b]Yes, I agree with what people now seem to be realising, that this, above all other models, makes perfect sense.

    Split 3, sets it up perfectly for the games that follow, in that they no longer have Ganondoft in them, they just have Ganon (Link to the Past, Zelda 1, Zelda 2 etc. all have Ganon, that pig type thing). And, as we all know, Ganondorf evolves into Ganon at the end of Ocarina, therefore not able to be Ganondorf anymore.


    Yeah but don't forget he turns into ganon in TP and then back to ganondorf for the sword fight :/


    tbh the annoying part i find is that why isn't there a split in every game where link could have failed D:

  95. Medea Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 16:23

    I'll Just stick to my time line and ignore theirs

    SS-OOT-MM-TP-TWW-PH-ST


    That's pretty ridiculous, seeing as there's always been a known split in the timeline via Miyamoto and Aonuma saying so... Twilight Princess is obviously a different outcome, as Child Link hasn't become the Hero of Time but in the future he did.

    In the Child section where he is sent back, nobody knows him as the Hero of Time because he did not defeat Ganondorf in that time or that dimension - They sentenced him to prison to be executed and years after during execution, he used the Triforce of Power to break free and was sent to the Twilight Realm and all this happened as a result of Link meeting with Zelda at the end of Ocarina, to warn her of what was going to happen in the future. As he was sent back in time, it meant he no longer existed in his adult form in the future dimension where he defeated Ganondorf, so that version of Hyrule was left without it's hero, as the Wind Waker states he disappeared and never returned - that's because he was sent back in time. Not even the Goddesses could find him, why do you think they flooded Hyrule? Nothing comes in between Ocarina of Time's future part of the timeline and the Wind Waker - Not unless they were to make a game that ended with the flood but even then, there would be no Link, so it wouldn't be possible. There's this kind of information that all Zelda fans should know by now, otherwise you're not particularly a very good Zelda fan (I visit Zelda sites every day, it means a lot to me).


    I am a Zelda fan, and I know the popular theories, though I don't have time to visit the sites every day so I'm probably not as versed in Zelda lore as you. I'm fine with the split the timeline. I agree with it. I probably didn't display it well in my original post - I should have put WW & TP side by side to show they split.

    What I was trying to show in context though is I only consider SS, OOT, MM, TWW, TP, PH and ST to actually be the timeline. All the other games I don't include in the timeline as they have too many variables and inconsistencies.

  96. Starman64O Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 19:22

    Okay, this is starting to hurt my brain. I disagree with this whole 'Link fails, and then Lttp'
    I think it goes like this. SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!

    Skyward Sword, main clues given away by Demise, he says as he is dying My hate... never perishes. It is born anew in a cycle with no end! I will rise again. Those like you... Those who share the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero... They are eternally bound to this curse. An incarnation of my hatred shall ever follow your kind, dooming them to wander a blood-soaked sea of darkness for all time! . I think this means that Demise takes the form of Ganondorf, being born to the gerudo, and that either Link and Zelda are related, or the triforce is connecting them, and their descendants.

    I think that The Legend of Zelda is next, with the descendants of SS Link and Zelda, followed by Zelda II, due to the whole 'all future princesses will be called Zelda'. Then Four Swords, but not Adventures, I think that appears later.

    Next is Ocarina, with the split timeline.

    In the Child timeline, It leads to Link warning Zelda about Ganon, then the events of majora's Mask. I think after this, since Link goes off without Navi, the theory of 'The hero shade' of Twilight Princess would be correct, noted by the last thing he says to Link after you learn the great spin he says Go and do not falter, my child!, this suggests a direct relation. It seems that the Triforce lives in all versions of Link, Zelda and ganondorf (for the latter, he is the same being). After TP, I think a link tot the past, which describes the 'Imprisoning War' of Oot. Then I'd say Link's Awakening, then the Oracle Games. Finally, I'd say Four Swords Adventures., with Ganon being sealed in the Four Sword.

    In the Adult timeline, since The Hero of time is now within the child link in the child timeline. Due to this, the Prologue of Wind Waker happens. The Link of the game is chosen by the Triforce, the hero of winds (food for thought; what does that make Grandma and Aryll?). This lead to the events of Phantom Hourglass, and a few years later, not too far in the future, Niko is still alive!, Spirit Tracks, by this point, Ganon seems to be truly dead, with the 'Hate of Demise' perhaps unable to find anything compatible (there are no Gerudo in later games, are there?).

    I'm sure this is not the best timeline out there, but this is the best I could come up with after years of analysing the games, hope you like it!

  97. EtherealWings Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 20:49

    Anyone else considered that this may be 'a' timeline, as opposed to 'the' timeline (the one that has remained confidential and known only to the upper echelons since there were enough games to constitute a timeline in the first place)? This could be careful speculation by the books editors as to a plausible, and so acceptible, timeline. In the same way as it is possible to tell the truth but not the whole truth.
    Or perhaps Miyamoto doodled down a random list, then sent it floating around Ninty HQ for some gullible editor to find, just to shut us up.
    Just a thought...

  98. Dark nemisis Thursday 22nd Dec 2011 at 23:57

    so Vaati appears in 3 different timelines?

  99. CraigEmberson Friday 23rd Dec 2011 at 10:03

    But hang on, seeing as how most of the games feature a different version of Link, why does the split matter?


    The split matters because they're still all connected... Split 1 are all blood related to Skyward Link, Split 2 is an unrelated Link who was given the same name as the Hero of Time, also inheriting the Spirit of the Hero that Hylia once created and Split 3 is where Link failed to stop Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time but is still. related by blood to Ocarina Link still. If you just didn't have splits, they wouldn't make sense for a start but it leaves more room for different paths to explore in the series, not limiting what they can do with the series in the future.

    Split 1 - Link stumbles into Termina with his Ocarina of Time, given back to him by Zelda to protect it, so that the Gate of Time could not be opened - Zelda says the Goddess aids him "from the edge of time" (that's the link to Skyward Sword by the way :P) and saves Termina. He then finds his way back to the Lost Woods and lives out his life in Hyrule. 100 years later, his descendant - a ranch boy who lives in Ordona, just outside of Hyrule stumbles into the Twilight during a mission to deliver a sword to Hyrule and finds out Ganondorf is behind it all... It tells of what happened years after Ocarina of Time, after his ancestor (Child Link) was sent back to live out his childhood. Ganondorf spent his years in prison, until his execution was due to happen - but because Link was given the Triforce of Courage by destiny, it still split and went to Zelda and Ganondorf - So he broke free, killed the sage of Water but was sealed within the Twilight Realm but after the story played out - Ganondorf transformed into his beast form using the Triforce of Power to turn into a boar (as it transforms you into a spiritual representation of your soul)... Link finally destroys Ganondorf... yet Ganon's power still exists. Vaati (from The Minish Cap) uses a different Ganondorf (named after the former Gerudo King) to host Ganon's (or the Demon King's) power... Finally, they are both sealed in the Four Sword.

    Split 2 - Zelda sent Link back to the past, so Link disappeared from the future (causing a split and a sort of second reality, 7 years ahead and one 7 years behind). There was nobody to save Hyrule, so the Goddesses had no choice but to save those that were needed and sent them to mountaintops, before flooding and sealing Ganon underneath Hyrule. In the future, when Link was born (on outset island, named after the Hero of Time) the Spirit of the Hero was given to him by destiny, which also meant Ganondorf had enough power to break from what was sealing him. We all know the rest of what happens in those games...

    Split 3 - Link fails to defeat Ganondorf and I imagine he began to use the King to take over Hyrule. In A Link to the Past, Aganhim is the form Ganondorf takes in the future, fooling the future King into thinking he's his loyal aid. Anyway, this Link is definitely related to Skyward Sword Link as Sahasrahla says it's a prophecy a hero will always rise from the bloodline of knights, to protect the royal family and the land. He's also the second one to be balanced enough to accept the full Triforce. The end of A Link to the Past and the beginning of the Oracle games overlap, as we see Link going to accept the Triforce - but the Goddesses send him on two trials to test him and we learn the purpose is to stop Twinrova resurrecting Ganon, who is trapped in his beast form without a human mind to keep him balanced... Link defeats him and sets sail to travel and find new land. On his boat, he's struck by a thunderstorm and his boat is wrecked... He is knocked out and it seems his dream collides with the Wind Fish's dream and he has to defeat the Nightmare that has possessed the Wind Fish, causing him to dream. Then there's the original 2 games of course.

    Don't forget, there will be some games that come in between some of these, like games can come between Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess or after Spirit Tracks etc...

  100. CraigEmberson Friday 23rd Dec 2011 at 10:06

    so Vaati appears in 3 different timelines?


    The main timeline is Skyward Sword > The Minish Cap > Four Swords and Ocarina of Time... So they are events that have all happened in each of the secondary splits in the timeline, they exist in each one. The 3 splits are parallel to each other - Like 3 versions of the same Hyrule with the same history, yet different futures occur depending on events in Ocarina of Time. It's the same as the theory that there's could be several alternate realities with the same people that do different things etc...

  101. regginator3 Friday 23rd Dec 2011 at 10:35

    Don't get why people are asking "why isn't there a separate "link fails" timeline for every game.". Who said there isn't? We just haven't had games in those timelines yet (if ever) so it'd be useless to include them. There could be millions of alternate timelines for the series, but the only ones listed are obviously the only ones that are relevant so far, obviously. For example, there probably is an alternate timeline where Link failed in MC (for example), there's just no games that happen to take place in that timeline (yet) so there'd be no point in mentioning a split.

  102. Everegreen Friday 23rd Dec 2011 at 10:45

    Don't get why people are asking "why isn't there a separate "link fails" timeline for every game.". Who said there isn't? We just haven't had games in those timelines yet (if ever) so it'd be useless to include them. There could be millions of alternate timelines for the series, but the only ones listed are obviously the only ones that are relevant so far, obviously. For example, there probably is an alternate timeline where Link failed in MC (for example), there's just no games that happen to take place in that timeline (yet) so there'd be no point in mentioning a split.

    Yes, but if there are eventually games that are released that follow up from fails in every other game, surely these new games will need timeline splits for their fails too; meaning an infinite number of games... and Nintendo aren't going to make that many games.

  103. Stray Friday 23rd Dec 2011 at 10:56

    I don't like the Four Swords trilogy placement. My problem with it is the Picori sword. What is it then? I could believe that the Light Force and the Minish world is the Triforce and Sacred world rediscovered but the Picori sowrd has to be completely new because it then becomes the Four Sword. Then what? During OOT, TW and LTTP when finding the Master Sword was so important there was ANOTHER Sacred Word capable of defeating evil (with the bonus of being able to make 4 Links)?

  104. liberal Friday 23rd Dec 2011 at 11:06

    I remember Nintendo saying some time ago that there was no timeline. While this is nice, the way it's split kinda suggests that there isn't that much of a timeline at all.

  105. regginator3 Friday 23rd Dec 2011 at 19:28

    Don't get why people are asking "why isn't there a separate "link fails" timeline for every game.". Who said there isn't? We just haven't had games in those timelines yet (if ever) so it'd be useless to include them. There could be millions of alternate timelines for the series, but the only ones listed are obviously the only ones that are relevant so far, obviously. For example, there probably is an alternate timeline where Link failed in MC (for example), there's just no games that happen to take place in that timeline (yet) so there'd be no point in mentioning a split.

    Yes, but if there are eventually games that are released that follow up from fails in every other game, surely these new games will need timeline splits for their fails too;

    Right, with you so far, I agree.

    meaning an infinite number of games...

    Why? Just because there there's a new timeline, that doesn't mean it needs a game in said timeline. Just the possibility of there being one.

    To put it simply, every game does have its alternate timelines where Link fails, however it is not necessary for a Zelda game to take place in every failed timeline from every game. Nintendo have just happened to choose to have a third timeline in OOT's failed timeline.

  106. regginator3 Friday 23rd Dec 2011 at 19:31

    I don't like the Four Swords trilogy placement. My problem with it is the Picori sword. What is it then? I could believe that the Light Force and the Minish world is the Triforce and Sacred world rediscovered but the Picori sowrd has to be completely new because it then becomes the Four Sword. Then what? During OOT, TW and LTTP when finding the Master Sword was so important there was ANOTHER Sacred Word capable of defeating evil (with the bonus of being able to make 4 Links)?

    Why do you assume that the Four Sword and Master Sword are interchangeable? Just because the Four Sword can take down certain incarnations of Vaati doesn't mean it can take down all incarnations of Ganon (I am aware about the FSA's ending).

  107. Starman64O Friday 23rd Dec 2011 at 20:46

    Anyone else considered that this may be 'a' timeline, as opposed to 'the' timeline (the one that has remained confidential and known only to the upper echelons since there were enough games to constitute a timeline in the first place)? This could be careful speculation by the books editors as to a plausible, and so acceptible, timeline. In the same way as it is possible to tell the truth but not the whole truth.
    Or perhaps Miyamoto doodled down a random list, then sent it floating around Ninty HQ for some gullible editor to find, just to shut us up.
    Just a thought...

    EXCELLENT POINT! Excellent point indeed, what would you do if millions of people wanted to know about a secret, but it was so secret you couldn't tell them at the moment? Not tell them, it would ruin the point of a secret. Not keep it, people would continue pestering. Think of a fake one, no one would know the difference... hmmm

  108. Everegreen Sunday 25th Dec 2011 at 21:29

    Would people hate me if I ask, "Where do the CD-i Zelda games fit in in the timeline?"?

  109. Red-Wolf Monday 26th Dec 2011 at 15:23

    Yeah, that makes sense. But how can Link fail in Ocarina of Time? Is there an alternate ending if he dies in the fight against Ganon?

  110. Everegreen Monday 26th Dec 2011 at 19:20

    Yeah, that makes sense. But how can Link fail in Ocarina of Time? Is there an alternate ending if he dies in the fight against Ganon?


    ONM have written a new article explaining this. Also, you can get a photo of the article on Wikipedia.

  111. MarioSwordDS Tuesday 27th Dec 2011 at 08:58

    Well take my Master Sword and bury my Hylian Sheild, I never thought of it like that! So it all depends on how Link carries out his adventure in Ocarina of Time... if he beats Ganon as a kid, Beats him as an adult, or does not beat him at all! I always thought every Link I played as was the same person! Turns out most of them never experienced what the others did! Wow! I want this book! Does it come out outside of japan?

  112. MarioSwordDS Tuesday 27th Dec 2011 at 09:03

    Hold on... one thing I dont get is how can Child Link be wearing his green clothes... if his green clothes were ACTUALLY the knight uniform he got in Skyward Sword when he was an ADULT?

  113. Religion0 Tuesday 27th Dec 2011 at 19:40

    Wait, if Minish cap is after skyward sword, then how come link has his cap in ss?

    Because it's part of the uniform, of course! And because he wouldn't be Link without it. :)

  114. Samster64 Saturday 31st Dec 2011 at 22:04

    i dont get the third split at all, i prefer the fan made 2 way split timeline, also, what about freshly picked tingle's rosey rupee land? :shock:

  115. Natlong Monday 7th May 2012 at 21:13

    Is this real? Link fails? Ok that sounds ridiculous. If this is real I might just lose intrest in zelda. Skyward sword was a bit of a let down for me.

    Dude chill.
    It's called a "what's if".
    It's not a canon timeline, but it what "would" have happen had Link had failed in Ocarina of Time...
    "Fans" like this guy annoy the hell out of me..

  116. smash-brother Wednesday 30th Jan 2013 at 20:03

    know a movie francise would make perfect sence

    HINT HINT

  117. koopa_kicker Tuesday 2nd Jul 2013 at 17:47

    Ever thought how when Adult link returns the Master sword in OoT, that Ganon will still be around in the past? Why should Link be happy for his victory knowing that now he'll have to fight Ganon (who is still there in the past) while he is still a child, without being able to wield the Master sword either. The third branch I believe here is whether young Link is sucessful in defeating Ganon as a child, or is unsuccesful in stopping Ganon from entering the Sacred Realm. I'm not sure, this comfirmed 'official' timeline seems like it is still ambigous and unclear in meaning.

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