Zelda Timeline Explained

As some of you might have heard, a new book has been released in Japan called ‘Hyrule Historia’. Containing original concept art, character designs and a range of information. It’s also shed some light on the much debated Zelda timeline. It’s been leaked that this might actually be the official timeline. For many years there have been countless online theories and interpretations, but since this is an official book it seems we might find out once and for all the exact details of the history of Hyrule.

It’s currently only available in Japan and so obviously written in Japanese but translations have already started appearing online.

So as we all know it all starts with Skyward Sword. Then follows Minish Cap, Four Swords and then Ocarina of Time where things start getting complicated. It splits three ways, one more than was previously thought.

Luckily for you though, I have designed up the timeline into an easy to understand chart. This chart is based on an interpretation in Kotaku.

Firstly we have the MAIN Timeline

1. Skyward Sword

2. Minish Cap

3. Four Swords

4. Ocarina Of Time

Split 1: Link defeats Ganon in OoT – childhood branch

a) Majora’s Mask

b) Twilight Princess

c) Four Swords Adventures

Split 2: Link defeats Ganon in OoT – 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

There are no plans yet to release a translated version of the book outside Japan just yet, but fingers crossed it eventually does. What are your thoughts and theories on the timeline? Does it make more sense?

9 Responses to “Zelda Timeline Explained”
  1. Dave says:

    I had now idea about the placement of Minish Cap and Four Swords. Very very interesting. Hope we get an English translation soon.


  2. Jesse says:

    How does Link ever fail to defeat Ganon in Ocarina of Time? I don’t understand that part but the games are understandable.


    • Nathan Jones says:

      Haven’t you ever seen the Game Over screen for OoT? Link is clearly dead!


    • Reeesy says:

      I know what you mean. If Link failed in OoT then surely that must open up the possibility of him failing in any of the other games right? So it does seem odd.

      Personally, i don’t think Nintendo gave much thought to a master timeline until after OoT was released and the franchise became truly epic, so they probably had to somehow crowbar in some of the older games.

      Who knows! It’s interesting to speculate though.


  3. Austin says:

    Twilight Princess in the wrong spot because at the end of the game you defeat Ganon, which would be impossible if you already did once. The same problem occurs in Zelda Wind walker. the only one that makes scene is putting MM after Oot.


    • DangerTiger says:

      Nah man, Ganon is killed and revived multiple times in the series. In LoZ:WW, the Hyrule under the great ocean is the same Hyrule in OoT… Just hundreds of years later and covered with water. That’s why people speculate that the Deku Sprout at the end of OoT is the Great Deku Tree in WW


      • Arie says:

        (spelled incorrectly, I might add boo, Nintendo) It’s more like Spelled more trkmadareably. As far back as the NES their cartridges were referred to as Game Paks, and the tradition of awkard unique K continues to this day. The two parts of the Wii controller are officially the Remote and the Nunchuk. Even if I did find it, I still wouldne2€™t be able to play it, because my N64 doesne2€™t have the required Expansion Pak. Half right. To my memory the only games that flat-out required the Expansion Pak were Donkey Kong 64 and Majora’s Mask. Others used it for things like higher resolution, or in the case of Perfect Dark allowed for some more game modes, but you could still play them. Ocarina of Time used the Expansion Pak in no way. HOWEVER, if you sold him the Expansion Pak, I bet you didn’t have the Jumper Pak, or whatever it was they called the blank that sat in that slot when you’d originally buy the console. With nothing in that slot, you actually can’t play anything at all. Though I guess if you actually got a Majora’s Mask warning screen, I might have that part wrong.


  4. nyrp94 says:

    Does you even kill ganon in OoT? Doesn’t zelda trap him in the scared realm?


  5. Randymbhon says:

    Raf it should be up on the feedI saw it coenrvt to the right format in the blip.tv admin yesterday while Clif was uploading it. Because both this and Jorges interview went up yesterday, it may not be the top download. See if its something you have to manually select to download


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