Nintendo: there is NO Zelda Timeline

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by EnigmaXtreme, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. EnigmaXtreme

    EnigmaXtreme GBAtemp Maniac

    Jan 1, 2009
    Tasmania, Australia
    For years people have been trying to piece together a time line for The Legend of Zelda. With stories this epic there has to be an overarching time line, right? They can't just be plopping us down in a random world, with a random Link every time. A few months ago YouTube user ocarinahero10 tried to piece together a theory on the time line of Zelda. He used the (evidently) widely accepted "split time line" theory in which there are two Zelda time lines that are created in Ocarina of Time. One of these time lines leads to the Wind Waker games and the other leads to the NES games. It's actually a pretty well done vid on the subject and you can check it out after the break.

    Evidently the video got a bit of traction (despite us not hearing about it for two months) and ocarinahero10 decided to send it into Nintendo to see if he could get a response. They replied with what is pretty clearly a stock response, but that stock response should really put an end to the question of how everything fits together as it read, "there isn't a true frame or reference or time line possible for the series." That's right, it's just a bunch of random adventures without any truly direct ties (well, except for the direct sequels one assumes). There is no time line.

    ocarinahero10 is a little upset about this, but for me it makes sense. The Zelda games aren't about Hyrule and Link and Zelda and Ganon, but what they stand for. As I've discussed before in a previous incarnation, each character and the world in general are just symbols for heroism, knowledge and power. It's these themes that tie the Zelda games together, not an overarching timeline. Still, a bit of me is kind of sad, and is just hoping that Nintendo is pulling the wool over our eyes for some reason.

    For a long time now fans of The Legend of Zelda have been trying to solve a mystery that might seem petty to outsiders but is of vital importance to people who love the franchise with a passion. What's the timeline for the games in the series? Time has been a recurring theme in the franchise for some time now, and the chronology of the games themselves seemed appropriately convoluted.

    This speculation has led to thoroughly reasoned and researched theories like the "split timeline" idea (people who follow this theory are known, naturally, as "splitists"), which proposes that the ending of Ocarina of Time resulted in two different timelines: a "Child Timeline" leading up to the Windwaker games and an "Adult Timeline" leading up to the NES games. There are plenty of alternate theories, and among the people who care about this stuff, it's serious business.

    One of those people, a YouTuber by the name of "ocarinahero10," produced an exhaustive video on the split timeline theory, one that was apparently so authoritative that he decided to send it to Nintendo to get their take on it. What he got wasn't what he wanted.

    Nintendo didn't give him a brief, "you're stupid go away" response, but a statement with a brief summary of these facts: the beginning of Windwaker states that this game's story is but one of many "legends," and series producer Eiji Aounuma (speaking on behalf of Shigeru Miyamoto and others), declared that the Link in each game is a different Link, unless it's made clear that it's not. Nintendo concluded:

    "This means that - unless otherwise specified - each new game represents a new Link and that there isn't a true frame of reference or timeline possible for the series."

    So there is no timeline. Years of speculation, thousands of words of text in argument and speculation, the hopes and dreams of Zelda fans, cast into oblivion by a single sentence. This is why you don't get attached to things you can only speculate on, people. I learned that lesson with Duke Nukem Forever.

    Ocarinahero10 isn't ready to give up, however. He's peeved that Nintendo didn't seem aware of many of the arguments he made in his submitted video, and he seems to think this rebuff indicates that the company has no love for the series or its fans.

    So he's going to fight the power in the way that all angry gamers seem to be doing nowadays: he's made a petition. "If we can get enough names then there's a chance that Nintendo will give the timeline a chance and not abandon Zelda," he wrote. I can understand how heartbreaking it is to see your work go to waste, but I think it's time to let it go.

    Thank FUCKING God, i never got why a Zelda timeline was ever needed.
  2. Law

    Law rip ninjacat that zarcon made me

    Aug 14, 2007
    Because people are obsessed with god damn canon and will make up a timeline in order to complain that a part of the earlier story was retconned in a later game just so they can have something to whine about.
  3. dib

    dib GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    May 1, 2004
    United States
    Assuming Nintendo did give any response at all, that would have been a lie. The games have stated a few references in the past. Zelda 2's story was based around the fact that it supercedes the first game. And I think they did state at one point that Link to the Past was a prequel to the original. The story for Majora's Mask also ties it to Ocarina of Time as a direct sequel, and I think the arching story for the two Oracle games included the fact that it occurs after Link's Awakening. And I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that Phantom Hourglass was connected to Wind Waker (never played the game, so not really interested anyway)

    Yeah, these people are seriously stupid with their obsessiveness, but that doesn't mean Nintendo hasn't developed some kind of linear history in the series. Most normal people don't give a fuck though, and even care less about what some kid on Youtube thinks about it.

    Nintendo's position of denial makes sense considering the poor results they've had in the past trying to develop any of their characters beyond the two dimensional roles contained within their games. Like the Mario movie, for example, where they attempted to resolve the issue of their last name. In fact I would submit that their hands off approach is among the top reasons why Mario is successful while characters like Sonic and Megaman tend to pioneer new depths of suck.
  4. jan777

    jan777 motion control..? srsly? so 2008. 3DS is teh bombz

    Jan 4, 2008

    at least mario doesnt need a time line!

    i've been waitng for the real time line and this...this fuck is what i get?!? BS!!

    /rage off

    i've been playing the series thinking that i was playing the longest adventure game divided into chapters under different names...the this fuck comes up

    /REAL rage off
  5. EnigmaXtreme

    EnigmaXtreme GBAtemp Maniac

    Jan 1, 2009
    Tasmania, Australia
    Ok dude first off calm the fuck down!

    A game dosent need a bloody timelne to be good, the Zelda games are considered by many to be some of the greatest games EVER made! If a timeline did exist, that mans that future games would be restricted in some aspect. A timneline isnt needed, all that matters is the gameplay WHICH FUCKING RULES

    Look pal, it wa y our decision to start theorising a timeline and wasting your time on BS, while OTHER Zelda fans said screw to the timeline theories and just played the fucking games1

    Grow up and stop whining
  6. linkenski

    linkenski GBAtemp Regular

    Aug 6, 2008
    Zelda games reffer to each other in terms of timeline, but doesn't and aren't meant to connect in a specific way. OoT and MM does connect, and WW and PH does too. Otherwise no. Nintendo don't want the audience to think so much over this.
  7. jan777

    jan777 motion control..? srsly? so 2008. 3DS is teh bombz

    Jan 4, 2008
    lol dude, you calm down too,

    i just think they killed the fun...they could have just keeped quiet
  8. DAZA

    DAZA Shaun's Mum

    Nov 5, 2002
    up until now i never thought about the time lines, how it tied in with relation to the characters. It is true if nintendo havnt done this correctly it shows the love isnt for the gamers or the series, just a "money" scheme, i dont what to think about that going down that road, i have always had joy through the years spending many a month completeing zeldas long tangled mysteries in game

    All i can say is Ocarinahero10 im sorry you didnt get the answer you deserved, but maybe you have done something to its future and they may care more in the games to come!
  9. Cermage

    Cermage GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Dec 2, 2007
    Didnt Aonuma come out in an interview and say there is a definite timeline? something about there being a split somewhere.

    i'll stick with the whole legend thing though. the same story interpreted different ways as they were passed down.
  10. Issac

    Issac I

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    Apr 10, 2004
    I'm sorry? How is "not having a timeline and just seperate games" NOT caring for the gamers and just to make money?

    I mean, if it HAD to have a timeline, we'd be stuck on the first game... he saved the princess. end of story.

    geez... making great games not connected to eachother... like final fantasy?... yeh.. JUST TO MAKE MONEY (sarcasm)
  11. Big Kong Boss

    Big Kong Boss GBAtemp Fan

    Aug 17, 2008
    I could have swore I've read an interview telling that there was, but oh well. Not a huge Zelda fan to think about a timeline.
  12. Guild McCommunist

    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

    May 6, 2009
    United States
    The Danger Zone
    Last I heard there's a confidential file at Nintendo HQ with the timeline in it. But seriously, who the fuck cares? Any character who goes from looking like a generic Japanese character to some cell-shaded cartoon obviously doesn't have a timeline. Not to mention most of the games start with a brand new protagonist (while it may be Link, it's not the same Link as another game).

    I'm telling you guys, it's the Song of Time.
  13. Dueler

    Dueler GBAtemp Regular

    Jan 22, 2009
    I don't really care that there isn't a timeline.
    And i won't lie and say i have never tried to connect the games myself.

    But cmon, no connection?

    The legend of zelda aint much of a legend if every story is self contained.

    And forgive me if i'm wrong, but didn't Shigeru himself say in an interview in 1999 or 2000 that OOT was the earliest game? *WHICH PRETTY MUCH KICKED OFF ALL THE TIMELINE BULLSHIT*
    Why would he say that if the other games do not connect at all? Hmmm? Tell me that Nintendo?
    Sounds like Nintendo are just sick of people sending in fan timelines and are just going with the age old Mario scheme of no connection.
    If you ask me, thats what Mario lacks.
    The feeling of connection.

    I mean it's nice to know there will be no more timeline bullshit but Nintendo missed the boat.

    Theres no legend if theres no connection.

    Heres a theory tho,
    Nintendo stuffed up there own timeline, thats why they are saying there isn't one.
    Would also make sense why Shigeru stated OOT was the earliest back in 1999/2000.

    Oh well, as for the 2009 split timeline video, i actually hadn't seen it before this...
    But it was a very very nice effort.
  14. Law

    Law rip ninjacat that zarcon made me

    Aug 14, 2007
    Nintendo have batshit crazy fans, so they think up batshit crazy excuses or dismiss things entirely.
  15. funem

    funem Retro Powered..

    Nov 4, 2006
    United Kingdom
    out of nowhere....
    This so reminds me of the comedy sketch where William Shatner tells Trekkies to get a life... it kinda sums up my feelings on this matter

    I, like most people enjoy each game for its own merits, its the underlying concept and characters that me like the series. I can't see why it needs to link ( no pun intended ) from one story to another. if there were, it wouldnt make any sense ( it would be such repetative a timeline anyway). The proof there need not be a timeline for you to enjoy the series is the fact that you are passionate about the series of games and there has never been an official timeline, proof enough that the timeline or lack of does not impact the enjoyment of the game, as well it shouldnt.

    Each to his own I guess...
  16. yuyuyup

    yuyuyup GBAtemp Psycho!

    Apr 30, 2006
    United States
    USA MTN timezone
    Phantom Hourglass is the direct sequel to Wind Waker, just to be certain. And I think "Spirit Tracks" will be next in the series, but who knows
  17. MeleeMaster500

    MeleeMaster500 GBAtemp Regular

    Oct 5, 2008
    United States
    there may not be a complete timeline (as the game creators of the early games and many others in the series probably didn't care about that at all) but at least more recent games do show progression from other games.

    OOT was followed by majoras mask because it has link looking for navi at the beginning

    Phantom hourglass follows wind waker because he leaves his family to go on adventure with tetra and the pirates

    twilight princess probably follows the events of another link after OOT since zora's domain is frozen just like in link's future

    but then you have all the plots of the earlier games that really didn't mean to be sequels to the other ones and could get away with say... setting the mastersword to rest FOREVER dispite being used in every other game.

    but who cares, zelda games are awesome... unless they're on the phillips CDI
  18. Raika

    Raika uguu

    Sep 15, 2008
    Meh, I didn't even care about it in the first place... [​IMG]
  19. Elritha

    Elritha GBAtemp Addict

    Jan 24, 2006
    Who really cares about a time line and if Link can be connected through out the entire series.

    I play Zelda for fun and the gameplay, it doesn't have massive dialogue like other rpgs games such as Final Fantasy, but that's fine with me. Not that I don't mind a good story. [​IMG]
  20. mkoo

    mkoo GBAtemp Fan

    Aug 30, 2007
    I do. I play most games I play for its story. I think it makes each franchise different from another in same genre.

    It's just an opinion though.