News Article

Yes, There Really Is a Zelda Master Timeline Document

Posted by James Newton

No, you cannot see it

There's been plenty of speculation over the years about how all the different Legend of Zelda games fit together: is Link to the Past before Ocarina of Time? Which came first, Minish Cap or Majora's Mask? Despite some outstanding efforts regrettably Nintendo has never informed fans the exact order in which the games happen, if there is even a solid chronology. The good news is that there is: the bad news is you won't find out.

Speaking to the UK's Official Nintendo Magazine, Zelda magnate Eiji Aonuma confirmed that there is a document containing all the answers, but that only himself, Shigeru Miyamoto and Skyward Sword director Hidemaro Fujibayashi are privy to it. He did confirm that Skyward Sword takes place before Ocarina of Time, so those of you who want to guess what wider implications that might have can start guessing now.


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User Comments (71)



Klapaucius said:

I was more wanting to know its place compared to Twilight Princess, and even Wind Waker, but okay



Punny said:

It's nice to know that there's an official timetine. What isn't so nice is that we won't be able to see it. Oh, you rascals at Nintendo...



LordJumpMad said:

Are you trying to tell me, that "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword"
Is a Prequel to one of the Zelda Games?



The_Fox said:

Holy hell, who gives a crap? Does anyone follow the Zelda story arc (and I have to use that pretty loosely) enough to care?

Also, odds are "Yes, it exists but you can't see it" = it doesn't exist.



TJ_Spyke said:

A Link to the Past comes after Ocarina of Time, Miyamoto himself confirmed this in a 1998 Nintendo Power interview when he revealed that this was the official timeline order:
Ocarina of Time
Legend of Zelda
Zelda II
A Link to the Past

He didn't say where Link's Awakening was, but it would have to be after OOT since he said that was first in the timeline. They may have changed it since, but they did share it before.



Golgo said:

Given the frequent shifts in historical age, Link's age, geography and so on, I imagine the 'timeline' to be as convoluted and nonsensical as the very worst Hideo Kojima plotline. Fortunately I don't care. Rescue the princess and defeat evil is always good enough for me.



Meta-Rift said:

I thought it was already common knowledge that there was a timeline.

@10: If only.



TLink9 said:

They don't want to tell you because,
1.They can't figure it out.
2. They don't feel like figuring it out.
3. They want you to make your own therory
My prediction is that
0. The Legend of Zelda
1. Skyward Sword
2. OOT
3. TP
4. Zelda ll
5. OOS
6. A Link to the Past
7.Wind Waker
8. PH
9. Spirit Tracks
The origional is 0 because, it really did not have a storyline to it.



Hokori said:

Majora Twilight
Awakening Skyward
Zelda1 Wind Waker
Zelda2 Phantom Hourglass
4 Swords Spirit Tracks



SilverBaretta said:

@7: I don't know, Nintendo isn't really one to lie about something as looked-into as this.

@10: That would be the single coolest pre-order gift I have ever gotten.



Meta-Rift said:

It's hard to type out the timeline since it splits after OoT. Anyway, this was confirmed a long time ago.



MegaAdam said:

They've acknowledged that the timeline splits due to the events of OoT. One timeline ends up at Twilight Princess, and the other goes to Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. As for the others, I've got nothing, except Zelda II comes right after the original Zelda on NES.



Objection said:

So if no one gets to see it, then it might as well not exist for how much good it does us. Wonder why its so secretive, could make the series more interesting.



Meta-Rift said:

I think the timeline shown in GameTrailers' LoZ Retrospective is pretty accurate (except for Twilight Princess).



Cia said:

They are certainly not lying about this. Aonuma and Miyamoto have talked about the Timeline since OOT, which was propably the game where they started to think about it from the beginning. Before it came only LoZ, LoZ 2, ALTTP and Link's Awakening, which they could have fitted in the forming scheme of timeline easily.



super-nintendo said:

Skyward Sword FTW!!!!! I love love love love love love love love Ocarina Of Time. And to think the 2011 Zelda will be the oldest in the timeline is sooooo interesting.



RonF said:

I think the document is real but also that Miyamoto see no advantage in releasing it as he probably anticipates he will revise it at every new title.



hylianhalcyon said:

@adamical: That was what I was going to say. I believe it was Aonuma who confirmed the Zelda time line isn't linear, due to Link being sent back at the end of OoT. Leaving a Hyrule without Link, which leads to WW, and then the other one having Link go off to Termina, thus a split time line. Other than that I'm not really sure, except for that ST is after PH which is after WW.

Also, some time ago(like years ago, I forget when), Miyamoto confirmed OoT to be the first in the time line. However, this was before Minish Cap, which fits much better to that title. Due to a number of reasons, including no Ganon and the first time in which the hero touts the green cap, which becomes a hallmark of all heroes after.



MetalMario said:

"Yes there is a master zelda timeline document."


"No, you can't see it."

Aw, no...



Philip_J_Reed said:

Definitely still don't believe it.

If it helps others to believe in this document, good for them. All it really does, though, is establish a promise of continuity that games don't (and can't) deliver, so I'm not sure what the benefit is.

Ah well. As long as the games are good, you can tell me you've got all kinds of things stashed in your secret briefcase.



ReddLionz said:

Oh wow. Really confusing but really fun to kind of piece together and try to figure out. Hmmmm....



Chris720 said:

So what's the point in a secret timeline? That makes no sense!

Well my theory is:

Minish Cap
Zelda I
Zelda II
Majora's Mask
Link's Awakening

I wonder if its the same for Mario?



RchUncleSkeleton said:

very funny that they're announcing this now, as they once stated that the series isn't really connected but some elements are just re-used in each game. They said before that every game has a different "Link" and that they're sort of parallel universes. It's funny how they don't have a timeline and they're saying they do, but it's unseen by anyone but some top execs over at nintendo. Don't put any faith into what they're saying, if there's a timeline then there are several contradictions and several plot holes within the series.



Egg_miester said:

thats bull there is no time line or they would have told everyone, and i don't buy the answer" oh we just can't show you or tell you but its real"



Stuffgamer1 said:

Nintendo is huge on secrets in general, so I wouldn't be surprised that they'd want to keep this kind of info as secret as possible. I do think it's a work in progress as they desparately try to keep track of what they've already done as well, making it unsuitable for public release. For example, the problem mentioned in the linked article: Minish Cap is SUPPOSED to be first, yet alludes to Wind Waker within a historical context.

Some parts of the timeline make more sense than others, though. As far as I know, there really shouldn't be any games before Ocarina that have Ganon in them (in theory, anyway). So to me, this news says that Ganon may actually sit this one out...a first for a console Zelda since Majora.



timp29 said:

Its pretty interesting, i think i saw some interesting speculation on youtube once. Essentially the big thing that shakes it up is that ocarina of time branches into two possible stories: Kid link and adult link which each has its own follow on stories. Also, how amazingly epic was wind waker when you find out hyrule is under all that water. They should have made an add on to wind waker where you get to explore the underwater world rather than just go straight to the final boss.

@31 - My interpretation is that it is the same world, but like a reincanation kind of thing. Anyone who has read Wheel of Time (or even some David Eddings) will know exactly what I mean.



TwilightV said:

I thought it was common knowledge that Ocarina was the first game in this "timeline". Of course this means that Skyward Sword is now the first. Really, you should pay no mind to it.



Markystal said:

Should we really care if there is a timeline? Whether or not a timeline exists or not shouldn't really matter. If you really care about a timeline of Zelda so much that you really need to to know, then I don't get your interests in the slightest bit. I play my Zelda games to enjoy the game and the story to come second. So if Shigeru Miyamoto made a future Zelda, that lacked any form of story and didn't fit into this "master timeline", I wouldn't mind because the game play is all that matters. Now, if Zelda games began to lose their quality, a timeline of that would be useful as a means to reminisce over the good old day.



Sakeraf said:

@34 Aw man... skyward sword will suck with no Ganon!
But its probably true, my theory is that the final boss will somehow be linked to the fierce deity and why he was trapped in the mask. Majoras mask really confused me...



LuigiFreak said:

If anyone would talk about the Zelda Timeline it's Eiji Aonuma or Shigeru Miyamoto and not some Nintendo automatic message fail.



Adam said:

They've been saying this for a long time.

Like others, I'm convinced they are simply saying this to please timeline-obsessed fans. If I were Nintendo, I would say there isn't one even if there is because of the embarrassingly terrible job they've done relating the timeline through the games.



DarkEdi said:

It makes sense Skyward is the origin because the skyward sword later becomes -------- sword.



warioswoods said:

I have a document that explains how all major religions fit together to form a complete system, but I can't show it you.



WhiteTrashGuy said:

Link is just being constantly reincarnated. I am sure that some of the games do connect and are in fact the same LInk. But WINDWAKER showed that every 1000 years the Hero Of Time must be reborn.



jkshaz said:

They won't let anyone see it because guess what.......It doesn't exist!



Token_Girl said:

Another question regarding the timeline is are the Capcom produced games; Minish Cap, Oracles of Ages, and Oracles of Seasons; considered canon? If Miyamoto and co. never let Capcom in on the timeline, they may not fit in at all. Would resolve the issue of where those games go, at any rate.



IanUniacke said:

If there is no ganon, it is NOT a legend of zelda game.

also as per the timeline it is quite simple:

LoZ -> Mario -> Metroid



Tasuki said:

I always thought the timeline for the first 5 was:

1.) Legend of Zelda: OOT (Because it tells the backstory of Ganon
2.) Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Because it tells the Story of Ganons first attempt to break the wisemen seal).
3.) Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening (Because its the Link from Link to the past)
4.) The Legend of Zelda
5.) Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

After that I lost track of the newer ones especially with all the gameboy ones since I had no way to play them at the time. Also I didnt play the disgrace that was WIndwaker and I have yet to play Twilight Princess.



Zak_Canard said:

Well if Nintendo are going to be selfish like that, I won't show them my take on the timeline document



JGMR said:

I've read about this some years ago that it was 'somewhere hidden on a computer in their offices', and i find it very strange that it is 'kept so secretive'. Maybe it is up to us gamers, to fit the pieces together ultimately. The Metroid-series has a time-line too which is mostly known now by gamers. Does Mario have a timeline too, from the baby-mario to what, the paper mario?! Would be odd.



Chris720 said:

Hmm... I don't think this timeline thing makes any sense. As Nintendo make more Zelda games, it may make more sense, but the problem is where do you place that new game in the current timeline without completely messing it up?

The only way to put the game in is to see what happens at both the start and finish of the games. And Skyward Sword seems to mess this timeline up in some respects.

And since Nintendo didn't set it in a proper timeline, one after the other, but instead made it random, it makes it far more confusing, but also more interesting...

I wonder if Nintendo is still confused on this supposed timeline, and thats why they won't show it.



JimLad said:

I'm sure they only place the games in a point in Zelda history now for the fans.
They probably just want to make a great game, and to hell with how it fits into the series, almost like Mario games.
That's why it seems such an enigma, it was never planned to be a continuing story, or saga, or whatever you want to call it. But the hardcore fans want that to be the case, so they try to link them together in a way that doesn't really fit.



fishman100 said:

SS before OoT?
I guess that means I'll be reading Zelda Dungeon's article about the Seal War again soon.



Cia said:

"I have a document that explains how all major religions fit together to form a complete system, but I can't show it you."

Those are a lot easier to fit together than Zelda games



AVahne said:

If this is before Ocarina of Time, then of course it's waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before Twilight Princess and Wind Waker.



Faildude said:

I read a really believable timeline on .
According to the author's deduction, there are 2 timelines.

The first timeline is the timeline that plays after Link became adult Link in OOT.

The second timeline is the timeline where Link became young Link again.

(+ means direct sequel, - means you play in another time)



plankton88 said:

Its nice to know that the games aren't just random, but I hope that they do release this info some time. Even if its years away.



Mike1 said:

@34. Stuffgamer1
Yeah if SS comes before OOT, then Ganon shouldn't be in it. Maybe they will explain about that great war that was mentioned in OOT when Link was talking to the Deku Tree Sprout after the Forest Temple.



Bassman_Q said:

Meh I just think that every Zelda game (except for sequels like Majora's Mask or Phantom Hourglass) is wholly unrelated to previous installments, just that each of the games are a different re-telling of the same Legend.



TheAmazingRaccoon said:

OoT is the only one that doesn't have a legend of a hero in it so it has to be first. It was in thoery the first time that ganon was defeated. So that must mean that skyward sward doesn't have ganon in it if it is before OoT.



ZeldaFTW said:

My theory is:

The Minish Cap
Skyward Sword
Ocarina of Time-------------------------------------------------------------
Majoras Mask
Twilight Princess The Wind Waker
A Link to the Past Phantom Hourglas
Link's Awkening Spirit Tracks
The Legend of Zelda The Oracles
Zelda ll

That's all I've guessed. And the reason they won't give us the timeline is because it would always be changing with the new Zelda games popping up. So the only way they would show us is if the Zelda seires was put to an end. Pleass excuse me for saying, "Zelda seires...put to an end".



Der_Eisenkaiser said:

They will probably release it with the 25th Anniversary celebration package for The Legend of Zelda series that they are supposed to release later this year.



Bliquid said:

To all who say "who cares", why do you even post here, then?
The point of dialogue is dialoguing, so saying you don't care about the topic you write posts in is pretty silly.
Aside from this trivial matters, i'd be kinda curious about the true series timeline.

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