Brace yourselves folks: your grey matter and perception of time is about to get seriously twisted. Again.
New Nintendo has a fuller translation of the Legend of Zelda timeline we posted the other day. This has been translated from the Hyrule Historia art book, but as usual remember it's a fan translation so don't take it as 100% gospel just yet.
Does this description clear some things up, or is it still a bit of a fuzzy mess?
We still prefer Dr. Emmett Brown's take on the timeline, mind you.
Branch 1: Link is defeated by Ganon in OoT.
Branch 2: Link comes back from the future in OoT and tells Zelda what’s going to happen, she sends him away.
Branch 3: There is no longer a hero in the future of OoT since Link was sent back.
After Link dies in Ocarina of Time, Ganon obtains the entire Triforce. The Seven Sages seal away Ganon and the whole Triforce as a last resort, but villains with their eyes on the Triforce make for the Sacred Realm, which eventually turns into the Dark World and is filled with evil power. The Seven Sages then try to seal away the Sacred Realm itself, but end up fighting with monsters. This is the Imprisoning War of A Link to the Past.
Now, isn't that much clearer?