News Article

E3 2014: Hyrule Warriors Not Part of Zelda Timeline, More Like an Avengers Spin-Off

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Oh Aonuma-san, we love you

With a Western release confirmed for 26th September, Hyrule Warriors is likely to be on plenty of Wii U owners' radars. The mashup of Tecmo Koei's Dynasty Warriors with Nintendo's iconic franchise is fairly close, then, and is creating plenty of buzz with the sheer range of playable characters and the level of fan-service on offer.

That fan-service doesn't extend to the infamous Zelda timeline, however, as series producer Eiji Aonuma has admitted to Game Informer. That said, his explanation for the title's 'place' is a lot of fun.

Within the Zelda canon, there is the timeline, but there has always been the sense of the main story and kind of a side story. Like, Majora's Mask might be considered part of that, though it does exist as part of the timeline. With Hyrule Warriors, there is a link between the two, but it exists as a separate dimension, so it doesn't exist as part of the main canon. Lately I have been thinking of it similar to The Avengers.

Each of the characters has their own timeline, so there shouldn't be any crossover there, but maybe they've been brought together as part of that story?

...Maybe if you force it in somewhere, but that's not something we want to do. The universe of Hyrule Warriors really is sort of a different universe and it is connected to the timeline of the Zelda series, but it is connected to several different games throughout the series. If you try and force this into it here [Aonuma places his hands in the air indicating different levels of the timeline], then…that information might not be complete. We really don't want to put it in the timeline because it has links to the different parts of the timeline.

The idea of The Legend of Zelda franchise as an Avengers-style adventure may just make this game that bit more desirable. As for you timeline fanatics, you'll have to argue this one over without any official endorsement from Aonuma-san.


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User Comments (73)



FragRed said:

Already pre-ordered. I don't think I have ever pre-ordered so many games before in one day lol



Tops said:

I'm okay with this. Who cares? Wasn't it always supposed to be a spin-off?



ZurrrrBlattTron said:

LOL Anouma spent too much time in NYC I see I definitely want the game now that this comparison has been made



Toodles said:

That is the most complicated way to say "it's a spin-off" I have ever read. o_o



Hero-of-WiiU said:

I thought it could fit in there. Sure it may seem odd but Four swords itself makes the timeline feel a bit odd.



Montegarde said:

@Decapre To be fair, the Zelda timeline is so much of a cluster-you-know-what that it wouldn't have been a fantastic stretch of the imagination for them to try and squeeze it in somewhere.



shaneoh said:

"I have been thinking of it similar to The Avengers."

Be fair to the game, I'm fairly certain it isn't going to turn out to be an incoherent piece of trash like said movie.



Henmii said:

I guessed so from the tree house footage. I mean: Majora's mask moon in the Twilight realm?! Doesn't make sense!

But maybe I still try to put it in the timeline somewhere!



MadAdam81 said:

"Zelda canon" is a funny phrase to me, as pretty much are remakes, unless virtually each game has a different Link and Zelda.



absuplendous said:

Isn't the Avengers movie canon in the movie universe and not in conflict with the storylines of its characters? It doesn't seem like a very apt analogy to me.

I think trying to apply a timeline to the Zelda games was a mistake, anyway. I don't think it's ever really impacted my enjoyment of any individual game, either. They function fine as standalone stories.



duffmmann said:

I'm glad he said in a different dimension. Obviously I could have argued that myself, but the fact that he puts it out there makes it all the more official. See I wanted this game to be a part of the timeline, but I do get how that stops making sense once characters like Imp Midna make appearances. However, we know that because of how the timeline into 3 at one point, than this means that the Zelda series embraces the idea of the multiverse. So its quite possible from my perspective that this game exists because of some split in the timieline we know of long long ago that may have had to split from theoretical possibilities multiple times just to exist. Makes it a really interesting title in that respect.



SetupDisk said:

A very nice way of saying we are having fun to hell with the timeline nutjobs. Makes me want the game even more now.



sinalefa said:

Good thing I don't really care about the timeline, so I will be able to actually have fun with this game.



LtAldoRaine said:

Actually, all Marvel Studios' movies share a timeline. But still, I like that Warriors is a standalone spin off, so they can just include more things and characters from all the games. Was super happy to see Midna and Wolf Link.



Dpullam said:

I never really considered it to be a part of the timeline in the first place, but this is good to know.



Mega719 said:

I knew this since it was first shown off that this obviously isn't part of the tinelinr but online sources (mostly GameXplain) keep saying it is. Funny hearing a Marvel reference by Nintendo



Mr-DNA said:

"unless virtually each game has a different Link and Zelda."

Good God man, where have you been? The series has been pulling out different generations/incarnations of Link and Zelda since 1991.



randomlypikachu said:

figures you'd mention majoras mask aonuma =w= you tease. also did people really think this was gona be in the time line? o.o



Stubborn_Monkey said:

Hmmm. I don't really know how I feel about this. When I first saw Hyrule Warriors I wished it was non-canon, but just leaving it out of the timeline doesn't feel right. I like to think that there is some sort of order, some cohesion in the Zelda franchise.

It is true that the timeline was already incoherent and contradicted itself in several ways, with each new game release rewritting the story to a bigger or smaller degree... but in the end, you could always come with an explanation of your own (or other's) to reconciliate all the storylines into one big world. Saying "it never happened" feels too cheap.

And sure, I know it's a fictional world and that it doesn't have to make sense all the time, but trying to craft a world is part of the fantasy, part of the fun, as much as talking to that weird vendor in the alley or getting lost in an ancient dungeon.



Hortencio said:

"so much of a cluster-you-know-what." Haha, well said! I guess they're trying to avoid the whole Star Wars conundrum of calling this game canon and that one not...only to backtrack and say nothing is sacred (...unless we say so). I actually agree with @MadAdam81; the Zelda "canon" seems somewhat farcical in that they all (major console iterations, that is) are basically the same recycled story with new incarnates of the same major characters.



argol228 said:

I was thinking they could have easily gone the Warriors Orochi 3 route. "Hi, I'm the goddess of time, I will be making it possible to have any character you want without worrying about why or how. you want achilles fighting demons alongside Ryu Hayabusa...done deal. Lu Bu fighting against joan of arc on top of a skyscraper. too easy."



Einherjar said:

@Decapre Quite a lot of people actually and for good reason.
From early footage, it looked like the game would tell a story only told in a zelda manga. A story before the whole "hero of [...]" mythos was born and with this Link being the one who kicked off the tradition of green clad youngsters saving hyrule to honor him.
But to be honest, it was an even better decision to probably throw that decision out of the window and rather go for more fanservice and include fan favorite characters and enemys from all across the universe without restricting themself to a certain timeline.
At the end of the day, it IS a licensed Dynasty Warriors sibling, just like One Piece - Pirate Warriors was, and that game also had a rather unique way of telling its story that was loosely based upon its source material and rather went for a "we just include stuff that makes the whole experience more fun rather than restricting us to follow the original story as close as possible".



Sir_JBizzle said:

Since it's an alternate universe and all, I think it would be pretty damn sweet if we get to play as Ganondorf.

As far as canon, non-canon concerned, with the mixture of characters and such from the different Zelda games, an easy plot device to explain things could be that Shea, which comes from some alternate Zelda universe, gets corrupted by the Triforce of Power and somehow causes a tear in the Zeldaverse, thus merging all the timelines in the process. Naturally by the end of it order, is restored and all the characters are sent back to their universes. Of course memories of the whole ordeal not intact (but a speck of it still there as if it was some sort of dream) Boom. You've sort of officially placed it in the timeline in a roundabout way.

That's how I would've written it anyways. Of course some of that may already be part of the plan...



rjejr said:

I think this falls on the timeline somewhere between Link in Super Smash Bros Melee and Toon Link in Super Smash Bros Brawl.

Timeline. You people crack me up.



MinecraftGreek said:

I will sadly pass on it now. As soon as this was announced I worried it was a shameless spin off. Now its confirmed. Not my style of game, but would have played if official canon.



Spagem said:

I like the timeline stuff in Zelda, but this doesn't disappoint me at all. There is no way this would be able to fit into the timeline without it being plain stupid.



Emaan said:

Did anyone actually think this was going to fit in the timeline somehow? Lol.



0utburst said:

LOL I agree. Why can't he just say is a spinoff. I'm not getting this game anyway in the first place. At least not day one or at a full price. I knew it would be a spinoff the moment it was announced and saw the gameplay. Kinda like Link's crossbow training although that was part of the canon I believe.



FJOJR said:

So they are along the lines of the dreaded CD-I games but without the horrendous everything of them.



Manaphy2007 said:

i could care less if its canon or not, if its fun then that is what im going for and is why i buy games in the first place, the fun factor though enjoying the story would also count but not the main reason



Manaphy2007 said:

@FJOJR i almost accidentally reported your comment cuz i was trying to make a comment and my mouse decided it wanted to click report instead of reply



Mahe said:

Aonuma is afraid that people will like this more than his Skyward Sword 2.

That "explanation" is a huge incoherent mess.



May_Nyan said:

I love the Zelda timeline and don't understand why anyone would see this as a bad thing.
Not being part of the timeline lets them take stuff from many different games and it's like a celebration of the whole series.



cookiex said:

Honestly I've never been a big fan of the "official" Zelda timeline, mostly because the "failure" timeline explaining ALttP and onward is such bullcrap.

So this can easily be canon in my own made-up Zelda timeline.Untitled



edcomics said:

Avengers is actually a pretty bad example, considering the lengths Marvel has gone to to tie all the relevant films together with a single continuity.



Mahe said:

@cookiex Yeah, it's obvious that Aonuma doesn't like the pre-OoT Zeldas. "Those games only happened if Link DIED in OoT!"



sleepinglion said:

Of course it's not cannon. Geesh!
As a kid who started with Zelda in 1987 I grew up not ever thinking there was or needed to be a timeline. So it's not hard for me to chalk titles like this up to 'fun'. Like the Zelda DLC in the god awful* Sonic Lost Worlds, it's just there to drive sales/be fun.

*I tried really hard to like this one, but they lost me at the cover art. It was just fugly. Again, grew up with Sonic. Loved the oldies and a few of the 3D adventures, but this one just felt hollow, unpolished and desperately wanting to be Super Mario 3D World.



Kaze_Memaryu said:

@May_Nyan For me, a non-canon part of a great game series always feels meaningless. It's lacking a specific spot in the in-universe history and doesn't try justifying anything, instead throwing tantrums and sometimes outright mocking the canon.

I'm absolutely certain that Aonuma could've fit the game into the timeline (or at least one of them) most easily if he tried.

@shaneoh Good to see I'm not the only one bothered with the comparison in the same way. That worthless action-patrio-showoff really doesn't have anything in common with this!



shaneoh said:

How dare other people laud on about how great it is.
Majority of people once thought the world was round, didn't make them right (and if money did make things right a lot of us would be dead wrong about everything we think). There is no accounting for taste

Damn right. (as for fitting it in the timeline)They could have made it the war where the hero didn't turn up (the great sea timeline), won't spoil it any further. Could have easily justified having ganondorf as a playable character, or Impa as a sole lead. Only downside is that you would know how it ended if you had played WW.



Fazermint said:

Ugh, enough with the Zelda timeline already. The games barely have any story, and for each new game they make up a new one (although all of them are basically a retelling of the same thing). The timeline is made up as an afterthought. Don't swallow everything raw just because they put the word "official" in front of it.



OorWullie said:

Anyone who is not buying this just because it doesn't fit into the Zelda timeline really needs to take a look at themselves.Pathetic!



Mqblank said:

@OorWullie Too right. Although, I do know a way to make it fit in the timeline ... at the end of the game, it was all a dream! Nah, they wouldn't do that, would they! wink wink

@MinecraftGreek So you would buy a game that you don't like the look of just because it fits into timeline that doesn't really have any consequence (yet)? I'm going to buy it because I'm a massive Zelda fan and am going to enjoy smashing the crap out of stuff. It's your opinion, I just think you will miss out on a fun pick up and play bash about in a Zelda universe.



rbmoura85 said:

this is would be more fun if it were some kind of timeline chaos happening as a result of the villains magic.



Galvanic_Arcvn said:

I think 'The Secret Wars' would be a better Marvel analogy for the Hyrule Warriors plot, one super-being takes a bunch of characters and locations from across time and space and lets them fight to the death.



19Robb92 said:

Got pretty obvious to me once they showed of Imp Midna & Wolf as a playable character.



larry_koopa said:

Can I just say that out of everything that Nintendo had to show at E3 this year that this title is the one that I am looking forward to the most. I've always loved the Zelda universe (love their characters and stages in Smash Bros. for example) but never actually enjoyed the Zelda games due to the fact that I hate puzzles. Well, this game seems to be absolutely perfect for me: being able to play as Zelda and Midna, fast-paced combat without the hint of a puzzle, and a graphical style that I prefer to the open-world Zelda Wii U? This game seems to be everything I've always wanted. Can't wait!

Oh, and the timeline stuff doesn't really bother me.



Haz said:

@Stubborn_Monkey It's really no different than how Zelda characters are available within the Smash games. These types of games are strictly fan-service games.



ThreadShadow said:

I'm disappointed, but I'm disappointed in the timeline anyway. I think certain fan service characters should have been there 'just for fun' but don't relegate the whole game to non canon.
I too hope you get to play as Ganon.



Genesaur said:

The Avengers isn't a separate canon at all. That's a poor comparison, though I wouldn't expect him to be familiar enough with the Marvel Universe to know that.



c1pher_c0mplet said:

I really hope Hyrule Warriors takes the Zelda series and DW series, merging them into something new and fresh instead of a DW game with a Zelda coat of paint (and judging from gameplay videos, it seems like the latter rather than the former).



BulbasaurusRex said:

Um, that analogy doesn't work. "The Avengers" has a clearly defined place in the timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (between "Captain America" and "Iron Man 3") and is heavily referenced in "Iron Man 3," "CA: The Winter Soldier," and the "Agents of SHIELD" TV show.



BulbasaurusRex said:

@shaneoh Um, doesn't everyone believe the world is round (or an oblate spheroid, close enough) today? Did you actually mean to type that people used to think it was flat (although this was not actually a common belief by Columbus's time)?



shaneoh said:

Well if we are going to be pedantic about shapes then they would have thought the world was a disc, as a flat earth wouldn't explain mountains. I wonder if anyone back then thought they had dug down so far they hit elephant haha. However contrary to what some people believe, human culture extends further back than Columbus' life time.



Melkac said:

@shaneoh Money, great reviews, I don't think the "money doesn't matter" argument can be used here since the reviews kind of back the billion dollar argument up...



shaneoh said:

In regards to the reviews it is as I said, there is no accounting for taste

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