Breath Of The Wild's New DLC Has Fans Debating The Zelda Timeline Again

Breath of the Wild's new DLC offers another hint as to where the game fits on the Zelda timelines, and in doing so, also raises more questions than it answers.

The new DLC comes with new costumes for Link. (Ever wanted to dress like Tingle? Well here's your chance.) In order to find where these costumes are located, you're given a series of riddles.

If you want to find Midna's Helmet, an item from Twilight Princess, the game references a princess of twilight, "whose stories are handed down alongside those of the Hero of Twilight". This seems to be pretty concrete evidence for the events of Twilight Princess being canon in Breath of the Wild, and that game taking place in the same timeline at Twilight Princess, right? Well, not exactly.

The main division in the timelines is caused by Ocarina of Time. In Ocarina, Link travels back in time to warn Zelda about Ganon, causing a split timeline. The timeline where Zelda was warned by a child Link is referred to by fans as the Child Timeline, and contains Twilight Princess. The one where Link has seemingly disappeared, because he went back in time, is called the Adult Timeline, and contains Wind Waker. Breath of the Wild has lore that refers to both these timelines.

As redditor Psychobeans points out in the r/Zelda thread about the new lore, the Divine Beast Ruto is named after a character from Ocarina of Time, who is explicitly said in Breath of the Wild to have awakened as a sage. Ruto's awakening as a sage could only have occurred in the Adult Timeline, as in the Child Timeline, Ganon was revealed as evil before he ever became a threat, necessitating the awakening of new sages. And if the game takes place in the Child Timeline, how does that account for Koroks and the Rito, who both have only appeared in Wind Waker?

YouTuber Macintyre also says in a video addressing the new DLC items that these items are said to have come from Hyrule palace, meaning that they had a cultural significance to the Hylian royal family. These items include the Phantom Armour, which comes from The Phantom Hourglass, which is in the Adult Timeline. By the game's own lore, the royal family would have to have known about the events of Phantom Hourglass in order to find this armour significant enough to save throughout the years.

The Zelda timeline has long been more a fun thing for fans to argue about than anything concrete, and these new pieces of lore haven't changed that. At the end of the day the canonicity of DLC items in Breath of the Wild just ads another wrinkle to an already tangled timeline. It does still leave room for my personal favourite theory: Breath of the Wild takes place so far in the future that the timelines have somehow merged. I'm crossing my fingers for the unlikely chance that Nintendo ever confirms that one.


Comments

    I do feel that people read too much into the zelda game timeline and that it should be more loosely followed in the same way a series of tales have been told but some of the details have been lost due to time. But if I had to side with a theory I would say that its the twilight princess timeline due to all the references (its referenced way too many times otherwise). As for koroks and rito it can be argued that breath of the wild is set so far in the future that they have had time to evolve (ie breath of the wild is the same distance in time from ocarina of time as wind waker was just in a different parallel timeline) and in wind waker it is said the reason the koroks changed form was so they would be safer in the more dangerous sea due to gannon escaping and the hero not showing up which is pretty much the same thing that happened in breath of the wild ie long ago hero failed and gannon got out so its a more dangerous world. The only thing that causes problems is the phantom armour which could either be written off as just a nice easter egg due to it being dlc or you could say the royal family knows about the phantoms but it is in a far away kingdom and hasnt had the ds game events happen to it

    Didn't one of the cut scenes refer to 3 incarnations of Link? I watched the scene last night as it was one of the lost memories. Memory 1 or 2 off the top of my head.

    Or, you know, they're just nice references to other Zelda games.

    I just wish you would stop posting articles about the Breath of the Wild DLC Expansion Pass for The Master Trials it's really giving a me a headache I'm not getting The Master Trials DLC pack I'm actually going to get both DLC packs in a bundle both The Master Trials and The Champions Ballad I'm not saying it again stop posting more articles the Breath of the Wild like I've heard of dozens of times.

      If I understand what you're saying (and I'm not sure that I do):
      I'm actually going to get both DLC packs in a bundle both The Master Trials and The Champions Ballad
      The DLC is already bundled. You pay now, download the first one immediately, get the second one on release.

      Beyond that, well, I think you're unlikely to get your wish that they stop talking about Zelda DLC. Cos it's a pretty popular game, and it's the latest news about it. Sorry.

    Oh boy. These costumes are fan-service, not canon. >_<
    The fact that Twilight Princess is directly referenced in a cutscene should prove that Breath of the Wild is undoubtedly in the child timeline. But 10,000 years later. Think about that length of time for a moment. What do we currently know of our history 10,000 years in the past...? Bugger all, that's what!

      We have archielogical data going back several times as far. We know what people were doing, what they ate, where they lived. We've traced the movement of our species all the way back to its origins, and mapped the dissipation and localised variation across the planet.

      If you want more detail i guess yeah, we're kinda stumped for a written record older than 5000 years, but that's because of the limitations of our technology (to create written language). If we had been writing 10000 years ago we'd probably know about it now.

        All the way back to our origins huh? I think you need to go back to school.

    I just assumed that Breath takes place so far the in the future that all the timelines have converged. It works for me.

    Timelines don't converge...

      Kind of a weird thing to say with such certainty. Fiction, by its very nature, is contrived. So why is it impossible for an entirely hypothetical unproven phenomenon like split timelines to converge in the far future, especially in regards to a fictional universe?

    There's not even a discussion anymore. The game takes place in the Child Timeline before Four Swords Adventures. Just watch this video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0j9GHc8bb8

    It's like the go to video now and it accounts for pretty much everything for and against the Child Timeline.

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