Breath Of The Wild Gets Official Placement On The Zelda Timeline, But There Are Shenanigans

Breath Of The Wild Gets Official Placement On The Zelda Timeline, But There Are Shenanigans
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Since The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came out in March 2017, fans have been dying to know where it fits on the series’ official timeline. Now, Nintendo has provided an answer — sort of. Breath of the Wild is way at the end, but it isn’t connected to the rest of the timeline. In other words: Shenanigans!

It was always obvious, based on the setting and story of Breath of the Wild, that Link’s latest adventure took place after all the others. The problem is that the Zelda timeline diverges after Ocarina of Time.

One timeline, where Link loses to Ganondorf, takes the series into Link to the Past. In the timeline where Link wins, we diverge again, this time going into Majora’s Mask for child Link and Wind Waker for adult Link. (If you want to really go down the rabbit hole of Zelda lore, click and enjoy.)

So the big question was always: Which timeline does Breath of the Wild conclude?

Nintendo’s answer is: All three? Maybe?

Instead of connecting the newest Zelda game to one of the timelines, Nintendo has just stuck it on the end:

The Japanese magazine Famitsu asked Nintendo what the deal was, and (as translated by Siliconera) both Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma and Breath of the Wild director Hidemaro Fujibayashi punted:

Eiji Aonuma, series producer: “Well of course it’s at the very end. But, I get what you’re asking, it’s which timeline is it the end of?”

Hidemaro Fujibayashi, director: “That’s… up to the player’s imagination, isn’t it?”

Shenanigans! Shenanigans! Aonuma and Fujibayashi added that the Zelda timeline is constantly changing, and that they see this not as changing the canon but as “new information and truths” being discovered.

Get this: Nintendo has also altered the timeline to place Link’s Awakening before Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons. More shenanigans!


  • I, for one, would like to congratulate Breath of the Wild for narrowly beating out Final Fantasy IV for 64th place in the ResetERA Top 101 RPGs of All Time. #SoNotGOAT

      • Not hurt, just could never understand why people were going on about it being the best thing since sliced bread. Satisfying to see that they appear to be a vocal minority.

        • Or, you know… maybe people who self-describe as RPG fans on a website that until now I’d never heard of, just don’t rate it as an RPG.

          I can tell you now that OOT is my very favourite game of all time, and if you asked me what genre it is I’d say “action RPG” or something, but if you asked me what my top-10 RPG’s of all time are I wouldn’t include it.

          BOTW is an action game even more so. Nintendo calls an RPG because it comes from a lineage where it was once a fairly traditional RPG series, but if you classified it as a standalone title it’s little more of an RPG than something like Uncharted or the Last of Us.

          BOTW was still plenty of people’s best game of last year, so I’d suggest that your satisfaction is based on a shallow technicality and that you should resume tending to your injured butt.

          • You should check out ResetERA (which split off from NeoGAF for reasons). Some great threads there. They specifically allowed any definition of RPG to be included in voting. People included Horizon Zero Dawn, for example. So it was quite clear that Zelda was allowed. Maybe you have a point if Zelda fans who aren’t RPG fans didn’t vote at all. Also, yeah, take this poll as you will. Nothing is definitive. It has whatever importance you ascribe to it.

        • *chuckle*

          Does that minority include about every outlet covering games including this one? You don’t have to like it. Everyone else did though.

          • I don’t count outlets because they get caught up in the hype. It kind of goes with the territory.

          • So you combed the internets until finding a community which appraisal of the game is similar to you, then decided that it was, somehow, the only truly unbiased one and its metrics the conclusive “evidence” that your opinion is in fact, a fact?

          • No, I don’t conflate opinion and fact 🙂

            This community has over 40,000 members, so I think it’s a pretty fair representation of gamers, particularly those who would be classified as ‘passionate gamers’ (to borrow a term from Riot Games).

            Finally, I’ve been a member of ResetERA since it started, so I wouldn’t say I combed the internet to find something to back up my opinion.

        • I have no opinions on BOTW but I really don’t think you should be using ResetEra as any kind of measuring stick besides “communities you should avoid”.

          • Well, everyone’s got an opinion. I enjoy reading the threads on both ResetERA and NeoGAF. There are people on both forums who could behave better 😛

  • Ahhh, the Zelda timeline. So much fun to speculate it but there’s definitely a lot of ‘make it up as we go’. ‘Shenanigans’ is the perfect word for it.

    • Oh they don’t shy away from this. They have openly stated they make something fun, then add a story to it. It’s never the main thing like many western games.

  • not really a fan of this kind of answer for any story in any kind of medium. It irks the hell out of me when specific details are given to a question but the end result is a vague shrug. If you’re going to go out of your way to release an official timeline, then confirm the game is in the timeline it just seems kinda lame that the final question of its place is just “…imagination?”.

  • I watched The Game Theorists video on this last year and they make a pretty solid case that its set at the end of the failed hero timeline.

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