The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, which is set in a rather shabby manner, is a shambles. Instead of a nice simple line, it includes three distinct paths with alternate realities, time travel, and all sorts of wackiness. If you want to read more about the Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, please click here.
The History of The Legend of Zelda
Din, Nayru, and Farore are the main gods in this story. They are the ones who created the world, but afterward, they return to the heavens. The Goddess Hylia takes the people of this remote world and places them in their new home at Skyloft.
This leads to the actual first game on the timeline, Skyward Sword. Link drops down from Skyloft to save Zelda in the land that would later be named Hyrule. He also has to deal with the Demon King Demise, who curses Link, stating that some form of evil will always prey on descendants of Link and Zelda.
The Minish Cap is the next installment in the prehistoric Link evolution. Here, Link recruits the help of Ezlo (who takes the form of a green cap) to defeat the Wind Mage Vaati. Vaati makes a comeback in Four Swords, where Link splits himself into four entities to defeat Vaati again.
The timeline becomes a bit complicated here because the branching paths begin from this game. Ganondorf manipulates the Royal Family of Hyrule into trusting him, although what Ganondorf really wants is the Triforce. Link attempts to open the Temple of Time to grab the Master Sword before Ganondorf can take control, but he is too late. Zelda's last ditch effort to save Hyrule is to toss Link with the titular Ocarina.
After that, the light mage Rauru puts Link into a seven-year sleep. When he awakens in the future, he conquers the five Hyrule temples to finally be able to rival Ganondorf. He is successful at first, but then he must face Ganon's true form at Hyrule Castle.
The timeline of the timeline down consists of three ways: after Ganon is murdered, Zelda sends Link back in time to live out the seven years he was put to sleep. One branch follows Link as he returns to his childhood, the other follows Hyrule's fate.
There is also a possibility that Link will fail in the battle against Ganon. In that situation, a third branch is created where the seven sages seal Ganon away. Therefore, the three timeline branches that emerge as a result of Ocarina of Time are:
- The Child Era: When Link returns to his childhood
- The Adult Era: Where Ganon is slain, but there is no Link to protect Hyrule
- The Fallen Era: Where Link fails to defeat Ganon
Link goes back to the forest to find Navi, his previous companion. Instead, he encounters Skull Kid, who turns him into a Deku Scrub. From there, Majora's Mask unfolds. Within three days, Link mobilizes the four giants to stop the Moon from crash landing on Termina, and Link defeats Majora.
A new Link is born many years after the last episode in Ordon Village. Here, Ganondorf tries to make a comeback with the help of Zant, who comes from the Twilight Realm. This is where the Twilight Princess starts: a captured Zelda and Link turned into a Wolf. He later encounters the same hero from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, who teaches this new Link how to use his sword.
In Four Sword Adventures, a new Ganondorf reincarnation occurs, and this one frees Vaati from the Four Sword. Therefore, Link divides himself into four beings once more to complete this portion of the timeline.
After Zelda sends Link back in time, Hyrule's seal on Ganondorf weakened to the point where he could escape. He then grabs the Triforce, and the gods only response is to engulf Hyrule where nobody can find it.
The next incarnation of Link is born on one of Hyrule's islands. He sails the seas on The Wind Waker in the game of the same name to defeat Ganon and restore Hyrule to its previous glory.
Following that, Link and Tetra (a long descendent of Zelda) go to the World of the Ocean King to investigate missing ships in Phantom Hourglass. Later on, a new Link, with the help of a train, destroys Malladus in Spirit Tracks, closing out this branch of the timeline.
If Ganon defeats Link at the end of Ocarina of Time, the seven sages seal away Ganon in the Sacred Realm. Hyrule then remains relatively calm until the wizard Aghanim emerges and attempts to free Ganon.
Aghanim travels across the land of Hyrule looking for the seven maidens, but Link fails to stop him. Ganon is freed and transforms the whole region into the Dark World. Link therefore must defeat six more temples before he can defeat Aghanim and Ganon at the Pyramid of Power.
Link is forced to play the ballad of the Wind Fish to wake the stranded Link some time afterward. It's revealed that everything was a dream. In the game Link's Awakening
When Twinrova decides to try and bring Ganon back to life (again), they send Minions to capture Din (in Oracle of Seasons) and Naryu (In Oracle of Ages). Link goes to Holodrum and Labrynna to defeat these minions, but ends up defeating Twinrova and a mindless Ganon.
Yuga is sent to a Hyrule that is very similar to the one seen in A Link to the Past. Yuga finds the seven sages and paints them before returning to his homeland of Lorule, where Link is in pursuit, but after Link defeats Yuga, he uses the Triforce to wish for peace to return to Lorule.
Princess Styla is cursed with wearing an irremovable jumpsuit far away, in the land of Hytopia. Three Links are sent to deal with the situation in Triforce Heroes.
Ganon is revived (once again) and makes a play for the Triforce. Now in nine pieces, Link must take the pieces back from the original Legend of Zelda game in Adventure of Link, where Link fights a dark version of himself to obtain the Triforce of Courage.
Each of these three distinct branches of the game has a connection to Breath of the Wild. This is why references to each of these timelines may be seen in the game. Before her capture, Zelda sends Link into a hundred-year sleep. When he awakes, he restores his memories and frees Zelda.
Tears of the Kingdom, the newest installment in the series, will be released in early May 2023. When it arrives, it will be the latest game in the timeline, occurring after all three branches converge.
Want more Zelda news? Check out The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Trailer Breakdown.