The Legend of Zelda's Timeline is Revealed (With Tears of the Kingdom)

The Legend of Zelda's Timeline is Revealed (With Tears of the Kingdom) ...

The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia is a tangled mess. Instead of a nice simple line, it offers three distinct directions, alternate realities, time travel, and other wackiness. However, now is the time to get a quick overview of Zelda's history.

The History of The Legend of Zelda

The goddess Hylia takes the people of this ravished world and puts them in their temporary home high above the ground. Skyloft is the first name for the gods that created the world.

This brings us 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 dubbed Hyrule. He also has to deal with the Demon King Demise, who curses Link, stating that some incarnation of evil will always prey on descendants of Link and Zelda.

The Minish Cap is next on the agenda, as Link recruits the help of Ezlo (who takes the shape of a green cap) to defeat the Wind Mage Vaati. In Four Swords, 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. As for what is seen in Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf tricks 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 Ocarin

After that, the light mage Rauru puts Link into a seven-year sleep. When he awakes in the future, he conquers the five Hyrule temples to finally be able to face Ganondorf. He is successful at first, but then he must face Ganon's true form at Hyrule Castle.

The timeline down to this point is divided into three paths. After Ganon is murdered, Zelda sends Link back in time to enjoy the seven years he was left to sleep. One branch follows Link as he returns to his childhood, and the other follows Hyrule's fate.

There is also the possibility that Link will lose the battle against Ganon. In this situation, a third branch is created where the seven sages seal Ganon away. Thus, the three timeline branches that result from 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 travels the forest to find Navi, his previous companion, and encounters Skull Kid, who transforms him into a Deku Scrub. From there, Majora's Mask's events begin. Within three days, Link enlists the help of the four giants to prevent the Moon from crash landing on Termina.

A new Link is born in Ordon Village many years after the previous one. Ganondorf tries to make a comeback with the help of Zant, who comes from the Twilight Realm. This is where Twilight PrincessStars: a captured Zelda and Link become a Wolf. He later encounters the same hero from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, who gives this new Link advice on how to use his sword.

Fast forward many years later. Ganondorf gets reincarnated, and this one liberates Vaati from the Four Sword. Thus, Link splits himself into four beings again in Four Sword Adventures to close out this part of the timeline.

After Zelda sends Link back in time, the seal on Ganondorf weakened to the point where he was able to escape. He then grabs the Triforce, and the gods only respond by flooding Hyrule where no one can find it.

The next incarnation of Link is born on one of Hyrule's islands, and he sails the seas in the game of the same name to defeat Ganon and restore Hyrule to its previous glory.

After that, Link and Tetra (a long descendent of Zelda) go to the World of the Ocean King to look for missing ships in Phantom Hourglass. Later on, a new Link, with the help of a train, defeats Malladus in Spirit Tracks, ending this branch of the timeline.

If Ganon defeats Link at the end of Ocarina of Time, this third part of the timeline occurs. Ganon is sealed away in the Sacred Realm by the seven sages (with help from Zelda herself). Hyrule then remains relatively calm until the wizard Aghanim intervenes and attempts to free him.

Aghanim goes across the land of Hyrule looking for the seven maidens, but Link fails to stop him. Ganon is liberated and transforms the whole land into the Dark World, forcing Link to beat six more temples in the Pyramid of Power.

Link is stranded on Koholint Island some time afterward. With the help of Marin, he plays the Ballad of the Wind Fish to wake said Wind Fish. After a fight with Nightmare, it's revealed that everything was a dream.

Twinrova decides to try and bring Ganon back to life (again) and 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 killing Twinrova and a mindless Ganon.

The mysterious Yuga is sent to a Hyrule that is very similar to the one seen in A Link to the Past. Yuga discovers the seven sages and paints them before returning to his homeland of Lorule, with Link in pursuit. However, Link later learns that Hilda (a dark version of Zelda) sent Yuga to seek for peace in 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 several years later in Hyrule. Link must now take the pieces back from the original Legend of Zelda game in this part of the timeline that ends with Adventure of Link, where Link fights a dark version of himself to get the Triforce of Courage.

Each of these three different branches is linked to Breath of the Wild. This is why gameplay references to each of these timelines can be seen in the game. Before she captures Zelda, Zelda sends Link into a hundred-year sleep. When Link awakes, he recovers his memories and frees Zelda.

Tears of the Kingdom, the latest installment in the series, will be released in early May 2023. When it arrives, it will be the third game in the series to arrive after all three branches have converged.

Want more Zelda news? Check out Pro Game Guides for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Trailer Breakdown.