Official Legend of Zelda Timeline [ article ]

I know this was first posted a while ago, but some of the recent posts pertaining to The Legend of Zelda and the simple fact that a lot of you may have not ever actually seen this persuaded me to show it here.

Funny thing is that I made my own guess at The Legend of Zelda timeline five years ago. I actually think I did a fairly decent job for the time. There are glaring mistakes, but I did contemplate a timeline where Link lost and Ganon was victorious. So I should get bonus points for that at least.

There is a larger version of the timeline available if you click the image.


  • dvdwinter9

    where are the cdi games?

    • CDi games…

      In the middle of “round two” of my own “By Timeline” Zelda marathon session (like since Skyward Sword has a hard mode, and Ocarina has Master Quest, at least the Adult and Child timelines get a full play), so on my way through Ocarina for the Adult timeline right now.

    • The Man in Black

      Ah, you took my thunder. But yeah, this.

    • yarg

      cdi games not made by Nintendo, so not canon in story line

      • Marcus

        That’s a boring answer.

        • Brad G

          The cd-i games took place before this timeline.

          That timeline is titled “Legend of the Gods and the Hero of Dodongos”

          After the events took place in the cd-i games the Gods realized what a terrible and wretched place had been created. Soon after, all of the Old World was destroyed. Unable to cope with their memories of their creation and the guilt of dooming an entire planet, the Gods promptly got the hell out of Hyrule, taking the Heavens with them.

          However, they forgot three of their kids on top of their cosmic cars and the children fell off while speeding down Highway I-Koridai. The three children grew up over the rise and fall of many suns. Once they realized they were living forever and had magical powers (they were pretty slow in the head), they started this timeline with the re-creation of the Heavens and Hyrule and their creations eventually gave them the names we know today.

          Nintendo deemed this explanation too realistic and believable to be included in the series’ public canon. But it’s there, deep down in the archives of Nintendo. Along with the frozen head of the guy who invented the virtual boy.

  • David

    I’d love to see a game try and bring the timelines back together. It’d be a hell of a gimmick switching between three different graphic styles for the majority of the game and then introducing a fourth unified style for the end.

    They’ve got to have thought about it. Three timelines. One created by the Triforce of Power (Ganon wins through power), one created by the Triforce of Wisdom (young Zelda prevents it all with knowledge), one created by the Triforce of Courage (adult Link’s courage allows him to win).

    • Triaxx

      That’s the best idea I’ve heard for a Zelda game in a long time.

    • So long as it’s not like Sonic Generations…[]

      • David

        It’s all about the slightly greener Tunic. =P

  • Walter44

    I find it rather funny that the events of the first game only take place in a world where the hero of time failed to defeat Ganondorf…

  • Makes more sense thank Link to the Future.

  • Armane

    I still prefer the two timeline theory, since it doesn’t conflict with established in game events. Such as, Link not recognizing Zelda in the Oracles (it’s a different Link), Four Swords Adventures taking place directly after Four Swords, and the Four Swords Trilogy in general being canon requires too many fudges.

  • Pie

    Chronology is a funny thing in video games. Even if direct sequels reference earlier games, there’s often no explanation of the mysterious disappearance of all the health upgrades and tools. This is true in Zelda as well as Metroid and Mega Man (and probably a plethora of other titles). In fact, the only sequel I can think of where you actually start off with every ability obtained in the prior game is Banjo-Tooie.

    Honestly, all this talk of timelines is rubbish, even if it is Word of God. The Zelda games are no more connected chronologically than the Mario games, and there’s no timeline for Mario… right?

  • The Game Master

    I’m not accepting this at all. It makes sense that the timeline splits in two because of time traveling shenanigans. The adult timeline is already a sort of a hero fails timeline. I’d say this isn’t actually that super secret document miyamoto and Aonuma have.

    • Kira

      I don’t think you can refute this timeline since, it’s… y’know… the official one released by Nintendo. Say whatever you want, but they finally came out and said “Hey look, since Skyward Sword is the first game in the series Zelda series (again), let’s eliminate the confusion and give you guys an overview of what the timeline looks like”.

  • Confused

    No, I don’t get it. I mean, Link to the Past’s story begins with something along the lines of, “Ages ago, 7 wise men sealed Ganon in the Dark World.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t that seem like EXACTLY what happened at the end of Ocarina?? Doesn’t it make more sense for the original timeline to occur after Adult Link is successful in OoT? Plus, Ganon conquered Hyrule in OoT… sounds an awful lot like a war to me, a.k.a. the Sealing War…. Somehow, the world randomly being destroyed by an as-yet unshown appearance of Ganon seems a bit more farfetched than saying Wind Waker’s timeline occurs after Link is defeated in OoT. Even though it’s canon, I’m not buying this timeline. It makes no sense. I reject your reality, and assert my own.

  • PrinceJonathan

    I just thought of something. Link to the Past takes place in a timeline where Ganon won. He has the Triforce, Power, Wisdom, and Courage, the whole thing! The power of the gods is at his fingertips. So how was he sealed in the first place if he had the all powerful mcguffin? He could have gotten the Triforce after being sealed, but still if Ganon had the Triforce that should have been it, nothing should have been able to stop him. But the Link of LttP still did it…somehow a little elf boy is more powerful than the golden power of the gods.

    Link must be an incarnation of an even greater god, like Tenchi Masaki or something. I mean if they’re going to retcon Zelda as the goddess Hylia (I thought there was only Din, Nayru and Farore) why not.

    • Maybe Nintendo will be adding a new game that will fill in that timeline gap.

      • PrinceJonathan

        Ok but if they give Link a Lighthawk Sword I quit.