Breath of the Wild Added to the Zelda Timeline

We now know where The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild fits into the series.

Nintendo has finally revealed where The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild falls on the Legend of Zelda timeline. In an interview with Japanese video game magazine Famitsu (via Kotaku), Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma and director Hidemaro Fujibayashi explained that Breath of the Wild occurs many, many, many years after any of the other Zelda games.

While this is pretty obvious given the nature of the game’s story – and the fact that Nintendo representatives have stated in the past that it occurs thousands of years beyond any other Zelda game – it’s nice to see that Nintendo has given the game its official place in the series chronology. 

Still…the official explanation of Breath of the Wild‘s chronological location leaves quite a bit to be desired. When asked which of the TWO parallel timelines the game follows, Fujibayashi answered, “That’s… up to the player’s imagination, isn’t it?” This response will surely be maddening to the most hardcore Zelda fans and historians.

See, there are actually two Zelda timelines. One of them imagines what happens if Link loses to Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time. That version takes us to A Link to The Past. The other version in which Link defeats Ganondorf brings about the events of Majora’s Mask. If you’re confused by all of this, that’s because it makes little sense to anyone outside of (possibly) Nintendo. 

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The point is that it’s not entirely clear which timeline Breath of the Wild adheres to. If we had to guess, we’d say that it occurs in a timeline that is so far removed from the rest of the timeline that it doesn’t really matter which events occurred beforehand. That doesn’t exactly adhere to the Back to the Future theory on time travel (a.k.a. the best theory on time travel) but this is the crazy world of Nintendo we’re talking about. 

To make matters more confusing, director Hidemaro Fujibayashi mentioned that Nintendo is working off of what some refer to as the “New Translation” of the Zelda timeline. What does that mean? Apparently, it means that Nintendo is willing to be flexible with the timeline to the point where it doesn’t consider timeline changes to be inconsistencies, but rather the result of new information that presents itself over time. 

Basically, there are no rules when it comes to Zelda chronology.

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