Zelda's Boss Offers a Giant Disclaimer over "Official" Series Timeline

Illustration for article titled emZeldas/em Boss Offers a Giant Disclaimer over Official Series Timeline

When the "official" timeline for The Legend of Zelda series was first published in a Japanese book, I warned you.


"Be warned...Nintendo may later own up and say this isn't the super-secret official timeline they've been guarding with their lives for decades", I said. "This may be just an 'interpretation'. Or something".


Turns out that was a healthy dose of scepticism, because translations of less sexy parts of the same book reveal that Zelda overseer Eiji Aonuma has thrown up some pretty hefty disclaimers over the canon of the timeline.

Chapter 2, "The Full History of Hyrule," arranges the series in chronological order so it's easier to understand, but from the very beginning, Zelda games have been developed with the top priority of focusing on the game mechanics rather than the story. For example, in Ocarina of Time, the first installment of the series I was involved in, the main theme was how to create a game with pleasant controls in a 3D world. Or in the DS game, Phantom Hourglass, the focus was having comfortable stylus controls. Finally, in the most recent game, Skyward Sword, we focused on an easy way to swing the sword using the Wii motion plus.

Thinking of that way of developing the games, it may be correct to say that the story is an appendix to that. I even think that setting Skyward Sword as the "first story," was merely a coincidence.

While reading over "The Full History of Hyrule," it's possible that some parts may look contradictory. For instance, the Mogma race or the beetle item that appear on the very first story do not appear on any other game that takes place in the future. I'd like to ask everyone just to enjoy the book and to be broad-minded, and to think that those parts are the way they are because of the way Zelda games are developed.

In other words, it's a timeline, sort of, but only in so far as it's what they've thrown together and casually arranged after the fact. So those people stressing out over why some parts fit the provided chronology and some parts don't, relax!

The translation was helpfully provided by Glitterberri, who is also diligently working on translating the rest of the book page-by-page as well. You can check it out at the link below.


Pg. 238 & 239 – Eiji Aonuma on Completing the Edition [GlitterBerri]

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Why the fuck is there a timeline? This is my biggest gaming annoyance... OF ALL TIME. Zelda doesn't NEED a timeline. And the reason it doesn't need a timeline, is because there CLEARLY ISN'T ONE. The series is about as coherent as grandpa at Christmas. There is NO chronology at all. They might like to think there is, but there isn't, I'm sorry.

The only games that have any relevance to eachother or OoT and MM, everything else was just a random Zelda game that Nintendo (or the fans) decided MUST follow some sort of timeline that doesn't exist. They're just individual games that occasionally (rarely) have some similar features, names, characters etc. And that's NOT to create a timeline, it's just because it's nice to see a name or a place that's been in a previous game. It's the same as how all Final Fantasies have moogles or something, they're not in a timeline, and neither is Zelda.