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    Breath of the Wild's Timeline Placement Theories (SPOILERS)
    • Hi everyone. I hope you all enjoyed what we saw on Treehouse.

      During my ride on the 6 hour hype train I had a lot of questions. I'm sure at some point during the presentation at least some of us were wondering where on the timeline this game takes place. I really want to hear your thoughts on this. Maybe some clues you noticed or just a gut feeling, let's get some theories rolling!

      My own is that it takes place after Wind Waker, when perhaps the ocean has drained and we see the ruins of an old Hyrule. I'll just bullet point some of my reasoning for this:

      - First and foremost for me, They mention the rebuilding of Hyrule at some point in the event. On the "Hero of Wind & A New World" timeline we see "The Era of Hyrule's Rebirth" and I believe this is the era best suited for such an idea.

      - A Korok makes an appearance (Could be a wink or clue for connections with WW. Or just another recurring race haha.)

      -The game seems to start with Link exiting what appears to be, imo, some kind of stasis chamber. I think it would make sense for someone to be around to rebuild Hyrule after the waters that flooded it inevitably dissipate.

      All right, so not much to go on but that is my theory. What about you?

      (EDIT: I did notice a couple other timeline threads but I wanted to make something that sounds more inclusive of everyone's ideas, especially as time goes on and we get more information. Others seem to suggest one particular timeline to be debated.)

      The post was edited 4 times, last by Tri.Midna ().

    • Hey, Tri.Midna thats a really good theory to the placement of this new game.
      I was also thinking that it could be a sequel to Skyward Sword.
      During the first part of the gameplay [LoZ:Breath of the Wild Gameplay Pt 1], the voice we heard in the beginning of the game trailer tells Link, "Link...You are the light-our light-that must shine upon Hyrule once again."
      Maybe it could be the return of the first Link?
      Given, there is no Hyrule yet in SS. I am skeptical about it because there's also all the blue energy he can use and the monsters who appear to be ruins in the gameplay. Don't forget the Korok appeared in SS too.


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    • Downfall timeline for sure. They put a lot of emphasis on Hyrule being declining and basically gone, which is the same state it was in in LoZ and AoL. They also compared it to the original LoZ a lot, which makes me think it's actually going to be a straight up remake/reimagining of the original.

      As for the Korok, if the Kokiri could turn into them in the adult timeline then they could in the others too.

      If it was after Wind Waker the Master Sword would be in Ganon's head, but as we saw in the trailer it's in the sacred grove.
      "That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up." - Walt Disney

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Reign ().

    • Thanks Hyrulean Army! Unfortunately some information I missed about Link's sleep puts my theory to bed, and while I think the idea of the first Link returning would be utterly fantastic (loved SS story), I don't think we could see the establishment and decline of a kingdom (along with a Temple of Time) in just 100 years ;_;.

      As of now I agree with Reign and the others I've seen say Downfall. This fits much better and the nods to the original Zelda do make sense in that context. I suppose with that in mind this whole thread is basically resolved?

      Thank you so much for responding!

      EDIT: Of course, if anyone has any ideas they want to throw around I'd be happy to read them.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Tri.Midna ().

    • My general thoughts on timeline placement is that this game is very far along on any of the three branches - further than FSA, ST, possibly as far as or further than the original games in the Downfall timeline.

      My reasoning for that is that, true to their promise, this game looks vast, wild, and isolating (though yes there are towns and npcs). It's very evocative of Princess Mononoke in that there's raw natural and magical power being exuded everywhere.

      Another is that Hyrule Castle seems to be a very bad place to be right now, covered in an evil swirling mist, and it's strongly suggested that Ganon is back and it's he who's causing all of this. Not Ganondorf, but Ganon.

      Lastly, the image of the Master Sword portrays it as possibly the most worn and decrepit we have ever seen it, near broken and useless. This suggests a HUGE amount of time has taken place since the sword was last used and restored.

      Honestly, I think this game could be placed on any of the timelines, at the very end. It can be post-FSA in the Child Timeline, with Ganon having come back with a vengeance (or it's a new Ganon) and ravaging the land. It can be post-ST in the Adult Timeline, with the floodwaters having receded and Ganon managing to break free from his stone prison, claiming Hyrule for his own at last. It can even be post-AoL in the Downfall Timeline as the land started to recover, and despite the events of AoL Ganon managed to return.

      Honestly, I'm not sure which timeline it could be on, as there's evidence it could be on any one of them. Each timeline ends with the Master Sword at rest, and having been at rest for multiple games and multiple eras.

      The land is large, dangerous, and dotted with bits of civilization like the DT, and there are references to the landmarks from the first two games (the Twin Peaks).

      There are Koroks, which have strong ties to the Great Sea and the AT, and there is a lot of tech that is evocative of the Tower of the Gods.

      The Temple of Time is well known for starring in the CT and here it is yet again, old and broken, and the music in the trailer has hints of Midna's theme.

      Conclusion: Not sure which timeline it's on per se, but I'm definitely sure it's one of the last on whichever timeline it is on. In order of most to least likely: DT, AT, CT.
    • Fantastic observations Topaz. The specific mention of Ganon and not Ganondorf would have gone completely unnoticed by me had you not said anything. Interesting. Wouldn't that make it the first modern incarnation of Ganon? Assuming he would resemble the classic pigman form more than that beast one from TP. I also hadn't considered the condition of the Master Sword which does look very decrepit. The way they showed it reminds me of the cover on the ALTTP manga that came out a little while ago.

      I like that it's Ganon again. True that given his nature of resurrection and a long passage of time this story could fit anywhere at the end, but yeah DT seems most likely. Seems he's always Ganon during those eras. Likely because they are mostly older games developed pre-Ganondorf...but hey it would keep with that "tradition" in the timeline!

      Anyway, like I said, great post! Thanks for the insight.
    • Swift Sail wrote:

      The part about Link waking up in the "Resurrection Chamber" makes me wonder if we're playing as a new Link or a revived Link from a different timeline.

      Honestly, seeing him wake up from a stasis pod in an ancient sci-fi temple with apparently no explanation for his past or story indications of past memories is already telling enough.

      I doubt this is really Link. Hell, I doubt this "Link" is even human at all. But that's for another time.

      As for the timeline placement - I'm just going to go full crackpot theory and suggest that BoTW's Hyrule is undergoing a space-time continuum error thanks to Ganon's henanigans and we're seeing BOTW' pull a Dark Souls. Hyrule is now in a Lordran-like state with various settings, races, characters and geographical formations across the various timelines are suddenly meeting and forming together in this weird pseudo-timeline of BoTW's Hyrule. Wind Waker koroks and great sea salt minerals, OoT's Temple of Time, TP's Wolf Link, SS goddess statues - we can't pinpoint the exact timeline placement because there isn't one. It's all converging into its own pocket-universe.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by An Hero of Time ().

    • An Hero of Time wrote:

      Swift Sail wrote:

      The part about Link waking up in the "Resurrection Chamber" makes me wonder if we're playing as a new Link or a revived Link from a different timeline.
      Honestly, seeing him wake up from a stasis pod in an ancient sci-fi temple with apparently no explanation for his past or story indications of past memories is already telling enough.

      I doubt this is really Link. Hell, I doubt this "Link" is even human at all. But that's for another time.

      As for the timeline placement - I'm just going to go full crackpot theory and suggest that BoTW's Hyrule has undergoing a space-time continuum error thanks to Ganon's Shenanigans and we're seeing BOTW' pull a Dark Souls. Hyrule is now in a Lordran-like state with various settings, races, characters and geographical formations across the various timelines are suddenly meeting and forming together in this weird pseudo-timeline of BoTW's Hyrule. Wind Waker koroks and great sea salt minerals, OoT's Temple of Time, TP's Wolf Link, SS goddess statues - we can't pinpoint the exact timeline placement because there isn't one. It's its own converging pocket-universe.
      If this is the case and its a way to merge the timelines back together at the end of each of them (and bring back many characters), I'd absolutely love that. But I highly doubt it really is a convergence.


      But who knows? I wouldn't mind them just "resetting" it like this. Basically, a soft reboot. The existing timelines are still there, but this merges them back together into one for future titles.


      I don't buy the "Link isn't human" and "Link isn't Link" aspect. Regardless of what he is, he's definitely Link. And definitely human, he's just being brought back by ancient technology.
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    • the insignia in the spirit orbs we have seen are all of the hylian crest without the triforce, something not seen until SS

      Also koroks came about after WW from the kokiri, if we so much as smell a Rito it is definitely on that timeline. So I thinkit needs to be something post flood, the goddesses have dried up the seas and some shit is going on. Ganon somehow got the sword out of his face and it has been left in a grove, how? No idea.

      I wonder why there is no triforce around on those crests.


      Also yeah I dunno about link... the whole "oh shit i am born an adult" sorta thing seems veryyyyy reminiscent to hero of time. Fun!
    • Alright, so, I have a vague idea on where I think this will go in the timeline. Spoiling because some people might want to be in the dark about some of the stuff from later parts of the stream and all.

      Display Spoiler
      I think this might be a sequel to Zelda 2.

      From the official trailer, it looks like something happens involving Link right before a shot of some kind of evil emerging, which from the monks and stuff in the Shrines I'm guessing is Ganon himself. We know there's this place called the Tower of Resurrection. I'm thinking the demo version, to avoid spoilers, cuts out what exactly happens here.

      My current theory is that Our Hero might be the same Link from the first two games, The Legend of Zelda and the Adventure of Link, possibly sealed away to avoid his blood being used to bring back Ganon, as shown by the Game Over screens from Adventure of Link. For whatever reason, Link is released from his "stasis" and let loose, and maybe something happens outside the Temple of Time that results in his blood getting taken and used to bring back old Pigface himself. Part of it is I like the kind of meta reasoning behind it...if they're going back to the basics and the original games, it fits from a narrative point of view to bring back the Hero from those games to continue his adventure.
    • DoubleDipDelish wrote:

      My prediction is that Nintendo won't give an official stance of timeline placement, and play up the nebulous 'Legend' nature of the story, moving away from the defined timeline given in Hyrule Historia.

      And in the absence of official clarification, most fans will arrive at the conclusion that it falls a long time after Adventure of Link.
      See, I'd be inclined to believe that too. Except Nintendo went out and confirmed Triforce Heroes as being apart of the official timeline as well. They tweeted it was set after ALBW. Why? Idk, but I guess they've changed their minds about each Zelda game being standalone and want to play up their multiverse. 'Gotta Buy'em All!'
    • AllStarNemesis wrote:

      DoubleDipDelish wrote:

      My prediction is that Nintendo won't give an official stance of timeline placement, and play up the nebulous 'Legend' nature of the story, moving away from the defined timeline given in Hyrule Historia.

      And in the absence of official clarification, most fans will arrive at the conclusion that it falls a long time after Adventure of Link.
      See, I'd be inclined to believe that too. Except Nintendo went out and confirmed Triforce Heroes as being apart of the official timeline as well. They tweeted it was set after ALBW. Why? Idk, but I guess they've changed their minds about each Zelda game being standalone and want to play up their multiverse. 'Gotta Buy'em All!'
      No, actually, they promised to answer four questions the fans were asking. One of the possible questions was timeline placement.


      I'm in agreement here. I think they're going to avoid spilling the beans on the timeline. However, I do think they know the timeline placement for this game. I think we'll be able to determine the timeline placement by playing the game, but it might take a while to discover it. (Triforce Heroes was only thrown together for the hell of it anyway.)


      I think they'll show a trailer with major characters in the game at a later point and show off a few towns and basic story details, but otherwise they'll keep everything top secret because they want fans to discover it for themselves.
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    • JaidynReiman wrote:

      AllStarNemesis wrote:

      DoubleDipDelish wrote:

      My prediction is that Nintendo won't give an official stance of timeline placement, and play up the nebulous 'Legend' nature of the story, moving away from the defined timeline given in Hyrule Historia.

      And in the absence of official clarification, most fans will arrive at the conclusion that it falls a long time after Adventure of Link.
      See, I'd be inclined to believe that too. Except Nintendo went out and confirmed Triforce Heroes as being apart of the official timeline as well. They tweeted it was set after ALBW. Why? Idk, but I guess they've changed their minds about each Zelda game being standalone and want to play up their multiverse. 'Gotta Buy'em All!'
      No, actually, they promised to answer four questions the fans were asking. One of the possible questions was timeline placement.


      I'm in agreement here. I think they're going to avoid spilling the beans on the timeline. However, I do think they know the timeline placement for this game. I think we'll be able to determine the timeline placement by playing the game, but it might take a while to discover it. (Triforce Heroes was only thrown together for the hell of it anyway.)


      I think they'll show a trailer with major characters in the game at a later point and show off a few towns and basic story details, but otherwise they'll keep everything top secret because they want fans to discover it for themselves.
      About TriForce Heroes:

      "In a recent interview with Gamespot, the game's director, Hiromasa Shikata said, you play as the exact same hero from A Link Between Worlds. Describing it as "a little unusual for a Zelda game, he said, "Initially, the story starts with the king recruiting hero candidates, and that's where Link steps in. There's a part of me that doesn't want people to come into the game thinking, 'Is he not a hero then? Is he just a candidate?' But I want to reassure people that this Link is the hero that came from the A Link Between Worlds world." "

      About Kuroks:

      "Once upon a time, long ago, the Koroks took on human forms, but when they came to live on the sea, they took these shapes. Now they fear people... but to me, they will ever be my cherished little children."— Great Deku Tree

      They are, literaly, the evolution of the Kokiris to survive the flood so there's no sense on them being in another timeline.
      Also, the Great Deku Tree is dead in Zelda 01 so it leaves another question what are the Kuroks doing now that they don't have seeds to plant?





      PS: Ok I never played AoL but now I searched the world map and most of it is covered in water so it makes sense for the kuroks to have evolved and there are a lot of places that I can see on the BotW map.
    • Koh wrote:

      JaidynReiman wrote:

      AllStarNemesis wrote:

      DoubleDipDelish wrote:

      My prediction is that Nintendo won't give an official stance of timeline placement, and play up the nebulous 'Legend' nature of the story, moving away from the defined timeline given in Hyrule Historia.

      And in the absence of official clarification, most fans will arrive at the conclusion that it falls a long time after Adventure of Link.
      See, I'd be inclined to believe that too. Except Nintendo went out and confirmed Triforce Heroes as being apart of the official timeline as well. They tweeted it was set after ALBW. Why? Idk, but I guess they've changed their minds about each Zelda game being standalone and want to play up their multiverse. 'Gotta Buy'em All!'
      No, actually, they promised to answer four questions the fans were asking. One of the possible questions was timeline placement.

      I'm in agreement here. I think they're going to avoid spilling the beans on the timeline. However, I do think they know the timeline placement for this game. I think we'll be able to determine the timeline placement by playing the game, but it might take a while to discover it. (Triforce Heroes was only thrown together for the hell of it anyway.)


      I think they'll show a trailer with major characters in the game at a later point and show off a few towns and basic story details, but otherwise they'll keep everything top secret because they want fans to discover it for themselves.
      About TriForce Heroes:
      "In a recent interview with Gamespot, the game's director, Hiromasa Shikata said, you play as the exact same hero from A Link Between Worlds. Describing it as "a little unusual for a Zelda game, he said, "Initially, the story starts with the king recruiting hero candidates, and that's where Link steps in. There's a part of me that doesn't want people to come into the game thinking, 'Is he not a hero then? Is he just a candidate?' But I want to reassure people that this Link is the hero that came from the A Link Between Worlds world." "

      About Kuroks:

      "Once upon a time, long ago, the Koroks took on human forms, but when they came to live on the sea, they took these shapes. Now they fear people... but to me, they will ever be my cherished little children."— Great Deku Tree

      They are, literaly, the evolution of the Kokiris to survive the flood so there's no sense on them being in another timeline.
      Also, the Great Deku Tree is dead in Zelda 01 so it leaves another question what are the Kuroks doing now that they don't have seeds to plant?
      There is no evidence of the Great Deku Tree being in Zelda 01 at all. The idea of the Great Deku Tree didn't even exist at the time. There are large dead trees, but it has never been stated any of them are the Great Deku Tree whatsoever.


      Undoubtedly the Great Deku Tree will be an NPC Link can meet in this game.
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