"Will someone just let me OUT of here?"

Since the day that the Zelda Team forced us to accept the “split timeline” scenario, the most debated aspect of the timeline discussion has been the “Seal War” (or “Imprisoning War” to the Americans). Is this pivotal event in Hyrule’s history as described within A Link to the Past the very same event that we see unfolding in Ocarina of Time or not?

More on this debate after the jump!

Not, says MrMosley of Zelda Dungeon. And he goes on in detail in his excellent essay on the matter on their site. Despite Nintendo’s revisions to the Game Boy Advance release of A Link to the Past which arguably were done to better link the controversial event to Ocarina of Time, MrMosley shows how those revisions did little to affect the actual events which remain distinctly different between the two games, despite their obvious similarities.

However, while it is certainly true that the specific events are not identical, one has to wonder why Nintendo would create a game whose plot is so very close – but not quite – to the backstory told in a previous game unless they had intended it to be said backstory. Perhaps Nintendo simply made a few mistakes? Perhaps they did not expect anyone to pick up on the slight differences? Perhaps, as they’ve said in the past, their primary care is for the gameplay, and story takes a back seat to that? Or, perhaps, they are two separate versions telling the same story, as we have in the legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood?

We want to hear from you! What do you think of the Seal War? Ocarina or not?

Source: Zelda Dungeon
  • Cukeman

    Four Swords Adventures was originally going to be the Seal War – proof that OoT was not despite the "similarites" such as the forgotten Sacred Realm, lost Master Sword, Ganon obtaining the complete Triforce etc. etc.

    • yeah but the sages weren't in it. The maidens are the decendents of the sages and the sages are the ones who did it. So it only makes sense that OoT is that game.

      • Cukeman

        During FSA they decided not to make it the Seal War. Still, the simple fact that they were making a Seal War game after OoT says it all.

  • This was a great article and it really made me rethink all that I thought of in the Zelda timeline, even though I already had it mostly sorted out.

  • GenoKID

    I couldn't call it proof, but FSA does better fit the Seal War story. The "sages" could have been described due to some sort of sexism, it happens frequently. (The ones in FSA were female) In OoT, the only real problem is the condition of the Triforce.

    As for FSA, I've always assumed Ganon pilfers the Triforce from Vaati, who was sealed in the Four Sword, which I assume is a portal to the Dark World. I also assume the "Light Force" Vaati takes in TMC is the WHOLE Triforce (How could he use unlimited POWER if it's the triforce of wisdom?), which Vaati later attains the rest in FS, or FSA.

    Oddly enough, the story of TMC involves a semi deital race presenting a sword and the alleged Triforce to men. In ST, the Lokomo do the same. Anjean sheds light on Zelda's inherited powers and gives Link a sword.

    Penny for my thought: could ALttP fit AFTER TWW?

  • Ender

    Actual accounts of (real world) historical events differ.. when a great event is passed into legend, the events themselves tend to change in the re-telling (like the game telephone).. why should it be any different in Link's (or ALL the Links) world? The fish in WW called the Triforce the "Triumph Forks".. Just an example of how things can change.

    I think Ocarina is the imprisoning war.

    • he called them that because he didn't know what they really were called. He just heard word of it but he didn't hear it well. However, the Ho-ho man atop Outset Island knew what they were called, because he stopped himself from saying it.

      • But Ender's point (and my own as well) is that each Legend of Zelda game has it's own "Triumph Forks" situations. If you view each game as a separate telling of a cycle of legends–rather than a history–you can allow for such small differences that Zelda theorist point to as reason why OoT cannot be the IW.

        It is called The LEGEND of Zelda, after all, not The History of Zelda.

  • Zenon

    The publication of TWW and TP as immediate sequences of OoT (in the Adult and Child timelines respectively) and the related confirmation of the spli-time theory just managed to close the possibilities of OoT story being the IW.

    After all,in the Child Timeline branch iniciated in OoT Ganon was never sealed (just exiled to the twilight realm and later destroyed when he is stabbed with the Master Sword and looses the Triforce of Power), which means that couldn't have existed a Seal War in this timeline to be referenced by ALttP. And in the Adult Timeline branch iniciated in OoT Ganon was sealed, but, as an immediate sequence for this, he broke free and Hyrule was flooded; and considering ALttP takes part in Hyrule, it is impossible for this game to be placed after TWW and, consequently, to make any reference on what happened in OoT Adult Timeline.

    So,the official information contained by TWW and TP contradicted not only the characterization of the older games as direct continuations of OoT, but also an eventual placement of ALttP as immediate sequence of BOTH TWW and TP. And being ALttP a prequel to LoZ and AoL, it is highly probable that the older games cannot be placed in any of the two timelines.

  • Zach

    I always tried to think of the games in order of appearience with the exception of link to the past being a prequel like that stated. When TP came around I thought of the split time line theroy. It made since after that. Everyhting after TP is what has yet to come and everything After WW is the two DS games and what has yet to come from them.

  • Oni Link 404

    They do say that the Imprisoning/Seal War is the events of OoT. But they can't be more wrong. Why? Because in the events of the Imprisoning war Ganon led an army to conquer Hyrule, which is pretty much how it was in OoT. But remember in the Seal War, Ganondorf and his followers discovered the Sacred Realm by accident. In OoT the only entrance to the SR was through the Temple of Time which is connected to the Temple of Light in the Sacred Realm where the Triforce was protected in.

    The Sacred Realm was not protected during that era. Which kind of leaves me to me to believe that the Seal War era in Hyrule was one of the earliest era's in Hyrule, and to come before the construction of the Temple of Time. Also more flaws to this statement. Link was not mentioned at all during the Seal War era except for in the prophecy of the Triforce. Where the sages searched for a courageous individual that could take up the Master Sword to defeat Ganon, but Link was nowhere to be found. So it was the efforts of the Kights of Hyrule and the seven sages/wise men.

    In OoT whene Ganondorf seized the Triforce of Power from the Sacred Realm. And took control over Hyrule. It's most likely that he killed the soldiers of Hyrule , since there are none included when Link becomes Adult Link

  • James

    there are 3 timelines a b c

  • James

    wind waker link no relation to hero of time goes in hyrule c

  • jordan

    I think Nintendo did it like this. They made the game A Link To The Past, but felt they wanted more things to happen in the game. But sadly, since they had already released it, they couldnt change it. Then they made the plans for Ocarina of Time. Since this had the all new 3D gamplay they wanted to make it good. Then they thought " What about stuff we never put into A link To the Past?" They Didnt want to add old things in a new enviroment so the Seal War was reborn. Some things they thought might ruin the game.(searching hyrule for decendents) so lots was left out. Plus some was added and changed. I think Same war, different timline, newer ideas.

  • P.U.B.L.I.C

    I think skyward sword is the story this talks about, its before OOT in which the skyward sword become the master sword. so there has to be the seal war involved because in OOT it was clearly stated that the war happened right before young link began his adventure.

  • thorn96

    Isn't it possible that most of the Seal War took place during the 7 years that Link was asleep, and then he just finished the job, making it look like the work of the soldiers?

  • Legends

    I personally believe what was said on this page here about the different version of King Arthur and such is probably the most likely scenario. It's clear that most Zelda games are not directly connected to each other and may happen many years apart. Each game is probably more of a tale or legend being told, that we (as Link) play through. Take The Wind Waker: there is a legend told of the Hero of Time, yet his age is now uncertain (Link in WW is clearly much younger than the Hero of Time aka. Adult Link from OoT, but he's said to be the same age), and much of this tale is not remembered clearly – to the point that the legendary Triforce is mostly referred to as the Triumph Forks.

    I feel that each game is probably meant to be like a legend, which really explains a lot of the inconsistencies of the series, such as locations. It's even possible that some games may be the same story, but with details rearranged, removed, or added as the years have gone by and people have distorted the tale. These are my personal views, and I will stick with them until something more logical comes up.

    • I like your theory (and not just because it's my own).

      However, I'm not so sure about multiple games telling the same story. I think each game is a part of a large cycle of legends. Consider Homer's The Odyssey and The Illiad. One is a sequel to the other, yet strangely they contain contradictory information in comparison with each other. And then in general they contradict other equally popular versions of those Greek myths.

  • bastian, i've read both of them and dont remember any contradictory information, can you be more specific?

  • BlackLesnar

    You know how some people look down at Zelda Timeline theorists because 'O Mah gawd guyz its jst the saem legind retelded eech tiem geeez!'? I…think that that kind of logic can actually apply here. Ingame of course. Seeing as both FSA and OoT maintain elements of the War, I assumed that they form it together: that either tale was passed down through the generations, and that the similar elements caused the Hyrulean people themselves to accidentally mix them into one another and assume that they were a single event.

    Or maybe it just doesn't matter anymore. The pre-OoT/FSA and OoT-onwards portions of the Legend of Zelda series are so very different – and quite inclusive to boot – that trying to weave them together into a overall narative is like trying to mix oil and water. I wouldn't be surprised if ALttP and all of the other 2D games are ignored by Nintendo whenever they make a new game and fit it into the timeline.

  • Jonathan

    Could it be possible that Nintendo is playing us, making us think theses games have stuff in common when they really don't? I mean, Mario games make references to other Mario games, yet nobody brings those up.

    Yes I am aware of the fact that WW and TP take place after OoT (as well as MM, PH, and ST respectively), and we know Skyward Sword take place before OoT, but that leaves nine games that we have no clue on. My theory is either Nintendo is screwing with us, or they set up the series that it can be interpreted by the player in their own way. Maybe the answer to this question is that the Seal War is OoT and maybe it isn't. Maybe it's just what we want it to be.

    Or maybe I'm delusional.

  • Anoymus

    Well, OOT is likely not, because The ALttP describes the King as commanding the sages to seal the Sacred Realm, where as the OOT King likely didnt know about the Sages. Also the ALttP triforce is unified, were as the OOT triforce is never re-unifed. Also, the Sages in a ALttP are shown as humans or hylians, where the OOT sages are various different races.