Long before the Hero of Time. . .

Zelda fans love to debate the timeline. With each new game comes gradual statements by Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma about the title in question’s placement in the timeline. Sometimes, when these statements are made early in development, they are rescinded with newer and more concrete statements. Sometimes they are woefully mistranslated leading fans down the wrong path, as evidenced by the infamous Wind Waker “one hundred years” truly being “hundreds of years.”

However, as close as we are to the release of Skyward Sword, Mr. Aonuma’s new interview with Official Nintendo Magazine places Skyward Sword exactly where many of us have been certain it must be: pre-Ocarina of Time.

More details on this exciting matter after the jump!

While this certainly will come as no surprise to most of us, it will put a kibosh on some of the stranger early theories going around out there; one of the most interesting (and now provably wrong) ones floating about Zelda fandom being that this game takes place long after Wind Waker and that the Skyward Sword itself is in fact a brand new Master Sword–Master Sword 2.0? Well, we can lay that and any other such theories to rest.

Eiji Aonuma’s exact words on the matter are as follows:

“This title [Skyward Sword] takes place before Ocarina of Time. If I said a certain title was ‘the first Zelda game,’ then that means that we can’t ever make a title that takes place before that! So for us to be able to add titles to the series, we have to have a way of putting titles before or after each other.”

Also of interest is the ever-famous “master timeline document” that has been spoken of by Miyamoto and Aounuma for years now. Eiji Aounuma revealed just who is privy to this secret knowledge:

“Yes, there is a master timeline, but it is a confidential document! The only people who have access to that document are myself, Mr. Miyamoto, and the director of the [current] title [at the time]. We can’t share it with anyone else!”

So for those of you hoping that this “master timeline document” may someday be released to the hungry Zelda fanatics, please don’t hold your breath; it looks like that will never happen.

Well, there we have it: Skyward Sword takes place before Ocarina of Time.

But this fact only brings to light more questions, such as: if the Master Sword was created by the Sages to repel evil due to the uprising of Ganondorf, and the Skyward Sword is the Master Sword, then are we to see yet an earlier incarnation of Ganondorf? Or is there a much older evil for which the blade was originally forged?

We want to hear your thoughts and theories in the comments below!

Source: Official Nintendo Magazine (via Windwackster)