Isaiah TriForce Johnson is best known for his signature Power Glove, his passion for gaming, and his habit of being first in line at any major Nintendo launch. In fact, TriForce was the first person in the world to own a Wii U! The CEO of Empire Arcadia, an organization that was created in order to spread gaming culture, community, and industry, Johnson is also deeply embedded in the competitive gaming world, holding several world records himself.
A passionate Zelda fan, going so far to amend his first name to “TriForce”, Isaiah TriForce Johnson has created a web series called The Order of Time. Promising to eventually tie the entire Zelda lore into one singular timeline through an original story (while still staying true to the canon established in Hyrule Historia), TriForce released episode one right here on Zelda Universe. The series uses Hyrule Warriors as a framework to tell its tale and introduces two original characters: Chronos (literally Greek for “time”) and Omni. In episode one, “Streams of Time”, Chronos, the overseer of Hyrule’s past, present, and future sends Omni to awaken the spirit of the Legendary Hero that resides within Link in order to save Hyrule from peril.
TriForce Johnson previously talked with Zelda Universe about his series The Order of Time, and he’s back again, this time touching on some aspects of episode one, what his favorite Zelda game is, and even his thoughts about the remake of Majora’s Mask!
Hello TriForce and thank you for joining us once again! The first episode of your The Order of Time web series has recently been released. What can you tell us about the feedback you’ve gotten from fans about the project?
“So far I have gotten a lot of positive feedback”
: So far I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from people about how they like the direction of the beginning of the story, and how already many people are understanding the whole “stream of time” concept.
As we saw in the first episode, in your interpretation of the timeline, the Link in Hyrule Warriors is the same Link as the one in Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Is there anything in particular that caused you to come upon this realization?
As Eiji said before, the game is and isn’t a part of the main Zelda Universe timeline. That can be taken in so many different ways. Game Theory explained that every time there is a break in the timeline, an alternate universe for that time is made. This was a very safe decision for Nintendo to go with. This allows us to find a way to fit it in, and when you look at it, Link had to grow up again since Zelda returned him back to his original time.
When you look at Hyrule Warriors, the entire game is based on the core time of the Zelda universe. It shows the past, present and future of the entire Zelda franchise. It only made sense that it would be at some point after Majora’s Mask. However, you can still fit another game in-between Majora’s Mask and Hyrule Warriors. This was a clever move on Nintendo’s part, knowing that they have to start leaving space for future Zelda games now that they put out a official timeline.
Finally, there are a lot of things in Hyrule Warriors that shows that the game takes place after Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Using this unique story that I’ve created with Chronos and Omni, I found the best way to fit Hyrule Warriors into the canon timeline, bridging the story together and giving everyone a clear understanding of an immutable time stream.
When the group travels to Death Mountain in Hyrule Warriors and meets Darunia for the first time, Sheik remarks that it is the same time period that the Hero of Time comes from. Are we to infer that at this point the group has traveled across into the Adult Timeline?
I don’t mean to dismiss the question, but the answer was already answered by Zelda herself. Sheik (Zelda) is well aware of everything because the Triforce of Wisdom allows her to transcend time, granting her insight on many things in many different times. This is why she was able to detect Link in the intro of the game. Link confirms this when he looks at Zelda in the intro, when he sees Sheik (which would be for the second time in his lifetime), and also when the Triforce of Wisdom leaves Sheik’s hand.
The thing that I like about Hyrule Warriors is that Link does not speak — he communicates through expressions, and if you watch his reaction to Sheik turning into Zelda in Ocarina of Time versus when she does it in Hyrule Warriors, it shows that Link always knew that Sheik was Zelda in Hyrule Warriors. Which means in order for him to have known that, it had to be the same Link that saw Sheik transform into Zelda in Ocarina of Time. Link’s body language tells a lot about the story of the game.
However, to answer your question directly, the fact that Sheik has a remark about any point in time means that Sheik (Zelda) has to have known about this time — but how could she have? Easy: she has to be the version of Zelda in Ocarina of Time. This answers the question why I put Hyrule Warriors after Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask.
It was very intriguing that you chose to use Hyrule Warriors as a framework to tell the Legend of Zelda story in the first episode, “Streams of Time”. Will this continue as the series progresses, and what inspired this decision?
Yes, this will be the very founding framework in which the entire story is told. As the series progresses it will always refer back to Hyrule Warriors and the Chamber of Time with Chronos, to keep track of the immutable time stream so that viewers can see how it unfolds from beginning to end.
If we can step away for a second and talk about some Zelda-related news, I’m sure you’ve heard about the new remake of Majora’s Mask that is coming out on the 3DS. What are your thoughts about Nintendo finally giving the game a makeover?
I already knew about that since 2013, I just didn’t talk about it. Now that the cat is out of the bag, just know that when I get back up to Majora’s Mask we can truly enjoy the inclusion of the story in full HD.
: After seeing the gameplay footage at The Game Awards for Zelda U, do you have any theories on where it may or may not take place in the timeline?
: This is looking like a sequel to Skyward Sword, however it is way too early to tell right now.
: You’ve been a huge Zelda fan ever since the 80s, before many current Zelda fans were even born. What game entices you the most from the franchise?
“I’m a romantic. I like stuff like that — that’s why I love Nintendo games.”
: In the very beginning it was about the adventure of rescuing a princess. I’m a romantic. I like stuff like that — that’s why I love Nintendo games. It’s always about the good guys doing good things based on principle. When the series reached its third installment, A Link to the Past, I watched the intro and I was reborn as a Zelda fan as I saw that Nintendo was trying to put a founding lore on it all.
Nintendo did this before in the first two games, but this was all based on the booklets’ stories. For the first time, Nintendo put the depth of the story into the game, making A Link to the Past the birth of the cornerstone story for the entire series’ timeline. Keep in mind when I get to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, it will be this game that glues it all.
Going back now to The Order of Time, what has been the most challenging aspect of creating the series up to this point?
Honestly, time and resources. Despite the production quality of the first official episode, I was not satisfied with it. I lack the resources, man power, and time to truly do this the way I want to. I’ve gotten emails from friends and people in the Nintendo community that say they see where I’m trying to go with this and they want to help. Thus I decided that it would be best to “pause” the project for the holiday season and pick it back up at full speed for the new year of 2015. I’ll be working with a new Studio called Hammer Head Studios, so look out for them in 2015. Also, a shout out to Abdallah Nation. I appreciate everything you’ve done to help support me on this.
That being said, when can we expect the next episode of The Legend of Zelda: The Order of Time to be released?
As I stated before I decided to take a break get some funds together and better equipment and to start back up January of 2015. So stay tuned for episode two here at Zelda Universe!
: Thank you very much for your time TriForce. We are definitely looking forward to your next episode of The Order of Time!
Again, thank you so much TriForce for taking the time to speak with us!
Stay tuned to Zelda Universe for the next episode of The Order of Time, coming early 2015. If you haven’t watched episode one yet, you can check it out here!