The Zelda timeline has been debated and disputed by fans since its introduction in 2011. Since then, some fans have been curious about the placement of newer titles in the timeline. While games like A Link Between Worlds hold a more obvious place in the list, Breath of the Wild has continually kept fans theorizing about the game’s chronological placement.

During a recent interview with GamesRadar, Breath of the Wild director Hidemaro Fujibayashi and Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma spoke about the timeline, stating that it’s something in which they are still interested. Speaking about the timeline, Mr. Fujibayashi said, “I wouldn’t say that we’re not concerned with the timeline. It’s obviously something that we know is very important to people, and they do a lot of research on. But I think at this point, we’re not really at the stage where we want to talk about where Breath of the Wild is in the timeline. I think, as with the pixelated food, it’s something that at this point we want to leave up to people’s imaginations.”

Mr. Aonuma said that he thinks there should be some room for speculation regarding the timeline, rather than asserting it as an outright fact. In total, he said, “We published a book with the timeline, but we definitely got comments from users saying, ‘Is this really accurate? I think this should be this way. It’s different.’ And history is always kind of imaginative. It’s left to the person who writes the book. So that’s how we approach it as well. It’s not necessarily that we come up with a game and think, ‘Oh, this is where it fits in the timeline.’ Honestly, lately, we’re kind of scared to say exactly where things are in the timeline for that reason. But we like to leave things to the imagination most of the time.”

It seems that the debate regarding the timeline will wage on, with speculation left to each individual for now. Breath of the Wild features many landmarks and ties to other titles, so it seems hard to say where exactly it falls in the timeline, and without official word from the developers, that’s exactly how it will remain.

How do you feel about the timeline? Does it dispell all doubts about the happenings in Hyrule, or do you prefer to create your own chronology canon? Let us know what you think in the comments, and be sure to hit us with some speculation about which events foreshadow Tingle’s return as the Dark Lord, Tingledorf, in a forthcoming title!

  • Tom Holmes

    While the timeline being vague is something that I accept, I’m routinely baffled by how some segments of the Zelda fanbase are fiercely *opposed* to there being *any* continuity between games, to the point of disbelieving any evidence given by official sources claiming there *is* continuity. I think Zelda is pretty much the only fandom that has that.

  • ☼ Getsuga ☼

    “we definitely got comments from users saying, ‘Is this really accurate? I think this should be this way. It’s different.”

    I hope that a bunch of little snot nosed dorks didn’t just spoil Nintendo’s desire to link the games together for fans. I don’t recall anyone really complaining about the Zelda timeline except for people that took it WAY too seriously and nitpicking minute details.

  • PonyForce

    Honestly, the whole timeline thing just makes me angry now and it’s entirely my fault for spending over 20 years of my life piecing together the annals of zelda lore history, only to have Skyward Sword come out and ruin everything for me. But again, it’s my fault for treating the story too seriously.

  • I don’t think the timeline was ever thought out myself. Other than a few direct sequels spread throughout the series, I get the feeling the stories of each game are meant to be separate tales of Hyrule.

    As a bit of a writer myself (By hobby), I often find myself making connections between different stories without realizing it. I could try mapping this out, but in the end it would never make sense. Because these stories were never meant to be connected.

    From a game development standpoint, Zelda worlds are often built around the gameplay of a game and then the story is built around the game’s world. So while story is considered, I don’t think it’s at the frontline of their concerns.

    I could be wrong, but I just don’t think the story is important enough to the developers to consider a timeline spread across many games over the past thirty years, as anything more than an afterthought.

    While I love the official timeline we have, and consider it canon. It doesn’t really matter to me, one game we’re climbing mountains searching for dungeons across a desolate land, and the next we’re driving trains across a new Hyrule. Does it make sense within the same universe? Not really, but it sure is fun!

  • Azurai

    I have to say that I am disappointed that Nintendo seems afraid to give official statements on the timeline now. While you could definitely poke holes in the official timeline that was given, I personally really liked it. It gave the series a sense of cohesion and an epic “across the ages” type of vibe I really liked.

    • spacefan1993

      The thing is, I think they’re trying to avoid arousing the wrath of the nitpickers who will scour every last detail in the timeline and come up with something contradictory to what Nintendo says.

      Not to say that’s the way Nintendo should go, but if they are going that way, it’s probably to appease those fans who just want to find something wrong with everything they get their hands on.

      They can be a very vocal group, after all.

  • Dusk

    I don’t mind. it means that I can hold onto my hope for a timeline convergence

  • Ulises

    Stupid Aonuma, they are “scared to say exactly where things are in the timeline” Ok that’s everything I need to know, thanks for nothing…