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    Nintendo doesn't care about the timeline, and didn't consider it when writing BoTW
    • What I'm most bummed about is that Nintendo has pretended there was a timeline placement all this time.

      It started at E3 2016, with Aonuma saying his T-shirt was the big hint. 1.5 years and many contradicting hints later, they now tell us they don't care. Meh.
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    • Surprise? I mean, it's Nintendo. Story has never been their concern.

      I don't think "they don't care" is a fair statement since they have clearly put thought into it with previous games like OoT-TWW, but rather say something like "they don't let it bother them." If they actually didn't care they wouldn't have released it with Hyrule Historia, or the updated one (albeit the only change is the Oracles) in Hyrule Encyclopedia. All Aonuma is saying is they don't focus on it in development--which we should have all known all along, I would think. Seems like common sense.
      "That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up." - Walt Disney

      The post was edited 3 times, last by Reign ().

    • gamtos wrote:

      ich Will wrote:

      When fans theorize, they actually come to at least fairly accurate conclusions that Nintendo's obviously went along with before
      This seems to me like wishful thinking. I very much doubt fans thought of anything that found its way up in terms of lore.
      True, I meant stuff like the split timeline (as there was originally only two as you already know), which as I recall was something Miyamoto gave the thumbs up to after the fans came up with the theory. To correct myself: fans can figure out where a game could quite likely fit, and Nintendo has shown that sometimes they may agree with that, and sometimes they don't. So yeah I actually agree, that does indeed make it headcanon if Nintendo hasn't confirmed it, but chances are it could end up as canon is what I'm trying to say.

      So sure, not everyone has to like headcanon, some just want it officially confirmed. Neither side is really in the wrong. But Nintendo has already released the HH, so...you'd guess they'd might as well think out a placement for BotW. Which, who knows, they might eventually get to?

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

    • gamtos wrote:

      I only want official confirmation of any actual mysteries with an actual answer.

      If they didn't design any part of the game towards a placement, it's meaningless.
      Most games aren't designed with a placement in mind though, with the exception of obvious sequels like for example WW->PH. And we've always known that, Nintendo has said they don't let it worry them before. They usually come up with that after the fact.
      "That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up." - Walt Disney

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

    • Zelda games which are designed with a timeline placement:

      LtP?-LoZ-AoL

      OoX was made to link into LA, and LA's reference to Agahnim implies an LtP connection but its story is so far removed that such an intention is vague.

      MC-FS-FSA (then technically to LtP but that got ripped out)

      OoT was an origin story for Ganondorf, so was probably meant to connect into LtP, but the story's a bit loose; LtP and all of its connected games still fit in the CT of the time, though.

      `````````````WW-PH-ST
      SS-OoT<
      `````````````MM-TP
      is quite the well-founded, definitely intentional timeline structure for the 3D games (as much as TP messes around with the Triforce).

      MC-FS-FSA~LtP~OoX-LA~LoZ-AoL
      is a valid series of events for the 2D games at the time of SS, though more loosely connected than the 3D games due to a variety of factors such as age and different developers.

      So, basically, yes, basically all of the games are designed with a placement relative to at least one other game. The real difficulty was the disconnect between the OoT (3D) timeline and the LtP (2D) timeline.
    • logicalpencils wrote:

      LtP?-LoZ-AoL

      OoX was made to link into LA, and LA's reference to Agahnim implies an LtP connection but its story is so far removed that such an intention is vague.
      On ALTTP's timeline placement at the time of its release: The Japanese ALTTP box says that ALTTP takes place, "Long before Link accomplished a feat," and, "When Hyrule was still one kingdom." "When Hyrule was still one kingdom" is the same words that AOL's manual uses when talking about Sleeping Zelda's Triforce-wielding father. The Japanese ALTTP manual says, "At this time the Demon King Ganon who has threatened Hyrule many times was born." The manual also says that the Triforce was in the Sacred Realm from when the gods created it until Ganondorf found it, and the Triforce had already been out of the Sacred Realm and in Hyrule for a long time by the time the Sleeping Zelda incident happened.

      On LA's timeline placement at the time of its release: The manual says that Link left Hyrule to train after Ganon rather than staying in Hyrule like AOL's manual says LOZ/AOL Link did and says that Link is "the Legendary Hero" and fulfilled a prophecy, the artwork of Link is indentical to ALTTP's, the reference to Ganon's ashes in LA's manual was added by Nintendo of America, and things from ALTTP such as hoarders, Turtle Rock, Moldorm, and Nightmare's forms (Agahnim and trident-wielding Ganon) show up throughout LA. Additionally, LA's Japanese website shows the Ganon battle from ALTTP when explaining the events leading up to LA. nintendo.co.jp/n02/dmg/azlj/sutori.html

      It seems clear to me that before OOT was made, the timeline was meant to be: ALTTP/LA-Sleeping Zelda-LOZ/AOL.

      If you ask me, when OOT was released, the developers should have said that it's not connected to the four games that were released before OOT, and if they wanted to OOT be connected to those four games, they shouldn't have had the Sacred Realm become a Makai just from Ganondorf aquiring the Triforce of Power because ALTTP established that wishes on the complete Triforce are what transforms the Sacred Realm.
      "The (Star Wars) EU is a bloated, wretched mess."
      - Jedi Master Sagan

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

    • Setras wrote:

      insert timeline tirade here
      A timeline of sorts was a factor as far back as TAoL- the latter was, obviously, a direct sequel to TLoZ. ALttP was then a prequel to that, while LA was stated to be connected to it, and OoT was then intended as a prequel to ALttP. Now, granted, the latter connections were confirmed purely through developer statements, so you could strictly speaking regard each game as its own entity and lose nothing, but still, they could also be put together without much issue in the same way. They weren't really "hiding" anything.

      It was around the time of MM where explicit connections started coming to the forefront, as the latter was quite obviously a sequel to OoT by design. Granted, this was due in large part to them reusing OoT's assets to save time and money, but it still stands.

      The OoX games had no firm placement themselves, but clearly connected to each other to tell a coherent (if flexible) story, and the ending with Link sailing away leads seamlessly into LA and makes them its logical prequels.

      The Four Sword Saga was the same way- no firm placement in and of themselves (with the closest being a statement that FS was the earliest game at the time), but obvious ties between each other with TMC coming first, then FS, then FSA.

      WW was loudly proclaiming its status as an OoT sequel right out of the gates with direct allusions to the Hero of Time and the events of OoT, and PH and ST were quite obviously its direct sequels.

      TP was a bit of an oddball loner, but again, it had clear allusions sprinkled throughout to both OoT and MM, strongly suggesting connections to them.

      SS was very clearly stated to be an OoT prequel prior to release and ended up being the tale of the forging of the Master Sword and the founding of Hyrule.

      ALBW was made from the ground up to tie back to ALttP and come after it.

      Even TFH squeaked by with a statement the day before it was released that it was a sequel to ALBW.


      To prefer to view the games as their own entities with no connections to each other is fine- to each their own. But to try and assert that there were never any kind of connections between any of the games and that Nintendo never put in those connections is objectively untrue.

      And that's precisely why, at this point, this wishy-washy attitude they're taking with BotW is pretty grating. They've had ample opportunity across the series' history to squash any notion of a timeline; they have not done so, ergo they have to at least acknowledge that it's a factor. They've had ample opportunity to take "side games" like the Four Sword Saga and TFH and put them in a separate continuity; they chose not to do so, so suddenly deciding that this newest main series entry doesn't get a slot would just boggle the mind. And if they were going to decide that BotW isn't on the timeline or even that the timeline is no longer a thing, fine- but they've had ample opportunity to do that as well, and haven't.

      Bottom line- whatever their decision ends up being, they have to make a decision and inform everyone what it is. It's just not practical or sensible to sit on the matter.
      Agreed 100%. Over and over again, the developers have insisted that there's a timeline and it's the fans who would say things like, "They're all the same story," "Nintendo doesn't care about the timeline," or "Nintendo caved to the fans," in spite of the fact that I doubt fan speculation about the timeline was much of a thing in 1998 or 2004.
      "The (Star Wars) EU is a bloated, wretched mess."
      - Jedi Master Sagan

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Ganon Vader ().

    • logicalpencils wrote:

      LtP?-LoZ-AoL


      OoX was made to link into LA, and LA's reference to Agahnim implies an LtP connection but its story is so far removed that such an intention is vague.

      MC-FS-FSA (then technically to LtP but that got ripped out)

      OoT was an origin story for Ganondorf, so was probably meant to connect into LtP, but the story's a bit loose; LtP and all of its connected games still fit in the CT of the time, though.

      `````````````WW-PH-ST
      SS-OoT<
      `````````````MM-TP
      is quite the well-founded, definitely intentional timeline structure for the 3D games (as much as TP messes around with the Triforce).

      MC-FS-FSA~LtP~OoX-LA~LoZ-AoL
      is a valid series of events for the 2D games at the time of SS, though more loosely connected than the 3D games due to a variety of factors such as age and different developers.

      So, basically, yes, basically all of the games are designed with a placement relative to at least one other game. The real difficulty was the disconnect between the OoT (3D) timeline and the LtP (2D) timeline.
      Yes, there are those series (for lack of a better term), but there is a difference between designing where a game sits relative to others and designing a game's overall timeline placement. MC for example: I sincerely doubt they had any more thought into its spot beyond being FS's prequel, by which I mean its placement before OoT, considering nothing in MC ties into any game except FS. Along the same lines, nothing in TP or FSA would make someone think they're right next to each other either. TP's story is only connected to OoT and FSA's is only connected to FS.

      By which I'm saying, Nintendo's thought priority has always been shown to be gameplay > story (including relative position to relevant games) > overall timeline placement. It's not that they don't care about the timeline (they'd have never released an official one if they didn't), it's that they don't really think about it outside where it goes relative to games that are important to the individual game's narrative. FSA doesn't have any connection to TP, and MC doesn't have any connection to OoT, they were designed only with relative positions to FS in mind and their actual timeline placement came later.

      So to bring this back to BotW, it's a game that doesn't have an immediate storyline connection to another game in the series. In that sense, we could say it's like Four Swords was before FSA and MC exited. Before MC and FSA, FS's placement in the overall timeline was frankly impossible to guess because it had no game connected to its story, and now BotW is in the same state. Because it's not a priority for them and because it doesn't have another game anchoring it, Nintendo doesn't feel inclined to decide a spot.


      As an aside, what makes you say OoX were designed to link into LA? I personally don't see anything in them that immediately makes that jump out at me.
      "That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up." - Walt Disney

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

    • Reign wrote:

      So to bring this back to BotW, it's a game that doesn't have an immediate storyline connection to another game in the series. In that sense, we could say it's like Four Swords was before FSA and MC exited. Before MC and FSA, FS's placement in the overall timeline was frankly impossible to guess because it had no game connected to its story, and now BotW is in the same state. Because it's not a priority for them and because it doesn't have another game anchoring it, Nintendo doesn't feel inclined to decide a spot.

      Except Nintendo stated around the time of FS' release (or, more accurately, around the time of the remade ALttP's release that had FS packaged with it, but it comes to the same thing) that FS was the earliest game in the timeline at that point. That obviously changed with the release of TMC and once again when SS came out, but at the time, that intention was there or at least stated to be there, with HH eventually corroborating that placement.

      BotW has gotten similar crumbs of information released here and there- Aonuma hinted that it was after OoT, cited the Sheikah emblem on his shirt as evidence of where it goes (for all the good that ultimately did), then stated that it would be connected to TP and that playing through both games would be a good idea to see how they connect, then clarified that it comes after any of the known games (thus at least narrowing the pool to post-TAoL, post-FSA, post-ST, or really far into the future of a new timeline), and now all of a sudden is shuffling up to admit that they never in fact had a firm placement in mind and still have yet to decide where it is. That's frankly borderline trolling.

      And regardless, as I demonstrated before, there are seven real possible placements at this point- end of the AT, end of the CT, end of the DT, on a new timeline (which is technically itself an option with infinite possibilities, but only if they picked it at literal random), on a merger of the three current timelines, separate from the timeline a la HW(L), or else for the timeline to be dissolved. Whether or not they regard it as a priority or even care at this point is immaterial- they have a clear assortment of choices and will be making up whatever justification they need to on the fly, so they need to get it over with and have done, for their sake and ours.

      As an aside, what makes you say OoX were designed to link into LA? I personally don't see anything in them that immediately makes that jump out at me.

      A linked OoX game ends with Link sailing away on a raft, while LA starts in media res with Link sailing the seas on a raft. Marin's sprite is also nearly identical to OoX Zelda's save for lacking a crown, and he even mistakes her for Zelda when he first "wakes up" on Koholint and sees her. While it's true that they could be two wholly separate adventures involving different Links, Occam's Razor would strongly suggest that OoX leads into LA.
      "Lust... greed... sloth... gluttony... envy... wrath... pride. These are the seven deadly sins of man. In excess, any one of these will ruin a person- but one must understand all seven, if one is to understand humanity." -Von Hohenheim (FMA: Brotherhood)
    • Reign wrote:

      Surprise? I mean, it's Nintendo. Story has never been their concern.

      I don't think "they don't care" is a fair statement since they have clearly put thought into it with previous games like OoT-TWW, but rather say something like "they don't let it bother them." If they actually didn't care they wouldn't have released it with Hyrule Historia, or the updated one (albeit the only change is the Oracles) in Hyrule Encyclopedia. All Aonuma is saying is they don't focus on it in development--which we should have all known all along, I would think. Seems like common sense.
      Mr. Aonuma said:

      "But indeed, once the game is released and we’ve been able to develop our story, we can tell each other “oh yes, we can make it fit here”, but that’s not important to us."

      Can't get less caring than that ._.

      In addition, the fact that the chief developer himself has no idea where it would fit, and doesn't even know if he'll fit it later or not sends the message that they really don't care.
      "But courage need not be remembered... For it is never forgotten." ~Princess Zelda Hyrule XXXVIII

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

    • Nintendo has always put gameplay and the dreaded f-word -- "fun" -- before any other concerns, and this strategy has worked for them. As frustrating as it may be for the subset of fans who care about the lore (and let's face it, the majority of players aren't posting on any Zelda message boards), story is secondary. The fact they have written such wonderful stories over the years while not making story a priority is an achievement in and of itself.

      That said, is it possible that Nintendo might even see the debates over timeline placements as another way for players to enjoy their game? To keep interest and discussion alive months after release? Maybe they even see it as part of the game, and don't want to take that away from their fans. So, the vague, indefinite timeline placement for BotW might even be on purpose.

      I'm betting DLC2 will include something that will clear up the matter once and for all, and it's quite impressive that Nintendo has been able to keep the secret for this many months.
      "Breath of the Wild: "Zelda's Redemption"


      After Calamity Ganon's defeat, a devastated Zelda must come to terms with her ruined kingdom, dead friends, and the resentment of the Hero who had saved her, but lost his fiancee. When all hope for a better future seems lost, she comes across a legend of a holy relic that can set things right, if she can find the ancient keys to access it. With the help of new friends, and without Link, can Zelda finally become a legend, on her own terms?


      Chapter 2: Crescendo of Regret -- A night at Dueling Peaks Stable helps Zelda to see just how much the world has changed in 100 years. The more she thinks about her role in the Calamity's defeat, the more guilt she feels.
    • Setras wrote:

      JPineapple wrote:

      Honestly, the people that care are a very subset of the fanbase. How many of those eight million(was it eight million you get the drift) who bought TP cared about the timeline
      As a thought experiment, let's assume that eight million people bought TP. Now, let's assume that of those eight million, only 1% of them- a statistically tiny percentage, at least for our purposes- cared about the timeline. That's still 80,000 people, and I think we can safely agree that this is severely lowballing it.

      Now, let's look at BotW. I have no idea what the current sales figures are, but as of June, it sold 3.2 million copies. Assuming every copy went to one individual, and again lowballing it with our "only 1% care about the timeline" idea, that still leaves 32,000 people- again, not a big deal statistically, but a fairly large number of actual human beings, no?

      At the end of the day, regardless of if timeline enthusiasts and theorists are the minority, Nintendo is still actively screwing over literal thousands by just sitting on the issue, and it'd literally take the bare minimum of effort on their part to just pick a point and publicly announce it. It may not be an important issue in the grand scheme by anyone's estimation, least of all Nintendo's, but it's still a dick move to let all of these people stew over it for no good reason.
      Let's say 1% of 32,000 people browse ZU. That's 320 people and we don't see nearly this many active user. My guess is less than 1% of millions of players care or aware to ZU's degree and Hyrule Historia was limited to only 4,000 copies.
    • ^

      Those numbers were severely lowballed for the express purpose of creating a hypothetical statistical minimum- in all likelihood, I'd imagine the number of people who care about the lore and timeline are a lot bigger than 1%.

      Regardless, the point is that Nintendo is screwing a certain group of people over by sitting on their hands about this, and even if said group only accounts for a very tiny fraction of the overall fandom, that fact doesn't change. You could then argue at that point that there's no need for them to cater to such a small minority, but that argument doesn't exactly hold much water- it'd take literally the bare minimum of effort to pick a spot and announce it to satisfy those who care, and everyone else loses exactly nothing through that confirmation.

      I say again- addressing this issue might only mean something to some, but failing to address it benefits no one.
      "Lust... greed... sloth... gluttony... envy... wrath... pride. These are the seven deadly sins of man. In excess, any one of these will ruin a person- but one must understand all seven, if one is to understand humanity." -Von Hohenheim (FMA: Brotherhood)
    • ich Will wrote:

      you'd guess they'd might as well think out a placement for BotW. Which, who knows, they might eventually get to?

      gamtos wrote:

      If they didn't design any part of the game towards a placement, it's meaningless.
      ^ This.

      Even if they decide to give Botw an "official" placement, its too late for that now especially since Aonuma confessed they were not thinking about the placement during development.

      I mean how can you take any placement serious after that.

      Not that I care much anymore, but they can go ahead and do whatever. But its definitely not convincing me anymore unless someone hypnotizes me in believing that.

      For me it became quite obvious that the team didnt think of a timeline placement after having played Botw. I mean Rito and Zora? Together and without any explanation in the game? When I first saw Rito and Zora were gonna be in Botw, I was shocked and couldnt wait for the explanation. Especially since the Zora monuments have quite some history to read into. But a piece of information of how some of them evolved to Rito is missing. There is actually no connection the game makes between Zora and Rito. And thats really weird, seeing how detailed this game is with for example the relation of the Gerudo and Goron (Gorons are allowed in Gerudo Town and how Gerudo venture to Death mountain for those precious stones). I mean thats entirely new information they created for this game. Rito and Zora already have a built history since TWW. So its natural to expect at least something about the two of them in Botw.
      But Zora and Rito? Nothing, nada, zero. Its as if they are sworn enemies and destroyed any evidence that connects them.
      Which is why I think nintendo has embraced the Rito as its own pure race. They needed to have another succesfully created race (the Zora, Rito, Hylian, Sheikah, Gerudo, Gorons, Koroks are the most popular and best designed races of all Zelda games) to represent the last Champions unique race. Nintendo had to choose: either

      A) bring in the Rito race and have an amazing/perfect arsenal of races in 1 Zelda game and not care for the explanation, or

      B) exclude the (popular) Rito and thus not having to be bothered thinking of an explanation how Rito and Zora are present in the same world.

      Guess what they went for? It makes so much sense now that they confessed. It also explains why there is no connection made between the two races in Botw.
      And Im actually satisfied cause I would not have wanted the Rito being excluded. Or to Exchange them for another race. Lets be honest, since TP the new races have not been that succesful (occoo TP, the mole race SS, the Ancient robot race SS, the pre-Zora race (I guess) SS etc.).

      And this is just one of the clues that show the team didnt keep a placement in mind.
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by Feranel ().

    • Violetlight wrote:

      I'm betting DLC2 will include something that will clear up the matter once and for all, and it's quite impressive that Nintendo has been able to keep the secret for this many months.
      So a few months before they want to reveal the timeline placement, they come out and admit they don't have one? That's terrible advertising.

      If they planned on revealing it in the DLC, they would have answered something like "I hope you will play the DLC to find out."

      It's not coming, don't get your hopes up. :(
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    • I don't really think this is a big deal. I don't typically view theorizing as an attempt to unlock some secret code hidden in the games by developers. To me, it's more about rational worldbuilding, about analyzing and speculating in ways that enhance my own experience with the game, and hopefully others', too. It's always nice to have developer intent behind an idea -- like the Japanese idea of Kami, for instance -- but that isn't all there is to it.

      As BotW goes, I think it's pretty obvious that the intended answer is "so far in the future that it doesn't really matter what timeline it's on." That doesn't stop me from convincing myself it's another timeline branching off from Skyward Sword. (I'll probably elaborate on that eventually; for now I'm just using it as an example of an especially outside-the-box interpretation.)
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    • Explanation for the Rito:

      They aren't evolved Zora. There's no indication that they are, they use no Zora symbology and they look nothing like the WW Rito which are altered Zora. The only reason the BoW race are called "Rito" is because they are winged, anthropomorphic non-Demonic creatures.

      And, once again, the reason many people theorize the timeline is not because we're trying to "find Nintendo's placement". We theorize what placement works best and has the most emergent features (basically what Nintendo does with their own games).