Forums
Guides
Features
Media
Zelda Wiki
Patreon
    Do you think the Zelda lore is confusing?
    • It is "complicated" or a "clusterf*ck" because the entire (or at least most of it) Zelda lore is an afterthought. Treating lore and story secondary works fine for a single game, or perhaps even two or three, but after nearly 20 games it is bound to fail with a lot of holes and contradictions. One obvious error is how Skyward Sword established that all Links share the "spirit of the hero", but for some reason Link can talk to himself in Twilight Princess (Hero's Shade). Perhaps it is me who has misunderstood this massively, but the point is that the holes are many, and that is the result of Nintendo not taking the lore/story seriously.

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

    • No...? I feel like most people who make comments like that blaze through the games and only take small glances at the timeline every now and then. Most of the major connections are reinforced by the games themselves, and the games that don't have a established connection to each other in game and only connect via HH or HE aren't exactly at odds with each other by being connected and you aren't missing any info by only playing one and not the other.


      The most confusing thing would probably be the reason behind the downfall timeline and the fact that Nintendo keeps recreating the mythos for the series, by starting with the Golden Goddesses and then shoehorning in Hylia...but like you can easily just do one quick google search of Hylia or any of the Golden Goddesses and you'll get the answers you need.
    • I don't think it's confusing, but when I explain it to other people, it usually sounds confusing. Half the time, I have to start with "That's ambiguous," or "My interpretation isn't the most popular, but..." and then I end up giving 3 different answers to the same question.
      Goddess of the Sands

      Map of Thyphlo Ruins

      Forest Architects

      If you have Amiibo Tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits on Wii U, you can reset which games your amiibo unlock by deleting the game and then redownloading it.
    • Mango The Magician wrote:

      I feel like most people who make comments like that blaze through the games and only take small glances at the timeline every now and then.
      You used "games", plural. Why do you take it as a given that people have already played multiple Zelda games when they become curious about the lore?

      That's the sort of thinking that makes people like most ZU posters, who tend to be highly engaged and experienced Zelda fans, underestimate the complexity of the lore. if you have to have already played many Zelda games to understand it, then that's already a pretty high bar.

      Especially since there isn't really much "lore" in a classical sense. There isn't a contiguous history and rules about the world to gradually uncover and understand by studying the games. Every game throws out the old rules for the world and makes up new ones, so there isn't really any lore to latch onto other than the timeline.
      Pronouns: He/Him

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Max N. ().

    • lord-of-shadow wrote:

      You used "games", plural. Why do you take it as a given that people have already played multiple Zelda games when they become curious about the lore?
      That's the sort of thinking that makes people like most ZU posters, who tend to be highly engaged and experienced Zelda fans, underestimate the complexity of the lore. if you have to have already played many Zelda games to understand it, then that's already a pretty high bar.

      I get your thought process here, but I'd strongly disagree that it's a "high bar" or that the lore is inherently more confusing on that basis. If there's more than one entry to anything, then people must of necessity at least do some cursory research into both/all entries to get the full picture. If you only read one book in an ongoing series, for example, and then proceed to declare that the entire series is "too complicated," you might not necessarily be wrong, but are you really qualified to judge at that stage? Same thing if you watch a single episode of a tv show, even one that's episodic and has no ongoing narrative- you're not going to fully understand the show's dynamics based on one isolated episode, so you can't really make a fair judgement on the series as a whole at that stage. Video games at their core really aren't that different, and so if a series has multiple entries, like this one, people should at least put the bare minimum of effort in and at least do a quick scan of a wiki before they come to any firm conclusions, and it should go without saying that actually playing the games is even better.

      Especially since there isn't really much "lore" in a classical sense. There isn't a contiguous history and rules about the world to gradually uncover and understand by studying the games. Every game throws out the old rules for the world and makes up new ones, so there isn't really any lore to latch onto other than the timeline.

      Again, not quite untrue, but not exactly true, either. Every entry is itself pretty self-contained (even direct sequels don't really reference their own prequels too much), but there are still a lot of commonalities and constants from entry to entry, and active contradictions are far from uncommon but are also a lot less common than people make them out to be. Again, comes with the territory in a decades-long series where continuity is traditionally seen as optional, and certainly makes things more complex, but if people actually make a cursory effort, it's not that hard to wrap one's head around.
    • The timeline isn't confusing. It just takes time and exposure to remember it. It's like Pokemon names. Of course you don't know the names of all the Pokemon in the latest generation when it comes out, but once you've played it, you should know more or less of them.

      A good way to simplify the timeline for noobs is to tell them that every game not involving the Four Sword is in the Downfall Timeline unless the story clearly demonstrates otherwise. Alternatively, every 2D sprite-based game not involving the Four Sword is in the Downfall Timeline Basically, when in doubt, it's probably the Downfall Timeline.

      As for ambiguity of the lore, it's what makes it so fun to discuss. Contradictions, admittedly, are pushing it .
      The Twilight Realm was basically wizard Australia where every naughty banished person was transformed into some sort of harmless albino penguins.
      ~ Gamtos

      WW is Nintendo's Up, basically. Link is Russell, Tetra is Doug, and uh, I guess maybe Tingle is Kevin?

      ~ Gregarious Tree

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

    • That's always been the way. Nintendo makes a new game how they want it first, and worry about timeline placement after the fact. Which is how it should be, but not how you make a cohesive timeline.

      Miyamoto: "It’s fine if someone really likes Zelda’s story: in fact it’s great. But if a person like that starts to work on developing a Zelda game, they won’t necessarily be an ideal match for the project."
      Miyamoto: "But the moment I say Yoshi lays eggs so Yoshi must be a girl, they'll say, "Then Yoshi's voice needs to sound more like a girl's!" But I want to make video games without having to worry about such background info. Take the animated series Popeye, for example. In old cartoons like those, the roles of the characters were different every time. Even though the setting was different each time, the characters you knew and loved would come out and perform. Well, the Mario games are set up like that. It would be much easier if we could use any setting in The Legend of Zelda while preserving the essential relationship between Link, Ganon and Zelda."
      Pronouns: He/Him

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Max N. ().

    • ^ It's been a while since I played BotW, but isn't there a line in the game where they're honoring Link or something and Zelda says something like, 'through the land, through the seas, through twilight' or something like that. (Sorry, I don't recall the exact quote.) But what I took away from it was that they were referencing TWW and TP.

      If you're looking for a way out of that, I guess you could postulate the existence of an OoX-like game on the Child Timeline. But, to my eye, that had to be intentional. It was an attempt to discard the timeline. Their timeline placement of the game would seem to confirm this.
    • Zelda Lore is simple... when you only focus on the games we KNOW Nintendo cares about.

      E.g.

      Skyward Sword - The Origin and Prequel to all other games.

      A Link To The Past - The original prequel. Zelda III, like all other SNES titles (Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country etc), were how Nintendo always intended the NES titles to be played and enjoyed. ALTTP also brought lore and story to the world of Zelda.

      Ocarina of Time - The Nexus and game that defined all others after it.

      Majora's Mask - Auxiliary to OOT but with it's own rich tapestry that makes it a standout.

      Wind Waker - Another standout and something radically new to the IP. Eiji Aonuma also made it with his kids in mind.

      Twilight Princess - Same Hyrule, new races, new lore and a new legend continues off the back of OOT.

      A Link Between Worlds - The devs wanted to do something to commemorate ALTTP's 20th anniversary. This game remakes and reimagines a classic. With it's own twists and additions.

      (I remember hearing that it was either MM or ALTTP which were up for sequels before they settled on ALBW. A MM sequel.... How would that work, I wonder.

      Breath of the Wild - The new kid on the block. Zelda's big 30th anniversary. Filled with references and call backs to many of the previous games.


      So yeah. That's pretty much all that matters.

      The Four Sword trilogy is irrelevant. FS, FSA and MC.

      Nobody cares about the other multiplayer Zelda, TFH.

      Hyrule Heroes is it's own thing.

      PH and ST are unworthy successors to WW and spoil the blank check WW left for Link and Tetra's future.

      The original LOZ and AOL have been forgotten since ALTTP came out and redefined the IP.

      The two Oracle games and Link's Awakening represent a curious mementos. They don't really matter and on the official timeline are sandwiched between more important games.

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

    • You forgot to mention ALttP in the important ones.

      I consider all the console Zeldas since ALttP and except for FSA and LCT to be the series tentpoles. They're what's most important.

      And it's Hyrule Warriors, not Hyrule Heroes.
      The Twilight Realm was basically wizard Australia where every naughty banished person was transformed into some sort of harmless albino penguins.
      ~ Gamtos

      WW is Nintendo's Up, basically. Link is Russell, Tetra is Doug, and uh, I guess maybe Tingle is Kevin?

      ~ Gregarious Tree
    • I do not think Zelda lore is any more complicated than most other fantasy storylines. It is significantly simpler than many.

      However, dealing with time travel immediately makes it complicated. And few Zelda games make any effort to show how they connect with others in an obvious way. Ultimately, the timeline (and therefore the lore) is all arbitrary. Nintendo can and will and has changed it whenever they like.
    • Joshua wrote:

      Nintendo can and will and has changed it whenever they like.
      This is way less appreciated than people think. May I remind everyone that OoT retconned all of ALttP's backstory directly by retelling its manual completely differently, and that the Master Sword has had like 4 origin stories throughout the series, being retconned as recently as 2011?

      And also that as great of a game as Triforce Heroes is, there's no way in Hell it should be canon but here we are
    • Evran_Speer wrote:

      Cajbaj wrote:

      the Master Sword has had like 4 origin stories throughout the series, being retconned as recently as 2011?
      What are the other three?
      In ALttP it was created after Ganon came to power by mortals. In OoT it's clear that it was around long before Ganon was. In Twilight Princess it's explained that the ancient sages created the Master Sword. Then of course there's Skyward Sword.

      Also there's that manga at the end of Hyrule Historia, and I know it's not explicitly canon but they put it in Hyrule Historia. Why would they do that.
    • The split timeline was an attempt on Nintendo's part to unfuck the cluster. It only partially succeeded, so yes it still is....mostly due to the fact that lore and continuity are never primary concerns when they make a title. As @Max N. said, Miyamoto is on record as saying project candidates who are lore fans are almost specifically not chosen for projects, because their focus is skewed. The sad truth is that lore fans are only going to become more dissatisfied going forward, until they learn to compartmentalize their need for continuity. I say "they" and "their", but I mean "I" and "my".
      My philosophy on the timeline now is the same as Winston Churchill’s:

      “It is a mistake to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one Link at a time.”