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    • Serious
    Question Regarding SS Manga’s Canonicity
    • Hi, this is my first time starting a thread here since hopping on from Zeldapedia, so hopefully it’s not a lame one :P

      So anyway, I noticed that the Skyward Sword manga’s article is headed with “Non-Canon Information,” but under the Skyward Sword (Himekawa) tab of the Hylia’s Chosen Hero article, it is “Ambiguously Canon Content,” so my first question was which one is it? And my second question is why is that manga not assumed to be canonical by default since it is part of Hyrule Historia? In addition to that, it is the only piece of official media that depicts this all-important first Hero, and the writers seem to suggest that what they wrote was part of the story of Skyward Sword in the message that preceded the manga itself.

      If this has a definitive answer, that’s great, if it is instead something that needs discussion, that’s great, too. Thanks!
    • Welcome to ZU!

      This question honestly has no firm answer at present- you'll find people arguing both sides of the aisle. So for the moment, "ambiguously canon" is probably the most efficient option.

      For my money, I'm strongly inclined to call it non-canon, as it directly contradicts SS in pretty much every way. In-game, we're told and shown that Hylia raised Skyloft, that the humans were weak in that era and relied on her for protection, that SS Link was the first of his kind to face Demise in battle, that the Goddess Sword became the Master Sword via the Sacred Flames, and that Hylia gave up her divinity to ensure there would be a mortal to use the Triforce. The manga claims that a previous Link who lived among the human military fought Demise and raised Skyloft using the Master Sword, which gained its power from the dragons, and Hylia became mortal to live with him when he reincarnates. That, and the manga are never canon otherwise, so why now?
      Wither and decay... End this destiny... Break these earthly chains and set the spirit free...
    • @Setras Thank you!

      It’s been a while since I’ve played Skyward Sword or read the manga, so I’m working off potentially faulty memory here, but the difference here is that this is apparently a manga that was officially commissioned by Nintendo, and it is in Hyrule Historia, whose content is otherwise considered universally canonical by everyone, so I’m just not sure why the manga is excluded from that, when it’s part of that same book. As for the apparent contradictions, another user here, Linkle, cleared those up pretty satisfactorily to me. They seem pretty easily explainable.

      Linkle wrote:

      Disputing and Debunking Contradictions

      The Opening Statements as Proof That it is Non-Canon:

      I have to admit, I've heard a lot of arguments in my time as to why it couldn't be canon, but this is definitely new and taking it to a whole new extreme. This statement was never meant to be a disclaimer, and the Author's Note even proves otherwise. Allow me to elaborate.

      The supposed disclaimer states this:

      Number one, all disclaimers traditionally must state "disclaimer:" first before making a statement, or at least, this is how it is done with Fanfiction; I should know -- I've written some Fanfics in my time. But let's just say that's not the case, for the sake of argument.
      Saying that it is a disclaimer simply because it states it was based on the game does not stand as proof for anything. Even if it were completely canon, this note still would be there. Why? Because:

      (1) It is based on the game. Just the same as Majora's Mask and Wind Waker are based off of the story of Ocarina of Time. They include elements of the previous story in order to make their own respective stories work. Both use key information from Ocarina of Time to work.

      (2) This note was meant not to serve as a disclaimer, but as a warning for spoilers, hence saying that it includes key elements of the game -- cautioning those who had not played or finished the game yet. If it were intended to serve as a disclaimer there would be no reason to state something like that, since it is already stated that it is based off of the game. In a disclaimer, it wouldn't matter if the elements used from the game where key or minor, it is still based off of the game and therefore nothing else matters. If it were truly a disclaimer, it would also have to state that all rights belong to Nintendo, etc., etc, etc. -- which it does not. This is mandatory in a disclaimer unless you want to be sued.

      (3) Akira Himekawa themselves state:

      Therefore, they clearly do not view it, nor intend it to be viewed, as a short non-canon piece, but rather as a piece to conclude the tale. Bold words if it was merely a work of Fanfiction. Especially bold, though, if that other statement was meant to serve as a disclaimer that it is non-canon. That would be extremely stupid on their part, and they're not stupid.

      The Fact That It Was Made by a Third Party and Included Only in Hyrule Historia as Proof That It is Non-Canon:

      Okay, this is probably the single most ridiculous reason to judge something that I have heard yet, for the following reasons:

      (1) It was officially commissioned by Nintendo -- more specifically, Zelda's creators. Unlike the other Zelda manga, it was entirely a commissioned work -- after they had not made a Zelda manga in years -- by Nintendo, who asked them to make this specific manga for this very specific occasion of the 25th anniversary, for this very specific book. It was meant exclusively for Hyrule Historia, the canon timeline history and art book for the Zelda universe -- a book which, yes, any true Zelda fan who actually cares about Zelda's storyline and history would get.
      No, not everyone has gotten the book, and not everyone will, but the people who didn't get the book obviously don't care enough about Zelda's history to need or want to know Zelda's full history or origin. So yes, Nintendo would have every reason to put a canon manga in Hyrule Historia. To use the argument that they would have put it all in one of the games if they wanted it to be true is every bit as ridiculous as saying that if they want people to know the rest of the official timeline, they need to include a detailed
      explanation of it in one of the games, along with the outline of it. People who care will get the book. People who don't care won't. It's that simple.

      (2) Several canon Zelda games were actually made by third parties before. Are we going to suddenly claim that the Minish Cap, Oracle of Seasons, and Oracle of Ages are now non-canon because they were made by Capcom but sanctioned and supervised by Nintendo? No, didn't think so.
      Whether something is third party or not does not matter so long as Nintendo approved of it. There has never been a rule saying that anything made by third party has to be non-canon.

      The Master Sword's Final Form being in the Manga as Proof That It is Non-Canon:

      This is one of the most controversial parts of the manga to many, but with a little logic, it is easily explained. @Okami Takahashi has already quoted me on this previously in the thread, but I will go over it once again and in more detail as to how this could be possible without contradicting Skyward Sword, where the sword begins as the Goddess Sword and must be tempered by holy flame in order to attain its true form.

      Let's start at the very beginning. In the manga, Hylia presents Link with a very large and less elegant Master Sword, stating that it would need to be reforged by human hands -- the hands of the most honorable, purest mortal in the land; that is, Link -- if he is to use it.
      Link and his comrades reforge the blade into the Master Sword that we know today, and when Link is later flying on the Crimson Loftwing after being fatally wounded by the Demon King, his sword begins to glow and we see that the Triforce symbol is actually there because the Triforce rests within the blade, and has been all along.
      Link takes the sword to Hylia and she uses it cut Skyloft free from the ground, then hands the sword back to Link as she leaves to fight Demise.
      Link stabs it into the ground, using the strength within it to create a pillar of light that lifts Skyloft to the heavens as the blade flies up with it.
      Bear in mind that the Triforce is still in the blade.

      Now, throughout the games, we have seen that the Master Sword can lose power due to various reasons over time, and also we have seen that it can be reforged to become stronger. The most notable example of the blade devolving is in the Wind Waker, where we see that the Sages' prayer are what keep the Master Sword holy in this era. While this certainly is an accurate way to describe it, though, we must realize that the prayers aren't directly what keeps it holy, but rather, the power of the gods that are being prayed to; we can assume these gods to be the Golden Goddesses. Therefore, sacred power is what keeps the Master Sword in its true form. The sacred power of the gods, to be more specific. This is backed up by Skyward Sword, where Link had to return the Master Sword to its true form by tempering it in the sacred flames of the three Golden Goddesses, and then have Hylia/Zelda bless the blade. So thus, we can conclude that any sacred power of the Golden Goddesses could keep it in its true form -- including the Triforce.

      After the first Link reforged the blade, the Triforce that was within it could have provided enough power to keep it in its true form. Once the blade went to the heavens with Skyloft, though, the Triforce would leave its blade to go to the Sacred Realm/Silent Realm, and the blade would devolve to its Goddess Sword form.
      The Sky Keep where the Triforce is found rests directly beneath the pedestal of the Master Sword. Coincidence? I think not. Furthermore, Fi more closely resembles the blade's true Master Sword form. If the blade began as the Goddess Sword, you would think she would have more closely resembled that in the beginning, and then changed along with the sword as time went on and it was tempered -- much in the same way that we see Ghirahim slowly transform over time throughout the game. Yet, she does not. Just further proof that it is indeed possible for the Master Sword to have been in its true form initially and then devolved.

      Even further, Link and his comrades reforging the sword into the Master Sword could explain the legend of the Sages creating the Master Sword, as they could be viewed as the Sages; after all, they did create the Master Sword as we know it today.

      Thus, there need not be any contradiction here.

      The Skyward Sword Time Paradox Theory as Proof That the Manga is Non-Canon:

      An old favorite argument of those who dislike or wish to disprove the Skyward Sword manga is the Skyward Sword Time Paradox theory, in which the whole story of the Sailcloth and the Ancient Hero is believed to be a self-fulfilling prophecy in which SS Link is actually the Goddess' Chosen Hero, Zelda is the Godess, and the sailcloth that she gives him actually is the sailcloth from the legend, and that when Link goes back in time to the past, he becomes viewed as the Hero and is told stories about by the people of the Surface, which in turn are passed down to Zelda, creating a loop in time -- a Time Paradox.

      This theory is all well and good, and as one who watches Doctor Who, I know very well the concept of Time Paradoxes and very much approve of them; however, this is clearly completely inaccurate to what really happened and has a major, indisputable flaw -- neither Link nor Zelda travelled to the past until after Skyloft had been sent to the heavens...after the tale of the Goddess, her Hero, and the Sailcloth had already existed and been sent up to the sky with the islands! Therefore, Link could not have been the Goddess' Chosen Hero mentioned in the old legends, as the people who would pass that story down were already in the sky when Link and Zelda met and Impa arrived in the past!

      This concludes that there must have been a Hero prior to SS Link.
      Now, I know you're going to point out that in the manga we never saw Link receive the sailcloth, but then again, we didn't really see much of anything. The war lasted a week but we only saw the first day, maybe some of the second, and the last. A great deal of that time was missed. Therefore, we did not see everything that happened. Therefore, she likely gave him the Sailcloth during one of the scenes that were skipped.

      Demise's Statements in Skyward Sword as Proof That the Skyward Sword Manga is Non-Canon:

      Ah yes, an old favorite of those who oppose the Skyward Sword manga -- Demise's statements near the end of the Skyward Sword game. After all, listening to the Demon King is always a good idea. Why would he lie?
      All jokes aside, though, Demise has already proven himself unreliable by stating something that clearly can be viewed as untrue. What is that, you ask? Well, he practically lies through his teeth about the humans all being cowards when we already established that, whether the Skyward Sword manga is canon or not, the Skyward Sword Time Paradox Theory is false, and there was indeed a hero prior to SS Link. But by all means, don't take my word for it; have a look at his quote for yourself:

      — Demise, Skyward Sword

      The above quote is almost in direct contradiction with what is stated canonically in the very same game. Why almost and not entirely? Well...he did leave himself a little leeway in what he said. The use of "hardly more" and the statement that they did "little more" than scream and cling to their goddess could be seen as him accounting for the fact that there might have been some that did do something more; had he said they did "nothing more", then I would know for sure that he's entirely lying, because Hylia's Chosen Hero would not have been pathetic or count only on the goddess to protect him. Demise's statement that they mewled and prayed to their goddess, counting on her to protect them, is actually not at all in contradiction with the manga, as we can see in the following quote:

      -- Several individuals, Skyward Sword manga

      So, as we can see, Demise's statement is at least half-truth, since, until Hylia's Chosen Hero --the Link from the SS manga -- convinced a group of them to fight back, they really did do exactly what he said. It is honestly not entirely surprising to suggest that he may not truly have known about the humans' later courage, as in the manga, the only one who actually encounters and challenges the Demon King is the Hero alone, creating the possibility that he never actually saw the other people. This would correspond with his reaction to Link in the manga, since he expected him to weep and flee from him -- obviously, this was his expectation of all humans.
      Now, as to why the Demon King didn't mention the previous Hero that we know for a fact existed, there are two possibilities that would make sense:

      (1) Demise doesn't count the first Hero as important because he defeated him. He did not view him as a worthy opponent, and as nothing more than another "weak" human that he felled in mere seconds, not a Chosen Hero -- which would correspond with the way he regarded Link in the manga, calling him "nothing" without his gods, and a "foolish worm" after he defeated the Hero. He clearly thought nothing of him.

      (2) He did not mention the Hero because that would be to acknowledge that not all humans are cowards, and therefore, grant them some respect. He hates the humans and thus would naturally want to belittle and humiliate them as much as possible. Further support that he did indeed encounter a human in battle prior to SS Link would be at the end of Skyward Sword, where he states the Link fought like "no man or demon" he had ever known; he could not and would not have mentioned this if he had not known at least one other human that he did battle with. So Demise, either you're contradicting your own statement that the humans never did anything in terms of battle, or you've omitted something very important.

      Yeah, I think Demise's trustworthiness -- assuming he ever had any to begin with -- is running out.

      But moving on, there is one other statement from the lying Demon King that they like to use as supposed evidence for two different arguments. I am speaking, of course, of this quote:

      — Demise, Skyward Sword

      Now there are two things that this quote is used for in terms of evidence against the manga. I will deal with them both individually.

      "Demise States That Hylia/Zelda is Not Continually Reborn After SS":

      Some theorists claim that other Zeldas post-SS in the timeline are not Hylia/SS Zelda reborn simply because Demise refers to the future Zeldas that will be effected by the curse as "the blood of the goddess" instead of the spirit of the goddess, insisting that the specification is somehow relevant; however, we must remember that just because they have the "blood of the goddess" does not mean they can't also have the spirit of the goddess. A distinction may have been made because unlike in Link's case, the rebirth is always into the same bloodline, whereas Link can be born into different, less definite or important bloodlines. A reincarnated Zelda would always possess the bloodline of the Royal Family so that the sacred power is passed down era after era into the next Zelda's body so that she can utilize it in the fight to save Hyrule. Link, being a mortal and having a bloodline of humble origins, has no need to always be born into the "bloodline of the Hero." Thus no distinction need be made.

      Furthermore, Demise is not, never was, and never will be -- despite what many choose to believe -- a god, and therefore is not an all-knowing being. He has no capability of knowing that Zelda would never be reborn but Link would. He cannot see the future. People may worship him as a god, but that does not make him such. There are several reasons why the concept of him being a god is a faulty and in accurate viewpoint:

      (1) If he had been a god that turned on the other, good deities, surely both Hylia and especially Demise would have made some mention of this, and would have explained that he was jealous of them and hates them for whatever reason.

      (2) Demise wishes to possess and wield the Triforce, something which he would know would not be even remotely possible if he were a god. Furthermore, Demise is not all-powerful, and this is why he wants the Triforce. He basically wants the Triforce in order to become a god, himself, or at least as powerful as the gods; if he were already a god, this desire would not make sense.

      (3) Demise makes a very clear distinction between himself and the gods, as before the final battle in SS, he states that Link will taste his "hatred for the gods" in the bite of his blade. If he were a god himself, he would say "the other gods", including himself as one. Furthermore, there is an even greater distinction in the Japanese text, where he refers to the gods as being the "Deity Tribe" or some similar and, and refers to himself and his demonic army as the "Demon Tribe". He makes great distinction in the fact that the two are not the same time and time again.

      Thus, Demise is not a god, and could have no possible knowledge that Link would be reborn, but not the goddess.
      Of course, that would be why some people instead choose to use the second argument against the manga that involves the aforementioned quote, which I will now discuss.

      "Demise's Curse Began the Cycle of Rebirth for Link"

      The argument most used to remedy the problem of Demise not being able to have the knowledge that Zelda would not be reborn alongside Link is created by falling back on the old theory that "Demise's Curse" at the end of Skyward Sword was one in which he cursed not only cursed Zelda's descendants into having to deal with future incarnations of himself and/or his hatred (whichever you choose to believe), but also cursed Link into being reborn whenever this occurs, starting his cycle of reincarnation.

      Using this argument, they can claim the Demise knew the difference because he is the one who started the reincarnation cycle. He decided who would be involved and who would not, thus he would know that it woul not be Zelda involved, but only her descendants -- a good and interesting theory, to be sure, but also completely false.

      For one thing, before even debunking it, I would like to point something out. If Demise hates the goddess Hylia so much and wants her to suffer, why would he purposely exclude her from the curse, rather than cause her to have to bear the misery over and over and over as he supposedly does to Link? This does not make sense. There is literally no reason why he would want to spare her that misery.
      And if you want to claim that it's because she's a goddess and he has no power over her...nope, sorry. She's a mortal now. She's just as suceptible to curses as Link. She can't stop him because she's no longer a goddess. Definitely not buying that excuse.

      But moving on, if we are to look at the game itself, we can find that this theory is actually truly false, and nothing more than a myth created by a confused fan's misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the game's ending. Let's again look at the quote, and dissect it in order to discover its true meaning. I will put the relevant parts of the quote in bold print as we go along.

      First, we must determine whom the curse is aimed at. Who is effected by this curse? Let's have a look:

      — Demise, Skyward Sword

      Okay, so Demise specifically states that those who share the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero are eternally bound to his curse. But what exactly is his curse? Let's look at the full quote to find out:

      — Demise, Skyward Sword

      So, as we can very clearly see, the curse did not involve causing Link to be reborn at all, but rather was a curse made to those who share the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the Hero. The only thing that he cursed said individuals with was having to deal with his own and/or his hatred's rebirth.

      Still not convinced? Let's have a look at the retranslated version of this quote:

      — Demise, Skyward Sword

      Alright, so the Japanese version is actually basically the exact same thing in terms of meaning...but not quite. The curse itself and what it is remains the same:

      — Demise, Skyward Sword

      The curse is still that his hatred shall reincarnate. Nothing more. But this time, he is a little more specific with whom he is cursing, and it is not the same as the official English version.

      — Demise, Skyward Sword

      Now, you may claim that this is no different than the official version, and at first glance it may not seem like it, but it most definitely is different. In the Official English version, he says that those like them -- that is, those like SS Link and Zelda -- are eternally bound to this curse, whereas in the retranslated version, he says that they themselves are eternally bound to the curse of his hatred being reborn. Meaning that he views Zelda as having the blood of the goddess. But wait, doesn't she also have the soul of the goddess? Why that's right -- she does! So the argument that he is making a distinction that futures Zeldas will not possess Hylia's soul by saying they will have the "blood of the goddess" is now completely useless since he does not mention SS Zelda having the soul of the goddess, even though we know she does.

      But regardless of which version is used one thing is still clear; he is aware that both Link and Zelda will be reborn. So if Demise is not a god -- we know he isn't -- and didn't cause them to be reborn -- he clearly didn't -- then how did he know this? How also did he know that the goddess became mortal to keep him imprisoned? According to both the manga and the game, all of this would have happened after he was sealed away. Who would have informed him of it? There's only one person it could've been who had remained alive after the war between Hylia and Demise and had the intelligence to learn all of this -- Ghirahim.

      Therefore, Ghirahim had to have found out that Link and Hylia would be forever reborn. Which is supported by this retranslated statement from Ghirahim upon his first encounter with Link, which in the Official English version was translated to, "Oh, it's you." :

      — Ghirahim, Skyward Sword

      It would be pretty stupid to say "You're from back then..." to someone you'd been watching and whom you just watched get thrown off his Loftwing yesterday. "Back then" is never used to describe yesterday, but rather, a long time ago. That combined with his casualness towards Link, over familiarity with him, and the knowledge that Link's agony makes a great stress reliever proves that he has dealt with Link before, long ago, and seen him in pain.

      But here's the thing I know you're going to point out: the first Link, to our knowledge, never met Ghirahim, and was not fatally wounded by Demise's sword, but rather, his claws. So what is he referring to and which incarnation of Link? Well, that's where my theory, The Truth Behind the Shadow Temple: The Hidden History Behind its Ancient Past, comes in and fills in the blanks. But that is neither here nor there. It is not something to be discussed in this thread.

      The point is that Ghirahim is clearly aware of Link's ability to be reborn, hence not being surprised when he met him again.

      Hylia Not Being Shown as Gravely Wounded in the Skyward Sword Manga as Proof That It is Non-Canon:

      This is also an old favorite argument against the manga; however, it is not a very strong one, as there are two potential answers that solve this problem, and the true answer may perhaps even be a mix of both. Let's take a look at the possibilities:

      (1) She was indeed wounded in the battle with Demise, and in the final scenes that were shown, her injuries were just not seen. This makes perfect sense, given that she also "died" alongside Link, albeit in a different way. There is no reason why she could not have been injured and just not have it been shown. Perhaps having two main characters visibly bloodied and dying at once was too much for a book that could be read by all ages. In the past, Akira Himekawa have been prevented from making more darker toned Zelda manga due to the companies their books were published through. It was not until Hyrule Historia came along that they had the chance to do a somewhat "darker" story than their usual ones. It is not unreasonable to suggest that they had their limitations when creating this manga.

      (2) Perhaps Hylia was not as gravely injured as we thought, but we know that Link was. Perhaps instead of wanting to remind SS Link of his past life and failures, SS Zelda instead told him that she, Hylia, was gravely wounded, instead. This may actually make more sense, since Hylia is an immortal goddess, and thus it is impossible for her to die. I am not sure if she could be injured -- perhaps she could -- but certainly not as fatally as SS Zelda seemed to make her out to have been.
      Supposing that Hylia was not gravely injured and that she used this claim in place of the fact that Link was, it would change absolutely nothing. Demise was still a Demon King -- nearly immortal -- and still would continue to break free of the seal, perhaps stronger than ever. With her powers weakened and her Hero dead, there would still be no stopping him. The only thing that would be able to vanquish him completely -- the Triforce -- would still be unable to be used by her as a goddess. Thus she would still shed her divinity and do what she had to do.

      Both the first and second possibilities are equally likely, but perhaps it is a mixture of both. Whatever this case, it would definitely be at least one or the other. Since it can be explained, this argument is therefore invalid. We must recall that the only one who claim Hylia was gravely wounded was Zelda/Hylia herself. We have no one else to verify it, nor any reason to believe that she would not change the story for her Hero's sake.

      Which brings us to to the very reason why she did not mention her Hero and his death to Link; she knew that if she had, supposing that he did not already remember the ordeal by now, he would blame himself for failing her and the land that she and he both loved. He would blame himself for all of the suffering. He would blame himself for everything. She would have no reason to bring that memory and grief to the person she loved had he managed not to remember it. That would be cruel and wrong and pointless.

      Thus, we also can explain why Zelda/Hylia did not mention Link's past life and death.

      Supposed Contradictions Between Hylia's Reasons for Becoming Mortal in the Manga and Her Reasons in the Game:

      Okay, now every other question I've dealt with so far had at least some merit and reasoning, and perhaps this one has a little as well deep down at the root of it, but overall, all it does is ignore facts and nitpick over things that have no importance, like the fact that the manga doesn't say everything using the exact same words as are used in the game, even though the meaning remains identical.
      Furthermore, the arguments used are very uninformed. No offense to the person using this argument, but this unfortunately is a fact.

      The arguments in favor of this theory have suggested that Hylia became mortal so that she could use the Triforce herself; this is a completely false statement that holds absolutely no truth behind it. She never once touched, nor intended to touch, the Triforce throughout the events of Skyward Sword. She never once wished on it -- Link did. She stated that she became mortal so that the power of the Triforce could be used, but never said it was so that she could use it. Some believe that her purpose in becoming mortal was so that she, as Zelda, would be Link's reason to want to complete the trials; however, this is also wrong, as she later states, herself, what her purpose was as a mortal, and how it would be that she would help so that the Triforce could be used.
      Perhaps she knew that Link would do anything to save Zelda, yes. But what he have also done the same if asked by the gods? Given that in practically every other game he does do it for the gods or some authority figure, yes. Did he care that she was a goddess when she told him? No. Did he care that she had used him? No. Perhaps it helped that he knew it was for Zelda. I'm sure it did, but according to the game itself, even putting the manga out of the picture for a moment, she had a Hero prior to him that did fight for her regardless of her being a goddess. She could have easily done the same thing again. But this was not Hylia's true purpose in becoming mortal -- neither was using the Triforce herself.
      Zelda's main purpose as the goddess reborn as a mortal was, according to herself, keeping the seal on Demise strong so that Link would have time enough to find the Triforce and use it to defeat the Demon King. This is how she was to help the power be able to be used. This is what she meant by saying that her sacrifice was made in order to allow the Triforce to be used.

      Don't believe me? Then read for yourself:

      — Zelda, Skyward Sword

      And just to further prove that this statement is not in any way a misunderstanding, here is a retranslated version of the quote, which you will see states the exact same thing:

      — Zelda, Skyward Sword

      Now, in the manga, Hylia states this:

      — Hylia, Skyward Sword manga

      Okay, since the wrong conclusions are always jumped to allow me to break this quote down for you. Let's start with why Link was chosen.

      — Hylia, Skyward Sword manga

      Link was chosen to be the Hero because of his purity, and loyalty. Hylia knew that he was the one she could count on to save the world. She knew that he was selfless and would do what was right. His unbreakable spirit tempered the Master Sword that she deemed only he could wield for all eternity, because he was the only one she could trust and who cared as she did for her land.
      She needed a Hero, and Link was her Hero, and she knew he would wanting nothing more than to be able to be there for his land for all eternity, even at the cost of his own life. This is why she granted him the ability to be reborn.

      Now let's examine Hylia's reason for being eternally reborn:

      — Hylia, Skyward Sword manga

      Well, the first thing you'll notice is that although she states that she wishes to stand before Link as a human the next time that they meet, and also states that whenever the Land of Hylia (Hyrule) is in danger, they shall be reborn, she never actually identifies either of these as being the sole reason for her decision to become mortal. Thus, we must come to the conclusion that it is both.

      She will shed her divinity in order to be eternally reborn along with Link in order to protect Hyrule from danger, and so that when next they meet, she will stand before him as a mortal.

      This statement, "Whenever the Land of Hylia is in danger, we shall be reborn" is actually practically the exact same thing that Shigeru Miyamoto said in Hyrule Historia:

      — Shigeru Miyamoto, Hyrule Historia

      So, for what it's worth and to those whom it may concern (it actually matters very little to an in-universe point of view, since developer intent doesn't matter and the Zelda Universe must be looked at as real; this is the view I am using and the only one that should be used when trying to determine history), this manga does not in the least go against what Zelda's creators intended. In fact, it goes right in line with it. But I digress, we must return to the main subject.

      Despite claims otherwise, Hylia reincarnating in order to protect Hyrule does indeed mean the exact same thing as Hylia reincarnating in order to hold the seal on Demise in order to allow Link enough time to find and use the Triforce, since the sole purpose of the Triforce being used to defeat Demise is to protect Hyrule. As others have wisely stated, the Triforce is merely the current means used to protect Hyrule, which is the ultimate goal which Hylia had and her intention in being reborn.

      Oh, and speaking of her reasons for being reborn, would someone care to tell me why exactly she needed to be reborn just to hold the seal on Demise? Could this sort of thing truly only be accomplished as a mortal? Couldn't the goddess, with her divine powers, hold the seal herself and do so a thousand times better than a mere mortal could? Because seriously, I don't see the necessity in that here.

      Could it be that there was also another reason further encouraging such a decision? Perhaps she partially did it to be human alongside Link as she said she wished to be...? I wouldn't rule it out. Whatever the case, there is certainly no contradiction in Hylia's reasons between the game and the manga.
    • That post is... rather dense with text, and several relevant quotes therein appear to be missing.

      Whatever the case, I'm still inclined to place the SS game over the SS manga (as the games should always be the standard for canon- even HH is ultimately subject to them and has a few inconsistencies with them here and there, so the fact that the manga was commissioned by Nintendo doesn't itself mean much), and still inclined to see the in-game discrepancies as invalidating said manga even further. We have to assume and handwave far too much to reconcile too many differences for my liking, and it honestly doesn't improve or add much to factor the manga in anyway. It's a decently fun little read in its own right, but it doesn't merit serious consideration, at least not from where I sit.
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    • From my recollection there aren’t nearly as many inconsistencies as you suggest. I’ll have to re-read it and come back later. Maybe I’m misremembering things. But at least in the case of many of the things Linkle discusses, I think those can’t even rightly be called inconsistencies so much as they are actually just misinterpretations, as with the reason for Hylia’s reincarnation.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by NinjaGamer13 ().

    • By the way, if you want to see the interior quotes and full comment Linkle had left in its correct formatting which I quoted, I think it should be linked to the original post.

      But anyway, ultimately I still don’t know enough to pick one side definitively, but I keep finding myself inching more and more from “I don’t know” to the manga being canon. And that’s coming from someone who initially also completely discounted it and assumed SS Link was actually the Chosen Hero. But after hearing all the arguments for and against on this forum, I’ve come to realize it’s not that simple.

      And the reason why I think this manga and what it adds to the story is important is because it depicts the FIRST LINK and origin of his and Zelda’s reincarnation cycles, very much “includ[ing] key elements of the game’s story” indeed, as the box in the front claims, as those are FAR too major of things to just never show us, especially when they made Skyward Sword to be the origin story of the series. That’s some pretty massive stuff to leave out. But thankfully, there’s the manga written to fill in that gap and thus “conclude” the story of Skyward Sword, as the writers say they intended to do. I just don’t think Nintendo would leave us in the dark about something that essential to the entire series, so, if we can all agree that there was in fact a Hero before SS Link, then I would consider the only media we have depicting that figure to be necessary to count.

      As for contradictions...

      Setras wrote:

      [...the manga] directly contradicts SS in pretty much every way. In-game, we're told and shown that Hylia raised Skyloft, that the humans were weak in that era and relied on her for protection, that SS Link was the first of his kind to face Demise in battle, that the Goddess Sword became the Master Sword via the Sacred Flames, and that Hylia gave up her divinity to ensure there would be a mortal to use the Triforce. The manga claims that a previous Link who lived among the human military fought Demise and raised Skyloft using the Master Sword, which gained its power from the dragons, and Hylia became mortal to live with him when he reincarnates. That, and the manga are never canon otherwise, so why now?
      I just re-read the manga, and it really doesn’t seem to contradict that much, like I originally thought. The following is what I gathered:
      1. Hylia is the one responsible for raising Skyloft in the manga, as well; she “rent the earth” with the sword, causing the humans’ castle to start “taking to the sky.” She merely throws Link the sword after doing this in order to put it in its place to act as the “pillar between heaven and earth,” as it immediately flies out of his hand and hovers beneath the floating castle. Link really did next to nothing; it was Hylia, just like it is supposed to be.
      2. Only a few humans actually fight, after they all cry out and pray to the gods to save them, and they only do so after getting the support of the Goddess and her army, with most of them (“vast numbers”) being said to have been “slaughtered” by the demons (which fits the murderous part of the SS prologue in which the demons are described as terrorizing the people before Hylia finally takes the survivors up into the sky quite well). Of that few, only Link is shown to face the Demon King “without” his gods, and the result is that he is immediately taken down with one strike. I don’t see the contradiction there.
      3. Demise says SS Link is like no other man or demon he had ever fought before, because he beat Demise. And that is still true in the manga; not only does the manga Link not defeat Demise, but he actually loses to him in ONE HIT. Lol.
      4. The Master Sword doesn’t “gain its power from the dragons” in the manga; the dragons just offer a blessing as the Triforce (“legacy of the gods,” as it is called throughout the manga) is temporarily imbued into it / in order to temporarily imbue the Triforce into it. It already had power, however, from the moment Hylia gave it to Link, before he reforged it, as she explains to him when describing the nature of the sword.
      5. As for the motivation behind Hylia’s reincarnating, it doesn’t seem to contradict so much as added to / said in a more general, obscure way. As Linkle expressed, the fact that Hylia states as a coda to everything in that section of the manga and to everything she says in that specific scene, “Whenever the land of Hylia is in danger, we shall be reborn,” is significant. That seems to be the ultimate motivation to both his living on as well as her being mortal in that scene, in addition to the emotions attached to such a decision, and what else could that mean but that they would do whatever they needed to do in order to keep the world safe from Demise? And we see in the game what the details of that entail, plan-wise. So I don’t there’s a contradiction there, either, necessarily.
      And again, this manga is special and worthy of being considered differently compared to the other manga because of its official inclusion in Hyrule Historia, which is essentially the Zelda Bible. And HH I am not so sure is actually something to be taken as lightly as you suggest; wouldn’t any inconsistencies with older games more likely be retcons/official reinterpretations than outright canonical contradictions? I can’t think of any off the top of my head at the moment, though, but that’s what I would probably assume.

      So honestly, it’s just started to sound to me more and more like the “handwaving” is being done predominantly to DISCOUNT the manga, not to defend it. The only issue that does seem blatantly contradictory is the presence of the full Master Sword before the events of SS, but perhaps Linkle’s argument that the MS can lose power over time is enough. I mean, to be fair, the sword as wielded by the Goddess in the SS prologue does arguably look more like the MS than the actual Goddess Sword...
    • Here's my thoughts on it. Disclaimer: I skipped the entire Linkle quote.

      Being in HH isn't enough to make it canon; the timeline portion is considered canon, but the book also features tons of concept art, often with notes attached, that aren't considered canon. But the couple of contradictions there are, are relatively small and easy to work with. It could very well be canon, in the same way that Link's Crossbow Training could be canon. I think "ambiguously canon" is probably the best label.

      Personally... I'm not a fan. I prefer to keep reincarnation to a minimum, so the explicit statement of reincarnation is something I'd rather avoid. And while I'm not opposed to the idea, I also don't believe that there's a Link before SS, so the manga doesn't really fill in any holes from the game. The fact that the Master Sword exists in its final form even kind of undermines the "forging the Master Sword" plot in SS, although to be fair, that plot kind of undermined itself by having the pre-Master Sword already be the prime magical, demon-slaying sword of the land.

      That being said, if you're going to theorize about the manga, I won't mind.
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    • Aw, shit, here we go again! :P

      Ah well, I needed something to jog my brain and get me back in a theorizing mood, so I'd like to thank @NinjaGamer13 for bringing this interesting and also rather divisive manga back up; also welcome to ZU!

      I may not be as an in-depth analysis machine as Linkle, but I'd like to give my 2 cents and/or hot take on the situation once again.

      @Evran_Speer Yes, the Master Sword thing can be seen as one of the bits of story that discount this story from canon. But, hear me out.

      1. As we've seen in the games, the Master Sword is not only capable of gaining power and changing form, but also the inverse. The latter always happens during a time skip between games, or in the case of BOTW, in the 100 year timeskip. It's lost its power in ALBW, Wind Waker, and Breath of the Wild. I suppose you can also count Ancient Stone Tablets if you wanted to as well but obtaining the sword and its upgrades in the game aren't exactly the same as ALttP; i.e. finding the upgrades in chests rather than having the Dwarven Smithes upgrade it- but that's a matter for another day that I've discussed with Linkle. Anyway, given its tendency for its power to wane over time and revert to being the Master Sword, I don't see why the Master Sword can't do the same here, losing even further power and changing form. Granted, that doesn't happen in other games, but that brings me to my next point.

      So, rather than naturally losing power over time and changing to a new form for some reason, what if Hylia, before sending it to the skies, changed the form of the Master Sword itself? Perhaps as a last act before she too passes and reincarnates into a mortal form. I mean, think about it. Initially in the manga, the sword was meant for use by deities like Hylia herself. But deities themselves cannot use the Triforce, so it had to be reforged and cut down slightly to be used by mortals instead. Hylia's Chosen Hero fell to Demise quite easily. If the Gods can create such a pure sword, shouldn't they also be able to remove their purity? Imo, Hylia very well could have done that, and I think that would explain why the sacred flames were created, to restore those purities in future. That's their purpose in game at any rate. I think that in and of itself suggest that the Goddess Sword is a weakened Master Sword in disguise.

      2. Hylia created Fi as a spirit of the sword, and it's pretty clear that her design in the image of the Master Sword, not the Goddess Sword. Otherwise Fi would be sharing its colors and have design elements more closely resembling the Goddess Sword; and honestly, we have no idea if Fi's design and colors would change to match the upgraded form. Why would Fi represent a version of the sword not seen till later in the game and not its "original" form? That just doesn't make sense to me.

      Another discrepancy: It's Link who is injured, not Hylia in the the manga. Let's not forget what Fi said about word of mouth not being exactly accurate.

      I won't go through all of them, but my viewpoint is more or less the same as it was in the old thread. I've seen a lot of theorists through the years, but if there's anyone I'm most inclined to stick with, it's our forum's own Linkle. She's one of the deepest and most analytical theorists I've ever met/encountered, breaking down English text, the original Japanese text and everything in between. And she her Skyward theory's interwoven with her Shadow Temple theory, which made complete sense to me. I'm not trying to be a yes man and just go along with everything I agree with and/or like of hers; as I'm a theorist myself and do have some differing views from her, but there's just something compelling about her theories and hot takes. I dunno, I'm terrible with words.

      Anyway; I get why people site x or why thing as evidence against. But just because I understand why they would cite those parts, doesn't mean I agree with them either.

      I'd rather not get involve any further than this since my viewpoint's basically the same as before. I just don't want this turning into another sludgefest with emotions on people's sleeves and arguments getting desperate and falling apart. I'll keep an eye on this thread and see how it turns out this time around. But I will say this: the wiki's position needs some adjusting; it makes no sense to have it stated to be non-canon on one page and ambiguous on another. You need consistency. No one can seem to come to a unanimous conclusion about it, so it's best left as ambiguous. It's like BOTW's timeline placement. Everyone has their own theories, and therefore no one will ever be able to come together to reach a unanimous conclusion; Aonuma's thrown us to the wolves to decide that. The wolves being our own divisiveness. In retrospect, I think Aonuma and Himekawa should have left a statement in Hyrule Historia stating whether the manga was written for the timeline or just as a non-canon bonus feature.

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

    • @Evran_Speer Hey, thanks for your input!

      I agree that just because it is in HH does not necessarily mean it is definitely canonical, but I do think that its being in HH does shift the burden of proof onto those saying it isn’t, as opposed to those who believe it is, and I haven’t seen a lot of reasoning out there regarding that besides it simply being a manga and allegedly having a bunch of contradictions (which I think I’ve shown to largely be false), so I’m just wondering what the deal is, lol. It appears to be the default assumption that it ISN’T canon, and I just can’t figure out why that is, when, by my logic, the default assumption should be that it is.

      As for the concept art notes, since when is that information not considered canonical?
      And regarding Link’s Crossbow Training, the difference between that and the manga is that LCT is outright excluded from the canon by HH, whereas the manga isn’t; the manga is in fact arguably assumed canon by HH. Just saying. : P

      And the manga is no more explicit about reincarnation than The Wind Waker, Skyward Sword, and Hyrule Historia already are themselves. I’m surprised that’s an issue, when it seems to be the confirmed canon of the series...

      @Okami Takahashi Hey there! Thanks a lot!

      And keep in mind Skyward Sword takes place “thousands of years later” after the manga, so if there’s any time for the Master Sword to fade like it does, that would sure be it! Also, I do agree that Fi’s design is noteworthy.

      But yeah, regardless of anything, I do think the Wiki needs to fix that issue; it seems to me that the one thing that most everyone here can agree on regarding the manga is that it is better described as “ambiguously canon” than “non-canon.”

      And I have no intention for this discussion to get heated. Hopefully no one else does, either. It shouldn’t be an issue of passionate contention, I should hope, but that last thread did get kind of bad.
    • @Okami Takahashi Like I said, it isn't too hard to rectify the inconsistencies. In fact, I'll go one step further and say that in-universe considerations are almost irrelevant here. I once saw someone argue that OoT's end credits aren't canon, on the grounds that they don't make sense. Anju touches cuccoos when she couldn't before, the Kokiri leave the forest when they couldn't before, Gerudo celebrating alongside the other races even though it's their king who just got stabbed in the face, and several characters exclusive to the child era suddenly showing up again as if all those zombies in Castle Town didn't have to come from somewhere. To an extent, that makes sense; there are all these little contradictions. But because we already believe it to be canon, we justify the inconsistencies and even use them as evidence that Nabooru wasn't the only Gerudo who had problems with Ganondorf, and that Kokiri don't drop dead the moment they enter Hyrule Field. Similarly, if Miyamoto came out tomorrow and announced unequivocally that the SS manga is canon, the theorizing community would collectively get over it, myself included.

      My objection with the Master Sword thing is more of a narrative matter. Skyward Sword presents itself as the "origin story" of the Master Sword, and the manga turns it into a restoration story, just an extended version of WW's. It isn't really an argument, just an opinion.
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by Evran_Speer ().

    • Also, @Evran_Speer, you don’t believe there was a Hero before SS Link? I was the same way; it definitely keeps things more neat and tidy narrative-wise that way. But I am no longer so sure. In the other thread on this topic, which Linkle was on, the argument was proposed that SS Link was in fact the Chosen Hero mentioned in the beginning of SS, and it was actually just a self-fulfilling prophecy due to time travel. I was totally on board for that explanation until the point was made on that thread that that could not be the case, since Link only travels to a time after Skyloft had already been lifted up, and so there would be no one for that story to spread through in order to become “history” who would be up in Skyloft. Even the user who was super staunchly arguing against the manga’s canonicity admitted that that was true, and that there must, then, be a Hero before SS Link. So, if that is the case, to me it only makes sense to take the manga - the only source that actually depicts that figure - as canon, ‘cause what else could we do, reasonably? What do you think about this issue?
    • @NinjaGamer13 I mean, a lot of the concept art is designs specifically rejected by the developers. I think it's fairly self-evident that all 11 Imp Midna designs aren't canon, and that "Design sketches for Midna" is not an in-universe statement.

      Fun fact, Link's Crossbow Training isn't quite deemed non-canon. HH just mentions, well, not mentioning it, but doesn't say that it doesn't happen. The manga is in a sort of similar position; yes, it's included in HH itself, but the actual timeline makes no mention of any manga-exclusive events.

      As for reincarnation... WW sends mixed messages. Ganon says that WW Link is the reincarnation of the Hero of Time, while the King of Red Lions says that WW Link has no relation to the Hero of Time. HH specifically leaves both possibilities open (manga aside). SS has the "spirit of the hero" line, which can easily be read in the abstract. I can certainly understand how you would look at the series and conclude that reincarnation is happening, but aside from two confirmed cases (Hylia in SS and Ganondorf in FSA), it isn't strictly canon. The manga's "I will ensure that your gentle, heroic spirit will live eternally," and "Whenever the land of Hylia is in danger... ...we shall be reborn," are crystal clear by comparison.

      It's true that getting information about the sailcloth ceremony back to Skyloft would be difficult. I'll have to take a look at that previous thread to see how the conversation went, but my immediate answer is that Skyloft has numerous and rather specific prophecies about the events of Skyward Sword. There's even a modern fortune-teller who can see past the cloud barrier. The only difference is that the sailcloth is presented as history rather than prophecy, but in a time loop, the distinction becomes kind of irrelevant.
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    • @Evran_Speer Oh, I thought you were referring to the notes within the concept art sections themselves, which mostly just describe things that happened with the subject of the particular art in the stories of the games themselves, as well as some developers’ thoughts on them. Never mind, lol.

      I suppose you actually make a good point about LCT. I forgot that it simply said they weren’t including it. But I mean, when that’s right underneath something calling itself “The History” and is said not to be included, the intent seems clear. At least with the manga it directly claims to “conclude” and “include key elements of [Skyward Sword’s] story,” and in fact is the only media that exists that does show us the original Hero SS assumes the existence of (unless maybe the self-fulfilling prophecy thing can be solidly supported) and clearly explains the origin of the reincarnation cycle that I still argue is clearly assumed - if not outright confirmed - by the canon, whereas LCT is a mere spinoff game and doesn’t try to be anything else.

      King of Red Lion’s line seems easier to interpret as something that doesn’t disprove reincarnation than Ganon’s line is as something that doesn’t confirm it. And don’t forget Demise’s speech at the end of SS about his own reincarnation, as well, which itself implies that Link and Zelda are reincarnating, too, since they reappear throughout the series in the same way as Demise/Ganon does and no less - in fact, more so. And, aside from a couple instances of attempting to look like reincarnation isn’t necessarily confirmed in HH, the book pretty darn clearly takes a side on the issue. It literally even subtitles the official chronology as “The History of the Cycle of Rebirth and the Triforce” (emphasis added). Additionally, Miyamoto himself suggests not only Ganon’s continual reincarnation, but - more subtly - Link and Zelda’s, too, when he prefaces the whole book with (emphasis added):

      Shigeru Miyamoto wrote:

      Even though Ganon is defeated time and time again, he [not “they”] is evil incarnate and will come back time and time again, with a vengeance. Each time [...] a [not “many”] young boy and girl will be born. Link’s [not “another” Link, but the Link] adventures will go on [...]
      Also, HH tells the implications of Demise’s speech straight, calling his curse “a never-ending cycle of the reincarnation of the Demon King,” and uses the description “A cyclical tale arose from an ancient battle” in the timeline, continuing the language of “cycles” and “rebirth/reincarnation.” Indeed, all of the language that is used and just how we discuss and think about the topic in general in every single website, Wiki, book, and game that discusses Link, Zelda, Ganon, or any other character - whether in reference to a specific one or to all of them throughout the series collectively - assumes and treats him or her as a singular character. Even when discussing multiple ones, as in describing TP Link’s interactions with the Hero’s Shade, we refer to them as different incarnations of the same character - “the Link of this era,” etc. And that’s not even touching what The Legend of Zelda: Encyclopedia says on the issue, which describes Zelda in general as “the goddess of Hylia reborn” and says “he [referring to Link (in the singular, though discussing the character in general)] is the hero reborn to many homes, over the course of many lifetimes,” and that there are “incarnations” and “versions” of Link, among other things. And that’s only to be expected, as I can’t think of anything besides reincarnation for why so many individuals throughout time in the same series all have the exact same names, have the same clothes, look the same, act the same, have the same special abilities and qualities, have the same personalities, have similar backgrounds, and have the same destinies. To think reincarnation is a touchy subject regarding this series seems a bit ludicrous to me...

      Hmm, there’s some potential there. Please get back to me once you’ve read that if you have further developed any possible solution for the theory, as I would love to hear it. I really am just a guy trying to figure out the truth here, and if the self-fulfilling prophecy theory is more likely than the manga’s canonicity and doesn’t contradict any implied official relationship of the manga with the canon material that should be recognized, I’m down. If it’s not, then it’ll just be a matter of making sure the Master Sword and any other minor issues with the games are adequately explained about the manga.

      The post was edited 3 times, last by NinjaGamer13 ().

    • Oh, also, another thing I forgot to mention regarding Demise’s speech at the end of SS: he says “those like you,” then describes in what way they will be like Zelda and Link by saying “those who share the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero” - Zelda is confirmed to be a reincarnation of the goddess Hylia, so it must be in that way that she “shares” the “blood of the goddess” (and thus also the way “those like” her will “share the blood,” further cementing the fact that every Zelda is a reincarnation) but, going by the use of the same language in describing Link, that he “shares” the “spirit of the hero,” as if talking about Hylia’s Chosen Hero who had been referenced several times throughout SS, doesn’t that mean Demise is saying Link is a reincarnation of the first Hero, in the same way Zelda is a reincarnation of Hylia here, since “those like” him will only be like him because they “share” the “spirit of the hero” (not SS Link’s spirit - “your spirit” - but “the spirit of the hero”)? Why else would he say it like that? What else could it mean?

      The post was edited 1 time, last by NinjaGamer13 ().

    • Perhaps I can address some things.

      It's non-canon. There are a few reasons to why it isn't canon, but one of the most glaring is the fact that the Master Sword is present when we know that it doesn't exist yet. The Master Sword only comes into existence when Link purifies the Goddess Sword with the Sacred Flames, and this isn't something that happens until long after the events of the comic. It's pretty clear that the manga was written with little more than the details of the game up until the end of the Wing Ceremony.

      There's also zero concrete evidence that a hero actually existed prior to the general period when Link meets Fi. We know that in the Wing Ceremony, they practice rituals to honor Hylia and her chosen hero (and Zelda actually mentions the Goddess giving her hero a Sailcloth, as a moment of foreshadowing that turns out to be referring to that very instance). The entire reason they celebrate the Goddess and the hero is because Hylia devised a plan to save the Hylian populace (as Zelda reveals just before sealing herself away), and some of the details of her plan were passed to the people of Skyloft (or to a select few as we can see with Gaepora). Fi establishes that the oral tradition of Skyloft has been warped significantly over the ages, so we cannot take their practices as fact of anything that necessarily happened yet. All we know for certain is that Hylia made a plan, and the Hylians were at least vaguely aware of the details of that plan.

      NinjaGamer13 wrote:

      going by the use of the same language in describing Link, that he “shares” the “spirit of the hero,” as if talking about Hylia’s Chosen Hero who had been referenced several times throughout SS, doesn’t that mean Demise is saying Link is a reincarnation of the first Hero, in the same way Zelda is a reincarnation of Hylia here, since “those like” him will only be like him because they “share” the “spirit of the hero” (not SS Link’s spirit - “your spirit” - but “the spirit of the hero”)? Why else would he say it like that? What else could it mean?
      Let's make everything clear about what Demise said.
      This reference note is exactly what was said. For simplicity, I'm putting it down below as well.

      "Though this is not the end. My hate... never perishes. It is born anew in a cycle with no end! I will rise again! Those like you... Those who share the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero... They are eternally bound to this curse. An incarnation of my hatred shall ever follow your kind, dooming them to wander a blood-soaked sea of darkness for all time!"

      What this implies is that Demise expects Link's spirit (note: not his soul) to reincarnate, and for Zelda to procreate. That's essentially it, and it doesn't imply a predecessor. Link is Hylia's hero that she chose ahead of time thousands of years prior, and Demise is aware of this grand stratagem. Demise is cursing them to be followed by his hatred whenever they do reincarnate. That's called the Cycle of Rebirth and it starts with this instance.
    • This is a fun discussion.

      Tony addressed Demise's Curse, but I'd like to be a little more thorough. SS Zelda has the blood of the goddess because she is the goddess. Those who share her blood are her descendants, the Hylian Royal Family. There's no implication that everyone who has the blood has to be a reincarnation of the goddess. In fact, I think there's a reasonably strong argument to be made, based on this line, that Zelda doesn't reincarnate even if Link does.

      Demise says "the spirit of the hero" rather than "your spirit" exactly because he isn't talking about reincarnation. Even assuming that SS Link is already the reincarnation of Manga Link, it would be entirely appropriate to refer to his spirit as "your spirit." That's what it is. Calling it the "spirit of the hero" casts a wider net. Besides, it would be silly for Demise to suddenly bring up this other hero. "You fight like no man or demon I have ever known. And remember that hero who was mentioned in the Wing Ceremony? His reincarnations will wander in blood-soaked sea of darkness!"

      For that matter, what's even the point of saying "those like you" when he really just means "you"?

      I could be wrong, but the cycle/rebirth language is usually centered around Ganondorf, who does indeed continually return. The series can be seen as the intergenerational conflict between the Royal Family and the ever-returning Demon King, as seen through the eyes of various heroic Hylians who always happen to wear green tunics at some point.

      The Encyclopedia isn't generally considered canon either, but you'll have to have that debate with someone else. I haven't had a chance to read through it myself. It does sound like it's awfully explicit on reincarnation, though.

      Your statement that the Links always "have the exact same names, have the same clothes, look the same, act the same, have the same special abilities and qualities, have the same personalities, have similar backgrounds, and have the same destinies," isn't really right. For one,Link is not necessarily named Link. HH notes that they may be "a number of heroes with different names entirely," and most games do let you choose. "Link" is the default name and thus the one we use in these discussions and non-canon appearances like Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart, but it isn't strictly canon in itself. "Similar backgrounds" can range from ranch hand to blacksmith's apprentice to engineer's apprentice to raised by forest spirits.

      It's true that non-canon material generally treats Link as a single character and Zelda as a single character. However, there are canon contradictions to that. LoZ Zelda and AoL Zelda (Zelda I) are both alive at the same time. Are the both reincarnations of the same goddess? And while OoT Link is dead by the time TP happens, his spirit is still there in the form of the Hero's Shade. Can the "spirit of the hero" be in two places at once?

      More to the point, I'm not sure that explaining the start of the "reincarnation cycle" is actually a point in favor of the manga. If we think that Link reincarnates, on the grounds that the Links we play as are all so similar, then don't we also have to believe that the likes of Malon, Dampe, and Tingle also reincarnate? Given such widespread reincarnation of seemingly unimportant persons, reincarnation would seem to be a natural part of life within the Zelda universe. To find another cause specific to Link and Zelda isn't answering some important question, just creating unnecessary complications.

      Next, the manga does "include key elements of [Skyward Sword’s] story" -- elements like Demise's attack on the Surface, Hylia sending the surviving humans to the sky, Hylia sealing Demise, Hylia deciding to reincarnate as a human. These are things the manga takes from Skyward Sword, not the other way around. Again, none of the manga's original contributions are acknowledged on the canon timeline. I'm not sure how the manga is even supposed to "conclude" SS's story. It's a prequel.
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    • @Tony So you inspired me to go back and watch some YouTube videos of the Wing Ceremony scene and the scene in which Link meets Fi, wields the Goddess Sword, and speaks with the headmaster again, since it’s been so long since I’ve played Skyward Sword, and now I might be starting to once again lean toward the other side of the debate, based on what I’ve found...

      The first thing Fi says upon seeing Link is “The one chosen by my creator. I have been waiting for you,” as she looks directly at him. That is eerily similar wording to the goddess’s “chosen hero” to whom she gave her sailcloth mentioned previously during the Wing Ceremony, and we all know who Fi’s creator was - the goddess. Fi later calls him “the one chosen by my creator” again when she tells him to take the sword, as it is his “destiny.” Then, when the headmaster comes in and sees Link with the sword and Fi, he describes how the “prophecy of legend” was essentially a handful of words passed down in secret and quotes a bunch of it, and then it is in this same scene that Fi says (emphasis added):

      Fi wrote:

      Ah yes, the oral tradition, one of the least reliable methods of information retention and transmission. It appears that critical sections of the passage have been lost over the generations. ‘The youth who draws forth the guiding sword shall be known as the goddess’s chosen hero [...]’
      ...Thus seemingly confirming - when coupled with the fact that Fi says they got a bunch of the prophecy wrong - that he IS the goddess’s chosen hero that is spoken of. And the sailcloth history is even described in the terms of “they say” and “long ago,” so that would apparently fit the unreliable oral tradition Fi refers to.

      I would say that perhaps it could just mean that SS Link is the original hero’s reincarnation, but the fact that it says that it is the one who draws the sword who will be “known as [the title],” as opposed to saying the one who draws the sword “is” that hero - as if the origin of the name itself actually comes from SS Link’s actions - makes me think that that’s less likely. Because that means there can’t have been one called “the goddess’s chosen hero” apart from the youth who was prophesied to take the Goddess Sword, and so it is and always has been SS Link, the confirmed fulfiller of that prophecy, being referred to - not someone that came before him - and the history was simply a corruption of details from the prophecy.

      So this explanation you’ve offered, which justifies SS Link’s being the first Hero not by a self-fulfilling time-travel prophecy, but by the mixing up of ancient history and prophecies making it a mystery that it wasn’t about a hero who was but rather a hero who would be, looks to not only hold up, but also be what was the intended implication of the game’s story.

      However, I think there are still ways to interpret and theorize everything so that one could fit the manga - however clunkily - into the canon. And if the intent of the manga was to be a canonical addition to the series, under Nintendo’s approval, it wouldn’t matter what SS might imply; the manga would be canon, and so it would have to be fit into the storyline accordingly. Just like when more games are introduced into the franchise which shift the timeline and canon around, even against what the makers of the previous games may have originally intended or thought. So ultimately, I believe we must figure out if there is an official word on the status/nature of the manga before we are able to conclude that it is anything other than ambiguously canon yet.

      With that said, I looked for any developer quotes I could find that might confirm that it was in fact their intent for SS Link to be the first Link. I found none. But I did find several noteworthy quotes regarding the Master Sword; Aonuma says:
      What these quotes appear to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt is that Nintendo’s official intent for the story of SS was that it would be the true origin of the Master Sword. The quote that I think is of the most significance is actually the first one (whose original source is actually unavailable, so I am just blindly taking the user who posted it here on the Theorizing Resources thread as trustworthy), as it goes so far as to suggest that we can actually use the very existence of the Master Sword in any particular Zelda story to confirm that it necessarily must take place after SS in the timeline based on that. So, since the manga is definitively written to be before SS, and yet also features the full-fledged Master Sword, based on that metric the manga can be confidently rejected as canonical.

      But again, one could make the argument that developer comments are not always set in stone, and things often change with time and as new stories are released, so perhaps that was true at one time, but then Hyrule Historia was created and the manga given Nintendo’s seal of approval and so that became the new canon. Could anyone confirm if any of these quotes from Aonuma were during a time he would have been aware of the content of Hyrule Historia? Because if so, then that would be him actively discrediting as officially canonical the manga...


      That was all in response to part 1 of your comment. Now for part 2, lol...

      Although my reading of Demise’s ending monologue was a perfectly grammatical one - he very well could be saying the future incarnations of Zelda and Link to come are “like [them]” because they also will “share” the blood of the goddess and spirit of the hero in the same way SS Zelda and Link do, respectively, which would suggest SS Zelda and Link are likewise both reincarnations themselves (of Hylia and the first chosen hero, respectively) - I suppose if one reads the “those who share...” part from a future-looking perspective, even though it is said in present tense, it could also be validly interpreted as saying nothing about the current Zelda and hero standing before him as he says it. But it would’ve been much more straightforward for him to simply say “those who share your spirit, the spirit of the hero” as that fits that meaning much better. Without that direct address, the meaning is not as clear.
    • @Evran_Speer I think so, too, and it’s an important discussion, since it seems the Wiki isn’t decided on it, and I myself have been playing on going through and replaying all the main Zelda games in chronological order, so I’d like to be able to determine with certainty if I should re-read the manga before starting or not, lol : P

      Yes, a straight, literal interpretation of that line in isolation could in fact be used to argue that Zelda does not reincarnate at all. However, that of course does not seem to be the case canonically and in its full interpretative context.

      “Spirit of the hero” does not seem to “cast a wider net” by my reckoning; “the hero” suggests specificity. If it were “a hero,” you might be right.

      Because they’re other incarnations of “you,” not that specific individual he is presently talking to.

      Ganon, yes. And Link and Zelda, too, as I have shown.

      The Encyclopedia is not “generally” considered canon? That seems like an awfully big assumption. Regardless of how many fans online don’t like to count the Encyclopedia because they don’t like the explanations it’s offered on certain things and then they try to justify that biased act (which is often based on misinterpretations, as often seems to be the case with the nature of Termina, for example) by pointing to the preface just because it includes the word “interpretations,” doing so ignores all of the facts which make it entirely unreasonable to assume the book is anything but reputable. The Wiki recognizes it as canon, and it is. It is part of the same series as Hyrule Historia (which is universally recognized as canon), the preface of it states “Nintendo teamed with” them to make the book, it concludes with an exclusive interview with Aonuma himself, it introduced a revised timeline for the series that has been confirmed as the new official timeline (thus actually superseding Hyrule Historia continuity-wise), and Aonuma confirmed that he counts the information revealed in the Encyclopedia as something “we [he and his team at Nintendo] revealed” in an interview for the book The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Creating a Champion (…meline-nintendo-confirms/), meaning he approves of and takes responsibility for its content. And the team that put the Encyclopedia together was incredibly thorough and well-researched. They predominantly dug up facts, behind-the-scenes information, and Nintendo-approved solutions to any contradictions that arose (…interview-1202850811/amp/). Any “interpretation” that may be involved at certain specific points is the only official, Nintendo-sanctioned interpretation of the canon that there is, and it was made in association with Nintendo themselves. So I hold that it is legit, and it is reliable. And anyway, I do recommend reading it; if you liked HH you’ll probably like it, as well, and it’s a valuable source for Zelda theorizing and such and also confirms a bunch of theories, which is pretty satisfying.

      The names thing is that same section we’ve mentioned that tries to act like HH doesn’t take a side, even though the rest of the book pretty darn clearly supports reincarnation. Nintendo includes that just because they like being able to give their players more of a chance to use their imagination in the games as well as to relate with the player character, but that’s hardly something we can base a definitive canon on, which is why I would argue the default name DOES seem to be the canonical one, officially. It simply isn’t possible that my neighbor’s save of OoT named “Brandon” and/or my cousin’s save named “Travis” both/either count as canon. As for backgrounds, I’m talking about the fact that just about every Link is depicted as an orphaned, male, Hylian youth of humble beginnings who ends up leaving his home to fulfill his destiny as the hero of Hyrule, with the Triforce of Courage on the back of his hand, who often comes from a small village with similar archetypal friends, companions, trials, challenges, and tests along the way from game-to-game. And again, you’re ignoring all the other things they have in common that cannot be possibly explained by anything besides reincarnation.

      AND canon material, don’t forget; I’ve already pointed out some of the games, books, and developer comments that do that. Heck, the premise of the whole series really assumes Link and Zelda’s reincarnation, even. Multiple incarnations coexisting simultaneously are not necessarily contradictions to reincarnation, especially with the older games, which hadn’t had as developed of a canon back then as it was. There are ways to explain that, if an explanation is even necessary (it might not be, depending on the kind of reincarnation that the Zelda universe features - perhaps it’s just the “copying”/“cloning” of the soul, for example, in which case multiples coexisting isn’t at all a problem).
      But anyway, let’s not argue too much about reincarnation here; I struggle to see how it could even be an argument, and besides, the last thread about the topic of the manga took a huge detour wasting all kinds of space arguing over reincarnation instead of whether or not the manga was actually canon, and I’d hate for that to happen here, too. It in no way affects the canonicity of the manga, as reincarnation is allowed for by the canon (and I would personally say clearly utilized in it, in fact), so it really is a debate for another thread. As long as it is not a debate about whether or not reincarnation is a thing in Zelda, but instead a reincarnation-related discussion relevant to the canonicity and understanding of the manga and such, we’re golden.

      It’s a good point that other individuals seem to reincarnate, too, based on their appearing multiple times throughout the series, as well, but the manga’s explanation could still be of value in light of that, as there is no explanation regarding the reincarnation of any kind elsewhere in the Zelda series (so why does it happen? Why would the gods institute it? It’s just an unanswered mystery), whereas the manga’s explanation could be argued to also support an extended reason for others’ reincarnations besides Link and Zelda, as well: what I have always assumed, that the gods reincarnate the specific individuals for the times that they could come of specific use in helping the particular hero of that era in fulfilling his destiny. In other words, Beedle, for instance, is reborn in The Wind Waker because the gods see how he could help the Hero of Winds in his specific quest. Because if Link and Zelda are reborn in time for whenever Hyrule needs their help, it makes sense that that would logically extend to the other reincarnations we see in the series, also. It’s indirect and assumption-y, I admit, but still better than nothing to me.

      Right, no one’s claiming SS takes story elements from the manga, just that those comments the manga makes about itself seem to suggest it was written under the assumption that it was something that incorporated into and filled in the gaps from (or “concluded”) the canonical story of SS. And if it was written under the assumption of being canon, perhaps that means Nintendo had officially given them that license, the license to make a canonical addition to the series’ storyline, meaning it would in fact be canon. Or perhaps you could maybe argue that the “conclude” part is meant to be interpreted as concluding their own story, the manga itself (though I can’t say that would make much sense for them to say), and the “key elements” thing was just to say they took ideas from the game. I don’t know if that interpretation works for sure, though.
    • Oh, also, Aonuma said this at the end of the interview in the Encyclopedia regarding it:

      Eiji Aonuma wrote:

      Also, my individual development history may be twenty years, but The Legend of Zelda has thirty years of history. This encyclopedia is the fruit of all of our labors, showcasing how we have taken on all sorts of challenges. Of course, the reason that we’re able to publish this sort of book, or even make a Breath of the Wild, is because of the fans have supported us. I’d like to thank all of them from the bottom of my heart.
      ...Before then signing the book and writing “Enjoy!” All of this clearly cements the book as canon.
    • When I say that the Encyclopedia isn't "generally" considered canon, all I mean is that I've seen more people argue against it being canon than in favor. That's interesting that Zelda wiki uses it as canon, though. I've mostly stayed out of that discussion, and since it's mostly a tangent to reincarnation, was which already something of a tangent the SS Manga, I guess I'll continue to do so.

      NinjaGamer13 wrote:

      Could anyone confirm if any of these quotes from Aonuma were during a time he would have been aware of the content of Hyrule Historia?
      Hyrule Historia released in Japan on December 21, 2011. The quotes (and I'm trusting random people on the internet, here), are from September 2010, June 2011, July 2011, and November 2011. Most of the quotes are probably from earlier than the dates given, since they come from people reporting on interviews that happened earlier.

      I'm not sure how long before publishing a book has to be finalized, but I would imagine that the plot of the manga was pretty much set in stone by November (probably a bit more than month before release.) It does paint an ongoing picture of SS being the origin of the Master Sword. However, it is interesting that of the four quotes, the one closest to HH's release is that one that talks about the "history" of the Master Sword rather than its "birth," and the one that explicitly says that something with the Master Sword has to come after SS is from a full year beforehand.

      Other than that, I don't really have anything else to add. I maintain that "ambiguously canon" is the best choice, that the manga would fit into the canon if it had to, despite an apparent contradiction here and there.
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