Zelda: TOTK
Image: Nintendo Life

Never mind Ganon, as anyone who has even plucked up the courage to tell you that truth The dark beast of the Zelda franchise is its timeline. Up to Heavenly sword, many of us were happy enough to create our own theories about how the games fit together, or just play along, blissfully ignorant of the intricacies of how one flowed into the other. Then History of Hyrule appeared in 2011 and turned everything around.

Rather than one coherent timeline, this official tie-in book suggests that there are actually three separate threads to follow after the events Ocarina of Time — “The Hero Defeated” and “The Hero Triumphs (Children’s and Adult Eras)”. And that doesn’t count any of the games being released after Skyward Sword, so we could only guess where similar Breath of the wild and Tears of the kingdom insert into mixture. Simply put, gets actually complex, actually quickly.

Luckily, we’re here to help try to make sense of it all. We’ve studied Hyrule’s official timeline from books, looked for clues in games, and read enough theories to drive Zonai crazy, all in the name of trying to figure out where Tears of the Kingdom (and Breath of Wild) is. ) fall on the order of events.

We’ll do a quick recap of the “official” timeline before diving into this last generation, just so we’re all on the same page. And yes, we will be discussing events and plot points from almost all Zelda games in this one (although we’ve easily bypassed Tears of the Kingdom so far), so be prepared for spoilers ahead.

Notebooks are ready. Let’s do some (ocarina) time travel…

Zelda Timeline Explained

Chronology according to Hyrule Historia

We’re going to be very brief with our recaps, so hold on tight.

The legend of the goddess and the hero

Zelda: Skyward Sword
Image: Nintendo

Hyrule and the Triforce were created by three goddesses (Din, Nyru, and Pharore) and left under the control of another goddess named Hylia. War quickly erupts after an evil being named Demis attempts to obtain the Triforce, only to be shut down by Hylia and her armies. Hylia lifts the Triforce and the humans into the sky on a giant floating island called Skyloft.

Hylia is reborn as a human (Zelda) who was kidnapped by one of Demis’ servants and brought to the surface in an attempt to retrieve the Triforce. She is rescued by her friend Link, who defeats Demise, but not before the villain curses the pair, swearing that his quest for revenge will be eternal, and that a version of his evil will forever hunt those with the goddess’s blood, a creepy thing. .

Years pass. The people of Skyloft return to the surface and call it Hyrule. There’s some nasty stuff going on with a mage named Vaati, who ends up being sealed into a powerful Picori blade known as the Four Swords.

After something years of peace, Khairul plunges into civil war. The baby is entrusted to the Great Deku Tree to be raised as Kokiri, who grows up to become Link. Link meets a new version of Princess Zelda (there will be a lot of reincarnation stuff, just to be clear) and the pair learn that an evil Gerudo named Ganondorf is trying to steal the Triforce, and Link travels seven years ahead in time because he can wield the legendary Master the sword and defeat evil.

Games included:

Twilight Kingdom and Hero’s Legacy (Hero Triumphs – Child Timeline)

Zelda: LTTP
Image: Nintendo

After defeating Ganondorf at the end of Ocarina of Time, Link is sent back in time to relive childhood. He puts the Swordmaster back on the pedestal, warns Zelda of Ganondorf’s plans, and escapes with the Ocarina so the Gerudo can never open the Seal of Time just in case he manages to avoid punishment (spoiler alert: he does).

Link visiting a parallel world, fighting a monstrous moon, and returning to Hyrule to live out the rest of his memoryless days as a hero is all very sad, and not so much in games.

A hundred years pass, Ganondorf escapes execution (who would have thought?!) and is banished to the Twilight Kingdom, where he grows in power and eventually kidnaps Princess Zelda. A direct descendant of the Hero of Time (also called Link) goes on a quest to save the princess. He kills Ganondorf, rescues Ghairul, and the gate between the two realms breaks.

Ganondorf reincarnates and frees Vaati from the Four Swords, but Link makes light work of them both.

Games included:

Hero of the Winds and the New World (The Hero of Triumph – Chronology for Adults)

Zelda: TP
Image: Nintendo

Rewind to the end of Ocarina of Time. Link defeats Ganondorf (who was sealed away by the sages) and is sent back in time, so what happens to the timeline without Link? Fine, massacre.

Ganondorf escapes the seal and captures Hyrule. With no hero to protect them, the King of Hyrule leaves the fate of the world to the gods, who quickly flood the lands, leaving only a select few to survive.

Years pass and Ganondorf escapes his watery grave (yes, again). Link collects the broken shards of the Triforce, restores the power of the Master Sword, and descends to the bottom of the ocean to finish off Ganondorf once and for all—he drives the sword into Ganondorf’s head, turning the Gerudo to stone (seriously). ). At the behest of King Hyrule, the Triforce, Ganondorf, and Hyrule himself wash away in hopes of a better future.

Link and Zelda (here she is called Tetra) go in search of a new Hyrule. There’s some ghost ship shenanigans along the way, but eventually they find a new land (and it even has its own rail network). Hundreds of years later, Zelda and Link (reincarnation) free the earth from evil and live happily ever after…

Games included:

The Fall of Hyrule and the Last Hero (Hero Defeated)

Zelda: Wind Waker
Image: Nintendo

Back to the end of Ocarina, but this time it’s Link beaten from Ganondorf. The Demon King takes the Triforce and is sealed in the Holy Realm by the Seven Sages, corrupting him into the Dark World. The Sages completely shut down the Dark World.

Ganondorf’s power grows, and a hero named Link (surprise surprise) heads into the realm to defeat him. He succeeds and takes control of the Triforce, wishing for peace and entrusting the emblem to the royal family.

In the years to come, many adventures await with various reincarnations in the main roles. These include fish islands, fire resurrections, and jumping between worlds. The short version is that there was some family drama between the royals and Zelda fell into a perpetual coma.

Ganon resurrected again, but was defeated by Link. Link regains the full Triforce, uses it to awaken the sleeping Zelda, and peace is restored to Hyrule.