December 31, 2017
Age old question we’ve all been asking since March 3rd of 2017 (in actuality since the cryptic Zelda trailer was first shown off a while ago); where exactly does Breath of the Wild fit into the official Legend of Zelda timeline? Theories exist all around the web about where it’s proper placement is and there is both strong and not so strong evidence to support said theories. This short little article isn’t going to be creating a new theory or supporting any of the others floating around but merely to point out some of the more interesting support statements for the different theories.
First off some of the more coincidental evidence that I found particularly interesting were brought up by famous YouTuber MatPat of The Game Theorists. The fact that in this iteration of the famous green garb, the Tunic of the Wild, the cap retains the same similar yellow stripe on the brim that is adorned by the same garments of the heroes throughout the ‘Hero is Defeated’ sector of the timeline. I find this piece of evidence to be a rather strong testament to it fitting with these games. Of the 17 other canonical titles, 5 of which have this same continuity and are all pieces of the same timeline. Not to mention that MatPat also goes on to say some enemies that appear in Breath of the Wild are some of the only enemies to appear in those other 5 games as well.
Second, there’s a particular memory in Breath of the Wild when Zelda is talking about Link whilst around the Champions and she mentions the Twilight. That alone acknowledges the existence of the twilight realm in that plan of reality, regardless of where Breath of the Wild is placed. In my opinion this bit of info is slightly stronger evidence that Breath of the Wild is placed in the ‘Hero is Successful’ string of events. On a side note, when I first started Breath of the Wild, when I looked across the land of Hyrule from the Great Plateau I thought that Vah Medoh’s figure off in the distance, to me it appeared as if it was a twilight portal from Twilight Princess. Unsure if anyone else had that idea when they first saw it, but I digress.
This leads to an idea that my friend Elmer had when he and I were discussing timeline placement. He and I both agreed that if Nintendo decided(s) to say that Breath of the Wild converges the three timelines into one that it would probably be a really big cop out. We say this only because we believe that just because one game exists in one timeline, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t exist in others, simply saying for example that Termina could exist in all three timelines. Just because we haven’t heard of Majora’s Mask in A Link to the Past doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or doesn’t exist. But please understand that that could be overthinking and trying to make the series into something that it’s not. But it’s simply another way to look at it.
What do you think? What kind of theories do you have to place Breath of the Wild? I think Nintendo has a plan and has their continuity in check. But they’re already working on the next main iteration in the series and I’ve heard a theory that there could be an extremely updated Ocarina of Time being prepared for the Switch. We will see what happens in time.