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SAVE FILE Where Gaming's Best Stories Are Told Follow!: http://www.twitter.com/vVvRapture Official Zelda Timeline Revealed There it is. The official Zelda timeline. Every game is accounted for. From the original all the way to Skyward Sword. For years, the timeline has been a mystery to the Zelda fandom, being cleverly, or unintentionally, hidden by the lack of connection between many of the Zelda games. While Nintendo teased us every once in a while, asserting the position of small “arcs”, such as Zelda II being a direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda and Ocarina of Time being directly followed by Majora's Mask, no one could truly figure out what the full canon was. How could we? Apparently, the only document that had the official timeline was neatly locked away. That is, until now. Celebrating the franchise's 25th anniversary, Nintendo has released the “Hyrule Historia”, a huge package of artwork and information from the entire chronology of the series. Thanks to an expert translator, the most important of all the documents – the true order of the games – was finally converted to English. Above is said document. Anyone who isn't familiar with the lore of the Zelda series is most likely very confused, what with wars and eras being thrown into the mix. What matters the most is the split of the timeline. The dreaded split timeline theories have been around the Zelda fandom for years, consisting of the basis of most assumed hypothesis due to the end of the N64's Ocarina of Time. Hopefully you've played the game, but if you haven't, time travel becomes the name of the game and ends up screwing the entire timeline over. As far as Nintendo is concerned, the ending of OoT resulted in three alternate timelines – if Link ultimately fails to defeat Ganondorf at the end of the game, the fall of Hyrule and the Era of Light and Dark occur, causing A Link to the Past, The Legend of Zelda, and more to occur. If Link is victorious and decides to return to the past to live out his childhood (since he sort of, you know, couldn't do that for many reasons [just go play the damn game!]), he sets out and ends up in the events of Majora's Mask, which is then followed by Twilight Princess. If Link decides not to go back to the past, but to live on as an adult, Wind Waker and all of its sequels succeed such a decision. Ultimately, despite some inconsistencies that will surely arise from the analysis of the most devoted fans, this seems all logical. But, it still seems rather odd. Most of the Zelda fandom was actually very comfortable with the split timeline theory. The difference is that it was assumed only two alternate realities would occur – Link returns to his childhood or Link remains an adult. The games like AlttP, Zelda 1, Zelda 2, etc. seemed to all fit in somehow in the other timelines, but because no one could truly pinpoint their location (unlike, say, Skyward Sword, which was established as the first Zelda game chronologically), thus creating conflicting theories throughout the community. Nintendo fixes this by putting in a third option – Link loses to Ganon at the end of OoT, a reality no one in the community accepted considering that they never thought that Link dieing was an acceptable conclusion to the game. Obviously, someone must eventually finish OoT to see the ending, so for Link dieing to actually create a result may make sense, but it's certainly a curve-ball from the Big N. Either way, the time-line is established. Theorizing must be over with, right? Wrong. The community is still in full-force, analyzing the timeline for whatever missing information they could possibly hope to be resolved in future games. Many are already pointing at the very large gap of information during the “Sky Era” in which no current Zelda game occupies, leading many to believe that a sequel to Skyward Sword is on its way. Likewise, no current Zelda game occupies the “Sealing War” period, which could possibly hint at a game that sits between the failure of Link at the end of OoT and A Link to the Past. Either way, at least we know. That's better than nothing, right?