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The Zelda Timeline Gold – Skyward Sword Supplement

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My advice for making sense of temporal paradoxes is simple; don’t even try.” —Captain Kathryn Janeway

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Well I’m trying. What else would a Tolkien and Zelda nerd who writes tedious user manuals for a living do other than try to document in insane detail the timeline of The Legend of Zelda series? I think organizing the series’ events in chronological order in this way can lead to new literary and academic perspectives on it and its creators.

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What you’re reading now is only the first chunk of that timeline from the creation of the world up through the end of Skyward Sword. It’s included as a supplement to the Skyward Sword Temporal-Sequential Timeline, which exists on this website as a large chart.

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The temporal-sequential timeline contains brief one or two-sentence summaries of events, but this companion document is intended to provide in detail those same events in the form of a chronological game summary and conjecture about surrounding events so you and other Zelda fans can better understand the temporal-sequential timeline document. And if you don’t know what a temporal-sequential timeline is, go read the other introduction in the other document.

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Immediately below is information on how to read this supplement, so if you have questions please refer to that. I don’t claim that this timeline is in any way authoritative. It’s interpretive, and I really look forward to hearing what new insights even this tiny sliver of the project yielded for you, so I hope you will email me and let me know.

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I’m going to keep working on the full Zelda Timeline Gold although who knows when I’ll finish it, so if you like what you see here and you wish to be notified of any updates, please sign up for my email list. I’ll only send you an update once or twice a year at most and I won’t sell your information. You can do so here: https://www.swchris.com/zelda-mailing-list

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Thanks for reading!

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SWChris

—swchrismc@gmail.com

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HOW TO READ ENTRIES
Specific events are separated by year and are listed in approximate order of occurrence. If a game’s story is one unit, not divided into chapters or timelines, it is almost always listed by when the beginning of the story proper occurs. Those that are broken into multiple sections have their individual sections in more exact locations.

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On Dating
There is simply no official dating system within the Zelda canon of games and stories. As such, most event summaries will be dated in relation to the game they are nearest to in time. The order of games has been largely determined by The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia. For games published after the publication of The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia such as Breath of the Wild, context clues scattered throughout valid canonical sources are used to place these games and events within the timeline.

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Entries are formatted as follows:

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YEAR/PERIOD RELATIVE TO THE CLOSEST GAME IN TIME

 Event summary which may contain spoilers (Exact date if applicable)

(source of event information or title of summarized game in bold and italics, with part number if applicable])*

*If there is a note attached to the event, it will be included here with the comment “*NOTE:.

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Title of Source, Part # [continued?] [main/side quest?] (format: Author/Editor/Publisher)

Title of story part, such as a region or section of a reference book [continued?] [game part?] [sidebar?]

Story chapter [continued?] [main/side quest?] [sidebar?]

Subsection [continued?] [main/side quest?] [sidebar?]

*If there is a note attached to the event, it will be included here with the comment “*NOTE:”.

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Part numbers will only be appended to titles whose summary is split into multiple entries [e.g. (Ocarina of Time, Part 2)]. This helps the reader follow the internal chronology of games where the narrative traverses back and forth through time or where conjecture has been added that splits up the narrative. However, the [Part #] tag is not used for events that happen concurrently with the main narrative, such as side quests.

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“Title of Source” listings are shown at the end of each “Year/Period” section for each game summary within that section. Game summaries are those events with bolded and italicized sources [e.g. (Skyward Sword)]. In the final version I’m leaning toward removing “Title of Source” listings in favor of footnotes like those used for the conjecture entries. Do let me know if this format is useful for you in some way.

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For video games, the story part titles used in the “Title of Source” listings are derived from their officially licensed strategy guides.

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Only games and narrative sources will use the [continued] tag in “Title of Source” listings. Reference books such as Hyrule Historia will not since they are works of reference rather than narratives.

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Conjecture will not have “Title of Source” listings.* However, if there is information about why a conjecture has been placed where it is, that information will be included as a note.

*NOTE: See “On Conjecture” for a fuller explanation of this.

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On Side Quests

Side quests that happen concurrent with part of a game’s main summary will be placed in a new concurrent year category just after the end of the main year category that contains that part of the game’s main summary [e.g. Concurrent to 1-0 Months Before the Sacred Realm is Reopened]. Side quests are treated as if they were completed.

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If a side quest has multiple endings, the most positive ending is documented. If the endings are neutral, then each ending is described and a note is appended to the entry indicating that it has multiple neutral outcomes. However, side quests that lack story content such as most mini-games, those that open paths to nonessential treasures, or those that only ask Link to perform a simple action in exchange for treasure are not included in this document.

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On Conjecture

Only the events that happen in the “present” perspective of the player character in each video game narrative will be appended with the title of the source directly [e.g. (Skyward Sword)]. All other entries will be appended with “conjecture based upon….

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That means that conjecture entries are not reserved only for events whose timeline placement is controversial. Most conjecture within this document is mundane.

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All conjecture events are dated in relation to events that occur in the “present” of each video game, and so each involves some level of conjecture on my part as to when exactly a given event happened, even though it will typically be uncontroversial that such events happened within the time periods (which are the bold faced headings) that I place them in.

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For the most part, that means that the exact chronological order of most conjecture can shift around within a narrow range of surrounding conjectural events and it is up to your interpretation as to how it precisely fits together. If information is available about why I placed a conjecture event in a certain spot, I will include that information as a note.

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Additionally, events in reference works that are suppositional in nature (e.g. that the thoroughness of the destruction of Breath of the Wild’s Hyrule Field’s research lab feels intentional [see Creating a Champion p. 396]) are treated as if they are true (e.g. the research lab was intentionally thoroughly destroyed) until a later source is found to contradict it. I treat them this way because one of the ways creators do worldbuilding without painting themselves into a narrative corner is with suppositional statements. They are intended to be understood by the audience to be true, at least until the creator discovers a better way of telling her story, at which point the creator is free to change the story without contradicting themselves since they never concretely said that this was the way things were.

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Finally, adaptation priority is respected within the listing of conjecture sources, with the original game version (if any) being listed first and other adaptations following.

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On Spoilers

This timeline does not withhold spoiler material. If someone is reading the events in this timeline, then I assume that they are not concerned with spoilers.

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What Constitutes Canon?

Each of the remaining subsections in this “How to Read Entries” section touches on this question in some way. So I will only say here that this document aims to be fairly conservative on what it includes as a canonical source. I generally follow the canon policy created by the Gamepedia Zelda wiki team, where each of the Nintendopublished Zelda titles are considered canon along with their instruction manuals, Nintendo and Nintendo Power Player’s Guides, and the DarkHorsetranslated reference books. Sources that the contributors at Gamepedia have marked as “ambiguously canon” are not currently included as sources in this timeline*. But interviews from various game developers involved with the series are treated as primary sources.

*NOTE: The section titles and headings from several officially licensed Prima strategy guides are used as Title of Source listings. This as well as the order in which such information is presented (see ‘On the Internal Continuity of Games’) is the only material from these guides that are used. To learn how they are used, read the “On Dating” subsection above.

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On Approximation and Fan Theories

This timeline takes the view that a thing cannot be considered canon without a primary source directly indicating that such things may have been the case. Primary sources are things like game text, dialogue, visual design, and interviews with creators.

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For events and game summaries, I’ve tried to be as thorough and accurate as the source material allows. The Legend of Zelda series was not initially conceived as a single cohesive multiverse where games placed early on in the timeline were considered to have happened in the pasts of the games considered to be further along in the timeline. Instead, the games and stories being treated as connected in time was a later development that was codified by the publication of The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia in Japan in 2011. Additionally, the game producers in The Legend of Zelda series have typically been hesitant to lock things into the timeline in much detail. Therefore there will be many instances where things will be vague, and a few instances that are incorrect or perhaps even contradictory with other events.

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When there have been inconsistencies or gaps of information, fans have provided theories to explain away these perceived problems. The tendency to rely on these theories as de facto canon can be frustrating to some (including myself), and this timeline makes an effort to avoid doing so. This effort is of course fraught with difficulty, especially when it comes to where I place things in the timeline. The vagueness of most backstory in The Legend of Zelda series creates this conundrum and there will always be some level of interpretation involved. But to the extent that conjecture happens, it is clearly marked and will always be based upon source material (e.g. you will not find any timeline merge theories here).

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However, I do not promise to avoid controversy altogether. There will always be places where a vocal segment of Zelda fans will interpret the way a set of facts derived from the source material fit together a certain way, whereas my interpretation of the way they fit together will be different. That is simply how information transmission to human minds works; the information or set of facts must be interpreted by the human mind in order to make sense of them. So even though the facts may be commonly agreed upon by all parties, this does not mean we will all conclude the same thing. That’s because the way one sees the world will alter how one interprets these facts and fits them together. And there is always at least some way in which our view of the world is mistaken, meaning we are duty-bound to be humble about our conclusions. When these differences in interpretation appear, our goals should be to examine which interpretation makes better sense of the facts and to constantly strive for awareness of how our own experiences and view of the way the Zelda world works influences our decision. This is how to maintain intellectual honesty.

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What is not intellectually honest is to take a preferred fan theory and impose it on the games or text and then criticize this work for not adopting the same theory. However, I welcome any criticism of this document based on differing interpretations of facts that are derived from the source material. This is fair game in my book. Such “fair game” criticism will help me make future revisions better. Please send it in!

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On Contradictions and the Abrogation of Older Sources
Hyrule Historia’s section “Weaving History” on page 68 sets the precedent of abrogation, which is that future tales and games released will modify the information presented in previous stories and games. This timeline takes this precedent and applies it across the entire series as well as the various canon reference works that have been published.

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For example, should a contradiction between The Legend of Zelda and Skyward Sword be found, the contradictory information from The Legend of Zelda would be discounted and its Skyward Sword counterpart would be considered canon since Skyward Sword was published after The Legend of Zelda. However, the non-contradictory the information in The Legend of Zelda will continue to be considered canon.

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But there are various complications between how one determines the canonicity between updated translations of previously released games, those previously released games themselves, the instruction booklets for both updated translations and their previous releases, and all the related reference works. I tried to eliminate most of this confusion by creating this table outlining each category’s exceptions that modify the principle of abrogation for one reason or another. The reasons for each exception and how these categories are defined are explained in detail below.

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All Categories

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PRINCIPLE OF ABROGATION:

WORKS WITH NEWER PUBLICATION DATES HAVE CANON PRIORITY OVER WORKS WITH OLDER PUBLICATION DATES, EXCEPT WHERE SPECIFIED BELOW

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Original Game Versions

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EXCEPTIONS:

EACH HAS CANON PRIORITY OVER ITS CORRESPONDING USER DOCUMENTATION, BUT NOT NEWER USER DOCUMENTATION

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Updated Game Versions

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EXCEPTIONS:

CANON PRIORITY FOLLOWS ORIGINAL GAME VERSIONS’ PUBLICATION DATE ORDER, NOT THE UPDATED GAME VERSIONS’ PUBLICATION DATE ORDER
EACH HAS PRIORITY OVER ITS CORRESPONDING ORIGINAL GAME VERSION
EACH HAS PRIORITY OVER ITS CORRESPONDING USER DOCUMENTATION

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User Documentation

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EXCEPTIONS:

CANON PRIORITY FOLLOWS ORIGINAL GAME VERSIONS’ PUBLICATION DATE ORDER, NOT THE UPDATED GAME VERSIONS’ PUBLICATION DATE ORDER
EACH DOES NOT HAVE PRIORITY OVER ITS PARENT GAME(S)
UPDATED GAME VERSION DOCUMENTATION HAS PRIORITY OVER ORIGINAL GAME DOCUMENTATION

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Reference Works

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EXCEPTIONS:

NONE

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Games have priority over their corresponding user documentation because the Zelda series is built on these games and not on their companion material, and because the game and user documentation for it are published on the same day. For example, if contradictory information is found between A Link to the Past and its instruction booklet, then the information within the game itself will be considered canon. However, if an instruction booklet for a newer published game contradicts information presented in A Link to the Past, then the newer published game’s instruction booklet will be considered canon in keeping with the principle of abrogation.

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The term “Original Game Version” refers to the initial release of a game.

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The term “Updated Game Version” defines games that have newer translations or updated original language text than the original release of the game. Re-releases and official save states (such as 2018’s The Legend of Zelda SP, which is called The Legend of Zelda: Living the life of luxury! in some regions) are not considered to be updated game versions because they lack updated text or translations. Likewise, remakes that do not have updated textual or presentational information (e.g. updated boss fights or cutscenes visually giving new story details) are also not considered to be updated game versions. Updated game versions like Ocarina of Time 3D have canon priority over their original releases, in this case Ocarina of Time.

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Furthermore, each updated game version is to be listed directly above its original game version. So Ocarina of Time 3D is listed directly above Ocarina of Time in the canon priority list rather than higher up on the list where it would be if it were sorted according to its publication date. For example, while NES Classics: The Legend of Zelda was published after the GBA version of A Link to the Past, the GBA version of A Link to the Past is what maintains canon priority over NES Classics: The Legend of Zelda since the story of A Link to the Past is newer. Allowing The Legend of Zelda to have canon priority over A Link to the Past in this way seems to violate the general principle of abrogation, so I created this exception to prevent potentially abrogated information from being reintroduced into the canon after it was abrogated by a newer entry in the Zelda series. This rule also applies to each game’s user documentation.

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The term “User Documentation” refers to instruction booklets and digital manuals included with each game release, and as is the case with updated game versions themselves, updated game version user documentation is prioritized over the original games’ user documentation.

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The termReference Worksrefers to all other licensed works found within the canon priority list below, including Nintendo and Nintendo Power Player’s Guides and the Dark-Horse-translated reference books, as well as official comments from Zelda game developers.

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For Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, which were released on the same day, this timeline treats them in the order that The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia uses, which is to place Oracle of Seasons as having happened first.

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If information from a newer source omits information from an older source, the omission does not de-canonize the information presented in the older source. An actual contradiction must be present. For example, the instruction manual from A Link to the Past’s Game Boy Advance re-release omits information about the Imprisoning War that the original Super Nintendo instruction booklet includes, and its omission from the Game Boy Advance manual does not de-canonize the Super Nintendo version’s booklet’s back story.

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Finally, Title of Source listings are usually original game versions with the updated game version (if any) listed directly under the title listing but indented over from the original version. Reference works and user documentation will also be listed underneath these listings (grouped together as ‘adaptations’ below) and also indented over from the original game version. Each adaptation is stacked upon each other in order of canon priority, from highest priority to lowest priority, like so:

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Original Game Version (format: author)

Updated Game Version Section

Updated Game Version (format: author)

Original Game Version Section

Adaptation #1 (format: author)

  Adaptation #1 Section

Adaptation #2 (format: author)

Adaptation #2 Section

Adaptation #3 (format: author)

Adaptation #3 Section

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I’ve chosen to list them this way because even though newer sources like Hyrule Historia which summarize game narratives into a timeline both take precedence over the original source material in the order of abrogation, the original/updated game versions are still the primary means through which the story is told.

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Additionally, if any information has been abrogated I will include a note below the entry explaining what story points have been eliminated by newer sources.

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On Unreliable Witnesses

An unreliable witness for the purposes of this timeline is a character that gives incorrect speculation or reasoning about the history of the world he or she lives in, and that this info is intended to be incorrect by the writer.

Because we’re dealing with legends, it can be argued that a large amount of the lore given in each game is incorrect. And in the real world this would be true. But since we’re also studying a created secondary world (a made-up world), it’s not a given that the creators of the Zelda series intended all the past lore known by the characters in that world to be apocryphal. It’s a common video game trope to have characters give legendary lore that turns out to be completely true. For example, the Uncharted series’ Nathan Drake speculates about events from the past in each game and most of the time he turns out to be correct.

The first example I’ve been able to find where Zelda writers use an unreliable witness on purpose is in Breath of the Wild, in the character known as Celessa who can be found on the path between Fort Hateno and Hateno Village. Celessa tells us that the fort may have been constructed to protect Hateno and stop the Guardian onslaught that befell Hyrule one hundred years in the game’s past.

However, we know from Breath of the Wild’s cutscenes as well as Age of Calamity that this is not the case, that the fortress was constructed well before the Guardians turned evil, that the Guardians were intended to be used as protectors against the Calamity Ganon rather than as its army, and that it was only after the Calamity emerged from its sleep that it took over the Guardians and used them to attack. From this it’s clear that Fort Hateno was not constructed to protect against a Guardian attack. In fact, no one had conceived that the Calamity could possibly even take the Guardians over until it happened.

So this timeline considers all lore given about the past by an in-world character or signage to be factually true unless it becomes clear otherwise via retcon or other information given by the game in which that character or signage appears. I use the same principle of “it’s true until it’s not” for events described in reference works (see On Conjecture above). Likewise, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that the use of unreliable witnesses as characters is a very recent innovation in the Zelda storytelling toolkit, beginning with Breath of the Wild.

Canon Priority List

The list below contains all the sources that this timeline currently considers to be authoritative, in the above established order of canon priority. Where there are contradictions between sources, information in sources farther up the list are considered canon over any contradictory information found in sources nearer the bottom of the list.

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See On Contradictions and the Abrogation of Older Sources for a detailed explanation on how I determined the order of this list. The listed publication dates for games and reference works are for the first region the source was released in. However, the original language versions of the games are what is considered canon! The earliest regional release date merely helps to determine the work’s canon priority. Please also note that unless otherwise indicated, the official English translations have been used for this timeline (see On Japanese Translations). Finally, please additionally note that instruction booklets share publication dates with their counterpart game releases since in every case the instruction booklet for a game was published concurrently with that game.

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Source

Category

Publication Date

First Released

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Original Game

2020/11/20

Worldwide

Breath of the Wild: Creating a Champion

Reference

2017/12/15

Japan

Breath of the Wild

Original Game

2017/03/03

Worldwide

The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia

Reference

2017/03/01

Japan

Art and Artifacts

Reference

2016/08/26

Japan

Tri Force Heroes

Original Game

2015/10/22

Japan

A Link Between Worlds

Original Game

2013/11/22

North America/Europe

Hyrule Historia

Reference

2011/12/21

Japan

Skyward Sword HD

Updated Game

2021/07/16

Worldwide

Skyward Sword

Original Game

2011/11/18

Europe

Spirit Tracks

Original Game

2009/12/07

Japan

Spirit Tracks Instruction Booklet

User Doc

2009/12/07

Japan

Phantom Hourglass

Original Game

2007/06/23

Japan

Phantom Hourglass Instruction Booklet

User Doc

2007/06/23

Japan

Twilight Princess: The Official Nintendo Player’s Guide

Reference

2006/11/19

North America

Twilight Princess HD

Updated Game

2016/03/04

North America/Europe

Twilight Princess

Original Game

2006/11/19

North America

Twilight Princess Instruction Booklet

User Doc

2006/11/19

North America

The Minish Cap: The Official Nintendo Player’s Guide

Reference

2004/12/22

North America

The Minish Cap

Original Game

2004/11/04

Japan

The Minish Cap Instruction Booklet

User Doc

2004/11/04

Japan

Four Swords Adventures: The Official Nintendo Player’s Guide

Reference

2004/06

North America

Four Swords Adventures

Original Game

2004/03/18

Japan

Four Swords Adventures Instruction Booklet

User Doc

2004/03/18

Japan

The Wind Waker: The Official Nintendo Player’s Guide

Reference

2004/03

North America

The Wind Waker HD

Updated Game

2013/09/20

North America

The Wind Waker

Original Game

2002/12/13

Japan

The Wind Waker Instruction Booklet

User Doc

2002/12/13

Japan

Four Swords Anniversary Edition

Updated Game

2011/09/28

Worldwide

Four Swords

Original Game

2002/12/02

North America

A Link to the Past and Four Swords Instruction Booklet (Four Swords section only)

User Doc

2002/12/02

North America

A Link to the Past: The Official Nintendo Player’s Guide

Reference

2002

North America

Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages: The Official Nintendo Player’s Guide

Reference

2001/05

North America

Oracle of Ages

Original Game

2001/02/27

Japan

Oracle of Ages Instruction Booklet

User Doc

2001/02/27

Japan

Oracle of Seasons

Original Game

2001/02/27

Japan

Oracle of Seasons Instruction Booklet

User Doc

2001/02/27

Japan

Majora’s Mask Official Nintendo Player’s Guide

Reference

2000/10/01

North America

Majora’s Mask 3D

Updated Game

2015/02/13

North America/Europe

Majora’s Mask 3D Manual (in-game user guide)

User Doc

2015/02/13

North America/Europe

Majora’s Mask

Original Game

2000/04/27

Japan

Majora’s Mask Instruction Booklet

User Doc

2000/04/27

Japan

Ocarina of Time Official Nintendo Player’s Guide

Reference

1998

North America

Ocarina of Time 3D

Updated Game

2011/06/16

Japan

Ocarina of Time

Original Game

1998/11/21

Japan

Ocarina of Time Instruction Booklet

User Doc

1998/11/21

Japan

Link’s Awakening (2019)

Updated Game

2019/09/20

Worldwide

Link’s Awakening Nintendo Player’s Guide

Reference

1992

North America

Link’s Awakening DX

Updated Game

1998/12/12

Japan

Link’s Awakening DX Instruction Booklet

User Doc

1998/12/12

Japan

Link’s Awakening (1993)

Original Game

1993/06/06

Japan

Link’s Awakening Instruction Booklet

User Doc

1993/06/06

Japan

A Link to the Past Nintendo Player’s Guide

Reference

1992

North America

Super NES Nintendo Player’s Guide

Reference

1992

North America

A Link to the Past (GBA Version)

Updated Game

2002/12/02

North America

A Link to the Past and Four Swords Instruction Booklet (A Link to the Past section only)

User Doc

2002/12/02

North America

A Link to the Past (SNES Version)

Original Game

1991/11/21

Japan

A Link to the Past Instruction Booklet (SNES Version)

User Doc

1991/11/21

Japan

Hyrule Overworld Lore/Dungeon Lore Map

Reference

1992/04/13

North America

NES Game Atlas

Reference

1991

North America

Nintendo Fun Club News, Volume 2, Issue 3

Reference

Fall 1987

North America

Nintendo Fun Club News, Volume 1, Issue 2

Reference

Summer 1987

North America

The Legend of Zelda: Maps and Strategies

Reference

circa Spring 1987

North America

The Official Nintendo Player’s Guide

Reference

June 1987

North America

Classic NES Series: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Updated Game

2004/08/10

Japan

Classic NES Series: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link Instruction Booklet

User Doc

2004/08/10

Japan

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Original Game

1987/01/14

Japan

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link Instruction Booklet

User Doc

1987/01/14

Japan

Tips & Tricks: The Legend of Zelda Instruction Booklet

Reference

1986

Japan

Classic NES Series: The Legend of Zelda

Updated Game

2004/02/14

Japan

Classic NES Series: The Legend of Zelda Instruction Booklet

User Doc

2004/02/14

Japan

The Legend of Zelda

Original Game

1986/02/21

Japan

The Legend of Zelda Instruction Booklet

User Doc

1986/02/21

Japan

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On the Internal Continuity of Games

There are sections in most Zelda games where the player can choose from one of several actions to complete first. For example, just after arriving in the future in Ocarina of Time, it is possible to learn the Bolero of Fire before defeating the Forest Temple dungeon even though most players will defeat the Forest Temple dungeon before learning the Bolero of Fire.

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To nail down the internal continuity of such games into a cohesive narrative, the order in which the narrative unfolds in each game’s strategy guide is the order in which the narrative will be presented in this timeline. Note that while the lore of Prima strategy guides is not considered canon, I do make a small exception and use them to determine the order of narrative for each open-ended section of a game when such a game has no official Nintendo Player’s Guide or Nintendo Power strategy guide.

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To apply this principle to the Ocarina of Time example above, this timeline presents the scene were Link learns the Bolero of Fire after the completion of the Forest Temple, which corresponds to the order that the Ocarina of Time Official Nintendo Player’s Guide presents these events.

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On Japanese Translations

For those games that were first written in Japanese, my philosophy is to consider the original Japanese sources as authoritative versus my native English wherever obvious differences in the texts are concerned. However, I don’t know Japanese and so I am left with trying to sift through various translations to uncover what the original Japanese actually says. The chief problem I run into here is that I typically must rely on fan-translated Japanese, which often contains mistakes or lacks detailed linguistic or cultural nuance in what a particular sentence is supposed to mean, which is the kind of detail that is essential for this kind of work to be done right. Therefore, I cannot just take a fan-made translation at its word and cannot consider one authoritative, although I do consider such translations helpful pointers to what the original Japanese text might mean. If there are no better translations available, I do consider two or more independently-derived fan-made translations that communicate the same concept as acceptable sources. The more there are, the higher the confidence I have as to their accuracy.

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We also have two other sources that can help shed light on the meaning of a particular text. Google Translate can be of some limited help in verifying the accuracy of fan-made Japanese translations, but it is also well known to make mistakes. Secondly, translations made by the Nintendo Treehouse group and Patrick Thorpe and company who did the translation work for the Dark Horse reference books have typically been done carefully. Furthermore, both Thorpe’s and the Treehouse group’s translations are essentially the official translations of the text into English from Japanese, and so it is their work I primarily rely upon in this document*.

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However, even though I rely upon these English translations the most, individual fan-made translations and Google Translate translations are both used to contextualize a given text whenever I have those sources available to me, and I do attempt to take each sources advantages and deficiencies into account. For example, if a Japanese translation comes from a translator who is known for his or her accuracy, I will value that above the Treehouse’s English translation which will sometimes alter a text to make it more culturally appropriate to Western audiences.

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A note will be appended to the entries where I have relied on fan-made and/or Google Translate translations stating as such.

*NOTE: For the earliest games, the Treehouse was not involved in translation work and this is taken into account.

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