Back in 2011, Nintendo laid the decades-long speculation about the Zelda timeline to rest with the release of an official timeline in Hyrule Historia. Since then, however, three new games have released that were not referenced on the original timeline. Two of these, A Link Between Worlds and Tri Force Heroes, naturally followed the story of A Link to the Past, but Breath of the Wild’s timeline placement has been the topic of fan theories since the game’s launch. In an update to the Zelda history page on Nintendo’s Japanese website, the timeline has been updated to include these three new titles, as well as reordering some of the games.
As many fans have (correctly) speculated, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes place at the very end of the current Zelda timeline, and it seems to be linked to the events of all three branches of the timeline (Child, Adult, and Fallen Hero). Breath of the Wild is not included in any one of these timelines on the site, instead being separated in its own category at the very end.
When asked about the update in an interview with Famitsu, Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma said “Well of course it’s at the very end. But, I get what you’re asking, it’s which timeline is it the end of?” Breath of the Wild director Hidemaro Fujibayashi followed this by stating that which of these timelines the game is tied to is “up to the player’s imagination.” So, it would seem that Breath of the Wild definitely takes place at the very end of the timeline currently, but it has not been tied to any of the existing timeline branches (at least, not yet). It’s definitely possible that Nintendo could make another game in the future that ties the events of one of these timelines into Breath of the Wild, perhaps even merging all of the branches back into a single timeline at some point prior to Breath of the Wild.
The other changes to the timeline come on the Fallen Hero branch; Link’s Awakening now directly follows A Link to the Past in the timeline, rather than following the Oracle games. As expected, A Link Between Worlds and Tri Force Heroes also fall on the Fallen Hero branch, taking place after Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons but before the original pair of games for the NES. When asked about this change, Aonuma stated that they often come up with a perfect place for a game while they’re making it, but they then have to change that placement to fit the stories of new games. He also shared that “the decided history has been tweaked many times.”
So, what do you guys think of these updates to the official timeline? Which branch(es) of the timeline do you think Breath of the Wild follows? What do you think led the developers to rearrange some of the games in the Fallen Hero timeline? Let us know in the comments below!