Just recently in Japan, an artbook for The Legend of Zelda was released, which is said to contain an accurate timeline of the series. A Kotaku reader imported a copy and translated it for the internet’s viewership.
Check it out after the jump.
The timeline starts at: Skyward Sword -> The Minish Cap -> Four Swords -> Ocarina of Time
After Ocarina of Time, the timeline splits into three directions depending on if the Hero of Time defeats Ganondorf/Ganon or not.
The Hero of Time fails to defeat Ganon: A Link to the Past -> Oracle of Ages/Seasons -> Link’s Awakening -> The Legend of Zelda -> Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
The Hero of Time defeats Ganon and stays in the current time: The Wind Waker -> Phantom Hourglass -> Spirit Tracks
The Hero of Time defeats Ganon and returns to 7 years ago: Majora’s Mask -> Twilight Princess -> Four Swords Adventures
Now we’re not sure that this is the official timeline until the higher-ups make a comment about it, but what we do know is what was debated, about Ocarina of Time spliting the timeline may in fact be true. What is known however is that Skyward Sword is chronologically the prequel to the series, Phantom Hourglass takes place sometime after The Wind Waker and Spirit Tracks is set 100 years after, The Minish Cap tells the creation of the Four Sword, which starts off Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures.
What I find interesting is that each timeline has a Master Sword. The Master Sword is first created in Skyward Sword, and it appears in Ocarina of Time, and later A Link to the Past, The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.
But what’s strange is that’s in the two timelines where The Hero of Time defeats Ganon, he still exists, unless he manages to break the seal set on him and his appearance changes depending on the timeline, that would make sense.
Personally, I’m under the impression that every game after Skyward Sword and Ocarina of Time, except for The Wind Waker/Phantom Hourglass/Spirit Tracks and The Minish Cap/Four Swords/Four Swords Adventures each have their own timeline. Of course I haven’t played through several of the games yet so I can’t say. But this is quite an interesting story, and I’ll hope to hear from the producers about whether or not this is the real deal.