Legend of Zelda Developer Timeline Quotes

Listed below are some of the many quotes from game developers and Nintendo representatives concerning the Zelda Timeline.
Kokiri Symbol is Link's Family Crest
November 26, 1997

Source: Famimaga 64
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Famimaga 64: Is there a difference in the look of the shield?

Miyamoto: First of all, it's made of wood. In the center is Link's family crest.


Summary & Analysis
- Miyamoto suggests that the spiral commonly regarded as the Kokiri symbol is actually Link's family crest.
- This is likely merely beta intent, as the symbol seems to be associated more with Kokiri in general in the final game.
Description of the Kokiri Life Cycle
November 26, 1997

Source: Famimaga 64
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Miyamoto: Link is a child of a race of elves called "Kokili." For some reason or another, there are no parents in this race, only many children of the same age. All of a sudden, they grow up until they reach a certain age, when they disappear. The next generation is born just as abruptly. So at some point, Link will disappear.


Summary & Analysis
- When Kokiri are born, they suddenly grow up to become children, and stay that way until they suddenly vanish.
- Miyamoto also states that Link is a Kokiri, but this may have been before he decided to make him Hylian.
- However, in the same interview, he hints that "Link's lineage" has something to do with his connection to Zelda, so it might be more complicated than that.
Ganon in Ocarina of Time is from A Link to the Past
November 26, 1997

Source: Famimaga 64
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Famimaga 64: Are the backrounds different in the child and adult eras?

Miyamoto: During the time when Link is an adult, conditions are intensified. Ganon, from the Super NES game, is a human form before he transforms into a monster. Ganon's elements change during the adult, since he changes into a monster.


Summary & Analysis
- Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time transforms into the same beast that appears in A Link to the Past.

- See also "Ocarina of Time and the Imprisoning War" - November 24, 1998
Ocarina of Time is the First Adventure
August 1998

Source: Nintendo Online Magazine
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Kushida: In my understanding, "Ocarina of Time" depicts the first adventure that Link has. Is that true?

Miyamoto: That is true. This is about the time that Child Link makes his debut. He is set to be about 7~8 years old.


Summary & Analysis
- Confirms that Ocarina of Time was the first game at the time of its release.
- Miyamoto gives child Link from Ocarina of Time an approximate age of 7-8 years old.
Importance of Secrets and Exploration
August 1998

Source: Nintendo Power
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Nintendo Power: What's the secret to a great game?

Miyamoto: I think it has to do with balance. My formula for success is that 70% of the game should have to do with objectives and the rest should be secrets and exploration - things such as burning trees to find a hidden dungeon entrance like in the first Zelda game.


Summary & Analysis
- This gives some insight to Miyamoto's philosophy when making games. There is a strong emphasis on hidden secrets.
Gameplay 1st, Story 2nd
August 1998

Source: Nintendo Power
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Nintendo Power: Let's get back to Zelda. You said the game's "System" is more important than its "Story" when you develop a game. Is that true for Zelda this time?

Miyamoto: Yes, but since I have an excellent staff that is strong in every area, I think you'll find that the story-telling is a real strength in this game.

Nintendo Power: But the "System" is still the most important part of the game?

Miyamoto: Yes. I don't think that a story alone can make a game exciting. I'm afraid that people think that I ignore story lines or that I don't feel that the story has any value. My first priority is whether the game play is interesting. What I mean by that is that a player is actively involved in the game. The story is just one of the ways to get players interested, like the enemies or puzzles. If you just want a good story, you should pick up a novel or see a movie. The difference is in the participation. In a game, you might meet a character, but you don't find out his story until later, after you do something that reveals the truth about him. It's all up to the player. You only get that sort of experience with the interactive entertainment. Of course, the scenario, characters and graphics are all important, but its this active attitude that is the most important element.
Summary & Analysis
- Miyamoto gives his view that Gameplay comes first and story is secondary.
- Miyamoto does however talk about the importance of story and how is adds to the overall feel of the game.
The Miyamoto Order
November 13th, 1998

Source: Nintendo Power
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Nintendo Power: Where do all the Zelda games fall into place when arranged chronologically by their stories?

Miyamoto: Ocarina of Time is the first story, then the original Legend of Zelda, then Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and finally A Link to the Past. It's not very clear where Link's Awakening fits in--it could be anytime after Ocarina of Time.
Summary & Analysis
- Miyamoto gives the infamous Miyamoto Order Timeline, which he places A Link to the Past after the Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, contrary to what prior evidence showed concerning the order of the first three games.
- Link's Awakening can go anytime after Ocarina of Time. At which this also breaks from the continuum that it is the same Link within A Link to the Past and Link's Awakening.
The Importance of Secrets in Zelda
November 13th, 1998

Source: Nintendo Power
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Nintendo Power: What codes and secrets can we expect to find in Ocarina of Time?

Miyamoto: Because Zelda is an adventure game, you have to find many things, and many of them may be hard to find. In the game's Fishing Pond, something might happen if you're playing there for a long time or are trying to do many things there. You can also find spiders called Gold Skulltulas. There are 100 that you can collect, and you might find this creature more often at night. Or you may want to search for them where you would normally find bugs and insects. (Slyly) Sometimes, if you have a Deku Stick and you find some butterflies flying about, you can make them follow you and something special could happen. . .
Summary & Analysis
- This is just further evidence of the importance that Shigeru Miyamoto puts on Secrets within Zelda games.
Ocarina of Time and the Imprisoning War
November 24th, 1998

Source: 1101
Quotee: Satoru Takizawa

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Satoru Takizawa: In the previous Zeldas, Ganon has always been a pig. Though we wanted to do something differently this time, we still thought it would be best to have him as a pig in the end, but weren't sure how to go about it. I was really worried, myself. I wanted to know what Miyamoto would think. In the end I realized Miyamoto wouldn't be obsessed about anything like that, and just went through with it myself.

The story in Ocarina of time isn't actually original, it deals with the Sages' Imprisoning War from the Super Famicom's ALttP. Because of the relation, I thought it would be right to leave a part of the pigginess in.

So, what I mean is "pigs will be pigs," hey? When Ganondorf transforms, his human face is pulled away and only the pig remains, it can't be hidden anymore. During the time we were designing him, some of the staff had cold medicine called Kaigen, so they ended up calling Ganon "The God of Colds" or "The Cold Spreader"
Summary & Analysis
- The Imprisoning War backstory of A Link to the Past was the basis of the development of Ocarina of Time. In the back story of A Link to the Past, Ganon was shown in his pig form and developers wanted to keep this aspect in the Ocarina of Time rendition so they made him into a pig/beast hybrid.
Ocarina of Time Connections to Previous Zelda Titles
December 8th, 1998

Source: 1101
Quotee: Toru Osawa

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Toru Osawa: In this game there are 7 sages that appear and instruct Princess Zelda, but 6 of those appear in the Disk System game "Adventure of Link" as town names.

We were hinting that the names of the sages in the era of the Imprisoning War spoken of in the Super Famicom Zelda game became town names in AoL. The events from that time became what we have today.

A father and daughter named Marin and Tarin that were introduced in Link's Awakening for GameBoy also appeared in this Zelda game. We're hoping that people who've played the Zelda series from the very beginning will recognize them. If you wonder "is this a reference to then?" we'll be happy.
Summary & Analysis
- The Sages from Ocarina of Time are what the towns in the Adventure of Link are named after.
- Ocarina of Time was originally written with the intention that it was the Imprisoning War from A Link to the Past.
- Malon and Talon were purposely made to be similar to that of Marin and Tarin. It seems more like an easter egg than anything of actual storyline significance.
Miyamoto's New Timeline Order
January, 1999

Source: Dengeki64
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

Full Article Not Available
Shigeru Miyamoto: (Ocarina of Time -> A Link to the Past) then comes the original and "The Adventure of Link" in turn.
Summary & Analysis
- This is allegedly a translation from Page 17 of the January 1999 issue of the Japanese Gaming Magazine Dengeki64. However, there is no viewable version of this magazine online and this information is solely from the commenters of a Japanese Wiki (atwiki). So hold this quote with more scrutiny than the other documented quotes listed on this page.
- This quote by Miyamoto would contradict his previous quote made in November 1998 concerning the Miyamoto Order.
A Link to the Past Box a Mis-Translation
February 22nd, 1999

Source: Total RPG
Quotee: Dan Owsen

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Total RPG: Dan, it appears something about the Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past translation is jumbled. It is said the events played out in Ocarina of Time were the events that happened in the story of A Link to the Past, and therefore were to solve many story holes. But if Zelda 3's instruction manual is read, these events sound completely different, and now there seem to be more holes than ever. It clearly states on the back of the box of A Link to the Past that it was a prequel to Zelda's 1 and 2, but Miyamoto says it comes after them. What's the truth?

Dan Owsen: The truth is, the text on the box (and possibly the Nintendo Power guide) is wrong. D'oh! If you just ignore the box text, the stories fit together better. Basically, the events in Ocarina are the "Imprisoning War" described in the SNES version's story. The Golden Land was the Sacred Realm before Ganondorf corrupted it. The order of the stories is: Ocarina, Zelda 1, Zelda 2, A Link to the Past. Since Link's Awakening was a dream (or was it?) it's hard to say where it fits.
Summary & Analysis
- The back of the US version of the A Link to the Past box is inaccurate, as is the Nintendo Power Player's Guides.
- Ocarina of Time is the Imprisoning War from A Link to the Past.
- The Golden Land was the Sacred Realm.
- Re-stating the Miyamoto Order, placing A Link to the Past after the original Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
Storyline is Miyamoto's Least Priority
February 19th, 2002

Source: Fragzone
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Fragzone: How important is character, graphics and story and everything else in a game?

Shigeru Miyamoto: I can't answer that, but the gameplay is always the most important. I always put the least priority into story.
Summary & Analysis
- Shigeru Miyamoto once again mentinos the importance of gameplay first. Storyline is Miyamoto's least priority.
Miyamoto Oblivious to Timeline Placement of The Wind Waker
May 24th, 2002

Source: E3 Roundtable
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Question: I think I'm right in saying the new Zelda takes place before the other Zelda games, right??

Shigeru Miyamoto: I'm not that deeply involved in the Zelda project, but if that is actually the case we have decided that the setting for the game will be near the beginning.
Summary & Analysis
- Shigeru Miyamoto has no idea as to when the Wind Waker occurs in the timeline. While he admits that he is not deeply involved in this particular project, he goes along with the questioneer in that The Wind Waker takes place before the other Zelda games.
The Wind Waker is the Very First Zelda Story
July 2002

Source: Nintendo Power
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Nintendo Power: Where does the latest Zelda game fall into the series' mythology? Early in the series or after Majora's Mask?

Shigeru Miyamoto: This is the very first Zelda story. If all we ever did was try to continue the story, we'd lose some of the interest. It's fun to jump back and forth.
Summary & Analysis
- The full context of this interview was discussing E3 2002, but there was an emphasis on the The Wind Waker. Thus, the First Zelda is referring to the Wind Waker.
- This interview was done five months before the Japanese release of The Wind Waker. Perhaps at the time the Wind Waker actually was being made to be the first title. However, it seems that since the game was so connected in storyline to Ocarina of Time and this quote occured so late in the development cycle, there is a high probability that Miyamoto jumbled his statement.
- Perhaps it is likely that he just meant to further state his view about how storyline is not important to him, stating that jumping back and forth and changing things accordingly is how he prefers to tell story, rather than following a more strict linear timeline of sorts.
- However, some theorists speculate that even though Four Swords was not mentioned in the interview, this portion of the interview could have been concerning Four Swords and not The Wind Waker.
Evolution of Races from Ocarina of Time to The Wind Waker
December 2002

Source: Enterbrain - Zelda Box
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

Full Translation Not Available
Scans at Zelda Legends
Eiji Aonuma: [Translation] We created the Rito as the evolved form of the Zora that appeared in "Ocarina of Time" and the Koroks as what the Kokiri became once they left the forest. They appear different, but they have inherited their blood.
Summary & Analysis
- The Rito of The Wind Waker evolved from the Zora of Ocarina of Time.
- The Korok of The Wind Waker evolved from the Kokiri of Ocarina of Time.
Every Zelda Game Has a New Link
December 4th, 2002

Source: GamePro
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Question: The beginning of the game talks about Link getting the green clothes and the passing down of the history, the hero dressed in green, etc. How many different Links are there? This doesn't seem like that was in Ocarina of Time, for example.

Eiji Aonuma: In our opinions, with the Legend of Zelda, every game has a new Link. A new hero named Link always rises to fight evil.
Summary & Analysis
- Confirmation that the Link's from the various stories are different Link's. Obvious exceptions are games that are direct sequals such as the Link from the Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, as well as the Link from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.
- The basis of this quote is that the Link from The Wind Waker is a brand new Link and in general, there are various incarnations of the hero known as Link.
The Wind Waker 100 Years After OoT, Multiple OoT Endings
December 4th, 2002

Source: GamePro
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Question: Where does The Wind Walker fit into the overall Zelda series timeline?

Eiji Aonuma: You can think of this game as taking place over a hundred years after Ocarina of Time. You can tell this from the opening story, and there are references to things from Ocarina located throughout the game as well.

Shigeru Miyamoto: Well, wait, which point does the hundred years start from?

Eiji Aonuma: From the end.

Shigeru Miyamoto: No, I mean, as a child or as a...

Eiji Aonuma: Oh, right, let me elaborate on that. Ocarina of Time basically has two endings of sorts; one has Link as a child and the other has him as an adult. This game, The Wind Waker, takes place a hundred years after the adult Link defeats Ganon at the end of Ocarina.

Shigeru Miyamoto: This is pretty confusing for us, too. (laughs) So be careful.
Summary & Analysis
- Confirmation that The Wind Waker takes place 100 years after the events of Ocarina of Time.
- The first developer mention of the two different endings of Ocarina of Time. The ending where Link is an adult and he defeats Ganon, as well as the ending where Link is sent back in time to relive his childhood.
- The Wind Waker takes place 100 years after the events of the Adult Link ending from Ocarina of Time.
A Number of Link's In Hyrule's History
February 21st, 2003

Source: Virgin Megastore
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Question: Could you please explain how the different Zelda games tie together and whether Link is the same in each game.

Shigeru Miyamoto: In the long history of Hyrule, there are a number of Links which have made contributions. We'd need to write long papers indeed to cover all the background of this.
Summary & Analysis
- Further validation that the Link's from the various Zelda titles are unique and have little connection outside of their name and their contributions to the land of Hyrule.
Miyamoto Doesn't Know Timeline Order?
April 11th, 2003

Source: Zelda Legends
Quotee: Dan Owsen

View Letter at Zelda Legends
Dan Owsen: Heh, well, all I can tell you is, when I asked Mr. Miyamoto about the order of the games, he admitted that he didn't know! I really think the order of the stories is not that important to the game's creators. Each game is a stand-alone piece, and if there are connections between them, that's great. But they never intentionally do things in a game just so it will connect with another. The creators did tell me a few times that they didn't want to set any story points in stone, as that would restrict them in future games. I worked on three Zelda games screen text. Even when writing the text, it was funky because they were very picky about the wording so it wasn't specific. It made it sound strange, but hey it was their game so I did the text the way they wanted.

So.... not sure if I can really give more details than that....
Summary & Analysis
- Miyamoto didn't have a definite timeline at this time. Perhaps at this particular point in time then, prior timeline related quotes by Miyamoto were not significant, including the Miyamoto Order.
Order of the First Three Zelda Titles
April 23rd, 2003

Source: SuperPlay
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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SuperPlay: The sequel, Zelda II AoL was a different game. Why was that? And why have you never done anything like it again?

Shigeru Miyamoto: It was my orginal idea, but the actual game was developed by another team, different people that made the first game. Compared to Legend of Zelda, Zelda II went exactly as we first thought. All games I make usually gets better in the developement process since all good ideas are coming, but Zelda II is a little failure.

SuperPlay: So that's why the third game looked like the first one?

Shigeru Miyamoto: Exactly, we actually see A Link to the Past as the real sequel to Legend of Zelda. Zelda II was more of a sidestory what happend to Link after the happenings in Legend of Zelda.


Summary & Analysis
- While already obvious, it validates Zelda II: The Adventure of Link as occuring directly after that of the Legend of Zelda.
- Miyamoto does label A Link to the Past as the real sequel to the original Legend of Zelda. However, it seems unclear as to what this really means. The interview is talking about the development process and the different looks of the first two games. Thus, perhaps A Link to the Past being a sequel simply means that it is a progression of the gameplay and style of the original Legend of Zelda. On the flipside, in the same sentence where he mentions A Link to the Past is a sequel, he does talk about the storyline part of the series.
- Perhaps a reiteration of the Miyamoto Order of LoZ/AoL - ALttP.
The Enormous Document Explaining the Timeline
April 23rd, 2003

Source: SuperPlay
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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SuperPlay: How does the Zelda games get together? Is there any connection between the different games or do you tell us a new Zelda story each time?

Shigeru Miyamoto: For every new Zelda game we tell a new story but we actually have an enormous document that explains how the games relate to eachother and bind them together. But to be honest, they are not that important to us. We care about developing the gamesystem to give the player new challenges for every chapter that are born.

SuperPlay: Will the story always come in 2nd when you develope games?

Shigeru Miyamoto: Most important thing for me is that the player should get sucked into the game. I want the games to be easy to understand, and that the people appreciate the games content, its core. I will never deny the importance of a great story but the plot should never get that important that it gets unclear.


Summary & Analysis
- Miyamoto mentions an enormous document that exists which explains how all the games relate to one another. However, he stops short of putting much significance on this document and talks about how he emphasizes the gameplay.
- After being pushed on the topic, Miyamoto states that he wants a simple, easy to understand game that players can get sucked into. Clearly doesn't want to emphasize the story and in particular, he doesn't want the story to become very complicated for the gamer.
Four Swords Adventures and Tetra's Trackers Canon Zelda Titles?
July 21st, 2003

Source: GameSpy
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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GameSpy: For these games, are there any times during the development when Miyamoto has said, "No, don't do it this way," and you had to push your own opinions through the process?

Eiji Aonuma: That never happens. There's very few times when Miyamoto-san actually doesn't like things. We always come to an agreement in the end.

What I really want to explain to you about Four Swords for GameCube and Tetra's Trackers is that the demos we're showing off look like small games, but they're not. There are going to be lots of cool things in there, and they're going to be fully realized, Zelda-style games when they're finished.


Summary & Analysis
- Eiji Aonuma elaborates that Four Swords Adventures and Tetra's Trackers for the GameCube are not just small games. They are a lot more elaborate than they appear. Perhaps the extra importance he seems to be giving on these games is a hint that their storyline is canonical for the Zelda Timeline as a whole.
Zelda Translation Process
August 13th, 2003

Source: TSA Camp Hyrule
Quotee: Bill Trinen
Quotee: Nintendo of America

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TSA Camp Hyrule: When translating a text heavy game like Zelda, what are the steps you take to bring it to English, and what is the goal of the localization team?

Bill Trinen: The first thing we do when localize a game is play the Japanese version to the end.

Once we figure out the story, we get the text files and start working on the translation.

NOA_Tim: We also look at the graphics and anything that might not suit our market.

Bill Trinen: First we name all the people, places and things in the game that need naming, then we translate. After that, guys like Nate and Rich go in and rewrite the text and make it funny and interesting.

NOA_Rich: So we've got translators, and then we've got writers... We work hand-in-hand (it's sweet, really) to make sure we understand the game, the characters, all that stuff.
Summary & Analysis
- The Nintendo of America staff talks about the process in translating Zelda titles. It's worth noting that the American version is often times not a direct translation. Instead, after the direct translation, the text is re-written with the idea of making it funny and more interesting. Perhaps changing some minor meanings in the process.
A Link to the Past GBA Version More Canon than SNES Version
August 13th, 2003

Source: TSA Camp Hyrule
Quotee: Bill Trinen

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TSA Camp Hyrule: A Link to the Past sufferred a bunch of changes from it's Japanese counterpart, Triforce of the Gods. One example is the Japanese manual says the Master Sword was forged before the Imprisoning War, where in the US version it says during the Imprisoning War. Which version is usually more accurate for the games and manuals and why are such big discrepancies made?

Bill Trinen: Uh-oh! Zelda fanatic on the loose! We actually went back and introduced some consistencies to the LttP text on Game Boy Advance.

The question about the Master Sword is a tough one. Legends are things that are passed down over time. In the telling, certain details tend to... change.
Summary & Analysis
- Confirmation that the Game Boy Advance version of A Link to the Past made corrections to the storyline and it is inferred that it is now more accurate, and thus, more canon than the SNES counterpart.
- The stories that are passed down in the series are told as Legends, and thus, minor discrepancies are the norm. Thus, this could mean that exactly when the Master Sword was forged in regards to the Imprisoning War is not necessarily vital information. Furthermore, the quote by the Nintendo of America translator can be used for various other Zelda texts that talk about Legends within their back-stories or in-game stories.
Link is 16 Years Old in Twilight Princess
May 12th, 2004

Source: E3 Roundtable
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Shigeru Miyamoto: But since then, we've been left with a very big question: and that was, what are we going to do when we decide to make Link a teenager again -- a 16-year-old Link. So after Wind Waker we tried several different models and made varied versions of them. Ultimately we decided that in showing a teenage Link really the best style of expressing him would be something that's closer to our graphical style in Ocarina of Time.
Summary & Analysis
- The envisioned age of Link in Twilight Princess is 16 years old.
- In comparison the Child Link from Ocarina of Time was envisioned to be 7-8 years old, so Adult Link from Ocarina of Time would be 14-15 years old. So we can infer that Twilight Princess Link is a bit older than Ocarina of Time Teen Link.
Bill Trinen's Role in the Zelda Universe
May 12th, 2004

Source: E3 Roundtable
Quotee: Bill Trinen

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Question: The game looks great. Will the gameplay feel the same as Wind Waker?

[Eiji Aonuma turns to translator Bill Trinen, who has played the game, and asks for his opinion.]

Bill Trinen: Mr. Aonuma asked me what I thought since I actually played the game. [Laughs]. Yeah, it's pretty good. [More laughter]
Summary & Analysis
- This gives insight as to what exactly Bill Trinen's role is with Nintendo. He plays, localizes, and translates. He also serves as translators for Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma periodically.
- Some speculate that given his important role and his relationship with Miyamoto and Aonuma, he has knowledge of the Zelda Timeline.
Gameplay is Built Before Storyline, but Connections Try to be Made
May 17th, 2004

Source: Game Informer
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Game Informer: As far as the storyline, there was kind of a certain progression of the way Link progressed through the original Legend Of Zelda, to The Link To The Past, To Ocarina Of Time, and the rest of the titles, until Wind Waker. Miyamoto stated that the Link in the Wind Waker was really another Link. Can you explain that? It's a little confusing for some people that this is a different Link. Did Wind Waker start a whole new chapter, or a whole new story?

Eiji Aonuma: I think the easiest way to explain this is that Link is always the main character in Zelda titles. With new games, naturally people are going to think how does this Link relate to the Link from the last game? The thing is, when making a new Zelda game, we don't necessarily start with the storyline first, we start with the game, and we think, "What's Link going to be like in this game? What kind of a character is he going to be, and what kind of a personality is he going to have?" In that sense, for us, we didn't necessarily feel there was a need to have an infinitive connection between everything, because it was this idea that Link is the hero no matter what. He's here, and he's part of the story. Obviously for people that are fans, it's something that they pay a lot of attention to. If you start thinking about that, then you'll have questions, say, if this Link is related to that Link in this way, what does that say about the four Links in Four Swords? How does that all fit in? To me storyline is important, and as producer, I am going to be going through, and trying to bring all of these stories together, and kind of make them a little bit more clear. Unfortunately, we just haven't done that yet.
Summary & Analysis
- Story is not the first thing that is talked about when creating a new game. Instead they talk about the game itself and what type of character Link will be in that particular game. At this stage, developers aren't concerned with making every connection with past Link's and past games.
- Aonuma states that story is important to him and that as producer he wants to go through and bring all the stories together.
Four Swords Very First Zelda Story, Four Swords Adventures a Sequal
May 17th, 2004

Source: Game Informer
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Game Informer: That's something that, you (Bill Trinen - Localization Team) and I have talked about with the release of the Zelda compilation disc, cleaning up some of the spellings like Ganon, and making sure everything is cohesive. Maybe that's an American thing - us wanting to know how it all works together. I guess that leads me to my next questions. How do the Links in The Four Swords Adventure relate to the overall story line? Or is it just a subchapter or something like that?

Eiji Aonuma: The GBA Four Swords Zelda is what we're thinking as the oldest tale in the Zelda timeline. With this one on the GameCube being a sequel to that, and taking place sometime after that.
Summary & Analysis
- The Four Swords titles are not sub-chapters or side games, but rather, they are part of the main timeline.
- Four Swords for the GBA is the very first Zelda title in the Zelda Timeline.
- Four Swords Adventures is a sequal, but not necessarily a direct sequal. It takes place sometime after, meaning that perhaps there is potential room for other games to fit in between these two titles.
Aonuma Not Involved With Four Swords
May 17th, 2004

Source: Game Informer
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Game Informer: When you were making Four Swords for the Game Boy Advance, was the thought process that the next step was to make a Zelda connectivity title for the GameCube?

Eiji Aonuma: I actually wasn't involved in the Game Boy Advance Four Swords game - that was before I became producer of the Zelda series. So there was another person at EAD that was responsible for the supervision of that title. I, of course, was solely dedicated to the production of the Wind Waker at that time. This time around, as producer, our initial idea was how do we take connectivity and make a connectivity Zelda game. In looking at the possibilities, obviously, the first thing we thought of was well, we had Four Swords, which was a linked up Game Boy Advance game, and the things that you could do connectivity wise, and hooked up like that opens the door to a game like that. That is kind of where the focus went this time.
Summary & Analysis
- Eiji Aonuma was not involved with Four Swords for the Game Boy Advance. Perhaps this means that his quote stating Four Swords was the very first story is not a very concrete statement.
Four Swords Adventures a Sequal to Four Swords
May 17th, 2004

Source: Game Informer
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Game Informer: Could you explain the story line in Four Swords Adventures?

Eiji Aonuma: If you recall the ending of Four Swords on the Game Boy Advance, ultimately the four links were able to defeat Vaati and seal him away, and protect the world from what he was trying to do. In this game Vaati returns, but he returns because Shadow Link appears in the beginning of the game, and basically causes this problem which forces Link to draw out the four sword. In doing so, it releases Vaati back into the world. The problem is, in the beginning of the game, that you don't really understand why Shadow Link has done this or for what purpose Shadow Link is being used to do this. That becomes and integral part of the story line.
Summary & Analysis
- Confirmation that Four Swords Adventures takes place sometime after Four Swords. However all that is required in thie scenerio is that Four Swords Adventures takes place sometime later. It is unclear what the timetable is between the two games, so they don't necessarily have to take place back to back.
- Aonuma speaks of the Four Swords story. His knowledge and mention of the Four Swords story, along with his role with the Timeline as a whole, could mean his statement that Four Swords was the first Story is in fact a valid point.
Next Gamecube Title Referred to as The Wind Waker 2
May 17th, 2004

Source: GDC Roundtable
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Eiji Aonuma: So, but obviously at E3 our big focus is going to be on the Wind Waker 2, which is under development as we speak. And, so that's going to be our big focus. We'll have a big push for that, and anything related to Zelda developments in relation to the DS will probably come at some point after that.
Summary & Analysis
- What would become known as Twilight Princess was originally referred to as The Wind Waker 2.
Graphics Choice for Continuity Between Four Swords Adventures and Four Swords
May 17th, 2004

Source: GDC Roundtable
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Question: Now, he obviously mentioned upending the tea table [laughter] and pursuing all sorts of different things with the franchise. Looking at something like Four Swords, it looks like they could completely get away with doing an all 2D Zelda on the GameCube with crazy effects. Would that qualify as something you would want to do?

Eiji Aonuma: Well, actually the main reason - there were two main reasons [why] we went with the 2D graphics for the GameCube Four Swords. One was that it was a sequel to the Game Boy Advance Four Swords game, and so for the continuity there we wanted to retain the same graphic style. The second reason was that, as a connectivity game with four players, we found that it would be a lot easier for people to understand what's going on, when all four players are on one screen, when they're looking at it from the top-down perspective rather than a full 3D environment. So that obviously had a big impact on choosing that direction as well.

And, generally, what we do is, when we determine the graphic style it's really not so much a determination in advance of which style of graphics we want to use as it is by the type of game we're creating. So, going forward, if we get to a point where we decide that going back and doing a 2D game is going to simplify the gameplay and make it more fun and allow us to do different things, then we would consider doing that.
Summary & Analysis
- Confirmation that Four Swords Adventures follows Four Swords in the Zelda Timeline.
- One of the reasons for the use of 2-D graphics, was that the game was a follow up to Four Swords. Perhaps a sign that in this case, the storyline of the game, or at least where it fit in with the series as a whole, partially impacted the graphics decision.
Fitting Pieces of Previous Zelda Titles into One Puzzle
May 17th, 2004

Source: GDC Roundtable
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Question: So Eiji's worked on a couple of Zelda games, and knows a thing or two about the franchise...he talked a lot in his presentation about Zeldaness and that sort of thing. What has he learned about storytelling?

Eiji Aonuma: Well, obviously there are a lot of games that other developers are making that have really in-depth stories. And I personally don't know how they develop their stories. But the way that we do it is maybe somewhat different from what they do, in the sense that with Zelda, we don't start off with a storyline and then build a game around it, we start off with a framework for the game, we create the game, and then we develop the storyline based on the type of game we've created. Obviously Zelda isn't a story that exists already that we're then taking and turning into games, it's something that, essentially, the storylines evolves as we add new games in the series. And part of the reason that we do this is because if you start off with a story and try to turn that into a game, you essentially end up with some of the Aku, or impurities, that [chuckles] - basically, things don't feel natural [since] you're trying to make a game based on a story and you aren't able to express everything the way you want to, whereas once you start with the game and build the story around that and you have your core framework, and then the story evolves based on what we're doing with the game. Obviously, when it comes down to the reality of the Zelda series, it can be very important for us to try to go back and try to piece together all the pieces of the puzzle, and we've actually done that and put together a complete overall story at this point, but for us, the storyline in the Zelda series is really there to make the gameplay more interesting.
Summary & Analysis
- Further confirmation about how a Zelda game is made. Gameplay is made first and the storyline is fit in afterwards.
- Aonuma talks about the importance of back to the story and putting the puzzles pieces of previous games together. Shows there is a conscious effort to fit the storyline together from previous titles and perhaps this is another reference of a master Zelda timeline that Nintendo has mentioned before.
Four Swords Adventures Storyline Changed Near the End of Development
May 17th, 2004

Source: GDC Roundtable
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Eiji Aonuma: In an example with Four Swords Adventures, I was the producer on that game, so I didn't actually put the story for that game together - that would be put together by the director of the game. And in the end on that game, as we got closer to finishing it, of course, Mr. Miyamoto then came in and upended the tea table, and we changed the story around quite a bit at the end with Four Swords Adventures. And what Mr. Miyamoto pointed out in the case of that game was that the storyline shouldn't be something complicated that confuses the player. It should really be kind of a guideline that helps ease the player through the gameplay process and helps them understand what it is that they're doing. So that was one example of how the gameplay was there first, and the storyline changed all the way up until the very end.
Summary & Analysis
- The storyline of Four Swords Adventures was much more complicated before it was completed. Miyamoto upended the tea table, simplifying the storyline significantly.
- Miyamoto values simple storyline that doesn't confuse the gamer.
The Minish Cap is a Prequal to the Four Swords Titles
November 2004

Source: Nintendo of Europe
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Nintendo of Europe: How does the Minish Cap fit into the Zelda chronology? Is it a prequel to the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures on GameCube?

Eiji Aonuma: Yes, this title takes place prior to The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, and tells the secret of the birth of the Four Sword.
Summary & Analysis
- The Minish Cap is a prequal to Four Swords Adventures.
- Since The Minish Cap tells the origins of the Four Sword, it also takes place prior to Four Swords for the GBA.
Different Translations of The Minish Cap
November 30th, 2004

Source: Planet Gamecube
Quotee: Bill Trinen

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Planet Gamecube: When you say Minish Cap went gold, did you guys do the translation for the version that's being released in Europe first?

Bill Trinen: Yeah, that was kind of a complicated project, because Europe wanted it this year for their market because they need something strong for handheld. So we did the English translation while they were still finalizing the Japanese text. And we're seeing a lot more of that. I mean, it used to be that they would finish a Japanese game, it would go gold, we would get the text, and then start working localizing. I think Mario & Luigi was probably one of the first ones where we were working in conjunction, side by side with them. Where they're still writing the Japanese text while we're translating it. It ends up being a lot more work since there are so many changes. So we did do the English translation in the European version of Minish Cap, and then Europe, they actually, I think, were going from Japanese to their other languages. But, I would recommend waiting for the US version, because the text in the US version is going to be a lot better.

Planet Gamecube: So you're actually fixing it up beyond what's going in the European version?

Bill Trinen: Yeah, we did fix it up beyond the European version.


Summary & Analysis
- The American version of The Minish Cap is more closely tied to the Japanese version than its European counterpart.
Ganondorf Dies at the End of the Wind Waker
November 30th, 2004

Source: Planet Gamecube
Quotee: Bill Trinen
Quotee: Nate Bihldorff

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Planet Gamecube: I don't want to get too far into territory you can't talk about, but do you think with the new Zelda with the new style and vastly better graphics on the GameCube, do you think there's going to be an issue of E or T?

Nate Bihldorff: I don't think there's any question it'll get a T personally. We'll probably have to look at it and have a long discussion with the ESRB. But that is one of their bigger issues, that you can get away with, well, Wind Waker has beautiful graphics but it looks a lot like a cartoon, but the more realistic you get, the more you're going to get [in terms of ratings]. From what we've seen, I don't think there's any question that...

Bill Trinen: We can't talk about what we've seen (laughs).

Nate Bihldorff: I mean, recently we just recently met with the ESRB and talked about Ocarina of Time, and that had some dicey moments, whether or not it was going to get an E, you know, the original one where Ganondorf pukes out all that blood at the end, and then you end up ramming your sword down the pig's throat, you know, when he transforms, and it's not exactly non-violent, and if you imagine a scene like that with vastly improved realistic graphics, I think that'd probably be in the T range.

Bill Trinen: We're really good about working with them too, like, the way submission works, you're basically supposed to send them a video tape of basically the most violent or reprehensible content in the game, and we let them know about the scene in the end where you finally defeat Ganondorf.

Nate Bihldorff: Late, though. We had to tack that on...

Bill Trinen: Did we? I thought we did that at the same time.

Nate Bihldorff: We did an early submission on that, and then we saw that, and were like, "whoa...!"

Bill Trinen: And we saw that and thought that was pretty intense there, and so we showed that to them, and they looked at that and took it into consideration based on the look of the game and how much of the game that represents in terms of the overall gameplay.

Nate Bihldorff: There was no blood, and he turned to stone, and died. They took all that into account.

Bill Trinen: You're not supposed to... you gave the whole thing away, Nate! (laughs).
Summary & Analysis
- Ganon died at the end of The Wind Waker.
- Perhaps the stone effect was added, as it was not very graphic, and it would allow The Wind Waker to keep an 'E' rating, as opposed to a 'T' rating.
Twilight Princess Originally a Sequel to The Wind Waker
February 18th, 2005

Source: Liberation Next
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Eiji Aonuma: The next episode in the Zelda series for GameCube is already coming, but I can't say absolutely anything about it. You know the deal -- even the title and theme are still secret. The next grand Zelda game, which follows chronologically after the Wind Waker, will be released at the end of 2005 in Japan. I'm two-hundred percent involved in its development and I can reveal one lone secret: it'll be very, very beautiful.


Summary & Analysis
- While this was in very early 2005 and Twilight Princess wasn't even given a proper name yet, it appears it originally was intended to be a sequel to the Wind Waker.
- This could go along with the fact that its pre-release name was always labeled as The Wind Waker 2, perhaps signifying that it was supposed to be a storyline sequel.
- This was still almost a year before its intended release, and almost two years before its actual release.
Four Swords Backstory Developed Without The Minish Cap in Mind
March 2005

Source: Nintendo Power
Quotee: Hidemaro Fujibayashi

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Nintendo Power: This title is the third game in the Four Sword series. Did you plan it as a trilogy from the beginning?

Hidemaro Fujibayashi: We did not think to develop a trilogy from the beginning. When we developed the first Four Swords game for GBA, we created a new Hyrule legend that said that a long time ago, evil Vaati brought crisis to Hyrule and people sealed that evil. We had some thought that we wanted to carry over that story into future titles some way.


Summary & Analysis
- The developers did not have The Minish Cap in mind when they initially created the backstory to Four Swourds.

- There was some interest in continuing the story, so they kept it open for potential seqeuls.
The Golden Light and the Triforce, A Connection?
March 2005

Source: Nintendo Power
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Nintendo Power: In the prologue to this game, there are some hints that The Minish People brought a golden light into Hyrule. Does this relate to the Triforce legend?

Hidemaro Fujibayashi: Golden light is a very, very old legend of Hyrule and nobody knows how it relates to the Triforce legend. It is still a big mystery whether it has some relationship with the Triforce, which is the most important element in the Legend of Zelda series.


Summary & Analysis
- Neither confirms or denies any connection between the Golden Light in the Minish Cap and the Triforce in other Zelda titles.

- The use of the phrase very, very old legend doesn't exactly tell us too much, other than that the backstory of The Minish Cap takes place long ago. It is uncertain as to where this backstory fits in regards to the other games in the series.
Familiar Characters in The Minish Cap
March 2005

Source: Nintendo Power
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Nintendo Power: We see many familiar characters in this game (even the kid with the dripping nose from The Wind Waker!). Did you refer to any particular Zelda game for development of this game?

Hidemaro Fujibayashi: In a kind of reverse way. We created the world of the Minish Cap first, then chose characters to fit this world.


Summary & Analysis
- The familiar characters found within The Minish Cap and other Zelda games doesn't appear to have chronological importance. However, the world of The Minish Cap could have been created prior to the finalization of the storyline. Perhaps the inclusion of familiar characters was done purposely to make direct connections to previous Zelda titles.
Importance of a Talking Hat in The Minish Cap
March 2005

Source: Nintendo Power
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Nintendo Power: Ezlo is one of the most original characters ever to emerge in the Zelda universe. How did you come up with the idea of fusing a hat with a bird?

Hidemaro Fujibayashi: I wanted to have a speaking hat, not a hat with a bird. Based upon my request, the character designer needed a very difficult long time to achieve the final form. The design of Ezlo fulfilled my needs - it has a good sense of existence on the GBA screen and is flexible to dynamic action and moves.


Summary & Analysis
- Long-standing speculation that has been challenged time and time again in the Theory community is that The Minish Cap is the earliest title in the Timeline because it shows where Link first gets his hat. Perhaps the developers emphasis on including a talking hat shows that they wanted to create a historical importance of Link's Hat?
Canon of the Capcom Zelda Titles
March 2005

Source: Nintendo Power
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Nintendo Power: This title is not the first collaboration between Nintendo and Capcom. How did the development proceed this time?

Hidemaro Fujibayashi: After the Capcom team presented the core idea and Nintendo agreed to it, we held progress meetings almost every month until completion.

Nintendo Power: Are you already having discussions about another Zelda collaboration? If so, which platform are you looking at? Is it for DS?

Eiji Aonuma: As with previous development projects, Mr. Fujibayashi's team has done an excellent job. The Zelda universe that his team creates is bringing very good ideas and stimulates Nintendo's team a lot. I would like to continue to work with his team, but we have not decided on any platform for the next project.
Summary & Analysis
- This quote provides some insight into the early development process of the Capcom based Zelda games. Some of the core ideas came from Capcom first and were presented to Nintendo. In general it appears that the full context of this interview showed that Capcom does have fairly independent control over the storyline and development of the Capcom Zelda titles, with Nintendo watching over, as opposed to being the central story tellers of the games.
Ganon Confirmed Well Before the Release of Twilight Princess
May 18th 2005

Source: IGN
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Question: Is Ganon in the game and if so, what part does he play?

Eiji Aonuma: Well, each piece of the Triforce has a relationship to each of the main characters and Ganon is one of those. So in that sense Ganon will have a relationship to this game. But as to how he might appear or what he might be doing, we're not going to reveal that just yet.
Summary & Analysis
- As early as May 2005, 18 months prior to the games release, Ganon was confirmed to be in Twilight Princess.
- The Triforce will play a role in Twilight Princess.
- This is important as Ganon played an important role in the second half of the games final storyline, so this quote likely meant the developers had somewhat of a framework of the story at this point.
Twilight Princess Placed Between Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker
May 20th 2005

Source: e3 Roundtable
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Question: Is this a "new... Link?

Eiji Aonuma: Yes, he is a new Link.

Question: When does this game take place?

Eiji Aonuma: This version takes place a few decades after Ocarina of Time and before Wind Waker.


Summary & Analysis
- In early 2005, Twilight Princess was set to be be a chronological sequel to the Wind Waker, but as of May 2005, its intended placement shifted to taking place between Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker.
- Given the previous quotes about the inclusion of Ganon and the Triforce on May 18th, 2005, much of the story of the game at this point had to have been quite different from that of the games completion.
Zelda is Not the Same Stories Retold
May 31st, 2005

Source: Kotaku
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Kotaku: Each Zelda game seems like a new iteration in the same theme. There is always sort of that hallmark back to there was a previous light sword bearer in ages past. Should we just accept every time that Zelda is a reimagining of the same theme? Is it sort of assumed that every thousand years this same thing is happening over again?

Eiji Aonuma: It's certainly not the same story being told over and over again. It's not that we have a one thousand year time span between every game or anything like that.

When creating a Zelda game there is the connection between Link and Zelda and the Triforce and Ganon. When we get set to make a new Zelda game, we are focusing on the theme of the game and the game play rather than to create a new timeline for the series.

Kotaku: So it's basically a reimagiining of the same story line?

Eiji Aonuma: No, not so much.

It actually really comes back to the mythology of the land of Hyrule. There is a Triforce and each segment is tied to a different (Long explanation of the Triforce and Zelda mythos.) It is in a sense events recurring overtime.


Summary & Analysis
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Game Stories Change Throughout Development
June 2005

Source: Electronic Gaming Monthly
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Electronic Gaming Monthly: Where does this Zelda [Twilight Princess] fall in the overall series' timeline?

Eiji Aonuma: I can't really go into that, partially because I want to keep it a secret, but also because we haven't decided yet. There are some kinds of... unstable, uncertain ideas that we're working on. Depending on what course we choose in the process of development, the final ending may change.
Summary & Analysis
- While Twilight Princess was well into development, the storyline was still unclear.
- Developer quotes prior to a games actual release are not set in stone as a games location in the storyline can change.
Nintendo of America Adheres to Timeline
August 15th, 2005

Source: Camp Hyrule
Quotee: NOA_Bill

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TSA: Do you guys actually adhere to a timeline?

NOA_Bill: Absolutely. We adhere to the intent of the Japanese team, and work closely with them. Particularly with Aonuma and Takano (the writer on the recent games).

We've been trying to do a better job of unifying terminology and ensuring that all the appropriate references are retained in the US version, like references to the Knights of Hyrule, the imprisoning war, etc...

I got a question about adhering to timelines. There is a timeline established, but it is secret. We do adhere to it. And yes, I love Miyazaki. Cool guy, very creative.
Summary & Analysis
- Another mention of a Master Timeline of sorts that Bill Trinen of Nintendo of America is aware of.
- Translators have been working to do a better job at unifying terminology so that there aren't discrepancies between the US and Japanese versions.
Further Confirmation of 16-Year-Old Link in Twilight Princess
February 2007

Source: Nintendo Dream
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Nintendo Dream: His face also changes when he opens a treasure chest, depending on the item inside (laughs). By the way, in this game Link's 16 years old, right?

Eiji Aonuma: Being 16 years old is right before turning into an adult. The TV ad of the disc system game Adventure of Link said, "16 years [I have no idea of the context, so that's just my guess]," so now Link's 16 years old (laughs).
Summary & Analysis
- Confirmation of Link being 16 years old in Twilight Princess.
- Also confirms that he is the same of the Link from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
Split Timeline Confirmed. Twilight Princess, The Wind Waker 100+ Years after Ocarina of Time
February 2007

Source: Nintendo Dream
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Nintendo Dream: When does Twilight Princess take place?

Eiji Aonuma: In the world of Ocarina of Time, a hundred and something years later.

Nintendo Dream: And the Wind Waker?

Eiji Aonuma: The Wind Waker is parallel. In Ocarina of Time, Link flew seven years in time, he beat Ganon and went back to being a kid, remember? Twilight Princess takes place in the world of Ocarina of Time, a hundred and something years after the peace returned to kid Link's time. In the last scene of Ocarina of Time, kids Link and Zelda have a little talk, and as a consequence of that talk, their relationship with Ganon takes a whole new direction. In the middle of this game [Twilight Princess], there's a scene showing Ganon's execution. It was decided that Ganon be executed because he'd do something outrageous if they left him be. That scene takes place several years after Ocarina of Time. Ganon was sent to another world and now he wants to obtain the power...
Summary & Analysis
- Split-Timeline Confirmed. Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker both take place a hundred plus year after the events of Ocarina of Time.
- Twilight Princess takes place 100+ years after the Child-ending of Ocarina of Time. Child Link plans with Princess Zelda so the events of Adult Link never take place. Instead, the Sages are never awakened and Ganon is captured. The events of Ganon's execution in Twilight Princess take place shortly after the events of the child-Link ending of Ocarina of Time.
- The Wind Waker takes place 100+ years after the Adult-ending of Ocarina of Time, where Ganon is defeated by Adult Link and sealed away.
The Wind Waker 2 Graphics Ditched for More Realistic Twilight Princess Graphics
March 11th, 2007

Source: GDC 2007 Keynote
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Eiji Aonuma: As some of you know, at E3 2004, we unveiled the game that would become Twilight Princess, the realistic Zelda game, and we announced that it was developed by the team that had been developing Wind Waker 2. Actually, there was a reason that that decision was made at the time. At one point, I had heard that even Wind Waker, which had reached the million mark in sales, had become sluggish in North America, where the market was much healthier than in Japan. I asked NOA why this was. What I was told was that the toon-shading technique was, in fact, giving the impression that this Zelda was for a younger audience and that, for this reason, it alienated the upper teen audience that had represented the typical Zelda player. Having heard that, I began to worry about whether Wind Waker 2, which used a similar presentation, was something that would actually sell. In addition, because we knew how difficult it would be to create an innovative way of playing using existing GameCube hardware, we knew what a challenge it would be to develop something that would do well in the Japanese market, where gamer drift was happening.

That's when I decided that if we didn't have an effective and immediate solution, the only thing we could do was to give the healthy North American market the Zelda that they wanted. So, at the end of 2003, I went to Miyamoto and said, "I want to make a realistic Zelda."
Summary & Analysis
- The same team making The Wind Waker 2 made Twilight Princess. It is uncertain as to whether or not The Wind Waker 2 was completely scrapped in favor of what would become Twilight Princess, or rather if only the graphics were what was changed. Either way, this was very early in the development process of the game, so it is likely that not much of the game had been set in stone at this point.
Miyamoto Upended the Table for Twilight Princess
August 30th, 2007

Source: Nintendo Dream
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Nintendo Dream: By the way, you mentioned Mr. Miyamoto upended the tea table several times during the development of Twilight Princess, but how was it this time? [for Phantom Hourglass]

Eiji Aonuma: He didn't do it. Of course, he checked the fundamental parts at the beginning. Then, I asked him to play an almost finished version. Some time later he called me and all he said was that it was fun and he thought it'd sell well.


Summary & Analysis
- Much like he did with Four Swords Adventures, Miyamoto upended the table for Twilight Princess.
- Miyamoto did leave Phantom Hourglass alone towards the end of its development.
Overworld of Phantom Hourglass Directly Next to The Wind Waker's
September 2nd, 2007

Source: Nintendo Dream
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Nintendo Dream: Link's sister doesn't appear in this game, does she?

Hidemaro Fujibayashi: No, she doesn't. She probably stayed home in The Wind Waker's Outset Island.

Nintendo Dream: How far from The Wind Waker's sea does this game take place?

Hidemaro Fujibayashi: Right next to it.

Nintendo Dream: Is it that close?!

Hidemaro Fujibayashi: Well, it takes place during their journey after leaving the waters of The Wind Waker.

Eiji Aonuma: We can have an unlimited number of stories in the Zelda series. A new adventure may be waiting for them if they just wander into the sea next to the one they're sailing (laughs).


Summary & Analysis
- Phantom Hourglass is a direct sequal to The Wind Waker and takes place in the ocean area adjacent to the world of The Wind Waker.
Phantom Hourglass an Updated Version of the original Legend of Zelda
September 26th, 2007

Source: MTV Multiplayer
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Eiji Aonuma: With the DS Zelda, I feel as though it is the updated version of the original Zelda. It wasn't a conscious decision, but in an effort to get back to basics, I was able to reconnect with that essence of Zelda that makes it fun for people when it first came out.
Summary & Analysis
- Phantom Hourglass was an effort to return to the basics of the Legend of Zelda.
Aonuma Desired a Wind Waker Storyline Sequel
September 26th, 2007

Source: MTV Multiplayer
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Eiji Aonuma: Personally I'm very fond of the Wind Waker story. I've always wanted to know where Link and Tetra ended up going and what lands they explored, so that personally is something that I've always wanted to discover.
Summary & Analysis
- Eiji Aonuma wanted to know what happens after the events of The Wind Waker. It's unclear whether or not the basis of the storyline was strictly his decision or not.
- During the early stages of Twilight Princess, the game was referred to as The Wind Waker 2. It is unclear whether or not The Wind Waker 2 originally was supposed to be a direct sequel to The Wind Waker, much like what Phantom Hourglass became.
Origins of Link's Name
October 17th, 2007

Source: 1UP
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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1UP: The character Link, he obviously doesn't talk much, and whenever he does it's only through text and without voice. It seems very much that Link is a simple vessel for the player to identify with instead of a real personality; it's more that the player creates the character in his mind. Can you give us some insight into this? Why is Link such an interesting character to you?

Eiji Aonuma: When a player is playing a Zelda game, my desire is for the player to truly become Link -- that's why we named him Link, so the player is linked to the game and to the experience. Of course, the player can always change Link's name to their own name to further that notion should they want. But if we did give him a voice, that would go against the whole notion of Link being you, because Link's voice should really be your voice.
Summary & Analysis
- This gives the intention as to why the character is referred to as Link. The developers want the player to feel as if they are the character in the Link.
Ocarina of Time Sages Deliberately Named For Adventure of Link Towns
November 21st, 2008

Source: Nintendo Power
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Nintendo Power: What was the impetus for creating the game's multiple races-Gorons, Zoras, the Gerugo, Kokiri, etc.-and what was the process like for creating them?

Eiji Aonuma: In creating a unique cast of characters, we thought it would be effective to have nonhuman races, each of them invested with different lifestyles and mannerisms. Almost from the beginning we had decided on Kokiri to live in the forest, Gorons to live in the mountains, and Zoras to live in the water.

At first we imagined the Zoras as monsters sort of like mermen, who would be antagonists to humans. The original concept was strong. However, after we had decided Princess Ruto was going to be one of the sages, that image didn't seem to fit anymore, so we changed them to be a friendly race more like humans.

Each of the races has a character fated to become on the sages later on. We named them after towns in The Adventure of Link so it would appear that the towns had been named after them. (In the world of Zelda, the ventus of Ocarina of Time occur before the events of The Adventure of Link.)
Summary & Analysis
- The Sages of Ocarina of Time were named what they were, as they would go on to become the Town names in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Perhaps this infers that Adventure of Link takes place on the Adult side of the timeline, since the sages awakened, and thus they have established names which will becomes town in the distant future.
Skyward Sword Unlikely a Sequel to Twilight Princess
June 3rd, 2009

Source: IGN
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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IGN: Does the game follow the story progression of Twilight Princess or is it something completely different?

Shigeru Miyamoto: I can't go into details except to say that it's something completely different.
Summary & Analysis
- While not a complete confirmation, the statement that it is something completely different in response to a storyline progression question makes us believe that at the time the game had nothing to do with Twilight Princess. While at the time it could still theoretically be a distant sequel, this quote seems to say that it will take place elsewhere on the Timeline.
Skyward Sword Link is Older and is a Completely Different Link
June 3rd, 2009

Source: IGN
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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IGN: At your developer roundtable this week, you showed off a single piece of artwork from the next Wii Zelda game. This piece of art has not yet been released publicly, but we noticed that Link appears to have grown to full adulthood. He looks older than he did in Twilight Princess. Is that a correct assumption?

Shigeru Miyamoto: Well, the story setting for this Zelda is, of course, in a completely different era and Link is older than he was previously. More approaching adulthood. There is one hint. Maybe from the art work you can see that he's not holding a sword.
Summary & Analysis
- Skyward Sword doesn't take place in the same era as any other Zelda game and thus, it is a brand new Link as well.

- The Link is a bit older than he appeared in other games. Relating this to Twilight Princess were Link was in his mid-teens, Link from Skyward Sword is likely to be an adult character.
Miyamoto and Aonuma's Relationship With the Zelda Series
November 27th, 2009

Source: EuroGamer
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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EuroGamer: I want to explore your relationship with Mr Miyamoto. After Ocarina, was it hard for him to step back into a more hands-off role and allow someone else to take the reins? What's the relationship like now? Do you have any major creative disagreements, or arguments of the direction of the series?

Eiji Aonuma: When we were creating Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, the department we were working in, called Entertainment, Analysis and Development (EAD), was rather a small team. So with something as big as Ocarina and Majora, the entire EAD had to work on the same project by co-operating with each other.

Everybody including me was closely communicating with Mr Miyamoto. Since then, gradually, the number of people working in our group has been on the increase and the number of titles EAD has been taking care of at any given time is increasing. Mr Miyamoto is on the board of directors at Nintendo and he has to take care of all the first-party software Nintendo publishes while I can concentrate on the Zelda games.

In that sense, the distance between me and Mr Miyamoto - any producer and Mr Miyamoto - has been expanding, and even I have been taking care of multiple titles simultaneously. But actually Mr Miyamoto doesn't like the idea: he would like to be as close as possible to the actual game development.

That's why, in the case of the new Legend of Zelda on Wii, he's trying to take more direct hands-on and specifically at least once every month we are having a very intimate meeting where we confirm the status quo, we discuss what needs to be done and Mr Miyamoto gives instructions as to what we need to do.

And in such a situation, of course there are some heated arguments, because each of us has his own idea as to what a Zelda game should look like, should play like. As time passes and as we are growing in terms of number of people working for the same department, naturally Mr Miyamoto has to keep some distance away from any other producers and developers, but I think we always try to have as close communications as possible in one way or the other. That's how I think everyone including me has been communicating with Mr Miyamoto at Nintendo.
Summary & Analysis
- Miyamoto has taken a more hands off approach since Ocarina of Time, but is much more involved for Skyward Sword.
- Since Aonuma became one of the heads of the Zelda team and after several successful games, there seems to be differing opinions as to what makes a Zelda game.
Zelda Series Has No Restrictions
November 27th, 2009

Source: EuroGamer
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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EuroGamer: Would you like to work on something completely new, or do you see yourself continuing with Zelda for many more years?

Eiji Aonuma: Well, the fact the company has constantly been giving me the opportunity to work on the next Zelda, and the fact that many people are looking forward for me to provide them with the next Zelda is something really gratifying.

The fact I have to work on Zelda - there is no fixed notion about what Zelda has to be. Most basically, any changes are appropriate because Zelda means unprecedented experiences. In other words, as long as I can work on new Legend of Zelda games there's hardly anything I can't do to challenge myself.

Having said that, whenever I get asked, aren't you tired about making Zelda again and again, I might say, 'sometimes!' But it doesn't mean I'm willing to make something similar to Zelda at all. I really want to surprise people in a meaningful way, so if I'm going to work on anything new then I would like to make something so that people are going to say, 'wow I could not imagine someone like Aonuma would make something like this'. Summary & Analysis
- There are no restrictions as to what the Zelda teams wants to do with the Zelda series. This quote was stated just near the release of Spirit Tracks and that game took some flack because of the Train. Perhaps he was addressing this indirectly, by saying even though a train didn't fit in the Zelda Universe, his team made it work effectively.
Technology Doesn't Affect Timeline Placement
November 30th, 2009

Source: Kotaku
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Kotaku: Spirit Tracks features a train, which may be the most modern piece of technology included in a Zelda game. How modern do you think the Zelda universe can get? Could it include, for example, a radio? A car? A gun?

Eiji Aonuma: Technology actually was not a major concern for us when we decided to use the train. In The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, the boat was the key mode of transportation. Now that Spirit Tracks takes place on land, we needed a new way for players to get around, and felt that the train offered the best sense of exploration and discovery. We don't think it feels out of place in the game world. Trains are also a popular mode of transportation in Japan. My children and I still feel a great sense of adventure when we ride trains in Japan.

Regarding use of other forms in technology in the future, as long it adds to the overall game experience and is something we feel the player would enjoy, we wouldn't be afraid to implement it. As a matter of fact, we have used the Hook Shot in several previous games, which would be considered a very modern type of technology, even by today's standards.
Summary & Analysis
- Another statement of how gameplay is more important than story. If new technology is the way to go, they aren't concerned with it not fitting into the Zelda story as a whole. The mention of the hookshot seems to state that technology is not important when placing the Zelda titles.
Miyamoto Not Involved Until Latter Stages
December 14th, 2009

Source: EDGE Magazine
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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EDGE Magazine: How has your role at Nintendo evolved in recent years?

Shigeru Miyamoto: I don't feel that my style of making videogames has changed so much. Over the years, I've tended to work on a project more deeply as the development phase gets closer to completion. The only difference is that when we're working on something really new like Nintendogs or Wii Music, I tend to be very deeply involved a lot earlier. For the so-called 'serious titles' my involvement tends to be much greater towards the latter stage.
Summary & Analysis
- Shows that Miyamoto is not involved until the latter stages of most Zelda games. This could explain the occasional 'upending the tea table' which Miyamoto has a reputation of doing with some Zelda titles.
Miyamoto Does Not Emphasis a Particular Culture
December 19th, 2009

Source: Popular Mechanics
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Popular Mechanics: Speaking of Zelda games, they're obviously very popular in lots of parts of the world, and they have almost a mythological story, that resembles Greek or any old epic you look at. Was there anything particular from Japanese culture or mythology that was put into the story that might go over the heads of Americans?

Shigeru Miyamoto: I don't really consciously do things like that or consciously sense those types of differences. Partly it may be because, even in Japan, we see lots of different types of movies from America where they have the types of armor and clothing that you see in a game like that. We also see a lot of Chinese movies, and Chinese armor. Ocarina, I think, maybe the visual style drifts more towards a Western fantasy style and art design, but I don't intentionally ever try to replicate a particular cultural element from a particular country.
Summary & Analysis
- Miyamoto states that he doesn't try to replicate a particular culture over another when making his games.
Ocarina of Time's Characters Had Background Stories
December 19th, 2009

Source: Popular Mechanics
Quotee: Shigeru Miyamoto

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Popular Mechanics: Do you create background stories to the characters that maybe aren't known to the public or presented in the games?

Shigeru Miyamoto: For the most part we don't create very in-depth back stories for the characters. I think the Zelda games and Ocarina of Time, in particular, may be somewhat different in that, although I don't write the relationships myself when we created the game, but when we created Ocarina in particular, we did think heavily about who the characters are, their relationships to one another, and how that plays out in the story. But taking a game like the Super Mario Bros. games in particular, typically when we design a character it's based on their function within the interactive gameplay world. So for example characters that have spikes are characters you cannot jump on. In that sense it's not so much designing a character as it is designing their function within the world.
Summary & Analysis
- The development team spent time discussing the included characters in Ocarina of Time, how their stories progressed, and how they related to one another.
Skyward Sword Before Ocarina of Time, Master Timeline
July 21st, 2010

Source: Official Nintendo Magazine
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Eiji Aonuma: Yes, there is a master timeline but it is a confidential document! The only people to have access to that document are myself, Mr. Miyamoto and the director of that title. We can't share it with anyone else! I have already talked to Mr. Miyamoto about this so I am comfortable in releasing this information - this title [Skyward Sword] takes place before Ocarina of Time. If I said that a certain title was 'the first Zelda game', then that means we can't ever make a title that takes place before that! So for us to be able to add titles to the series, we have to have a way of putting the titles before or after each other.
Summary & Analysis
- Skyward Sword takes place prior to the events of Ocarina of Time.
- Yet another mention of the Master Timeline, but it is confidential to just Aonuma, Miyamoto, and the director of whichever game that is being worked on.
Skyward Sword First Zelda Title, Before Ocarina of Time
September 2010

Source: Nintendo Power
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Nintendo Power: Does this game fit into the existing Zelda continuity, or is this a separate story?

Eiji Aonuma: I think we've talked with the media about this before, about Ocarina of Time being sort of the oldest story in the Zelda timeline, but, of course, in Ocarina of Time the Master Sword already exists, so it's obviously safe to say that this takes place before Ocarina of Time.


Summary & Analysis
- Confirmation that Skyward Sword takes place prior to Ocarina of Time.
- Ocarina of Time was the first game in the Zelda timeline, prior to the announcing of Skyward Sword. This is contradictory to prior statements, citing Four Swords and in turn, The Minish Cap were the earliest stories in the Zelda series. Aonuma does say that Ocarina of Time is sort of, and thus doesn't sound very definitive with his statement. Perhaps he means it is the earliest story that directly connects with that of Ocarina of Time and some of the other major console 3-D Zelda titles that have a more direct timeline connection, as opposed to the the Four Swords titles and The Minish Cap, which don't connect much with Ocarina of Time at all.
Dan Owsen Confirms Nintendo of America Tried to Release a Timeline
May 9th, 2011

Source: Mases Hagopian
Quotee: Dan Owsen

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Mases Hagopian: I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but you're sort of a celebrity in the Zelda Community. Interviews you did 10-15 years ago are still quoted to try to prove the validity of various timeline theories.

Dan Owsen: You know, at one point we had drafted a timeline and wanted to make it available online. We showed it to the guys in Japan and they basically told us that it would be best if we didn't post it. They do have a timeline that has continuity between the games but they wanted to keep it open for how each player views the chronology of the series. There are a lot of connections between the games, but they do have a timeline that has continuity. It's up to the player to place all the pieces together.

Mases Hagopian: So there seems to be a disconnect between you guys (Nintendo of America) and the developers in Japan.

Dan Owsen: I wouldn't call it a disconnect. Just that the developers feel that posting a full narrative would take away from the players' imagination. Part of what makes the series so special is the legend that spans across the series and they wanted to preserve that in the players' vision. It's also why they have never given Link a voice. The story is told as if the player is Link. Giving him a voice would eliminate that attachment.
Summary & Analysis
- Confirmation of a Zelda Timeline that the Japanese Developers have. Perhaps an affirmation of the Timeline Document.
- Nintendo of America tried to release a Timeline on their website, but were advised not to by the developers in Japan.
- Developers feel that the Timeline is part of what makes the series a Legend. It allows the player's to piece things together and live through the muystique of the whole Zelda narrative.
Aonuma Confirms That All Games Are on a Single Timeline
October 28th, 2011

Source: GameTrailers
Quotee: Eiji Aonuma

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Amanda Mackay: Now a lot of the music within the Zelda series carries over within different games. Does that mean that they're within the same timeline?

Eiji Aonuma: Yes, all of the games are within one timeline for the entire series, but that timeline is a secret that I cannot reveal.


Summary & Analysis
- Further confirmation that a secret timeline exists.
- It's unclear whether "one timeline" refers to a linear timeline or a more general timeline that could include the split he described in earlier interviews.