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No Time, No Time, Who's Got the Time

Sep 16, 2009
Cali For Nuh
Alas, I have made it here to settle the score once and for all... Using my abilities of the English language to solve the time line dilemma.

And we are going to do this by looking at the titles of the series its self....

The Legend of Zelda.

The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda

Legend- singluar tense... Meaning ONE... Not Two, Not Multiple... ONE. And ONLY ONE. So the Zelda series is just but ONE story.... Retold. And Told over and over and over again. That brings us to discuss the etymology of the word Legend itself.

Legend according to the Wiki
, typically, is a short (mono-) episodic, traditional, highly ecotypified[3] historicized narrative performed in a conversational mode, reflecting on a psychological level a symbolic representation of folk belief and collective experiences and serving as a reaffirmation of commonly held values of the group to whose tradition it belongs."
Legend according to Merriam Webster
a : a story coming down from the past; especially : one popularly regarded as historical although not verifiable

c : a popular myth of recent origin
Ok so commonalities these sources share on the word Legend.

It is a story.
It is a story that's passed down.
Its subject to change based on who's telling it.

So The Legend of Zelda.

Is but a single story, retold by different people. Makes sense why the game play/storyline between Twilight Princess, Ocarina of Time, Adventures of Link, and Legend of Zelda... Have changed very little.

In fact the most drastic change is in fact Twilight Princess... But where have we seen variations before? Perhaps TP was told from the Twili's culture's Point of View.... The Hylians wouldn't have use for the Twili's interactions with our hero of time...

Now when examining a legend, we must look at other legends... In order to understand how they can vary.... (and you people just hang on I'm not going off topic)... But I am indeed about to compare the Legend of Zelda... To the Legend of Cinderella.

Yeah that's right.... They're both legends and both have variations depending on which Culture you get the story from.

Because there are over 5000 stories of the Cinderella legend, I am going to compare and contrast 3 of them with the Zelda Legend.

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters


Classic Cinderella


(if you are familiar with the Disney Version... It's the one that most closely follows the classic)


Pear Blossom - The Korean Cinderella


Ok- Lets note... The basic elements... Girl, Seemly unworthy gets noble husband, through being a humble person. Yet the stories themselves Range widely from Ox, to pumpkin, to Snake. If these stories didnt have the word "Cinderella" attached. It is likely you wouldn't even consider them the same story. Cultural influences the variations in the details... yet the overall theme stays the same.

Lets go back to The Legend of Zelda. Someone/something steals triforce, hero is called, Princess in trouble, hero must save her.

In LoZ- Link is an adventurer on his own, trying to rescue the triforce shards and save Zelda from Boar Ganon's Grip. (The basic Hylian Story)

In AoL- Boy named Link (coincidentally) is trying to wake said princess from a sleeping spell.... (Seeing as Impa sent him on this journey -see AoL instruction manual- we shall assume that this is the Shiekah version)

In OoT- Boy gets guardian,( in this legend a fairy) to help him rescue the triforce and save Zelda from a human form of Ganon. (Most Likely told from the Forest POV)

In TP - The twili's culture's version of the story.... Link gets a guardian, (in this legend its a Twili Princess) to help him rescue the triforce and save it from Ganon (and the twili baddie, Zant).

Its the same story Retold. Just like Cinderella is the Same story retold.... Wash Rinse Repeat... It doesn't change a thing. Take the Legend of Zelda from each culture's point of view, and you too will see...

I guess we can say.....




Randomus Pervertus
May 13, 2010
But what about the games that are not the basic 'Someone steals the triforce/kidnaps Zelda, Link kills/imprisons baddie' story, like Majora's Mask, Link's Awakening, The Oracle Games, and several others? And what about Wind Waker? There's no way that the story would change so much that it would end up with the whole world covered in water? :?


Aug 24, 2010
Somewhere small
For the record, Zelda 2's prelude story tells of the ancient Zelda who rests in the temple, is the first Zelda who started off the entire legend to begin with. Because of the situation surrounding her sleep, all princesses of Hyrule were to be called Zelda. That's the legend.

So all the resulting Zeldas stem off from that one Princess who never revealed the location of the Triforce to her brother.
Apr 5, 2008
Chula Vista, San Diego, CA
You seem to be mixing up the title of the games with the titles of the series. I know you are from the NES era, so I know you know what I'm talking about when I say originally, there was only one "Legend of Zelda". Then they created a second, alternate title, it was definitely a unique title to the series, so that would explain the lack of "Legend of" in the title. Then game A Link to the Past, they're just reusing the title because its now the name of the series itself. It was never intended for that purpose, but it eventually evolved into that. So if that doesn't explain it for you, then you are stubborn :(


The chosen one
May 13, 2010
first of all way to go i always knew there was no timeline one thing you forgot is (spoilers) at the end of Ocarina of time zelda says when you return the mastersword to its pedistal the road between times will be closed a.k.a the door of time will close thus no split timeline

Sword of Faith

Jo conveniently left out the handheld games. But then again, they don't exist for her :P

There are several flaws to your theory that you left out. Majoras Mask is a clear sequel to Ocarina of Time. Explain to me how on earth this could be ocarina of time.

Also, if you bring the handhelds into it, your theory completely falls apart, because Phantom Hourglass is not A Link to the Past. They are not all one game.

So go mull over this, Jo, while you sip your beer. You've just been proven wrong.

Heh. I just re-opened the timeline theory.

J Oh

Hylian Alchemist
Sep 3, 2010
Hyrule Market
I like the idea of your theory and I wish it were that simple, I just wish the offical timeline would be released, though I think its not going to be the type of timeline we are expecting.


Jan 31, 2010
a place of settlement, activity, or residence.
That actually explains several of the games that have no clear place on the timeline, however I would argue that there is still a timeline for the other stories you didn't mention.

MM came after OoT. TP and WW came after MM (one on the AT, and the other on the CT).

So it basically explains the stories of the four games you mentioned as all being variations on the story of OoT. But three games are clearly placed after the events of the four you mentioned, in a clearly understandable order.

Also, you left out ALttP, which still has no clear place, unless you want to claim that it's from the POV of the sages and maidens? Unless you make the argument that it's just an updated LoZ, which you could.

Still, though, it's an interesting theory. Legends really do change a lot as they're passed down, and looking at the different stories as different versions of the same legend is a very creative and original perspective, regardless of whether it's true or not.


Jul 15, 2009
Oooh, you wanna duel with language? Well then, ah, but you forget... the are a few more applications of the word Legend. For example it could have the same meaning as it does if you said "someone's legend", as in their legacy, meaning the things they left behind in their wake or the multiple things/events that happened because of something they did, etc. When taken in this sense, it could potentially of confirm they are a series of seperate stories/disasters/events/adventures. "Someone's legend" becomes Zelda's Legend, about the subsequent events that happen because of the Princess, say for example, after what Zelda does at the end of OoT, therefore making the games that follow it part of Zelda's Legend, the legacy of things that happened because of what she did. Switch the sentence order around and Zelda's Legend becomes The Legend of Zelda, and thus, the title of the events that are part of it.

Now, I'm not saying I believe the above, but I thought it was worth pointing it out. Of course, the very fact that there are sequels and prequels (look at the back of LttP's box if you want it in writing~!) kind of means that there has to be more than one adventure involved. Even with distortion from retellings, I can't see how this could excuse all of the conflicting problems that arise (though it does work for a fair few, even extreme things like WW, where it could have been changed to include things the people were more familiar with, that they could understand and relate to... such as sailing across the sea rather than riding across fields, etc) and even though I can't agree with you on this one, this is a very interesting theory you've pointed out, a very interesting way of looking at it all XDD Kinda wondering though... what happened to the other threads about this? XD
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Site Staff
Nov 24, 2009
Redmond, Washington
Wow, this whole thread, besides maybe two posts, is major fail.

Learn what 'etymology' means.

Solving the timeline means figuring out when every game takes place, not just the four that most support your theory.

If this was true, the timeline mystery would have been solved a long time ago. Don't think you're the first lazy outside-the-box theorist to come up with this.

We have been given proof that the developers give each game a separate spot on the timeline on a multitude of occasions.
-We know from Miyamoto's NP interview that LoZ, AoL, LttP, and LA are all different stories.
-We know from some interview that OoT was intended to tell the backstory of LttP.
-We know from the manual, in-game, and probably interviews (I've never had to look for them) that MM is after, thus not the same as, OoT.
-We know from both Miyamoto and Aounuma that OoT, TP, and WW are different stories.
-Miyamoto said their (OoT-WW) relationship was confusing. Not something he'd say about such a simple explanation as yours.
-We know from in-game, manuals, and interviews that WW, PH, and ST are different stories.
-We know from Aunuma that FS and FSA were intended to be separate games (before OoT, though that specific placement may have been incorrect).
-We know from Miyamoto and Aonuma that there is a master timeline document.
-Aounuma has stressed on multiple occasions the importance of how the stories fit together in the large timeline.
-We know from many recent interviews that SS is before, and thus not the same as, OoT.
So basically the only games that have the slightest possibility of being retellings of other games are MC and OoX (actually, OoX were at some point iirc).

If a few games are similar, don't jump to the conclusion that they're all the same. That's one of the first things you learn about logic.
Sep 16, 2009
Cali For Nuh
If a few games are similar, don't jump to the conclusion that they're all the same. That's one of the first things you learn about logic.

Its funny that you say I'm jumping to conclusions, aren't you doing the exact same thing, only with the opposite.... That they must all be different?


For the record I hate time line theory. I don't believe Nintendo ever intended for there to BE a time line. that is When they created the first two games.

I also am slighted offended that you would call me lazy, but I'm just going to ignore that.

Think about the first game. The Legend of Zelda. It was created. Hell it was the first game that allowed you to SAVE to your freaking cartridge without having to enter in a code every single time. That was innovative to the gaming industry. But they didn't know that Zelda was going to become a classic, or a best seller, or any of that. Even when the first was so successful and AoL was made... they dared to be different. and Some would call AoL a flop. The stability of the zelda series wasn't really there until after the success OoT.

If anything, take OoT and the games produced after wards to come up with some workable theory. It just doesnt make sense that the timeline would include the games when the future of the zelda franchise was unknown.

At the risk of repeating myself. As a child and even to my adult days I firmly believe/d that OoT is LoZ retold in a 3D world. I'm willing to say AoL is also a retelling of the same legend, why, you ask?

The variations between these games basically comes down to controls, and play style. Storyline is almost identical. The vast overworlds and creative underworlds (or dungeons) are same as well... Note the location where these dungeons are even placed...

Forest, Graveyard, Mountains, Swamp.... Ocean... The names of the people you meet, or regions are the same in these 3 games (well not so much the original but that one is a basic skeleton with not much detail included anyways). Its not narrow minded by far to think that these 3 games, might in fact all be telling the same story.

In fact it makes it easier to continue the time line for you time line believers. Because there are games that no matter how you figure, they just dont fit in your theory perfectly. And they might never. Because there is just a chance, that nintendo just made the game... Not knowing quite what to expect from their many many fans.


I agree Jo. I think that the timeline was never meant to exist. They just created the story out of thin air and then added to and took away to create sales. As for the other games not fitting into your theory, why wouldn't they. LA, PH, MM, could all be the same story that just got twisted to an extreme by a person who liked to hear themselves talk and loved a good audience. I've seen a few of those people in my life.

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