Update: As of 11:45 a.m. CT, this post has been updated to reflect new information.
The official timeline for The Legend of Zelda is a complicated one fans love and hate studying. Explaining it to those who are new to Zelda is a tough job because of the splits. The timeline was first released with Hyrule Historia, a book containing Zelda lore. The new Hyrule Encyclopedia, outsourced through Japanese company Nintendo Dream, may or not be canon. There is supposedly a disclaimer stating Nintendo Dream took some creative liberties.
Nevertheless, in Hyrule Encyclopedia’s timeline, both Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons have been moved from before Link’s Awakening to after it. This is in opposition to Hyrule Historia, which places the Oracle games before Link’s Awakening. Bringing this information to light was made possible by Kaialone, who translated it from the Hyrule Encyclopeda—the book hasn’t released outside of Japan as of yet.
Based on Kaialone’s translations provided to Zelda Informer, we can also assume the Link found in the Oracle games during Hyrule Encyclopedia’s timeline is not the same as the boy from Link’s Awakening. For a lot of games in the canon, Hyrule Encyclopedia notes what Links are the same from their previous games. For instance, The Adventure of Link‘s listing mentions Link is the same as he was from The Legend of Zelda for NES. Tri Force Heroes‘ Link is listed as the boy from A Link Between Worlds, and Link’s Awakening‘s square says Link is the same hero from A Link to the Past.
However, the listing for the Oracle games state Link is merely “a boy travelling on a horse.” “[It doesn’t] say anything that implies its the same hero as [A Link to the Past] and [Link’s Awakening], unlike every other case of it being the same hero between games,” Kaialone told us.
What could be the reason for this seemingly random change to Zelda‘s years old timeline from Nintendo Dream? Is this change greenlit by Nintendo? Is it canon? I would give a flat out no, but there has to be a reason for this switch up. If you have any theories, let us know in the comments. Also, before you ask, Breath of the Wild is not listed here, despite the fact it is confirmed to be a part of the timeline.