Oh dear. Here we go. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild just got added to the official series timeline on the Japanese portal. According to the site, the game takes place… wait for it… wait for it…
At the very tail end, disconnected from the branch-off completely. This means it occurs some time after Spirit Tracks, Four Swords, and/or Adventure of Link. What it doesn’t explain is which timeline branch’s future it is. Or maybe the branches reconnect into a single path at some point?
Famitsu magazine interviewed producer Aonuma and director Fujibayashi about Breath of the Wild‘s placement and the timeline in general. “Hyrule’s history changes with time,” Aonuma said. “When we think of the next game and what we want to do with it, we might… place it neatly into the timeline, but sometimes we… have to change the placement. In fact, there have been a few subtle changes over time.” Keep in mind these translations from the Japanese interview are very loose, but the overall idea of what is being said is accurate.
As careful observers scroll down through the history on the portal, they might notice another little change or two on the way to Breath of the Wild. In the timeline where Link loses to Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time, Link’s Awakening has been moved to take place prior to the Oracle games.
“Recently the term ‘new interpretation’ has cropped up within the company,” Fujibayashi explains. “Strictly speaking, we don’t change the timeline, but rather new discoveries and details [about the history of Hyrule] are uncovered instead.”
Pay close attention to the memories and other minute details in Breath of the Wild. You just might find a thing or two that points to previous games in the series. But do give me a couple seconds to move out of your way before you run me over in your stampeding rush to fire up the game and/or post on every gaming site online about how the new timeline is even more wrong than the previous version.
Don’t give me that look. You know that’s what you’re going to do.