Breath of the Wild: Where in the Timeline?

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Disclaimer: This article was written by a member of the Hidden Triforce team. The information, opinions, and beliefs displayed in this article belong to that of the author and do not represent the Hidden Triforce as a whole.

Note: All DLC content will be excused for this article, as it is extra content not from the original game.

Image result for breath of the wild title screen

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a long awaited WiiU and Nintendo Switch game from the Zelda series, and when it finally got here, gamers just couldn’t get enough. The vast open world offers endless tasks, countless enemies, limited loading screens, new game mechanics, unforgettable characters, and a whole new take on a classic game we all love. The game brings us to a destroyed version of Hyrule, fallen by the Great Calamity, where we are free to roam and explore; discovering things on our own without any hand-holding. 

Breath of the Wild has brought hundreds of new gamers into the Zelda community, also rekindling any old flames past gamers had. With such a great game like this, comes speculation, questions, and theories; especially with a growing audience. One question seems to arise whenever speaking of Breath of the Wild,  “Where does the game fit into the official timeline?” A true answer has yet to surface from Nintendo. Though nothing is certain, some data can be dug up to help prove the game took place in the Child Era, with the Sacred Realm being protected. Let’s go over this theory together:

The first thing we must do is prove the game to exist in the same timeline as Skyward Sword, due to the fact that the events in this game lead the the world of Hyrule as we know it today. Producing evidence for this is extremely easy, starting with the Forgotten Temple. Walking up to the temple on the ground, take notice that any walk way is much above Link’s head, probably where the stairs once were. If you travel along the inside, you will come across a shrine. Right behind that, a goddess statue you can climb and jump down to the center of a circle; just like the Wing Ceremony. Traveling around this version of Hyrule, you will come across three springs; courage, wisdom, and power. These springs in Breath of the Wild seem to be taken straight out of Skyward Sword.

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Now we’ve proven this game more than likely steams from a timeline where Skyward Sword was the beginning. Where to next? We need to dive into Ocarina of time to see which of the three timelines Nintendo has already provided us with matches up the greatest with Breath of the Wild. The Temple of Time is truly the only proof we need to know that Breath of the Wild  has a connection to Ocarina. However, we also have The Great Deku Tree, the Ranch Ruins (with the barn remains and everything), Zora’s Domain, Death Mountain, and countless more areas that were originally displayed for the first time in Ocarina but make appearances in Breath of the Wild. Now we know the game follows the first half of the timeline, but how do we continue after this?

The connection Breath of the Wild makes to the Child Era may be slim and far out; but lets take a look deeper into it. Although no actual location can come directly from Majora’s Mask, due to being located in Termina, we can see references to even this game in Breath of the Wild. The three felt to stand out the most are Lulu, Mikau, and Toto Lakes. Now, how could this be Hyrule, but there are references to another dimension? The answer may be simple; perhaps the Link from Ocarina (and Majora ) returned to Hyrule after saving Termina, to tell stories of his travels. The Hero of Legend always has stories passed down, so it wouldn’t be improbable for Link to have mentioned this place, only for them to be immortalized years later in Hyrule, in his honor.

All the Majora’s Mask proof leads us closer to our answer, now taking us further down the middle timeline to Twilight Princess. From the Arbiter Grounds, to Hylia Bridge and Island, even to Castle Town. So many places are reminders of Twilight Princess, but best of all is how Ganon falls into place now. Based on the information Zelda gives us in Breath of the Wild, , Ganon has been sealed before in the past. We can see that Ganon has clearly been sealed before, regardless, if the Arbiter Grounds is still around. There, Ganon was sealed into the Twilight Realm. If the Arbiter Grounds exists is Breath of the Wild, it is inevitable that the Mirror of Twilight and the Twilight Realm are connected to the game and timeline as well. This would throw Breath of the Wild right into the Child Era timeline, the strongest timeline where Ganon is sealed time and time again.

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On the other hand, many pieces of data also prove the other end of the theory; such as Rito’s being in Hyrule and Koroks being in the forest. The only logically explanation for this, is after Link defeats the reincarnations of Ganon and Vaati in the Child Era, Hyrule becomes flooded. Only this time it’s in the Child Era, perhaps for Hyrule to start anew? This would give us answers to why Rito Village is so high up (and why they even exist anyway), why the Koroks became the forest children and the Lost Woods is an island, why the Zora are alive with the Rito and why so much architecture seems to have been rather freshly rebuilt right before the Great Calamity.  

Though none of this, or any timeline for this game, is proven as of right now by Nintendo, we can only hope they don’t keep us waiting too long. In the mean time, please take this concept and theory of Breath of the Wild’s timeline into consideration. Let me know in our Facebook comments what you think and remember; no one is wrong as long as we don’t have an official timeline! Thanks for reading! -Paige (Author)


About Author

Paige has been a video game lover since birth, taking a special love to The Legend of Zelda series. Since first playing Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64, she has played every game before and since. In her early years of school, she realized she had a passion for creative writing, and has been perusing her passion since.