- The Legend of Zelda timeline is complex and branches into three separate timelines after Ocarina of Time’s events.
- The timeline where adult Link defeats Ganondorf is missing its hero, leading to a different set of events.
- The Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass, and Spirit Tracks are games that continue the story in the timeline with adult Link.
The Legend of Zelda timeline can be confusing for players trying to decipher where a game falls in the chronology of the franchise, and the official timeline issued by Nintendo doesn’t do much to clarify it. With the series branching into three separate timelines following the events of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the series can get complicated quite fast. One of the branches in The Legend of Zelda series timeline follows Ocarina of Time‘s adult Link and creates a unique scenario that occurs when the Hero of Time vanishes from the world.
The source of this branching timeline is the ending of Ocarina of Time, where, after defeating Ganondorf, Princess Zelda sends Link back in time to when he was a child at the start of the game. This allows Link as a child to warn the royal family of Hyrule about the threat of Ganondorf and prevent his rise to power. However, since Link is sent back in time, the timeline where he defeats Ganondorf as an adult is now missing its hero, causing a different set of events to unfold compared to the timeline where Ganondorf is prevented from assuming power altogether.
The Legend of Zelda’s Kid Link Timeline Explained
The Legend of Zelda series has a complicated chronology that includes the Child timeline branching off after the events of Ocarina of Time’s finale.
Understanding The Legend of Zelda’s Adult Link Timeline
Sometime after the ending of Ocarina of Time, during a period known as the Era Without a Hero, Ganondorf is able to escape his imprisonment in the Sacred Realm which the Seven Sages sealed him away in after his defeat in Ocarina of Time‘s finale. He successfully uses his Triforce of Power to conquer the land of Hyrule and plunge it into darkness, leading the gods to flood the world to prevent the Demon King from obtaining the Triforce of Wisdom, held by Princess Zelda. At this point, the Triforce of Wisdom was split between the King of Hyrule and Princess Zelda, while the Triforce of Courage was shattered after Link was sent back in time.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Centuries later, the world has been rebuilt within the Great Sea, but Ganondorf has escaped his submerged tomb and begins seeking out Princess Zelda and the Triforce of Wisdom. After his sister is kidnapped by Ganondorf, a reincarnation of Link sets out on a quest with Tetra and her pirate crew to stop the Demon King’s conquest, taking on the goddess’ trial and proving himself worthy of wielding the Master Sword. Link is then able to successfully recover the pieces of the Triforce of Courage, and with Tetra having been revealed to be Princess Zelda and the holder of the Triforce of Wisdom, the two defeat Ganondorf and set sail to re-establish Hyrule on a new continent.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
During their quest to find a continent suitable for Hyrule, Link and Tetra reach the World of the Ocean King in a period known as the Era of the Great Voyage. After Tetra is abducted by the demon Bellum aboard the Ghost Ship, Link joins forces with the fairy Ciela, her grandfather Oshus, and Captain Linbeck to brave the Temple of the Ocean King using the Phantom Hourglass. With the help of Oshus, who is revealed to be the Ocean King, Link is able to forge the Phantom Sword and use it to defeat Bellum and free Tetra.
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
After leaving the World of the Ocean King, Link and Tetra discover a new continent, which they dub New Hyrule, home to the Spirit Tracks and the Spirit Tower built by the Lokomo to trap the Demon King Malladus. Generations later, descendants of Link and Tetra have their train derailed by Chancellor Cole, a servant of Malladus who destroys the Spirit Tower to revive the Demon King and intends to use Zelda’s body as his vessel. Together, Link and the spirit of Zelda restore the Spirit Tower and defeat Cole and Malladus with the power of the Lokomo Sword, bringing peace to New Hyrule.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- May 12, 2023
- Rated E for Everyone 10+ for Fantasy Violence and Mild Suggestive Themes
- How Long To Beat
- 59 Hours