Ask yourself this first though, do you really want to know?!

An enthusiastic Japanese fan has picked up and translated Hyrule Historia, the 25th Anniversary Artbook and Encyclopedia, which contains what might be Nintendo’s official timeline for the traditionally unlinked games of the series. It is, as you might imagine, more complicated than simply an ordering. There’s an initial timeline, which starts with Skyward Sword and works its way to Ocarina of Time. That’s not so crazy. At this point however, the timeline splits into three branches, depending on how Ocarina of Time ends.

"But wait," I hear you cry. "Ocarina of Time has but a single conclusion". You wouldn’t be wrong, except that this book now says so. Perhaps I can help sort this out below.

Main Line
1. Skyward Sword
2. Minish Cap
3. Four Swords
4. Ocarina of Time

Branch 1: Link defeats Ganon and continues as a child
The first two branches are kinda standard time travel theory, suggesting that both adult and child Link go on to have individual and seperate adventures. Young link goes on to enjoy:

1. Majora’s Mask
2. Twilight Princess
3. Four Swords Adventures

Branch 2: Link defeats Ganon and continues as an adult
As above, except during his adult life. Interestingly, none of these games contain a super old looking Link. Or confusingly, rather.

1. Wind Waker
2. Phantom Hourglass
3. Spirit Tracks

Branch 3: Link failed during Ocarina of Time?

Even more than the previous madness, this is where a quick Japanese fan translation has let us down. We don’t know how Link failed, nor even why this is an option. Does this represent all the people who never actually finished the game? Do they exist in the same world as successful young and old Link. This is, perhaps dishearteningly, the longest branch. Which frustratingly ends in the first two games. Just cos.

1. A Link to the Past
2. Oracle of Ages and Seasons
3. Links Awakening
4. The Legend of Zelda
5. The Legend of Zelda II

So yeah, the first two games are actually the last two. Which are then predicated on you never beating Ocarina of Time to begin with. The split between simultaneous Child and Adult timelines is cute though, if not strictly nonsensical. I can’t wait for a deeper translation to emerge from Japan.

Was this how you thought it all happened? Did you even think there needed to be a continuity? Let’s argue a bit in the comments!

Source: ONM