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In Communist Hylia, The Song of Storms Plays You


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#1 The Missing Link

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 01:34 AM

I typically don't post in here much, knowing that my opinions and beliefs don't carry a lot of supporters here. However, I do pop in every once in a while to comment upon something, usually upon request, and then I retreat to the shadows... places that aren't this forum. Today, I'm here for a different reason; I'm here to defend the article I wrote for Zelda Legends.

For those of you who haven't read it already, that's your first article of homework. Also, as logical supplementals, over on the comments page for the ZeldaBlog version of the article, Comments #13, #14, #29, #30, #40, and #69 have been effectively my Round 1 rebuttals. They're not required reading though because I'm guessing that Round 2 will look like Round 1, and I don't mind taking the time to get there. ;)

Now I'm going to go out on a limb on this one and assume that everyone here will disagree with me over this article. If you happen to like my article and agree with me all the way, welcome aboard... don't read this paragraph. ;) Everyone else, your goal thus is to disprove this theory. This theory states that the Song of Storms is incompatible with the end of Ocarina of Time; if you'd rather, that is equivalent to stating that Ocarina of Time is self-inconsistent... (and here's the kicker) but only when using the absolute strictest level of canon possible. (That means that unless something has canonical evidence to support it, it's the wrong theory. We're minimising assumptions and taking every word of dialogue as gospel truth.)

Thus, to disprove this, assuming that Ocarina of Time is consistent, something that is typically done here in order to create a timeline, is disallowed because of circular logic. It's quiet obvious that assuming Ocarina of Time is consistent will prove the very same thing, thus creating a trivial proof that holds no weight.

In lieu of that, your goal should be to present canonical evidence to show that I screwed up, that my statements are invalid, that some aspect of my proof has another explanation that canon supports. There are many pillars within this article than can be attacked and challenged, any one of which falling could topple the rest of the article; we here in the gaming biz call those weak points, and you should be attacking them for massive damage... if you can.

Good luck, and goddesses-speed. I'll be waiting for your opinions.

Edited by The Missing Link, 28 January 2007 - 01:41 AM.


#2 SOAP

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 02:00 AM

TML! It's me MJ. From VGF! Dude! What's up!

#3 BourgeoisJerry

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 02:12 AM

Well, your time travel logic in your explanation of the Future Predestination Theory (I just call it the Time Loop Theory) is flawed, or at least it's not the time travel logic I use in the Time Loop Theory. It seems I'm the only person that doesn't believe Link physically traveled back in time. Anybody notice how Link got younger when he went back? Sure you can say Zelda caused him to regress to his childhood, but it's much simpler to just assume (though harder to explain) that she sent his spirit back into his conveniently empty body during that seven year period his spirit was sleeping in the Sacred Realm. Going by this logic there's no need to explain where the Ocarina of Time in Majora's Mask came from, as young Link had it when he pulled the Master Sword from the Pedestal of Time and left his body conveniently vacant for a seven year period while he slept.

Put as simply as I can think to put it, the following happens in chronological order:

First bit of OoT happens > Link pulls Master Sword > Link plays Song of Storms and finds Lens of Truth > Link completes the child portion of the Spirit Temple and acquires the Silver Gloves > The child part of OoT's > Majora's Mask happens > Link lives his life for the rest of the seven year period doing who knows what > Link pulls the Master Sword from the Pedestal of Time and is inhabited by the spirit that had slept for seven years > The adult portion of OoT happens > Zelda sends Link back to relive his childhood > The Link that's already lived those seven years again inhabits his body.

Of course, such a theory doesn't really work now that they've given OoT SO MANY SEQUELS, but it is technically possible to create a workable theory obeying the letter of the law rather than the spirit if you can fanfic a few things. It isn't explicitly stated that Zelda never returned to the Castle after fleeing with Impa, nor is it said that Link never returned Epona to Malon, or that he returned Epona recently enough that she couldn't say it had been a long time since she saw him.

Still, this is just me nitpicking, I'm not actually arguing with your point. It may be possible to create a working theory with that time travel logic, and back before they gave Ocarina of Time so many sequels such a theory would actually look good, but at this point it would require a lot of fanfic to fill the blanks, making such a theory very hard to take seriously.

#4 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 01:32 PM

There are various forms of Time Travel across the series. What's the big deal of putting various forms of it in one game instead of three or four?

#5 The Missing Link

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 02:07 PM

Well, your time travel logic in your explanation of the Future Predestination Theory (I just call it the Time Loop Theory) is flawed, or at least it's not the time travel logic I use in the Time Loop Theory. It seems I'm the only person that doesn't believe Link physically traveled back in time. Anybody notice how Link got younger when he went back? Sure you can say Zelda caused him to regress to his childhood, but it's much simpler to just assume (though harder to explain) that she sent his spirit back into his conveniently empty body during that seven year period his spirit was sleeping in the Sacred Realm. Going by this logic there's no need to explain where the Ocarina of Time in Majora's Mask came from, as young Link had it when he pulled the Master Sword from the Pedestal of Time and left his body conveniently vacant for a seven year period while he slept.


Well I must say that I hadn't thought about it from your way, but suffice to say, I don't think that mine is flawed. I think rather you're using a different version of looking at events, a different timeline template, if you will, but I still have a few questions for you.

1. After Link is finally sent back from the future from (adult) Zelda, why is (child) Zelda still at the castle? Zelda still has to be in hiding during this time (for fear of Ganondorf), and we cannot find her at the castle during the post-Master Sword, child half of the game, especially since Ganondorf must have already gotten out of the Temple of Time with the Triforce of Power.

2. If Link's body does not physically travel through time, why do his items travel through time? As an example, child Link has 10 bombs. He goes to the future (via the Master Sword) and uses one, giving him 9. He then goes back into the past, and child Link has not 10 but 9 bombs.

3. At the end of the game, Link closes the Door of Time. Your theory accounts for the Ocarina of Time, but it does NOT account for the Spiritual Stones. Since the Door of Time MUST be open seven years later, how does Link open the Door of Time again? Obviously by collecting the three Spiritual Stones. Why does Link open the Door of Time again? There's not exactly much motivation to do so other than he must correct history. My concern here is that we've made the leap from canon over to fanon through this leap of faith, and if you could explain that, that'd be lovely.

There are various forms of Time Travel across the series. What's the big deal of putting various forms of it in one game instead of three or four?


For two reasons: (1) It makes the universe make more sense, and (2) there's canon evidence to support the fact that Ocarina of Time and Master Sword manipulate time the same way. Here are a few quotes that I pulled from the quoteFAQ:

Sheik: If you want to return to your original time, return the Master Sword to the Pedestal of Time. [empahsis mine]

Zelda: As a Sage, I can return you to your original time with it. … Regain your lost time! [empahsis mine]

Note here we have the exact same verbage used to describe how the Master Sword works as well as how the Song of Time works. If anyone knew precisely how it worked, it would be Zelda. Zelda exhibits a large amount of information about the subject as is. Certainly she knew by this point precisely what she was doing when making the decision to send Link back in time.

Sheik: As long as you hold the Ocarina of Time and the Master Sword, you hold time itself in your hands… [emphasis mine]

Note how both artefacts were used here in tandem together. It’s not that one or the other allows Link to manipulate time, but both together!

Zelda: You must lay the Master Sword to rest and close the Door of Time… However, by doing this, the road between times will be closed…

Note here that, according to canon, the Master Sword being at rest prevents the Ocarina of Time from manipulating time. Thus, the Ocarina of Time must certainly be no stronger than the Master Sword is. Either one must assume that the Ocarina of Time is weaker than the Master Sword (and thus would be unable to split timelines if the Master Sword could not) or is as strong as the Master Sword and indeed works in tandem with it, thus having identical properties.

TML! It's me MJ. From VGF! Dude! What's up!

Hey hey! Well, you know, not much. Im in yer zelda gamez, destroyin' yer timelinezz!

Edited by The Missing Link, 28 January 2007 - 02:43 PM.


#6 BourgeoisJerry

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 03:04 AM

Well I must say that I hadn't thought about it from your way, but suffice to say, I don't think that mine is flawed. I think rather you're using a different version of looking at events, a different timeline template, if you will, but I still have a few questions for you.


I only meant flawed from the perspective of somebody trying to make the Time Loop Theory work. Anyway, before I start answering your questions I would like to make sure we're clear that I agree with the topic and was simply nitpicking that it was technically possible to create a working theory while adhering to the strictest level of canon, as long as you use a ton of fanfiction to make up for what you lose by treating canon as law.

1. After Link is finally sent back from the future from (adult) Zelda, why is (child) Zelda still at the castle? Zelda still has to be in hiding during this time (for fear of Ganondorf), and we cannot find her at the castle during the post-Master Sword, child half of the game, especially since Ganondorf must have already gotten out of the Temple of Time with the Triforce of Power.

I can't tell you why she is at the castle in the ending, but I can come up with tons of possible explanations that could be used by somebody wanting to create such a theory. For one thing, the castle might actually be a pretty safe place if it's the one thing Ganondorf knows Zelda isn't. It's also possible she received the Triforce of Wisdom, which indicated (at least to Impa) that somebody with an unbalanced heart (presumably Link or Ganondorf) had touched the Triforce. If that person was Link, Ganondorf probably isn't that much of a threat, and he probably has more important things to concern himself with than finding Zelda (who he probably doesn't know has the Triforce of Wisdom.) If Ganondorf touched the Triforce, that would mean the castle was in serious trouble and is probably unaware of how powerful Ganondorf had become, so she may have wanted to warn them. These are all possibilities, though the only evidence for any of this is that Zelda was in the castle, which isn't really evidence considering that's what this is supposed to explain. The point is that it isn't explicitly stated that Zelda never returned to the castle, and we don't really know how long it took for Ganondorf to take the castle after the initial attack (though there is a Hylian Soldier guarding the gate, so it's incredibly unlikely that he took the castle when he stormed it trying to capture Zelda.)

2. If Link's body does not physically travel through time, why do his items travel through time? As an example, child Link has 10 bombs. He goes to the future (via the Master Sword) and uses one, giving him 9. He then goes back into the past, and child Link has not 10 but 9 bombs.


Sorry, since you didn't mention the seeds I assumed you were only counting quotes and events as canon, not game mechanics. I can't really explain the bomb/arrow/rupee or seed things, I just basically ignore them as game mechanics.

3. At the end of the game, Link closes the Door of Time. Your theory accounts for the Ocarina of Time, but it does NOT account for the Spiritual Stones. Since the Door of Time MUST be open seven years later, how does Link open the Door of Time again? Obviously by collecting the three Spiritual Stones. Why does Link open the Door of Time again? There's not exactly much motivation to do so other than he must correct history. My concern here is that we've made the leap from canon over to fanon through this leap of faith, and if you could explain that, that'd be lovely.


The motivation is that Ganondorf can be defeated with the aid of the Master Sword, which is on the other side of the Door of Time and can be wielded by him now that he's aged 7 years. I'm figuring the assumption that Link would return and save Hyrule from Ganon as soon as he was old enough is a pretty safe assumption to make. Really, if you're worried about assumptions, Zelda being in the castle is what you need to be worrying about. Of course, with so many sequels being made for Ocarina of Time, I wouldn't expect to see too many timelines actually using the Time Loop Theory.

#7 SOAP

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 05:42 AM

Hey hey! Well, you know, not much. Im in yer zelda gamez, destroyin' yer timelinezz!

Ho man... I wish we could go chat about the good ol' days but I don't wanna hijack your thread here.

#8 FDL

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 10:00 AM

Well my current theory is that Zelda could not send Link back to whenever she wanted to, she could only send to the part of his childhood that he had already seen. Also, my theory is that the child time and adult time were not separate from one another until the end, and I think Links deeds in the future and his ability to travel through time were known in the past. Basically, I'm not really gonna get into it until someone asks, but this is how I think it happened: First part of OoT>Link pulls MS>Link comes back, finds Lens>Link pulls MS again>Shaow Temple, Gerudo Desert>Link comes back again, Spirit Temple>Rest of game>Link returns to his time once again, Zelda knows of what happened and returns to the castle. The Sages Seal prevents Ganondorf's evil power from flowing out and making Hyrule vulnerable enough for Ganon to take over>Ganon defeated in CT, won't get into it anymore here cuz it involves newer games in series>Link leaves for Termina. I think that Link's "regaining his lost time" didn't mean he would stand around for seven years and let Ganon take over Hyrule, I think his deeds in the future prevented Ganondorf of the CT from actually taking over Hyrule and the SR. Thus, when Ganondorf left the SR after taking the ToP he could no longer utilize the flow of evil from the SR and thus was defeated eventually.

#9 spunky-monkey

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 12:36 PM

1. After Link is finally sent back from the future from (adult) Zelda, why is (child) Zelda still at the castle? Zelda still has to be in hiding during this time (for fear of Ganondorf), and we cannot find her at the castle during the post-Master Sword, child half of the game, especially since Ganondorf must have already gotten out of the Temple of Time with the Triforce of Power.

Simple really, the Hero of Time travelled back in time to have his very first meeting with Princess Zelda in the Castle Courtyard. Watching that ending unfold with Zelda shocked and Link welding the Triforce of Courage was so damn beautiful it almost made me cry...


Zelda: You must lay the Master Sword to rest and close the Door of Time… However, by doing this, the road between times will be closed…
Note here that, according to canon, the Master Sword being at rest prevents the Ocarina of Time from manipulating time.

Except the Ocarina of Time can manipulate time without the Master Sword, as shown in Majora's Mask 3-day loop.

Edited by Ricky, 29 January 2007 - 12:37 PM.


#10 Fyxe

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 08:09 PM

Hey hey! Well, you know, not much. Im in yer zelda gamez, destroyin' yer timelinezz!

TML!! I know you. I'm not going to tell you who I am though. MWAHAHA.

GameFAQs, that's where I remember you from. Yeeeears ago. SSBM.

Also, *slap* for making an AYB reference.

On the subject of the SoS, I think this is a good place to ask - is it true that the Song of Storms rusts Iron Knuckles in Majora's Mask? No, I have nothing storyline related to add. I loose.

#11 Kairu Hakubi

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 08:36 PM

Psh, silly, he got the song of storms by listening to the BGM ^_^

#12 The Missing Link

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 02:19 AM

The Massive Reply of Doom! Alright, hopefully I get all of you on this one:

TML!! I know you. I'm not going to tell you who I am though. MWAHAHA.

GameFAQs, that's where I remember you from. Yeeeears ago. SSBM.

O_o I hope you're not talking about the GameFAQs forums... because I never haunted those treacherous grounds. But now you've got me darned curious.

Ho man... I wish we could go chat about the good ol' days but I don't wanna hijack your thread here.

Ah, if only. Of course, IM is always an option. Drop me a PM with your contact stuff and I'll try to get a hold of you.

. . .

In short, if I understand you correctly, you believe the Split Timeline. Now all you have to do is prove with canon that the Master Sword cannot split timelines like the Ocarina and you'll have won. ;)

Simple really, the Hero of Time travelled back in time to have his very first meeting with Princess Zelda in the Castle Courtyard. Watching that ending unfold with Zelda shocked and Link welding the Triforce of Courage was so damn beautiful it almost made me cry...

Ah ah ah... not so fast. The Door of Time wasn't open then. In fact, it wasn't open until Zelda was forced to leave Hyrule Castle. So how'd Link get out of the Temple of Time? ;)

Except the Ocarina of Time can manipulate time without the Master Sword, as shown in Majora's Mask 3-day loop.

Except that Termina is an alternate dimension and that the flow of time can be different there. Next.

Anyway, before I start answering your questions I would like to make sure we're clear that I agree with the topic and was simply nitpicking that it was technically possible to create a working theory while adhering to the strictest level of canon, as long as you use a ton of fanfiction to make up for what you lose by treating canon as law.

Well see, that's actually the problem here. The strictest level of canon disallows adding "fanfiction" to the timeline. What I'm saying is that you cannot assume what you cannot see, that the only thing that can be used to string together are the raw facts from the games. Even then, there is still likely some guesswork as it gets rather ambiguous which game comes next and then next and then next, but you can only use raw facts to do it. Fanfiction immediately invalidates canon, and I'm sure that a lot of the veterans would agree as much. (I know I get constant grief from the likes of timeliners for The Book of Mudora, which is about half and half.)

At any rate, I'm glad you at least agree with the premise, and I have no problem with you playing Devil's Advocate. In fact, that's what I used to do all the time around here. ;) You'll just have to pardon me that I bite back. :D


I can't tell you why she is at the castle in the ending, but I can come up with tons of possible explanations that could be used by somebody wanting to create such a theory. For one thing, the castle might actually be a pretty safe place if it's the one thing Ganondorf knows Zelda isn't. It's also possible she received the Triforce of Wisdom, which indicated (at least to Impa) that somebody with an unbalanced heart (presumably Link or Ganondorf) had touched the Triforce. If that person was Link, Ganondorf probably isn't that much of a threat, and he probably has more important things to concern himself with than finding Zelda (who he probably doesn't know has the Triforce of Wisdom.) If Ganondorf touched the Triforce, that would mean the castle was in serious trouble and is probably unaware of how powerful Ganondorf had become, so she may have wanted to warn them. These are all possibilities, though the only evidence for any of this is that Zelda was in the castle, which isn't really evidence considering that's what this is supposed to explain. The point is that it isn't explicitly stated that Zelda never returned to the castle, and we don't really know how long it took for Ganondorf to take the castle after the initial attack (though there is a Hylian Soldier guarding the gate, so it's incredibly unlikely that he took the castle when he stormed it trying to capture Zelda.)

There are all sorts of reasons, but none of them are canon. ;) This is where the circular logic comes in; you're trying to invent some story to save the timeline, and I actually have no problem with that. Create away... but you can't prove any of it... which consequentially means you cannot prove that I'm wrong. ;) You see, the article is an elaborate trap. I've restricted you to using game evidence only, so inventing a story around it, even if it's possible, makes you out of bounds.

However, despite that, let's pretend for the moment anyway. Let's look at the flow of time from Zelda's perspective. Ganondorf storms the castle, and Impa rushes to Zelda, grabbing her and fleeing the castle, escaping just in the nick of time. Impa rushes Zelda who knows where, trying to keep Ganondorf off their backs. Some amount of time later, the Triforce of Wisdom comes to Zelda, and Impa sees this. Which is the logical conclusion: Link, someone who is relatively balanced, or Ganondorf, who is rather imbalanced? The choice is likely the latter. Now, Zelda at this point may want to go back to Hyrule Castle Town and warn people. I would say that Impa would severely frown on the idea knowing how protective she is of Zelda (we have canon proof of that) to the point of forbidding it. She knows that Ganondorf is out there, and here's Zelda with one of the Triforces that he's going to be looking for. Not a chance she'd let Zelda go. After all, if the castle wasn't safe then, why would it be now? Even if she did, Zelda wouldn't be standing at the window next to the castle; she'd be frantically hunting people down. No, the scene at the end of the game doesn't seem to make sense given the situation... unless you can explain it better than I, of course. ;)

Sorry, since you didn't mention the seeds I assumed you were only counting quotes and events as canon, not game mechanics. I can't really explain the bomb/arrow/rupee or seed things, I just basically ignore them as game mechanics.

Fair enough. Whether you call that canon or not... well, that could be a toss-up.

The motivation is that Ganondorf can be defeated with the aid of the Master Sword, which is on the other side of the Door of Time and can be wielded by him now that he's aged 7 years. I'm figuring the assumption that Link would return and save Hyrule from Ganon as soon as he was old enough is a pretty safe assumption to make. Really, if you're worried about assumptions, Zelda being in the castle is what you need to be worrying about. Of course, with so many sequels being made for Ocarina of Time, I wouldn't expect to see too many timelines actually using the Time Loop Theory.

If you allow Link the ability to defeat Ganondorf before the proper time, then you've just killed the Future Predestination Theory as is and shifted to Future Erasure... So do you believe it was Zelda's intent to send Link back in time only so that he'd have to defeat Ganondorf AGAIN? Pretty crummy way to have Link "regain his lost time." ;)

But you are right, the focus is on Zelda. Truth be told, I was actually feeling your idea out to begin with. It's an idea that I haven't heard before, and I wanted to make sure that you had filled in the blanks on your own before I started pressing you full court. This way I knew the details I need to drill home later on. ;)

#13 Mgoblue201

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 03:10 AM

Well first off I don't agree with your theories in the article. I don't agree with how you say the split part is formed in the split timeline, and I don't think the future predestination theory is predestined at all. And as for your comment of the parallel between the Master Sword and the Ocarina of Time, those two quotes don't prove much. She simply said they'll return you to your original time, meaning as a child. That's rather ambiguous and doesn't meant that the two can't work differently.

Anyway, this is a tricky subject because like you say following every letter of the law is a lesson in futility, but if we start becoming subjective about it, then what's stopping people from throwing out large chunks of stuff they don't like or simply making stuff up? I tend to be down the middle of the road. I am going to try to fit together a timeline that works best, that has the least assumptions, that forces us to make up the least amount of stuff. I guess I should say now that I believe the split timeline. But I'm not going to implode my theory just because not every line perfectly goes along with it. Take the Legend of the Fairy for instance. Well I can simply pass that off as an easter egg, an easy task in my mind, or I can go the single timeline route and force myself to answer things that I think the split timeline could answer. For instance if the adult ending is erased, then how does WW make sense? If the adult ending happens, then how could that possibly lead into TP? And how does TP even work with WW? Or I could simply go with the split timeline and be forced to deal with...the Legend of the Fairy. Easy decision in my mind. If I have to jam two seemingly unlike games together, then fine, but when it comes to either trying to fit TP into WW's backstory or tugging the two apart and putting them on different timelines, I'll go for the latter.

That's how I approach evidence and canon. I have almost a hierarchy. Ganon, Triforce, Link, Zelda, etc are on the top. Ancillary things like the Twili and major game points would be just under that. You keep going down until you reach the bottom where the lowest muck exists. I'm much more interested in answering the highest tier. If that makes sense, then I'll keep going down. I shouldn't be forced to answer the higher stuff by making up fanfiction. The Song of Storms is merely a gameplay vehicle, so that would go down near the bottom to the point where it wouldn't effect my timeline. Therefore trying to figure out how Ganon gets from place to place would be much, much more important than answering something like the Legend of the Fairy. I absolutely want to come up with the clearest theory, but I need to put things in perspective too. Some things just have more importance within the Zelda timeline.

Likewise, there are just some things I don't care about. Do I care about the status of the Door of Time and when it's open and how it effects my theory? No. The ending of OOT is strange and ambiguous, and to tell you the truth, I don't think the developers even had a point when crafting it. You can make up literally any theory you want based on it. I have never been a big studier of the end of that game. Never really looked into it. Don't care to. While others debate it like it's the pivotal point of the series, I'd just rather look toward more concrete things.

My style is a bit strange, and I admit I'm very subjective. One moment I'm claiming something doesn't matter, one moment I'm claiming something else does. But I see these as very subjective games. I'm willing to admit some things won't make sense. I'm especially willing to admit that the creators might make a huge mistake. I mean OOT was supposed to connect to LTTP, but the Triforce was all wrong at the end when Ganon only had the ToP. How do we synthesize this? Do we just trust the creators and simply look at these games as imperfect forms? Do we go by facts and explain this away by some other theory? I mean at this point I don't trust OOT's connection with LTTP anymore, but at least at one time, these were very serious questions. I simply try to figure out what the creators are doing. If they make a mistake, I accept it and move on. If they correct it later, then great. This in itself is very subjective. After all I could be completely wrong about what the creators are trying to do. Some else could be more right. I do admit that I have sliding scales in terms of what I think could or might be true. But I think certain things will play themselves out over time. Perhaps what I think is a very sound theory right now might be completely blown up the next game, and I'm right back at square one. That's the fun of the Zelda timeline.

Edited by Mgoblue201, 30 January 2007 - 03:20 AM.


#14 Masamune

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 10:25 AM

2. If Link's body does not physically travel through time, why do his items travel through time? As an example, child Link has 10 bombs. He goes to the future (via the Master Sword) and uses one, giving him 9. He then goes back into the past, and child Link has not 10 but 9 bombs.


That sounds so familiar...

Just so you guys know, TML totally has you entrapped. He's like a James Bond villain. You guys are all explaining HOW you're going to get out of this trap, then he (diabolically) explains to you how doing that gets your FURTHER into the trap.

Clearly the point here is if it's so difficult (impossible is a better word) to just account for a minor event like the Song of Storms, how can we as Storyliners (even part-timers like me) hope to piece together all the game using every tiny scrap of canon to disprove every possible connection? The point is we can't, so we need to like, totally kick off our shoes, hang out with Mr. Rogers, and figure out the timeline like it was a 10 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle instead of breaking it down to a 1000 piece puzzle. Then we'll all go out for milkshakes.

And Mgoblue, if you are willing to sacrifice minor elements (like the Door of Time), then this article isn't for you. You're already on the right path, have a trophy!

Edited by Masamune, 30 January 2007 - 10:26 AM.


#15 The Missing Link

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 11:23 PM

Masamune is a wise man. ;)

Anyway, this is a tricky subject because like you say following every letter of the law is a lesson in futility, but if we start becoming subjective about it, then what's stopping people from throwing out large chunks of stuff they don't like or simply making stuff up?

Well, that's the very point I'm trying to prove here. ;)

Imagine this number line that goes from 0% to 100%, and this number line represents how strongly we look at canon. At 0%, where we assume that there is no canon, that all facts are worthless and meh, then there are an infinite number of timelines that could run through time because they aren't constrained by everything. At the other end of the scale, at 100%, timelines are heavily restricted as every fact must be adhered to, where assumptions are invalidated. And until now, we didn't know how many timelines there would be there. The hope was that there would be exactly one; this proof shows that there are none.

At this point, we have to determine at what fidelity we should examine the series so as to optimise the output variable, namely timelines. How liberal must we be so as to allow timelines but how conservative must we be so as to not abandon the spirit of the Zelda series to begin with. I'm not suggesting by any means that we should adopt a 0%-canon policy or anything around that range. However, I am saying that we should stop trying to promote a 100%-canon policy because it's an exercise in futility. We need to be open-minded about things, weigh facts against one another and determine which is the best way to go with the least deviation from the series. (I like to call this the Least Squared Error Principle.) At some point, we have to deviate from the series... but that doesn't give us the unlimited right to deviate just for the sake of deviation.

For example, The Book of Mudora I would say ranks at about 85% canon, or rather should I say, 15% of the canon is either altered or ignored. (Rough estimate, mind you.) At that level, one can easily banish all paradoxes from the Zelda timeline and make a history that actually would make sense to the casual observer. While this might be "too much deviation" for many people, I think that this is indeed a much HEALTHIER course to take than being 100% anal all the time. I would rather allow everyone to have the FREEDOM to declare the Four Swords Palace in LttP (GBA version) a silly game mechanic than to have inspiration and ideas STIFLED because some clique of Zelda historians decreed by fiat that it must be so.

My goal, as I said, was not to destroy timelines. My goal is to destroy being very uppity about canon. You can keep your Split Timeline. ;) All I ask is that you don't shove it down my throat, trying to change me from my Future Elimination ways. ;)

In short, the article is not there for you (as Masamune most eloquently said). It's there for you to agree with, but it turns out that you and I are implicitly on the same side. The only difference, of course, is that I support 85% canon whereas you're closer to 95%... but we're still both not 100%, and that's what I am here to try to make happen.

Edited by The Missing Link, 30 January 2007 - 11:24 PM.


#16 BourgeoisJerry

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:49 AM

The strictest level of canon disallows adding "fanfiction" to the timeline.


Why didn't you just say that in the first place? It's absolutely impossible to create a timeline without filling the blanks yourself (or at least assuming they're filled in some way.) Here I go and explain how it's possible to create a theory that doesn't contradict canon, and you tell me that "adhering to the strictest level of canon" also requires absolutely no creativity whatsoever.

Either way, my point that it's possible to create a theory that doesn't contradict canon still stands. Well, unless there's some unexplainable detail I'm forgetting. But again, I agree that creating a theory that in no way contradicts canon is the wrong way to go about this, as that's impossible to do without fanfiction. And of course a theory without fanfiction (or inferrence or assumptions or deductions or whatever) is... impossible. Well, if adhering to the strictest level of canon means your theory must fill all the blanks with hard facts, I guess I no longer have any nitpicks against your point.

#17 The Missing Link

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 03:00 AM

Why didn't you just say that in the first place? It's absolutely impossible to create a timeline without filling the blanks yourself (or at least assuming they're filled in some way.) Here I go and explain how it's possible to create a theory that doesn't contradict canon, and you tell me that "adhering to the strictest level of canon" also requires absolutely no creativity whatsoever.

Either way, my point that it's possible to create a theory that doesn't contradict canon still stands. Well, unless there's some unexplainable detail I'm forgetting. But again, I agree that creating a theory that in no way contradicts canon is the wrong way to go about this, as that's impossible to do without fanfiction. And of course a theory without fanfiction (or inferrence or assumptions or deductions or whatever) is... impossible. Well, if adhering to the strictest level of canon means your theory must fill all the blanks with hard facts, I guess I no longer have any nitpicks against your point.

Perhaps I should clarify for the sake of the argument. What I'm saying basically is that, if the canon suggests some "fact" F and shows no evidence whatsoever for all other alternative explanation, then F may be freely assumed. Eventually, yes, stuff is going to have to be invented in order to connect the games because we only have about "half the facts" needed to construct a robust timeline. My argument comes from where "the rest of the facts" come from. Occam's Razor would be heavily used here, trimming down theory after theory until we found the one that required the least number of assumptions to the original canon. That's what I mean about removing "fanfiction."

So what I'm saying is this: The goal here would be to show that one of the premises which comprise my theory has an alternate explanation that canon can be shown to support. In other words, I have shown several statements F that the canon has some evidence for. If you can find an alternative explanation G for any of it, then my "logic" of Occam's Razor that assumes that F must be true due to lack of evidence for the other would fail, thus breaking the proof.

But this is where we hit the quotes heavily. ;) It's always a possibility that the Skullkid from Majora did the Song of Storms in the kitchen with the candlestick... but do you have the evidence with which to convict him (or any other reasonable inventive theory)? That is the question. :D

#18 Mgoblue201

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 04:19 AM

I'm not saying I'll sacrifice minor elements per se. I'm just not going to let it rule my thinking. I know that's what the article is about, but I wanted to espouse my own opinion as a deviant from that. For instance I was debating with someone else on another forum and he tried to bring up the ambiguity of the zora armor in TP to prove that it was refering to the adult events. My point with that was that you shouldn't have to go to the zora armor to prove that the adult events happened. If they happened, they should have been mentioned in the game. As far as the zora armor, the exact nature of it is very strange in the game anyway. Again, I'm not going to let that rule my timeline.

This is very important to my thinking. These games were made by individuals who may or may not have had a point to everything. If we're trying to figure out what the creators are doing, if indeed they are doing anything, then figuring out what the games mean is very important. I am almost certain that they had no point with the ending of OOT. How do you interpret it? Does the sky getting sucked into some sort of void mean the future was erased? What does Zelda at the end of the game mean? Why is the ToC on Link's hand here but not in MM? See, it's utterly pointless. It can be interpreted over and again with no definitive answer. If I propose that Link went back before he originally pulled the sword out and you bring out the Door of Time line about how he's trapped, I don't think the creators are going to let that stop them. I don't think they're going to go "Oh crap, Link's trapped behind the door. Guss we have to throw that theory out." No, they'd invent some mechanism, spiritual, physical, to solve the problem. The creators will invent anything to make the game they want. I mean we have had no proof through the series that the gods are heavily invested in Hyrule's history, and all of a sudden they flood the land. How does that really make any sense? Why didn't they just find a new hero? Or preordain one? These are impossible questions.

Of course, I'll use OOT's ending to try to prove certain things. But I don't use it as an end. What I try to do is look at subsequent games. See how they related to OOT's ending. See how the creators try to define it. I'll start checking things off of my list. Okay, it couldn't mean this because in that game this happens. Or it couldn't have meant that because this happens in Wind Waker. That way we don't have to ambiguously guess at what may or may not have happened at the end of OOT. That's what I'm saying. If you're going to let one thing that might not have even meant anything at the time dictate your timeline, it's probably not correct. The Song of Storms for instance isn't important in the long run because the creators absolutely will not let it dictate their timeline. Again, this is all rather subjective, trying to figure out what they intend. But I hate squabbles over every little details in the games. It's not something that the creators would worry about either. I'm trying to look at the bigger picture here, not get invested into things that the creators probably don't care about.

I have been to both ends. I have contempleted just excising the evidence and making a timeline based on what was intended. I have been so vested in the proof that I have gone completely objective with what we see in the games. I'm not so obsessed with either. I can see the games as imperfect forms that can be in error. I can also see them as a giant puzzle that hopefully is meant to fit together. I'd really like to use proof in order to fit a timeline together, but if the creators screw up, I'm not going to force myself to adjust everything to that. One thing I cannot stand though is when someone lets one thing that they have convinced themselves wholly and entirely of back them into a corner so they're forced to start doing ridiculous things. I mean I passed OOT off as the IW and simply said that they were two different accounts of the same thing. I don't have a problem with that.

Edited by Mgoblue201, 31 January 2007 - 04:46 AM.


#19 Fyxe

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 07:28 AM

O_o I hope you're not talking about the GameFAQs forums... because I never haunted those treacherous grounds. But now you've got me darned curious.

That's odd, are you sure? It might be someone with the exact same screen name. But you act pretty similar to the one I saw there, and he didn't post much, just occasionally.

Ah well. How odd. Maybe it wasn't GameFAQs...

You're right, the forums there are hellish.

#20 Evilsbane

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 03:20 PM

I have been to both ends. I have contempleted just excising the evidence and making a timeline based on what was intended. I have been so vested in the proof that I have gone completely objective with what we see in the games. I'm not so obsessed with either. I can see the games as imperfect forms that can be in error. I can also see them as a giant puzzle that hopefully is meant to fit together. I'd really like to use proof in order to fit a timeline together, but if the creators screw up, I'm not going to force myself to adjust everything to that. One thing I cannot stand though is when someone lets one thing that they have convinced themselves wholly and entirely of back them into a corner so they're forced to start doing ridiculous things. I mean I passed OOT off as the IW and simply said that they were two different accounts of the same thing. I don't have a problem with that.

QFE. I totally agree with this. I will not let the Song of Storms or the Legend of the Fairy or something silly like that dictate the logic of a story. I actually pay very close attention to Miayamoto's and Aonouma's quotes about the timeline: they WOULD know better than anyone on a Zelda forum about what the story is. On the other hand, their opinion can change at any time, and Miyamoto's timeline may have been the way it was intended at the time, but perhaps not now. The ONLY thing that keeps me from embracing Miyamoto's timeline with open arms is that the Sleeping Princess should logically be the first Zelda. If he says 'that doesn't matter' then I'll have to believe him, but until then I still think that maybe he said it without considering that element. It IS a rather large screw-up if the Sleeping Princess comes late in the timeline (her father also cast the 'crest on hand' spell, so there's two large reasons why it might make sense to move them to an earlier date). Still, like I said, it's HIS game. I would just like to get him to clarify it.

#21 Showsni

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 03:46 PM

Let alone Ocarina of Time, canon's been self contradictory ever since ALttP was released - it claims to be a prequel to AoL, which means it comes before the Sleeping Zelda story, but Sleeping Zelda is stated to be the first generation Zelda. It's impossible to get a working theory based soley on canon, and taking every word as gospel.

#22 Crazy Penguin

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:52 PM

Let alone Ocarina of Time, canon's been self contradictory ever since ALttP was released - it claims to be a prequel to AoL, which means it comes before the Sleeping Zelda story, but Sleeping Zelda is stated to be the first generation Zelda.


Looking at the first three or four games in a vacuum, A Link to the Past's Zelda IS the "Sleeping Zelda". A Link to the Past does not tell us what happens to the Triforce after Link claimed it and made his wishes, but it is apparently not with him during his travels in Link's Awakening.

Did Link leave the Triforce in the Sacred Realm? Possible, but rather reckless, all things considered.

So, did he entrust it to someone? Also possible. Who from the game would be the most likely candidate? Hyrule's royal family of course.

This would set the stage for the backstory told in Adventure of Link. The king rules over the land peacefully with the Triforce, but before he dies he hides the Triforce of Courage. And we know the rest.

Of course there is no prince mentioned in A Link to the Past, but nothing to discredit his existence either. Making this assumption and applying it to the context of the story, it would be likely that he was slain like Zelda's father (before being brought back to life by Link and the Triforce) - it was only the maidens that Ganon was interested in.

#23 Fyxe

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:55 PM

Crazy Penguin is right. Essentially, the timeline was largely perfect until OoT came along. And OoT didn't do *that* much to mess it up, as long as you don't take the backstory of Zelda II and ALttP too literally. The problem is, now OoT has FOUR sequels. Four. Madness.

Edited by Fyxe, 31 January 2007 - 05:56 PM.


#24 Crazy Penguin

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 07:46 PM

On a slightly related note, after returning to these forums after a few months absence I expected that Twilight Princess would be the final nail in the coffin for the "split timeline" discussion.

People used Ocarina of Time's vague ending as a Get Out of Jail Free Card for the seemingly irreconcilable nature of A Link to the Past and The Wind Waker.

The reasoning behind the wild claim was solid enough (the claim itself, not so much). After all, Ganon was stuck in the Dark World from the end of Ocarina of Time right up to A Link to the Past. Yet, taken at face value it also seemed that there was no room for A Link to the Past between Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker. The two were seemingly irreconcilable.

But Twilight Princess muddied things further, with only vague connections to A Link to the Past and The Wind Waker and seemingly severing some of the latter's close ties to Ocarina of Time.

Yet people so many people are still insisting on a "split timeline", with Twilight Princess bridging Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past in the "child timeline".

This is of course a severe case of backwards logic. The whole point of the the "split timeline" was to have OoT lead into ALttP without TWW getting in the way (and vice-versa). By shoe-horning Twilight Princess between OoT and TWW or ALttP (especially the latter) the whole purpose of the split timeline theory is destroyed. Why even bother to still cling on to it? It was flawed to begin with and now it no longer serves a purpose.

Looking at the connections between the Zelda games can be fun, even though (or, especially as?) there is no clearly mapped chronology for the series as a united whole just yet, but please, if we're going to do that then let's stop cheating.

#25 Fyxe

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 09:17 PM

I know I'm not actually going to say much with this post, which I apologise about, I feel like I'm being annoying spammy at the moment, but I just want to say 'bravo' and 'well said' to pretty much everything Crazy Penguin has just stated. You've hit the nail on the head.

#26 The Missing Link

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 03:27 AM

If we're trying to figure out what the creators are doing, if indeed they are doing anything, then figuring out what the games mean is very important. I am almost certain that they had no point with the ending of OOT. How do you interpret it? Does the sky getting sucked into some sort of void mean the future was erased? What does Zelda at the end of the game mean? Why is the ToC on Link's hand here but not in MM? See, it's utterly pointless. It can be interpreted over and again with no definitive answer. If I propose that Link went back before he originally pulled the sword out and you bring out the Door of Time line about how he's trapped, I don't think the creators are going to let that stop them.

This is precisely the point I'm hoping to make and the result I'm glad to hear people espousing. Not necessarily about Ocarina specifically, but in general.

That's odd, are you sure? It might be someone with the exact same screen name. But you act pretty similar to the one I saw there, and he didn't post much, just occasionally.

Ah well. How odd. Maybe it wasn't GameFAQs...

Huh... I don't know. Well, maybe if I knew more about you, we could solve the mystery. o.o

Crazy Penguin is right. Essentially, the timeline was largely perfect until OoT came along. And OoT didn't do *that* much to mess it up, as long as you don't take the backstory of Zelda II and ALttP too literally. The problem is, now OoT has FOUR sequels. Four. Madness.

Perhaps we should be pushing forward the Pretzel Timeline Theory then? ;)

Looking at the connections between the Zelda games can be fun, even though (or, especially as?) there is no clearly mapped chronology for the series as a united whole just yet, but please, if we're going to do that then let's stop cheating.

As much as I hate to rag on any one specific theory, I have to share your sentiments about Split Timeline Theory, although I've believed such from a very different perspective. (Personally, I'm a Future Eliminationalist, but that's neither here nor there.) You see, I always like to imagine that we're actual people within the world of Hyrule, historians with Ph.D.s in Hyrulian History, and we're all sitting around the table together with all of these old rustic pieces of parchment trying to make sense of them. After all, this is something people in Hyrule would do centuries later. However, the Split Timeline breaks that nice mental image because there's no way we could know all of the stories because some "didn't happen to us." In short, as you said, it's "cheating" in the proper light. (For that matter, in any normal circumstance, those stories would be counted as non-canon and just thrown out because they don't fit.) As such, I've always believed in Single Timeline Theories for that very principle. The image is just too alluring that I cannot easily pass it up.

#27 Evilsbane

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 09:29 AM

For the record, the origin of the split timeline theory was the Miyamoto/Aonouma interview where they said TWW was set after the 'adult ending' of OoT

Taken from gamecubicle.com:

QUESTION:Where does The Wind Waker fit into the overall timeline of the Legend of Zelda?

AONUMA: In terms of the storyline, we've decided that this takes place 100 years after the events in The Ocarina of Time. We think that as you play through the game, you'll notice that in the beginning the storyline explains some of the events in The Ocarina of Time. You'll also find hints of things from The Ocarina of Time that exist in The Wind Waker.

There's also a more complicated explanation. If you think back to the end of The Ocarina of Time, there were two endings to that game in different time periods. First Link defeated Ganon as an adult, and then he actually went back to being a child. You could say that The Wind Waker takes place 100 years after the ending in which Link was an adult.


The link to the full interview is here. The translation for the interview was provided by Nintendo.com

Edited by Evilsbane, 01 February 2007 - 09:39 AM.


#28 The Missing Link

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 12:17 PM

I think it's apparent to all of us where the idea came from. However, I think it's even more apparent now that they don't consider themselves to ever be bound by their previous statements. ;)

#29 Arturo

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 12:25 PM

This is of course a severe case of backwards logic. The whole point of the the "split timeline" was to have OoT lead into ALttP without TWW getting in the way (and vice-versa). By shoe-horning Twilight Princess between OoT and TWW or ALttP (especially the latter) the whole purpose of the split timeline theory is destroyed. Why even bother to still cling on to it? It was flawed to begin with and now it no longer serves a purpose.


First: TP has too many contradictions with OoT to be its direct sequel. Even if its spirit is that of an OoT sequel, there are too many contradictions and too much ambiguity.

Second: TWW destroys Hyrule. TP doesn't. That is the reason why ALttP could be after TP. But I don't like the idea.

Third: OoT itself works better with Split Timeline. I am not saying it works perfectly *cough* TML's article*cough* But i will get on that soon. This weekend, I hope.

#30 lord-of-shadow

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 04:46 PM

I just want to say, Dave, that this article is probably my favorite timeline-related article. Ever. You illustrate ideas that I agree with 100% so eloquently and powerfully, and actually manage to back them up, something I have never been able to do. On top of that you wove a delicious trap for those who tried to argue against it. I am honored that you came to me with this.




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