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Why do so many people hate the split timeline?


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#1 Hooded Warrior

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 06:57 AM

Even though it's now well known that the timeline splits some fans still continue to try and say that the game developers are wrong.

Why is their still so much hate towards the split?

Do some fans hate it because it proves their theorys wrong?

Do they hate it because they think that it makes the games too hard too understand?

Edited by Hooded Warrior, 16 December 2011 - 03:57 AM.


#2 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 01:52 PM

They hate it for the same reason they hate things like New Hyrule, multiple Ganons, Sleeping Zelda not being the first Zelda, and so on. It makes their fanfiction not work.

#3 ganonlord6000

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 04:25 PM

<br />They hate it for the same reason they hate things like New Hyrule, multiple Ganons, Sleeping Zelda not being the first Zelda, and so on. It makes their fanfiction not work.<br />

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Couldn't have said it better myself, MPS.

But yeah. People don't seem to like the split timeline mainly because it goes against their theories and they think it makes the timeline more complicated, despite the fact that it actually makes it simpler, at least to me.

#4 Masamune

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 04:29 PM

I hated it because it seemed like a major cop out on Nintendo's part. Not for any fanfiction reasons.

Sure, I will admit it's a thing now and frame my timelines around it, but I still think it's existence is kind of dumb.

#5 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 09:56 PM

Honestly, it's either split timeline or time paradoxes up the wazoo. I can't really blame them.

#6 joeymartin64

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 02:26 AM

It always struck me as "giving up" on trying to make a cohesive whole out of the series, in that there were (groups of) games that didn't connect at all to other (groups of) games. I put "giving up" in quotes because I've somewhat softened my stance on that over time, since it really does simplify it now more than it confuses it, if only because it gives you two receptacles for the sheer amount of material we've got now. That said, it still doesn't feel right to me for mainly the same reason, and I still do maintain a single timeline. It doesn't really hinge on time paradoxes, as MPS suggests, but rather unabashed fanwanking and stretching the definition of the word "coincidence" somewhat past its breaking point. I'm okay with that, though. It's a hobby. It's just for shiggles.

Edited by joeymartin64, 03 December 2011 - 02:26 AM.


#7 TheAvengerLever

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 01:00 PM

I used to have a single timeline, then a split timeline. Then I came here and saw how in depth timeline debating had become and I am now a Literal Legends-ist.

#8 Showsni

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 11:16 AM

I'd agree with Masa - it feels like a cop out. Once you've accepted one split, there's nothing at all stopping you have every single game on its own split timeline if you feel like it, at which point you haven't got a timeline at all. Still, it's pretty much impossible not to have at least one split now (without ignoring a lot of stuff or having massive coincidences) so there's not a lot we can do about it.

Look at it like this - if the idea is that we're trying to piece together a fragmentary history, of which we have several distinct fragments but no overall pattern, then how on earth could we have ended up with fragments from two different timelines in our theoretical historians laboratory? Do they join back up again at some later date?


#9 TheAvengerLever

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 12:58 PM

I was always under the impression that at some point, the split timeline would have to join back together, but this is an aspect I think a lot of Splitters overlook.

#10 ganonlord6000

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 02:17 PM

I was always under the impression that at some point, the split timeline would have to join back together, but this is an aspect I think a lot of Splitters overlook.


Even that wouldn't work, and some of us do not overlook it. I used to think that something like that would happen at one point, but I realized that it really wouldn't work out very well. Number 1, it seems to go against some basic rules of time, namely once two parallel worlds are created, especially do to messing around with time they will never join again, and 2. the combined timeline would have the events of BOTH timelines combining into one. Now that wouldn't give us a pretty result.

#11 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 04:31 PM

I was always under the impression that at some point, the split timeline would have to join back together, but this is an aspect I think a lot of Splitters overlook.


I don't see how that would even work; the logistics of that are so mind-bogglingly nonsensical as to shatter the very concept of continuity of events. What would a person living in those times remember as their history? What about someone existing in two different states in both timelines recall? The Great Sea is still populated; what happens to them when another timeline's Hyrule is superimposed on them?

#12 Person

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 05:57 PM

I didn't like it at first because it made it seem like the big victory at the end of OoT was erased. Now that there are 2 sequels to OoT that complete its story arc that emotional reason for opposing it is gone.

#13 SOAP

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 09:12 PM

I guess I'm a rare breed of theorists that assumed there was a timeline split way back when MM came out. It was either that or accept OoT future was erased and supplemented by the new future or believe taht some crazy stable time loop was going on. Neither of those appealed to me so time split it was. When TWW came out and then TP it made perfect sense to me. *shrug* Guess I'm weird like that....

#14 Hooded Warrior

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 07:09 PM

I remember the first time that I saw Ocarina of Time's ending. One of my first thoughts at seeing Link return to his childhood was "what happen to the Ganondorf of that timeline?"
So I'm glad that the split timeline is canon since it explains some things.

I also find it funny that people can except their being more then one Link and Zelda but they can't except their being another timeline.

#15 Person

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:39 PM

I remember the first time that I saw Ocarina of Time's ending. One of my first thoughts at seeing Link return to his childhood was "what happen to the Ganondorf of that timeline?"
So I'm glad that the split timeline is canon since it explains some things.

I also find it funny that people can except their being more then one Link and Zelda but they can't except their being another timeline.

TO be fair, multiple Zeldas have been around since the second game, and multiple Links since the third. The split timeline as canon has only been around since TP, and there were 8 years between OoT and TP for fan theories to develop about the ending. People got mad when Nintendo told them they were wrong.

#16 joeymartin64

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:47 PM

And there's a difference between having a problem with a type of time travel result vs. the idea of a legacy character. The two aren't really comparable.

#17 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 11:10 PM


I remember the first time that I saw Ocarina of Time's ending. One of my first thoughts at seeing Link return to his childhood was "what happen to the Ganondorf of that timeline?"
So I'm glad that the split timeline is canon since it explains some things.

I also find it funny that people can except their being more then one Link and Zelda but they can't except their being another timeline.

TO be fair, multiple Zeldas have been around since the second game, and multiple Links since the third. The split timeline as canon has only been around since TP, and there were 8 years between OoT and TP for fan theories to develop about the ending. People got mad when Nintendo told them they were wrong.

The split timeline has been canon since Wind Waker... Mr. Aonuma stated that OoT has two endings, child and adult, and that WW takes place after the adult ending. And Majora's Mask obviously takes place after the child ending, so that means the timeline split. It was also heavily implied by Link being absent in the adult ending of OoT, the Door of Time being sealed off, Zelda's emotional good-bye since she knows she will never see Link again, and how it was emphasized that WW Link is NOT related to OoT Link. Fans were just too stubborn to accept that Mr. Aonuma meant what he said and tried to work around it so that their theories would still be legitimate. :P

#18 CID Farwin

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 12:21 PM

It's a scapegoat over their dissatisfaction with Nintendo, specifically their re-writing the lore.

So basically they hate it because it disproves their fan-fiction.

#19 Chaltab

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:09 PM

I think the current incarnation of the Split Timeline has a good symmetry and symbolic value to it. It's like the three different endgames of Ocarina of Time each correspond to a value of the Triforce.

In the Seal War timeline, we have the Triumph of Ganon's Power. He defeats Link and is only sealed away as a last ditch effort by the sages. In the Adult timeline, we have the Triumph of Link's Courage. He confronts the seemingly-all powerful Ganondorf in his home base and defeats him with his gumption (and a magic hammer) upon losing the Master Sword. In the Child Timeline, we have the triumph of Zelda's Wisdom. She sends Link back in time to before they blundered into letting him into the sacred realm and get him executed by the Arbiter's Ground sages.

And the Power timeline is longer, with Ganon coming back three times and succeeding in throwing the southern part of Hyrule into an uncivilized chaos.

#20 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 05:38 AM

The split timeline does make things much simpler, so I don't hate it. However, I can understand why some people hate the current split timeline. If you are going to split the timeline, you have to base it on endings or events that actually happen in-game.

#21 SOAP

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:38 AM

The split timeline does make things much simpler, so I don't hate it. However, I can understand why some people hate the current split timeline. If you are going to split the timeline, you have to base it on endings or events that actually happen in-game.


Technically game overs do happen in the game. They've just never been considered canon ending before. In my opinion, the 2D classic games are a different timeline from the 3D games as the only thing tying the two series together was ALttP Seal War backstory. But the Seal War involved no M aster Sword-wielding Link and instead had Ganondorf claiming the full Triforce. The only way Ganon, a man with an unbalanced heart, could have gotten the full Triforce is if he defeated Link and subdued Zelda. This is exactly what would had happen in a game over scenario in OoT at the last battle.

Hence, it was a perfect opportunity to maintain some semblance of a tie between ALttP and OoT while staying faithful to both the events in OoT and ALttP backstory. If you think about it, nothing is actually contradicted in the connection at all. They just decided to make a game over ending canon.

Edited by SOAP, 05 February 2012 - 07:41 AM.


#22 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:05 PM

To be fair, the game over ending being made canon is still arbitrary. OOT seems to treat the other two ending splits as being the result of a magical side-effect, instead of some Many-Worlds Interpretation. Why does this one game-over create a timeline but not every other like...EVENT?

All I can think of is some fanwank where the polarity of the other two timelines create some buffer timeline in the middle where Link fails, so that there's intentional in-universe Triforce symbolism.

Maybe the Triforce-As-Administrative-Mechanism finds three timelines easier to handle than two timelines because it can't think in terms of pairs.

#23 SOAP

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 03:52 PM

Yes. Yes, it is arbitrary. But it technically does use something from the game in order to work, which was my point in regards to Wolf saying the third split isn't based on anything that happened in the games.

#24 Chaltab

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 04:18 PM

Here's a thought: we know Ocarina-era Zelda is the Sage of Time. In the Seal War, when the king commanded the seven sages to seal Ganon, one of those he commanded was his daughter. Moreover, the Goddess Hylia seems to have Time as part of her domain--the second Time Gate of Skyward Sword is in the temple to Hylia, and all her messages talk of her speaking to the hero from 'her place at the edge of time'. So naturally, Zelda having the soul of the goddess and being psychic via her bloodline, felt premonitions of Ganondorf's rise to power. Except they weren't premonitions, they were echos of the Fail Timeline's Zelda. History changed--Zelda and Link inadvertently let Ganondorf into the sacred realm while he was weaker, he ruled for six years, and then Link beat him. And then, finally, the Zelda of the Adult Timeline, realizing how badly she'd miscalculated, sent Link back in time to before their first meeting and with Link's help, got Ganondorf executed.

Of course, this is just as much a fanwank theory as anything else, but at least it makes the split due to actual timeline manipulations.

#25 Masamune

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:25 PM

Speaking strictly in gaming terms, there are millions of timelines in which Link fails in Ocarina of Time, thanks to the myriad of players who play the game and get a Game Over. Only an insignificant fraction of those various possible timelines actually end with Link reaching the end of his quest and defeating Ganondorf.

So the real oddity is not that there is one timeline about a Game Over, but the fact that there's more canons timelines where Link succeeds. Statistically speaking, it just doesn't add up.

#26 F๋anen

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:48 PM

Speaking strictly in gaming terms, there are millions of timelines in which Link fails in Ocarina of Time, thanks to the myriad of players who play the game and get a Game Over. Only an insignificant fraction of those various possible timelines actually end with Link reaching the end of his quest and defeating Ganondorf.

So the real oddity is not that there is one timeline about a Game Over, but the fact that there's more canons timelines where Link succeeds. Statistically speaking, it just doesn't add up.

Well, assuming that all defeats create a new timeline and the Downfall Timline isn't just due to timey-wimey stuff, there's two reasons why I think most "hero defeated" timelines wouldn't be game material. The first is that often it doesn't matter where Link gets defeated, the end result is Ganon/Vatti/Demon of the Week winning. The differences between a timeline where Link dies at the Ice Palace and where Link dies at Turtle Rock would be exceedingly minimal.

Second, for the most part the results of the hero being defeated would be evil winning and conquering Hyrule. The resulting timlines would probably be interesting, but very grim and possibly hopeless. Ocarina of Time is kind of unique in that the forces of good have the resources to seal Ganon as soon as the Sages are all awakened - Link's victory only makes it better because he keeps Ganon from getting the whole Triforce.

That being said, I tend to think that the triple split is a unique occurrence and that time is linear before and after the fact.

#27 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 09:59 PM

What if, in the Downfall timeline, Zelda used the Ocarina and went back in time herself to alter events, and her overzealous attempts to get Link to reach the Triforce before Ganon are what cause him to pull the Master Sword 7 years too early, leading to the adult and child timelines? Fanfic, I know, but at least it gives a time-related reason for the split.

Or it could just be that Nintendo wanted more places to put new games... The 3-way split simplifies things a lot in that sense.

#28 SOAP

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 04:53 AM

Second, for the most part the results of the hero being defeated would be evil winning and conquering Hyrule. The resulting timlines would probably be interesting, but very grim and possibly hopeless. Ocarina of Time is kind of unique in that the forces of good have the resources to seal Ganon as soon as the Sages are all awakened - Link's victory only makes it better because he keeps Ganon from getting the whole Triforce.


Also, in a sense, Ganon getting the full Triforce after defeating Link and then subsequently getting sealed up by the Sages in the Sacred raelm as a last ditch effort to thwart him almost mirror how in the Child timeline, Ganon gains the ToP seemingly out of the blue during his execution, he kills the WAter Sage, and again the Sages seal him in the Twilight Realm as a last ditch effort to save Hyrule. The irony though is that the timeline were Link is successful in defeating Ganon before he gets sealed, Hyrule ends up getting flooded but preserved in a time bubble underneath the sea. And then that part of Hyrule gets destroyed by it's own King's wish to allow old Hyrule to die with Ganon. Even if the people survive and rebuild Hyrule elsewhere, it's a bitter end for Hyrule in a timeline that for all intents and purposes should have been the most successful.

Also, considering how even after Link goes back in time the final time and alters events to prevent Ganondorf from entering the Sacred Realm in the first place, Ganon still manages to gain rise to power anyways. It's almost like the Defeated Timeline was was meant to happen, and any time altering on Link or Zelda's part just brought on even more disaster. Whereas the defeated Timeline where Hyrule supposedly goes into decline, sees not one but two Golden Eras of Twiforce-Wielding Monarchies.

Edited by SOAP, 06 February 2012 - 04:54 AM.





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