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Where Did the Downfall Timeline Come From?


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#1 Skelly939

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 11:28 AM

I've never entirely understood how the Downfall timeline came to be. How can it be that Link defeated Ganon (resulting in the Child and Adult timelines), but at the same time lost the battle? Is there something I'm missing here? I've never really seen this matter discussed at length anywhere (or maybe I haven't been looking hard enough), which I find odd considering it's such a bizarre scenario. 



#2 Raien

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 12:22 PM

It came from Hyrule Historia, a Zelda encyclopedia that was officially published by Nintendo.



#3 Skelly939

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 12:37 PM

Well of course. But from a storyline point-of-view, how could it have occurred? The Child Timeline is a tangent of the Adult Timeline, so that at least makes sense. But is the Downfall timeline considered to be totally parallel and unrelated to the other two (i.e., it never originated from a legitimate "split", but is entirely on its own)?



#4 TheAvengerLever

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 01:12 PM

That's really the issue most people have with the the "official" timeline, but the best way yo solve it would be to assume there was another timeline split that happened much earlier than Ocarina of Time that somehow caused Link to get killed.

#5 SteveT

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 02:41 PM

As far as I can tell, it branches from the Game Over screen.



#6 JRPomazon

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 04:55 PM

It's a hypothetical scenario pending the defeat of the Hero of Time in the Adult timeline. It has no base from any game but it was created as a means to better map out the games in the timeline. I'm hoping this might lead to a Zelda game that goes into these details further.



#7 Fin

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 05:01 PM

Waiting for a Zelda game that clarifies some point of confusion on the timeline? I wouldn't hold my breath.

#8 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 06:48 PM

It came out of Aonuma's ass.



#9 Skelly939

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 08:13 PM

It's a hypothetical scenario pending the defeat of the Hero of Time in the Adult timeline. It has no base from any game but it was created as a means to better map out the games in the timeline. I'm hoping this might lead to a Zelda game that goes into these details further.

 

As nice as that'd be, I doubt anyone in the LoZ department is that interested in fixing a minor timeline error through an entire game... they're better off moving on to other things.

 

It came out of Aonuma's ass.

 

Works for me.

 

For what it's worth, I always sort of assumed that the Downfall Timeline was a result of Majora's Mask. You have to use the Song of Time at least once, in which case Link teleports to another timeline (the same way he moves over from the adult timeline to the child one). Eventually Link saves Termina, and the child timeline continues. But what about all those times he didn't save Termina? In those cases Link disappears entirely, which is essentially the same as Ganondorf defeating him (and after all, even in the Downfall Timeline Ganondorf is banished to the Sacred Realm following the battle).

 

Just my two cents.



#10 Masamune

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 08:57 PM

There are plenty of better justifications for the existence of the Downfall timeline, but unfortunately Hyrule Historia spells out the most unimaginative version. 

 

But the Downfall timeline bothers me less than the fact FSA isn't in that same timeline. Here you have three Zelda games with nearly identical maps (ALttP, FSA, and ALBW) and one of them is off loitering in some other timeline it has no place in! Just shameful.



#11 JRPomazon

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 01:03 AM

Despite having established order in these timelines, at least the interest of where the next games fit in is still alive and well. You never know when the next game changer is going to come up around the corner.



#12 TheAvengerLever

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 03:04 AM

Yeah, for instance, I wonder where Hyrule Warriors fits on the timeline of events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*crickets chirping*

 

Seriously guys, this is important shit to me.



#13 Masamune

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 07:12 AM

After Twilight Princess. I like to think before Four Swords Adventures.

 

But basically it has an established Hyrule with a pretty healthy understanding of the past, which implies Ganondorf would have been defeated before (as opposed to the Downfall timeline or Adult timelines where Hyrule is put through the grinder). Now you might say, "but adult OoT is a different timeline than TP!" And then I smack you and go, "YOU'RE NOT THINKING FOURTH DIMENSIONALLY!!!""

 

Basically we see Darunia and Ruto as adults, but we're never told this is the same future as Ocarina of Time. Given we see no signs of Ganondorf's evil in the two OoT-specific locations, this is probably seven years (or more!) after a child Link warned the King about Ganondorf. Had this been otherwise, we probably would have had like, Twinrova, as the timeline-specific general for that era. 

 

With that in mind, all four time periods are in one straight timeline. 



#14 SteveT

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 12:41 PM

Yeah, for instance, I wonder where Hyrule Warriors fits on the timeline of events.

 

Center of the Triforce of Time, obviously.  We've been over this.



#15 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 02:25 PM

Yeah, for instance, I wonder where Hyrule Warriors fits on the timeline of events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*crickets chirping*

 

Seriously guys, this is important shit to me.

 

This was addressed; I'm pretty sure official word is that Hyrule Warriors is outside all the timelines "in a separate dimension".



#16 Skelly939

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 02:46 PM

Yeah, Aonuma said that Hyrule Warriors isn't part of the Zelda timeline the same way the other games are. It's a totally separate world, like how Tim Burton Batman is different from Chris Nolan Batman.



#17 zeldafan1982

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 12:29 AM

Hyrule Historia presents the Hyrulean history as it is passed down by the Hyruleans. It's not a hypothetical scenario. It is not denoted as such in Hyrule Historia.

 

The many-worlds interpretation is the best way to explain the DT/AT split. One event can lead to multiple outcomes that take place in different universes, which share the same history before the split occurred. By the way, that doesn't mean that anything can happen. One could assume that the outcomes have to be realistic!

 

I personally like what they did with the timeline. This way, the series is not going to need a reboot. The fact that the universe can branch by itself (no need for time-travel trickery) leaves the developers with a lot of open room story-wise.

 

Edit: For anyone not familiar with the concept yet: Cross-time stories


Edited by zeldafan1982, 06 December 2014 - 12:41 AM.


#18 SOAP

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 12:05 AM

I know this thread is kinda oldish but I tend to see the DT, not as a new, alternative offshoot or a random "what-if" but as the original timeline. As in a timeline unfettered by the time travel shenanigans that occur in OoT. If we are two assume time travel creates alternative timelines, then it should be possible that there's a timeline where no time travel has occured.

 

There's some evidence for this. Why is Rauru in the Temple of Light waiting for the Hero to arrive? How did he know Link would need a change of clothes and what size he would wear as adult? Where did the adult tunic even come from? Why is there even a mechanism in place that placed child Link is a state of suspended animation for seven years when the Link in TWW was able to pull the Master Sword not much older than OoT Link with no problem?

 

My theory is that there must have been a timeline where it ended up that Link was not ready to face Ganon so someone, most likely Zelda or even Rauru, went back in time to set things up so Link would stand a fighting chance the next time around. It's possible child Zelda's premonitions are a part of this too, making sure Link was tucked away somewhere safe until the moment was right.

 

Also, it you think of it from a outside perspective, all the old pre-OoT games exist solely on this timeline. Almost if it was the original history but then the story was changed when time travel is introduced and two new story-line threads unfold.



#19 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 12:23 AM

I know this thread is kinda oldish but I tend to see the DT, not as a new, alternative offshoot or a random "what-if" but as the original timeline. As in a timeline unfettered by the time travel shenanigans that occur in OoT. If we are two assume time travel creates alternative timelines, then it should be possible that there's a timeline where no time travel has occured.
 
There's some evidence for this. Why is Rauru in the Temple of Light waiting for the Hero to arrive? How did he know Link would need a change of clothes and what size he would wear as adult? Where did the adult tunic even come from? Why is there even a mechanism in place that placed child Link is a state of suspended animation for seven years when the Link in TWW was able to pull the Master Sword not much older than OoT Link with no problem?
 
My theory is that there must have been a timeline where it ended up that Link was not ready to face Ganon so someone, most likely Zelda or even Rauru, went back in time to set things up so Link would stand a fighting chance the next time around. It's possible child Zelda's premonitions are a part of this too, making sure Link was tucked away somewhere safe until the moment was right.
 
Also, it you think of it from a outside perspective, all the old pre-OoT games exist solely on this timeline. Almost if it was the original history but then the story was changed when time travel is introduced and two new story-line threads unfold.

Yeah that's actually something I had in mind from the time the downfall timeline was announced. I didn't think of Rauru doing it, though that's possible, but I thought of Zelda using the Ocarina of Time at least once unseen which could have caused the third split. My only problem I've had in considering that theory is that Zelda's role is always defined as that as a bearer of Wisdom, so it doesn't make sense for her to be responsible for preventing a timeline where Ganon takes over but is eventually sealed, only to accidentally create an alternate timeline that results in the complete destruction of Hyrule by a flood.

#20 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 03:26 PM

If we are two assume time travel creates alternative timelines, then it should be possible that there's a timeline where no time travel has occured.

 

That...doesn't logically follow. A timeline untouched by time travel can't come to be altered by time travel without using an additional instance of time travel to introduce it. Silly things start to happen therein.

 

There's some evidence for this. Why is Rauru in the Temple of Light waiting for the Hero to arrive? How did he know Link would need a change of clothes and what size he would wear as adult? Where did the adult tunic even come from? Why is there even a mechanism in place that placed child Link is a state of suspended animation for seven years when the Link in TWW was able to pull the Master Sword not much older than OoT Link with no problem?

 

It's almost like prophecies exist in Hyrule, or something. Weird I know.

 

My theory is that there must have been a timeline where it ended up that Link was not ready to face Ganon so someone, most likely Zelda or even Rauru, went back in time to set things up so Link would stand a fighting chance the next time around. It's possible child Zelda's premonitions are a part of this too, making sure Link was tucked away somewhere safe until the moment was right.

 

Also, it you think of it from a outside perspective, all the old pre-OoT games exist solely on this timeline. Almost if it was the original history but then the story was changed when time travel is introduced and two new story-line threads unfold.

 

I'm down with this headcanon. It's just not logically elegant if you're trying to support it with evidence, is all I'm saying.

"what-if" timelines and arbitrary Bad End timelines outside of time travel mechanics are dumb though so.

 

My only problem I've had in considering that theory is that Zelda's role is always defined as that as a bearer of Wisdom, so it doesn't make sense for her to be responsible for preventing a timeline where Ganon takes over but is eventually sealed, only to accidentally create an alternate timeline that results in the complete destruction of Hyrule by a flood.

 

On the other hand, a theme of Zelda's character arc in OOT is the realization that Wisdom has to be gained through experience, and all Wise Men were once Fools. It is because of her that the bad future of OOT even happened, because she foolishly engineered the perfect oppurtunity for him when he'd of otherwise been powerless to obtain the Triforce no matter what he did.

And, you know, Link is kind of literally her soulmate. I don't think any amount of wisdom could allow her to see a triumphant Ganon over Link's corpse and NOT do anything. That requires a frighteningly inhuman amount of emotional disregard.



#21 Masamune

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 11:02 PM

 


That...doesn't logically follow. A timeline untouched by time travel can't come to be altered by time travel without using an additional instance of time travel to introduce it. Silly things start to happen therein.

 

 

Eh, it's a simple enough idea. Use Chrono Trigger for example. When we got into 2300 AD in that game, this is a future untouched by Lucca's brand of time travel. It follows from an unaltered timeline. It's seeing this future that inspires them to change it. That future had to be seen in order to prevent it. The same applies to the Downfall Timeline. 

 

In the Zelda-verse, characters have the gift of foresight and prophecy. In order to know to keep Link safe (and so alter the future), there must exist a timeline where Link perished and so justified Rauru's decision to hold Link for seven years. Even if Rauru (or whoever) never actually traveled in time to see this original timeline, a decision was still made based on precognition, effectively altering events based on a subtler form of time travel. It all makes perfect sense if you don't think about it.



#22 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 04:00 PM

Eh, it's a simple enough idea. Use Chrono Trigger for example. When we got into 2300 AD in that game, this is a future untouched by Lucca's brand of time travel. It follows from an unaltered timeline. It's seeing this future that inspires them to change it. That future had to be seen in order to prevent it. The same applies to the Downfall Timeline.

 

Well, the problem is that the time travel in Chrono Trigger is initiated by an omniscient, a-temporal entity that can explicitly break it's own rules of time travel arbitrarily to get what it wants.

 

In the Zelda-verse, characters have the gift of foresight and prophecy. In order to know to keep Link safe (and so alter the future), there must exist a timeline where Link perished and so justified Rauru's decision to hold Link for seven years. Even if Rauru (or whoever) never actually traveled in time to see this original timeline, a decision was still made based on precognition, effectively altering events based on a subtler form of time travel. It all makes perfect sense if you don't think about it.

 

Does a timeline have to 'exist' for the sake of seeing it's potential future? What's the metaphysical difference between an existing timeline you saw in a vision and are working to prevent, and a potential timeline you saw in a vision and are working to prevent?

It wouldn't be the only time characters saw a future vision in Zelda. This timeline should have a lot more prongs. :P



#23 Fin

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 05:19 PM

Yeah, I totally think the "third timeline is the original one" interpretation is by far the most interesting one, but I'm with MPS on this:
 

It's just not logically elegant if you're trying to support it with evidence, is all I'm saying.


The biggest problem with the third timeline has always been that there's absolutely no hint in the games themselves that it exists. It's always been a total asspull.

Edited by Fin, 11 January 2015 - 05:19 PM.


#24 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 12:51 AM

The biggest problem with the third timeline has always been that there's absolutely no hint in the games themselves that it exists. It's always been a total asspull.

An asspull maybe, but it's kind of the only neat solution to one game having three direct major sequels (and one side-story sequel) without having to retcon LttP to not be a sequel to OoT, as we all did when forming out no-split and 2-split timelines despite the obvious original intention that OoT was made as LttP's prequel. For me at least, imagining how a third split could have happened, in a game where the characters fuck around with time a lot and there are multiple means of time travel shown, is a lot easier than accepting an arbitrary retcon.

#25 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 02:36 PM

Arbitrary retcons already exist in the official timeline though, like making Link's Awakening an Oracles sequel when it was meant to be an LTTP sequel with LTTP callbacks.

Or how the Four Swords games got split up when one is a direct sequel to the other...

or how Link Between Worlds pretty blatantly retcons LTTP's ending...



#26 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 09:32 PM

Arbitrary retcons already exist in the official timeline though, like making Link's Awakening an Oracles sequel when it was meant to be an LTTP sequel with LTTP callbacks.

Or how the Four Swords games got split up when one is a direct sequel to the other...

or how Link Between Worlds pretty blatantly retcons LTTP's ending...

I'd say that those things are less important that OoT's relation with LttP, as a major part of the game's plot is to tell the story of the awakening of the sages who played a vital role in LttP's backstory, to develop them as sympathetic characters, to tell the origin story of Ganon elaborating on the "Ganondorf Dragmire, leader of thieves" thing, and show just how bad a guy he was that he needed to be sealed in another realm. OoT is an elaboration of LttP's backstory, and arguably one of the most important games in terms of plot significance to the overall Zelda timeline.

LA can still be a LttP sequel, as long as it features the Link from LttP, which is still possible even with OoX taking place in between.
The connection between the Four Swords games doesn't really get disturbed much, it just means Vaati was sealed away for a *really* long time and the seal was kind of ignored by people as long as it was still stable.

As far as the state of the Triforce and who has which piece, at this point it's pretty much a given that, for games where the Triforce plays a role, each game will start with Link, Ganon, and Zelda having their respective pieces, or the ToC being obtainable by Link, regardless of whether it causes problems for the timeline. We know that the Triforce magically splits up and the pieces go to their respective owners anytime someone unpure touches it, so maybe it does something similar at other times too. Or you can just imagine that an unpure person touched it offscreen.

Edited by Hana-Nezumi, 12 January 2015 - 09:34 PM.


#27 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 03:25 PM

I'd say that those things are less important that OoT's relation with LttP, as a major part of the game's plot is to tell the story of the awakening of the sages who played a vital role in LttP's backstory, to develop them as sympathetic characters, to tell the origin story of Ganon elaborating on the "Ganondorf Dragmire, leader of thieves" thing, and show just how bad a guy he was that he needed to be sealed in another realm. OoT is an elaboration of LttP's backstory, and arguably one of the most important games in terms of plot significance to the overall Zelda timeline.

 

Eh. That might be why it was made, but I think OOT's importance to the timeline is kind of overstated, and it's really not that exceptional as a narrative, imo. The thing is LTTP's backstory is so vague that almost any of the games could serve as a prequel to it, such as Four Swords Adventures just off the top of my head.

And the few facts we DID receive OOT kind of blatantly contradicts, like the idea that seven hylian maidens are descended from zora and gorons and such.

 

LA can still be a LttP sequel, as long as it features the Link from LttP, which is still possible even with OoX taking place in between.
The connection between the Four Swords games doesn't really get disturbed much, it just means Vaati was sealed away for a *really* long time and the seal was kind of ignored by people as long as it was still stable.

 

The problem is that Oracles Zelda introduces herself to Link on a first-meeting basis; they kind of can't be the same. Reverse goes for the Four Swords games. You can separate them...if you don't mind ignoring text right in the prologue of FSA.

 

As far as the state of the Triforce and who has which piece, at this point it's pretty much a given that, for games where the Triforce plays a role, each game will start with Link, Ganon, and Zelda having their respective pieces, or the ToC being obtainable by Link, regardless of whether it causes problems for the timeline. We know that the Triforce magically splits up and the pieces go to their respective owners anytime someone unpure touches it, so maybe it does something similar at other times too. Or you can just imagine that an unpure person touched it offscreen.

 

The problem is how LTTP Ganon has the full Triforce, which was problematic even when OOT was new.



#28 Spikey

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 09:48 AM

 

And the few facts we DID receive OOT kind of blatantly contradicts, like the idea that seven hylian maidens are descended from zora and gorons and such.

 

 

I assume that Historia pulled the "OoT was not imprisoning war, that was somewhat later bla" stunt just to work around this fact. Oh well, it confuses the hell out of me. If time travelling creates alternate realities, I wonder if Oracle of Ages created one or two alternate timelines, too.  

It confuses me how Historia names the Oracles as occuring between aLttP and LA (if my memory serves me correct), because the only continuity in this story is Link and the Triforce. The Zelda is clearly a Zelda fmo an alternate timeline. Holodrum and Labrynna exist in other realities than the AlttP world (wherein LA takes place within a dream of the Windfish, thus defining yet another layer of reality). 






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