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Ocarina of Time time travel


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#1 Guest_Dirk Amoeba_*

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 02:37 PM

I feel that this is beyond the scope of a timeline theory itself, so it needs to be examined on its own.

As I've said in another topic, this is how I feel it happened.

1)Link enters the Sacred realm and begins sleeping inside the Temple of Light. (he next appears in [5])

2)Link appears and disappears from the pedestal in the Temple of Time as he travels back in time (to an observer, this would look like Link jamminmg the sword back in, then leaving, coming back after doing stuff, jamming it in, taking it out, leaving, doing stuff, et cetera).

3)Link arrives from the future after beating Ganon. Navi now leaves him.

4)Link goes to Termina. Maybe he comes back, maybe he doesn't. I haven't seen any evidence one way or the other.

5)Seven years after he originally touched the Master Sword, Adult Link appears in the Temple of Time. There are now two cpoies of Link (unless one of them is still in Termina, either way we don't see him).

6)Adult Link does stuff, then comes back to become a child again (this is like child Link in reverse, he jams the sword in, takes it out, leaves to do stuff, comes back, jams it in, takes it out, leaves, et cetera).

7)Adult Link defeats Ganon and seals him in the Sacred Realm, and he is then sent back by Zelda (he arrives in [3]).

8) There is now one Link again. Any time paradoxes have been ironed out now.

THat's my 2 cents. Argue if you will.

#2 Zythe

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 02:51 PM

It makes my head spin. Did he go back to 3, then where was the child Link that was in 7? Oooh Time Travel gives me brain freeze.

#3 Hero of Winds

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 03:00 PM

Nice job, Dirk. Those are my feelings on the matter as of now, until a future says otherwise.

#4 Zythe

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 03:06 PM

For some reason I don't buy it. I am certain its much simpler then that. Certain.

#5 Tri-Enforcer

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 03:15 PM

I think everyone is making this more complicated than what it really is...

Here's my 2 cents:

Link awakens 7yrs in the future...he goes back and forth...between pass and future...eventually, he helps to seal Ganon in the future...Zelda feels guilty about tampering with time and throwing away Link's childhood and wants him to regain his childhood.... So she sends him back to his original time...to do so. Now this is when Navi leaves. We all know what happens in the future doesn't automatically change what happened in the past....but what happens in the past can change the future...this where Link comes in...now he must seal Ganon with out the aid of time travel...but that won't be until another 7yrs.

All this stuff about copies or Navi leaving in between the times Link traveled back and forth...not only are not canon...but they're not even implied by the story. I know you may say your thoughts are theory and are used to fill in gaps...but in regards to when Navi left...there are no gaps...it's already explained for you...that's why I say you're all making this harder than what it really is.

#6 Hero of Winds

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 03:15 PM

Originally posted by Zythe
For some reason I don't buy it. I am certain its much simpler then that. Certain.


Apparently it isn't, otherwise there wouldn't be so much unrest about this subject for the past six years.

#7 Zythe

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 03:21 PM

That may be true, but what Tri-Enforcer said makes sense. I'm going to build up the courage to post my timeline again.

#8 Tri-Enforcer

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 03:28 PM

Originally posted by Zythe@Sep 21 2004, 02:21 PM
That may be true, but what Tri-Enforcer said makes sense. I'm going to build up the courage to post my timeline again.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I here ya...finally somebody...*sigh*

#9 Zythe

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 03:32 PM

That makes sense to me 100%. Cheers.

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 10:17 PM

I'm with Dirk Amoeba on this. I prefer my time travel stories to make sense, at least practically if not scientifically (since we have no real scientific basis for it).

From the get-go, I don't like the idea of alternate realities, or at least, not in the context of fantasy. I would excuse Termina since it's a completely different setting whose origin might be tied with that of Hyrule (or not, but it's a completely different world, so I can accept it).

Anyway, having Link going back in time and preventing everything from happening completely defeats the purpose of defeating Ganon in the future. Why not just go back in the past and deal with him there, especially since he stands a chance of being weaker then?

That's why I feel, storywise, that a pre-determined timeline fits best for this game (but not necessarily for the whole series). Everything is fated to happen, and everything you do to try and alter it only ends up fulfilling it. The only thing I would change from the game would be the little things you do in the past that reflect in the future, like planting seeds that grow up into plants later on. In a pre-determined timeline, the plants would already be grown in the future, so Link would plant the seeds in the past in the hope of fulfilling history.

With this story, we keep the dark future where the Hero of Time saved the kingdom, and we keep in line with Wind Waker who comes centuries later. With all the new games like the Four Swords one, there's plenty of opportunity for Hyrule to shift into the land of later games.

I'm with Dirk Amoeba on this. I prefer my time travel stories to make sense, at least practically if not scientifically (since we have no real scientific basis for it).

From the get-go, I don't like the idea of alternate realities, or at least, not in the context of fantasy. I would excuse Termina since it's a completely different universe whose origin might be tied with that of Hyrule (or not, but it's a completely different world, so I can accept it).

Anyway, having Link going back in time and preventing everything from happening completely defeats the purpose of defeating Ganon in the future. Why not just go back in the past and deal with him there, especially since he stands a chance of being weaker then?

That's why I feel, storywise, that a pre-determined timeline fits best for this game (but not necessarily for the whole series). Everything is fated to happen, and everything you do to try and alter it only ends up fulfilling it. The only thing I would change from the game would be the little things you do in the past that reflect in the future, like planting seeds that grow up into plants later on. In a pre-determined timeline, the plants would already be grown in the future, so Link would plant the seeds in the past in order to fulfill history. It's different in the game because they serve as gameplya devices.

With this story, we keep the dark future where the Hero of Time saved the kingdom, and we keep in line with Wind Waker who comes centuries later. With all the new games like the Four Swords one, there's plenty of opportunity for the old Hyrule (or a new one) to shift into the land of later games.

#11 Tri-Enforcer

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 11:17 AM

(TerraPerez) I'm with Dirk Amoeba on this. I prefer my time travel stories to make sense, at least practically if not scientifically (since we have no real scientific basis for it).


(Dirk Amoeba) Seven years after he originally touched the Master Sword, Adult Link appears in the Temple of Time. There are now two cpoies of Link (unless one of them is still in Termina, either way we don't see him).


You call having a double involved keeping it simple or making sense...and then later on go into an explanation what happens to that double...sure ok. Also Zelda told Link she would send him to his "orginal" time...this would prevent a double from even existing, cuz Link will do things differently and thus that cancels out the double right there.

(TerraPerez) Anyway, having Link going back in time and preventing everything from happening completely defeats the purpose of defeating Ganon in the future. Why not just go back in the past and deal with him there, especially since he stands a chance of being weaker then?


That's correct that does defeat the purpose...but it is ok in this case...because the future Link came from was a mistake. Zelda clearly stated that before she sent Link back to regain his childhood. She felt guilty about leading Link to tamper with time and lose his childhood. Now, Link may have to find some other means to aid him on his quest to defeat Ganon...without the use of time travel.

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 12:54 PM

If you believe that Ganon is still a threat and that Link has to find a different way of defeating him it brings up a question. We all agree that Link was sent back to his own time correct? But the question is, to what point was Link sent back in time at the end of Ocarina of Time? Judging by the opening of Majora's Mask, Zelda is safe and there is presumably no trouble in Hyrule, Link appears to be pretty near to the same age as he was in OoT and he wouldn't have left Hyrule if he was busy preparing a new way to thwart Ganon in his plans. In my opinion this is only possible if Ganon was indeed banished.

If Link was sent back to the point after he took the Master Sword from the Pedastle, then Ganon still got into the sacred realm and claimed the Triforce of Power, in which case Hyrule would still be fated to his onslaught and Zelda would still be in hiding with Impa. This is, as far as I can see, disproved by Majora's Mask.

If Link was sent back to the point just before he took the Master Sword then Ganon is still a threat, he has already attacked Hyrule Castle and the princess and Impa are in hiding, since Link never got the Ocarina of Time from Zelda he would have a chance of finding it and getting into the Sacred Realm anyway and the same old story would happen. This is also disproved for the same reasons as the above.

In a bit of a different spin, if Link was sent back far enough in time, to the point when he met Zelda, before he went on his quest for the spiritual stones for instance, and before Ganon raids the castle, there is a slight chance that history would change and the events of Majora's Mask would still happen. However, this wouldn't change the fact that Ganon would still be on the loose, that his goals would be the same as ever and somehow he would find a way to his goal, we know that he does find a way sooner or later by the backstory of ALttP, maybe it's not the same as it happened in OoT, and if we assume that ALttP's story of the Imprisoning War is completely accurate (which I find most people don't), we know it's not.

As far as the theory that the Adult Link portion of OoT is erased at the end of the game the above are all I can come up with. Any other theories would have to assume that they did in fact happen, and even with these it brings into question the fact that the WW story talks about the Adult Link events, even going as far as calling Link the "Hero of Time" a title only seen in OoT and Wind Waker, so we have to assume it's the same Link. In terms of likelyhood that any of these are correct, I'd go with the last one, the others would take a lot more making stuff up that doesn't exist to justify them. Anyway, hopefully this was helpful, if you can make it through reading that whole thing then I hope you have other ideas for me, cause that's as far as I can get.

(PS that last paragraph was hurried, so if it doesn't make complete sense you know why)

#13 Reflectionist

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 01:11 PM

Okay, what I don't get is why ppl are overanalyzing the OoT, and coming to the conclusion that Link's Mind and Body seperate at some point. Okay, do I even have to stress how stupid this is? If in a multi Timeline, it wouldn't work, because it wouldn't need to work, for one. In a Single Timeline, it wouldn't matter. Time Travel is Time Travel. Meaning that a person (an entire person) goes forward and backwards in time. Come on now!

#14 Tri-Enforcer

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 01:17 PM

You bring up a good point Blackhawk....

I personally believe Link is sent back before he meets Zelda and yes Ganon is still a threat. As we saw in OOT's ending...Navi left. At the beginning of MM Link is searching for a friend...it could've Navi he searched for or maybe someone else...but that doesn't matter here.

You're right...why leave Hyrule for Termina if Ganon is still a threat. How about this...Link is simply side-tracked by the events of MM by mistake. Judging from Link's expressions...he had no idea what he was getting into when he went through that portal...he didn't know it would take him to a land that wasn't Hyrule. He didn't know he'd be side tracked for awhile. Then you might say...why search for a "dear friend" to begin with, when you have a mission at hand...perhaps that "dear friend" is necessary to Link completing his mission.

Whenever Link returns from Termina, later when he's all grown up...he will help in the sealing of Ganon...which sets up the LTTP bacstory nicely...(maybe Link becomes a Knight of Hyrule). And there is no Hero of Time here...because he doesn't use time travel this time around.

As for the Hero of time mentioned in the TWW bacstory....that's a whole 'nother bag...I have an anwer for that...but it is seriously outlawed around here.

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 02:05 PM

I would honestly be interested in hearing your explanation, I didn't take into account that if the events of the OoT were erased there would no longer be a Hero of Time. Anyway, I'm interested in all theories, regardless of whether they're "outlawed" if you have a sec would you send it to me either as a PM or an e-mail? Thanks.

You're explanation about his leaving makes sense, and if you also believe he was sent back at that time it's quite reasonable to say that that is how it happens.

As for Reflectionist's comment (sorry, I feel obligated to discuss anything posted after I did regardless of whether or not I am) I also find it a bit ludicrous that a person's mind and body would separate, not that that isn't how it happens, but I need another explanation. I'm working on that right now and I'll probably post something about it as soon as I work it all out.

As for overanylizing, as far as I can see it, Miyamoto gives us the games, it's up to the fans to write the story. If you don't agree with me so be it, but to all of you here trying to figure this all out, that's exactly what we're all doing. Everybody has their own story, everybody has their own theories and timelines, and each makes sense to that person. In that regard we become a part of the world of Hyrule, it makes the games all the more dear to us. I believe that this is one reason the series is so popular, we each have our own meanings, there's room for speculation, we don't know it all, and that makes us love them. Most games give one story, one path, and you know exactly where everything fits in, but you don't see communities like this for those games do you? I know I have something deep and profound to say here (yeah right) but since this is just a message board I won't go any further than this for fear of getting boring and off topic.

#16 Tri-Enforcer

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 02:18 PM

Originally posted by BlackHawkA100@Sep 22 2004, 01:05 PM
I would honestly be interested in hearing your explanation, I didn't take into account that if the events of the OoT were erased there would no longer be a Hero of Time.  Anyway, I'm interested in all theories, regardless of whether they're "outlawed" if you have a sec would you send it to me either as a PM or an e-mail?  Thanks.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I would just say...that the other future still exists on an alternate timeline...Link left that future timeline behind when Zelda sent him back...as time progressed in this alternate timeline...Ganon comes back, but Link...the Hero of Time is not around...cuz he went back to his original time and that's when the Triforce of Courage split...with no Hero...Ganon ran rampmant...and so the Gods flooded Hyrule to stop Ganon...setting up TWW...so backstory in TWW is account of the IW of that timeline and also when Ganon returned...and the account of IW in LTTP is of that other timeline that Link returned to.

Nonetheless...I am working on a single tiemeline theory at the moment...when I'm finished I'll decide if I'm going single or multi...but my heart is still with the multi-theory.

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 02:23 PM

That's a reasonable theory, I don't see why anybody would completely disregard it, it makes as much sense as about anything else I've seen here. Personally I haven't gotten an entire timeline of my own done, but this message board is a gold mine of thought and I'm sure I'll peice something together sooner or later.

#18 Tri-Enforcer

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 02:54 PM

Originally posted by BlackHawkA100@Sep 22 2004, 01:23 PM
That's a reasonable theory, I don't see why anybody would completely disregard it, it makes as much sense as about anything else I've seen here.  Personally I haven't gotten an entire timeline of my own done, but this message board is a gold mine of thought and I'm sure I'll peice something together sooner or later.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Here's some of the reasons why people disregard it:

1) In TWW there's somethig about Legend of the Fairy--Tingle makes reference to MM--so people say, "How would tingle know about MM if MM is on the other timeline?"

2) Stories being distorted or told differently over the course of generations...people use this to explain why the LTTP and TWW backstories differ about how the IW went about.

3) Multi theories are an easy way out...and they go against the "old days" when there were only single timeline theories.

There are indeed other rebuttals to the multi-theory, but I can't remember them all. For right now, so that I don't seem closed-minded or stubborn...I'm currently tackling a single timeline theory without any bias. To be fair, I'll put just as much thought to my single theory as I did my multi theory...then I'll compare the two and decide on two factors: "does it make sense" and "if Nintendo came out with games clearing up everything, will a majority of Zelda fans enjoy the outcome".


*keep in mind before I joined the forums...I was a single theorists.

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 03:01 PM

The only reason I don't liek the idea of Link returning ealier in time and preventing everything bad from happening is that Wind Waker requires it. And also because I don't want to deal with alternate timelines.

The way I see it, Zelda sends him back in time seven years just like all the other times, so that he arrives while Ganondorf is still inside the Sacred Realm building his power. Link probably went to warn Zelda, then searched for Navi in the Lost Woods to prepare himself for Ganondorf's return and accidently fell into Termina.

History repeating itself, the royal Knights were unable to stop Ganondorf's forces when he came out of the Sacred Realm. Zelda went into hiding, the sages doing the same... When Link finally came out of Termina, Ganondorf has already invaded Hyrule, and being a little kid alone, he is unable to do anything but run away to save his life. Eventually, he comes to the realisation that he's unable to alter history, and despite how sad it makes him, that in seven years his other (younger in spirit but older in body) self will come out of the Temple of Time and defeat the King of Evil before being sent back just like her remembers it. And in order not to interfere with fate, he quietly leaves Hyrule, at least until he knows the kingdom is saved.

I know I'm theorizing a lot here, but that's the only way I see to preserve the relevance of the future Hyrule. I hate the fact that all the trials Link went through, all the pain he and others suffered and all the friends he made are quietly and simply invalidated. It would feel like watching the whole Lord Of The Rings trilogy where they defeat Sauron and destroy the ring, only to have Gandalf use a spell on Frodo to send him back to Bilbo's birthday and destroy the ring back then. No grand epic, no quest for saving the land, nothing. Just a silly ring that got melted. Not even worth a footnote in history books. See how disapointing that would feel?

Well, that's how I feel about it anyway.

#20 Tri-Enforcer

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 03:10 PM

Originally posted by TerraEsperZ@Sep 22 2004, 02:01 PM
I know I'm theorizing a lot here, but that's the only way I see to preserve the relevance of the future Hyrule. I hate the fact that all the trials Link went through, all the pain he and others suffered and all the friends he made are quietly and simply invalidated. It would feel like watching the whole Lord Of The Rings trilogy where they defeat Sauron and destroy the ring, only to have Gandalf use a spell on Frodo to send him back to Bilbo's birthday and destroy the ring back then. No grand epic, no quest for saving the land, nothing. Just a silly ring that got melted. Not even worth a footnote in history books. See how disapointing that would feel?

Well, that's how I feel about it anyway.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


But there still will be a "grand epic"...only this grand epic will be conducted somewhat differently...the same characters are still involved...so they won't be missed or forgotten...it's just that things will be done a little differently so that Link could at least live out his childhood...and to avoid timetravel.

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 05:06 PM

Originally posted by Tri-Enforcer@Sep 22 2004, 03:10 PM
But there still will be a "grand epic"...only this grand epic will be conducted somewhat differently...the same characters are still involved...so they won't be missed or forgotten...it's just that things will be done a little differently so that Link could at least live out his childhood...and to avoid timetravel.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


But we don't get to see it!!! That's what I hate so much about it. We get to see and experience all those things that end up NOT happening, and what really happens instead is left unknown to us..

To me, the goal of the Zelda storyline is to try and connect the games in a way that uses as much canon material as possible while making up as little as possible. And the fact is that by doing what you suggest, I feel that we're basically "making up" a new Ocarina of Time to fill the timeline.

But to each their own. Let's not get too worked up over it :)

#22 Tri-Enforcer

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 05:25 PM

Originally posted by TerraEsperZ@Sep 22 2004, 04:06 PM
But we don't get to see it!!! That's what I hate so much about it. We get to see and experience all those things that end up NOT happening, and what really happens instead is left unknown to us..

To me, the goal of the Zelda storyline is to try and connect the games in a way that uses as much canon material as possible while making up as little as possible. And the fact is that by doing what you suggest, I feel that we're basically "making up" a new Ocarina of Time to fill the timeline.

But to each their own. Let's not get too worked up over it :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


But people may want to know of Link's further adventures after he was sent back to the past...other than MM of course...lets face it OOT Link and OOT Hyrule is pretty popular.... Maybe my explanation will be the basis of a game or backstory that people will actually see in a game. Also...the backstory in LTTP somewhat supports my speculation....thus I'm not drifting too far from canon. Also, with so many gaps in Zelda...we all will make up stuff...but as long as it doesn't drift too far from canon and does not make sense. Also, my speculation isn't OOT...cuz it didn't happen in the game we played...so it could the basis of a backstory (hmmmm LTTP) or a whole new game in itself.

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 09:39 PM

TerraEsperZ, you say that you believe Link travels back to after Ganon is already in the sacred realm right? How could that be? Since whenever he puts the sword back and travels back in time it's like he never went anywhere right? Ganon enters the sacred realm only after Link is gone, and if he never really left how could he have done that? This all just my own theorizing, but I believe that whenever Link goes back in time he is sent to the exact time that he took the sword out last. If that's true then Ganon wouldn't have had time to go into the Sacred Realm and build power right? I dunno, it confuses me, so if anybody else can make sense of what I just said please do so.

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 10:23 PM

Originally posted by BlackHawkA100@Sep 22 2004, 09:39 PM
TerraEsperZ, you say that you believe Link travels back to after Ganon is already in the sacred realm right?  How could that be?  Since whenever he puts the sword back and travels back in time it's like he never went anywhere right?  Ganon enters the sacred realm only after Link is gone, and if he never really left how could he have done that?  This all just my own theorizing, but I believe that whenever Link goes back in time he is sent to the exact time that he took the sword out last.  If that's true then Ganon wouldn't have had time to go into the Sacred Realm and build power right?  I dunno, it confuses me, so if anybody else can make sense of what I just said please do so.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Like I said, I believe that the Doors of Time are synchronized, with exactly seven years (or however long it was) between them. If Link goes back into the past after spending a week in the future, he'll arrive in the past a week after entering the first time. and if he then goes back to the future after yet another week, he'll arrive one week after he went back into the past.

In short:

Young Link -> Plus 7 years -> Adult Link
Adult Link + 1 week -> Minus 7 years -> Young Link + 1 week

Simple math. I prefer it that way since otherwise Link could spend theoritically spend years questing in the future and then come back on the very second he left. It feels too much like a cheat. Because then, he could go back to the future and arriving seven years later again, and be able to yet again to spend years questing, repeat ad vitam eternam.

And since Ganondorf entered the Sacred Realm shortly after Link took out the Master Sword, it's a safe bet that on his first trip back in the past, Ganondorf is already inside formenting evil... That's my take on it.

It's not that I can't imagine how an alternate timeline or even a single timeline where the future is rewritten, it's just that after seeing so many movies and read so many stories with time travel in them, and analyzing them in depth trying to figure how it could (or could not) work, that some stories to me, benefit greatly from having a pre-determined universe. I just feel it's more internally consistent.

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 10:31 PM

Fair enough, that's quite different then what most people seem to believe here so I was going off of that when I argued it. Actually I don't think I've ever heard a theory like that before, but in my experience once you've been here for a while everything makes sense in it's own way.

I'd go into my own time travel theories, but I still have a lot of kinks to work out.

And something I'm a little confused about, what do you mean by "pre-determined universe"?

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 10:45 PM

:deadlink: Ouch...my head hurts I don't get this all I'm new sombody please paraphrase what happend here... :unsure: plz.

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 10:49 PM

um...I think that would take too long...maybe later. Come talk to me after class. Honestly though, I don't think anybody could paraphrase all this, just read over it and see if any of it makes sense to you. By the way, if anybody CAN paraphrase this, that would be useful.

#28 Guest_Mjolnir106_*

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 10:51 PM

:deadlink: Just cuz I'm new dosn't mean I'm helpless...dose it???
Well I'll try my best...

#29 Guest_BlackHawkA100_*

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 11:00 PM

You're not helpless unless you make yourself that. So no, not really, but you being helpless does make you helpless.

More on topic, a rough draft of my Time Travel Theory is this. Link takes the sword from the pedastle and is sealed in the sacred realm for seven years. After that time Rauru wakens him and Link goes back to the Temple of Time to retrieve the Sword, of course, we only see this the first time, but who's to say it doesn't happen every time Link takes or retrieves the sword? Also, Link could be returning to the sacred realm whenever he puts the sword back and Rauru sends him back. If we look at it this way it isn't the sword or temple sending him back, it's the sword sealing him for seven years and Rauru sending Link back. Personally this makes sense, as it's an actual power conciously sending Link back ever time. I dunno, I'm still confused personally.

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 01:00 AM

Originally posted by BlackHawkA100@Sep 22 2004, 10:31 PM
Fair enough, that's quite different then what most people seem to believe here so I was going off of that when I argued it.  Actually I don't think I've ever heard a theory like that before, but in my experience once you've been here for a while everything makes sense in it's own way.

I'd go into my own time travel theories, but I still have a lot of kinks to work out.

And something I'm a little confused about, what do you mean by "pre-determined universe"?

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From reading various work of fiction with time travel in them, I've found three basic approach to time travel in stories:

1) Pre-determined timeline:

There is only one timeline, and its history is immutable. Because of fate/God, or because of ignorance and/or unforseen circumstances, any attempt to alter history ends up either not affecting it, or fulfilling it.

If you went back in time to try and kill your grandfather, you could be stopped at the last minute, could kill the wrong guy without realizing it or might even inadvertedly cause him to fall in love with your grandmother.

Example: 12 Monkeys, Disney's Gargoyles

This setting works best in storytelling for shock value (12 Monkeys) or because it allows for lots of time travel fun without having to deal with the consequences of every actions (Gargoyles).

Drawback: It presupposes that there is no true free will, and that fate and/or the universe are conspiring against you to stop your from messing up history. The universe being aware of you seems silly, and fate is NOT a law of physics.

2) Multiple timelines:

In short, for every event, there is an infinite number of possible outcome. This theory states that every outcome DOES end up happening, but they all do so in separate realities. There is thus an infinite number of alternate realities encompassing every possible history imaginable and then some. Think of it like a giant tree, whose trunk splits off in multiple branches, and each of these branches split off in even more branches of their own, and repeat indefinitly.

Let's say you toss up a coin in the air. You have equal chances of getting heads of tails. The laws of physics are such that there is always a degree of uncertainty, so you can never determine the result with certitude. Why should one happen instead of the other? Well, they both happen at the same time. You just get to live with one result, and another universe just split off where another you got the other result.

Example: Star Trek: The Next Generation - Parallels (Worf is somehow jumping from one reality to another, and each time there are slight differences compared to his own reality, such as his marital status, who commands the ship, his rank, etc., because history in those universes happened slightly differently.)

This approach allows for unlimited time travel without real consequences. Since all possible realities already exist, you never actually change history, but simply follow the universe corresponding to your actions.

Let's say you go back in time to kill your grandfather. Now in the universe you come from, there was never anyone from the future who landed in the past (if only because your grandfather lived on to perpetuate our family). When you DO get there, you are no longer in your timeline, but in an alternate timeline where you DID appear in the past (in essence, you're going back on the branch until you get back to the point where you want to be, but since you were never there on that branch at this point, you take the branch that splits off there, a universe where you appeared. Remember, every possible thing that can happen has a branch of its own). From then on, you can do whatever you want, like killing grandpa. It won't affect you universe because its on a different branch. In the universe you are in however, you will never be born. This also introduces the problem that since any time travel alters the universe you're in, you're essentially condemning yourself to never be able to get back to your own universe.

Ex: The Butterfly Effect (maybe not a multiple timeline, but the effects are the same, the more you travel, the farther away you get from your original reality. You can never get back to it exactly how it was)

I hope this is clear enough, though if I could make a graph, it would be much easier to comprehend. Don't hesitate to ask for any clarification.

3) Single timeline:

The last type of setting. In this one, there is only ONE universe, but it can be changed with time travel. However, changing the past always causes a paradox, or a contradiction if you prefer. The way to deal with those contradictions are varied.

Let's say for example that you yet again go back in time to kill your grandfather (poor grandpa :) ). Since your grandfather died before having a son, you will by extension never be born. And if you are never born, you can never come back in time to kill your grandfather. And if you're not there to kill him, you will be born and will come back to kill him. Repeat ad vitam eternam. There is thus a contradiction because a part of history would be alternating between two states constantly.

Some stories will claim that the whole universe will collapse in the case of a paradox, either instantly when the paradox occurs, or after a delai for dramatic effect. Another way to resolve the paradox is that although there is a single timeline, it does not care if your actions in the past affect the future. You can come back and kill your grandfather, and the universe won't care that you won't be born in the future. You're already there in the past, so it lets you go on with your life. However, if you go back to the future, or simply wait it out until the date of your birth, you won't be born. In essence, the history you knew is gone forever, and you are eternally 'displaced'.

Ok, that took some time to write, and I'm really tired from work so I think I'll be going to sleep now. I practically have to rewrite every word I type twice if not thrice...




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