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There is no Zelda Timeline
07-13-2009
By: Daniel "DSCUBED" Friedlaender
There is a chance you've seen this story around the net already, but let me just explain for those of you who haven't.

This guy, going by the alias ocarinahero10, put up his own theory about the Legend of Zelda Timeline, something we all know is a bit controversial.



He received a pretty positive response via YouTube and so he decided to submit it to Nintendo of America to see what they would say. I personally think his timeline is pretty good, although I can't say it is the most convincing one I have ever heard. Regardless, he sent his timeline into Nintendo and made this video covering his response.



Now, everyone (with the exception of a few Zelda sites) seems to be freaking out about this to some degree. Make of it what you will, but I think there are three main problems with accepting this answer from Nintendo. Here they are:

1. I did a quick little search through my email, as I do not delete any of it, and found that I have had nine correspondences with Nintendo of America via their webform for submitting email to them. I went through and read all of the email conversations I had with them. While I laughed a little at my naivete (calling the Wii the Revolution and such), I came to notice one other thing: Nintendo's affinity for "canned responses." As I read through them, I would say that all but one of the nine (11.1%) were simply automated responses, perhaps chosen, but not audited, by a real human.

My guess is that some intern or someone who really has no knowledge of Zelda was simply told, "Hey, we need a good, broad canned response for these rabid fan-boys who send us in questions asking about the timeline for this game series called The Legend of Zelda. Just dodge the question and mention something about each game being a new Link usually so that we can weed out the really childish ones." Well, I am not sure if that is actually what happened, but you never know.

2. It is simply a question of "Who ya gonna' believe?" While Nintendo's canned response does cite Eiji Aonuma to back up what it's saying (despite the claim not being contradictory to any real timeline theories, just to the idea of one Link) it completely ignores other things that both Aonuma and Miyamoto has said. To quote ZeldaUniverse, "Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma (the creator of Zelda and the man currently in charge of the series, respectively) say there is [a timeline]. When Twilight Princess was released, Aonuma stated that Twilight Princess goes after Ocarina of Time in the “Child Timeline” while Wind Waker also goes after Ocarina of Time, but in the “Adult Timeline”."

Nintendo may be using valid quotes, but they are drawing the wrong conclusions, which brings me to...

3. This is the biggest problem with the whole fiasco, if you ask me. Even treating the letter as gospel and ignoring that it might be a canned response still makes me reject it. This is why. Of course, as always, it's a question of context. I have yet to see anyone mention this, but if we simply look at the quotation in full (which is provided in the video) we see:

'However, in an interview given at the time it was released, the game's director, Eiji Aonuma (speaking for himself and Shigeru Miyamoto, the original creator of the series) stated "In our opinions, with the Legend of Zelda, every game has a new Link. A new hero named Link always rises to fight evil."

This means that--unless otherwise specified--each new game represents a new Link and that there isn't a true frame of reference or timeline possible for the series.'


If we simply look at the sentence in full and (as an English teacher I once had said) "put on our rhetorical analysis hats," we see that we have a non sequitur here. The statement simply "does not follow." Just because there are multiple Links, that means that there can't be an order to them? OcarinaHero10 seems to take this for granted in his video, but that's basically what they're saying. They have absolutely no grounds for saying that a timeline is not possible based on the evidence they gave. Think about it: they are basically saying that because the there are multiple people, one person cannot exist before another.

Have they ever heard of ancestors? Perhaps people that simply came before? I'm not even kidding here -- that's what they're saying. Realize, that the only way that this even makes sense is if all of the Zelda games happened simultaneously in parallel universes. While I am sure that there are some timeline theories that may say that, I don't think they're very plausible. All I'm saying is that they say one thing, but given reasons to support another. They are basically denying the possibility of different people living at different times. They have established that there are multiple Links -- that's possible. But the notion of them living at different times in a chronological order -- ABSOLUTELY NOT!

I'd be interested in getting your thoughts on this, but I do think that this really shouldn't discourage anyone from theorizing. Don't believe the automated responses, especially when they fly in the face of higher-up sources and when they don't make any sense.
Maybe I am reading it wrong, but I really do think that based solely on what they said within their email, if you pick it apart, there is no basis for what they're saying.

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