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Timeline Discussion

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So basically, this is a topic whereupon we can discuss the Zelda Timeline in all its glory (such as it is). (For those of you out there groaning about this, move along. Nothing compels you to be a part in this discussion anyway.) We can talk about possibilities in the timeline - official and otherwise - in an effort to inspire anyone who is reading this to think of a logical placement of their fangame / fanon / fanfic idea into the timeline. It might even be helpful to current projects in placing these games into an established timeline instead of just copping out with "an alternative reality". My hope is that this can someday build into a linking together ( ;) ) of projects and create an epic tale of multiple chapters, using projects on this site and more!

So, before we begin, a few rules:
[*]The forum rules still apply. That is, no flaming, no spam, no vulgarity, etc.
[*]As discussion of a timeline branches just like the timeline itself, the idea of offtopicness would have to eventually be addressed. If a subtopic is introduced, we may have to move that discussion to another topic, or, if the need arises, have the moderators create a new sub-board just for this. FOR NOW, be sure that the SUBJECT of your reply matches whatever discussion or theme you want to take part in. Or combine multiple responses, but make sure that each part is legible and separate.
[*]We ARE allowed to disagree with interpretations. Everything here has to be may be based on evidence taken from within canon sources, a.k.a the games themselves. If you are going to include speculation or opinion, please be sure to label your thoughts as such, separated from hard evidence.
More general rules may be applied, as edited by myself or admins/moderators, or suggested by anyone.

Glossary of acronyms used in this topic
Not sure what "EoC" means, or unsure what is meant by "canon"? No worries! Here's a list of acronyms and terms used in this topic, subject to updates! Feel free to post your own acronyms, too, to include new events or ideas referred to as the timeline discussion develops.

Game acronyms:
[*]LoZ = The Legend of Zelda (NES)
[*]THF = another term for LoZ (NES), subtitled "The Hyrule Fantasy" in Japan
[*]BSZ = BS Zelda
[*]AoL = Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)
[*]CDi = amalgamation of all Phillips CD-i Zelda games (Faces of Evil, Wand of Gamelon, Zelda's Adventure)
[*]ALttP = A Link to the Past (SNES)
[*]AST = Ancient Stone Tablets
[*]LA = Link's Awakening (GB)
[*]LADX = Link's Awakening DX (GBC)
[*]OoT = Ocarina of Time (N64)
[*]OoTMQ = Ocarina of Time: Master Quest (GCN)
[*]OoT3 = Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)
[*]MM = Majora's Mask (N64)
[*]MM3 = Majora's Mask 3D (3DS)
[*]OoS = Oracle of Seasons (GBC)
[*]OoA = Oracle of Ages (GBC); also used to refer to the Present era in the game
[*]FS = Four Swords (GBA)
[*]TWW = The Wind Waker (GCN)
[*]TWWh = The Wind Waker HD (Wii-U)
[*]FSA = Four Swords Adventures (GCN); referring mainly to the Hyrule Adventure mode
[*]TT = Tetra's Trackers
[*]TMC = Minish Cap (GBA)
[*]TP = Twilight Princess (GCN/Wii)
[*]PH = Phantom Hourglass (DS)
[*]ST = Spirit Tracks (DS)
[*]SS = Skyward Sword (Wii)
[*]ALBW = A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
[*]HW = Hyrule Warriors (Wii-U)
[*]TFH = Tri Force Heroes (3DS)
[*]HWL = Hyrule Warrior Legends (3DS)
[*]TRR = Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland

Terms and other acronyms:
[*].2 = Refers to a Second Quest or Hero's Quest mode for any game that has such a mode.
[*]Adult Timeline / Branches = Resulting from the "Adult" ending(s) of OoT, from Hyrule Historia
[*]BS = Short for 'backstory', usually taken from the manual or from an in-game expository or introductory legend
[*]"canon" gameplay = The official, suggested order of gameplay events to complete the game. Usually given as the suggested sequence in official Nintendo walkthroughs.
[*]Child Timeline / Branches = Resulting from the "Child" ending(s) of OoT, from Hyrule Historia
[*]Creation = Creation of the world by the Golden Goddesses; Creation of the Triforce
[*]Downfall Timeline = From Hyrule Historia, the timeline resulting from Link's 'defeat' at the end of OoT
[*]EGS = Era of the Great Sea (named by Hyrule Historia), a.k.a. The Wind Waker
[*]EGV = Era of the Great Voyage (named by Hyrule Historia), a.k.a. Phantom Hourglass
[*]EHR = Era of Hyrule's Rebirth (named by Hyrule Historia), in which new Hyrule is founded and ST occurs
[*]EHT = Era of the Hero of Time (named by Hyrule Historia), which includes the HCW and OoTc
[*]ELD = Era of Light and Dark (named by Hyrule Historia), during which ALttP, OoX, and LA occur
[*]EoC = Era of Chaos (named by Hyrule Historia), the era in which the Temple of Time was erected by Rauru, Sage of Light, and the Sacred Realm is sealed
[*]EoD = Era of Decline (named by Hyrule Historia), in which the Sleeping Zelda legend occurs, as well as LoZ/THF and AoL
[*]EoH = Era of the Goddess Hylia (named by Hyrule Historia), in which the Ancient Battle against Demise occurred (SS BS)
[*]EoP = Era of Prosperity (named by Hyrule Historia), in which Hyrule Kingdom is established
[*]EoS = Era of Shadow (named by Hyrule Historia), a.k.a. Four Swords Adventure
[*]EwH = Era without a Hero (named by Hyrule Historia), when Ganondorf is revived and Hyrule is flooded (TWW BS)
[*]GdE = Ganondorf's Execution (from TP expository) and subsequent expulsion into the Twilight Realm
[*]HCW = Hyrulean Civil War (from OoT expository), in which Hyrulean tribes were unified by the King of Hyrule. Occurs 10 years before OoT.
[*]ImW = Imprisoning War (from AlttP BS), the war against Ganon's forces as the Seven Wise Men sealed the gate into the Dark World
[*]InW = Interloper War (from TP expository), the raid into the Sacred Realm by the Dark Interlopers
[*].c or .m = Refers to the comic or manga of any given game. For those with multiple comics/mangas (such as ALttP), more clarification will be needed.
[*]Official Timeline = From Hyrule Historia
[*]OoAp = Oracle of Ages, "Past" gameplay era. Occurs 400 years before OoA Present.
[*]OoTa = Ocarina of Time, adult/mature Link gameplay era
[*]OoTc = Ocarina of Time, child/young Link gameplay era
[*]OoX = Oracle series, consisting of OoS and OoA
[*]OoXl = Refers to the linked ending of the Oracle series
[*]TFE = The Force Era (named by Hyrule Historia), which encapsulates TMC and FS
[*]TGE = The Golden Era (named by Hyrule Historia), during which the Hyrulean Monarchy utilizes the Triforce (AoL BS)
[*]TPp = Twilight Princess, "Past" gameplay era, i.e. the Temple of Time dungeon's era
[*]TSE = The Sky Era (named by Hyrule Historia), a.k.a. Skyward Sword
[*]TTE = The Twilight Era (named by Hyrule Historia), a.k.a Twilight Princess
[*]Unified Timeline = From Hyrule Historia, the timeline before the OoT split

References / further reading:

More links (hehe!) as they come.

Time travel rules:
[*]Rule #1: Regardless of whether minor changes occur (see Bill #1), major changes in the past would create a new branch from that point onward. 
[*]Rule #2: The sum total of changes in the past, even if multiple "major events" occur, still results in one new timeline, until the next time a traveler from the future jumps back into the past and enacts a major change.
[*]Rule #3: A new branch is created ONLY after a traveler from the future lands in the past and enacts at least one major change. Example: Link approaches Princess Zelda at the end of OoT, resulting in Ganondorf's capture, trial, and execution.
[*]Rule #4: Unless manipulated in some way, most time-travel in the game adheres to an "immediate return" rule. In other words, traveling from the past to the future back to the past would land the traveler at the exact same point in time that he/she left the past. Exceptions occur with recalibration of time-traveling devices, such as the quite variable Gate of Time in SS.
[*]Rule #5: Cameos and Easter Eggs do not justify placement on the timeline, if they are minor. Major "cameos" or "easter eggs" could be justified as other aspects that are pulled into the cycle of the Legend of Zelda, such as the reincarnation of Hylia in the forms of the many Princess Zeldas across time, Link always being a green-garbed boy, Impa being a caretaker or guardian to the incarnation of Zelda, etc. Seeing the Majora's Mask in ALBW or the Tingle doll in SS, etc., are counted as minor. The reference to the hero of the Gorons using a Bow to save them in TP is quite major.
[*]Rule #6: Once a past is branched - that is, when a major event occurs in the past - but the hero succeeds in undoing or preventing such an event, the branches remain separate. This effectively means that, while events in the future have to be preserved in order to allow the changes in the past to occur, one branch gets abandoned by the hero in order to save the other. Classic example: the entire reasoning behind the split of the Adult and Child timelines at the end of OoT.

Note: These rules are subject to change and reinterpretation, just like the laws of any government. Amendments will be displayed as such.

Rules to be discussed before they can be accepted:
[*]Bill #1:
[*]a) Changes to the past can superimpose onto the same timeline, with changes applying themselves slowly over time. Example: the Maku Tree's apparent destruction in the beginning of OoA, resulting from a Moblin raid on the Maku Tree's grove 400 years previous.
[*]b) Changes to the past can superimpose onto the same timeline, and any changes immediately take place. Example: the initial changes from Veran traveling into the past in the beginning of OoA, resulting in that cutscene of changes such as extinction of monkeys, etc.
[*]c) Changes to the past result in a new branch every single time the past is altered. Example: every interaction with a Timeshift Stone or Orb causes a new branch to be formed, allowing an infinite potential of branches. This allows the 'grandfather paradox' to be avoided, since the future person, if he/she travels into the past, is from an alternate future where the changes didn't occur.

(Off question: is the Triforce allowed to travel through time?)


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