Which Zelda timeline does Breath of the Wild fall in? That’s a question that has given series fans more than a few restless nights (and fierce analyses) over the last six years, but it’s a question that remains unanswered. Nintendo has remained reluctant to place the game in any one of the series’ three branching timelines, saying only that it is set thousands of years after all previous games without revealing which branch it connects to.
With the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom set to be a direct follow-up to the 2017 title, many have been hoping that its story will divulge more details on its timeline placement, and it seems that may indeed be the case.
In a recent interview published as part of Nintendo’s Ask the Developer series, The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma may have confirmed that Tears of the Kingdom will be directly connected to the events of SNES title The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
Discussing the upcoming open world title’s central motif of “hands” and “connections”, Aonuma said, “This applies to the story too, which connects to Hyrule’s past. It also talks about a major struggle called The Imprisoning War, which until now was considered a myth even in Hyrule.”
The Imprisoning War is an event that series fans will be familiar with, with its events referenced in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. What’s interesting here, of course, is the fact that the Imprisoning War – i.e. what’s covered in A Link of the Past – only happens in one of the series’ three timelines, which is the Fallen Hero timeline, suggesting that’s the timeline Tears of the Kingdom is set in. As it stands, the last game in the Fallen Hero timeline is the NES’ Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link.
Given the fact that Ganondorf is returning as the antagonist in the upcoming open world sequel, it was almost a given that the game would have stronger ties to past instalments’ stories than Breath of the Wild did, though going by Aonuma’s words, it seems that connection might be even stronger than expected.
Either way, we’ll know soon enough when The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launches for the Switch later this week, on May 12.
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