Zelda: BOTW and TOTK don’t seem to fit on the series’ official timeline, so it is possible that they exist on their own, separate timeline?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom have left players wondering where on the franchise’s complicated timeline they’re set. BOTW gives very few hints about its time period relative to other Zelda games, although it seems like it could be far into the future considering what information is given. The trailers and information given about Tears of the Kingdom‘s timeline placement haven’t offered any extra insight about its location on the timeline either.
Once the Zelda timeline reaches Ocarina of Time, it splits into three timelines that vary based on Link’s success or failure in handling Ganondorf. While Tears of the Kingdom can revisit classic locations from the franchise, familiar settings, items, and characters aren’t enough to help figure out the time period of BOTW and its sequel. It’s possible that these two games are beyond the timeline of Zelda, adding another layer of complexity to the connections between all the games.
BOTW’s Calamities & Tears Of the Kingdom’s Ambiguous Timeline Placement
There’s information in BOTW that makes it difficult to place it on the current Zelda timeline or any of its branches. The Calamities that are mentioned happen thousands of years apart, and if both involved Calamity Ganon, then it’s unlikely that Ganondorf appeared in the time between to allow BOTW to be placed at the end of the timeline, which might contradict the Zelda First Calamity being the Interloper War theory. Additionally, if Ganondorf appeared and caused problems like flooding Hyrule or the Hero of Time appeared in the time between the Calamities, it seems odd that there’s no mention of such events.
BOTW & Tears Of the Kingdom Could Be On A Different Zelda Timeline
The scope of BOTW‘s story and the events included within make it difficult for it to line up on the official Zelda timeline, which could mean that it exists separately from the universe of the other games in the franchise. With how complex the Zelda timeline is, putting BOTW and TOTK on a new, separate timeline could act as a soft reboot for the franchise. The large time frame between the mentioned Calamities and the relatively vague history given in BOTW could also lend to more creative freedom for the stories of future Zelda games by not having them placed on the current timeline.
There are plenty of unanswered questions about Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom like the villain’s identity and what happens to Zelda after she falls into darkness in the trailer. However, the placement of BOTW – and subsequently TOTK – on the timeline remains an overarching mystery. Yet, the information players have found could lend credence to the theory that there’s a new timeline that’s separate from the known official one, and it starts with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
More: Zelda: TOTK Can Improve BOTW’s Combat With One Simple Change
Source: Nintendo of America/YouTube