The time has come to end the ongoing debate and lay timeline placement theories to rest.
After a very lengthy development, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, finally made its way to both Nintendo Switch and Wii U, on the 3rd of March of this year, but since the game was first revealed, one of the many questions fans and theorists were united in asking, was “where does the new Zelda game fit into the timeline?”
We may never get a definite answer as Nintendo has always been a little vague, or coy, but now thanks to an interview with GamesRadar, it seems we have come as close to a definitive answer, as we’ll ever get and it is in a nut shell, is this: Nintendo understand how critical fans are of the timeline and desire to know where Breath of the Wild ties in, but the truth is, to Nintendo it doesn’t actually register as it is not something they considered when making the game. They just wanted to make a great Zelda game and ultimately, its placement is wherever the fans decide to put it, so if you want it to be the game that unites the three timelines, then that’s what it is. Just like it is the latest game in each and every timeline on its own, because the choice is ours, but just in case you wish to see the official statements for yourself, then here they both are:
Hideomaro Fujibayashi (Director to Breath of the Wild): “I wouldn’t say that we’re not concerned with the timeline. It’s obviously something that we know is very important to people, and they do a lot of research on. But I think at this point, we’re not really at the stage where we want to talk about where Breath of the Wild is in the timeline. I think, as with the pixelated food, it’s something that at this point we want to leave up to people’s imaginations.”
Eiji Aonuma (Series Producer of The Legend of Zelda): “We published a book with the timeline, but we definitely got comments from users saying, ‘Is this really accurate? I think this should be this way. It’s different.’ And history is always kind of imaginative. It’s left to the person who writes the book. So that’s how we approach it as well. It’s not necessarily that we come up with a game and think, ‘Oh, this is where it fits in the timeline.’ Honestly, lately, we’re kind of scared to say exactly where things are in the timeline for that reason. But we like to leave things to the imagination most of the time.”
It may not be the answer we wanted, but in a poetic way, it is the one that makes the most sense. Before the Hyrule Historia came along, the timeline was something that was open to interpretation, until our demand for an official timeline proved too great and we were given that which we craved, only to resent certain placements. At least this way, we’ve gone back to how things once were and tell the full story of The Legend of Zelda, in any manner we choose. Near the beginning of the year, Nintendo gave Zelda fans a great game, and now near the end of the year, they have given us our imaginations back. Unlimited free creative reign, is ours once more.