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 Newbie's Guide to Theorizing

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PostSubject: Newbie''s Guide to Theorizing   Newbie's Guide to Theorizing Icon_minitimeThu May 21, 2009 5:35 pm


Welcome to the Newbie’s Guide to Theorizing. In this guide you’ll find all the information you need to understand what’s going on in this theorizing forum.

Please note: This is supposed to be a guide to theorizing (obvious), a way to open your eyes, and should only be treated as such, and not as canon material. So don't get hung up on details or anything, the purpose is for you to simply get the main picture

Theories in this section treat big subjects, like the ever so discussed timeline, as well as small subjects, like where the Gerudo went in Twilight Princess. No theory is too important or unimportant to discuss, as long as the theory is of interest. This guide will also give you some advice on how to make a theory and how to make sure it gets attention and recognition. It’s a shame when a great idea gets ignored because of a lacking presentation.

Right below this presentation, I’ll list the contents of this guide, so that you can easy find your way to your section of interest. Along with the title, I’ll give a short description what the specific part is about for your convenience.

About the Timeline - Describes what the idea of a timeline is.

The Split Timeline - Describes the basic idea of the split timeline.
Aonuma Confirms Split Timeline - His own words on the split.
In-game proof - Need actual proof? Get it while it’s hot!

Multiple Links - What’s the deal with Link being different as well as the same?

Termina, the alternate universe - If you want to know what this means, check here.

The Theorist Guide - Includes: writing a theory of your own, checking your facts, canon, and more.

About the Timeline

Since the dawn of time, mankind has sought this golden knowledge. The answer to the ultimate question: In what order do the Zelda games follow?

It would seem like an easy task at first. But for every questioned answered, ten additional questions take its place. Nowadays though, Eiji Aonuma, the man in charge of the series, has made it all a little bit easier by releasing Twilight Princess. This game seems innocent enough at first, but it actually ties all the 3D games together, making it easier to place the other games.

What did TP explain, how does it link the 3D games together? Those are questions that can all be answered with two words. Split Timeline.

You’ve probably heard a lot of this. Some call it the Split Timeline theory, but almost every theorist considers it a proven fact. Let’s dive into it!

The Split Timeline

The split timeline bases around the idea of the timeline splitting up at the end of Ocarina of Time. Link went back in time and altered the past in the end of that game (Zelda sent him back in time). Thus the timeline split. Multiple Universes being created when something alters the past is the best solution if you want to avoid the Grandfather paradox.

I’ll show you the split timeline, beginning with this drawing:

------Ocarina of Time

This is a single line that represents time, i.e. a timeline. Time goes by, then Ocarina of Time happens. Now, after Ocarina of Time there were two parts of that ending. One part where Zelda sent Link back in time and Ganondorf is sealed in the Sacred Realm. The other ending is seven years back, when Link again meets Zelda as a kid. So basically, we have two Hyrules in two different timelines. One in which adult Zelda continues her life, rebuilding the destroyed Hyrule, and another, in which kid Link and kid Zelda stop Ganondorf’s evil plans from happening.

Aonuma Confirms Split Timeline

Yes, Eiji Aonuma, the director of the Zelda series has confirmed the split timeline. This is a part of that interview, quoted from Zelda Wiki.org:

-When does Twilight Princess take place?
Aonuma: In the world of Ocarina of Time, a hundred and something years later.
–And the Wind Waker?
Aonuma: The Wind Waker is parallel. In Ocarina of Time, Link flew seven years in time, he beat Ganon and went back to being a kid, remember? Twilight Princess takes place in the world of Ocarina of Time, a hundred and something years after the peace returned to kid Link’s time. In the last scene of Ocarina of Time, kids Link and Zelda have a little talk, and as a consequence of that talk, their relationship with Ganon takes a whole new direction. In the middle of this game [Twilight Princess], there’s a scene showing Ganon’s execution. Link and Zelda left him be and he then did something outrageous, so it was decided that he should be executed. That scene takes place several years after Ocarina of Time. Ganon was sent to another world and now he wants to obtain the power...

and here is a link to the news spreading here at Zelda Universe. Our own members break down the Japanese interview and confirm that this is what Aonuma actually said.

Not happy with the developer quote? Some theorists choose to ignore them because the developers often change their minds. So here is some in-game evidence, starting with a drawing of the split timeline so far.

In-game Evidence

What I want to prove here is this:

-----Ocarina of Time

(The dots are supposed to be blanks)

Now, if you’ve watched the intro to the Wind Waker, you know that Ganondorf was taking over Hyrule, but the Hero of Time sealed him inside the Sacred Realm. This obviously occurred in Ocarina of Time, so Wind Waker must go after Ocarina. As mentioned, Ganondorf was sealed when Link was an Adult. Therefore, this timeline is called the Adult Timeline.

When Link was sent back in time, he came back to the time before he met Zelda, and before Ganondorf laid his filthy hands on the Triforce. Link was able to stop Ganondorf before he rose to power, presumably by telling the king of Hyrule of Ganondorf’s plans. Why would the king believe Link? Well, not every boy has the legendary Triforce of Courage on his left hand. After Ganondorf is stopped, one way or another, Link goes to Termina in Majora’s Mask.

Ok, got that? That’s the basic idea of the split timeline. It’s a bit complicated, and as of now this theory lacks proof. The Wind Waker could also come after Majora’s Mask, couldn’t it? This is where Twilight Princess shows up to clarify everything.

As you all know, Twilight Princess has a similar map to Ocarina of Time. It also has the Temple of Time and Ocarina of Time Ganondorf. It’s safe to say that it comes after Ocarina. It can’t happen after the Wind Waker, because there’s no ocean, but in which timeline does it go?

In Twilight Princess, Ganondorf was obviously never sealed in the Sacred Realm. There’s no mention of such a seal, and no mention of Ganondorf’s evil reign. And in the final battle with Ganondorf, he doesn’t recognize Link, not even the Master Sword which he would have if he fought Link in Ocarina of Time. This means Twilight Princess happens after Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, in the Child Timeline. I’ve also added Phantom Hourglass in the picture, as it’s a no-brainer direct sequel to Wind Waker.

-----Ocarina of Time

That was a lot of information. But if you caught the drift, you’ll see that Wind Waker can’t go after Twilight Princess, and that the timeline must be split because of Ganondorf didn’t recognize neither Link nor the Master Sword. Here is further proof:

-In Twilight Princess, the sages are different from the ones in Ocarina of Time. This is because in the Child Timeline, Link never awakened the sages of Ocarina of Time. In Wind Waker however, you can see paintings of all the Ocarina of Time sages in the Castle basement where you find the Master Sword.

-Ganondorf dies in Twilight Princess, but in Wind Waker, he’s been released from the Sacred Realm.

-The Triforce of Courage was split when the Hero of Time left Hyrule. It was not reconstructed until The Wind Waker, yet Link in Twilight Princess has it on his hand.

Upon watching these three major pieces of evidence, it’s safe to say that TP and WW cannot co-exist in the same Timeline.

To summarize, here's a picture that explains the basics again:

Newbie's Guide to Theorizing N870800388_1998422_3175
Note: Hyrule's creation and Link's birth shouldn't be in the Adult Timeline, since those two events happened before the split, i.e. before there even was an Adult or a Child Timeline.

Multiple Links

Ever wondered why, even though some of the Zelda games are hundreds of years apart, both Link and Zelda (and Ganon, most of the time) appear to be exactly the same? In the Legend of Zelda series, there are many Links, all of them fighting some evil threatening Hyrule. And there’s always a Zelda in desperate need of help. How is this possible?

In the Wind Waker, Link is said to be the Hero of Time reborn. This implies that the spirit of Link and Zelda live on, and that they’re reincarnated throughout the series. The same applies to Ganon. No matter how many times you kill him, he still keeps coming back. In Four Swords Adventures, Ganondorf is said to be an “ancient demon reborn”.

So there you have it, the characters are reborn throughout the series. Some Links go through more than one adventure; it’s up to you to figure out who’s who, really.

Termina, the Alternate Universe

You know how in Majora’s Mask, people from Ocarina of Time reappear? They look the same, but they have different names and different jobs, etc. That’s because Termina is an alternate universe to Hyrule. What this means is pretty much that Termina is in another universe, or another dimension, which means that there’s no geographical connection between the two universes. However, there are gateways that can get people through, since Link ended up in Termina after his confrontation with Skull Kid. Exactly how this works, I don’t know. Neither do you. But you should know that Termina is an alternate universe to Hyrule. Yes, it says so in the game manual.

The tricky thing about Termina is how it relates to Hyrule. As theorist, there’s a whole world of unsolved mysteries here. Since the same people appear in both games, do they marry the same people, and give birth to the same kids? Does Termina flood when Hyrule does?

If you got a nifty theory on these or other subjects, then share them! But be aware, the traps are many. I’ll explain most of them below, and of course, how to not get caught up in them.

The Theorist Guide

If you want to become a good theorist, there are some things that you might want to take into
consideration. First off, anyone can be a theorist. But there are some thing you might want to
take into consideration. For starters, common sense is vital, as with all ZU sections. Respect
your fellow ZU’ers, obey the rules, be nice and have fun. Theorizing is not different in any

Writing a Theory of Your Own

As I said in the beginning of this guide, it’s a shame when a great idea gets ignored because of a lacking presentation. If you want to write a thread about your theory, make sure to use good language, so that your theory is easy to read. Divide your text into paragraphs etc. And try to support your ideas with evidence. This is really, really important because otherwise, you don’t even theorize anymore, you’re speculating. And that takes us to this next part:

The Thin Line Between Fact and Fiction

The line between fact and fiction is thin indeed, especially when theorizing. There are parts of Zelda that are covered in mist, things we don’t know. If you want to figure out what’s behind that fog, you have to come up with an idea. And the idea itself is indeed fiction, because no one can say it’s not. But you need to support your fiction with proof. Let’s give some examples, to clarify:

“I think Majora is actually Ganondorf reborn.”

Ok… I have absolutely no evidence to support my idea, but you can’t prove me wrong.
This is not theorizing as much as it is fanfic writing. If you want it to be that way, go write a fanfic, I’m sure it’ll be awesome. But you won’t be able to convince anyone it’s actually true.

Let’s take a look at this crazy theory:

“I think that Link from Ocarina of Time is the same Link as Twilight Princess Link because he still has the Triforce.”

Now this isn’t true, because Link from Ocarina of Time can’t live that long. Second, it seems the Stalfos (the skeleton guy who teaches you sword skills) in Twilight Princess is Link from Ocarina of Time. Spooky, isn’t it? And third, Link doesn’t know Ganondorf.
So this is proven false, but this theory had some potential proof here. So how did Twilight Princess Link get the Triforce? Why don’t you figure it out yourself?

I’ll wrap this part up by saying: Separate speculation from theorizing. But it’s always not that easy. Let’s touch a sensitive subject on the matter:


Canon… and I’m not talking about the weapon (that’s spelled with two ‘n’s), I’m talking about what is guaranteed to be the official truth.
Wikipedia says:
“a body of works that are considered to be "genuine" or "official" within a certain fictional universe.”

For example, Deku Tree taking care of Link in Ocarina of Time is true, we all know it’s official, it’s canon. Master Sword in Twilight Princess is also canon. But sometimes, it’s hard to decide what’s canon and what’s not.

In numerous Zelda games, there are pictures of Mario. There are even Mario enemies in Link’s Awakening. Does this mean that Mario exists in the Zelda universe? Of course not. Mario’s appearance is what’s called an Easter Egg or a Cameo. They’re just making the game a bit funnier, and they’re also Nintendo’s way of promoting their own games (sneaky rascals).

The Master Sword can be obtained in the Oracle games. But it’s optional; you don’t need it at all. So do we have to assume that the Oracles must come before A Link to the Past (because of the Master Sword sleeps forever quote)? Some say yes, some say no. It’s hard to decide what’s an Easter Egg, and what’s canon. So be on your guard.

Checking Your Facts

Are you unsure of something? Don’t have that exact quote that you need? There are many ways to check your facts. If you need to look at maps, ZU has them. If you need to look at something in a specific part of a game, say the final battle in the Wind Waker, there’s Youtube. Also, Zeldawiki is a nice place for such things as Timeline Quotes

Also, this is a link to a place where you can find the exact quotes from every person who ever opened their mouth. Thanks a lot to the awesome bombers for posting this. Here, you can find all the quotes you need. They’re in a random order, so you’ll have to search for the quote you need by using a search feature in your browser. For example, if you want the part where the sages in Twilight Princess talks about Ganondorf’s execution, you can search for “divine prank” or anything that you know they said.

You don’t always have to make sure your quotes are 100% accurate though, as long as people can understand what you mean there should be no problem. And sometimes, you won’t even need quotes. For example, everyone knows that WW Ganondorf said that Link was the Hero of Time reborn. See? No quote. Alright, that's it. Time to summarize.

Hopefully this guide has spread some light on the theorizing section and all that's going on here. There's a lot to dicuss, trust me. I actually had to delete about 5 pages of this guide because I had too many subjects.

Again, thanks for reading, and enjoy theorizing!
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