The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds’ Place In The Zelda Timeline Detailed

By Ishaan . October 18, 2013 . 8:30am

Some people care about the Zelda timeline and some don’t. Similarly, while certain Zelda games ignore the timeline and do their own thing, others are clearly follow-ups to the events of previous games. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is one such title.


While it is an entirely new game, A Link Between Worlds takes place in the same world as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, several years after the events of that game. You might even find a returning character or two. As such, it isn’t really very hard to figure out where in the Zelda timeline the game takes place.


Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma, however, has gone one step further and detailed exactly where in the timeline A Link Between Worlds falls. Take a look at the chart below—it’s an image of the Zelda timeline, based on details provided by the Zelda encyclopedia, Hyrule Historia.


Speaking with Spike, Aonuma says that A Link Between Worlds takes place between Link’s Awakening and the original Legend of Zelda (both on the bottom-left of the chart). That’s the third, previously unheard of timeline that was revealed in Hyrule Historia. If you’re unfamiliar with that three-way split in the middle, you can read about it here.


The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds will be available on November 22nd.

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  • Figured it’d be around there.

    I just still wonder what the supposed Majora’s Mask connections are gonna be… sure can’t wait until Christmas when I can get this!

    • Kush

      It could be that they’ll have the remake information in the game.

    • doubleO7

      I heard an interesting theory from someone. The timeline that contains ALttP happens if Link is defeated by Ganondorf in Ocarina. So if that Link is dead he never went back in time, never traveled to Termina, and never stopped that creepy moon from falling. Meaning in the ALttP timeline Termina was likely destroyed and the mask remained in the Skull Kid’s possession…

      Make of that what you will.

    • RazeXI

      I think it’s just purely for easter egg purposes because according to the timeline, unless Majora can timeline hop, then we won’t expect anything major

  • Prinny Dood

    i hope we get the bundle ; )

    • kylehyde

      If you refer to the Americas, we are getting the bundle, it was leaked this morning. Black friday is the tentative release

  • kylehyde

    This timeline needs their own direct to be explained with Miyamoto and Aonuma dressed like the Doc Brown.

  • Tre W

    >reads the interview >sees that Pink Bunny Link will not return

    NO WAI! :(

    But seriously, that was actually a nicely done interview. And I’m honestly hoping that ALBW, as well Lorule’s inclusion into the overall mythos, may entail that Aonuma and his crew will do more with this part of the TL branch. I’m still waiting on my game that takes place after Zelda 2: Adventure of Link!

  • Oh, how I love the Zelda timeline(s). The fact that one of my favourite games in the franchise (Minish Cap) happens no matter what is awesome.

    More on topic, while I’m not surprised that A Link Between Worlds takes place after A Link to the Past, I am surprised to see that it’s post Link’s Awakening. I truly wasn’t expecting that. I was actually assuming that it would be pre-LA seeing as how that game starts out, there could have been some build up at the end of this game.

    • Dansar

      Well you see, the Oracle games and Link’s Awakening are direct sequels to A Link to the Past. It’s the same Link in all four of them.

    • D H

      But it’s been relatively accepted that the Link in AttP and LA were/are the same Link, and since the Oracle games seem to end directly into LA, it makes sense that this new one couldn’t happen in between any of them, since we already knew it was “many” years later

      • Fair enough, I’m still working through the Oracle games myself, so I didn’t know that. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Blesmi

    This is one point where i like the Ys games more, instead of having all these different links in different timelines, Ys just basically says “So there’s this guy, Adol Christin, and he LIKES TO ADVENTURE” and that’s about it.

    • I like the Zelda series concept of an eternally recurring struggle over the three pieces of the Triforce in which there will always be a (reincarnated) Link, a Zelda, and (the same) Ganondorf/Ganon. But now there are all these extra layers of convoluted BS on top of it that don’t need to be there, just because Aonuma’s tried to retcon all the games made before there was any notion of a timeline into (sort of) the same one.

  • DragKudo

    This timeline makes no sense at all they should just stop.

    • DrakeClawfang

      Actually the timeline makes perfect sense when you talk it out. There are snarls of course, but the events of the games take place centuries apart and thus are subject to being mistold by future generations as will always happen with stories.

      The left timeline occurs when Ganondorf defeats Link in OoT – Ganondorf claims the full Triforce and the Sages are forced to seal him in the Sacred Realm alive, and LttP retells the events of OoT as the Imprisoning War. After LttP Link defeats Ganon, he goes on the adventures of the Oracle games and LA, while ownership of the Triforce passes to the Royal Family and is eventually split by them as the events of the original LoZ and AoL tell.

      The center timeline has Link return to the childhood timeline of OoT and Ganondorf is arrested and tried, then imprisoned in the Twilight Realm. Link goes on to MM adventures while centuries later the events of TP occur. After that during FSA, Ganon is reincarnated within the Gerudo (it is known from OoT that a sole male Gerudo is born every 100 years) and that game takes place.

      The right timelime follows the Adult timeline, Ganondorf’s seal weakens and when no hero appears to stop him, Hyrule is flooded as in WW, and it’s been known all along that PH and ST take place in the same timeline as WW with Link and Tetra/Zelda finding a new land to call home and founding a new Hyrule there.

      • DragKudo

        That is what doesn’t make sense. They said the third timeline is if link was defeated by ganon. and Ganon took over the world, if he took over the world then how did he end up getting sealed away by sages who were not awaken yet?
        If ganon killed link before he got the triforce then none the events would have happened. If he was to kill link during the final battle he would have killed zelda too and had the whole triforce and become god.

        • DrakeClawfang

          no, Hyrule Historia specifies he killed Link in the final battle, after Link had freed the sages, and he did obtain the full Triforce.

          As is said though, LttP is very obscure on the exact events of it. Perhaps he successfully merged the Triforce together and killed Link while Zelda escaped.

          • Dark Lord Ash

            See this is all well and good except for one tiny thing. The only reason
            that the whole left side exist and why a link to the past fits the
            way it does is because the entire back story to said game underwent a
            rewrite, one that I assumed happened when the GBA version came to existence. A lot of what happened in the original was changed to better connect it to OoT .

          • DrakeClawfang

            It wasn’t rewritten from what I know. I haven’t played the GBA version, but the SNES version said Ganondorf was the leader of a band of thieves who found an entrance to the realm of the Triforce, and when he seized it and wished upon it, the realm was transformed into the Dark World, and Ganondorf began luring men there to become his army to invade Hyrule.

            Hyrule Historia specifies Ganon’s invasion was post-sealing in OoT, but otherwise, nothing that can’t be chalked up to, again, a few centuries of crappy record keeping.

          • Dark Lord Ash

            And that’s just it, Ganon getting the full triforce in OoT is complete different from how he get’s in ALTTP. He got the whole Triforce the first time in Alttp while in OoT needed to get it twice in completely different locations and completely different scenarios than what was said in Alttp’s back story.

            Alttp: Gets the triforce after killing his own men in a brawl for it in the golden land (completely not mentioned in the Hystoria). Starts luring people to the dark world to form his army, invades and then he gets his pork chops slap up and sealed.

            OoT: Gets the triforce after extracting the pieces from Link and Zelda (at what used to be Hyrule castle and not the golden land/Sacred realm), only to get sealed away into the sacred realm soon after. Starts luring people to the dark world to form his army, invades and then he gets his pork chops slap up and sealed……AGAIN.

            You can chalk it up as “crappy record keeping”, but with those glaring inconsistencies I have to call Shenanigans on Nintendo’s part.

          • DrakeClawfang

            You do that then, I’m sure they’ll be deeply hurt. In the meantime, yes, crappy record keeping. Legends get passed down by word of mouth, mistold, misinterpreted, they get distorted, mistranslated between languages. It’s happened throughout history in real life, there’s no reason we can’t let Zelda get away with it to explain a few relatively minor snarls in what is ultimately the same event told between two different games.

      • DragKudo

        Thanks for explaining it does make sense. Just there is a few things that don’t click because of what the creators have said. I personally liked the other timeline we had before this one was made it made more sense then this one.

  • This timeline insanity is one more reason why I’d like to just see a complete Zelda reboot.

  • David García Abril

    So NOW Nintendo is actively invested on the timeline instead of treating it as an after thought?

  • wahyudil

    I always think that LInk’s Awakening is Zelda II … the only Zelda game I’ve never heard of …

  • Mseevers95

    Because it takes place before the Original Zelda game in the Downfall Timeline I’m guessing that Link is going to be tricked into merging Hyrule and Lorule into what we see in the original game.

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