A new version of The Legend of Zelda series’ timeline is now available on the Japanese Zelda series portal. It places The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at the very end, but not connected to any of the three timelines. Instead, the game is separated, but still at the very end.
Famitsu asked series producer Eiji Aonuma, and Breath of the Wild director Hidemaro Fujibayashi what the changes meant, and this was their reply:
Eiji Aonuma, series producer: “Well of course it’s at the very end. But, I get what you’re asking, it’s which timeline is it the end of?”
Hidemaro Fujibayashi, director: “That’s… up to the player’s imagination, isn’t it?”
Aonuma: “Hyrule’s history changes with time. When we think of the next game and what we want to do with it, we might think, “Oh, this’ll fit well”, and place it neatly into the timeline, but sometimes we think, “Oh crap”, and have to change the placement. Actually, the decided history has been tweaked many times.” (laughs)
Fujibayashi: “Lately within the company, a term called ‘New Translation’ has cropped up. (laughs) Strictly speaking, we don’t change it, but rather new information and truths come to light.”
Famitsu: I see, so the way to interpret the lore of Breath of the Wild is still up for academic debate. (laughs)
Fujibayashi: “That’s why you should pay attention to future studies as well! Please look forward to it.” (laughs)
As an aside, another change in timeline positioning was made in the Fallen Hero timeline. Link’s Awakening now officially takes place before the Oracle games, rather than afterwards, shutting down the theory that Link from A Link to the Past died at sea.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is available for Nintendo Switch.