The Legend Of Zelda- most complex timeline in gaming history?

When it comes down to video games one of the most beloved franchises in history is Legend of Zelda which has been around for over 35 years now. Even though, the Zelda series has aged like fine wine since its inception back in ’86 for the NES the storyline has been considered one of the most complex aspects of the entire franchise for years. It seems like almost every Zelda game that was released after ’86 with the exception of Adventure Of Link from ’87 has been a prequel of the original game. Also, it should be noted that the timeline within the Zelda series is non-linear which means there have been various games within the series that took place in alternate universes depending on what happens following Ocrina of Time from ’98 where time travel was an element played a significant role in dictating the future. It should be noted that there are at least thirteen different versions of Link within the Zelda series with some of them being alternate counterparts of others. Zelda II: Adventure Of Link never truly had a sequel considering the fact that Link to the Past is considered a prequel to Link’s Awakening and Oracle of Seasons & Oracle of Ages.

Some argue that its quite possible that Nintendo had no idea how big the Zelda series would eventually become back in the late 80’s otherwise the timeline would have ended up being more linear. However, the fate of the hero in the Ocarina of Time spawned three different timelines depending on whether he is defeated or successful in terms of changing the future in terms of dealing with Ganondorf. If the hero is successful in Ocrina of Time it could lead to the events of Majora’s Mask from ’00 which comes right before the Twilight Princess from ’06 where the spotlight and focus is on his descendants. While Majora’s Mask and Twilight Princess timeline is basically a reflection Dark World within the Zelda series the New World path features games such as Wind Waker from ’02 and Phantom Hourglass from 2007. Its hard to believe that Zelda: Skyward Sword from ’11 is considered a prequel to almost every console game that came before it but at the same time the series has never really declined in popularity. Nintendo can continue make Zelda games for the next 20 years and could find ways to fit them into the non-linear timeline of the series. Its very unlikely that Nintendo had this extended non-linear timeline planned out since the 80’s because if that is not the case then the Zelda series has the best storytelling in gaming history.

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