Zelda Timeline 101 Lecture Videos: Ocarina of Time’s Importance!

I can finally cross off this achievement in my list of things to do before I turn 30. As nerdy as it is, I’ve finally summoned the courage to make a video explaining the basis of the Zelda timeline. Be warned, this is spoiler-filled and nerdy, divided into 2 parts for a total of 28 minutes. If you like what you see (and haven’t fallen asleep during class, you spoiled brat!) then I may do another batch soon enough.

10 thoughts on “Zelda Timeline 101 Lecture Videos: Ocarina of Time’s Importance!”

  1. I like the music you had throughout the vids :) It’s a bit complicated, holy crap ha ha

    1. A lot more complicated than you think, dude. The next video is going to be even more confusing. The major problem with my lectures is that you sort of have to be fan or have basic information before going in. That’s why I linked to as much cut-scenes as possible as I talked in the video so that people can follow. I urge you to check out the AVGN video about the timeline to get a more basic or casual layout on the matter. Keep in mind that some of its info may be outdated.

      All the music are remixes off the Zelda series. Most are by OC ReMix, but there are a few oddballs here and there.

      If you have any more feedback for improvement, don’t be shy. I’m open to suggestions. Whether it’s making the lecture itself more mainstream, etc.

  2. My first suggestion is to clean up your verbal pauses. They’re OK to an extent I think, but can quickly distract the viewer/listener from the presentation. Otherwise, I enjoyed the content. At the same time though, I can’t help but see this from the developers’ perspective. To me, it’s impossible for a franchise like Zelda to maintain timeline continuity because of its scope. Unless Nintendo designed AND purposefully declared sequels and prequels, we’ll really never know a timeline because frankly I don’t even think they’ve kept one. With so many different lores, I think a coherent timeline can’t exist, unless Zelda team has a massive plot recorded somewhere. That’s why Metroid is easier to discern, there’s only ever been one Samus across a number of missions. Not the case here. I hope this doesn’t burst your bubble Ahmed, just my opinion ;)

    1. Nice, Justin. Thanks for the constructive feedback and I’m glad you liked it. I was shooting all this from the hip based on small notes, hence the verbal pauses and occasional word repeats. So I’ll keep those in mind the next time I do one of those.

      About the timeline, Justin, I will say this: if they do have a document (which they claimed several times), it’s definitely NOT a constant one…which is what I tried to convey in the video. With every game, they change it and modify it to their liking. They set it up based on what they think is suitable, hence the vague references in the more recent games. The Wind Waker is the only game which makes direct references to its relationship to Ocarina of Time. Otherwise, it’s up to our and the developers’ ongoing interpretation. In the end, you have every right to be skeptical about its existence when comparing its coherence to Metroid’s timeline, because Zelda’s isn’t exactly a timeline by definition.

  3. First off Ahmed, excellent job with the explanation. People don’t realize just how confusing all of this is. I didn’t have a chance to comment on this for ages now, which I apologize for. Now I have the time. So let’s get started.

    We got together because of the Zelda series and I’d like to join you on this insane quest of yours. I never listen to quotes, I only take what the games give us. That’s my first rule. I’m also going to begin with the one game you dislike talking about, FSA.

    I do not consider FSA as part of any timeline. Gasp! How can this be. Unless a clear explanation is given in either a new game or something else, I consider the FS games to actually take part in an entirely different dimension. I know it’s a wild and crazy theory, but let’s look at the facts. The only similarities we have are Link and Ganon. Where are the staples? You yourself said the Master Sword and Triforce are nowhere to be found, and yet they’re integral to the series as a whole. So this is why I consider these games as something else. Even if the games didn’t deal with the Triforce directly, they would be referenced in the design of the game, which these ones aren’t…if memory serves me correctly. Think Link’s Awakening. The game wasn’t directly related to what we know of the series, but it was made crystal clear where and when this game was taking place.

    As for the split timeline I think that makes perfect sense actually. The ending of OoT was slightly confusing because we see Link and Zelda talking again as kids and I always wondered exactly what they did afterwards. Getting an official explanation makes much more sense. So we have MM followed by TP on the child side, and WW, etc on the adult timeline. That’s logical and fits with what we know.

    The problem with moving up the timeline is A Link to the Past, as you’ve said. It talks about a story that we have yet to play. No matter which timeline we look at Ganondorf dies, but yet in ALttP he’s not Ganondorf anymore, he’s Ganon and he’s been sealed away by sages. I’m under the belief that Ganondorf is resurrected and becomes Ganon only to be sealed away at the end of the game similar to what we saw in OoT to begin with. Like you said though, because of what we’ve seen in WW and TP, we know he dies. So unless we get a game that shows us the Imprisoning War, by name, we’re never going to be able to figure this out 100%. It’s just way too general right now and only more so now that we have TP and WW and we know where they fit.

    I like that Skyward Sword takes place before all this mess because they have the chance to set things in motion in a non-confusing manner. What I’d like to see is a game made after everything that clearly explains where certain games fit in. For example they can leave WW, TP, etc all behind. They can just let us know up to the Imprisoning War, and then have a game that shows those events later on. I think that would really help to clear the air.

    So the bottom line is, I fully agree with what you’re saying here, except that there’s just no physical evidence to suggest any of the FS games are even part of this same universe as a whole. Without the Triforce or any mention of the gods, we’ll never know.

    I hope you enjoyed reading that craziness and more of you should comment damn it!

    1. You reminded me of another interesting little factoid regarding the Imprisoning War. Again, let’s talk in terms of chronological release date. Up to Ocarina of Time’s release, the timeline made perfect sense. I didn’t clearly state it in the videos, but the creators’ full intention with Ocarina of Time is retelling the Imprisoning War. So, up to Majora’s Mask release, it made sense that Ocarina of Time = Imprisoning War. But when games like The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess cluttered the timeline, A Link to the Past’s Imprisoning War can no longer refer to Ocarina of Time without mentioning The Wind Waker or Twilight Princess’ events. I’m now basically rephrasing my second video, but again I have to generalize it; The Imprisoning War could be a plot that refers to multiple events throughout the years, and that fits with the child timeline’s Twilight Princess in a key scene when one of the gods talks about “the interlopers”, which is strangely similar to The Imprisoning War. Again, this could be one of the events which is part of IW.

      When in comes to the adult timeline in The Wind Waker, it’s simply hard to associate IW with that timeline because outside of Ocarina of Time’s events, there’s just no sealing or any kind of War going on in all games that follow The Wind Waker, which is the complete opposite of the child timeline. In the same time though, it’s like you said; there are still a lot of loose ends even if we have a vague connection of ALttP like the fact that Ganon starts off alive in ALttP, yet he seems clearly dead in TP. There has to be a “gap game” in between.

      1. Yeah Ahmed I agree with that. See for years that’s why I adored Ocarina of Time because it made perfect sense. You know, it just fit. It was a really nice story and the world was at peace lol. Now it’s very confusing no matter how you look at it. I’d like Nintendo to go back and redo ALttP and give us a little clarity because they could also the story so that we know for a fact where it sits in the timeline in relation to OoT. I’m with you in that it follows the child timeline because it just seems that much more logical.

  4. I appreciate your comment, Jarrod. Glad you enjoyed it and found it cohesive enough through my ramblings. I agree with your talk on A Link to the Past. Right now, it’s very hard to connect if we’re only going with what the games give us, which is why I suggested “gap games” that Nintendo should fill sometime soon or other games in the series. There are bits and pieces of ALttP in Ocarina and Twilight which leans toward putting ALttP in the child timeline, but I do so hesitantly.

    As for the Four Swords games, as I explained to you in our chat, my ideas for the next video are really similar to what you’re thinking, except they do tie in a bit more logically to the universe.

    1. I love talking about this stuff and still crave for the day when Nintendo will put forward an encyclopedia detailing exactly where each game fits and whether or not this Link belongs with that game, etc. To be honest, we really don’t know for certain without Nintendo telling us.

      Please keep this discussion alive though and put out another video because I’d love to hear more of your thoughts.

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