Monthly Archives: November 2009

Zelda vs. Rationalism: The Timeline Problem

I just read an article which discusses just one theory out of many concerning the time-line in Zelda games. Admittedly, I skimmed parts, but I paid attention to most of it. I got to the end, and read this:

“Sure, I suppose being able to find ‘the closest timeline to what Miyamoto is envisioning right this very moment’ is a worthy runner-up goal, but to what ends? If Nintendo is making it all up as they go along (which I’d also wager is quite likely), the timeline is as flexible as a rubber band, completely mutable and able to be changed at their discretion from here on out. …

“Instead, I truly believe that half the fun of inventing timelines is in the building of the world of Hyrule. It’s in creating our Hyrule. It’s feeling like a scholar of ancient history and digging through the ruins of a fallen Hyrule Castle to find archæological evidence regarding the ancient civilization of the Hylians. It’s in the crazy theorization, the wild speculation, and the mad experimentation.”

Why in the world we care in the first place is the topic of other articles also posted on that website (I suggest you dig around a bit if you’re a fan of the Zelda series like I am) but I do know that every time I start a new game in the Zelda series, I can’t wait to see what new plot twists will be given.

First, he (or she?) is wrong that we shouldn’t search for a proper time-line. (It’s just another form of fan art.) He’s also wrong that the fun is creating our own Hyrule world. I think the fun actually lies in the fact that there’s something about the Zelda universe that clicks with us, that makes us wish we lived in such a world.

This is where this blog post title comes in: the games’ time-lines don’t have to be rational or fit together. I think the goal in mind when the developers created the Zelda games was just to make it fun. They speak of an ancient hero, and then link characters to the past. Somehow, the ancient hero part adds an aurora to the rest of the story. The whole thing creates a personal journey of discovery, connection, and enjoyment of the characters and the environment that makes it so much fun.

That’s why I play Zelda, and that’s why I think we all want to discover more about the time-line. It doesn’t have to be rational, or make sense, at least across multiple games. It just has to be fun and sensible in the context of each game.

That’s my $0.02. 🙂