Thought you had the convoluted Zelda timeline all figured out? Absolutely certain where Breath of the Wild fits into it? Series producer Eiji Aonuma is here to crush your confidence. The legendary Nintendo bigwig has gone on record stating that Link’s latest adventure will never be part of the chronological timeline.
All your theories flushed down the toilet
Aonuma explains himself in the recently released Dark Horse Books’ The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild–Creating a Champion:
In books like the recently released The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia, we revealed where each Zelda game fell on a timeline and how their stories related, but we didn’t do that for Breath of the Wild. There is a reason for that. With this game, we saw just how many players were playing in their own way and had those reactions I just mentioned…If we defined a restricted timeline, then there would be a definitive story, and it would eliminate the room for imagination, which wouldn’t be as fun.
Let me get this straight. Aonuma believes that conforming to a rigid timeline would make BotW less imaginative. If players have their own various interpretations of Link’s journey, it’s more fun and engaging.
I can’t say I’m on the same page. Certainly, BotW offers more freedom to Zelda gamers than any other entry in the series. You can go wherever you choose and you alone are the architect of Link’s exploits. However, putting the game in the Zelda timeline wouldn’t make it less magical. Hell, I’ve had numerous incredible adventures with Link throughout my gaming life. Official timeline titles like Ocarina of Time and Link to the Past are my favorites, and they both did unique and genre-defining things. I don’t believe concepts like time travel and dimension swapping are any less imaginative than what BotW offers.
How do you readers feel about Aonuma’s BotW timeline exclusion? Does it even matter to you? Do you have more questions about other BotW reveals? Let us know with thoughtful insights down below.
Arthur Damian is a writer, editor, educator, and lover of video games. Based and living in Brooklyn, NY, he has been gaming since the age of five, from the NES to the Nintendo Switch. His favorite system is the SNES, his favorite game is Chrono Trigger, and you cannot convince him otherwise. He loves dogs, rainbow cookies, Spider-Man, and songs with intricate drum patterns. Arthur is also the Editor-in-Chief at That VideoGame Blog.