The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has finally found a place in the franchise's timeline, but Nintendo has decided to make it a little more complicated than that. Although there has been much debate about where Breath of the Wild fits into the long history of Hyrule, the answer isn't as simple as placing the game at the end of a timeline.
As the latest title in the long-running Zelda franchise, the Nintendo Switch game blew critics away with its expansive backdrop and the biggest version of Hyrule that gamers have ever seen. The open-world feel allowed players to explore more of Hyrule than previous chapters and learn more about the mythical land's complex history. It now turns out that Breath of the Wild's Hyrule is literally in a world of its own.
The official Nintendo Japan site updated itself to include Breath of the Wild and confirms that the game is officially at the end of the timeline. With Mount Daphnes named after a certain king of Hyrule and the ruins of Lon Lon Ranch found in Breath of the Wild, it didn't take a genius to figure out that the title was a sequel to the likes of Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker.
Back in 2011, Nintendo released Hyrule Historia to answer where each of the games fits into the Zelda timeline. Since then, three more games have been released. While A Link Between Worlds and Tri Force Heroes were successors to A Link to the Past, placing Breath of the Wild has been a little trickier. Confusingly, Nintendo has made it even more complicated by putting the latest game in a whole timeline of its own.
In an interesting development, series producer Eiji Aonuma explained to Famitsu Breath of the Wild's home in the series is ultimately up to the fan's imagination:
"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."
For those who don't know, Zelda was already split into three timelines. The Child Timeline covered the likes of Majora's Mask, the Adult Timeline was for games including The Wind Waker, and a Fallen Hero Timeline depicted a world where Ganondorf won Ocarina of Time and covered games like The Legend of Zelda. While it would've been simple to slot Breath of the Wild into any of these, it has been given a timeline of its own.
Although the game's confusing placement can be a little frustrating, it does explain the various Easter eggs to the rest of the series without being an official sequel to anything before. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild may be the end of the current story, but with a sequel almost certainly set for the Nintendo Switch of whatever comes next, this new timeline could have another addition in the distant future.