Nintendo Will Never Reveal Breath of the Wild’s Place in the Zelda Timeline

We know it’s at the end, but at the end of WHICH timeline?

Breath of the Wild

Eiji Aonuma, producer of The Legend of Zelda series has recently revealed in the newly translated Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Creating a Champion book that Nintendo will never tell where the game takes place.

Aonuma states:

“We made this game with the intention of returning to our roots, so the response from players about feeling the same as they had when they were young is promising. Since Nintendo Switch is portable, I hope that they will be able to engage deeply with the game in a fresh, new way too.

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.

We realized that people were enjoying imagining the story that emerged from the fragmental imagery we were providing. 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.”

While some may find this disappointing, it’s hard to argue with his reasoning. Regardless of the clarification, there are many hints as to where Breath of the Wild actually takes place. Since the game’s release in 2017, there has been much speculation on where it places in the timeline and like most Zelda games, leaves fans with a lot of clues as to where it is set.

With locations such as Ranch Ruins (Lon Lon Ranch), Temple of Time, Spring of Courage and Power alongside other previous game locations in the overworld all aged heavily and falling apart indicates that Breath of the Wild is set heavily in the future, which has actually been confirmed as being set at the end of one particular timeline. Which one, however, is a different story.

Zelda’s quote during the ceremony memory may give us a clue: “Whether skyward bound, adrift in time, or steeped in the glowing embers of twilight, the sacred blade is forever bound to the soul of the hero…” Referencing Skyward Sword, Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. With the mention of the glowing embers of Twilight, I’m inclined to say it’s set in the ‘Child Era’ (for those unsure of the Zelda timeline split, see here) as I see no reason for Twilight to be mentioned otherwise, and there is no mention of the Hero of Winds or Hero of Hyrule which would reference the ‘Adult Era’ or ‘The Hero is Defeated’ timelines. Some people believe Breath of the Wild’s placement is an attempt at bringing all three timelines back together as it can potentially take place at the end of all of them leaving Nintendo to make linear sequels in the future.

Aonuma concluded by saying:

“We want players to be able to continue having fun imagining this world even after they are finished with the game, so, this time, we decided that we would avoid making clarifications. I hope that everyone can find their own answer, in their own way.”

Sounds like the producer is very content with leaving things up to speculation within the fanbase, and that’s not such a bad thing. What do you think? Drop us a comment on your thoughts below.

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