Is Tears of the Kingdom a Prequel? Nope!

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the newest addition to the Zelda universe. However, there is much discussion about where it fits into the Zelda timeline. More specifically, is Tears of the Kingdom a prequel?

Is Tears of the Kingdom a Prequel? Nope!

This article will tell you everything you need to know about this debate.

Most People Say No

The previous game released by Zelda was Breath of the Wild. The trailer for Tears of the Kingdom openly stated that it is a sequel to the Breath of the Wild. So the simple answer is no, Tears of the Kingdom isn’t a prequel but rather a sequel. So why is there confusion among fans?

The Zelda Timeline

In 1986, fans were introduced to the Legend of Zelda. The game centers around the main character, Link. Nintendo always intended for the Zelda timeline to be “open to interpretation.” Hence, it’s not as straightforward as it might seem. Nonetheless, a helpful explanation of the chronological order of games was finally given to fans with the release of Hyrule Historia.

Hyrule Historia

In 2011, Nintendo published a book entitled Hyrule Historia, which gives a timeline of the entire Zelda story. This cleared up many questions that Zelda fans had. It explains that there are multiple concurrent timelines in the game of Zelda, including one that is separate, considered by some to be Zelda myth. This allows Link to appear at different ages in different games without contradiction.

Early History Timeline

The entire Zelda story line begins with the “Early History” timeline. Skyward Sword is chronologically the first game in the Zelda universe. The setting is a floating island called Skyloft, and knowledge of the future world where Link’s adventures aren’t yet a part of the story.

The timeline proceeds with The Minish Cap, which was developed by a third-party company, Capcom. This is the only Zelda game that wasn’t originally created by Nintendo. The next game in this series is Four Swords, which was the first Zelda multiplayer game. Link meets the famous Princess Zelda in Ocarina of Time, the last game of the timeline, and this is the pivotal place where Zelda time splits.

Three branches of the timeline follow: the Child Timeline, the Adult Timeline, and the Fallen Hero Timeline. The fourth group of games, the Calamity Timeline, aren’t related to the other three in time. Fans debate whether this branch is Zelda myth, or it renders the other three no more than myths. This will probably be a debate among gamers for the rest of Zelda history.

The Child Timeline

When Princess Zelda uses the Ocarina of Time to send Link back to his own time, this branch follows that story line. Majora’s Mask, a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, concludes with Link keeping the moon from colliding with his world. Twilight Princess follows starring Link the descendent from the previous game’s hero. Four Swords Adventures concludes the three games that make up this timeline.

The Adult Timeline

In this timeline, Link disappears from Hyrule. The Wind Walker is the first game and it’s set in Outset Island, which is unrelated to the other timeline locations. It was the first GameCube member of the Zelda series.

Its sequel Phantom Hourglass continues this timeline’s theme of ships, pirates, and fairies. One hundred years after Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks completes the trio as Link and Princess Zelda work to reunite her soul with her body.

The Fallen Hero Timeline

A Link to the Past begins this timeline in which Link is actually able to be defeated. He begins by answering a telepathic SOS call from Princess Zelda. Followed by Link’s Awakening, the timeline continues with Link having to be rescued by a young woman named Marin. Princess Zelda isn’t in this game, although fans note that Marin bears a strong resemblance to her.

Link next restores the seasons to balance in Oracle of Seasons. In the next game, Oracle of Ages, Link does some time traveling just to help further confuse the Zelda chronology. Next is a Link Between Worlds, the game famous for Link’s ability to become two dimensional during parts of the game. He moves between three–dimensional play and being a part of a painting.

Tri Force Heroes is the sixth game in the Fallen Hero Timeline and the first to allow online multiplayer action. The seventh game is The Legend of Zelda, which started the franchise back in the 1980s. In this story, we see Link rescue a kidnapped Princess Zelda by collecting the eight triangles of the Triforce of Wisdom.

The Adventure of Link is its sequel which occurs six years later in the timeline after the original Zelda and concludes this timeline. Link’s goal is to wake Princess Zelda from a sleeping curse, which of course he accomplishes.

The Calamity Timeline

A fourth timeline considered independent from all the rest is the Calamity Timeline. It begins with Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. At the end, Calamity Ganon is unable to be defeated. Thanks to Princess Zelda’s protection, Link goes to sleep for 100 years to complete the healing he needs to continue on his epic adventures. After a century, the timeline picks up with Breath of the Wild.

Breath of the Wild is considered one of the most spectacular open world games available, and has been an inspiration for many other non-Zelda games. Link awakens restored, but with no memory of what happened previously. He is on a quest to restore his memories and his land of Hyrule.

This is where Tears of the Kingdom falls. It is a sequel to Breath of the Wild. Calamity Ganon has finally been defeated, but Link will fight a new enemy in the same lands.

So Why the Debate?

Before much was known about Tears of the Kingdom, Zelda fans were imagining what Nintendo would release next. Some of the clips of the upcoming game seemed to show time travel, and many thought that Link would be going back in time. Rumors spread that the next game would be a prequel. Many believed that to be the case until the trailer was released which confirmed that it was a sequel.

Tears of the Kingdom

Although Zelda fans still debate how all the timelines might fit together, Tears of the Kingdom is a sequel to Breath of the Wild and not a prequel. Now, if you want to play the games in the correct chronological order, you’ll know how it fits into the Zelda world.

Have you attempted to make a time line of Zelda games? What were your experiences like? Let us know in the comments section below.

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