Is Royal Tears a Prequel? No!
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the newest addition to the Zelda universe. However, there’s been a lot of discussion about where it fits into the Zelda timeline. More specifically, is Tears of the Kingdom a prequel?
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 publicly stated that it was a sequel to Breath of the Wild. So the simple answer is no, Tears of the Kingdom is not a prequel it is a sequel. So why is there confusion among fans?
In 1986, fans were introduced to the Legend of Zelda. The game is centered around the main character, Link. Nintendo has always intended for the Zelda timeline to be “open to interpretation.” Therefore, it is not as simple as it seems. Nonetheless, a useful explanation of the chronological order of the games was finally provided to fans with the release of Hyrule Historia.
In 2011, Nintendo published a book called Hyrule Historia, which provides a timeline of the entire Zelda story. It answers a lot of questions Zelda fans have. This explains that there are multiple concurrent timelines in the Zelda games, including separate ones, considered by some to be the myth of Zelda. This allows Link to appear at different ages in different games without any contradictions.
Early History Timeline
The entire Zelda storyline 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 lore about a future world where Link’s adventures have not been part of the story.
Timeline continues with The Minish Cap, which was developed by a third-party company, Capcom. It is the only Zelda game that was not originally made by Nintendo. The next game in the series is Four Swords, which is the first Zelda multiplayer game. Link meets the famous Princess Zelda in Ocarina of Time, the final game of the timeline, and this is an important place where Zelda’s time divides.
Three branch timelines follow: the Child Timeline, the Adult Timeline, and the Fallen Heroes Timeline. The fourth game group, Calamity Timeline, is not related to the other three in time. Fans debate whether this branch is the myth of Zelda, or makes the other three nothing more than myths. This will probably be the subject of debate among gamers for the rest of Zelda’s history.
When Princess Zelda uses the Ocarina of Time to send Link back to her own time, this branch follows that storyline. Majora’s Mask, a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, ends with Link keeping the moon from colliding with his world. The following Twilight Princess starring Link is descended from the previous game’s hero. Four Swords Adventures concludes the three games that make up this timeline.
In this timeline, Link disappears from Hyrule. The Wind Walker is the first game and is set on Beginning Island, which is unrelated to any other timeline location. It was the first GameCube member of the Zelda series.
The sequel Phantom Hourglass continues the theme of the timeline about ships, pirates and fairy tales. One hundred years after Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks completes all three as Link and Princess Zelda work to reunite his soul with his body.
Fallen Heroes Timeline
Link to the Past begins this timeline where Link can actually 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, though fans note that Marin looks a lot like her.
The next link restores the seasons to balance in the Oracle of Seasons. In the next game, Oracle of Ages, Link travels through time only to help make Zelda’s chronology even more confusing. Next is Link Between Worlds, a game famous for Link’s ability to become two-dimensional in the game section. He moves between three-dimensional games and becomes 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 in the 1980s. In this story, we see Link save the kidnapped Princess Zelda by collecting the eight triangles from the Triforce of Wisdom.
The Adventures of Link is a sequel that takes place six years later in the timeline after the original Zelda and concludes this timeline. Link’s goal is to awaken Princess Zelda from her sleeping curse, which she of course achieves.
A fourth timeline that is considered independent from the others is the Calamity Timeline. It started with Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. In the end, Calamity Ganon could not be defeated. Thanks to Princess Zelda’s protection, Link fell asleep for 100 years to complete the healing he needed to continue his epic adventure. After a century, the timeline continues with Breath of the Wild.
Breath of the Wild is considered one of the most spectacular open world games available, and has been the inspiration for many other non-Zelda games. Link awakens restored, but with no memory of what happened before. He is on a quest to recover his memories and his land in Hyrule.
This is where the Royal Tears fall. It is a sequel to Breath of the Wild. Calamity Ganon has finally been defeated, but Link will be up against a new foe on the same ground.
So Why Debate?
Before much was known about Royal Tears, Zelda fans were imagining what Nintendo would release next. Several clips from the upcoming game seem to show time travel, and many thought Link would be going back in time. Rumors spread that the next game would be a prequel. Many believed so until the trailer was released which confirmed it was a sequel.
Tears of the Kingdom
Though Zelda fans are still debating how all the timelines fit together, Royal Tears is a sequel to Breath of the Wild and not a prequel. Now, if you want to play the game in correct chronological order, you’ll know how it fits into the world of Zelda.
Have you tried creating a Zelda game timeline? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments section below.
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