Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Budding Theorist

I should have never doubted Legend of Zelda. Yeah, it's a distraction, but it's also inspiration. It always has been. One of the reasons I love the game series so much.

For those not indoctrinated in one of the most debated topics of the fandom, one of the first things most fans do when a new Zelda game comes out is try to figure out where it fits on the overall timeline of Hyrule, the kingdom that the vast majority of the games take place in. The debate was eventually quelled when the book Hyrule Historia was published as a be all end all canonical listing of the history of the series, as well as a way to fill in gaps between the games.
This thing is kind of large, just google Hyrule Historia Timeline
if you want a better look.
After the timeline was published four games were released: First was "Link Between Worlds" which told the players that it takes place after "Link To The Past", and the next two - "Hyrule Warriors" and "Triforce Heroes" - aren't generally considered canon. Well, at least "Hyrule Warriors" isn't because it isn't by the Legend of Zelda team. "Triforce Heroes" might be canon since it's an official Zelda game, but it's kind of a joke-story compared to the others so.... *shrug*

Anyway, my point being, after the official timeline was released the only game that has question marks around its placement in the timeline is the newest installment: "Breath of the Wild." There was "word of God" confirmation from the game developers that it is intended to take place post-Ocarina-of-Time, but beyond that, we don't know which timeline it falls into. As of right now, as shown above, there are three timelines/alternative realities. One is known as the "Downfall" timeline, due to the downfall/defeat of Link against Ganon, and the following downfall of all of Hyrule. One is known as the "Child" timeline, due to Link, with all of his memories of defeating Ganondorf, returning to his lost childhood. The final is called the "Adult" timeline, the original timeline where Link, as an older teen, defeats Ganon, but is then transported back in time, creating the "Child" timeline. Lately, perhaps due to "Breath of the Wild," there are theories of a "unified" timeline where events bring these three realities - Downfall, Child, and Adult - collapsing onto themselves to create just one reality/timeline again. A lot of people are placing BotW as the first major event post-unification; perhaps the cataclysmic event that started the events of BotW were the same ones that collapsed the timelines into one. Others are creating a fourth timeline, one where Link refuses to leave the Adult timeline; what was done was done, Zelda doesn't need to send him back to live his childhood, they should just all work together to rebuild from Ganondorf's rule and destruction. There are fans who are placing BotW on this new perceived timeline.

Then there are those, like me, who are trying to keep with the three established timelines. Although, not many conceived of the "Downfall" timeline prior to the Hystoria's release, due to everyone assuming each game was won; therefore Link triumphed over Ganon. If "Ocarina of Time" could create an alternate reality based on Link failing, why can't all the games? It gets complicated if we think like that, so we'll leave that decision to the developers.

Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is that there are vast debates going on right now trying to figure out where BotW falls in relation to the other games. I personally have watched about a dozen different theory videos of people arguing what timeline, or at least showcasing the arguments for each timeline.

It seems most agree that it takes place in the Child timeline sometime after "Twilight Princess"; most likely after "Four Swords Adventures" too. However, there is some conflicting evidence that points towards the other timelines. This is probably why the Unified Timeline theory is gaining traction.

What does this have to do with my own inspiration? Well, I'm one of the nutjobs who has a Timeline Theory. Sadly, I don't have the tech to create a video like everyone else seems to be, but I do intend to write out my theory at least. It may not be groundbreaking. It may not really have new insight that the other theorists haven't already stated. It may not be read by more than my friends and family - and even that will be slim pickings based on who is a Zelda fan.

However, I am determined to write it, especially after Fan Theory Enthusiast - one of Hubby's best men - Goob suggested that I go full throttle. The game itself is massive; far more so than any previous Zelda game. Hubby has been playing nearly every chance he could since it came out on the third, and he's still maybe 3/4 of the way through the game, if that. So I'll still have to do some research, and borrow a lot of information from other theorists and Let's Play videos to get information I personally haven't witnessed yet.

It's not really much by way of story writing. It's more theoretical essay than narrative. However, I still do need to find the proper words to convey my thoughts, far more so than a video theorist who can use visuals to assist. I also need some creativity to explain why certain elements make sense. For instance, some Adult Timeline theorists point out that two prominent intelligent species - the Koroks and Ritos - are only ever previously seen in "The Wind Waker" which falls into the Adult timeline. Downfall Theorists use the existence of the more primal species Lynel for the same reason: they only appear in games that fall in the Downfall timeline. They also point out that the Master Sword - Link's ultimate weapon against Ganon - is always in the Temple of Time/Hyrule Castle in both "Link Defeats Ganon" timelines, but always in the Lost Woods in the Downfall timeline. Guess where the Master Sword is found in BotW. So, if I truly believe that BotW takes place on the Child timeline, I have to be creative with my explanations of these discrepancies. I think I have most of them figured out. My last major snaffu is the placement of the game on the Child timeline. Logically, it has to take place after "Four Swords Adventures" for the 10,000 years and then additional 100 years to take place. However, the Temple of Time from "Ocarina of Time" is in better condition - although still in ruin - in BotW than in "Twilight Princess" even though BotW should be quite a few millennia after the events of TP.

If any of you are Zelda experts - or just hardcore fans such as myself - please feel free to chip in your two cents in the comments section below.

Regardless of your feelings about Zelda - in which case, sorry if it wasn't very favorable prior to reading this post - I hope we all can agree that writing up my theory, and the crafty, creative, problem solving it involves, is only a positive for my writing. At least it's getting the wheels turning.

I also finished up another prompt yesterday. Sadly, I'm still only about half way through the January prompts via "A Writer's Book of Days." However, even a little writing is better than the no writing I was doing before. So another win?

I still don't have anything to share with you this week. As I mentioned on Thursday, I was visiting family this past weekend, so I was kind of "unplugged." Which means I didn't even take the time to type up the already-written prompts. I then spent Sunday evening and last night doing more research for my theory instead of typing up my writing.... whoops. I'll try to get on top of that for next week. Considering how much snow is falling right now, I know I'm not going to be out of the house for any reason other than writing group, and I'm fairly certain that's going to be nixed too. I should have plenty of free time today then!

Finally, I'd like to give a shout out to Ronoxym and Cyhyr; celebrating their second anniversary today. What a day to do it! Ron, drive home safe, and you two enjoy some snuggle time to keep warm in this blizzard!

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