Nintendo’s timeline of the Legend of Zelda series has been altered to make a minor revision, as well as to find a spot for the latest entry in the series. Surprisingly, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild now officially falls at the end of every branch of the timeline.
Officially, the Legend of Zelda timeline splits into three branches, with Ocarina of Time acting as the inflection point. One branch, in which the Hero of Time is defeated, leads to a dark timeline that covers Link to the Past and the original Legend of Zelda. The other two, in which the Hero of Time is victorious, branches from the childhood and adult versions of Link. The child has his own adventures leading to Majora’s Mask and his legacy being remembered in Twilight Princess, while the adult timeline eventually floods Hyrule and brings about Wind Waker.
It’s all very confounding, but one aspect of the revision simplifies it quite a bit. According to the latest official timeline on the Japanese site, all three of those possibilities end with Breath of the Wild. That means that whether it’s in the ruined Hyrule, the legacy Hyrule, or the new Hyrule established after the flood, the events in BotW can work out. That potentially gives Nintendo a nice clean start-point for any sequels that follow BotW.
One other minor revision to the timeline switches the order of two games. Link’s Awakening had been listed as following the Oracle of Ages and Seasons games, but now Link’s Awakening comes first. It’s a minor change, but it makes a bit more sense. The western site has not been edited yet to make any such changes to the timeline.