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The Legend of Zelda


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The Legend of Zelda: History, Timeline, and 2023 Updates

The Legend of Zelda is one of the most well-known video game franchises, with a history of nearly four decades. Starting in 1986, The Legend of Zelda, simply referred to as Zelda, is an action-adventure franchise by Nintendo.

Being developed by the Japanese giants, the Zelda games have always been exclusive to the Nintendo consoles. Every Zelda game revolves around various incarnations of a young elf-like Hylian warrior Link; Princess Zelda, the mortal reincarnation of Goddess Hylia; and Ganon, the warlord-turned-demon king.

The Legend of Zelda: Gameplay and Timeline

The primary gameplay of almost every Zelda game has been a mix of elements like puzzles, action, adventure, battles, and exploration. Nintendo has always kept these features in every Zelda game and tried to refine them with advancing technology. Later the series also introduced some RPG elements, but it sparked a heated argument among fans as to whether label it as an RPG.

The Legend of Zelda has always been a groundbreaking series in the gaming industry, as it was the first video game to allow players to save their game before finishing a level. Further, 1998's The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time introduced the targeting mechanism, allowing users to lock the camera onto a target, simplifying the 3D combat.

But the gameplay isn't where this series gets complicated; it's the timeline. The Legend of Zelda is a video game that possibly has the most complex timeline in gaming history. The 19 installments in the series are not released in chronological order, nor are they all in the same timeline. Instead, there are several alternate timelines in the Zelda series.

Skyward Sword

The Minish Cap

Four Swords

Ocarina of Time

  • Decline Timeline

  • Child Timeline

  • Adult Timeline

A Link to the Past

Majora's Mask

The Wind Waker

Link's Awakening

Twilight Princess

Phantom Hourglass

Oracle of Seasons & Ages

Four Swords Adventures

Spirit Tracks

A Link Between Worlds

Tri Force Heroes

The Legend of Zelda (original)

The Adventure of Link

Breath of the Wild (Unplaced, but still canon)

Tears of the Kingdom (Sequel to Breath of The Wild)

?The Legend of Zelda's recent games

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the latest installments in this renowned video game series. It is an action-adventure title that was first released in 2017 for Wii U. But it became even more popular when it was one of the first games that were playable on Nintendo's latest Switch console.

This 2017's Nintendo game revolves around the protagonist Link, who woke up after a 100-year hibernation. Now, the great warrior must journey across unknown lands to reclaim his memories and find a way to save Hyrule from a great threat.

The latest available Zelda game is a remake of a Wii classic. In 2021, Nintendo remade the 2011-released Skyward Sword with HD graphics and smoother gameplay for Nintendo Switch. This game is also a main installment, but it is the first game of the Zelda timeline.

This 2011's Wii game is the starting point for every other game that is there in the Zelda series. In this game, the protagonist Link, a citizen of Skyloft, goes out to rescue his childhood friend Zelda when she is abducted and dragged to the surface, the abandoned lands beneath the sky. This game also tells the origins of the Master Sword, a legendary weapon in this series.

The future and scope of The Legend of Zelda

The future of The Legend of Zelda as of now is Tears of the Kingdom, which is the sequel to 2017's Breath of the Wild. This is an upcoming action-adventure game that will release on May 12, 2023. This Nintendo Switch game will continue the plot where the previous game ended.

Link would once again set on a new journey across Hyrule and the sky above to seek answers and power to defeat an evil force that threatens the Hyrule Kingdom, possibly the Great King of Evil, Ganondorf. Tears of the Kingdom will once again introduce many exciting new features like flying, and crafting.

There is the possibility that it could be the last Legend of Zelda title on a Nintendo Switch. There are rumors about the Japanese giants making a successor to Switch. Then Tears of the Kingdom could also be the first game on that new platform, similar to how Breath of the Wild was released on both WiiU and Nintendo Switch.

As for the future of Zelda's plot, it is a tough thing to predict after looking at the complex timeline of this series. There are chances the next title after Tears of the Kingdom could be a direct sequel. Also, the creators have other timelines to explore. As for the future of this series, there are countless possibilities to continue the plot.


First release?The Legend of Zelda - February 21, 1986
Latest releaseThe Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - May 12, 2023
Main series

  • The Legend of Zelda(original)

  • The Adventure of Link

  • A Link to the Past

  • Link's Awakening

  • Ocarina of Time

  • Majora's Mask

  • Oracle of Seasons & Ages

  • Four Swords

  • The Wind Waker

  • Four Swords Adventures

  • The Minish Cap

  • Twilight Princess

  • Phantom Hourglass

  • Spirit Tracks

  • Skyward Sword

  • A Link Between Worlds

  • Tri Force Heroes

  • Breath of the Wild

  • Tears of the Kingdom

  • Nintendo EAD (1986?2013)

  • Flagship (2002?2004)

  • Grezzo (2011?2019)

  • Nintendo EPD (2015?present)

  • Nintendo Entertainment System

  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System

  • Game Boy

  • Nintendo 64

  • Game Boy Color

  • Game Boy Advance

  • GameCube

  • Wii

  • Nintendo DS

  • Nintendo 3DS

  • Wii U

  • Nintendo Switch