Where I place the newest Zelda game on my timeline and why I feel it makes sense.
My own timeline placement for A Link Between Worlds is, clearly, different than Nintendo’s. After careful consideration, I place A Link Between Worlds approximately 100 years after A Link to the Past, but before any of the Oracle games. Therefore the Berube Timeline is now as follows:
OoT (Child Era) -> MM -> TP -> FSA -> ALttP -> ALBW -> OoS/OoA -> LA -> LoZ -> TAoL
Now I will evaluate how the story elements in A Link Between Worlds match up with the rest of the Berube Timeline.
(Note: The following story excerpts are written on plaques beneath the paintings found within Hyrule Castle in A Link Between Worlds.)
Painting I: The Golden Triforce
This gift from the gods, Hyrule’s greatest treasure, will grant the wish of any mortal who touches it. The Triforce once stoked greed in the hearts of men. A legendary war was fought to keep it out of evil hands.
Thoughts: Again, the Triforce back-story. However, on this timeline, the Imprisoning War it mentions only took place approximately 50 to 100 years prior to the events in A Link to the Past.
Painting II: The Sealed Triforce
To end the war for the Triforce, the royal family decided to hide it in the Sacred Realm. They summoned the Seven Sages of legend, who used their power to seal the Triforce away.
Thoughts: On my timeline the problem of sealing the Triforce into the same realm as Ganon doesn’t exist. Ganon was recently sealed into the Four Sword (not the Sacred Realm). Putting the Triforce in the Sacred Realm to protect it from people makes sense. The sealing of the Triforce into the Sacred Realm is likely also the strong sealing of the realm mentioned at the end of the Imprisoning War.
Painting III: The Demon King
The Demon King Ganon was once just a thief-until the man broke into the Sacred Realm. There he stole the Triforce and transformed himself. Then he took his evil campaign back to Hyrule.
Thoughts: Ganon was sealed in the Four Sword before A Link to the Past on my timeline, so this makes sense. Ganon managed to, somehow, break out of the Four Sword seal and then break into the Sacred Realm in order to gain access to the Triforce. Still some mystery here, but it makes sense based on where I place him.
It does say he transformed himself, which is somewhat confusing. Maybe after being sealed into the Four Sword he reverted back to Ganondorf, and then changed back to Ganon after obtaining the Triforce in the Sacred Realm. Just some speculation here.
Painting IV: The Hero Awakens
A hero of legend arose from humble beginnings, awoken to his purpose by a princess of Hyrule. With the Master Sword, the blade of evil’s bane, he sought the descendants of the Seven Sages. Together they defeated the Demon King Ganon-and sealed him away in darkness.
Thoughts: Again, retelling the story of A Link to the Past. The retcon Sealing of Ganon doesn’t really damage anything on the Berube Timeline. Yes, Ganon is sealed into darkness, which I’m guessing is an empty realm, at the end of A Link to the Past.
The new ending of A Link to the Past is fine though since Ganon eventually dies at the end of A Link Between Worlds. It’s still reasonable to assume Kotake and Koume will want to resurrect him in the Oracle games, which take place directly after this on the Berube Timeline. No problems here.
Painting V: The Triforce, Split Apart
The Triforce was split into three pieces, separated forever. One piece remains with the royal family. Another piece has fallen into the hands of Ganon, sealed away with him. The third piece of the Triforce has vanished, though legend says it is hidden in the spirit of a true hero. It slumbers now somewhere in Hyrule - waiting for the time when the world needs a new hero.
Thoughts: There is nothing really wrong with this passage. The Triforce was split directly at the end of A Link to the Past due to this retcon, but it does wind up intact at the end of A Link Between Worlds. We know this because at the end of the game we see it together in Hyrule’s Sacred Realm. This is the way it needs to be since the Triforce is together in Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages which, again, take place directly after A Link Between Worlds on my timeline.
My placement of A Link Between Worlds was carefully considered in an attempt to have the full Zelda timeline make the most sense. Admittedly, there are still a few minor mysteries on my timeline branch. However, these mysteries are open to debate since even the Adult Timeline branch has a few mysteries of its own. (For example: how did Ganondorf manage to escape the sealed Sacred Realm and make it back to Hyrule in the Wind Waker back-story?)