Hyrulian Timeline

Please note first of all, these are NOT official dates. I made them up myself. MOST of the events mentioned have all happened, according to various sources (the games, books, comics and cartoons), but Nintendo have never actually given out any dates as such. It's merely for entertainment value, and a good guide if you wish to write a fan-fiction story. For example, my first Zelda story, The Dark Empowerment takes place in 4545. (Note, my stories have their own special time-line, which you can access on the page prior to this one). The timeline will help you to see what order the events in all the games happened and who did what and when.

Another point of interest is the number of Links and Zeldas. I have put numbers next to them when each generation is born. Link and Zelda I are from Zelda V: The Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64. Link and Zelda II are from Zelda IX: The Windwaker on the GameCube. Link and Zelda III are from Zelda III:A Link to the Past on the SNES. Zelda IV is mentioned in Zelda II: Adventure of Link, as a Princess put to sleep generations ago. Finally Link IV and Zelda V are from the original The Legend of Zelda games on the NES, The Legend of Zelda and Link's Adventure.

However, since interest has become revived in Zelda, many people have been questioning which games go where in time. Every time Nintendo release a new game, it seems to throw the entire series into a state of confusion. It is often universally agreed by many Zelda fans that Zelda V: Ocarina of Time is the first game in the series, with Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: Adventure of Link falling at the end of the timeline. However the other games locations within the timeline fall into dispute time and time again. I will state my own theory here but I must stress this is NOT set in stone. I could be right, I could be wrong. You will find that many other sites may have different or similar theories. It's up to you to decide which order you think is correct.

1. Zelda V: Ocarina of Time
2. Zelda VI: Majora's Mask
3. Zelda IX: The Windwaker
4. Zelda III: A Link To The Past
5. Zelda VII: Oracle of Seasons
6. Zelda VIII: Oracles of Ages
7. Zelda IV: Link's Awakening
8. Zelda I: Legend of Zelda
9. Zelda II: Adventure of Link

I have used many sources to compile this timeline, mostly from the game manuals and games themselves and various sites on the 'net. Special thanks to The Desert Colossus whose excellent Hyrule Compedium not only supports my timeline theory but proved a valuable aid in adding the missing links to this timelime from The Windwaker (which I haven't yet played). For a more in-depth look at Hyrule's history, this is the site to visit.

0 Hyrulian Chronology
The Three Goddeses Din (Power), Nayru (Wisdom), and Farore (Courage) descend from a distant nebula and create the land of Hyrule, along with all its occupants. Once their work is complete, they leave a mystical object called the Triforce intended to be used by the wise and pure to grant wishes. They hide it in a place called The Golden Land, or The Sacred Realm.

1000 Hyrulian Chronology
The creations of the Goddesses settle in various places within Hyrule; the Gorons within the Mountains, the Zora in Hyrule's largest river, the Gerudos in the desert and the Humans and Hylians build Hyrule Castle Town and several small villages. The Kokiri settle in the Lost Woods along with the Faeries. All the races live together in harmony.

1500 Hyrulian Chronology
The Hylians rise as the most superior race and build many great monuments throughout Hyrule including The Temple of Time and place many of their mystical treasures within hidden temples. Many great books are written, including The Book of Mudora - a collection of Hylian legends and lore. Several of the races are entrusted to the magical keys to the Sacred Land; 3 stones and the Ocarina of Time. The Gorons safekeep the Ruby, the Zora look after the Sapphire, the Kokiri take the Emerald and the Hylians have the Ocarina.

2070 Hyrulian Chronology - Zelda V: OoT
Civil unrest amongst the races leads to a great war in Hyrule. Each race longs for the Triforce and accuses the others of coveting it. Battle commences and a lone woman escapes the bloodshed fleeing to the safe haven of the Kokiri Forest. She perishes amongst the trees after giving birth to her child; Link. He is brought up by the Kokiri as one of their own. Princess Zelda I is also born at this time.

2080 Hyrulian Chronology - Zelda V: OoT
Link I is called by the Deku Tree to undertake a great quest. Link travels from the Kokiri Forest to Hyrule, where he meets Princess Zelda I. She asks him to retrieve 3 magical stones, which will open the gateway to the Secret Realm. Meanwhile, Ganondorf Dragmire of the Gerudo plots to enter the Sacred Realm to take the Triforce for himself. He attempts to kidnap Zelda, but her nursemaid Impa hides her away. Link collects the 3 stones and places them in the Temple. The doors open, and he takes the Master Sword, but Ganondorf steps through the gateway to take the Triforce, and Link is frozen in time.

Note: Time now forwards by 7 years - but is later restored by Princess Zelda.

2087 Hyrulian Chronology - Zelda V: OoT
Link I is awakened, older and stronger. He finds a different Hyrule, bleak and desolate, due to Ganondorf's evil wishes. With the help of Zelda I, he finds six medallions of the six sages. Link, Zelda and the ages use their power to overthrow Ganondorf. They manage to seal him in the Sacred Realm, after a long, hard battle. (note, in Zelda 3 it says seven wise men (there were seven sages, and four were female - could the Hylians have forgotten their own history?) and the Knights of Hyrule (Link and Zelda were the only ones to fight him) sealed up Ganondorf into the Golden Land (The Sacred Realm), and this battle is called the Imprisoning War.)

2081 Hyrulian Chronology - Zelda VI: MM
After his great battle, Link discovers that his guardian faerie Navi, has disappeared so he goes searching for her. However in the woods he is attacked by a strange stalchild who steals his horse Epona. Link gives chase and ends up in the strange land of Termina, which is doomed to be consumed by its own moon. Link called to four giants who protected Termina and gave battle upon the moon with the evil demon Majora, defeating him and then returning to Hyrule.

2700 Hyrulian Chronology
Peace prevails in Hyrule for a long time. However throughout the centuries Ganon has been growing stronger and stronger within his prison in the Sacred Realm. The seal of the sages fails and Ganon escapes and declares war unpon Hyrule once more. The people wait for their chosen hero to reappear once more but he does not. Ganon and his minions lay waste upn Hyrule and the people pray to the Goddesses for help. They respond by sending a great rain upon the land, flooding it completely. Before Hyrule Castle is entirely flooded however, King Dafunes Nohansen used the Master Sword freeze time in Hyrule, preserving it beneath the waves. The goddesses give him the task of discovering a new Hero for the land, giving him magical skills and time of the ages to search.

3100 Hyrulian Chronology - Zelda IX: WW
Hyrule no longer exists and the survivors of the flood have made settlements on islands throughout the world. Link II is born on Outset Island. Tetra aka Zelda II is also born. Ganon has plotted and planned for 800 years on how to get back into Hyrule and recover the rest of the Triforce.

3110 Hyrulian Chronology - Zelda IX: WW
Ganon sends out his faithful monster Helmaroc King to bring him the descendent of Zelda. Many young girls matching her description are kidnapped, including Link's sister Aryll. Link attempts to rescue his sister, who Ganon is holding in the Forgotten Fortress but he is beaten by Helmaroc King and cast into the ocean to die. He is rescued the the King of the Red Lion; the incarnation of Dafunes Nohansen. Together they then retrieve the Pearls of Din, Farore and Nayru and Link. Proving that he is indeed, the Chosen Hero, Link then descends into the watery Hyrule and finds the Master Sword and collects the lost fragments of the Triforce of Courage. Ganon finally discovers Zelda, knowing that her death will cause great disaster to Hyrule. However he underestimates Link, who finally defeats him after several long, arduous battles. Ganon is turned to stone and imprisioned in the Sacred Realm. Link and Zelda are instructed by the King to found a new Hyrule and continue their bloodlines, each taking their Triforce pieces with them.

3111 Hyrulian Chronology
New Hyrule is founded. Many of it's landmarks are named after places in the original Hyrule, including Death Mountain, Lake Hylia, The Lost Woods. Link and Zelda continue their own bloodlines, each one inheriting the Triforce in turn.

3500 Hyrulian Chronology
Link III and Zelda III are born in Hyrule.

3514 Hyrulian Chronology - Zelda III: LttP
The Wizard Agahnim appears in Hyrule and solves current disasters of the time. He is declared the people's hero and made Chief Advisors but then secretly overthrows the King and destroys the seal that imprisons Ganondorf in the Dark World. Princess Zelda contacts Link telepathically, pleading for him to help. Link manages to defeat Agahnim and Ganondorf, using the power of the Master Sword, and brings the now complete Triforce to Hyrule.

3515 Hyrulian Chronology - Zelda VII: OoS & Zelda VIII: OoA
Warned by the Triforce of impending peril, Zelda travels to the lands of Holodrum and Labrynna where a plan is being concocted by Gerudo witches Koname and Kotaki to resurrect Ganon. Their servants Onox and Veran kidnap the Oracle of Seasons Din and Oracle of Ages Nayru before Zelda can intervene. Link defeats Ganon once more, freeing the Oracles and restoring order to the lands.

3516 Hyrulian Chronology - Zelda IV: LA
Link travels around the world, but on his way back to Hyrule, he gets shipwrecked on the mysterious Koholint Island. To escape, he has to awaken the Windfish. He eventually does, but the Island is destroyed in the process. Others say it was simply a dream... On his journey home, Link settles in the land of Calatia, rather than returning to Hyrule.

4050 Hyrulian Chronology
Hyrule Castle and Kakariko Village are attacked repeated by minions from Death Mountain, and power appears to be growing within it. The Hyrulians and the Royal Family flee to the North. The land becomes a wasteland, left to the monsters, who destroy all buildings and relics. The Master Sword, which was housed in the Lost Woods in this area, becomes lost.

4058 Hyrulian Chronology
North Castle is built on the Great Northwestern Plains. It is bigger, and far more magnificant than Hyrule Castle. Many towns and villages are built and they are named in memory of the legendary sages who once protected Hyrule thousands of years ago.

4100 Hyrulian Chronology
One of the Hyrulian Kings hides the Triforce of Courage. His son cannot find it, but a wizard tells him that the Prince's younger sister, Zelda IV knows of it's whereabouts. When Zelda refuses to tell, the wizard puts her in a deep sleep from which she may never awaken. In his grief the Prince places Zelda on an altar deep within North Castle and demands that every female child born in the castle from then on, must be named Zelda.

4520 Hyrulian Chronology
The evil wizard Ganon reappears, and steals the Triforce of Power from North Castle. He makes the Underworld his domain and uses Death Mountain as his main base, where monsters already run riot on the waste wasteland of Southwest Hyrule.

4525 Hyrulian Chronology
Link IV is born in Catalia. Zelda V* is born in Hyrule.

* Note, according to Hyrulian legend, every princess born into the household since Zelda IV was put to sleep has supposedly been named Zelda. This could mean that although she is the fifth Zelda to star in the games, it is not the correct number.

4540 Hyrulian Chronology- Zelda I: LoZ
Zelda inherits the Triforce of Wisdom. However, she fears Ganon will steal it and so shatters it into pieces and sends Impa to look for a hero. Ganon captures Zelda and imprisons her in Death Mountain. Impa meets up with Link and asks him to rescue Zelda. Link recovers the Triforce of Wisdom, defeats Ganon, recovers the Triforce of Power, and saves Zelda.

4541 Hyrulian Chronology - Zelda II: AoL
Link discovers a strange mark on his hand. Impa tells him it means he is the one chosen to recover the Triforce of Courage and awaken Zelda IV from a sleeping spell. Link successfully completes the quest and the adventures end here.

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