The Lingering Shadow

By Wm. Jay Carter III (Hero of Geeks)

Timeline of Characters and Events:
in chronological order, by appearance (MC / OoT / FS(A) / TP or WW / ALttP)

What follows is the closest approximation of the above games in temporal relation to one another, and where each of the applicable characters falls on the resulting timeline. Also included are extremely brief summaries of the games for the sake of calling attention to the significant events.

Characters are listed next to the year of their birth. Events are in italics. Characters and Events appear in italics if they relate the any of the games above. Any other events or characters are ultimately a product of my imagination and based on clues in the games—praise or punish me as you will for conjuring them; they are a part of my version of the story with the intention of making the tale richer and deeper.

0 The Creation of Hyrule

1000 First Minish Portal opens

1000 Great Dekku Tree (and forest spirits*)

1000 Jabun, the Great Fish

1002 Volvagia

1008 Biggoron

1082 Zelda, Queen of Hyrule

1083 Gustaf, King of Hyrule

1200 Minish Portal opens; Piccori Blade given to Gustaf of Hyrule; Light Force given to Zaria of Hyrule (begins Royal Family); monsters defeated by Gustaf, sealed in chest by Zaria with Light Force; Piccori Blade set into chest to prevent monsters from escaping

1201 Ezlo

1210 Medigoron

1240 Master Smith

1243 Ganondorf Dragmire I

1249 Vaati

1253 Potho

1254 Nolan, King of Hyrule

1263 Zaida Hyrule

1255 Daphnes I, son of Smith

1286 Daphnes II, son of Daphnes I

1289 Zelda Hyrule II

1290 Link I, son of Daphnes

1300 Minish Portal opens; Vaati steals his master Ezlo’s wishing hat, turns Ezlo into a bird-headed cap, escapes into Hyrule; Vaati wins sword-fighting tournament, removes Piccori Blade from chest in search of Light Force; monsters are released; Vaati breaks Piccori Blade, turns Zelda II to Stone; Link has Piccori Blade reforged by Piccori people, infuses it with four elements (becomes Four Sword), defeats Vaati, frees Zelda from stone; Ezlo returns to Piccori form; Zelda uses wishing hat to return the kingdom to normal; wishing hat disintegrates; Ezlo goes back through Minish Portal

1300 *Aako

1301 Mudora

1307 Zaria Hyrule

1309 Nolan, son of Daphnes II

1309 Portal to the Golden Land opens in Hyrule Castle Town

1311 Militia prevents deluded Hylian citizens from entering into the Golden Realm, War of the Golden Land begins, defeated Hylian dissenters camp without the city

1312 Sheikah scouts enter Golden Land; Hylian king becomes angry at Sheikah people; Sheikah Master proposes conjoined effort to discover secrets of Triforce but Hylian king refuses; Hylian king plans to conceal gate to the Golden Land—building of Temple of Time begun; Hylian dissenters march into the desert, return reinforced by Gerudo warriors; Ganondof Dragmire I demands entrance to the gate, Hylian king refuses; Hylian Knights and soldiers face their own countrymen and Gerudo warriors in battle; Ganondorf attempts to capture Hylian king by stealth, is caught and forced to agree to a truce; dissenters build a tomb behind Kakariko for their fallen brothers as punishment for their betrayal; Sheikah help Hylians finish Temple

1314 Gustaf, son of Link I

1314 Itzah

1317 Temple of Time completed

1318 Gor Darmon

1319 Lutai

1320 Rannon, son of Link I

1322 Rauru/Kaepora Gaebora

1332 Zanna Hyrule

1333 Nathan, son of Gustaf

1334 Hansen, son of Nolan

1336 Vaati returns, terrorizes young girls of Hyrule looking for Zelda (or rather Zelda’s daughter Zanna) and remaining Light Force; Gustaf, Son of Link I appears bearing Four Sword, defeats Vaati; Zanna helps Gustaf bind Vaati within the Four Sword; Four Sword Shrine built to protect the Four Sword; Gustaf returns to forest

1339 Nabooru

1345 Ganondorf Dragmire II

1347 Asera

1350 *Saria

1350 Zanna, queen of Hyrule has a prophetic dream concerning the King of Evil and the Hero of Time; Sages convene a council, Master Sword forged, enchanted and placed in the Temple of Time Sanctuary, portal to the Golden Land closed

1351 Rubeus Nohansen

1352 Impa

1352 Hansen, son of Rannon

1353 Meral Nohansen

1353 Saphael Nohansen

1354 Zethra Hyrule

1354 Colin, son of Nathan

1355 Daphnes Nohansen

1355 Talon

1356 Ameth Nohansen

1356 Karin

1356 Abrum

1360 Afton

1374 Link II, son of Colin

1374 Asera seduces Abrum and convinces him to turn against Mudora; Itzah murders Mudora and is captured and imprisoned; Abrum steals Book of Mudora and delivers it to Ganondorf, Ganondorf attempts to enter Temple of Time but is thwarted by locked Door of Time; Queen Zethra dreams of Link II being taken into the forest by his mother and evil forces attacking the Arbiter’s Grounds; Spiritual Stones entrusted to respective races; Itzah tried at the Arbiter’s Grounds and is executed; Hyrule is united under the Hylian Royal Family

1374 Zelda Hyrule III

1374 Malon

1384 Ganondorf II searches for Spiritual Stones, curses those protecting them; Zelda III dreams of dark clouds and a light coming out of the forest; young Link II meets Zelda; Ganondorf swears false fealty to the Hylian king in order to get the Ocarina from Zelda; Zelda sends Link to get the Spiritual Stones; other young Link returns from the future to warn Zelda about Ganondorf entering the Golden Land, goes looking for Navi and ends up in Termina (events of MM); young Link retrieves the three Spiritual Stones; Zelda and Impa escape from Ganondorf, entrust the Ocarina to young Link; young Link opens the Door of Time, draws the Master Sword, opens the Gate to the Golden Land; young Link is sealed away in the Sacred Realm

Time split: (1~TP timeline) Ganondorf, Asera and Abrum attempt to enter Golden Land but are stopped by the remaining Sages and the Captain of the Royal Guard; Ganondorf kills Colin; Light Spirits come and seal away evil magic (becomes Fused Shadow); Ganondorf kills Zethra; Ganondorf, Asera and Abrum escape; Zelda becomes queen-in-training; older Link II returns from Termina and tells Sages of his adventures; Impa appointed as Sage of Shadow; Fused Shadows entrusted to races of Hyrule; Link begins training to be Captain of the Royal Guard

(2~WW timeline) Ganondorf enters the Golden Land, kills his followers and claims Triforce; Triforce splits into three; Ganon returns with Power of Gold and attacks Hyrule Castle with armies of monsters (previously persons lost in the Golden Land); Zelda and Impa flee to Kakariko where Zelda goes into hiding as a Sheik; Ganon sets up his own kingdom and begins searching for the other Triforce bearers

1384 (1) Ganondorf defects as Lord of the Gerudo and he and his band of thieves flee into the Burning Desert; Nabooru becomes Gerudo tribe matriarch and is invited to represent her people as Sage of Spirit; Ganondorf retrieves the Trident of Power from the Desert Pyramid; a bounty is placed on the heads of Ganondorf, Asera and Abrum; Link utilizes the Song of Healing he learned in Termina to set Mudora’s spirit at rest—Masks of Mudora are created and Sages take up secret identities; one by one the members of Ganon’s band are captured, tried and banished to the Twilight Realm; Asera and Abrum are last to be banished and are received in the Twilight Realm as heroes, begin Royal Family of the Twili

1385 (1) Ganondorf Dragmire weakens seal on Vaati using Trident of Power; Zelda Hyrule III senses a weakening in the seal and investigates with Link II and the six maidens set to keep watch over the Shrine; Ganondorf uses Dark Mirror to reflect Link, creates Shadow Link; Shadow Link captures Zelda and six maidens; Link draws Four Sword, releases Vaati, fights off Shadow Link; Ganondorf uses Dark Mirror to trap four Hylian Knights in inverted Royal Stones; Link frees knights and maidens, defeats Vaati; Link and Zelda defeat Ganon; Vaati sealed in Four Sword which is again enshrined; Ganondorf is tried by the Sages and executed; Ganon is revived by Din, slays Sage of Water; Sages hastily banish Ganondorf to Twilight Realm

1391 (2) Adult Link II is released from Sacred Realm, awakens five Sages: Saria, Daruni, Ruto, Nabooru, and Impa and joins with them to defeat Ganon; adult Zelda III sends Link back seven years to relive his childhood

1397 Afton, son of Link II

1400 Minish portal opens, (1) instead of the Minish the Goddesses send the Ooca to commune with the Hylians, Ooca gift special owl statues and the Dominion Rod to the Hylians as a means of communicating with the heavens in time of need, Ooca help Hylians build the sky canon to permit messengers from the Hylians to visit the skies

1401 (2) Ganon escapes his imprisonment in the Golden Land; no hero comes to save the people; people ask the goddesses for help; Rauru’s spirit is sent back in time by the Goddesses to be reborn as an owl, becomes Kaepora Gaebora; Hyrule is flooded

1422 Rannon, son of Afton

1437 Bo

1443 Nathan, son of Rannon

1457 Rusl

1459 Uli

1464 Zelda IV

1467 (1) Link III, son of Nathan

1468 Ilia

1477 Colin, son of Rusl

1477 (1) Link III enters Temple of Time from seven years in the future and defeats Nathan in the Inner Sanctum of the Temple of Time, retrieves the Dominion Rod

1484 (1) Ganon (Dragmire II) discovers Zant and grants him powers; Zant usurps Twili throne, curses and banishes Midna, opens gates to Hyrule from Twilight Realm, invades and breaks Mirror of Twilight; Zant’s forces rob Light Beings of their power; Link III is caught in Twilit Hyrule, becomes Sacred Wolf; Midna releases Link from prison, uses him to find pieces of Fused Shadow; Zant banishes Midna to the Light Realm and curses Link to remain in wolf form; Zelda heals Midna with the Light Force; Ganon captures Zelda’s body; Link draws the Master Sword and reverts to normal; Link and Midna find and reunite pieces of Mirror of Twilight; Link goes back seven years in the past and defeats Nathan in the Inner Sanctum of the Temple of Time; Link and Midna defeat Zant, free Zelda’s body and return the Light Force to Zelda; Zelda and Link defeat Ganon; Midna returns to Twilight Realm and shatters Mirror of Twilight

1485 Midnara

1487 Rusl, son of Link III

1490 Ziana Hyrule

1500 Minish portal opens, (1) Ganon’s spirit escapes from captivity in the Dark World and possesses Agahnim

1512 Zelda Hyrule V

1513 Link IV, son of Colin


I realize that some fans may not agree with me concerning the placement of some games, the creation of some characters, or the treatment of some races. While I believe a literary work should be able to speak for itself, I offer here an explanation of why I treated the story the way I did—at the very least to show that I was not inconsiderate of larger issues.

In general I regard The Legend of Zelda as just that; a legend. As such, each game is like a retelling of different parts of the story that may be quite literal, but also quite “made up.” For instance, some may focus on the constantly shifting appearance of Link’s Hero Shield. This item is supposed to have been passed down from generation to generation, yet it looks slightly different in all of the games. For my part, I have attempted to smooth out such inconsistencies as much as possible without removing the soul from the Legend. I feel that doing so will not damage other’s representations of the story, least of all Nintendo’s. Please disagree with me; but realize that mine is just another telling of the Legend.


I felt that the connection between the Koroks and the Kokiri in Wind Waker was explicit enough that they could be considered the same race, the former resulting from the latter after the Cataclysmic Flood. Just as the Wind Waker showed a slight change in the name of Lord Jabu-Jabu to Jabun, I felt it was not remiss to make the Kokiri/Korok name more uniform. Thus, really only one letter was changed and the letters were slightly misplaced. The transition between Koroki and Koroks (both of which would be considered the plural, singular Korok) would be due to the natural shift in the language post-flood.

Gerudo: Long Life Span

It always seemed strange to me that the Gerudo would have one male born to their society every hundred years, and yet they expect to be able to have children at that age. It was difficult for me to claim that they were just unnaturally potent, so I sought another explanation. It came when I realized that Koume and Kotake both mention their ages after they are defeated by Link in Ocarina of Time. The number (while disputed between them) rested somewhere around four hundred. If this were true (as I am assuming it is), and a Gerudo can live to be four hundred (albeit quite venerable) then it becomes a matter of simple math to see that a Gerudo who is having children at 100 years is really only 25 by our standards. For good measure I also decided that the Gerudo aged normally for the first 25 years of their lives (i.e. grew up as fast as any Hylian) but then stayed “young” longer, stretching the aging rate across the subsequent 375 years.

Orda, Goddess of Time

I understand that this one may be particularly difficult to accept by fans, but I feel it is entirely justified if one pays close attention to details. In Ocarina of Time, there is an entire temple dedicated to Time. While it seems reasonable to say that the Golden Goddesses are worshipped there as well (hence the Triforce Symbol over the Door of Time), it is not out of line to conceive of another Goddess that is aligned with time, as none of the other Goddesses seem to be. Further, in Majora’s Mask, Zelda sends Link off on his quest to find Navi by saying “The Goddess of Time is protecting you. If you play the Song of Time she will aid you…” From these evidences it can be claimed that a Goddess of Time actually exists.

Next we notice that in Twilight Princess there are four Light Spirits, three of which closely resemble the names of the Golden Goddesses; Eldin, Lanayru, and Faron. Some will contend that Ordon is the continuation of Farore’s name, but I find this to be a bit of a stretch for two reasons. One, why does Farore get two Light Spirits if the others only get one? And two, why isn’t Ordon present when the Light Spirits suppress the power of the Fused Shadows in Link’s vision? My explanation lies thus; Ordon represents the Goddess of Time spoken of by Zelda and implied by the presence of the Temple of Time. The name of this Goddess would follow a similar pattern as the other Goddesses in relation to their Light Spirits; i.e. “Orda” (or some such) from Ordon. Add to this the significance of the related Latin term ordo, meaning series, as in a series of events, or a sequence of time. It is also related to the Italic verb “to arrange,” as in “to arrange or reorder time.”

All of this considered I felt it was far more poetic to suggest that the Goddess of Time simply chose to be present at the beginnings and endings of significant events; i.e. the beginning and ending of Link’s quest in Twilight Princess, as well as Zelda’s aforementioned blessing on Link as he left to find Navi.

As a side note, I will also volunteer that Farore’s name was subsequently truncated to Faroe to follow the pattern of the Light Spirit’s names.

Four Swords Adventure between Majora’s Mask and Twilight Princess

The intricacies of the games are sometimes difficult to reconcile with one another, and while it is important to take as many things into account as possible when doing so, the games must ultimately be viewed as what they are; games. As such, it behooves the conscientious fan to decide for him- or herself what details should be maintained and which can fluctuate to allow enough room to maneuver when writing a story adaptation. The following explanation should be viewed in this light.

Three evidences stand out to me as indicative of the placement of Four Swords Adventure in relation to the other games. First, that the Knights of Hyrule still exist; second, that the Gerudo as a culture still exist; and third, that the major characters answer to the descriptions of their counterparts in Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time.

First, the Knights of Hyrule are an intrinsic part of Four Swords Adventure. Four brother knights serve to protect the Royal Gems that open the way to the Tower of Winds, and there are numerous scenes where hordes of soldiers flock in (under the direction of knightly-looking figures) to make trouble for our four heroes. We know from the words of Sahasrahla in A Link to the Past that “three or four generations ago, an order of knights protected the royalty of the Hylia…most of them were destroyed in the great war against evil that took place when the seven wise men created their seal” (in the GBA version it says Sages instead of Wise Men). If we take Twilight Princess as happening a hundred years or so after Ocarina of Time, and we assume that A Link to the Past happens after Twilight Princess (as the Master Sword “sleeps forever” at the end of ALttP), then that would put A Link to the Past at around “three or four generations” after Ocarina of Time (assuming that a generation is roughly 20-30 years). To place Four Swords Adventure any earlier would put it a little too far back to be considered “three or four generations,” and any later would put the other evidences in danger of not fitting.

Second, the Gerudo as a culture still exist in Four Swords Adventure. They are certainly not mentioned in Twilight Princess as a race (only as the name of the area ~ Gerudo Desert), which means the Gerudo had at the very least become wiped out or secluded so that none really interacted with them anymore. What is more likely is that Ganon, their king (and their only male), either left them or was detained from them before he could produce an heir. This fits with the backstory of Twilight Princess, as he was captured and eventually banished to the Twilight Realm. The fact that in Four Swords Adventure the Gerudo call Ganon a “man who broke their laws” suggests that at least before he obtained the Trident he was still humanoid (as opposed to beastly), and it can be surmised that the Trident of Power caused his appearance to change. This would explain why he appears to be humanoid in the Twilight Princess flashback, as the Trident was presumably taken from him, causing him to revert to his normal appearance. Once Ganon was banished, the Gerudo women were forced to interbreed with other races for their people to continue. This might explain the rise of the “human” race in Twilight Princess where before there was really no mention of any race but Hylian, Sheikah and Gerudo. Again, to place Four Swords Adventure any earlier would endanger the other evidences, and any later would put it after Ganon was killed in Twilight Princess.

Third, the characters in Four Swords Adventure answer to the descriptions of the characters in Ocarina of Time. Ganon starts the game as a humanoid (as mentioned above), Kaepora Gaebora is still present and giving advice, Zelda and Link are still apparently young (if not the same age), Malon and Talon still have a ranch with an abundance of horses, and Tingle has somehow found his way into Hyrule. The likelihood of these characters all being part of some other time with matching names and personas is slim to nil; at least if it were so, the coincidence would be incredible. What is more likely is that after Majora’s Mask, Ganon still threatened (after having been thwarted in his attempt to enter the Golden Land due to Link’s warning cry), and sought more power (i.e. the Trident of Power) and stronger allies than what he had at his disposal in Ocarina of Time. This would give him an excuse to go looking for a way to release Vaati (and throw in some Shadow Links for good measure). It also fits that Link would be willing to challenge Shadow Link with the Four Sword rather than the Master Sword, as Link knew that the Master Sword would only lock himself away in the Sacred Realm for seven years. Again, any earlier and Link would still think he was a Kokiri; any later and Malon would be long since grown up and another Malon with her father (who also happens to be named Talon) would have to own the ranch.

Some have said that the concept art for the games proves the connection of Four Swords Adventure to Wind Waker, but this is most likely not the case as it is accepted by many fans that Wind Waker happened in another timeline. Yet others say the bundle of Four Swords with A Link to the Past (for the GBA) along with the similarity of graphics proves a connection between these games. To this I suggest that A Link to the Past was just that; a link to the history of Hyrule—a link to the times when Ganon first obtained the Trident of Power, a link to the days of the Knights of Hyrule, a link to the Pendants of Courage, Wisdom and Power (which could easily be the Spiritual Stones of the Temple of Time). It also may interest some fans to ponder that completing Four Swords unlocks a secret dungeon in the GBA A Link to the Past, which could be seen as a nod to the idea inherent in Ocarina of Time; that of changing the future by changing the past. A link to the past, indeed.

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