The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma has explained his stance on the often scrutinised timeline, amidst wider speculation about where The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild should be placed.
His comments came in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Master Works, a book that celebrates the series’ 30th anniversary while exploring the Nintendo Switch and Wii U exclusive’s development process.
“The kingdom of Hyrule has a long and storied past, where the events of one era may just be ancient myths in another. Since olden times, the land has repeatedly undergone periods of prosperity and decline, so much so that it is unknown whether the legends passed down are actually true, or simply fairy tales,” Nintendo writes in book (with thanks to Source Gaming for the translation).
Later, Aonuma then expands on this, revealing that Nintendo has been deliberately elusive about where The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is placed. He reasons that with the open-air adventure being more personal to each player, they are all left with their own impression as to where it should sit in the timeline – something that they hoped would see everyone come up with their own answers.
“The books that have been released so far, such as Hyrule Encyclopedia, have revealed the Zelda series timeline. However, we’ve decided not to make it so clear for Breath of the Wild, and there’s a reason why,” Aonuma adds.
“This time, we saw a lot of users playing the game in their own way, which is something we were anticipating. They’re also having fun coming up with their own ideas about the story, based on the fragments we put in place.
“If Breath of the Wild was confined to a timeline, then that placement would be correct and there wouldn’t be room for coming up with your own impressions, which would be boring. That kind of speculation is something that we wanted to continue after playing the game, so we purposely decided not to make a statement about it. We’d like everyone to enjoy finding their own answers, in their own way.”
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is now available exclusively for Nintendo Switch and Wii U worldwide.