Monday, July 15, 2013

I Hate Zelda's Timeline

So I just finished Ocarina of Time, which will be reviewed shortly, and it really struck me just how nonsensical the plot goes. I mean, it never did make sense to me, even as a kid, but looking at it now I can see what could have happened to make it all coherent, but then Miyamoto had to come out with his grand timeline and murder any single sliver of sense in the face. I cannot possibly rationalize Miyamoto's timeline at all, and I swear he just fucked it all up because of his ridiculous habit of loathing stories.

To spoil the ending (and some of the middle) for all you youngsters: Young Link grabs the Master Sword at the Temple of Time, but the spirits within the sword (with our knowledge of newer Zelda titles, it could have been Fi that made this decision) decide that Link is not yet ready to claim the sword, so they put him into a coma for seven years. While Link is sleeping, Ganondorf manages to take advantage of the opened Temple of Time and takes a piece of the Triforce, using it to conquer much of Hyrule. Link wakes, awakens the Sages, then defeats Ganon and locks him in the Evil Realm. Zelda then takes away the Ocarina of Time and sends Link into the past so that he may live the life that was taken from him. He returns the Master Sword to its pedestal and seals the Temple of Time.

This doesn't work for a few reasons. One: Ganon is still alive in the past, and will still wage war on Hyrule. Two: The Door of Time is not opened at the time Zelda returned Link, meaning he's going to starve to death in the Master Sword's alter. Three: Sending Link back this early in time will mean there now two Links running around, unless we work with the assumption that the Hero of Time possesses the unique ability to exist in the fourth dimension, meaning he can only exist in one place in time ever. I see that as unlikely.

Oh, also, there should now be two Master Swords, since Link brought his back in time with him.

I see two possibilities which I can sit with. The first is my least favorite:

The Link you play as travels back in time, but discovers that there are now two Links and two Master Swords. He disappears into the Lost Woods and winds up in Termina. He eventually returns to Hyrule, though he has been twisted by the evils of the Lost Woods and becomes Dark Link.

Issues: this theory presumes that there are two Eponas and that Link somehow retained the Ocarina of Time after Zelda sent him back to the past.

That theory doesn't really work for me. Neither does Miyamoto's, which goes as follows:

Link is sent back in time and informs Zelda and the King of Hyrule what is going on. Knowing what they know now, they do not gather the Spiritual Stones, not allowing Ganondorf to enter the Sacred Realm, and kill Ganondorf while he is still mortal.

Issues: As if the King of Hyrule would listen to a kid with some crazy stories, and by not clearing the dungeons Link has just condemned Lord Jabu-Jabu and the entire Hylian Goron civilization to extinction. There's also no way to assure that Ganondorf will not obtain the stones by some other method, considering that he is actively seeking them.

I should also mention here that my theories will not adhere to Miyamoto's split timeline, because I hate it. Here's how I think it all goes:

Zelda sends Link back in time intending for him to live his lost childhood. Link does what he's supposed to, returning the Master Sword (which must be exempt from the laws of time, much like the Sacred Realm) to its pedestal and closing the Door of Time (which must only be closed when the Master Sword is in place). He goes to Zelda to inform her of the coming tragedies, and she grants him the Ocarina of Time. At this point Link probably attacks Ganondorf directly, but realizes he cannot harm him without the Master Sword. Reluctantly, Link again gathers the Spiritual Stones and draws the sword, only this time he discovers that his prior experiences have made him worthy of wielding it even as a child.

He goes through the temples as a child and awakens the Sages. With their help, Link manages to defeat Ganondorf as a child and before Ganondorf is able to truly harness the power of the Triforce. Link then leaves Hyrule in search of Navi, setting in motion the events of Majora's Mask (explaining how Link has both the Master Sword and Ocarina of Time in that game, despite returning them at the end of OoT).

Issues: Link performing all actions of the past assures that his adult future never happens, meaning he has no knowledge of the coming events nor as he gone through the trials which have deemed him worthy of wielding the Master Sword without going into a coma. (This is actually an issue in all proposed theories).

The only theory which does not cause a paradox is one in which Link is sent back in time, has both the Master Sword and Ocarina from the future, and disappears into Termina while his other self is in a coma. He then becomes Dark Link or remains in Termina as a hero there. This (and the theory above) could explain why the moon's trademark grin is not present in OoT during any time which can be visited.

Another possibility (this one with more emphasis on Majora's Mask) is that Link is actually wearing Majora's Mask or during the events of that game he is being in someway tormented by the spirits of the Lost Woods. I don't really buy into the alternate dimension thing, and it would add to the creepiness factor knowing that Termina is just some messed up compilation of Link's memories from Hyrule. This could also explain how the Terminian Link has the Master Sword and Ocarina, despite that being an impossibility.

But in short: just... fuck time travel. Seriously.

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