From Zelda Wiki, the Zelda encyclopedia
|Part of a series of articles on the |
Canonical Material makes up the most rudimentary and evidenced concepts upon which a timeline is built. Generally, all theorists believe in the core truths on which they base their work. They do not, however, consistently agree on the inclusion or exclusion of certain specific facts, or the weight which they hold.
A canonical statement is one which cannot be reasonably denied within the context of the Legend of Zelda universe. To be more specific, when an official Zelda authority (i.e. a "canonical source") makes an informed, intended statement, that statement must be considered a fact in the timeline. Furthermore, when such a source makes such a statement, it is assumed to be intended and informed (and therefore canonical) unless an excellent argument is made to the contrary.
Sources universally considered canonical
- The Legend of Zelda (LoZ) Original release: properly translated textual game content and game manual
- The Adventure of Link (AoL) Original release: properly translated textual game content and game manual
- A Link to the Past (ALttP) Original release: properly translated textual game content and game manual
- Link's Awakening (LA) Original release: properly translated textual game content and game manual
- Ocarina of Time (OoT) Original release: textual game content and game manual
- Majora's Mask (MM) textual game content and game manual
- Oracle of Ages (OoA) textual game content and game manual
- Oracle of Seasons (OoS) textual game content and game manual
- Four Swords (FS) textual game content and game manual
- The Wind Waker (TWW) textual game content and game manual
- Four Swords Adventures (FSA) textual "Hyrulean Adventure" content and game manual
- The Minish Cap (TMC) textual game content and game manual
- Twilight Princess (TP) textual game content and game manual
- Phantom Hourglass (PH) textual game content, game manual, non-contradicted developer placement
- Spirit Tracks (ST) textual game content, game manual, non-contradicted developer placement
- Skyward Sword (SS)
- Hyrule Historia (HH)
Sources considered non-canonical
Non-canonical material is information that cannot be connected or used in a timeline to support any hypothesis, due to a general lack of authenticity. Often, non-canonical material includes third-party games, manuals, and other peripherals not directly endorsed by Nintendo or Zelda series.
- The Legend of Zelda promotional material, such as the cartoon TV series and the mangas.
- The Legend of Zelda games that had no Nintendo involvement, including the Phillips CD-i Games (Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, Link: The Faces of Evil, and Zelda's Adventure) as well as fan-produced games.
- Fan-based Internet sources, such as online forums.
A Link to the Past Translations
The first translation of the third major Japanese Zelda title "Kamigami no Toraifōsu" into the English release "A Link to the Past" is now considered non-canonical by most fans. Nintendo of America took many storyline liberties when making their translation and the final product differed in many ways from the original material. Timeline Theorists employ more exact translations of the original Japanese, which can be found online.
As a side effect, a number of re-occurring terms are noted differently between the NoA and online, most notably "Imprisoning War" (NoA) vs. "Seal War" (other). While many theorists now choose to employ the more exact terms, the articles of this wiki will instead use the universally recognized NoA variants.
Sources considered ambiguously canonical
Ambiguously canonical material is that of which may relate to the main series' "universe", however such evidence is not provided or confirmed by any canonical source. Similarities in plot, design, characters, and the like may exist, but without any concrete support from the mainstream Zelda series, this material cannot reasonably form the crux of any Zelda timeline.
- BS The Legend of Zelda . This game is considered non-canonical since it replaces the hero (Link) with a different character and still tells of the same adventure.
- BS The Legend of Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets. This game is arguably canon. It takes place in Hyrule during Link's absence after ALttP and tells of a hero from another world that vanquishes Ganon shortly after he is resurrected. This story is never contradicted so it can be canon.
- Game & Watch Zelda. This game's story is almost never considered by fans, but its intended place is after AoL. Dragons steal the Triforce and kidnap Zelda and Link stops them. Like BS The Legend of Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets, this game is not contradicted, so it can be seen as canon.
- The Legend of Zelda Game Watch. Thought of even less than its Game & Watch cousin, this game consists of Link entering a cave unarmed to collect the pieces of the Triforce, traveling through four dungeons with four caves in each, while being attacked by Iron Balls, Keese, and at the end of each dungeon, Aquamentus; after reaching the end of the fourth dungeon, Link reassembles the Triforce.
- A Link to the Past (ALttP) GBA release: Contains new content including the Palace of the Four Sword and revised backstory, which are of questionable canon status.
- Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland. Although titled as a spin-off, it stars Tingle, and includes many other references to people and places found in several other Zelda games. The civilization in which the game takes place does not resemble that of any other Zelda game. Although many members of the Zelda team worked on this game, no one from Nintendo has ever commented on the canonization of it.
- Main article: Timeline Quotes
When trying to understand a creation, one should always consider the creator. Shigeru Miyamoto, Eiji Aonuma, and their colleagues at Nintendo provide the best possible perspective on the Timeline because their own intentions shape the series. When these intentions can be understood, they provide an excellent (although incomplete) blueprint for theorists and are followed with due care. However, developer quotes fall under the category of the ambiguously canonical, as they have been widely disputed when compared to manual and in-game evidence in specific situations.
Lack of Canon
As with the scientific method, "Lack of Canon" cannot be used as either a proof or a disproof in a theory. Common arguments such as "I believe that MM is a dream because there is no proof that it is not a dream", or, conversely "People in Twilight Princess do not know the title "Hero of Time" because they never mention the title" are not valid.