Temporal Theory

Been quite some time, but I want to just dive into a topic that is near and dear to my heart:

Fictional Temporal Theory. Otherwise known as the overall structure of time.

First of all. It is assumed that events flow logically from one to the next in a perfectly linear fashion if there is no time travel mechanism at all. How Time is structured in a fictional universe determines how the universe deals with time travel and its effects. It determines what kind of paradoxes can or cannot exist, what effects they have on the overall series of events, and several other things.

The main topic I wanted to talk about is the new official Zelda timeline that Nintendo released (and also this article). Since Ocarina of Time, the Zelda fandom has been discussing the split timeline theory. Now, instead of having two timelines, there are three. The author of the article I linked has a question (and some speculation and worries which follow from it) about "What happens if other Links failed?" The hero from Wind Waker died when they flung that barrel over the wall of the fortress and into a room full of bombs that exploded. The hero from Minish Cap gets accidentally stepped on by some guy in town. Etc. Etc.

In my studies of Fictional Temporal Theory, there is a unified set of rules I have been operating under as the true rules of the Structure of Time. These rules explain 99% of all time travel stories, and the ones it doesn't are badly written anyways. These rules have one or two which apply to this situation:

1. There is an alpha timeline. This is an immutable series of events which always happens in the same way no matter what. This series of events happens after all time travel that ever happens has already taken place. It is basically the "Final Draft" of a timeline and is unalterable (as all the alterations have already happened).

2. Every decision, no matter how small or insignificant, branches off into its own timeline.

3. Every timeline that has no bearing on the alpha timeline (I ate corn flakes for breakfast today, as opposed to cheerios) will unravel almost immediately into nothing. In this case, after eating the corn flakes, and then thinking for a second "Man, my mouth tastes like corn", everything else would be the same as before, the timeline unravels into non existence.

4. Timelines that do have a bearing on the Alpha timeline will continue on until all relevant things have time travelled, at which point it will unravel into nonexistence.

Sure. There can be timelines where the Hero of Winds failed. There can also be timelines where Link decides to take a nap and misses the important plot event. Unless Nintendo decides to make a game where this has happened, or a game where this matters in some way, then I think it's safe to completely disregard it as irrelevant.

According to my own time theories, the Ocarina of Time Adult timeline would have naturally just fizzled away into nothing, as Link had time travelled and changed it. However, since Nintendo decided to elaborate on what happened to it, then it didn't unravel immediately. In fact it continued on for three more games, possibly more in the future. This means that somewhere down the road, this timeline will have some importance.

This kind of excites me. This could form the basis of one of the best and most wibbly wobbly timey wimiest games ever. Maybe there could be three separate worlds of Hyrule, each vastly different from eons of civilizations, mining, weather, events and heavenly interventions, and what have you. Each world is the result of each of these three timelines. In one of the timelines (Say this new third one with FaiLink), far near the end of it, an ancient evil arises. In order to destroy it, the Master Sword is needed again. It hasn't been used in so long that it has lost its power and must be recharged. However, the artifacts needed to do this were lost long long ago. Maybe they fell in a volcano. Maybe they were shot into SPAAAAAAACE. Whatever the case may be, they're gone, and it appears that everyone is boned. But then a sage remembers a legend about an ancient artifact of the Godesses which was hidden away somewhere, to be used only in the most dire of emergencies. Link finds it (maybe like....a second magic mirror. The Magicaler Mirror. Or something) and it allows him to travel off and visit these other two timelines and the other two worlds. It is there that he can find the pieces needed. There could be other evils in these other worlds which must be defeated.

And in the end, the Master Sword is recharged and the enemy is defeated. However, it was just a servant of the true evil: the most powerful of all Evils. It has been growing in power since the dawn of time and is now nigh invincible. The only hope is to go back in time to the very dawn of time to defeat it when it was still young. There are many artifacts in existence which allow time travel, however their powers are limited and cannot travel back in time that far. Link must then go and seek out all of these artifacts, as well as several others (such as large amounts of that Timestone stuff in Skyward Sword) to create a powerful enough time travel spell.

It could wind up being the single most epic Zelda game ever created. They could have it span every location ever visited before. Possibly even every time period visited before.

I don't know about that guy from IGN, but I'd be willing to have a canon Hundred Dead Links if it meant I got to play that game. It is an acceptable price to pay.

Posted by Glyph, the Architect | at 12/29/2011 12:56:00 PM


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