The Triforce of Time Theory

April 1st, 2006 at 6:43 pm by Masamune

For oh so long, the secret of the Zelda timeline has been fiercely guarded by Nintendo ninjas. It was presumed that no one would ever know the truth and ceaseless conflict of “Split Timeline” vs. “Multiple Timeline” would continue in such a way as the old “Multiple Link Theory” and “Single Link Theory” once did. Well, thanks to a crew of cutthroat pirates and a lemur named ‘Moe’, the truth has been obtained and the truth MUST be revealed. I give you - The Triforce of Time Theory.

The first thing that must be understood is that time is not always a straight line. There are certain points in history in which the timeline can be bent. If the timeline is bent in certain ways, then it can close in on itself. This creates a time loop in which history perfectly repeats itself, and those involved have no idea that time is doing so.

In Hyrule, time has three corners. Three corners has its time. And had it not three corners, it would not be…

The Triforce of Time Theory (TToTT)
Carefully rewritten by SteveT to avoid a lawsuit.

A diagram aquired during the pirate raid. What are these “good things” I wonder?

It all started when the Hero of Time, Link, was born. Or at least, this event was one corner, arbitrarily considered to be the one in the lower left, and consequently, by the rules of English writing, the first. More accurately, this event marked the first convergence of two sides of the Triforce of Time.

In any case, the Hero of Time was born. His mother, Princess Zelda, held ancient future knowledge of the whereabouts of the Triforce of Courage, and her jealous brother demanded it from her. Meanwhile, war broke out in Hyrule. In the strife that followed, she deposited her son with the Great Deku Tree, who raised him as a Kokiri. Zelda herself, as told in the Adventure of Link back-story, was put to sleep by a wizard in her brother’s employ. The spell was such that, although the wizard certainly had not planned it this way, Zelda slept backwards through time, rejuvenating as she did so. This will be explained in due time.

Eventually, Ganon came to Hyrule. Link then became involved in the familiar plot of Ocarina of Time. With Ganon sealed in a prison that transcended time, Link was free to relive those seven years in the comfort of the Kokiri woods. In fact, he resided there much longer than seven years, and prolonged exposure to Deku Tree magic, along with the rejuvenating spell of the young Princess Zelda (not the same as the sleeping Zelda) had the permanent effect of causing Link to age very slowly, even after leaving the Kokiri forest.

Link then was lured into Termina by the Skull Kid. There, he saved Termina, and in a feat of dramatic irony completely failed to realize that just as Termina was locked in a time loop to prevent its own destruction, Hyrule was in a much larger time triangle to prevent its salvation. This was not lost on Tingle, as shall be shown.

Due to the unpredictable nature of inter-dimensional travel, when Link left Termina, he found that Hyrule had long ago been destroyed and was now a mere system of islands. (Not that he remembered Hyrule. Link was a chronic amnesiac.) He was adopted by a kindly old woman, who took mercy on this homeless piece of driftwood. He lovingly referred to her as “grandmother” and partook of her excellent soup. Soon enough, Link found himself on a pirate ship on a quest to save his sister. Soon enough after that, he was on a quest to stop Ganon from stealing the Triforce.

The King of Red Lions and Jabun explicitly stated that this Link was not the Hero of Time. Boy were they wrong.

Anyway, Link defeated Ganon, but not entirely. Ganon, the Villian of Time, had the favor of the goddesses. It was their wish for Hyrule to be lost beneath the sea. Here, the timeline would have straightened. However, King Hyrule’s final wish was for hope for Hyrule. That hope could only be achieved in one way: by repairing the past.

After thinking about how to accomplish this, the Triforce yanked Link from the new land he would have settled and dropped him at the doorstep of a friendly knight of Hyrule centuries earlier. The knight took in the boy with no memory, and Link became fond of him, and called him his uncle.

Unbeknownst to Link, he had arrived in Hyrule just before Ganon had freed himself to wreak the havoc that resulted in the flooding of Hyrule. As chronicled in Link to the Past, Link averted this disaster by preventing Ganon from ever escaping the Dark World. This completed the right-hand corner of the triangle.

Link’s uncle became a blacksmith, and on the day he sprouted his first grey hair, Link began to call him “grandpa.” Having already forgotten the events of LttP, Link embraced the power of the Four Sword to defeat the upstart wizard Vaati, with the aid of his new ally: The Minish Cap.

I mean…Elzo.

Thereafter, Link began to wonder why he did not age like the other people of Hyrule. As if to prevent him from realizing who he was, the Triforce intervened and sent him on a quest in the distant lands of Holodrum and Labrynna. Distant in the future, that is.

The Oracle games constitute another corner of the Triforce of Time. Had Link not prevented the resurrection of Ganon, Ganon would have again succeeded in straightening the timeline, and many a good thing would have failed to happen.

After bending time once more, and forgetting who he was once more, Link used the Four Sword to defeat Vaati again. Twice. The second time, he encountered Ganondorf for the first time. That is to say, Ganon was born on this side of the triangle.

After this, Link engaged in his ancient hobby of sailing. He was summarily shipwrecked. The goddesses had sent a vicious storm in their anger at having their timeline turned into a triangle. Their plan failed, however, and Link found himself in the mind of the Wind Fish, where he defeated the Nightmare, as shown in Link’s Awakening. The Wind Fish, however, had slumbered for centuries from the point of view of Hyrule, and by the time he awoke, and consequently by the time Link returned to reality, centuries had passed.

Hyrule had changed so much that Link could hardly consider himself a citizen of it, even if he had known who or where he was. His first action here was saving an old woman named Impa from a group of Moblins. He was begged to collect pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom and defeat Ganon, which he gladly did, since he didn’t really have much going on at the moment. (The Legend of Zelda)

He then went on to awaken the sleeping Princess Zelda, who after her slumber back through time was a young woman again. (The Adventure of Link)

Link married Zelda and helped rebuild Hyrule. Nine months later, the timetrangle converged, and Link was born. Finally Link’s amnesia left him, for he remembered who he was—his own father! His life-long defense mechanism could no longer protect him from the truth. Link became obsessed with fairies, slouched until his height diminished, gained a few pounds, and adopted the name “Tingle,” after the sensation he constantly felt when an old memory came to him.

He resolved to spare himself from the pain and suffering that he had experienced, and chased his son, hoping to hinder his every quest with minor annoyances, such as charging too much for maps or distracting him with entertaining games like “hammer tag.”

However, Tingle could not jump forward in time, and experiencing the entire history of Hyrule took its physical toll. Between the Four Swords Adventure and the Legend of Zelda, Tingle finally died of insanity and insanely old age.

Explanation of Tingle’s ‘brothers’.

Sometime between Majora’s Mask and Link to the Past, Tingle came across the Four Sword. He used it and split into four Tingles. They remained separated and kept the Four Sword, calling themselves the Tingle brothers (Tingle, Ankle, Knuckle, and David Jr.). They toured Hyrule, annoying Link at every opportunity until sometime between FSA and LoZ. During this time period, Tingle and his brothers died inside the Pyramid of Power in the Dark World. It may have been due to old age, but seppuku is an equally likely cause of death.

But Tingle did not entirely die. Since he was still split, the Magic of the Four Sword kept his spirit alive. His ghost(s) remained in Hyrule (and reverted his younger appearance).

They remained in the Pyramid of Power until the time of LttP GBA. When Link entered the sanctuary, Tingle realized that he wouldn’t be trapped as a ghost if he died before he ever back Tingle. So the Tingle Brothers tried to kill Link as a final attempt to defeat fate.

Fate would not be cheated, however, and Link defeated the Four Tingles, finally laying his own spirit to rest.

Meanwhile, Link took the pieces of the Four Sword to the Dwarven Smithies, the Picori Brothers. The Picoris repaired the sword and gave it to Hyrule’s royal family, who called it the Picori blade. (Note: The Four Sword, like Link, has a lifespan which spans more than a single iteration of the timeline.)

Editor’s Note: This document has given rise to many questions. For the sake of those present, I’ve included some of the more notable ones.


Q: Is the Triforce of Time a physical object like the other Triforces? Triforci?…Trifair?…

A: Not at all. Since the timeline of Hyrule is in fact, triangular, and this theory is golden, we felt “Triforce of Time” was a fitting way to describe it.

Q: Was there a timeline in which Tingle did not appear? I mean, is there an “original” time loop?

A: Probably not. After all, realizing he would become Tingle was half of what drove Link to the madness that caused him to become Tingle in the first place. You’d do the same thing, trust me.

Q: So you’re saying Zelda slept backwards in time? How does that work, exactly?

A: Magic.

Q: By Din, how many freaking Zeldas are there, anyway?

A: In a given loop, there are roughly one Zelda per two games. Zelda is a glitch in the Triforce of Time, and is repeatedly reincarnated as an identical person. A similar effect occurs with other figures, no doubt due to the inherent instability of a triangular timeline.

Q: Ganon is born AFTER his first appearance. What the hell?

A: The starting point of the loop is arbitrary. We chose to focus on Link’s life. One could just as easily begin the loop with the birth of Ganon, since both are figures who traveled along all three corners. However, then Link would seem to be born after his first appearance. Clearly, thinking of time as linear won’t get us very far.

Q: Link is his own daddy? But…isn’t that…?

A: An Oedipus complex? Yeah.

Filed under Timeline, Humor

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58 Messages from the Gossip Stones about “The Triforce of Time Theory”

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Wow…How on earth did you come up with that? It was very entertaining. Some of it almost makes sense…almost.

ohhhhhh…… my head hurts. it hurts so very, very much. i think it’s time to go the way of tingle *commits seppuku all over the carpet*

I am SteveT and I endorse this message.

One of these days, I might even fix that typo.

that was very strange,…. but entertaining. The part where link turns into tingle is funny!


I have a qeustion though: Don’t you think it’s a cop-out that Link has amnesia?

Do you have any in-game evidence that suggests he remembers events of previous games?

I think “TToTT” is an excellent acronym for this because TToTT as an emoticon — severe crying — is exactly how I felt trying to understand all this.

Personally, I’m all for a time loop theory — I think that’s the only way to explain all this nonsense — but now I understand why people don’t understand my own: it makes your head hurt to try and comprehend the sheer madness, unlikelihood and confusion of it all.

Bravo, gentlemen. Bravo.

HH: *comes in looking like Sephiroth*Actually, I am the essence of the Triforce of Time Masamune *takes off shirt to reviel a triangle hole in his chest* and everytime someone talks about me, I get an “empty” feeling XD Time to take the site *yellow gas comes in* back…*NAVI* sleep gas…curse you Masa-*passes out*
Navi: I’ll save ZeldaBlog *nags Masamune to death, but doesn’t notice its not working*

I remember this one from a while back. Still funny as ever. Hahaha.

Funny stuff Masa.

Being that I work for Nintendo (as the puppet master behind Miyamoto and Aonuma), I know, for a fact, that this is the actual, real timeline. Really. No joke.

Ok people, unofficially from TML and Masa, APRIL FOOLS!!!This was a happy day, and everyone had their fun, and had pranked people in the real world and such, no seriously.Now TML and and Masa have to say it themselves, otherwise, I’ll still be in the April fools spirit :D *looks at shoe* -_- Ok, who left TingleBlog ashes on the floor, I”M CALLING MY ATTORNEY!

You totally should’ve added a point in the diagram that says “Alternate 1985″.

??? Uh, funny? O_o My head hu- *head explodes*

Smoke crack. Play Zelda.

What can I say … it was fab! =)

Best. Time Line Theory. Ever.

But I agree with Mike, you need to add a “Alternate 1985″…you can’t have a proper timeline for any history without it.

I cant tell if your serious or not! the part about tingle messed me up :) .anyways interesting article,though it made my brain hurt and I still dont understand it that much!

According to the way you set up the timeline Link isn’t his own father, but a father to a “NEW” Link. Also most of the info has some truth to them as far as fan made time line’s go, but there isn’t any way to prove that Link, and Zelda both went through time in both directions, in many time periods, throughout time. Ocarina of Time is the only time traveling game, and it only works through the master sword shrine, no where else is time travel possible, with the exception of the time god giving link a 3 day time loop in Majora’s Mask. Even so, in both Ocarina of Time, and Majora’s Mask there is ONE MAJOR SET BACK. You can only go back, and at only a maximum of 3 days in Majora’s Mask. The same problem occurs in Ocarina of Time. You can only leap 7 years forward, or 7 years back to the original leap point. You CANNOT go back any further, then that, or forward any further then 7 years. Also you cannot go inbetween the points. Literally time travel isn’t possible, beyond the two loops. You made up loops right, and left, and they simply don’t exist, and have no proof to prove their existence. I agree with the alternate 1985 jump. It is one that simply is needed in a half joke time line like yours.

Time Travel isn’t possible at all. But Zelda isn’t the real world, so time travel can happen any way it wants. And besides that, a large chunk of your argument is negated by the existence of “Oracle of Ages” in which time travel is accomplished for a period of a hundred years. In that sense, Oracle of Ages busts up you conception of how time travel works in the Zelda universe.

Bah. I don’t believe in zelda timelines. And won’t. EVER!!!!!

Jack the Ripper said:

Smoke crack. Play Zelda.

Either that or “Smoke crack, try to understand Zelda.”
Seriously…..I play video games so I don’t have to think….now I’m gonna have to read or something.

The only question is where Masa will put Twilight and Hourglass;)

Ok I get the whole picture, Link gets magically nuked, so he ends up living almsot forever, but the side effects are amnesia *head swells* and every few hundred years, he gets older, but not capable of keeping his memories,*heads get 5 ft big* then, when he got to save and marry Zelda at last *head turns red* he freaked out he IS his own father, and went to Termina, drinking until he nearly killed his kidneys *head still keeps getting bigger* and he shrunk, and when he finally found himself, he became Tingle *head explodes*

The Missing Link said:

The only question is where Masa will put Twilight and Hourglass;)

Well, Masa and I can’t very will figure that out until the games came out.

Nothing bugs me more than when storyliners try to fit games before playing them.

SteveT said:

Well, Masa and I can’t very will figure that out until the games came out.

Nothing bugs me more than when storyliners try to fit games before playing them.

Bah, I knew that. It was a hypothetical OMG-UR-TIEMLIEN-IZ-RUIND-LOL!!!!1111oneoneone question more than anything. ;)

I have faith that Nintendo won’t ruin the timeline.

Or rather make it more imperfect.

‘Cause it ain’t, friends.

This is my favorite timeline EVAR. xD It makes sense… In it’s own twisted way.

NOOOOOOO I CANT… UNDERSTAND… HEAD… STARING TO… EXPAND…. ARRRGHGHHHHHHHH *Head Explodes showering everyong in the Blog with bits of skull & Brains*

  • 31. Ops says:

Oh…my…god. How long do sit up at night thinking up this stuff? This is a bit… eerie, to be truthful. I don’t understand the timeline at all! Hmmm… Link always did make noises close to the tingle sounds. Oh well, maybe one day someone from Japan or something can interpret your message.

~The Cow Barks at Midnight~

*sweeps up Robert’s brains* Now whats interesting is that when Link becomes older at the final angle before becomeing Tingle, it seems he’s going back in time rather than going farther into the future, and he’s alive as Tingle for another round.Whats moore important is evicting Navi from the place, she’s been bothering Sam again *is caught by cuccos**gets up* Well, there goes half of Robert’s brains XP Sorry dude.

does tingle-link go through the same process as link? that would explain why hes in almost every time period……..AND dimension,it would also explain his bad habit of trying to sell you maps you already bought “Mr. fairy,you already have that map!”.if he knows I have all his maps why does he ask me to buy them!?! but there is a problem in your time line,in Majoras Mask tingle has a father,in your time line link is tingle and link is his own father,since tingle is really link that would mean that link does have a father and that hes not his own father,therefore tingle wouldint be link because he only became tingle in your time line after link became his son,and since link isint his own father link wouldint become his son and tingle wouldint become link! .either that or the guy is also link :) .now my brain hurts even more than it did the first time I read this article!

Termina is another dimension anyway.

well,that doesent really change anything since tingle(link) is the same person no matter what dimension hes in so if he has a father…well…go read that really long post I made :P .it all turns out the same way.but you could be right (since I dont fully understand your timeline nor did I invent it).

There’s nothing saying that the genetic history of any race is identical in Termina. For instance, the equivalent of Malon has a younger/older sister, Ingo’s equivalent has a twin brother, etc.

Therefore, it is not unreasonable to say that Link/Tingle’s equivalent had a different origin in Termina.

I’ve got it, you see, Link #1 (doomed to be Tingle) had only lost his real father in the woods, where he would keep others from getting lost by making maps, then used the money he made by making a toruist attraction, where here, Link #1 is born unto Princess Zelda #1 , who falls into deep slumber and is taken north of Death Mountain, where she falls into a time warp and ages backwards and goes back into time, while Link, taken in by a Shiekah, is taken into the forest, and the Great Deku Tree mistakens her for Link’s mother, and there, while Link #1 bathes in Deku magic, he becomes Hero of Time, and thus, travels into Termina, and upon returning (a long time later) to find the sea filling Hyrule and is smacked in the head by wreckage of the land (a rock maybe) and then is found by some old lady and her grand daughter, making him seemingly a family member, and then he becomes the Hero of Wind, and when Hyrule drains out, Link falls into a time hole like Zelda, and loses his memory in the process, and finds a man that claims to be his uncle, then Link saves Hyrule, but it doesn’t flood, so he ends up being thrown into Holodrum and Labrynna, and saves them, and Link defeats Ganon again, then he loses Zelda #2 to Vaati, then he loses her to Vaati and beats Ganon again, then Link finally slips one last time into a time hole and ends up before his own birth, and when Zelda #1 who finally was woken up, and they got really happy and decided to have a baby…*clears throat* Link realises he is his own father, and be goes on drinking and freaking out, until he shrunk and becomes Tingle, as Steve T writes, “The sensation he feels when all his memories come back to haunt him” and to make it short before your brains explode (I need an aspirin right now) The big Tour guide dude is Link’s father, and Link becomes his own father out of the anger of Hyrule’s gods (or Din decided to make him sick) all I know is, MY HEAD IS EXPLODI-*head explodes*…ouch.

actually what I said was kinda messed up.I said link cant be his own father OR tingle,but this is how it would really go….if tingle is link than link cant be his own father because tingle has a father.and if link is his own father he cant be tingle because tingle has a father (I know thay both sound the same but there different…I think).as for ingo and malons counterparts,the two terminian sisters (sorry,cant remember there names off hand :( ) are supposed to represent both young malon and adult malon since in oot the 7 year warp didint effect terminia so both would end up existing since terminia has the counterparts of all hyrulians (im pretty sure that besides link,malon is the only one who ages after the 7 year warp),and as for ingo,how do you know he doesent have brothers in oot that just didint make an appearance :) ? and to tell you the truth,even if tingles father isint geneticly the same as outside of terminia,tingle would still be the guys son with different DNA than link and wouldint be link unless the fat guy is link too.this stuff is worse than geometry so I think im just going to go with HH and say the fat guy is link :P .

-_-; I said the Swamp tourguide is Link #1’s father, and Link #1 is the father of Link #2 and Link#1 becomes Tingle.And don’t forget, the princesses changed during 7-year warp also, In OoT, Ganon has Long hair, yet in official art, he’s got an army cut (this doesn’t have anything to do with the TToTT but it just popped into my head).

ooops! forgot the princess! well…uh…she…um…cant come because shes a sage? and sorry for the misunderstanding of your post,I guess I didint comprehend it as much as I thought I did (which wasint very much :P ).so than the tourguide is link#1’s father,link#1 marries zelda and link#2 is there son? or does zelda get married to…the fat tourguide(!?!) and link#1 is there son? I hope that last one isint right because first of all,link#2 would eventually get married to his mother (loosing memory is no excuse!) and second,I cant see those two being the hero of times parents…southern swamp tourguide and royal princess of hyrule :) .

man…how can anyone even compare Link to….Tingle (ewwww)

Another theory about Tingle’s father is that this Tingle is the same as Hyrule’s Link/Tingle (Lingle?), only he went to Termina early and got himself adopted by the burly man. This would quite nicely fit the trend of Lingle’s need to feel like part of a family.

Ive figured it out… I am Link’s father… or maybe im Link, it all makes so much sense now… I must find that portal to Hyrule A.S.A.P.

*A group of men in white coats suddenly burst into the room, one of them with the name tag Dr H. Hero produces a hyperdermic needle and once Robert-UK is subdued is quickly put to sleep with it-
Dr H.Hero- Nothing to worry about ladies and gentlemen just go about your buisness.
Robert-UK is thrown into theback of a truck and is never seen again*

Dr. H.Hero: Like I said, nothing to worry about people ( Faxkeiy, get Robert out of here)
Faxkeiy: Yes sir *places robert in Farore’s Wind and all three disappear, then HH comes in with an Icee*

HH:Did I miss something?I think I may understand it, but what is (scientifically) an Oedipus complex?This is what I get for watching more Miyazaki movies.

Forget the Oedipus Complex I want to know what Faxkeiy and Icee are.

Faxkeiy is a character I sorta made up, you’ll know in my next “Comedian Fights” meta fiction (Round Two is so long, I need to break it up into two different parts) and an Icee is like a Slushie, or a slushie drink, made with shaven ce and flavoring.

Oh… we call them Slush Pupies here in the UK, LOL.

O_o Wow….just…wow. *claps a slow clap* that was entertaining!

And the “Most Sarcastic Person Award” goes toooo *Drum Roll* The Wolfress *Audience cheers insanely* come on down The Wolfress and accept your Award.

HH: Hello, keep using big words.For those that don’t know, H.Hero is my clone, the one who is obsessed with taking over Hyrule, I do it at a steady more forceful pace, but he wants it now.
*watches Robert and Dr.H.Hero run around the building*
HH: From what I see in the diagram, in the TWW line, it should continue to PH, then the possible power of the Hourglass sent Link back into time, maybe further than ALttP, but maybe to TP, then turning into ALttP, then the angle turnes anf Vaati makes hs first attacks.Then Link goes and kills him, then the Oracles come into view, then FSA, and then TMC, then LA, then LoZ and AoL, then the cycle goes all over, where Link turns Tingle, and then Tingle is sucked away with his son into the PH world, where Navi is an evil queen with a stone body, and when Navi is defeated, Tingle gets all her power and becomes a giant, and unlike Link, he is trapped into that timezone while his son hops on the ride of the time triangle, and Tingle dies at the hands of his own sone before the Phantom Hourglass sends him to TP, then you get the rest.
Dr.H.Hero: Gotcha now! *trips and lands in a dumpster*
HH: Well, there goes the Dr. He’ll be back though.
Faxkeiy: Oh *NAVI* better get the boss out.

Link was only one life and not… *counts fingers* eleven reincarnations in Hyrule? That’s wierd… the Book of Mudora says Link is reincarnated several times… wow. New theory. New Library book. Uh-oh. :-o

SteveT said:

I am SteveT and I endorse this message.

One of these days, I might even fix that typo.

What message?

Its…. a unique idea, if anything. heheh. How long did it take you to piece together all the games into one theory, anyway?

Wow! I’ve seen some ridiculus Timelines but this is the stupidest timeline I have ever read. This is too stupid even by my standards!

What about Navi, Tatl, Mask salesman, Ganon/Ganondorf, I also can’t really belive this story without the name Zora, Deku, Goron not being mentioned very much at all. If I were writing this I think that there would be more things involving fairies. They are in nearly every Zelda game in some way or another, hence they must be a big part of the series. Not trying to get on your case, just some constructive crititsizm.

There is one major problem with your Theroy

In Majoras Mask, The owner of the Swamp Shooting Gallery Implies that he is Tingles Father. Where does he fit in?

extremejon said:

There is one major problem with your Theroy

In Majoras Mask, The owner of the Swamp Shooting Gallery Implies that he is Tingles Father. Where does he fit in?

He is Link’s father, since the Deku Tree Sapling said nothing of his father, only his mother, so, during the war, while Link’s mother runs with the future Hero of Time in her hands, mortally wounded and depressed, her unfaithful husband runs from the war, and so he doesn’t get in trouble, leaves the country and becomes a Swamp Tour Guide and MAp Maker, and then when Link (in Tingle form) comes by, he rejects Link for what he became.