There’s little question that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been a huge success for Nintendo. Indeed, that much is evident through the fact that more copies of the game sold in its first month of availability than Nintendo Switch consoles themselves, which is a ridiculous feat in and of itself. The vast “open air” world first explored by this installment of the series has done wonders for the IP, but dedicated fans have been wondering where in the existing timeline Breath of the Wild takes place.
I was afforded the opportunity to speak with Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the director of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, via email, where the topic of where BotW fits within the current timeline. He directly states that it takes place long after any particular franchise entry, which is sure to be helpful to fans searching for more information.
“It takes place in an age long, long after any of the titles released to date. It is the most recent age. And because of this we believe players will be able to easily immerse themselves in the game. Of course, regardless of the time period, the story does unfold in Hyrule so for those who’ve played other titles in the series there will be a lot of recognizable places to enjoy.”
These statements don’t definitively place Breath of the Wild on any timeline, and it sounds as if perhaps even Nintendo hasn’t determined where to place it. Given that Fujibayashi is stating that it’s the furthest down the timeline – and players now know that the familiar landmarks scattered about Hyrule are references to past adventures and games – there is some evidence now that should help fans narrow down a placement given that it’s confirmed to be at the bottom of the list.
Then again, perhaps The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild stands within its own time, occurring outside of the current line of games – or perhaps even reuniting the three-line split. Given that there are references to several games from various timelines throughout, this is a distinct possibility.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is available now for Nintendo Switch and Wii U.