This article contains one or more spoilers. This is a potentially bad thing. Be careful reading on if you are not well-versed in the continuum or not caught up!
The Legend of Zelda was originally an action-adventure game created by Shigeru Miyamoto, published by Nintendo, and released in Japan in 1986. It was later released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988. Known for being one of the more epic video gaming series, The Legend of Zelda, more colloquially known as "LoZ" or simply "Zelda", is a High Fantasy series. Since its release, the series has undergone several different transformations, and been released on several different game consoles. While revolving around the eponymous Princess Zelda, the protagonist is simply known as Link, and is usually seen as a teenage boy with slightly pointed ears.
- 1 Releases and Timeline
- 2 Central Characters and Their Portrayals
- 3 Installments
- 3.1 The Legend of Zelda
- 3.2 Zelda II: Adventure of Link
- 3.3 A Link to the Past
- 3.4 Link's Awakening
- 3.5 Ocarina of Time
- 3.6 Majora's Mask
- 3.7 Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons
- 3.8 Four Swords
- 3.9 The Wind Waker
- 3.10 Four Swords Adventures
- 3.11 The Minish Cap
- 3.12 Twilight Princess
- 3.13 Phantom Hourglass
- 3.14 Spirit Tracks
- 3.15 Skyward Sword
- 3.16 A Link Between Worlds
- 3.17 Tri Force Heroes
- 3.18 Hyrule Warriors
- 3.19 Breath of the Wild
- 4 The Fourth Piece
- 5 In the PPC
- 6 Missions in this Continuum
Releases and Timeline
Unlike many series, video gaming or otherwise, The Legend of Zelda is unusual in that, until recently, it had no confirmed timeline (much like the PPC). The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has been confirmed to be the first game chronologically. In addition to having an unusual timeline, The Legend of Zelda also complicates things by having the timeline split in half at one point due to a time paradox, creating one timeline where the primary antagonist, known as Ganondorf, succeeded in taking over the world, and one where he was sealed away before he had the opportunity to do so (and recently, a third one was confirmed in which Ganondorf was not defeated at all).
The list of installments using original Japanese release dates, as of 2012, is:
- The Legend of Zelda (1986)
- Zelda II: Adventure of Link (1987)
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991)
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (1993)
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (2000)
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (2001)
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords (2002)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002)
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (2004)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (2004)
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006)
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (2007)
- The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (2009)
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011)
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (2013)
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)
There are also three lesser-known games for the Phillips CDi (Link: The Faces of Evil, Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, and Zelda's Adventure), but they are not canon. Nintendo played a relatively minor role in producing them and the fandom refuses to acknowledge their existence for numerous reasons, such as their nonsensical controls (the CDi was not designed to play games) and terribly animated FMV cutscenes. The cutscenes themselves are infamous goldmines of content for YouTube Poop (absurdist humor video mashups).
Offensively mixing up the confirmed timeline may be punishable as a charge.
Central Characters and Their Portrayals
Although each installment has its own plot and may have varied antagonists, three main characters recur in nearly every game: with Link and Zelda found in every game, and Ganon/Ganondorf appearing in about half of all released games (and as an important character in the mythos).
"The Hero" and primary protagonist, Link does not speak during the entire game, something many fanfiction writers satirize. Link is frequently paired up with Mary Sues. His most common pairings in fanfiction are with Princess Zelda, himself (as Dark Link or another Link from Four Swords), the farm girl Malon, and Zelda's "male" disguise, Sheik.
Link is also frequently woobified or portrayed as an idiot, in direct conflict with his usual possession of the Triforce of Courage. Portraying Link uncourageously without reason is definitely a charge.
It is notable that in games that are not direct sequels of each other, Link is a different person in every incarnation. He is not the same Link in all of the games.
"Princess of Destiny," Princess Zelda is notable for having hidden depths of magic and wisdom. Her piece of the Triforce also has the power to hide the identities of people the Bearer wishes hidden, but may also reveal them. It might also allow her to see the future or the past as it truly happened.
In Skyward Sword, at least, the "first" Zelda is confirmed to be the reincarnation of the Goddess Hylia. It is unknown if other Zeldas are also reincarnations of Hylia, or if they just carry her bloodline. Hylia makes no other appearances in future games, save for perhaps vague references that may or may not have been intentional.
The Link/Zelda pairing is very popular because of the hints provided in many of the games as well as a canonical Link/Zelda romance in Skyward Sword.
Princess Zelda is often portrayed as an unpleasant woman or Too Dumb To Live, a direct contradiction to her abilities and knowledge gained from being a Sage and Bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom, to boot. Portraying her as such is a charge. She is rarely merely OOC, because her intensity, purposefulness, and sometimes her passive nature are incompatible with ordinary Suefluenced antics. A character replacement is often more likely.
Sometimes she vanishes entirely when an OC walks in, or is considered competition for Link's heart. This results in a duality of Suvian interests: many of them wish to be her, and many others wish to get rid of her by any means possible. This includes making her act like an idiot valley girl.
Like Link, Zelda has several incarnations throughout the series, and what holds true for one incarnation should not be held true for all of her appearances.
Known as the "King of Darkness," Ganondorf aims to take control of the entirety of the Triforce and rule the world with it. Ganondorf is very, very evil, though backstory as revealed in Wind Waker may indicate he once had noble intentions or was not always so. Unlike Link and Zelda, Ganondorf and Ganon are the same being, resurrected from the dead or freed from imprisonment rather than being reincarnated.
Agents should be warned that Ganondorf holds limitless strength as the holder of the Triforce of Power, and should not be taken on lightly. He has a heavy weakness to Light Arrows, the Master Sword, and other sacred/blessed weapons. Nonetheless, hurting him without a blessed weapon is not possible in canon.
Ganondorf is rarely included in badfic, save as a token antagonist, and often dropped in favor of a romance plot. Trivializing or stupidifying Ganon/Ganondorf also counts as a charge, as while he consistently is defeated, he is also consistently portrayed as unimaginably dangerous and quite cunning (and probably immortal), and should not be dismissed as anything but a Final Boss-level-threat when he appears... one that likely can only be actually harmed or defeated by Link, no matter how powerful a PPC agent may be. Attacking him is a Very Bad Idea.
In Skyward Sword, it is implied that Ganon/Ganondorf inherited the evil will of a yet older, more evil bad guy, Demise. However, as Ganondorf is more heavily involved in the mythos over the course of the whole of the series, he is deemed part of the triumvirate of main characters, along with Link and Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda
Released as the first in the series, this game was very simple, establishing a Princess Zelda of Hyrule, Link the Hero, and the Triforce, a mystical power that seems to control Hyrule's destiny. In this game, the antagonist is Ganon, a beast-like sorcerer who uses the Triforce of Power for evil. Pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom must be collected to open the door to his lair and defeat him. Read more here.
This Legend of Zelda game's plot and themes appear very rarely in badfic, since most badficcers are more concerned with recent installments of the series.
Interestingly, the very first English release contained a translation error that misspelled "Ganon" as "Gannon," creating a rare "canonical" mini. Spelling "Ganon" as "Gannon," or "Ganondorf" as "Gannondorf," is a charge even outside of the PPC and is liable to get one "Gannon-Banned" from the fandom.
Zelda II: Adventure of Link
A direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda, AoL opens with Link noticing the Crest of Hyrule manifesting on his hand. Taking the advice of Zelda's nursemaid Impa, Link sets out on a quest to awaken Zelda (a different one than the original) by gathering six crystals to open the gate to the Great Palace which contains the Triforce of Courage. Completing the Triforce has the power to awaken Zelda from her eternal slumber. Ganon's minions still patrol Hyrule, seeking Link to steal his blood and resurrect their master. Read more here.
This game's plot and themes are even less present in badfic than the first Legend of Zelda game, due to not only age but also changes in gameplay from the first Legend of Zelda; this game is very seldom played save for dedicated fans of the franchise due to its mix of unorthodox gameplay and extreme difficulty. It does, however, introduce the Triforce of Courage to complete the set.
In addition, it contains the first appearance of Dark Link as the final boss, introducing perhaps the largest fangirl-bait individual besides Link himself in the series and setting the stage for a massive amount of bizarre yaoi/squick.
A Link to the Past
A Link to the Past provides most of the backstory and standard formula for more contemporary Legend of Zelda games. In terms of plot, this game introduces the Master Sword, the Sacred Realm where the Triforce resided, the Seven Sages that seal it up, and the fact that Ganondorf canonically at one point took the Triforce, which polluted the Sacred Realm with evil. In this case, it is turned into the Dark Realm because of this, establishing the repeating idea of more than one world. This game introduces classic Zelda gameplay elements such as the pattern of collecting three objects, then seven or so more—items such as the hookshot and the power bracelets—and the iconic "tennis fight" boss pattern, where the player hits magic bolts back at the boss a certain number of times. Read more here.
Like most older titles, A Link to the Past is not often featured. However, because most of the backstory for modern Zelda titles originates in some way from this game, perhaps it can be counted as a foundational work. Also, before Link acquires the Moon Pearl, he turns into a pink bunny while in the Dark World, supposedly a sign of his true inner character. This has possible appeal as a badfic hook.
A direct sequel to A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening takes place on the imaginary Koholint island as dreamed up by a powerful spirit or deity called the Wind Fish, which is a flying whale, although this isn't revealed until the end of the game. The enemies take the form of Nightmares plaguing the Wind Fish. Upon defeating the final Nightmare, Link plays the Ballad of the Wind Fish and both he and the Wind Fish awaken, the island vanishes, and the game concludes. Read more here.
Once again, not often featured in badfic, but several elements do crop up every now and again. One of the supporting characters, Marin, is not only an inspiration for characters in later games but is also presented as a possible non-Zelda love interest for Link, which may have begun OC/Link fics.
Ocarina of Time
The first 3D installment of the series, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time could possibly be named one of the best games created of all time, as dubbed by many, many players of all ages. In this title, Link is a young boy, but over the course of the plot, he time-travels into the future where he is old enough to defeat the evil, usurping king, Ganondorf. The plot is very in-depth, and a lot of the mythos is established in this game, making it a veritable goldmine of canon. In fact, there is enough established that it would take way too long to include on this wiki without hogging the page. You can read about it on Wikipedia, however.
Containing the most backstory of Hyrule out of any Legend of Zelda game, a colorful world, universally high ratings and distribution, and the largest supporting cast of any Zelda game that had yet been created, Ocarina of Time spawned an enormous amount of badfic. It was the first instance of Link being portrayed as anything similar to a "bishonen" character-design, and instantly he gained a massive following of drooling fangirls. Ocarina of Time-period fanfiction has tapered off in recent years due to both fangirls that encountered it as teenagers being adults by now, and many more games to capture fangirls' hearts. There may be a resurgence of OoT badfic due to its re-release on the 3DS, so agents should be advised to prepare for the worst.
This installment contained Sheik, who was Zelda in disguise... but many fangirls insist that he is a separate, male character anyway for the sake of yaoi. This may be due to an extreme lack of yaoi-friendly male characters that Link could conceivably be paired with in this installment. Most of the supporting cast is older males, or young females, the latter in particular being a group that Mary Sues may either use as surrogate identities or regard as competition for Link's heart. The fact that at least a few of them may harbor crushes on Link does not help.
In addition, this installment contains Dark Link as a boss, renewing the zeal for mirror-image, dark-side bad slash, despite the fact that the Dark Link is little more than a mindless shadow, portrays no characterization, and says nothing.
Majora's Mask is set directly after the events of Ocarina of Time. The events of the game, however, take place in a parallel world called Termina, which Link enters into: While chasing after the mask-wearing Skull Kid to retrieve Epona and the Ocarina, he gets ambushed and falls through a hollow tree. In the world of Termina, the moon will fall on Clock Town, its central city, in three days unless the Four Giants are freed from their imprisonment within four masks.
Link accomplishes this task with a combination of standard Zelda tactics, time-traveling back to the first day he arrived (repeatedly), and using masks that grant things like an alternate form or the ability to attract animals to him. That done, Link returns to Clock Town and summons the Four Giants to stop the moon before it hits the town. The spirit of the mask the Skull Kid is wearing then abandons its host and heads to the moon. Link pursues and defeats it, which allows things to return to normal and the city to celebrate its carnival. He then returns the mask to the salesman, and heads back on his way. You can read more about it here.
There is less badfic of Majora's Mask than of Ocarina of Time, mainly because Link is a boy throughout most of it and very few thirteen-year-old girls are into shotacon beyond cooing over how cute young Link is. (Also, the game's plot is much darker than previous entries.) However, the Fierce Deity mask turns Link not only into an adult, but into a being of fantastic power that many fangirls think is hot. Fierce Deity Link is sometimes portrayed as a separate person in fic, and especially in badfic; sometimes for the purpose of yaoi, which makes little sense given that the Fierce Deity's sole purpose is destruction.
As with Ocarina of Time, agents are advised to prepare for a badfic influx when this game's 3DS remake hits the shelves.
Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons
Taking place in the lands of Holodrum and Labrynna, respectively, these linked games were meant to have a third title among them, but said third title was dropped due to development difficulties. In these games, Link ventures across the land to defeat supporters of Ganon and to aid Oracles of the Goddesses, named Din and Nayru after the goddesses to which they are respectively in service. If both games are played together, there is a bonus final boss and a linked ending where Twinrova (twin witches that were Ganondorf's "mothers," who appeared as a boss in Ocarina of Time) resurrect Ganondorf from the dead... but the ritual fails, and he returns without his mind and soul as the demon Ganon. You can read more about them here.
There is little of these titles in badfic, for they are overshadowed by other, greater titles. Every once in a while, a Sue or OC comes from Holodrum or Labrynna, but that's mostly it.
Four Swords was paired with the Game Boy Advance re-release of A Link to The Past, and revolves around the mystical Four Sword, which splits the wielder into a team of four separate beings. It was the first multiplayer Zelda game. You can read more about it here.
Each separate Link as split by the Four Sword is portrayed as a separate individual in fan works, and disturbingly they are often paired up together for yaoi, not unlike Link/Dark Link yaoi.
Also, it introduces the antagonist Vaati, who is much more attractive to fangirls than Ganon/Ganondorf, which accounts for at least some badfic written.
The Wind Waker
Wind Waker takes place in the "adult" timeline of The Legend of Zelda. About a century after he was sealed away, Ganondorf breaks out of the Sacred Realm when there is no Hero to save Hyrule, and Hyrule is flooded by divine powers, forming a Great Sea and many islands. The story revolves around Link's quest to save his sister, who is kidnapped by Ganondorf. He encounters a young female pirate captain named Tetra along the way, who aids him in his quest along with the King of Red Lions, an animate boat who gifts Link with the Wind Waker, a baton with power over the elements and weather. You can read more about it here.
(Note: Due to the game's cel-shaded, cartoony art style, Wind Waker/Phantom Hourglass/Spirit Tracks Link is usually referred to as Toon Link.)
Due to Wind Waker's storyline and Link's young age, there isn't much badfic written about The Wind Waker, as Link is often the target of fangirl intentions and one of-age is preferred.
In this game, Ganondorf's motivations for taking the Triforce are revealed, portraying him as a more tragic, but still sinister character. Thankfully, because he is kind of ugly to most fangirls, there is very little badfic that is not trollfic written about him. The addition to his character did not spawn very much badfic at all.
Also, Wind Waker has recently been redone and re-released for the Wii U. Have fun!
Four Swords Adventures
Four Swords Adventures once again involves the Four Sword, and takes Link on a multiplayer journey to defeat his evil twin Dark Link. At the end, it is revealed that Ganon is the true antagonist. Ganon does this a lot. You can read more about the game here.
Four Swords Adventures had an impact on the fandom similar to the original Four Swords, except for perhaps that Dark Link had been added—the foursome became a fivesome... or moresome, considering that there is more than one Dark Link in the game. Much badfic was written.
Vaati makes another appearance.
The Minish Cap
Much of The Minish Cap concerns the backstory of Vaati and a tiny people called the Minish. With the help of a magical talking hat named Ezlo, Link can shrink down to Minish-size to explore dungeons from a bug's-eye-view. This game provides much of the backstory for the two Four Swords games. You can read about it here.
Once again, Vaati makes an appearance, and his sad origins are revealed. Also, the Minish are very cute.
Incredibly influential in the fandom upon its release, Twilight Princess is a return to the Ocarina of Time-style realism from Wind Waker's cartoonish graphics. It generally has a darker, more frightening image, though the plot is not much grimmer or more threatening than Wind Waker or Ocarina of Time. At the time, it was the most recent console installment of the Legend of Zelda series, and thus had a huge amount of exposure among both casual gamers and fans.
You can read about the plot here.
Most modern badfic is written by fans who have just played or started to play Twilight Princess. It is the most popular Zelda game by far today, and the number of Mary Sues, especially self-insert Mary Sues, is considerable, though they are not as prevalent as the bad slash.
Phantom Hourglass is a direct sequel to The Wind Waker, and it concerns an alternate ocean being plagued by a terrible phantom called Bellum that seeks to devour all that live upon the islands. With the help of a cowardly steamboat captain named Linebeck, Link ventures forth to find the Ghost Ship and rescue Tetra from the clutches of Bellum. You can read more about it here.
There are an inordinate number of fics pairing up Link and Linebeck. This is troubling because Link is still quite young and Linebeck seems at least thirty years old. Also, the fact that Bellum possesses several tentacles may lend itself to some very squick-inducing moments.
Spirit Tracks is a sequel to Phantom Hourglass, and the second Zelda title on the Nintendo DS. It takes place a century after Phantom Hourglass, and portrays a "New Hyrule" where Tetra and Link landed and established a new country. Unfortunately, the old evils of the land rise up against the new inhabitants as an ancient villain, Malladus, is resurrected. Aided by a disembodied Zelda, Link travels through New Hyrule on his train to save the day once again. You can read more about it here.
There is some badfic revolving around Spirit Tracks, but not much. Because Zelda takes a much more hands-on approach to helping Link, she is closer to him and so appears more likely to become a romantic possibility. Not only that, but it is difficult to bash her because she contributes so much. Any bashing is likely directed at a character replacement, not the real instance of this Zelda.
Skyward Sword is confirmed to be the first instance of Link and Zelda in the timeline, and reveals even more hidden depths to the mythos, such as a great demon war deep in the past of Hyrule, a fourth goddess that looked after the Triforce and was separate from the main three major goddesses, the origin of the Royal Family and Hyrule the country itself, floating sky islands, and hints as to the origin of Ganon's evil powers.
Currently, Legend of Zelda is in the middle of a fanfic explosion due to Skyward Sword's release. The final damage done is uncertain and difficult to guess, but due to the canonical romance of the game's particular Link and Zelda, shipping fics are running rampant. Agents are advised to be prepared for anything: the continuum is perfectly poised to invent new and questionable fanons and engage in shipping wars.
A Link Between Worlds
This game, which released in 2013 on the 3DS, takes place years after A Link to the Past yet still has the same overworld and takes place in the same Hyrule. In it, a new evil mage by the name of Yuga kidnaps the seven sages' descendants in the hopes of resurrecting Ganon. (Again.) There is another world called Lorule that is merging with Hyrule due to the destruction of its own Triforce.
Tri Force Heroes
This takes place slightly after A Link Between Worlds according to Nintendo, but as it's set in a different kingdom (Hytopia) it's more than likely non-canon. Like Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures before it, this game focuses on multiplayer combat and puzzle-solving. Unlike those two, the three Links--green, red, and blue--get bonuses depending on which costume they wear; a Goron Suit gives you immunity to lava, for example, and a robot outfit gives you a longer reach with a gripshot. The story is also much less serious, and players share the same health bar to cut down on griefing.
An explicitly non-canon crossover/fusion with the Dynasty Warriors series, featuring plenty of cameos from older games and two new witches, Lana (good) and Cia (bad). Notable chiefly because the 3DS version, Hyrule Warriors Legends, introduced the first-ever female Link, who
honestly doesn't look that different from normal Link wields two crossbows instead of a sword and, for some reason, is usually seen with a Cucco (chicken).
Breath of the Wild
The 2017 installment, exact timeline placement unknown, takes place with Link in a ruined Hyrule and out on another new quest to stop to return to Ganon. A much more open-world installment than previous games, with a high focus on exploration, supply gathering, cooking and crafting. With the return of the possible Link/Zelda romance and a new love interest named Mipha, ship fics are to be expected.
The Fourth Piece
The "missing piece" of the Triforce, the blank triangle in the middle, often appears in badfic... and goodfic, but badfic most often. It has been confirmed that both the empty part of the Triforce, as well as the small triangle below the Triforce on Link's shield in Ocarina of Time, don't mean anything. But many fangirls will give their Mary Sue the power of this nonexistent piece, often calling it "darkness," "shadow," "dimensions," or anything suitably dramatic. (It's worth pointing out that the triangle has been removed from newer versions of the Hylian Shield.)
In truth, the motif of the Triforce likely comes from three major Japanese virtues: Courage, Wisdom, and Benevolence (which is translated as using Power for others rather than for oneself) and mentions nothing about any fourth aspect. Although the connection to Shintoism is not explicitly stated, it is fairly solid due to the fact that these virtues also connect to the Imperial Regalia of Japan, and the fact that Shigeru Miyamoto is a Shintoist.
There is a canonical fourth goddess, Hylia, but she is not related to the Golden Goddesses (Din, Nayru, and Farore); neither did she take part in creating the world, nor is she their "sister," and she has no special Triforce piece of her own. She was merely a guardian of the completed three-part Triforce. It is unknown if she sacrificed herself and "died" to become mortal and left her memory in the hands of the first Zelda, if the first Zelda was her reincarnation but the rest are just her legacy, or if she is continually reborn as Zelda. Her holy power remains in Zelda's bloodline, but it is not known if she exists in later-timeline games as an actual entity.
If a character is not Link, Zelda, or Ganondorf, carrying any piece of the Triforce can be considered a charge (save in exceptional goodfic circumstances), but carrying an extra Triforce piece is especially bad, as well as claiming there is a fourth goddess or god that governs that piece. This extra piece is often urple-colored and any Sue gods or goddesses associated with it are also urple. It is an offense similar in severity to the inclusion of an extra Ring of Power in Lord of the Rings.
It might possible to de-power any of these Sue gods and bearers of a Sue Triforce piece with successful application of canon, not unlike an exorcism. This is sometimes necessary for assassination. If this is not possible, you had better call in ESAS, because the power of the gods is the ultimate power in this continuum.
In the PPC
Agents Native to Hyrule
Missions in this Continuum
All reports are listed alphabetically by agent name, in the case of agents with multiple missions, or by mission name.
- Agents Aster Corbett and Lore (DMS - Video Games)
- "An Appeal to the Gods", Agents Chris, Ami Seeker, Miguel, and Violet Greenfield (DF) (crossover with The Lord of the Rings)
- "It's Dangerous To Go Alone", Agent Evangeline von Lilith (DMS) with Agent Backslash (DMS - Video Games)
- "Legend Of Zelda Love Story OCCx?", Agents July and Library (DF) with JF (DF)
- "My Inner Life", Agents Rina Dives and Randa Roan (DMS)
- "The 'Seventh' Sage," Agents Kara and Moni (DMS - Video Games)
- "Tri and a Half Force," Agents Ellipsia and Nathan (DMS)