I have a personal obsession with the Zelda timeline, and when I brought the topic up with Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma during a recent interview, he didn’t need a translator to know what I was asking about. As soon as he heard the word timeline, he began chuckling.
Is Hyrule Warriors canon? Does it fit in the Zelda timeline?
Aonuma: Within the Zelda canon, there is the timeline, but there has always been the sense of the main story and kind of a side story. Like, Majora's Mask might be considered part of that, though it does exist as part of the timeline. With Hyrule Warriors, there is a link between the two, but it exists as a separate dimension, so it doesn't exist as part of the main canon. Lately I have been thinking of it similar to The Avengers.
Each of the characters has their own timeline, so there shouldn't be any crossover there, but maybe they've been brought together as part of that story?
So it doesn't slot anywhere in the timeline that we know of?
Aonuma: Maybe if you force it in somewhere, but that's not something we want to do. The universe of Hyrule Warriors really is sort of a different universe and it is connected to the timeline of the Zelda series, but it is connected to several different games throughout the series. If you try and force this into it here [Aonuma places his hands in the air indicating different levels of the timeline], then…that information might not be complete. We really don't want to put it in the timeline because it has links to the different parts of the timeline.
We'll be sure to post more from our interview with Aonuma in the near future.