Table of Contents:
- Backstory Questions
- Is the Imprisoning War just a retelling of the events of OoT?
- What are the three "titles" bestowed by the Triforce? How come they don't show up in any other game?
- What does ALttP have to say about the history between creation and the Imprisoning War?
- Where is the Golden Land? How is it related to the Sacred Realm in OoT?
- How come Ganon's surnames, Ganondorf "Dragmire" and "Mandrag" Ganon, don't appear in any other game?
- When was the Master Sword forged?
- Why is it called the Imprisoning War if there was only one battle?
- When exactly was the Dark World created?
- Questions, Under the Assumption that OoT is the Imprisoning War
- If OoT is the Imprisoning War, why is the ALttP backstory so different from OoT?
- When exactly did the Imprisoning War occur in OoT?
- Since the sages in OoT were all different species, how come all the sages in ALttP are human/Hylian?
- How did the Master Sword get moved from the Temple of Time to the Lost Woods?
- Is the Sanctuary in the same place as the Temple of Time in OoT?
- How did Ganon get the whole Triforce between OoT and ALttP?
- Does TWW mess up the OoT/ALttP connection?
- Main Game Questions
- Why is Link living with his uncle? What happened to his parents?
- What was Link's uncle trying to say before he died?
- What is the "Great Cataclysm" which is referred to in several legends?
- What is Agahnim's true identity?
- Couldn't Ganon have used a Magic Mirror to escape from the Dark World?
- Why does entering the Dark World cause one's shape to change?
- What is the relationship between the Dark and Light Worlds?
- Was the sages' seal really broken when Agahnim sent Zelda into the Dark World?
- Is the Golden Sword an upgraded Master Sword, or a different sword altogether?
- Since Ganon has the whole Triforce and Link has none of it, why can't Ganon defeat Link?
- What happened to the Dark World after Ganon was defeated?
- Why is the Master Sword back to normal in the ending?
- Is Ganon really defeated for good, or is it possible that he can be revived?
Is the Imprisoning War just a retelling of the events of OoT?
This is one of the most complicated issues in the Zelda storyline. It has been the subject of many articles. So, as you might guess, it does not admit of an easy answer. However, I can give the two schools of thoughts on the subject.
The first school of thought looks at the numerous similarities between the ALttP backstory and OoT, and the creator quotes which imply that OoT is a retelling of the ALttP backstory, and gives a positive answer to the above question. I don't think I'm going too far when I say that a majority of Zelda fans believe this theory. Maybe not an overwhelming majority, but a majority nonetheless. This is, in fact, the interpretation that has been given to us by NOA, which might account for its popularity. People who believe this theory generally try to harmonize OoT with ALttP by reinterpreting the events of the ALttP backstory to match OoT, or by putting the "real" Imprisoning War sometime shortly after OoT.
The other school of thought looks at the inconsistencies between OoT and ALttP, and concludes that OoT can't possibly be telling the ALttP backstory. Such people will try to keep all of the facts in OoT and ALttP intact, instead of harmonizing them and reinterpreting them. Such a point of view leads naturally to two different theories: either (1) the Imprisoning War happened long before OoT, or long after; or (2) there is no true continuity in the Zelda games, so we should give up trying to connect ALttP and OoT.
For a more detailed look at the issues involved here, look at the questions below ("Questions, Under the Assumption that OoT is the Imprisoning War"), and read my articles on the subject.
What are the three "titles" bestowed by the Triforce? How come they don't show up in any other game?
The Japanese here is complicated, so it isn't too clear exactly what was meant. The following is clear, however, is clear: the Triforce has three of the followings things: three "parts," three "powers" or "forces," and three "crests." The three titles given in the manual could be associated with, or maybe even equated with, any of these things. Perhaps you have the title if you possess the actual piece of the Triforce. Perhaps you have the title if you are able to use the power of that piece, regardless of whether you actually are holding that piece in your hand. Or perhaps you have the title if you have the crest of that part on your hand, regardless of your possession or ability to use the power of that piece. Under this argument, the titles do actually appear in other games, because people do use the parts of the Triforce, and/or have the crests on their hands. But the fact remains that the actual names of the titles do not appear in other games. Why this is so, is a mystery to me.
What does ALttP have to say about the history between creation and the Imprisoning War?
Not much, actually. It mainly talks about the Hylians, and their relationship to Hyrule and the Triforce. The Hylia were apparently the chosen people of the gods from the very beginning of the world. Since they can hear messages from the gods, it would make sense that the gods taught them much wisdom. The wisdom of the Hylia was passed on to their descendants, who spread throughout the world. The Hylians themselves seem to have founded the kingdom of Hyrule. (The name "Hyrule" comes from the same root word in "Hylia," namely "HAI" in Japanese or "Hy" in English.) In the ancient days, the Hylia produced many relics and lore, including the Master Sword (and many other items that are found in ALttP), and left them in Hyrule. The ancient Hylia left many sayings and legends about the Triforce, so it seems that they either studied the Triforce, or were taught about it by the gods.
The American ALttP manual talks about some ancient buildings in Hyrule that may have housed the Triforce. But since this isn't in the Japanese version of the manual, this should be considered an invention of the American translators until further evidence is presented.
Where is the Golden Land? How is it related to the Sacred Realm in OoT?
"Golden Land" is sort of an invention by the American translators. Its Japanese name is the same name as the Sacred Realm in OoT. This is where the Triforce was hidden, and the same is true of the Sacred Realm in OoT. So, for all intents and purposes, the two places should be considered to be the same.
ALttP makes it clear that the Triforce was in a "hidden land." That is, it is not possible to find this place just by walking all over the world. You need to find the hidden entrance, or portal, to enter the Sacred Realm. According to the Japanese manual, "That place was another world," or, "It was a world different from our own." So the Sacred Realm is literally a different world from the world in which the kingdom of Hyrule is located. The Japanese word here is "sekai," which can translate to "world, society, universe." The Sacred Realm is a different world, just as the Light and Dark Worlds are different worlds. The entrance to the Sacred Realm, however, seems to be located somewhere in Hyrule.