The Legend of Zelda timeline is pretty incomprehensible.
Even the “canonical” timeline, which was published in the Hyrule Historia back in 2011, has drastically changed; new games have been added, and according to the Japanese Zelda website, Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons have since swapped places with Link’s Awakening.
It seems that even Nintendo has struggled with plotting this monstrous series. I believe there is only one explanation for their inability to make sense of the Zelda timeline:
Nintendo has only been using the main series of games.
When you count books, comics, spin-offs, Zelda character appearances, TV series, and board games, there are over 50 pieces of Zelda media ripe for lore discussion. How could you ignore the CD-i games? How could you write off the Zelda Game & Watch or the Zelda Game Watch, which are two different things?
Don’t worry. I’m here to make sense of it all. And better still, I’ll get it all done in 15 minutes.