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Guidelines:Canon

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Overview

There are specific expectations of what is and isn't considered Canon on Zelda Wiki. Canon refers to a body of materials considered to be an official or genuine part of a fictional universe. It is what can be specifically referenced as factual information within the given universe, and so therefore, canon is often seen as the official, main series as authorized by Nintendo. Zelda Wiki operates foremost on the canon derived from the American English narrative in the series.

Types of Canon

There are three primary levels of canonicity regarding The Legend of Zelda: canon, ambiguously-canon and non-canon. A hierarchical supplementary canon exists for all three tiers, which serves to fill in any missed information in each respective tier. Additionally, certain portions of the canon may be revised canon meaning that while the information presented in a given title may have once been regarded as true for its time, it has since been revised and is no longer intended to be presented as fact.

Canon

Canon media largely concern the official Zelda Timeline, as well as official statements from Nintendo. The initial order for the Timeline was established in 2011 with the release of Hyrule Historia, an official encyclopedia written by Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma. Subsequent titles were confirmed to take place within the Timeline via social media, amending the Timeline. All games illustrated on the Timeline are considered part of the main series, which can be considered analogous to the canon. Any games that have been confirmed to either not fall in the main series or not relate to the timeline are non-canon.

Ambiguously-Canon

Ambiguously-canon media are any iterations in the franchise that have neither been confirmed nor denied to take place within the official Timeline. Provided that a title does not contradict the established canon and/or representatives from Nintendo have made no claim about its relation to the Timeline, its canonicity is considered ambiguous.

Non-Canon

Non-canon media are any iteration that contradict the Timeline or exist separately from the Timeline. Unless otherwise stated, cameos of Zelda subjects in officially-licensed Nintendo media that isn't fundamentally related to The Legend of Zelda are considered non-canon.

Supplementary Canon

Supplementary canon is a concept that is individually applied to all three tiers of canon wherein information offered in official supplementary media (such as manuals, guides, websites, magazines) can be considered canon provided that the information in question does not contradict the canon for that canon tier. For example, supplementary media for ambiguously-canon material can be considered ambiguously-canon as long as it does not contradict the information established in the highest hierarchical source of that ambiguously-canon material. Similarly, supplementary non-canon material only affects the relevant non-canon material and in no way affects either ambiguously-canon or canon material. The hierarchical order for canon among each tier is as follows:

Original material

  • Manuals, official statements from a representative of the development team
    • Strategy guides released by the company who owns the property, trailers, and websites from the development team
      • Strategy guides released by a licensed third-party, any other official material

In lieu of material released for American English, material in this hierarchical order may be used from British English if available or from Japanese (if British English is not available).

Due to the long and changing history of the series, certain portions of the established canon have been changed through later works or official statements, forcing the overall series canon to be revised to reflect these details. In these instances, the overall narrative of the series should be documented in harmony with the latest series-wide canon. Each contained canon entry may still document the canon as depicted in its iteration, though it must be accompanied by a note whenever its details no longer match contemporary canon. In contrast, canon that has been revised through the form of a remake must report the canon as depicted in the latest narrative presented by the remake and all content that was revised must be documented through notes instead.

Version Differences

The latest version or publication of an iteration in the series is considered to be the canon version of that article of media, even if Nintendo publishes an earlier version of that media at a later date. The manual accompanying the latest version release of a game during that version's initial run is considered to be the latest viable canon material of its kind, even under the condition that the latest version is ported to another console, and the accompanying manual is derived from an earlier version of that game. If the manual for a ported release of that game's latest version is newly-made for that port, any revised information from the newer manual is considered canon instead.

Remakes

A remake of a game is considered superior in terms of canon to a port, even if the port occurred after a remake.