What is and isn't canon
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07-06-2006, 08:42 AM
Master of ALttP
Master Black Mage
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Eye of the storm
What is and isn't canon
Due to members at the GameFAQs forums disagreeing with how LionHarted and I interpret things such as developer statements, they have suggested I tell what I think is and isn't canon. This is also a place for all of you, the members of
, to express what you see as canon. Hopefully the folks down at GameFAQs will agree with our opinions. As you all put up your opinions, I will begin to form the Canonical Order of
, which will state what is and isn't canon for all of the Zelda Universe forums. When this is done, I will post it and will continue altering it based on new opinions. So, allow me to state my interpretation of what is and isn't canon.
My method works like that of Star Wars. Anything stated about Zelda in an official method is canon. However, they are on different levels. These will be First Canon, Second Canon, and so on. Canon of a lower number can override canon of a higher number, since it will be more official. I will now explain the different levels of canon.
First Canon: Any text found in the games and manuals, along with official artwork and maps. Since it is coming straight from the games and does not change, it is the highest level of canon. Text is then divided in two ways in certain conditions. When the older games (
) are being discussed, then the Japanese version of the text is of higher canon than the English version. This is because of translational errors and the tendency of NOA (Nintendo of America) to add things to make what is being said sound cooler. There may be other instances when it can be used, but as of now I have no way of getting translated manuals for Ocarina of Time. First Canon material can override any other source of canon.
Second Canon: Any conferences, interviews, or official statements by Nintendo representatives (Shigeru Miyamoto, Eiji Aonuma) who are on the development team are Second Canon. Because the developer's opinions and views of the games can change at any time, their statements cannot be valid over a long period of time. This is just because of a human's tendency to change its mind. However, before a game is released, they are considered the highest canon when pertaining directly to that game. Right now, those games are Twilight Princess and Phantom Hourglass.
Third Canon: Anything on the Zelda website, Zelda.com. This is basically because of some research I've done there pertaining to the earlier games, and I found a few things that slightly contradict in-game text.
Fourth Canon: Anything said by Nintendo employees on the development team. One example would be the controversial statement at E3 by an employee who said that Link would go through three age zones (you know what I mean
) in Twilight Princess.
Fifth Canon: This is anything found in the mangas that tend to pop up around the release of a game. Because they are just the author's way of telling the story, they can't be very official. However, they are still valid, as they can offer some ideas of how things happen. If nothing, and I mean nothing, of higher canon goes against something found in the mangas, then the manga's interpretation of events can be true. However, this is very unlikely, and I have only found one such instance, and that is the origins of
Link. (He's from Calatia, from what I understand. This fits nicely with how I see things, anyways, so it's very plausible.)
So, there you have it. This is how I interpret everything we're told about the Zelda games. This is a very simple system to understand, and I hope you will all agree on my order of canon. If many of you disagree with how it goes, then I will change it if I see fit. At this time, post your comments and/or how you would arrange the sources of canon.
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In the beginner's mind, there are many possibilities. In the master's mind, there are few.
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