With the recent release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, video game fans are exploring new and unseen corners of the iconic Nintendo franchise. The series, which began in 1986 on the Nintendo Entertainment System, has been one of Nintendo's most intricate and lore-filled. However, lots about the world of Zelda remains a mystery to fans.

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Whether it's abandoned plotlines across several games, unexplained connections between characters, and confusing timeline queries, the Zelda franchise has befuddled many fans for years. These questions continue to linger in fans' minds, even though Tears of the Kingdom may not focus on answering any of them.

10 The Lineage Of Ritos And Zoras

The ghost of Laruto and Medli in The Wind Waker

Notably, the Rito tribe and Zora people both feature prominently in both The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and its recent sequel. These aren't the first games in the franchise to feature the civilizations, as the Zora debuted all the way back in Ocarina of Time. On the other hand, the Rito made their first appearance in The Wind Waker many years later.

However, their co-existence in Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom poses a contradiction to the established lore of The Wind Waker. As confirmed by developer Eiji Aonuma, the Rito in The Wind Waker are far-off descendants of the Zora from Ocarina of Time, which raises the question of how the two species are able to exist separately.

9 Breath Of The Wild's Place In The Timeline

Zelda running in Breath of the Wild

Similarly to the question of Rito and Zora co-existing, the overall timeline of the Zelda franchise is put into question by Breath of the Wild. With The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Nintendo for the first time clarified the Zelda timeline by establishing Skyward Sword as the earliest entry in the series chronologically.

However, Nintendo has given no clarification on where Breath of the Wild, nor Tears of the Kingdom, take place. It's possible the games exist in their own alternate timeline, but if this was the case, Nintendo could still clarify this for fans. Until then, their connection to the rest of the Zelda franchise remains unknown even to the franchise's most hardcore fans.

8 The Existence Of Termina

The moon crashing into Termina

Most of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask takes place in the land of Termina, where Link gets sent after being ambushed by the Skull Kid, who is cursed from wearing the titular evil mask. However, what has interested fans since the game's release in 2000 are the connections between Termina and Hyrule, as many characters appear in both worlds.

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While some have chocked this similarity up to limited resources during the Nintendo 64 era, others have theorized that Termina was a figment of Link's imagination. This is further supported by Termina ceasing to exist once Link destroys the Majora's Mask at the end of the game. It's quite a dark way to go for all the innocent civilians of the alternate world.

Navi waking Link in Ocarina of Time

Navi is a significant character in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, acting as a guide to Link throughout his journey to save Hyrule from evil. However, in the game's heartbreaking ending, Link and Navi part ways once Link is returned to his original timeline. Thus, the events of Majora's Mask are set off after Link goes on a journey to find Navi.

However, given that Link's journey in Majora's Mask takes him to Termina, he never ends up finding Navi, as far as fans know. While many Zelda fans have theorized that Navi returned to the Kokiri Forest where she's from, it stands to reason that Link would have no trouble finding her if that was the case, which begs the question of where she ended up.

Link's grandmother giving him his green outfit in The Wind Waker

The Legend of Zelda as a franchise has never shied away from revealing bits and pieces about Link's relatives. His uncle is a prominent character in the early scenes of the SNES's A Link to the Past, while Link's grandmother is also featured in The Wind Waker. However, other entries in the series leave Link's origins, especially that of his parents, untold.

Link's mother is alluded to in Ocarina of Time as a Hylian who orphaned the boy with the Great Deku Tree during the Hyrulean Civil War. Some fans have speculated that Link and Princess Zelda are connected, though their slightly romantic relationship in entries like Skyward Sword have brought into question this theory.

5 The Royal Ties Of Tetra's Crew

Tetra and Link in The Wind Waker

A big plot twist in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker reveals that Tetra, the pirate companion of Link throughout the game, is actually a disguised Princess Zelda who is being protected from Ganondorf's evil forces. However, some fans may miss a certain Easter egg regarding what this means for Tetra's crew, who claim to have supported her mother.

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Particularly, Zelda fans who explore the undersea Hyrule Castle in The Wind Waker will find a portrait of Princess Zelda and her royal servants, who all bear a resemblance to Tetra's crew. It's possible that, like Tetra, these crew members are unaware of their true identities, though this has yet to be confirmed by the game's creators.

4 Toilets Throughout Hyrule Are Haunted

???'s hand reaching out of a toilet

A recurring character in many games of the franchise draws inspiration from Japanese folklore, particularly a ghost story of a hand grabbing toilet users. In Majora's Mask, the character known as "???" is a decrepit hand creeping out of a toilet asking for paper. When Link completes this request, ??? disappears after giving Link a piece of heart.

A similar character also appears Oracle of Ages, simply known as Hand, who is also in need of paper. Phoeni in Skyward Sword is also a little girl's ghost trapped in a toilet in the Knight's Academy. Though these characters have basis in Japanese culture, their recurrence in the Zelda franchise might suggest something more sinister regarding Hyrule's sewers.

3 The Song Of Storms Creates A Paradox

Adult Link playing the Song of Storms in Ocarina

"The Song of Storms" is a music theme which appears in many titles throughout the Zelda franchise. However, its appearance in Ocarina of Time raised a lot of questions for fans of the series. In the game, an adult Link can learn the song through speaking to the Phonogram Man in Kakariko Village, who claims to have learned it from a young boy.

By returning as young Link, Link becomes the boy who teaches him the Song of Storms. This creates a paradox that's confused Zelda fans for decades regarding the true origins of the Song of Storms. Although the Composer Brothers are revealed to have written it in Majora's Mask, Termina's non-existence doesn't explain its origins in Hyrule.

2 Where The Wind Fish Came From

The Wind Fish speaking to Link in Link's Awakening HD

Although many characters and mythological aspects are recurring throughout the Zelda franchise, one unique character is the Wind Fish from Link's Awakening. In that game, the Wind Fish is the creator of Koholint Island, a land that only exists in Link's dreams, but the ending of the game raises even that fact into question.

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Although Link's Awakening seems to end with the implication that Link is waking up from a dream of his adventure, he spots the Wind Fish flying in the sky. The Wind Fish doesn't appear in any other Zelda titles, nor is it even referenced, aside from appearing in one of Marin's moves from Hyrule Warriors, so fans will likely never know.

1 The Extinction Of The Sheikah

A Yiga Clan warrior in Breath of the Wild

The Sheikah tribe have remained one of the biggest unsolved mysteries of the Zelda franchise for a long time. In Ocarina of Time, they're established a long-extinct chosen people of the goddess Hylia, survived only by Impa (and later Zelda through her alter-ego Sheik). However, the tribe plays a major role in Breath of the Wild and its sequel.

In the Nintendo Switch games, the Sheikah are revealed to have been exiled and survive in clusters throughout Hyrule, mainly Kakariko Village. The Yiga Clan are also established to be a group of defected Sheikah who serve Calamity Ganon. The remains of Sheikah technology also imply lots that fans do not know about what the Sheikah were like in their prime.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is available now for the Nintendo Switch.

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