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I think the skullfish in Twilight Princess are actually hybrids.

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So skullfish have only appeared in 3 canon games so far, when not counting remakes as separate, and not counting Cadence of Hyrule, since we don't know if that is canon or not.

Those games are as follows: Majora's Mask, Twilight Princess, and Tri Force Heroes.

In MM and TFH, they are completely skeletal, with nothing on them that looks living. In TP, they look as if they are only half undead.

Interesting to note, is that TP is the only one in Hyrule, and takes place in the same timeline as MM. Why does this matter? Well Link in MM is just curious enough, due to having grown up thinking he was a Kokiri, that he might be willing to own an exotic pet. He's owned a cow before, and temporarily owned several cuccos.

So I propose that Link caught and kept a skullfish, using the Captain's Hat to do so, and brought it to Hyrule with him. This skullfish would obviously outlive Link, since it is undead, and it is unlikely anyone would want to keep it after his death, even if they knew how the Captain's Hat worked, so it was likely released into the wild.

This skullfish would then breed with regular Hyrulean fish, to eventually create the skullfish in TP. This explains why they are illegal to fish in that game, as they are critically endangered in Hyrule, due to not naturally existing in that kingdom, and also are descended from the great Hero of Time's pet, even if the general public in this timeline doesn't know what he did for Hyrule, as the royal family would still know.

The reason I'm posting this here instead of the theory forum, is because there isn't a whole lot to this theory, so I didn't think it would fit in with their rules on speculation posts being better here. Anyways, let me know your thoughts on the matter.
 

Uwu_Oocoo2

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Where are you proposing Link got the original skull fish from? Whether it's Termina or Hytopia, the 3 games you mentioned they appeared in don't take place in the same timeline. As such, a fish caught in Hytopia couldn't make its way to Hyrule from TP, and a fish caught in Termina could not make its way to Hytopia. I'm also questioning why on earth Link would decide to take a ravenous skeleton fish back home with him and release it upon unsuspecting ponds. Twilight Princess made a lot of changes in its design of enemy types. You'll notice that the moblins and poes, for example, differ greatly in appearance from the ones we see in OoT and most other titles, for that matter. They put a lot more detail into things to give it a mature atmosphere, and that includes designs of things such as skull fish.
 

Dio

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I would not say TP's Skullfish are actually undead. They are different from Majora's Masks Skullfish as they are in parallel worlds. These Skullfish appear to have an exoskeleton and living tissue rather than being skeletons or reanimated rotting corpses of fish. They come from malice as does every monster in Hyrule rather than being a natural creature but they appear to be living.
 
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Where are you proposing Link got the original skull fish from? Whether it's Termina or Hytopia, the 3 games you mentioned they appeared in don't take place in the same timeline. As such, a fish caught in Hytopia couldn't make its way to Hyrule from TP, and a fish caught in Termina could not make its way to Hytopia. I'm also questioning why on earth Link would decide to take a ravenous skeleton fish back home with him and release it upon unsuspecting ponds. Twilight Princess made a lot of changes in its design of enemy types. You'll notice that the moblins and poes, for example, differ greatly in appearance from the ones we see in OoT and most other titles, for that matter. They put a lot more detail into things to give it a mature atmosphere, and that includes designs of things such as skull fish.
I think you completely misunderstood what I said. I only claimed skullfish in Hyrule came from Termina. I only used the skullfish in Hytopia to prove that they do exist on the same planet as Hyrule, and that they do not look like they do in TP, suggesting that TP skullfish are not natural.

I also never said Link released it. I said Link kept it as a pet, and whoever had to deal with his possessions when he died would have released it.

Also, we know skullfish are kept as pets, because the Gerudo Pirates have some in fishtanks.

Finally, did you just say TP and MM aren't on the same timeline? MM Link is the Hero's Shade from TP, as confirmed by Hyrule Historia. They are in the same timeline.
 
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Uwu_Oocoo2

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I think you completely misunderstood what I said. I only claimed skullfish in Hyrule came from Termina. I only used the skullfish in Hytopia to prove that they do exist on the same planet as Hyrule, and that they do not look like they do in TP, suggesting that TP skullfish are not natural.

I also never said Link released it. I said Link kept it as a pet, and whoever had to deal with his possessions when he died would have released it.

Also, we know skullfish are kept as pets, because the Gerudo Pirates have some in fishtanks.

Finally, did you just say TP and MM aren't on the same timeline? MM Link is the Hero's Shade from TP, as confirmed by Hyrule Historia. They are in the same timeline.
Thank you for the clarification. Also no, I didn't mean that mm and tp aren't in the same timeline, I think maybe you misunderstood that.
 
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Thank you for the clarification. Also no, I didn't mean that mm and tp aren't in the same timeline, I think maybe you misunderstood that.
Ah, yeah I guess I did misunderstand that. Also, you're welcome for the clarification. I know it isn't the best theory, again hence why I didn't post it in the theory forum, but I thought there was just enough there to get the ball rolling, if you know what I mean.

Thanks for the criticism by the way. I had completely forgotten to talk about how the Gerudo Pirates keep some as pets, which was a big piece of evidence as to Link possibly wanting to own one.
 

Spiritual Mask Salesman

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How would a dead fish, that has no organs, that is literally only a skeleton, reproduce with living fish?

Enemies often get redesigned between games, we don't need lore reasons for why this happens, if we did than there would be an entire can of worms being opened.
 
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How would a dead fish, that has no organs, that is literally only a skeleton, reproduce with living fish?

Enemies often get redesigned between games, we don't need lore reasons for why this happens, if we did than there would be an entire can of worms being opened.
I've seen weirder in fiction before. I mean, technically, humans shouldn't be able to reproduce with anything but humans (and neanderthals, I guess, since some humans have neanderthal dna in them), yet it is a common trope to have half human half alien/monster/demon/angel/etc in works of fiction.

Maybe skullfish reproduce in unusual ways?

As for the redesign, I get that, but off the top of my head, I don't know any redesigns that turned a fully undead creature into what looks like a (at least partially) living creature, outside of the skullfish, so I thought there could be a reason for the drastic change.
 

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