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Timeshift Stone Theories?


Gardener of Elysium
Jan 21, 2013
Academia de Hyrule
Following up on Beauts' Timeshift Stone/Ocarina of Time thread, what do you guys think about Timeshift Stones?

They are possibly one of my favorite gameplay mechanics, and it surprises me something like them hasn't been utilized in a Zelda game before, given that Zelda games seem to be obsessed with the notion of Time Travel.

But how do they really work? The Zelda Dungeon wiki page(Timeshift Stone - Zelda Dungeon Wiki) says that, "When struck, they turn blue and produce a temporal disruption field, rendering the surrounding area in a past state." But how exactly do you think that works? Why does hitting them activate them? What determines the time the stone sends the area back to? Why are things in the present that enter the "temporal disruption field" unaffected? What do the revived Robots and Bokoblin think and see when a Timeshift Stone is activated?

What would happen if, for example, I dragged one of the broken and defunct Lanayru Robots out of the range of the Timeshift Stone, then activated it. The Robot was inside the range of the stone in the past, so it should be present in that area, but is now no longer within the range of the stone in the present, and therefore can't be revived. How would that work!?

I know these questions are hard to answer and the Timeshift Stones may just be unexplainable, but please give us your best Timeshift Stone theory!


Site Staff
Nov 24, 2009
Redmond, Washington
I'd started to write an article about this a while ago. idk if I'll ever finish it, so I'll post what I had written so far and my notes here... (I also wrote that entry on the wiki based on my research)

The first device we encounter is the Timeshift Stone, used to transform the terrain and objects within its radius between present and past states.
The Timeshift Stones power us,
as well as the machines we use, vreep! That's
why we have to stay hard at work, zoop!
These stones are found all throughout the Lanayru Desert region, and the mining of them is the primary focus of the Ancient Robots who once inhabited the region. The robots used these to provide power to themselves and to their machinery, including mining carts and security devices.

If you hadn't come along, they would
have sucked all of the electricity out of me, vrrm!
We’re also given evidence that these are powered by electricity, as one would expect, rather than by Timeshift Stones. While one Ancient Robot claims that he and his machinery run on Timeshift Stones, another is relieved when Link saves him from some Technoblins whom he claimed were about to drain his electricity. We also see some objects powered by electricity. The doors leading to the power generators in the desert each require a young electricity-producing Ampilus, and the power generators themselves generate electrical energy.

This is quite a different use than what Link uses them for during his quest in the present. When Link uses them, some kind of time travel occurs, causing objects to appear in a past state. If they sent things back in time when the Ancient Robots used them, surely they would send things back to before they were created. We observe in the present that the stones both send them back and power them, so the act of harnessing their energy does not remove the time distortion effect. So instead of sending things back a certain ‘distance’ in time, Timeshift Stones must be tuned to a specific time, presumably when they are treated in the Mining Facility.

[In order to ascertain what might have changed how the Timeshift Stones are used, it is necessary to examine the circumstances that surround the transition between the lively past and the desert of the present...]

--powers robots and other things
--irresponsibility with resources produced desert
---or war
--back in time?
--send past to present?
--merge past with present?
The last few points need clarification. That's where my actual theory was going to be but I hadn't gotten around to writing it yet.

"back in time?"
If Link is sent back in time, then this would create paradoxes or branches. Even more compelling against this possibility is that changing the state of something in the present (such as the lifeboat on the Sandship) actually changes its state in the "past" as well. Does time flow backwards? I'd rather not go there.

"send past to present?"
This is the opposite of the above. Instead of Link going back in time, everything else in the field is sent forward in time. But then what happens when the field is deactivated? Either these 'preset' versions cease to exist or they're sent back to rewrite the past. Either way we have the same problems as above.

"merge past with present?"
I don't entirely remember what I meant by this, but I seem to remember having an analogy of a canyon, merging the two cliffs together. Unfortunately I don't remember how I'd countered this one.

My conclusion was that the Timeshift Stones rewind the internal clock of each object (on the quantum level) within the field - aging backwards. So I lied, I will go to time flowing backwards. Activating a Timeshift Stone does not necessarily let you look at the past, but at objects in the state they would have been in that long ago. This solves the problem of finding Technoblin skeletons in the present state, activating a Timeshift Stone, battling them in the past state, leaving them dead in a slightly different location from where you found them, and returning to the present to find that the skeleton has moved. You aren't rewriting history; you're animating and moving a skeleton. Same goes for the boat, doors, etc. on the Sandship.

“This is Lanayru Mining Facility.
Readings indicate it is populated with
electrically charged monsters.

Also, I detect the presence of ancient
security measures, though they now
appear to be in disrepair.” – Fi (see also descriptions for Armos and Beamos)

“Target lock: Ampilus

These monsters have inhabited the
desert for eons. Their defining
characteristic is an ability to internally
generate electrical energy.
It is also said they live to a very old
age. Their shells are able to disperse
weight surprisingly well, allowing them
to safely traverse desert sinksand.” –Fi

“A report, Master [Link].
We have arrived at Lanayru Mine.

This arid region was transformed into
a desert over the course of several
hundred years.” –Fi

“I am able to confirm that a time shift
has occurred within this space.

Any impact to the blue stones creates a
sustained temporal disruption field in
the surrounding area. Readings show
that this area is in a past time state.” –Fi

“We have arrived at Lanayru Desert.
The terrain in this area changed
dramatically as climate forces rapidly
turned it into a desert.” –Fi

“The Timeshift Stones power us, as
well as the machines we use, vreep!
That's why we have to stay hard at
work, zoop!” - ?? some Ancient Robot

“This is easily as scary as I thought it
would be, vrrm...

But if you think about it, they should
all be dead, brrzrrt!

The only reason I'm up and about like
this is because of that Timeshift Stone
on the boat, phoo-weep!

So I have nothing to worry about, vrrm!
I feel better now, [Link].
And so it's time for you to go look for
my ship, zrt!
I'll wait here, of course, bzzt.” –Skipper

“You cut through space and that becomes the past. If you use your sword to strike a stone in the desert called a Timeshift Stone, the present turns into the past in a widening circle.” –Fujibayashi

As for how physically striking them creates the disruption field, I think it has to do with resonance. Think of the OoT, too.


Rock and roll will never die
Jun 15, 2012
London, United Kingdom
Everything Locke quoted in the article- back in time, past to present, etc. That is basically a list of the way the ocarina of time functions in Majora's Mask. If my theory (as HylianHero so kindly referenced my thread on this) is correct and it seems pretty likely, and the ocarina is made of timeshift stone, then it all fits.

Anyway, I personally liked the timeshift stones. My favourite dynamic in the entire game was these clever little things that made it that much more interesting to explore my otherwise least favourite area.

My theory on how they work is that they don't have a straightforward way of working. In a pure form they can be manipulated to perform whichever function with time the user seems fit. This is a really poor way of explaining, I realise, but that's my vagueist idea of them anyway,
Nov 29, 2011
New Jersey
When Rauru built the ToT it says in the HH that he used timeshift zones. maybe he was using the robots to mine them for the ToT for Hylia. Just my theory


Rock and roll will never die
Jun 15, 2012
London, United Kingdom
When Rauru built the ToT it says in the HH that he used timeshift zones. maybe he was using the robots to mine them for the ToT for Hylia. Just my theory

But the HH isn't specific. It doesn't say if 'used' means the building is made of Timeshift Stones or if they were part of the equipment for building. If the former, which part of the Temple of Time was made out of Timeshift Stones? Surely not the building itself or it couldn't degrade the way it did between OoT and TP? In that case maybe it was just the Door of Time, and the Song of Time activates it. This would mean that most likely my theory (that the ocarina of time is made of timeshift stone) is probably also correct.
However, some say the Spiritual Stones are Timeshift Stones too. So maybe all three of these elements are components of the same Timeshift Stone?

Also, if they were simply used in the Temple's construction, how? I would assume they would create a timeloop around the pedestal. For example, if they were used to show the future Temple of Time, the Temple of Time would have already had to be constructed in the future by Rauru. And if they were used to show the Temple of the past, it would have shown the Sealed Temple of SS. Therefore, nothing could be changed or constructed around the Temple. And if it was just that he used the robots of Lanayru, why wouldn't the HH mention this? And also, the timeloop would still apply as the robots need to be near both a timeshift stone and the Temple to build said Temple?

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