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In "The Legend of Zelda - Skyward Sword" you can use the timeshift stones or orbs to get yourself into the past. If you change things there, like opening a gate etc., this change is still there when you deactivate the stone and you are back in the present.

But what I don't understand: If you change something in the present, it is also changed in the past. How could this make sense?

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  • It doesn't. Changes in the past effecting the future I get, but the other way around shouldn't work.... Well, unless whatever those timeshift stones do messes with cause & effect: maybe any change by a time traveller ripples backwards and forwards through time, shifting things just a tiny bit, kind of like Flashpoint Paradox, where changing a specific event in the past effected things even further in the past (as well as the present)...
    – BMWurm
    Nov 23, 2015 at 12:18
  • You can argue that certain gates are in a state unaffected by time so opening them at any time opens them for all times. Admitted that is pretty far fetched^^ Another possibility would be that openeing a gate changes the possible futures where you travel back in time to open the gate for yourself.
    – Eumel
    Nov 23, 2015 at 13:48

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Ultimately, the puzzle solving aspect of the Zelda games is more important than presenting a version of time travel which "makes sense". Since it's generally assumed that players will understand that, and therefore not think too much about it, I can't imagine it's ever been explicitly addressed.

That said, it's not time travel in the traditional sense. It's essentially a localised shift of the time period within a specific (generally small) area, but there's nothing to suggest that it has to - or does - apply to everything.

It's possible that whatever magic the timeshift stones use doesn't apply to things that have been interacted with in Link's current time, so using a key to remove a lock on a door in the "present" means that the lock doesn't get restored when the timeshift stone shifts the time period of that area.

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  • Thanks, I guess I actually thought too much of it as a "time travel".
    – Mackie
    Nov 25, 2015 at 11:22

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