Well, Wind Waker was really the first game to heavily acknowledge Ocarina of Time with the intro that retells the story of Ocarina of Time
Normally I'd agree, but it's something nearly every single game has done. Even Skyward Sword does it and that game's the freaking start.
Specifically with the intro, I don't think it matters. Sure it's retelling OoT. But ALTTP does it, as you saud, TP does it for an even earlier period, Spirit Track does it, Phantom Hourglass does it. Both Four Swords and Minish Cap are very interesting since we don't play those Heroes ever. It's just a thing the series kinda does.
I remember adoring this game so much but replaying it now made me realize just how linear it was, which was a little unfortunate after the absolute freedom that Wind Waker allowed.
Funny how this was actually a big reason I enjoyed TP more. The sailing was a huge chore and I just didn't enjoy it that much and I absolute adored how straight forward TP was and the fact that I could just move to plot point after plot point and side quests didn't take several minutes of nothing where I put my controller down and just waited.
WW HD definitely fixed the sailing problem and is now a much more enjoyable game for me.
Definitely, and for a long time, that was the only connection I was able to make for Groose, but nothing in the game really gives any sort of indication that Groose is gonna start an entire race. So given the shared music between Groose and the pirates from Wind Waker, the whole Knight Academy that will one day turn into the Knights of the Royal family, the pirates being revealed to be descendants of Zelda's Knights on the stained glass in Wind Waker, Gonzo supposedly wanting to marry Tetra, and Groose finding his purpose in protecting Zelda, it seems rather obvious that he is indeed connected to Gonzo. Not to mention, that same love triangle between Zelda, Link, and some Knight is mentioned again in Breath of the Wild, with Kass revealing his teacher to be a Knight who had affection for Zelda but was jealous of the hero because Zelda had affection for him. It's Groose's story all over again.
I mean the idea was he just exists. Went down with Zelda and Link and just lived in the desert and had a few kids or whatever.
Particularly with Gonzo, it's a bit iffy on how he felt. Since no media or games specifies if he loved her as either a parent or romantically. But what he does mention is that he made his duty to protect the daughter of his former captain. I.E Tetra's mother.
I think the split timeline theory was on the nose the whole time, but when Nintendo released Hyrule Historia, I think it became obvious they were just trying to force a way for the early titles and spin-offs to have some kind of connection with the rest of the series despite it never being intended. I mean, why else would they make up a third timeline with no actual in game basis for it with all the older titles lumped into it?
Well, for the most part, Downfall has what? 4 games where it's all the same exact Link? ALTTP, LA, OoA/S, and ALBW.
Downfall does technically have some basis in Zelda 2 where they imply on the game over screen that Ganon returns if you die. So the idea of events on failure isn't completely out there and it also lines up design wise since if we're to believe Link is defeated in the final battle in OoT, Ganon is in his beast form and well, that's downfall's ganon so personally, downfall lines up.
Overall, I appreciate the nonsense of the timeline. Outside of BoTW.
We don't talk about BoTW.