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Link collects the 3 Emeralds to open the Door of Time, Zelda explicitly calls it "Door of Time" when she appears in Link's Vision when he obtains the Ocarina of Time.

However, The Master Sword being a Time travelling device is only a Time travelling device because Link himself is too young to wield it - The Sages/Rauru sealed his body for seven years so he can wield the Master Sword.

So why exactly is it called a Time Portal?

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    When Link returns the sword, he returns to the past, so I don't think it's fair to say the time travelling is "only a byproduct of Link being too young".
    – Nolonar
    Dec 9, 2022 at 15:14

1 Answer 1

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I think you're mistaken about the Master Sword - in Ocarina of Time, the Master Sword is a time travelling device in general. The first time Link tries to wield it, sure, it doesn't actually time travel - it simply puts him to sleep for seven years. But subsequently, Link does use it to travel backwards and forwards through time. Sheik tells us:

Past, present, future...
The Master Sword is a ship with
which you can sail upstream and
downstream through time's river...
The port for that ship is in the
Temple of Time...

So, the sword itself allows one to travel through time, though only when placed in/pulled from the Pedestal of Time behind the Door of Time (opened by playing the Song of Time on the Ocarina of Time) in the Temple of Time by the Hero of Time. Presumably all the "of Time" naming came about since everything is in effect related to the time travelling sword.

The sword was used as the lock on the Sacred Realm. Rauru tells us

The Master Sword--the evil-
destroying sword that you pulled
out of the Pedestal of Time--was
the final key to the Sacred Realm.

and then

The Master Sword is a sacred
blade which evil ones may never
touch....
Only one worthy of the title of
"Hero of Time" can pull it from
the Pedestal of Time....
However, you were too young to
be the Hero of Time....
Therefore, your spirit was
sealed here for seven years.
And now that you are old enough,
the time has come for you to
awaken as the Hero of Time!

So, the hero who can wield the sword is called the "Hero of Time". This must stem from the sword's time travelling properties - because the sword can travel through time, the one who wields it is called the Hero of Time. The Temple that was built to house it and seal the Sacred Realm is called the Temple of Time, the door it is hidden behind is the Door of Time, the pedestal that activates it is the Pedestal of Time, the song that opens the door is the Song of Time and the instrument used to play the song is the Ocarina of Time. (Presumably they would have called it the Sword of Time if they weren't trying to tie things in to Link to the Past!)

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  • how do you explain Link being young again when he puts the sword into the pedestal?
    – Raildex
    Dec 10, 2022 at 14:23
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    @Raildex I don't think it's explained in game, but my headcannon is that it's only Link's soul that time travels - so he inhabits his own younger body, then his own grown up body, etc.
    – Showsni
    Dec 10, 2022 at 17:41
  • btw, it is rumored that the game originally planned a somehow different plot. The general idea is that you would end up in the "Sacred Realm" only to face Ganondorf, lose since you could not use the sword and then be "sealed". It is also worth noticing that the game text dump contains some old references to "three" doors: the door of Future, the door of Past and the door of Present, so maybe the time travel was more explicit at a point.
    – Ꮢedacted
    Dec 12, 2022 at 9:49
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    Those lines in the text dump ("Entrance to the Past/Present/Future") are marked as being for the statues in the Spirit Temple - depending which era you're in, the two statues would either say Past and Present or Present and Future.
    – Showsni
    Dec 12, 2022 at 14:08

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