Timelines, on theory, are what indicate the order in which some events happened in the entire Paradox Shift series as well as define the way most characters lived their life and interacted with each other. There is an infinite amount of different possible timelines, but rarely do any of them interact and mingle with each other like seen in EX and Zero. Timelines are not to be confused with alternate universes. For us, what makes a timeline different from another one can be summed up as the causes and consequences generated by the choices taken by the living creatures that inhabit it.
It doesn't have to be a limited to a planet or place in particular, whatever can be a "choice" or a "decision" that will have a "result" counts. Just like the butterfly effect, little things can have huge consequences and the causality of a timeline will be drastically different because of something that could have been easily overlooked, or deemed ridiculous. Furthermore, timelines do not start being different from a "point zero." A timeline can be identical to another one and suddenly branch out into something else, because something suddenly went differently than it would have been in another one, and this for no particular reason at all.
In Paradox Shift as well as its side stories, we'll focus on five different timelines, not counting the joke ones.
- Timeline 1 a.k.a. the Original Timeline is the set up of Paradox Shift Zero. In this universe, everything went normally; Carmine Seiyu ends up on Aensland with his friends, but after many adventures, Fen Seiyu dies and becomes Terror. At this point, the universe begins generating paradoxes and moves on to Timeline 4.
- Timeline 2 a.k.a. the Fixed Timeline is the exact same as Timeline 1 except it is this time altered by Escaflowne and Alter Carmine's presence. Because of this, Fen Seiyu never dies and the events from the Zero timeline never happen. Consequently, a lot of characters survive, and none of them move over timelines to interact with others. This timeline's future is related in Ex Paradox Shift.
- Timeline 3 a.k.a. the Paradox Timeline is an unknown timeline only familiar to Alexis H. Seiyu and Maxie R. Hazuki. In this universe, the Terror events took place like they normally would, since Escaflowne never arrived, but Li-on chose to go out with Alice instead. As such, he was never around Terror by the time she took over Paradise which allowed some characters to survive and to put an end to her reign earlier than possible. Consequently, Hana was never born and The Ultimate didn't take place.
- Timeline 4 a.k.a the Terror Timeline is the one that branched out from Timeline 1. It is considered a separate timeline because it was negatively altered by Timeline 2. Normally, timelines go on with all of the people inside and a "fixed causality" given by the choices they took. But as Escaflowne was removed from Timeline 1, all of Leito's future choices never happened, removing an event that should have taken place in the future where something he does has a consequence on other timelines in the PAST, mainly Timeline 3 and normally Timeline 1, generating an incredibly heavy paradox. As such, a lot of characters have joined this timeline temporarily to destroy it and prevent other timelines from being negatively altered.
- Timeline 5 is somewhat of a non-canon timeline. It's the stage for the gag reel extras. [...]