- "The great slab standing before you is known as a Gate of Time. It is the last of its kind in existence... The only portal binding our world to the one where Zelda now resides."
- — Old Woman
The Gates of Time (時の扉 Toki no Tobira?) are objects from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. As their name suggests, Gates of Time are powerful magical gates that allow those who pass through it to travel through time. There are only two such Gates to be found: one at the Temple of Time, and another at the Sealed Temple.
After Link completes the third dungeon, the Lanayru Mining Facility, he is able to pass through the facility to the Temple of Time in the Lanayru Desert, access to which had been blocked earlier. After a brief reunion with Zelda and Impa, Ghirahim attacks, forcing them to take drastic action and seek refuge within the Gate of Time, destroying it to ensure Ghirahim is unable to reach them there.
When Link returns to the Old Woman, she reveals that another Gate of Time is found in the Sealed Temple itself; however, activating the Gate of Time requires that Link infuse his Goddess Sword with three Sacred Flames of the Golden Goddesses. Doing so, however, causes The Imprisoned to react to the sword's massive energy spike and break his seal once more. Once Link seals The Imprisoned away again, he enters the Gate of Time and is transported to the temple as it appeared in the past, when it was known as the Temple of Hylia. This Gate of Time is later used by other characters, such as Groose and Ghirahim.
It is possible, perhaps even probable, that the Gates of Time were made out of Timeshift Stones, albeit refined ones. While being activated, the second Gate of Time initially consists of a series of cuboid structures which are covered in markings similar to those on Timeshift Stones, and although their color is different, it does faintly resemble the bluish light given off by active Stones. While the Gate is being assembled, its pieces are also shown to rotate and fit together in a very specific manner, likely as a way to redirect and focus the fields normally given off by Timeshift Stones. This could be what allows the Gate to open a portal back through time in a specific area, as opposed to transporting everything in a certain radius back through time.
The Gate of Time appears in the Sealed Grounds. In Legends Mode, it is briefly converted into a Gate of Souls by Cia's use of the Triforce to bend time & space. In the Sealed Ambition story scenario, Ghirahim who had become an ally of Cia's Dark Forces uses this corrupted Gate of Time to summon monsters to join his forces and even manages to use it to awaken The Imprisoned. After Link & Fi manage to defeat Ghirahim, Link knocks Ghirahim into the Gate of Souls, before Fi instructs him to raise his sword skyward in order to fire a Skyward Strike that restores the Gate of Time back to normal and close the Gate of Souls in the Era of Skyloft.