Nintendo and Dark Horse comics have teamed up to bring The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, a title previously not available here in North America, to fans of undoubtedly one of the biggest franchises in the history of video games.
The book contains a full history of Hyrule (branching from The Legend of Zelda to Skyward Sword), the complete and official timeline of the various games in the Zelda series, artwork and developer insight for the various games, concept art and an exclusive 32 page manga comic that serves as a prequel for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
So, was it worth the wait? Did The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia live up to the hype, or was it a complete letdown?
In short, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia not only lives up to the hype, but exceeds it by leaps and bounds. I knew coming into the book that I’d like it, but I never expected how blown away I’d be by the contents and what I learned.
Hyrule Historia is so chock full of little golden nuggets of info (such as the significance behind the red crest on the Hylian Shield, why the Ocarina of Time is blue, etc.) surrounding the various characters, items and history of The Legend of Zelda that I was near constantly stopping and talking to my friends about things that I learned while reading. This reason, I believe, is where the magic of the book is hidden. Fans of the series will salivate so much over what knowledge they come to learn that it will almost be too much to handle.
That’s not the only thing so awesome about Hyrule Historia though. One of the cooler parts of the book is the inclusion of the official Zelda timeline of the games, which splits at Ocarina of Time and goes off in a, “The Hero is Defeated” branch, and a, “The Hero is Triumphant” branch, a topic much debated over the years. I will tell you first hand as well, without revealing any sort of spoilers, that the chronology of the series has quite a few surprises as to where certain games take place.
One of the more surreal parts of the book is the inclusion of concept art. Not just limited to background characters or places, Hyrule Historia contains concept art of such characters as Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, Midna and Ghirahim. I cannot tell you how strange it is to see how Ghirahim almost looked like a demon samurai, or an alternate version of Zora Link from Majora’s Mask, or a sci-fi costumed Princess Zelda clad in underwear and chest armor.
Overall, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia is must have for any video game fan. Even if you don’t like The Legend of Zelda games (all three of you), the book offers a fascinating and worthwhile look at one of the most influential video game series ever created.
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