Posted on January 31, 2013 AT 09:03pm
Across the ages, since the beginning of Nintendo’s gaming lifespan, there has been a Zelda game. Now, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the franchise, Nintendo and Dark Horse Comics have teamed up to release the most comprehensive guide to the land of Hyrule and the Zelda games with the huge Hyrule Historia collection. With words from many of those who have worked on the games, including series creator Shigeru Miyamoto. From the original The Legend Of Zelda to the newest release Skyward Sword, every game is featured and put into the chronological order of the universe itself. While this can get confusing (considering the history of the franchise has several time jumps and alternate versions of reality), the comprehensive history of this fantastic and vast world is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
This huge collection begins with a lot of information on Skyward Sword before delving into the history of the land of Hyrule. While having the first quarter of the title focusing on the newest game is a bit much, there is plenty to enjoy while taking a peek into the creation process of the latest tile in the franchise. With concept art, final images, words from the designers, and much more, Hyrule Historia take a tremendous look into not only Skyward Sword, but all the titles in the life of the franchise.
From the beginning of Creation to the “Sky Era” of Skyward Sword and all in between until the final eras (depending on the timeline) of Shadow, Decline, and Rebirth, the entire tale is covered. Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf and every other character that gamers have come to know and love, are on full display.
The artwork in this collection is absolutely stunning. With nearly a hundred pages of concept art that moves from the very first game to the last, there is an almost endless (and nearly exhausting) amount to look through. From the original concepts of Link to the updated human forms of Ganondorf to everyone and everything in-between, there, again, is so much beautiful artwork in this collection. Items, environments, and fun facts run rampant throughout every page, and any fan of the series should feel elated to get this much content.
The final section of the book is a manga, featuring the title characters themselves by Akira Himekawa. This is a bit difficult to read for those who read traditional comics. Scenes are presented right to left, as is traditional for manga, instead of the usual left to right. There are several different styles and color schemes to get through, but it is definitely an enjoyable read. Following the journey of such a beloved character in the printed form is a sight to behold, with the traditional Japanese style ringing through to a brilliant conclusion.
Summary: While this comprehensive guide may only be for the most hardcore of fans, Hyrule Historia is an impressive collection from The Legend Of Zelda franchise. With the full gamut of chronology on full display and a nearly ridiculous amount of history and artwork to sift through, this collection is huge and exhausting. It’s also well worth it, as this guide is the only one in its existence that could gather so many facts about such a beloved series and make it as terrific looking as it is. A bit too much time was spent on the latest release, Skyward Sword, but there was enough content in the other installments to keep the true fans satisfied. Any Zelda fan should grab this book in an instant, but those who aren’t as big of fans may not enjoy it as much as they should.
The Good: Incredible Artwork, Massive And Immersive History
The Bad: Too Much Time Spent On Skyward Sword
The Ugly: Might Be Too Much For Less Dedicated Fans
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