Thursday, 11 July 2013

The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia (Book Review)

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The Legend of Zelda is one of those video game genres which is one of the biggest still standing names among franchises. Along with Mega Man, Final Fantasy, Super Mario and many others; it was a pillar of the industry back in the days of the SNES and is one of a handful to remain so today. Not only earning multiple acclaimed sequels and a solid fandom, but remaining loyal to its old ideas without suffocating innovation in the right areas.

However, for all it's long history the timeline of Zelda and its past is one of the big mysteries of the series. There have been multiple Links, multiple Zeldas and so many contradicting landscapes of Hyrule that any true continuity seems to be impossible. The Hyrule Historia is Nintendo's answer to the cryptic idea of the series' development, origins and mythology along with a celebration of its 25 year run.

Going right into this it's clear that this is something big. It truly does feel within the opening paragraphs and images of just a few pages like it's a true record of the game's history. Right from Miyamoto Shigeru's introduction, covering the history of the game's development to the 66th page, a full image showing every one of Link's incarnations united in one painting you are given the impression of its legacy. Every page is crafted from designer images and notes, concept art and details which show how the series has grown both in development and between titles. Moving from the Don Bluth styled cartoonish looks of the early games to the outlandishly animated Wind Waker and Skyward Sword. Though thankfully skipping the CD-i titles in their entirety and pretending they never happened, an attitude all too welcome here.

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