The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past Graphic Novel
Based on the beloved, internationally best selling video game originally released for Nintendo's Super Nintendo Entertainment System , the comic book version by Shotaro Ishinomori was first serialized in Nintendo Power magazine and later collected into a graphic novel. Long out-of-print, this full color edition is now available for the first time in over two decades.
You could originally find this graphic novel (created by the manga legend, Shotaro Ishinomori) serialized in the old Nintendo Power magazines of the 90’s. Now, those masterpieces have been collected in a single, fully-colored volume for your purchasing pleasure.
A creative retelling of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past that many gamers know all too well, this graphic novel stays true to the video game, but adds more fun and adventure. New plot elements and characters give depth to the story.
When a young boy named Link dreams of Princess Zelda calling for help, he rushes to the castle of Hyrule to save her. Aghanim, a servant of the evil Ganon, kidnaps Zelda and six other maidens. Aghanim hopes to drain their life force and use it to free Ganon from the dark world. If Link ever wants to save Zelda, he must obtain the Master Sword and the three pendants of “virtue” (Tri-Force): Wisdom, Power, and Courage.
New characters, plots, and twists keep the story fresh–even for those who have played the beloved video game that the story is based on.
Though there are not any explicitly Christian elements to the novel, the story of good verses evil and one’s sacrifice to save the world are elements that harken to age-old Christian values.
Magic can be seen throughout the world of Zelda. There are witches and wizards alike.
All violence within the graphic novel are on par with PG rating. Most of it is comical violence.
This graphic novel is for anyone craving nostalgia. A Link To The Past is arguably one of the most well-known games in the Zelda series, selling more than 75 million copies since it’s release. If you are one of the 75 million people to have ever enjoyed that video game, chances are you will love this book.
Anyone who has ever played a Zelda game knows that Link is usually a silent protagonist. Seeing this character come to life can be a lot of fun and brings depth to someone who usually says nothing more than “Hyah!” This kind of depth, however, is not only limited to Link. Many characters from the video game come to life though these pages. For people who loved the video game, getting to see why certain characters did specific things in the game really puts things into a whole new perspective. Each character brings something new to the story, allowing even those fans most familiar with the original story to be entertained.
The graphic novel doesn’t just stop at characters though, and many other things differ from the game–an obvious one being the view. In the video game, the POV is from the top, looking down. You don’t get to see the buildings and landscapes in all their glory until you’ve read this book. The video game is also quite serious, whereas the book can be a little quirky at times. Fans can, however, rest assured that, although the novel is different enough from the game to be worth checking out, the artist stays true to the ways of Nintendo and the Zelda franchise.
The art style reflects what you see in many classic manga of the 90’s. Characters are very round-faced and seemingly simple. Don’t think that the characters have any lack of facial expression, though! The wide variety of expressions held on each character’s face expands greatly on the facial expressions we’ve been able to see previously in the games. For people used to the sharp-edged manga characters we see today, this may be off-putting, but detailed surroundings more than make up for it.
Each panel is cleanly separated, gapped by thick, black boarders. These scenes are sown together by the dialogue that overlaps almost all panels in slow-moving scenes. Beautiful, single-panel scenes are presented with slow build-up and anticipation. This creates a fantastic flow that begs you to read on from event to event. The full color of this edition brings that art style to life in a very refreshing way. Ishinomori’s amazing detail can be found from the front cover to the final panels.
It’s a classic story of fate taking an average kid and molding him into a hero against the forces of evil. This is, in part, because of the loss of his uncle immediately in the book. This loss drives Link to vengeance for the majority of his adventure, but in the end we see him fighting for the greater good. Link struggles to overcome his negative emotions, but as the hero we know and love, he goes above and beyond. This is all written in very lighthearted and child-friendly way, making it prime for those who grew up with the classic game to share with their kids. You can see this most prominently in the fight scenes. The action is often quite silly in contrast to the detailed “boss battles.” The fight scenes and the boss battle scenes are all kept pretty short so that you can focus your attention on the story. You can also see this in the dialogue, with Link often being a bit goofy.
Though it has been mentioned that the pace within events is a lot of fun, the story itself seems a bit rushed at times. Link tends to jump from event to event which would make sense in an old Nintendo Power, but it comes off a bit incohesive and choppy when reading as a full story. Choppiness aside, the story flow makes sense and is easy to follow, and the fight scenes are not overly long and drawn out, but to-the-point and easy for everyone (especially children) to understand.
This graphic novel is fueled by nostalgia and beautiful art. If it had been a stand alone, it may not have had such impact on the fans. Since it came out in conjunction with a beloved game, there was no way we, as fans, could let it fail.
Shotaro Ishinomori has done a fantastic job of bringing value to something that fans only want more of. Even people who are already familiar with A Link To The Past are given plenty of new content to keep them interested and unaware of what the next page may bring.
As a comprehensive whole, this graphic novel is one that any Legend of Zelda fan would want to own. It’s beautiful, looks good sitting next to your pristine copy of *cough* Hyrule Historia, and can be enjoyed by fans of all ages.
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