Title: The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition -Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages-
Author: Akira Himekawa
Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Viz Media has begun to compile all of the volumes of The Legend of Zelda manga into special volumes known as the Legendary Series. The first volume adapted The Ocarina of Time and the second volume adapts the Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages games. Since I have played Ocarina of Time, the first volume served as a nice trip down memory lane; however, I have never played Oracle of Seasons nor Oracle of Ages. In fact, those two Legend of Zelda games are the only two that I do not own from the main series. Needless to say, that made the second volume that much more interesting for me.
The volume is split into two sections with the first half focusing on The Oracle of Seasons and the second half on The Oracle of Ages.
In the Oracle of Seasons section, Link lives on a farm with his grandparents. His grandfather wants him to take the knight’s test at Hyrule Castle, but Link is at the age where he wants to do what he wants and not what others want. This leads him to have an argument with his grandfather, but he eventually accepts the offer and heads to the castle. There, he runs into a boy who ridicules him for wanting to take the test. They end up in a battle which draws the attention of the castle guards. Noticing the triforce on is hand, he allows him to escape and Link ends up under Hyrule Castle. He finds an altar with the Triforce and it activates upon nearing it. The Triforce then sends Link to Holodrum, a land far away from Hyrule, to take The Triforce’s Test. There he meets Din, The Oracle of Seasons. She is being pursued by Onox, General of Darkness. While traveling with a performing troupe, Onox discovered Din’s location and attacks. Link tries to defend her, but is beaten rather easily. Din offers to go with Onox to his castle if he spared Link. Onox agrees and now Link begins his journey to save Din and bring him back to Princess Zelda as the power of the Triforce begins to awaken in him.
In the Oracle of Ages section; after Link is transported to Labrynna by The Triforce, Impa becomes possessed by Veran, Sorceress of Shadows. She tricks Link into leading her to Nayru, The Oracle of Ages. Once Veran has breached her hiding spot, she possesses Nayru and goes back in time with the goal of erasing Link. Link then seeks out for a way to top Veran when he runs into Nayru’s friend Ralph. After a bit of an argument between who is going to save Nayru, Link shows that he has Nayru’s harp. After a bit of a scuffle to see who will use it, the harp activates, sending Link and Ralph back in time. As you can probably guess, it’s up to the Hero of Time to, once again, save the day!
Having never played either game, I found both stories pretty interesting. While most of the adventuring was rushed, it was done so because this is a manga adaptation and it’s not going to cover every puzzle or every dungeon from the game in great detail. This was meant to tell the overall story from the games and even without playing them, I was able to understand the story as a whole from beginning to end. I’m sure fans of the games will find it enjoyable as well.
Link took center stage in both stories for obvious reasons, but I noticed something between Volumes one and two of the legendary series and that is whenever Link is depicted as a child, he’s depicted as someone that’s rather unruly. I guess that is because he is just that… a child, but it is a bit of a different personality from the games. Then again, Link didn’t really talk all that much in the Zelda games so this is truly the first time we really see any kind of character developed for him outside of “Hut hut hyaaaah.”
Other characters such an Piyoko (which acts as this story’s version of Navi without the incessant Hey Listen! spam), Impa and Ralph all served their purposes of supporting characters and helped break up the monotony of having the volumes focusing on Link 100% of the time. Each one of them had their unique personalities which brought a sense of diversity to the cast. Most of them were the voice of reason character, but then we get to meet Ralph who has a pretty short fuse. If you’ve seen the over-the-top firecracker character archetype before then you’re not really missing much here with Ralph.
If you are a fan of The Legend of Zelda games then this should be an auto-include into your collection. Even without playing the game, I still understood the story as it was illustrated rather well, but you don’t need to play them to enjoy this manga. Also, since the Legendary Series is adapting the different games and compiling them into their own individual volumes, it is not required to have read the previous volume to read this one, which is a rarity when it comes to manga. Even though it’s not required, The Ocarina of Time was a masterpiece so I would highly consider picking up Volume 1 regardless.
Much like the first volume, you are treated to some beautiful color opening pages for Oracle of Seasons, but sadly, we get zero color pages for Oracle of Ages. I understand the need to start off the overall volume with a higher quality than the rest, but since this volume was split in two parts, it would have been nice to see Oracle of Ages get the color page treatment as well.
In addition to the color pages, we do get some concept art and sketches throughout the volume. It seems like there are less of them this time around that there was in volume one, but it’s still a nice bonus that you can enjoy as you read the stories. At the end, there are two bonus chapters for Oracle of Seasons with a brand new short story for you to enjoy. Like with the first volume, Viz put some nice effort into the cover. While the first volume was the typical Zelda green and gold, this one gets a maroon and gold treatment. When side by side on a shelf, these special high-quality covers make the books look more like sophisticated books rather than manga. They really did a fantastic job with them!
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media