The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition -Ocarina of Time- Review

The Legend of ZeldaTitle: The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition -Ocarina of Time-
Author: Akira Himekawa
Publisher: Viz Media
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 378
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: November 1, 2016

The Story

The Legend of Zelda is one of the great masterpieces in the world of video games. Created by Shigeru Miyamoto, The Legend of Zelda has many titles in its library from the past 30 years. Some of those titles received a manga adaptation which were released over the years and recently sold as a box set. However, Viz Media began to compile those volumes into complete sets and thus The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition series was born.

The first volume covers The Ocarina of Time and if you’ve played the game then you pretty much know what to expect from the manga. The story still follows Link and how he is different from the other Kokiri in the fact that he doesn’t have a fairy. One day, the Great Deku Tree becomes corrupted and Link is called upon to save him. Even though he defeats the spider known as Gohma, the Deku Tree cannot be saved. With this final words, The Deku Tree tasks Link with stopping Gannondorf, the “man from the black desert” from obtaining the legendary Triforce. Link takes this opportunity to see the outside world and to discover his true self as the Hero of Time.

While the story was obviously shortened due to the length of the manga, it still told all of the important parts from the game. Link still had to go on his adventure to obtain the three gems and unlock the Temple of Time. From there he continued his quest to defeat Ganon, just like you did in the game. The dungeons were present, but there wasn’t much time spent on them. For example, when Link ventured into the Deku Tree, he faced Gohma within a page or two. It would be pretty odd to try and cover EVERYTHING in the manga and I’m sure readers wouldn’t want ten chapters of Link burning spider webs with flaming Deku sticks, so jumping right to the conclusion felt appropriate. It also helps with the pacing since there is a LOT of material to adapt.

Even still, it did a great job of covering Link’s entire adventure.  Growing up with this game, it was a nice sense of nostalgia to see it all in manga form.  Even though some of the apsects of the story were changed, it felt like it was done so to not only enhance the story, but enrich some of the characters which, normally, were just an afterthought. So even if you played the game, the manga still offers up something new so it’s not just a 1:1 adaptation.  While some lore fanatics will cry bloody murder over something like this, I feel it worked pretty well here as it added some more depth, which is hard to do when you’re condensing a game as huge as The Ocarina of Time into something that’s just shy of 400 pages.

The Characters

All of your favorite characters are here from Link to Navi (HEY! LISTEN!), Saria, Ganon, Sheik, Princess Zelda and so forth. We even get a couple of bonus chapters featuring Link and the Skull Kid, which I felt was a nice touch and a nod towards Majora’s Mask.

Watching Link grow up again was a nice treat. You get to see him evolve as the outcast child of Kokiri Forest into the mature Hero of Time. He starts off not understanding a whole lot since his life had been completely sheltered and, in the end, he comes out of it understanding his purpose and what must be done. While you don’t spend as much time with Link in the manga as you do in the game, you still get the sense of growth and I believe Himekawa did a fantastic job with that.

Like I mentioned above in the story section, some of the characters do get involved in ways that they didn’t in the game. For example, Mido didn’t accompany Link inside the Deku Tree in the game, but he actually does in the manga. In fact, Mido helped Link defeat Gohma. I actually liked this change because it made unimportant characters in the game serve a purpose. You also got the sense of Mido’s friendship with Link, even though he’s typically mean to him. It kind of makes me with the video game took the time to develop their lesser characters like this, but this is why we have manga, folks!

Also, Saria felt a little more compassionate in the manga than she did in the game. While she is still friends with Link in both iterations, you actually got a better sense of an underlying romantic relationship between the two in the manga.  By that, I mean it’s painfully obvious that Saria likes Link, whereas in the game it was still kind of apparent, but not to the extent it was in the manga. It’s these little nuances that keep the characters as we know them, but enhance them in ways to make them even better!

Final Thoughts

If you are a fan of The Legend of Zelda and want a nice trip down memory lane, then this is a great pickup, especially if you don’t own the original mangas before this. The manga offers more than just story, too! In the beginning, you get some amazing color pages that have a very high amount of detail printing on a special glossy stock.

Peppered throughout the manga you’re also treated to bonus sketches from Akira Himekawa as well as a bonus story after everything is said and done with the final battle with Ganon. Viz also did an amazing job on the special cover as it sports nice gold foil embossing on the front and spine. The Legend of Zelda is known for its golden cartridges back in the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System all the way up to the Nintendo 64. The latest entry, Skyward Sword, even came with a golden Wii controller so it’s nice to see that the gold theme was carried on with the books as well. Now if there had been a completely gold foil special collector’s edition of the manga, that would have been sweet, but sometimes we just ask for too much, don’t we?

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This item was purchased for review.