7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A legendary book worthy of a legendary franchise!,
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This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia (Hardcover)
This book truly does justice to The Legend of Zelda franchise. Honestly it is much wider and thicker then I expect it to be. It is, a little wider than the Japanese version, so Dark Horse can translate the art footnotes in an easier to read format, but I'll touch on that later. Beginning the book is an introduction from famed creator of many Nintendo franchise, including The Legend of Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto! From there, the book is separated into three sections, "The Legend Begins" which contains plenty of concept art and character designs from Skyward Sword, "The History of Hyrule" which includes the official series timeline, and an in depth and detailed of important plotlines and sections of each game and how they fit into the timeline, and finally, the "Creative Footprints" section, which includes concept art and character designs for the rest of the Zelda games, from the first Zelda to Spirit Tracks (Skyward Sword is already thoroughly covered in "The Legend Begins" section, there is no more artwork for the game in this section). There is some nice little extra sections, one titled "Changes in Character Design" and one tilted "Game Catalog". They are nice, short little sections that I won't spoil for you. Ending the book is a 32 page manga from Akira Himekawa, the creator of the other The Legend of Zelda mangas, along with a nice closing message from Eiji Aounuma, a very important director and producer of the Legend of Zelda series from Ocarina of Time and up. This book is certainly packed to the brim with concept art, storylines, and interesting tidbits of the series. For $20 on Amazon, or even for it's $34.99 MSRP, you are getting more then your moneys worth.
All of this plethora of content is wrapped in a very organized and pretty package. The presentation, especially for the money, is top notch. The cover itself is outstanding, with the gold foil lettering and Gate of Time symbol brillantly standing out on an equally brilliant green background. The pages are of a pretty good quality, making the art very clear and colorful, and are just an absolute pleasure to look at. Back onto the topic of the art footnotes, Dark Horse has done an excellent job translating them. Not only that, the fonts used are very crisp, clear and easy to read, making the bigger size of the book worth it. They may not be the unchanged handwritten footnotes of the Japanese version of the book, but it's a small sacrifice to actually be able to understand and read them easily. Also, there has been some concerns that increasing the size of the book would stretch some of the art. I, for one, haven't noticed any stretched images, although I don't have the Japanese book to accurately compare. Anyways, the background of each page looks browned, making it feel like you are reading through an ancient tome pulled right out of a Hylian library. It's little touches like these that makes the book such a special and pleasurable read. The quality of this book, once again, exceeds the price you pay for it.
Let's dig a little more into the sections, the meat of the book. The first and third section, "The Legend Begins" and "Creative Footprints" contain beautiful artwork from each main game in the series. There is plenty of sketches, colored drawings, and paintings of various concept art found in each game, as well as for character designs, including some different character designs that haven't even made it into the game! An example, Fi has some pretty cool designs, including, but not limited too, a purple ninja design, a more bell shaped design, and even a heavily armored "Iron Man" design! It's nice to see these early, discarded ideas for some of the characters in the series, as it shows you just what really went into making these characters, their personalities, and functions so unique. There is this same level of treatment given into the concept art for areas within each game. Early sketches and drawings and the designer notes show the progression of the development process, and what the developers wanted out of each game. It's truly great seeing how these games came to be, and makes you appreciate the games even more! Onto the Second Section of the book "The History of Hyrule". This section contains the official timeline of the series, with later pages elaborating on how each game fits into the timeline. They truly did a great job summarizing key plot points of each game. There is also some extra lore that is placed in between some games. It helps ties the games together in the timeline, without taking anything away from the lore already established. All of this contained into a neatly organized sections, with each page labeled with the "era" and game that pages lore falls into. It is an interesting read that I would recommend anyone to look through, no matter what timeline theory you adhere to.
Each section is brilliantly crafted, and filled with plenty of interesting art and information. The extras compliment what is an already excellent book. The presentation is wonderfully done. There aren't really any complaints I have with this book. It is an excellent tribute to The Legend of Zelda, and is worth a look from any ardent Zelda fan, and even worth a look from artists. Whether you are a Zelda fan, an artist, or someone looking for a great gift, you needn't look no futher then the Hyrule Historia.