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4.8 out of 5 stars313
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 21 May 2013
This hardback book is a must for any Zelda fan. I cannot stress enough how great it is to see concept art and background information for every single Zelda game, minus the CD-i of course. (I can't wait to bomb some DODONGOS!)

Hundreds of pages, all coloured and beautifully designed, not to mention every page is thicker than normal, giving weight to every page. I love it, and my friends, who aren't particular Zelda fans loved it too! Even got them to try out Twilight Princess.

Only one thing to note, and it isn't necessarily a bad thing. Not every game gets the same amount of page numbers, with Skyward Sword taking over 60, and Twilight Princess taking 30, while Ocarina of Time taking only 5. This is due to the concept art being more numerous, more designs as the games got more intricate with their designs.

If you want to know what kind of book this is, it's half concept art, half behind the scenes, as there are pages dedicated to describing minor characters, giving offical backgrounds to them that we could only guess about. For example, the Great Hero in Twilight Princess who taught Link the Forgotten Techniques, his origins are revealed, and it's a doozy!
Not to mention the Official Zelda Timeline is finally revealed!

For what you get, I'd say it's worth far more than what they're charging, but I'm biased since I'm so happy with my purchase :)
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on 28 April 2013
I've written a longer review about this so I'll try and be brief. Basically, I believe this delivered. It's called the Hyrule Historia, and it gave me the Zelda chronology. The other chapters, including the concept art for the other games, was also greatly appreciated. I wish there was more trivia however, and there were times when the book felt as if it had been written by a fan and not someone at Nintendo. Definitely worth it!
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on 26 January 2013
Finally the Hyrule Historia has been released over here and is a must buy for any Zelda fan. This is not a story book but an encyclopedia of the Zelda series.

The beginning of the book focuses on the Skyward Sword and gives an insight to the creation process with plenty of concept art. This is followed by the complete Zelda time line (the best part of the book), the complete chronological order of how all the games fit together. Towards the end is a whole section of art from the Zelda series, this includes lots of concept art and has plenty of detail.

To finish it of you are treated to a 32 page Manga comic, it is the prequel to the Skyward Sword.

This book is highly recommended for any Zelda fan and is a great companion to go along with your game collection.
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on 4 November 2014
Absolutely lovely, the book is amazingly well made and has some beautiful artwork and insight into the creation of the games.
I must admit, I'm not a long term Zelda fan, having only gotten into the franchise with the recent Ocarina of Time for the 3DS, but I quickly developed a deep love for the series. I can say, as a new fan, that this book is perfect for novice or hardcore fans alike!
A heartfelt introduction from Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of the franchise, tells of the development of the concept of the games, which is then followed by a list of the games in terms of what console they were released for and what year they were released in.
The next section, spanning around 53 pages, is the artwork for Skyward Sword, with brilliant images including concept art alongside the official art. This really gives an impression into the amount of detail these designers go into when coming up with concepts of the character, and it's interesting to see how the various elements of multiple suggested designs have gone into the completed design. While some of the images could be made a bit larger, this section of art is brilliant to look at and makes the reader appreciate smaller aspects within the game a lot more!
The second section is the chronological timeline of the series as a whole, putting each game into order regarding the events which transpire in the Zelda universe. This official explanation has been widely anticipated, and in this book it is pulled off excellently. Spanning 67 pages, this section summarizes the plotline of every Zelda game up to Skyward Sword. It also includes interesting side notes about the series, including the Hylian alphabets, which are pretty fun to read.
Next is the collection of art over the 25 years of the franchise. Detailing the design process of the evolving generations of the series, this section, again, is filled with really interesting pieces which make you appreciate game design even more. It then goes on to show, with images, each Zelda game which had ever been released, alongside its respective console with text regarding it's release. I'd imagine some older fans would especially appreciate this and reflect with warm nostalgia.
The fourth, and final area, after an outroduction (Probably not a real word but I'm going to use it anyway) Eiji Aonuma, the series producer, is a manga which answers why Link is the hero of every Zelda game despite years passing between each game. While primarily being in black and white, there are a few colour pages which are marvelous to behold!
From a glance, you can tell the book is high quality with a lot of attention and care to detail. The gold finish on the cover and the designs of the edging on it, the beautifully printed artwork and, this may sound saft, the glossy heaviness of the paper on which the whole thing's printed on. It's surprising this book did not cost more! The notes on the designs in this book have been translated from the original Japanese to English, which must have taken a huge amount of time and effort which really blows me away.
So why give it four stars over five? From an aesthetic point of view, this book is stunning. The Dark Horse logo on the spine, admittedly, takes something away from the elegant look of the cover, but it's a very small detail, and, as mentioned previously, some of the concept art could do with enlarging. But, the main flaw is that it is seemingly trying to shove Skyward Sword down your throat. It seems to, at multiple opportunities, advertise Skyward Sword and tries to convince you that you simply must have this game to understand the storyline, which simply isn't necessary as a fan would've already unflinchingly invested in it. I know I sure did. Also, please be warned that if you wanted a book detailing the history of the Zelda universe, while it's in here, it is only one area, where the rest of the book focuses on art and game design. It seems to be more of an art book than a chronicle.
That said, I can say with confidence that this book is prefect for any Legend of Zelda fan, be you a relatively new player like me or a diehard fan from the 80's.
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on 4 February 2013
I pre-ordered this before christmas (why it wasn't released in time for xmas I still don't know but thats by the by) and it arrived this weekend and I can say the worth was absolutely worth it!

Firstly its a really well put together book. It feels very weighty and the hardback cover makes you feel like you're holding onto something special. Upon opening up the book the wonder of 25 years of The Legend of Zelda is presented with glorious art work, incredibly interesting anecdotes and, for all the fans who have speculated all these years, at last Nintendo give us the official timeline (controversial as it may be!)

Split into three parts you have a detailed making of Skyward Sword, the accepted first game in the timeline. Then the official timeline before a third part looking at the art work, concepts and stories that went into making the rest of the legendary game series from the '87 original through to Skyward Sword.

If I was going to be picky about something I would say it would of been great to know more detail about some of the other games rather than so much dedicated to Skyward Sword but its a small niggle.

This is lovingly put together, full of amazing illustrations and a treat for any Zelda fan this is a must for your collection.
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on 5 February 2013
This has been available for some time in Japan, so it's nice to see it finally reach UK shores. It is a wonderful collection of artwork and design decisions from all the Zelda games.

Ideally it would be nice to see a book dedicated to each game, as trying to fit all of Zelda's rich history into one printed book you are bound to miss a few things. Plus it means some of the images are smaller which is a shame.

However as a long time Zelda fan it is a beautiful book to own and in some ways is a perfect swansong for me as the games are becoming less and less appealing with the direction Nintendo are taking them in. So with that in mind this really does become even more special as it is a celebration of something that made up a big part of my childhood.

In summary: it is very heavy and prone to finger prints, but beautifully presented and printed and contains some wonderful behind the scenes information that makes the games that bit more enjoyable. :)

A must have for any Zelda fan, and something to grab while it is still available.
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on 16 April 2013
I ordered this book along wit a few other art books, and I have to say that every single book I bought with the Dark Horse logo on the back is of great quality. They are printed on thick heavy, nice paper (in fact I often think I'm turning two pages instead of one and have to check to make sure). The art looks good and is represented well.

The only reason I gave it a 4 instead of a five is that I am more into it for the art. And in this particular book it is often shrunk down to fit many pieces on a single page. I would have preferred the book thicker but with bigger pictures. That being said, if you want the illustrations from the entire Zelda franchise and all the lore and good nerdy stuff, just buy it. You won't regret it.

A side note though, all my books shipped to Sweden without any damage. However I think Amazon could have packed them with more padding, they only used some paper on the bottom of the books.
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on 28 March 2013
This truly is the ultimate book for any fan of the Legend of Zelda series. From beginning to end, the book is packed with gorgeous artwork from the games and lots of information regarding the development of characters, locations and items.

Why only four stars then, and not five? I would have given it five had it not been for the inconsistency regarding the section detailing past Zelda games. Given that this book was released in Japan around the same time as Skyward Sword for the Wii, it's understandable that this particular game receives the most attention within the book. However, some past games are only briefly touched upon. For example, there are only four pages detailing Phantom Hourglass, whereas its sequel Spirit Tracks is granted a massive twenty two pages in comparison. I know I'm nitpicking, and it doesn't ruin the book in anyway, but I can't give it a perfect review because of this.
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on 1 September 2015
Very good book! Mostly talks about Skyward Sword(which I haven't played) and gives a whole timeline of the games and when they took place throughout it. There are interesting images throughout the book and you can see the concept art of areas and characters you come across in the various games. You can even see the original ideas for what characters could have looked like etc.

However, I would like to warn others that when you receive this, make sure it is definitely in English!
My mother bought me this for my birthday yesterday and when i opened it, we were disappointed to see that for some odd reason, we had the German book instead of the English one.

The good thing though, is that today I was given the English version so now I can enjoy reading the book rather than just only looking at the images.
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on 11 March 2013
If I could have give it 4.5 stars, I would have - The ONLY thing wrong with this is that it has soooo much more Skyward Sword in it than anything else - which is a shame. BUT, apart from that it is a beautiful, extremely well made book. I was very hesitant spending so much (especially as it's for my 7 year old) but this is a book I think he will treasure forever. There are so many illustrations and photos as well as detailed descriptions he loves it even though he can't read it all yet. My husband (a Zelda fan too lol) had a great time looking at all the old video game covers and art work. The manga a the end is brilliant too - shame it's not in color, but hey.. not complaining. My son certainly LOVES it and that's what counts. If in doubt, go for it. It's a classy, very well made book :)
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