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 :)
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!
on 28 January 2013
This product can be easily summed up with just one word: Masterful.
This 276(?) page encyclopaedic book contains stunning drawings and never-before-seen concept art that is essential for any The Legend of Zelda fan. The long-awaited official Zelda timeline has been published, and this serves to dispel almost all confusion a fan may have regarding the chronology of this fantastic video-game series.
The book also includes a 32 page manga that acts as a sort of prelude to 2011's "Skyward Sword" and features beautiful artwork. Every game in the series, as well as those lesser-known games (e.g. the "BS Zelda Game series") is chronicled within the pages, and the book is fantastically well formatted with clear-to-read text, and colourful lettering.
I loved this book, and I promise you will too!
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.
on 23 September 2013
bought for my daughters birthday, Zelda books are very hard to find in the shops, and when you can find them they are expensive. Amazon to the rescue again!!!!! have and will be buying many more books in the future from this series.
on 23 February 2013
This is a really detailed book, great for any fan of the Zelda series.
Lovely artwork, decent amount of information, there's a Zelda manga at the back, but pest part for me are the timelines.
on 14 March 2014
When i received it, and it was well protected, i was suprised first because of the size, and second because of the quality. For what i had seen, it was cool, but i never imagined it was awesome. The info and extras this great book has is crazy. if your an hardcore Zelda fan, you must buy.
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.
on 12 August 2013
Made for the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Legend of Zelda, this book gives an in-depth timeline of the fictional world of Zelda and provides a very large number of pieces of artwork for every game in the series (including some exciting pieces never seen before). I shall list the authors here: it was written by Shigeru Miyamoto, Eiji Aonuma and Akira Himekawa and then translated by Michael Gombos, Takahiro Moriki, Heidi Plechl, Kumar Sivasubramanian, Aria Tanner and John Thomas.
Since it was the most recent game at the time it was written, the book starts off with a detailed look at The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I personally found this section to be the least exciting of the whole book, and it's a bit of a shame that this game gets so much more coverage than all the others, but it's nice to see the artwork and design sketches for all of the areas, characters and creatures in the game. At the end of this, there's a very nice anniversary picture of all the different Links together.
The next section is the timeline of Hyrule, this was my favourite part. All of the games in the series are written out (each covering about two to four pages) and have lots of screenshots and pieces of artwork alongside them. There are extra areas in the timeline too, for 'off-screen' events which are very interesting to read. I love the way that this timeline connects everything, I'd have no idea how some of the games link together otherwise, but this makes everything clear, and reading it like this makes the series feel like one whole story, which is nice, I think.
Finally, there are pages of artwork for every game in the series, along with a few speculator-y notes as to what the unused things may have been. It's hard to really say much about a collection of images, but it is a welcome addition to the book, and is very good too. I think that, seeing all of these will inspire anybody who likes to create things, I was certainly left very inspired after looking through them. While there is a manga at the very end, I shall score that separately, so this is the end of my review of main part of the book. The only real downside of the thing, other than its large focus on Skyward Sword, is that sometimes the writing is far too small and you have to look really close to read it. Rating: 9/10 (though only for those who're fans of the series, to anybody else this book won't bring much joy).
The Legend is Born by Akira Himekawa (A. Honda and S. Nagano), rating: 7.5/10
This short manga piece is about the life of the very first Link and takes place long before Skyward Sword, though there are also some segments with the Link of Skyward Sword as a child. This Link's life is very different to all of the others, really, so it's nice to see some originality in that respect. The best thing about the story is that it explains why certain things are the way they are in the Zelda world (I shan't go into too much detail, I don't want to spoil it) and I was certainly very satisfied with that. The main downside, I felt, was that the story was too short and not given enough time to develop.
(find more of my book reviews here: [...]
on 19 April 2013
The Legend of Zelda is probably my favourite video game series ever. The games provided me with some of my most seminal video gaming moments, whether it was waking the Windfish in Links Awakening (my first Zelda game) or the sheer majesty of Ocarina of Time these games have always connected with me.
When I saw this book on Amazon it was a no brainer I had to have it not just as a fan of the series but as a fan of the thought processes and art and design that goes into a video game.
The book is quite large and very attractive with its green and gold cover and when you open it up and look at the pages you will see its money very well spent. Inside it covers all the games in the series so far with diagrams and sketches made during production complete with notes on ideas or changes as well as comments by the developers. These sketches include the various designs of main characters like Link and Zelda through the years as well as enemies, NPC's, environments and items. A large number of pages are dedicated to Skyward Sword and the more recent Zelda's but I half expected this when ordering, there are still bits and pieces from the earlier titles.
Another great feature of this book is that it gives the complete chronological time line of the games, with branching paths depending on key moments. This is then followed by a detailed linking of all the games key events and stories.
Finally to put the cherry on a very sweet cake there is a Skyward Sword prequel Manga comic at the back, which is a very nice lead up to the game.
In closing if you are a fan of the Zelda series this is definitely worth considering. Just going through it has inspired me to play through Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker and the other titles and also reminded me that sometimes the best stories are the simple ones of a princess in peril and a young hero.