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.) Rather than giving this entry a really long title, 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 too.
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 I found them very cool. 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.
The Legend is Born by Akira Himekawa (A. Honda and S. Nagano)
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. Rating: 7.5/10