Like many I am a big fan of The Legend of Zelda. A franchise that offered so many innovations and helped modernize gaming for everyone. It was a franchise so popular that everyone would argue over such tiny things like why Link wears his clothes and whose theories are better. The biggest thing about Zelda in its infinite mysteries was what the timeline of the games. Timeline theorists even arised from all of the arguing and research and clues. However in Japan a book called the Hyrule Historia came out that perked the interest of people around the world (so much that an english version was to be made shortly after). This book has all the answers, I for one like to call this book “The Zelda Bible.” I feel bad for the timline theorists, this book made them unneeded (some of them still won’t let it go even though there’s an official timeline now). I personally never done a full review before so I think this book’s a good place to start.
*WARNING: SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT!* My first ever read through of this book was very exciting, so exciting I put up every bit of my first read through on my youtube channel ( link to playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRTef8faX9DsMp6L8WK-iykvgDJ8UJtPc ). Reading through this book gave me moments of revelation, new found understanding and clarity, and many insights brought out from the text. What I enjoyed was seeing the processes the developers had when creating this franchise. Something I like to do with the games I play is try to think about what the developers were thinking when they were making the game, and seeing that directly from this book was a very cool experience to have. Its a book thats great for reference to after a complete read through, and don’t even get me started on the nostalgia.
The book begins with an all around analysis (concept art, history, characters and story) on Skyward Sword. I felt this was a good move, since it is the begining of all the Universe within the timline it is appropriate to get a good understanding of the begining mythology, original characters and the origins of Hyrule. With that underlying understanding of how the timline began it gave a good blueprint to what to keep in mind when seeing how the timeline shapes together. The next section of the book is the true nitty gritty, the History of Hyrule and the official timeline (I’ll talk more about the timeline later). This section has a lot to talk about. I like how well it describes the games and important details from the games to illustrate a point. Then it all ends with concept/official art from the other games, as well as the box art for the games from different regions. The three sections they put it in is good pacing. The book gives you the neccessary information to start with, then gives you the following information you truly wanted to know (the timeline), and then slows down after all that information with concept ideas and art, and release dates. Good pacing makes a good informative book.
Now the book explains that the idea of a timeline wasn’t something Nintendo thought of until later on in the series. So to me the timline does have a few small things that confused me, but the team did a grea job in coming up with a creative and cohesive timeline, and I like the three branches because each one explains a different scenario of Hyrule’s History and that helps make the timeline less complicated. Its something people always wanted to know and finally get to, it ties a lot of things together and makes me feel like a bigger Zelda fan. I know its not part of the timline in any respect, but there was no mention at all of the Zelda cartoon or the CDi games. I know they weren’t canon, but I would’ve liked the added history of the franchise added to the book.
Overall this is a great book every Zelda fan should own. Reading this book was a delight and worth the wait for the translated copy. Its very stylish and artistic and a great way to get closer to the Zelda franchise. It has a few historical (non timeline) details I wish they’d add, but I understand that Nintendo wants to talk about the games they made. Pick up a copy if you can and if you really wanna get into the series I’d definently read it. Thank you for reading and your support, I hope you’ll check out my videos on game analyses and more on my youtube channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/NaismithBilly