Title: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Author: Shotaro Ishinomori
Publisher: Viz Media (Perfect Square)
Volume: One-shot (all-in-one, oversized, full color), $19.99
Vintage: 1993 by Shogakukan, May 2015 by Viz Media, originally published in Nintendo Power
Genre: Fantasy, video games
Hyrule is in trouble, and Princess Zelda reaches out to the one person she believes can help her kingdom – a young man named Link. The woman’s voice leads Link to a castle, where he witnesses the death of his uncle at the hands of the sorcerer Agahnim. Agahnim has been gathering maidens to break the seal of the Seven Wise Men and open a path to the Dark World. With Zelda in Agahnim’s clutches, Link searches out Sahasrahla the Elder for help. Sahasrahla directs Link toward the three Symbols of Virtue, which will in turn lead him to the Master Sword. Link fights monster after monster without rest, racing against time, and finally finds the Master Sword. He’s able to beat Agahnim, but not before the sorcerer can break the seal and send both Zelda and Link to the Dark World. It’s up to Link, with the help of a friendly faerie named Epheremelda and a warrior named Roam, to release the captured maidens and defeat the powerful Ganon.
Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with A Link to the Past. My first Zelda game was Link’s Awakening for the Game Boy. So I can’t comment on how this matches up with the story in the game. However, if you’re at all familiar with the series in general, there will be touches you’ll notice. Enemy types, attack styles, the Master Sword, the Triforce, Ganon, a healing faerie – elements you’ll find in a multitude of Zelda games. The artwork is very dated, but the line work is clear and the colors are vibrant. The monsters look great, though, and are easily recognizable (like the desert dwelling lanmola, the skeletal stalfos, and the ball and chain troopers). The panel and dialog layouts can be a bit odd and hard to follow at times, but it’s mostly a smooth read. It’s Zelda, in all its 90s glory, so if you’ve been a fan of the series, you know what to expect. Now, this is published under Viz’s Perfect Square imprint, which means it’s being marketed as a children’s title, but if you’re an older, serious Zelda fan, it’s still worth picking up.
Review copy provided by Viz Media.