The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition 3—Majora’s Mask/A Link to the Past

legend of zelda legendary edition 3 majoras mask a link to the past trade paperback manga
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 8/10

Adapts one of the best Zelda games

Hard to capture a game

Comic Info

Comic Name:  The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition

Publisher:  Viz Media

Writer: Akira Himekawa

Artist:  Akira Himekawa

Release Date:  2017

legend of zelda majoras mask manga skull kid linkLink finds himself on an adventure as the world is threatened to be destroyed by a mysterious Skull Kid.  With the moon threatening to crash into kingdom, Link has only a few days to find out why the Skull Kid is doing this and how to prevent the catastrophe.  Then, a boy named Link raised by his uncle finds himself in a race against time to find the Master Sword and rescue Princess Zelda.  Teamed with a bandit named Ghanti, Link is about to not only discover his bravery but secrets about his past!

Written and illustrated by Akira Himekawa, The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition 3—Majora’s Mask/A Link to the Past is a manga adaptation of the popular Nintendo game series.  The collection follows The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition 2—Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages.  Originally released in 2000 with an English version following in 2009, Majora’s Mask is an adaptation of the 2000 Nintendo 64 video game and a follow-up to The Legend of Zelda:  The Ocarina of Time.  The second half of the collection adapts The Legend of Zelda III:  A Link to the Past for the 1991 Super Nintendo game and was released in the United States in 2010.

Manga can be tricky and as proven time, and time again in theatrical films, video game adaptations are hard.  Akira Himekawa is faced by trying to adapt both and give a book length story to a video game which often just has a character exploring dungeons and fighting bosses.  Fortunately, Himekawa is dealing with one of the best video games of all time in A Link to the Past and a more developed video game story in Majora’s Mask.

legend of zelda a link to the past manga vs ganon

Ganon’s going down!

The book starts with Majora’s Mask but it is a bit odd in that it is a sequel to The Legend of Zelda:  The Ocarina of Time which was the first volume of Legendary Edition reprints.  It feels like though it is an independent story that the first volume of this series could have flowed into this volume but instead Oracle of Season/Oracle of Ages was released between it.  The story for the game is also tricky in that Link just keeps going back in time as the moon (still extremely creepy looking) continues to threaten to crash.  Here, Link is limited on the time and has to make the most of his trip.  It is a fair adaptation for a confusing game (and the first Zelda game I didn’t finish), but it feels like it gets a bit garbled at the end.

The second part of the collection is the third official entry when it was released on the Super Nintendo.  I personally played The Legend of Zelda:  A Link to the Past into the ground and feel it was the best coming together of the ideas and gameplay of Zelda.  There is much less story in The Legend of Zelda:  A Link to the Past and as a result Akira Himekawa created the Ghanti character to create a foil and potential romantic interest for Link.  It is an interesting way to propel the story, but it also doesn’t necessarily feel like the game if a reader was hoping for more of a pure adaptation.

The Legend of Zelda manga is a good gateway manga for readers who don’t necessarily gravitate toward the medium.  It helps to have characters you know and themes you understand when jumping into manga, and The Legend of Zelda is an easy and known franchise to help readers along.  The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition 3—Majora’s Mask/A Link to the Past is followed by The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition 4—The Minish Cap/Phantom Hourglass.

Related Links:

The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition 1—The Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition 5—Four Swords

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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