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

legend of zelda legendary edition volume 1 the ocarina of time cover trade paperback
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 8/10

Expands the Zelda universe

Hard to translate video games to paper while still being compelling

Comic Info

Comic Name: The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition

Publisher: Viz Media

Writer: Akira Himekawa

Artist: Akira Himekawa

Release Date: 2016

legend of zelda legendary edition volume 1 ocarina of time young link art manga

“Young” Link to the Rescue!!!

A young boy named Link from a small forest town in Kokiri Forest finds himself thrust into the role of the Hero of Time when the land is threatened by a darkness known as Ganondorf.  Ganondorf is trying to collect the power of the Triforce which grants its user power, and the key to that power could be held by Princess Zelda.  Link must uncover the secrets of Hyrule in order to stop Ganondorf and save Princess Zelda…and it could mean breaking through time itself!

Written and illustrated by Akira Himekawa, The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition Volume 1—Ocarina of Time is a Viz Media video game manga.  The collection contains stories originally published by Shogakukan in 1999 which Viz Media first translated in 2008 and published in two volumes before being collected in the Legendary Edition series.

Manga isn’t always my genre, and video game adaptations also can be pretty rough.  I had read a lot of the Kingdom Hearts adaptation and found reading about a game that I could be playing instead a little odd.  The Legend of Zelda adaptation of Ocarina of Time has a similar feel, but in some ways The Legend of Zelda is a richer story and in some ways it isn’t as rich as something like Kingdom Hearts.

What is odd about reading video game adaptations is that within a game, you spend a lot of time doing stuff that isn’t “readable”.  You might explore a dungeon or spend twenty minutes trying to beat a specific boss.  Here, the story has to be compelling and keep moving while expanding on the themes of Zelda.  At the same time, it doesn’t want to dissuade fans of the game by creating too much context.

legend of zelda legendary edition volume 1 link vs ganondorf manga art

“Old” Link vs. Ganondorf!

As a result, the boss fights and aspects like that don’t feel as monumental as when you are playing the game.  I played The Legend of Zelda:  Ocarina of Time a lot (and on a few different systems).  It was always a feeling of accomplishment when you finished a tough dungeon or gained a weapon that you didn’t have access to.  It doesn’t necessarily translate to comic form.

The book also has to deal with a weird set-up.  With The Legend of Zelda:  Ocarina of Time dealt with a lot of time travel and a character who suddenly is aged seven years.  It was pretty fluid in the game, but things like side quests and set-ups (like the Skull Kid) make for good little stories, but they don’t fit in the bigger context of the tale as they are told in the game.  As a result the series sometimes has breakaway “asides” which essentially get to recount fun little stories of Zelda…and in their own way, they might work a little better than the overarching story.

Fans of manga and video games might enjoy this series a bit more than I did, but I also didn’t think it was that bad.  It was a different look at a game I loved, and I admire Akira Himekawa for attempting to bring the fluidity and style of a Zelda game to the page without it just being a guy looking for rupees to buy a heart container for pages and pages.  The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition 1—Ocarina of Time is followed by The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition 2—Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages.

Related Links:

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

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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