Lovefool 02.04.13 | Hyrule Historia: Dark Horse’s Valentine to Zelda

Dark Horse inspires a blast to the past for our Lovefool with Hyrule Historia, an epic trip through the history of the Legend of Zelda video game franchise.


I think I’ve ‘fessed up to this before but one of my earliest nerd memories, contemporary with picking up those first Archie books, was reading the Link and Zelda comics in my then-stepdad’s subscription to Nintendo Power. We were big Legend of Zelda fans in that house and I, because I was a giant dork even then, remember being all “Siiiiiiiigh, Link and Zelda are so dreamy and I’m sure they’re in love and siiiiiiiiiigh.” And then there was a cartoon that was part of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show! that I loved and that pretty much sealed the deal for me since Link was always chasing after Zelda and, well, sometimes she let him catch her. I remember feeling totally smug the first time I saw that because, of course, Link and Zelda were in love. Of course they were. And I was totally perceptive and saw it first because, seriously, Link could’ve totally just went about his business but didn’t and, naturally, part of that had to be because Zelda was fabulous and Nintendo’s media on the side proved me right, SO THERE. And so began a shipping career that has spanned the decades. Betty and Veronica and Archie were obvious. Link and Zelda were not. 8-year-old me was pleased with herself and grateful for her early Disney education.
Link and Zelda, forever linked in my personal gamer canon. Of course, Zelda started out as a damsel in distress, in glorious 8-bit, getting rescued from Ganon by Link. And to be fair, Link still does a lot of rescuing but Zelda’s been coming into her own as the game evolves, moving from a damsel locked in a dungeon by a creepy baddie to a little more of an active participant in her destiny and Link’s battles to protect said destiny. Did you know that all those Zeldas are, in fact, different Zeldas and it’s fairly probable that all those Links are different Links but…well, we don’t know about who Link really is? That every Princess of Hyrule is named Zelda but Link could be a hereditary name or a title given to heroes who save Zelda and her kingdom or maybe they are the same person? Because Zelda, you see, she changes. Blonde and pixie-esque, stately and brunette, even a ginger – Zelda gets changed up from game to game, wee and demure one game and tall, stately and elegant in the next one. Sometimes Zelda is right up on the horse with Link, firing away at the baddies but sometimes she spends the whole game magically asleep. And sometimes, oh delightful sometimes, sometimes she’s running a pirate ship. But Link remains ever the same, blonde and elfin and Nintendo is very carefully coy about his origins.
Fortunately, we can catalog all of Zelda’s myriad changes and review of our mysterious Link’s heroics in Dark Horse’s glorious The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, which is probably one of the prettiest books I’ve seen in an absolute age and my niche means I see a lot of pretties crossing my desk. And having seen it all compiled, let me tell you that Hyrule’s history is epic, there’s really not another word for it, and the Hyrule Historia sings the songs of all its ages, with gorgeous concept art and timelines and a complete history of Hyrule that, with the latest game in the series, Skyward Sword, finally goes all the way back to Hyrule’s creation, which is an utterly swoonworthy tale. The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia topped bestseller charts all over the place and deservedly so. The Legend of Zelda has been sucking our hours away, in various forms, and capturing our imaginations for 25 years now and that’s okay because it’s awesome. It should be celebrated in style and Dark Horse has certainly done that. Hyrule Historia is a work of art, not just a celebration of one of gaming’s most enduring and captivating stories.
And please believe this book is a work of art, clocking in at 277 brilliant full-color pages. Making this one of those things I never realized I needed quite so badly in my nerdy little life, it’s actually great to be able to see the story of Hyrule told in a complete volume that lets us explore that strange world fully – who populates it, how they got there, the mysteries and legends that sometimes prove themselves to be quite real and how the golden thread of Link-and-Zelda ties the very history of Hyrule together. There will always be a Link and a Zelda working together to keep Hyrule safe and, well, I hear that the couple who saves the world together actually gets together after the closing credits of the game. At least, they do here at Lovefool, Inc. | Erin Jameson

Enjoy this preview of Hyrule Historia, courtesy of Dark Horse!

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