Hyrule Historia 2nd in Hand

4 02 2012

A second printing of Nintendo’s much vaunted Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia has finally hit the shelves in Japan, thus finding its way into my grubby little hands.

The second printing is dated February 1, 2012.

My local bookseller had a small stack of the book.  I’ll admit I was excited to get it, if only for the promise of early 8 and 16-bit artworks and designs that Nintendo would be willing to share.  In that vein, I was a little disappointed.



When you open the book, the first thing that greets you is this two page spread celebrating the release of Link’s latest adventure, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for the Wii.  That surprised me a bit; I expected that the book would be laid out chronologically, starting with The Legend of Zelda from 1986 for the Famicom and ending with the Nintendo DS and Wii games.  Instead, Nintendo has seen fit to muddle it all around a bit, much like they’ve done with the greatly debated Zelda timeline.  There’s a far greater amount of information and artwork starting with the game Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker for the Game Cube up through Skyward Sword and the DS games Phantom Hourglass and Spirt Tracks than there is for the original game and what followed.  The book is very heavily slanted towards Wind Waker and after. But where Nintendo really dropped the ball was the inclusion (or lack of) of the Broadcast Satellite version of the original Legend of Zelda that was available for the Super Famicom.  That version had greatly upgraded graphics and sound, and more importantly, let you play as either a boy or a girl. Here’s the amount of love Nintendo gave that version of Zelda in Hyrule Historia:


And this is zoomed in. It takes up an 8th of a page.


That’s it.  No screen shots, no pictures of the only canonized time a girl could be the hero of a Zelda game.  Nothing.  Just a brief explanation that the game existed via the Nintendo Satellaview, and a picture of the unit.  Not even a picture of the game.  Boo, Nintendo, boo.

I was able to find some cool stuff, and some just plain wide stuff inside, however.  This is cool:


The Translated Hyrulian Alphabet


Now you can translate all the signs in Zelda games.  All you have to do is covert the Hyrulian alphabet to Japanese and then translate the Japanese to english.  Easy as pie.  Master this and not only can you be trilingual, you’ll be able to give those guys at the office who speak Klingon a run for their money.

There’s also a section that lists all the games in the series along with data regarding release date and price.  What puzzles me are the pictures they chose to include along with the data:


Something(s) seem to be missing...


They’ve got a picture the original Nintendo Disk System version of Zelda, along with the the art from the European release of the game.  Missing are the American art and a picture of the Japanese cartridge art where the Game was retitled The Legend of Zelda 1.   The same goes for every release in this section as Nintendo seems to have just randomly chosen what art it would use to represent what.  It’s funny that they mostly refer to European box art as British, they specify which art is from Australian releases, but then they call American box art “overseas”.  Weird.

Here are a few more interesting pictures from the book:


Artwork and designs from the original Legend of Zelda.

Original character designs for Link from Zelda II.

Zelda was dangerously close to getting her 80s on. I dig the Triforce earrings, though.

One final thing: I don’t know what they made the cover for this thing out of, but it holds onto fingerprints like you wouldn’t believe.  Every time I touch it, the oil from my fingers sits smooth and sticky on the jacket like I just got done pulling them out of a bag of potato chips.  It does this even after I wash and dry my hands.  I’ll just chalk it up to another mystery in the Legend of Zelda.



2 responses

10 02 2012

so i got a question, i notice that the first print date is 12/26/11. if the book came out on 12/21/11 how could the first print date be 12/26/11, five days after its release. the reason i ask is because i have that one and i always thought it was a second print.

11 02 2012

Reading the kanji in the book, it says that that first printing was 12.26 and second printing was 2.01. The only thing I can think of is that the print date is actually the street date, whereas it was actually PRINTED 12.21 but was SOLD AT RETAIL on 12.26. But that’s just a shot in the dark.

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