Saturday, May 29, 2021

Archival Scanning Project: Zelda Manga, Novels, and Guides

Over the next year or so my goal is to make high resolution, archival quality, scans of all of these no-longer published Zelda publications so they're never lost. Most (if not all?) have been out of print for 35-20 years, many of the publishers aren't even in business any more. I don't really know what to do about it after that though. Right now manga publishers are going after some scan sites: mainly because people were making major ad and subscription money on thousands of works STILL being published; which is pretty messed up. I want to state, in the 20 years I've been doing this, I've never had a single ad or sold a single thing to make money on anything from my site. I've never even so much as linked to my personal online art stores. I busted my ass and pushed for years to see the Himekawa manga officially localized outside of Japan and to get Hyrule Historia released outside of Japan too. Like, let's pay publishers and artists to do the work so we can get more works made. I absolutely get that not everything gets localized in every language and that not everyone can access and afford things though. I mean, I grew up really poor and literally started this site because my favorite childhood Zelda art book/game guide was stolen from me and I couldn't find it again to see the art I had been so inspired by again. I looked for a decade before I found it and had to spend $100 to buy it at auction. Money that also did not go back to the original creators. ...Which is also why I wish publishers could find ways to work on that issue too. Like offering free online libraries of work that there isn't much of a market for any more. Or, if they don't want to bear the costs, would even okay fans to do it under certain circumstances. Anyway...

My old hard rule was to only offer scalations in a language it couldn't be found in and to remove them if we heard they were going to get picked up officially, to only do works that had been out of print for years, and for all of that: to make the available manga scans just barely big enough to visually understand what was going on, so people could see what they were about but would still be encouraged to buy them when they could because the small size really isn't incredibly enjoyable. It's pretty clear none of these volumes are ever going to officially see the light of day again. You can't even find them on auctions sites any more even if you have the sometimes hundreds of dollars needed to buy each one. In an ideal world I would want a new publisher to pick up the rights and produce them, give money back to the original artists or their families if they have passed, or use it to fund artists to do new works. Sadly the chances of that happening are probably close to Zero if they haven't happened by now (or maybe I should start writing companies like an insane person and beg them to get the rights and re-publish them, ...who knows.) Unfortunately, originally, copyright law only covered around the first 14 years of a work. Which means every single one of these could be reproduced without a sometimes insane and over cumbersome process.... but then Disney fought to change that to nearly a life time, with the ability to be extended... So... 2056-2066ish is the earliest...? That's just cruel to fans who simply want to be able to experience a part of the history of their favorite series. Anyway, just know I will preserve them and that I will be trying to figure out how to handle this in the most ethical way possible. 

This is just a picture of my Zelda manga and novels, I don't even know how many more guides and artbooks I have. 

A long time ago some of my 4koma suffered water damage and I forgot about it until now. If you have any of the remaining volumes below, and are willing to sell them, please contact me. I found the ones with green checks on ebay.

 I also need another German Link's Awakening guide because mine came with a missing page that has art on it. Thank you!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

New High Res Scans: Link's Awakening Dreamer Artbook

The out of print 2019 remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening had a 120 page bonus artbook that I've finally fully scanned in high resolution at 600dpi. It mainly contains some really adorable concept art with my favorite piece being the Oracle style character sheet and sketches of Link. I believe the US version is hardback, pictured here, but I purchased and scanned the Japanese version because it's a lot cheaper to obtain and, being softcover, I felt less guilty about removing the pages to get perfectly flat images. 

You can find all of the pages at the flickr gallery here.

Also, apologies, I realized that my scanner is scanning slightly crooked. It doesn't affect the images quality it just means that the pages aren't perfectly horizontal. Looks like I need a new scanner. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

The Skyward Sword Official Art Gallery Collection is Massive- And Still Growing!

The official art gallery for Skyward Sword isn't even finished but it's already massive. Please check it out over on flickr! I'm pretty proud of it so far. I still have a ton left to do though before the re-release: I'm currently scanning and editing maps to add as well as being nearly done locating and organizing item renders and the art for the game sprites.

In it you'll find the official game release illustrations, posters, hundreds of pieces of concept art, renders and rips that will help with character reference, and let me know if you want me to add level renders or anything else. 

Years ago I made scans of the artbooks and lightly cleaned up a lot of the images. Those are the ones you'll most likely find on wiki galleries and reposted on pages. I just re-did all of that with clearer and more vibrant versions and they're in the gallery now: so they're really worth seeing and using. once again I worked on taking the distracting text off of most of them too so they're really nice to look at and study and even better to use for illustrating articles.

Backstory: If you don't know, I'm currently working on creating the most extensive and complete official art collection for every Legend of Zelda game and am trying hard to make and track down the best versions of every piece of art out there. Exactly 19 years ago tomorrow is when the site first launched and keeping official art from being hard to locate, or disappearing completely, is why I started History of Hyrule. I'm excited to be working towards this goal again... and it's even more fun knowing the task will never end. There will always be something new or left to find.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Breath of the Wild art is coming next

I'm getting closer to finishing up the bulk of the Skyward Sword section of the official art gallery, so out of curiosity I did some test cleaning for the Breath of the Wild artbook, Creating a Champion. It turned out pretty well. Looking forward to adding nice concept sketches to the gallery. Here are some examples with very minimal manual cleaning (basically I mean none of the original art was altered or lost)


Monday, May 3, 2021

Insanely High-Rez Old-School Link Art

This has always been one of my favorite pieces of Link art and thanks to the incredible collector, Art of Nintendo Power on Twitter, we have a high resolution scan of the actual cel. That's right: it's a cel, he owns it now, he scanned it at 1200dpi, and since it's a painting there's no pixilation. It's incredible and I am in heaven. I did a rough clean up job on it and have it uploaded at the flickr gallery in its all its 17,680 x 9900 glory, here.

You could originally see this in Nintendo's Legend of Zelda Tips and Tactics guide, and I use to be responsible for the best image of it online, which is a joke compared to this one. I'm super happy to pass that torch because, seriously, nothing beats this!

Gallery Update: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons mostly done!

Super excited about this one because it's really cute and harder than it should have been, mainly because so much of the sprite art seemed impossible to track down! Anyway, I can easily say, this is the most complete Oracles art gallery online, nothing was even close to being in one place. And a head's up: many of the scenes are animated gifs, if you download them you'll be able to see them.

Check it out on Flickr!

Partial translations for an adorable old Hyrule Fantasy book:

This is just a small section of translation @sergethesage sent in for this absolutely awesome little book for the first Legend of Zelda. 

Page 1-2 (Title) The story of ‘Legend of Zelda’
(upper right) (text)
Long, long ago, in the country of Princess Zelda, on (continent) Hyrule, because of two Triforces with mysterious power, there was a prosperity.

Nursemaid Impa
Princess Zelda
Triforce of Wisdom
Triforce of Power

(bottom right) (text)
However, one day, Prince of Darkness Ganon, wishing these Triforces for himself, invaded. And he captured Triforce of Power.

(picture) Prince of Darkness Ganon
(bottom pictures, from right to left)
Things that can be met in ‘Legend of Zelda’

The grand collection of Link’s weapons and treasures, and enemies

White Sword
Twice better than ordinary sword

Magical Sword
Four times better than ordinary sword

Magic Shield
Repels enemies’ attacks

Heart of Life
Link’s life. When all hearts become white, it means death

(upper left) (text)
The other, Triforce of Power, remained safe, but Princess Zelda, afraid that Ganon capture it too, divided it into eight small pieces and hid them in different underground mazes. 

(bottom left) (text)
Link heard this story from Princess's nursemaid Impa and vowed to defeat Ganon and save Princess. But Triforce of Wisdom is important for defeating Ganon.

And so Link went out to seek hidden Triforce.

(pictures) Princess Zelda, prisoner of Ganon


(bottom pictures) Heart’s flask Increase number of Link’s heart by 1.

Rupi Money. Blue rupi costs 5 yellow

Magic key Door key, can be used many times.

Ladder To cross narrow rivers and chasms.

Raft To stay without troubles on the water surface.

No Clip: Amazing resource for screen captures, textures, and art reference.

I'm late to the party and am mostly just posting this here so I don't forget about it again- because it's too amazing. If you need to see a level, or reference a texture, from any of the earlier 3D zelda games, check out It really is a museum. So far it has Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess, Windwaker, Majora's Mask 3D, Ocarina of Time 3D, and Ocarina of Time N64. Thank you so much for creating this, Jasper! I needed to remember a detail on a level in Skyward Sword, a game I can't play because the motion controls cause nerve damage in my arms, and it allowed me to get right to it!

Whole levels

Direct texture download

Screenshot from inside Zelda's room

Link's Awakening Manga: Super rare and never seen before! (Updated!)

For the first time ever on the internet: a very rare Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening manga short that was that was just scanned by @randomhoohaas of & was sent to me by @miloscat. It's 38 pages and is from a fairly obscure Japanese comic periodical, COROCORO BESSATSU, the August 1993 issue.

UPDATE: @sergethesage sent me this great summary:

Here is brief story of Link's Awakening.
Link defeated 7 monsters and got 7 Siren's instruments, but then received message from Hot Head, saying that mister Tarin is kidnapped and ransom is 7 instruments. Link said Marin nothing, took his trophies to Turtle Rock and gave to Hot Head. Hot Head released Tarin but warned Link in a Godfather-like manner, that a new attempt to wake Fish of Wind would mean the end of life for Tarin and Marin.

Link and Tarin decided to keep all this in secret from Marin, but Link behaved himself very strange, and Marin asked Tarin what is wrong. Tarin said nothing, but thought, and Marin read his thoughts (after all it's a comics for elementary school children). So Marin left note and went for Hot Head's den to bring instruments back. Link and Tarin read her note and hurried to save poor girl, but it was late - Hot Head captured Marin.

Link tried to attack Hot Head, but evil monster told him, that waking Fish of Winds means deleting all this world including Marin and Tarin. His evil words made Link to hesitate, Link's arm lacked strength, and so Hot Head was about to kill Link. In last moment Link remembered Zelda, it gave him some strength but not enough. Hot Head need only one final blow to finish Link off, but in last moment Tarin appeared with fairy. Fairy fully recovered Link, and he destroyed Hot Head and rescued Marin.

The last scene. Marin tells Link to go and wake up Fish of Wind. And adds, that she believes all be OK, because Link is true hero with kind heart.

Here's a direct translation of this page that he provided:

Link: One more – and I have all eight!
Marin: Are you not afraid of monsters?
Link: I have many too many dreams and to-do things.
Link: And can’t waste my time here! (It leaves no place for doubts?)

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Remake) -Dreamer Artbook

I have a copy of this ordered and on the way so I can get images for it into the gallery but if you know of a digital download, please let me know. Scans are great for linework and sketches, but digital downloads are better for the scene pictures, which often scan pretty dark.

These were posted by the amazing account, Videogame Art And Tidbits and can be found here and here

I found those thanks to this page on Zelda wiki, thank you for crediting sources, GrandmaYahoo!

Summary translation of an old Hyrule Fantasy manga:

@sergeithesage on Twitter was kind enough to translate the summary to this old manga, so we can get a little bit of a better idea of what it's about. Thank you so much!

The Legend of Zelda by Mitsunori Kitadono and Ikuo Miyazoe, 1987, Keibunsha Co.

"Once upon a time, when magic and mystic were abundant, several small countries joined into Great Kingdom Hyrule. It was prosperous and peaceful, but then the Prince of Darkness Ganoth (Ganosu) came. Monsters and beasts filled the country, devastating the land.

Soon Ganoth demanded to give him the only king's child, Zelda, as a bride. King refused, and Ganoth enclosed Zelda inside crystal. The court wizard tried to break the spell, but all was fruitless. So he remembered the old legend about 3 treasures. 

The only chance to ruin spell Is to find these treasures. But noone knows, where they are, or even how they look like. Then wandering (samurai) young warrior seeking to hone his fighting skill came into Hyrule. He heard about Ganoth's crimes and Zelda's disaster, and so vowed to king to find treasures."

Gallery Update: Official Art for Majora's Mask mostly complete!

Here's the most complete The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask character, poster, and concept art gallery ever online. Find it here! I just have item art left to do and I will also probably come back and add a single render for each character and enemy, for reference, as well as a few more pieces of Himekawa art, 4koma art, and I may redo some of the Hyrule Histora images. Most of all: Let me know if I'm missing anything.

I also did some re-draws over these characters, that had other characters overlaid on them, so that people could have them as single images for character sheets and the like. I need to redo Romani's hair though. It was 1am when I did that and I'm not happy with it. You'll find high resolution images for them in the gallery

Gallery Update: Ocarina of Time Gallery mostly complete!

I've been bad about updating here and I'm making an effort to change that starting now since I'm seeing how much the backlog piles up. Lots up updates are getting posted today. 

Oot! This is, by far, the most complete & highest-rez official art gallery for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time ever online. I spent so much time tracking down the highest quality images & cleaning up saves and scans. Find it here! I have a few maps from the Versus guide left to add, and I will probably come back and add a single render for each character and enemy, for reference, as well as a few more pieces of Himekawa art, 4koma art, sage symbols, and I may redo some of the Hyrule Histora images. Most of all: Let me know if I'm missing anything.

A note: While most of the official art gallery borrows heavily from the incredible work people have done archiving things on Wiki's, they can still be quite hard to navigate and the sections aren't always interconnected. Like Impa art may only be under a small sub directory of Impa, not in the gallery for the character or a game. It can still be pretty hard to track down an image on them even when you know what you are looking for. Some of these images don't even come up on reverse searches even though they've been uploaded for ages. I also do as much work as I can myself, (and many of these same wiki's have used hundreds of my guide and book scans for the past 20 years, I really do try not to take from places that haven't benefited from my work as well) but we all have access to different things so it really is a joint project, preserving this stuff for people to find and people look for things in different ways. Wikis are incredible for information and holding on to art anyone can add but the point of the gallery on History of Hyrule site is a little different. It's purely easy-access image archival, so people can have quick viewing access to find what they need for their project and to learn what is out there. I am also trying to encourage back traffic back to the wikis if people want transparent PNGs.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Super Rare Link to the Past Manga: Never Posted Online Before

 Ah, AH! I am so in love with how this happens. So if you saw the last post you'd know MiloScat wrote me about 3 old school Zelda mangas that have never even been online before. I really love them all but, what I am so incredibly in love with, is the fact that people are still finding and getting this stuff online exactly so it's never lost.

He sent me this LttP one
from scans he made from the volume he located and is allowing me to host them on the site. (I'll get them added to the site-proper soon, right now they're in the flickr gallery.) He may even translate them eventually. I cleaned them up a bit and am so happy to be able share them here. It's a 39 page Link to the Past manga by Toshihiro Ono that he believes is a stand-alone work. That can seem a little confusing because it introduces itself in the middle of the game, and appears to have established characters, but the context of the text in the rest of the magazine implies it. Apparently, according to an interview, this was this guy's first published manga too! I think Link looks great in it and would have been very excited if he had done more Zelda stuff. The fairies, and especially the wide shot of the dungeon, are pretty awesome in my opinion.

So anyway, thank you Milo, for allowing all of us to enjoy this. After 30 years I'm surprised anyone still had a copy of this magazine. Thank you for locating it, importing it, and scanning it!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Absolutely Adorable Adventure of Link Manga-Short

TumblrTwitter, and Flickr user MiloScat wrote me about a Link to the Past, Link's Awakening, and this Adventure of Link manga- all of which I was completely unaware of.  I'm in love with each and everyone of them but this one is the absolute cutest thing ever. I'm posting about this one now because you can go read it in his Flickr album or find the original scans in Japanese on Ragey's site, here: I can not thank Ragey enough for discovering this work and getting it online! It blows my mind that it could have been so easily lost forever but this person found it and helped bring it to all of us.

To know more about it, visit MiloScat's Tumblr. There's a lot more at each, site too, these guys are getting a ton of cool stuff online. (The others manga will hopefully come in a bit, I'll post more when the pages are cleaned up and if I have permission to add them.)

Credit: "Famicom Manga pack-in booklet included with the May 1987 Ninensei edition of Shogakukan’s Shogaku Gakushu Zasshi magazines. The raw scans come from Ragey; he also cleaned these up before I got to them! I took these and translated them into English with the help of Horseypope."

Added High-Res Book Illustrations from Futabasha Game Book Series: Legend of Zelda: Tryfoce of Gods

 Just added roughly 27 black and white illustrations from this Link to the Past novel called Futabasha Game Book Series: Legend of Zelda: Tryfoce of Gods, published in 1992. These are some of my absolute favorite pieces of art for the series. They hit many of the major moments and I think the style is so perfect and solid. The high res scans are in the flickr gallery, here.

Scanned by Melora of History of Hyrule.

Added High-Res Book Illustrations from Futabasha Fantasy Novel Series: Legend of Zelda

Just added roughly 14 color and black and white illustrations from this Link to the Past novel, with Hyrule Fantasy (Zelda1) art. It's called Futabasha Fantasy Novel Series: Legend of Zelda and was published in 1992. I love these, so much, they're incredible. The high res scans are in the flickr gallery, here.

Scanned by Melora of History of Hyrule.

Added High-Res Book Illustrations from Futabasha Fantasy Novel Series: Legend of Zelda 2

 Just added roughly 15 color and black and white illustrations from this Link to the Past novel called Futabasha Fantasy Novel Series: Legend of Zelda 2, published in 1992. It's not my favorite style, it's very different than the game, but it still has some pretty neat pieces. The high res scans are in the flickr gallery, here.

Scanned by Melora of History of Hyrule.

Added High-Res Book Illustrations from Link's Adventurous Quest: A Counterattack from Darkness

 Just added roughly 21 black and white illustrations from this Adventure of Link novel called Link's Adventurous Quest: A Counterattack from Darkness, published in 1987 by Futabasha. It's all pretty cute. The high res scans are in the flickr gallery, here.

Scanned by Melora of History of Hyrule.

Added High-Res Book Illustrations from The Adventure of Link: The Legend of the Black

Just added roughly 22 black and white illustrations from this Adventure of Link novel called The Adventure of Link: The Legend of the Black Triforce, published in 1987. I really like a ton of these. The high res scans are in the flickr gallery, here.

Scanned by Melora of History of Hyrule.