Manga based on The Legend of Zelda series have been published in Japan with the consent of Nintendo. Manga are essentially the Japanese version of comics (sometimes called komikku コミック) and print cartoons. They have received very high praise in The Legend of Zelda fanbase for conveying the story of the games in a decent manner as well as adding or explaining elements of the story. Some of these story elements go against the established storylines in the games and are considered non-canon.
Previously, the manga was only available in English through certain unofficial websites devoted to the series that offer translated versions done by fans. However, Simon & Schuster revealed through their online store that they would begin publishing the manga series in North America in October 2008. The June 2008 issue of Nintendo Power confirmed this by indicating that the Ocarina of Time manga would be the first to be released, which it was.
Released in 1998, it is an adaptation of the video game.
There are two parts to this manga: Child Saga and Adult Saga. The protagonist is Link either as a child or an adult, and during the course of the book he is on a quest to stop Ganondorf from taking over Hyrule. Princess Zelda helps him in his quest. The book more or less follows the same plot as the game; however, there are a few differences in plot from the game. There are six chapters in the first saga, and nine in the second. Additionally, there are two side stories: "The Skull Kid and the Mask", and "Rouru of the Watarara".
Some of the extra information in the manga is added to elucidate certain points; for example, pierced ears are explained to be a traditional rite of Sheikah passage, although this is not included in the game.
For the English version Volume 1 was released on October 7, 2008, while Volume 2 was released on December 2, 2008.
The side story tells of how Majora's Mask originated. According to the manga, the mask was an ancient and dangerous artifact made from the armor of a legendary and evil beast named Majora that was danced to death by a being disguised as a human traveler. According to a legend devised "by the humans themselves", any who obtain the beast's armor gains hold of a great and terrible power. All who approached it, warriors, men and women alike, even with good intentions, were devoured without remorse. The early Terminian tribes used the mask in their cursed hexing rituals, but when the evils caused by the mask became too much to bear, they sealed it away in darkness forever...or so they hoped.
It also briefly expands on the events of the plot. For instance, the first chapter had Link being summoned to train some Hylian soldiers, although they initially mocked him because he was a kid, only for him to demonstrate to them his swordsmanship skills. It is also implied that they were aware of his status as the Hero of Time.
Based on The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, it spans two volumes. The Oracle of Seasons manga, the first part, is made up of ten chapters and was released in English on April 7, 2009. The Oracle of Ages manga, the second part, contains eleven chapters and was released in English on June 2, 2009.
Based on The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, it spans two volumes and twelve chapters. Volume 2 also includes an omake. The first volume was released in English on August 4, 2009, while the second volume was released in English on October 6, 2009.
Written by Akira Himekawa and published in early 2006 in Japan, this manga chronicles the adventures of Link in the game of the same name. This single six-chapter volume also includes a short omake featuring Ezlo and Vaati. An English adaptation of this manga was released on December 1, 2009.
A manga adaptation of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, published in 2005, following the release of the Game Boy Advance port. In this telling consisting of four chapters, Agahnim is revealed as a friend of Link's father. Agahnim took to magic and learned how to break the Seal of the Sages, being recruited to Ganon's services. When confronted by his friend, Agahnim sent him and his wife into the Dark World. An English adaptation of this manga was released on February 2, 2010.
This volume spans twelve chapters, and was released in Japan in early 2009 and in America on September 7, 2010. Much of the characters' personalities and the story's events are different than in the game, leading to criticism from some fans. The manga continues to receive positive reviews, however.
This manga is a prequel to the events of Skyward Sword and tells the story of the original sealing of Demise by Hylia's chosen hero, who shares several similarities to the Link of Skyward Sword.
- Volume 1
- ISBN 978-4-87025-524-1
- Release date: May 1994
- Volume 2
- ISBN 978-4-87025-524-1
- Release date: September 1994
- Original Characters
- Raska: Link's childhood friend, a martial artist
- Tou: Raska's father. Also a martial artist
- Volume 1
- ISBN 978-4-87025-541-8
- Release date: May 1995
- Volume 2
- ISBN 978-4-87025-552-4
- Release date: November 1995
- Volume 3
- ISBN 978-4-87025-559-3
- Release date: April 1996
- ISBN 4880636274
- Release date: September 1989
- ISBN 4796601910
- Release date: August 1991
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past by Shotaro Ishinomori
- ISBN 4091740111 (Japanese edition)
- ASIN B0006QBMJ6 (English edition)
Created as a serial comic for Nintendo Power magazine by acclaimed manga author Shotaro Ishinomori, and later collected in graphic novel form, this tells an alternate version of the events from A Link to the Past. Though Link starts out a hapless, bumbling kid, caught up in something bigger than he ever imagined, he displays great courage and ultimately proves himself a determined and competent adventurer. Link and Zelda develop a strong connection, but the relationship is ultimately portrayed as tragic. At the end of the story, Zelda has become Queen, and Link is head of the Royal Guard and the Knights of Hyrule. This success is bittersweet, as their duties keep them apart, even though they were once so close, sharing an adventure and even coming together in dreams.
- Original characters
- Epheremelda: Link's fairy guide and companion who has a crush on Link.
- Roam: A descendant of the Knights of Hyrule who fought in the imprisoning war. A master of archery, he is intent on killing Ganon by finding the Silver Arrows. Roam can turn himself into a hawk-like monster (his basic design was modeled after Jet Link/002 from Ishinomori's first successful creation, Cyborg 009).
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker - Link's Logbook
This manga is not an adaptation of The Wind Waker, but instead parodies certain scenarios in the game. It is unclear if this manga was fan made or if the manga got rights from Nintendo, though it appears in the last few pages in the manga that a fan named Oyster created the project. Link follows a similar timeline of the game throughout the manga, and the manga is read from right to left.
Novels and Yonkoma manga
Five novels (published by Futabusha) and several Yonkoma manga (published by Shiseisha) based on aspects of The Legend of Zelda series have also been published.