ZD Staff Reviews Hyrule Historia

TimothyFebruary 10th, 2013 by Timothy

The long-awaited Legend of Zelda art-book–Hyrule Historia–was released last week and quite a few of the Zelda Dungeon staff have had the chance to get their hands on a copy and take a detailed look at the stunning designs and timeline of our beloved Nintendo series.

We have noticed that multiple Nintendo sites are posting reviews of this stunning Zelda memorabilia, and as there has been a great deal of discussion internally among our own staff, we’ve decided to compile our opinions on the book.

As such, we are dedicating this post to comments about Hyrule Historia from the staff and we hope you find reading these opinions interesting and beneficial, especially for those who still haven’t picked up this masterpiece!

The ZD staff’s comments regarding Hyrule Historia can be read after the jump!


When Hyrule Historia was first announced, I was extremely excited, as probably all of you were, and hoped for an English localization. As time drew on, though, it seemed that this would never happen. I decided to take this opportunity to get a Japanese copy of the book, and when the English translation was announced, I also ended up getting that. Both editions are pretty similar, though, except the language of course. And I’d have to say that I love them both. The pictures are colorful and the concept artwork is really neat to look through. It really feels like you’re taking a look into the minds of the creators of the Zelda games, even those made over 20 years ago. Definitely a great addition to my collection, and is still fun to just flip through every once in a while, even after you’ve read the articles. Here’s to another 25 years!


When I first heard about the Hyrule Historia I was ecstatic! However I was even more excited when I found out the book what being released in English. I had plans to get the book regardless if it was in English or not. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the last few Hyrule Historias in stock at the store I got it from and the first thing I though when I bought it was “wow! Look at that size of this thing!” Right now I read this book like it’s an everyday novel, I’m sorry but it’s like my bible haha.
The book is absolutely stunning and I love seeing all the ideas that go into each Zelda game. The concept arts are amazing especially in the Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword sections. I love seeing all the different concepts they created for the characters. My favourite part of the entire book is the Skyward Sword prequel manga at the back of the book, the illustration are incredible and it’s a great insight to the beginning of the series. I was even imagining a game based on the manga! I’m really glad this book has been so successfully because it really deserves it. As Davey said. Here’s to another 25 years of the legend!


I was already very familiar with Hyrule Historia as I had prematurely purchased the Japanese version several months ago with the foolish mindset that it was a worthwhile investment and that an English version would never surface. Both my arrogance and my wallet therefore suffered in equal measure when Dark Horse announced that they would be publishing an English translation.

Despite the familiarity of the artwork and the content, the previously inaccessible ability to read the text and the developer’s notes indicated to me just how much I had been missing by overlooking the writing and simply focusing my gaze on the artwork. Not only were some of the more perplexing pages of the book finally explained after months of confusion and speculation, but parts such of the book such as the richly detailed History of Hyrule and the Skyward Sword manga were now fully accessible for me to pursue and enjoy without any limitations. The art is fascinating and the developer’s notes are entertaining and enlightening, with the additional sections of trivia adding greatly to the variety of the book.

Despite all this, I can’t shake off the feeling that with the release of Skyward Sword and this book, Nintendo have drawn a line in the sand in terms of the Zelda series’ progression. Hyrule Historia feels like a buffer stop at the end of the current 25 years of The Legend of Zelda, gesturing to us to disembark our comfortable and familiar train of normality and change to the other, more peculiar and unfamiliar carriage which leads off into wilder and unexplored destinations. Perhaps someday we will look back into this era of Zelda and see that Hyrule Historia made history in itself; not for chronicling for the first time the order of Zelda games past, but for signalling the arrival of newer, more innovative and exhilarating Zelda games of the future. Here’s to the next 25 years, and the vain hope that the Tingle Train in the Spirit Tracks section of the book will someday make an appearance.


I do not yet have a copy of Hyrule Historia. I put it in my cart on Amazon, but I didn’t actually pre-order it since I’m a poor college student and I like having money. However, a friend of mine was sent the special edition as a surprise gift by her parents. Needless to say, we both geeked out. I’ve seen and held it, but I haven’t had an in-depth read yet. I did however flip through in order to admire the artwork, and I have to say, I was floored! According to my friend, there are also random tidbits of info about characters that you’d never suspect, so I’m looking forward to that!


I was quite excited to receive my copy of Hyrule Historia. I was one of the many who preordered it on the day it was announced that there would be a English translation made for it. Eagerly I awaited for my copy of it for nearly six months until finally it arrived at my doorstep. I was a happy Zelda fan.

I loved looking at the sketches that appear in the book that show the ideas that the developers had in mind for certain characters. Its kinda interesting to see what ideas they had in mind for them when compared to the final versions that appeared in the games. The timeline section was also pretty interesting too. It does help to put the series in perspective in terms of where each one takes place on the timeline. The Skyward Sword manga section at the very end of book was also another one of my favorite parts. Kinda wished it was all in color, but ah well, I’m just glad it was included in there.

I’m looking forward to seeing what else will occur in the Zelda series. By looking at the sketches that appear in the book and knowing that the developers do have a tendency to make unused ideas appear in a future Zelda game it only helps to make me even more excited to see what they will come up with next! Here’s to the next 25 years of Zelda!


I’ve been a Zelda fan for a decade and a half now. The beautiful, fascinating worlds of Hyrule and beyond have filled my imagination and dreams ever since I was a six-year-old peeking over my sister’s shoulder at Ocarina of Time for the first time. That same kid went nuts when Hyrule Hystoria was first announced, and when its English version was available for pre-order I’m pretty sure he’s the one who purchased it; either way the excitement was the same.

When I came home from college this weekend, I instantly knew what that rectangular package on the kitchen counter was. Really, I was a bit surprised when I pulled the book from its box and felt how heavy it was. The pictures do it so little justice; this thing is huge! I haven’t had many chances to page through it yet, but this morning I brought it to church with me and showed it to some friends of mine so we could “geek out” in the parking lot.

My parents think it’s silly. My girlfriend says I shouldn’t have spent the money. Still, my six-year-old self thinks this book is the greatest thing ever, and that’s all I need. Any Zelda fan owes it to themselves to at least read this book and, if possible, buy it. The Hyrule Historia is not just a compilation of art and lore; it’s a dedication to twenty-five years of Zelda and to the bright-eyed young fan in all of us.

…I’m not crying, I swear.


Hyrule Historia is the definitive Legend of Zelda encyclopaedia and art book as it details beautiful images from past games in the series and puts together a chronology that has been on fans minds for quite a long time! The moment I received my copy I knew that this was worth the price being offered. It features a gorgeous Gate of Time illustration embedded into a dark green setting on the front cover and is surprisingly huge although this allows for an even more enjoyable reading experience.

I definitely recommend Hyrule Historia to any Zelda fan looking for some astounding behind-the-scenes insight and a greater understanding of the history of the games and where they’re placed in chronological order. It also happens to contain over 250 pages so this book is no walkover! If you haven’t purchased a copy be sure to check Amazon or any other good book retailers so you can know how special this Zelda memorabilia really is to fans who have waited very patiently for an English translation.

What do you think of Hyrule Historia? Do you agree with the ZD staff? Is there any different content you would have liked to have been included in Hyrule Historia? Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below!

Categorized under: Hyrule Historia

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  • Mike Boyens

    I had just ordered my copy of Hyrule Historia about a few days ago, it should be here between this Thursday and Saturday. I’m looking forward to reading it!! :D

  • Trevor

    That timeline >:(

    • Midnafan

      what about it? it made total sense to me. :/

      • http://ZeldaDungeon.net/ Jordan D.

        It’s got holes, but it’s still about the best thing they could throw together with such a fractured and disjointed continuity between the games.

      • Sir GearHeart

        What I liked best about the time line was that it was what I had guessed it to be, so it made perfect sense in my head.

        • Midnafan

          it worked like that for me too. plus, they included short explanations of what happened in each game that gave it its place in the timeline, and even put non-game events in between to fill the gaps.

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      It makes sense the question becomes whether you accept it or not.
      Personally I like it because the three timelines each represent one facet of the Triforce.

      Ganondorf defeating Link = Triforce of Power Wins

      Link defeating Ganondorf = Triforce of Courage Wins

      Zelda has Ganondorf imprisoned by the Royal Family = Triforce of Wisdom Wins

      At the end of the day I think the real issue is the vague-ness of the “Hero Defeated” timeline. It would help if there had been a specific moment in the game where you could pin point where maybe Link potentially died, or where he vanished from that timeline all together before being able to defeat Ganondorf.

      That would’ve probably helped people accept it more.

      • npatoray24

        when the master sword got knocked out of his hands, he never got it back and died… ganon wins

        • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

          Exactly something along those lines, lol.

  • Dark Majora

    what? no opinion from axle?

    • Locke64

      or from locke?

      • http://axlethebeast.com/ Axle the Beast

        ^ This.

    • http://axlethebeast.com/ Axle the Beast

      For whatever reason, my copy hasn’t arrived yet so I told them to just go ahead and post this without me. I’ll comment sometime at a later date, maybe.

      • Midnafan

        i sense another discussion video or article. :P

      • http://ZeldaDungeon.net/ Jordan D.

        HA! I knew it, I freaking knew someone would say it! XD

  • http://www.facebook.com/debora.brak1 Debora Brak

    No negative reviews. That’s nice!!!

    • Midnafan

      what is this “negative” you speak of? :P

    • http://ZeldaDungeon.net/ Jordan D.

      We’re all still excited. Give it a few weeks and someone’s eventually going to hate it :P

  • http://www.facebook.com/Akesha.nis Ake Sha
    • IgosDuIkana


    • Someone

      Since I’m a Christian, saying that would really go too far for me.
      But that meme is still really funny ^^

      • Midnafan

        i know, it’s a teensy bit offensive, but still hilarious!

    • Midnafan

      that is flippin amazing! XD

    • baileygirl99


  • Hylia

    I ordered the limited edition in November, and I’m still waiting for it.

    • Midnafan

      aw! hope you get it soon!

      • Hylia

        Actually, I checked Barnes & Noble..
        The order was cancelled 4 days after it was placed. :’c

        • Midnafan

          oh, you poor thing! :'(

  • Moon Rain

    Still waiting for my copy to arrive… There went something wrong so I have to wait for it a bit longer…

    • Midnafan

      seems a couple people have that issue. maybe because it’s so popular? that’s kind of why I’m glad I’m waiting a little bit to order, that way I don’t have to deal with it being sold out or waiting months to get it.

  • Faedeur

    I like how the green version of the book looks somewhat like the Book of Mudora. Wonder if that was a nod..?

    • http://ZeldaDungeon.net/ Jordan D.

      That was my main motivation for sticking with the standard edition.

      • Hero of Time

        I wasn’t planning on getting something as expensive as the collectors edition, with how expensive it is on eBay.

        • http://ZeldaDungeon.net/ Jordan D.

          Pretty much. I mean, I might have opted for it if it were just $5 more or something, but it’s just too great a difference for just two features that I don’t care much for.

          • Hero of Time

            So agreed.

  • Midnafan

    I REALLY want this book! as soon as i have some money again, i’m buying it! man, these reviews have made me so excited! :’/

  • Ben

    This is a stupid book. Doesn’t show me once.

    • http://ZeldaDungeon.net/ Jordan D.

      Okay, I thought that was clever :V

    • Locke64

      You aren’t canon, sorry.

  • mookysam

    I was really surprised at the size and weight of this and the quality and thickness of the paper. It’s particularly interesting to look at early character designs and the design process. Zelda’s early Skyward Sword designs are funny!
    I look forward to reading it properly.

  • Pokalink

    I got HH at the end of January, and honestly i was quite hysteric when it came a few days earlier then expected, however i’m a bit dissapointed with it, i thourily enjoyed the timeline section, however i felt there was just to much artwork without a break, i would have prefered if there was more information about the actual charecter, and not how they were thinking of putting a bandana on zelda, im not saying it was bad at all, and i would still recomend you buy it, im just saying dont give your hopes up.

  • HappyPerson


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004047914984 Krishna Moorthy

    can someone scan the timeline and upload it here? i would if i had the book

    • http://youtube.com/bastiantime bastian

      No, we’re not really allowed, Sorry! :D

    • npatoray24

      just google it

  • Aaron hill

    it was fun to read and the artwork was very good.

  • M2-Wes

    i own 2 copies of the limited edition, 1 to open and read and 1 to keep sealed. i also have the standard edition and to be honest, i still think the standard cover is better. other than the fake leather cover and gold gilded pages, it really doesnt make much of a difference. the only difference in content is an additional page that says “this edition is limited to 4000″. the standard cover is a beautiful shiny gold with a green background (very similar to link’s color scheme), and its 1/3 the price. so for those of you upset about not getting a limited edition, don’t worry. its nothing special!

    hope this easies some of your minds :)

  • baileygirl99

    I finished it today D-‘: but I will re-read it like a billion times :P

  • Error

    I really enjoyed the book but felt it was way too Skyward Sword heavy. As someone who grew up with the original titles in the 1980s I was hoping for more production art and such from the first batch of classic adventures. I think the SS section should have been split between some of the fan favorites such as A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, and a section on SS to help promote the title as this book was initially released around the same time.

    • Never

      Yeah seriously, a third of it was just SS by itself.
      Neat, but it practically makes it “Skyward Sword Hystoria …with other Zelda’s making an appearance!”

  • Navi the Fairy

    i was SUPPOSED to get it from BOOKS-A-MILLION THREE WEEKS ago!!! THREE WEEKS!!!
    *starts pouting and throwing temper tantrums*

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