Hello and welcome to The Back Cover, a new series I’ll be writing comparing and contrasting characters and aspects of the Legend of Zelda video game series, to that of their manga counterpart. For those of you who don’t know, there are ten manga books for the Zelda franchise, written by Akira Himekawa, covering eight of the main series titles. Reading about Link solve endless puzzles in various dungeons probably wouldn’t sell well, so the stories told in the manga series tend to differ from the video games, but still keep the plot of their respective game. This time I’m going to take a look at Volvagia from Ocarina of Time, which is one of the best examples of how the manga will add depth to a character within the series. Needless to say, this article contains spoilers for the manga. Jump the link if you’d like to read more!
In Ocarina of Time the video game, Volvagia is an ancient dragon from Goron lore that resides inside Death Mountain. When Link traveled seven years into the future, Ganondorf awakened Volvagia and threatened to feed the Gorons to him as a sign to the rest of the world. Link then traveled into the Fire Temple to rescue all the Gorons and defeat Volvagia with the Megaton Hammer. Although this boss fight was a very good one in Zelda standards (nothing beats bashing a dragon’s head with a hammer), there wasn’t much depth to Volvagia himself and the stories around him. However in the manga, he is given a very different story.
In Ocarina of Time: Part 1 the manga, Link enters the Fire Temple on his quest to lift the curses of the five temples spread throughout Hyrule. It is revealed to the readers that Darunia is being held captive by Ganondorf’s minions and will be the first Goron to be fed to Volvagia. The scene opens right up with Link fighting Volvagia, however right before delivering the killing arrow, Link hesitates. Volvagia then knocks him over into a pit, where he wakes up wounded and bandaged. At this point in the story, Sheik makes his first appearance. After talking with Link for a while, Sheik lets him know that the only way to lift the curse off Volvagia is to kill him, but Link cannot accept this. Then Link has a flashback of a time before he had traveled seven years into the future. Seeing a dragon in a Hyrule Castle Town shop, he buys it and then releases it into Hyrule Field. After a while, Navi notices that the small dragon is following them. It turns out that this dragon wanted to stay with Link, and then joins him for an afternoon of play. When Link departs with this dragon, it says his name, which according to Navi is a trait most dragons have, similar to parrots learning to speak. Then after Link traveled seven years into the future, this dragon grew up to become the subterranean lava dragon, Volvagia.
After all this is revealed, Link accepts that his only option is to kill Volvagia, and makes his way through the Fire Temple again. After fighting his old friend one last time, before delivering the final blow, Link shouts at Volvagia saying “It’s me, Link! Remember!!!”. However, the curse Ganondorf cast upon Volvagia was too strong, and the dragon persists to charge Link. Link then shoots the last arrow, and leaps up into the air to cut Volvagia’s head off. Before Volvagia passes away, he blinks a few times then manages to spit out Link’s name one last time.
This is one of the best parts of all the Zelda manga series, and a personal favorite of mine. The backstory given to Volvagia adds a nice touch to the whole story of Ocarina of Time, and also adds a lot to the character of Link. Throughout the story, Link is given the challenge of having to cope with missing out on the seven years he missed, and learning how to say goodbye to old friends. Volvagia is a prime example of this new conflict within Link. So what do you guys think? Does this add to the character of Link? Or change him in a bad way? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!