The Back Cover: A Tale of Lineage

Hello and welcome back to The Back Cover, the series that brings you all some insight to The Legend of Zelda franchise’s 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. Today’s topic is Raven from Oracle of Ages. Obviously, this article contains spoilers for the manga. Jump the link if you’d like to read more!

Oracle of Ages takes place in the land of Labrynna, and throughout the game Link travels back and forth through time to defeat Veran and save Nayru, the Oracle of Ages. Veran is an evil witch summoned by Twinrova to go back to the past of Labrynna, possess Nayru, deceive Queen Anbi, and build the Black Tower in order to resurrect Ganon. From there it’s your typical Zelda spiel, with Link going through dungeons to collect items and essences to defeat Veran. However, Oracle of Ages is different in the fact that it has many original characters and bosses, such as Ralph and Ramrock. The manga contains all of these characters as well, though there is one character that is exclusively unique to the manga. That character is Raven.

Raven is a knight of Labrynna, and makes his first appearance capturing Link and throwing him in Queen Anbi’s dungeon. From this the reader might think that Raven is an antagonist, but after a few pages we see Raven riding a horse down to a small pond. Link, having escaped, follows Raven to this pond. Raven eventually notices Link there and speaks with him. In this scene, he shows his true colors. He sees Nayru’s bad influence on the Queen, and suspects that she is up to something. Knowing that Link has information regarding Nayru, Raven befriends Link and takes him to a secret village that he keeps out of harm’s way. The people of the village love Queen Anbi, but know that the construction of the Black Tower will only bring about suffering and toil. Link eventually tells them that he and Nayru came from the future Labrynna, and that Naryu is being possessed by the evil witch Veran. After Link finishes explaining everything to them, Raven is set on going to the Black Tower and defeating Veran. The only problem for our hero Link however, is that Raven is his ancestor.

Raven and Link then go out with some other villagers in their first strike against the Black Tower. They both get separated, and after a chapter or two Link, along with Ralph, actually end up back with Raven in his village. They plan for a second attempt to destroy Veran, but before they can head out Ramrock appears. Ramrock was sent by Veran to distract the villagers so that her servants could find and capture Raven. Raven chooses to give himself up to Queen Ambi’s servants if his village will remained untouched, though Link knows that he can’t let anything happen to Raven. Of course, this was Veran’s plan all along, as she knew that Raven was Link’s ancestor. From there, its a typical video game ending. Link and Ralph infiltrate the Black Tower, rescue Raven, and destroy Veran along with Ganon. Before Link returns to his own time period, he says goodbye to the people of Raven’s village. He sees Raven last, who admits he had figured out that Link was his ancestor. After this, Link returns home to his father’s farm and looks upon Raven’s portrait, but this time with more intent than ever before.

Personally, I think Raven is an awesome character. I know he wasn’t in the game to begin with, but that just makes me love him even more. Akira Himekawa must have been on a great creative streak while they drafted up this character. I would really like to see Raven star in an actual main series Zelda game (I don’t know which one he’d be in though). What do you guys think? Raven: Yay or nay? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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