Posted on April 18 2009 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
The Ocarina of Time story may have ended, but we are only halfway through Part 2 of The Legend of Zelda Manga. Two additional chapters, based mostly on original material, are also included. The first bonus chapter takes place before The Legend of Zelda Manga Part 1. Link is still living with the Kokiri, who are preparing for the annual Deku Festival, celebrating the ripening of the Deku nuts. This is suspiciously similar to the ceremony with Makar in The Wind Waker.
Rather than music and singing, this festival has a special play staring the Kokiri. While electing roles for the play, Saria and Link get nominated for the lead roles. This has a nice taste of irony to the game when Link asks for a role without any lines.
The Kokiri start to make their costumes, particularly their masks, for the play. While Link isn’t paying attention, Mido, still jealous over losing the lead role to Link, hides Link’s mask as a prank. When the other Kokiri force Mido to return it, the mask is gone from Mido’s hiding spot.
Angry about what has happened, Link decides to enter the Lost Woods to search for his mask. Concerned for his safety, Saria follows close behind Link. Eager to impress Saria, Mido and his friends enter the woods as well.
Before long, Link finds a skull kid holding his mask. He informs the skull kid it is his mask, and the skull kid politely returns it. Link befriends the creature before he, without warning, turns hostile and attacks Link. The skull kid kidnaps Saria and runs off into the woods. Next, the skull kid stands in front of the Baga Tree, basically an evil rival to the Deku Tree.
Pleased with the skull kid for capturing a Kokiri, he explains to him that Link is actually Hylian who will grow up to be an adult who will come back to destroy them. Declaring his hatred for adults, the Baga Tree orders the skull kid to destroy Link.
The skull kid once again confronts Link, but cannot harm him due to their recently built friendship. Confused, the skull kid runs off and sets Saria free. The Baga Tree finds out and blasts the skull kid with a powerful wind for his disobedience. The Baga Tree then sends out a pack of wolves to find Link and Saria.
Link, who recently found Saria, fends off the wolves with a Deku stick. For some reason, while a wolf was gnawing on the stick, it catches on fire. Now I suppose the grinding teeth created a spark, but that is awfully farfetched, otherwise my mouth would catch on fire every time I bit my tongue, or chewed a pack of gum.
The Baga Tree, which for some reason grows to their location, attacks Link with sharp tree shard projectiles launching from a hand shaped branch. The skull kid leaps in to save Link right at the last moment. At this point, Mido and his gang show up with sticks in hand, and they beat the Baga Tree with their weapons until he shrivels back down to a regular tree.
Eager to come to the festival, Mido gives the skull kid a skull mask so that he too can attend. Link decides to give up the lead role to Mido for helping him in the Lost Woods, and the festival continues as scheduled. Overall, this was a nice story, loosely based on some existing content. Once again it is interesting to see the similarities between this Deku festival and the ceremony from the Wind Waker, especially since Part 2 came out years before the Wind Waker was released.
Unfortunately, this simple story does feel a bit unnecessary. Yes it sets up the story for part 3, Majora’s Mask, but this prequel setting seems to be something that would better suit Part 1. It feels out of place for Part 2, and just seems to me that this story serves more as page padding due to the shorter main story.
The second bonus chapter is called Rouru of the Watarara. This story takes place after Link is an adult, but before he awakens all the sages. Link decides to go fishing to get something to eat. Navi tries to motivate Link to hurry so they can move on, but he ignores her, very determined to relax. He manages to catch something on the line and pulls out a child sized bird creature. That’s right, a bird child. Sound familiar? Link takes the child to the doctor at the lake Hylia Laboratory.
The doctor’s name is Wizumi, which the writers made up. It’s understandable that they had to name the guy since he plays a prominent role in this chapter.
Doctor Wizumi informs Link that the child is of the Watarara Tribe, a race that migrates with the seasonal winds, arriving in Hyrule once a year. He goes on to explain that the bird must have fallen from his flock since he does not have wings yet, which they grow as they get older.
Now for those who haven’t noticed yet, this is surprisingly similar to the Rito from The Wind Waker. The Rito are also bird like creatures that initially don’t have wings to fly, except rather than growing them, they acquire them from a scale of Valoo. Nevertheless, the Watarara and Rito look very similar and share a similar growth pattern.
The Watarara child wakes up, and Navi tries to introduce herself. Apparently jealous of Navi’s ability to fly, the bird starts hitting the fairy. We find out the boy’s name is Rouru, since the chapter title wasn’t obvious enough. The next day, he continues to torture Navi.
Frustrated, Navi confronts Link and asks if they can leave. Link refuses, insisting they must help Rouru find his tribe. Perhaps losing his temper, Link tells Navi to stop nagging him and tells her to go follow someone else. Upset by his words, Navi leaves.
The scene shifts to another Watarara by the name of Lord Guufo who is frantically searching for the Chieftess amongst a large group of other Watarara. Guufo reports to the Chieftess that he has not found Rouru yet, but will continue to search. The Chieftess hints that Rouru is her son and she fears for his safety, but the winds will change soon and she cannot endanger her tribe by waiting much longer. Guufo assures the Chieftess that he will find Rouru before that happens.
Link is outside the laboratory trying to deal with the trouble making Rouru, when they are abruptly interrupted by two massive tornadoes forming on the lake. Sensing a dark magic, Link discovers that the tornadoes are in fact Ganondorf’s minions. Link asks Navi for advice on what to do, quickly remembering that she had left due to their fight from earlier. Link and Rouru cling to a nearby tree for dear life. Link regrets mistreating Navi after all she had done for him, once he realizes how beneficial she is in such situations.
As the tree begins to break from the winds, Link asks Rouru to fly them over to a bigger tree. Rouru insists that he cannot fly, but Link encourages him to be brave. Realizing what was happening, Navi returns just in time to offer Link advice. She tells him that he must get inside the tornado in order to fight. Rouru, scared for his safety, tells Link not to go, but like the good role model he is, Link tells Rouru that ‘you have to take risks in order to make progress.’
Link leaps inside the tornado and discovers the Flare Dancers inside. A quick swipe of the sword defeats the Flare Dancers, ending the tornado. Suspended several hundred feet above the earth, Link begins to fall. Navi frantically tries to slow Link down, with little success. Accepting his fate, Link thanks Navi for trying and apologizes for the way he treated her earlier. Unwilling to give up, Navi keeps trying, when suddenly, Rouru swiftly flies in and grabs Link by his shoulders.
Still unable to support Link’s weight, the three continue to fall to the earth. Moments before reaching the ground, the Chieftess flies in over Rouru and flies Link to safety. Reunited with his tribe, Rouru says his goodbyes to Link and Navi just in time to ride the seasonal winds to their next destination.
This was a pretty nice story. It was completely original, and gave an interesting side note to what would someday become the Rito. It’s fun to see the writers relate to the player by suggesting that Link sometimes gets irritated by Navi’s nagging as well. Their confrontation in this chapter still remained reasonable and nicely comes full circle in time for the end. The parts where Link is falling and Navi and Rouru are using all their might to save Link, was some of the best writing from the manga series so far.
This chapter had a clear role model moral to the story, and it adds a certain level of respect to Navi despite some of the less than thrilled responses some fans have given to her. My one complaint is how the story is set up to take place in the middle of the Ocarina of Time story. It sort of takes away from the urgency that was present throughout the rest of the story, seeing how Link takes several days off from dungeon crashing to help out Rouru. I also don’t see why they couldn’t have just fit this chapter inside the actual story rather than a bonus chapter placed at the end. If it really belongs in the Ocarina of Time story, which I believe it does, then why not include it within the story rather than the by the way, this chapter fits in somehow approach.
Overall, Part 2 was a lot more intriguing than Part 1 on account of the increased amount of originality, especially with the added bonus chapters. The one and only grammar error that I noticed in the entire book is when Link says “Rather than a having happy reunion…” It should read, Rather than having a happy reunion…
This is a pretty simple error that should have been caught after the first read through by the editor. The fact that these simple mistakes are still making its way through to publishing is pretty embarrassing for an official Nintendo product. However, there are less notable errors in Part 2 than in Part 1, so we can still consider that a slight improvement.
Despite its short comings, reading the Ocarina of Time Manga has been a great experience. It reminds me just how influential that game was to me, and contains enough original content to keep me reading. While some parts of the story can be really irritating as well, if nothing else, the art style displayed throughout both volumes is very refreshing. I’m not a fan of the idea of remaking Ocarina of Time with new graphics, but if that is your dream, then this book is probably the closest we will ever get to a revised look. The old Nintendo 64 models can look a bit crude when compared to some of these spectacular drawings.
The originality, in this volume particularly, shows some of the possibilities behind Nintendo authorizing completely original stories bearing the Legend of Zelda name, assuming we show our support with the existing volumes. If you are still hesitating to buy into the whole manga thing, which I personally understand, I assure you this book and the one before it are well worth the small price, despite their shortcomings. If nothing else, they are a load of fun to look at and admire. Volume 3 is now available retelling the entire story of Majora’s Mask.