The love for Hyrule's unforgettable cast of heroes and villains continues!
I recently took a trip to Sydney to attend the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses tour as it made its brief stopover in Australia. Even though I'd already attended the concert in Los Angeles during last E3, I can say the trip was definitely worth it.
The Australian sessions of the concert were held in the Sydney Opera House, and if the turnout is anything to go by, it was easily as successful as it has ever been before. The venue was buzzing with avid Zelda fans, as well as a handful of cosplayers dotting the crowds.
The storms rage outside, but the fans are undeterred!
The crowds amass.
Link appears to do battle with yours truly!
I escaped unscathed, and had a chance meeting with Saria.
As with all good performances, a merchandise booth was set up with shirts and posters to commemorate the event. Those who read Goodies 1 last year can see the logo design from the shirts that were on sale, but this time around I've snapped a photo of the posters as well.
The posters show the three goddesses, the Hylian crest and a stormy field.
That I have been lucky enough to attend this concert twice is something special, yet I have to say I'd gladly see it again if given the chance. European readers - if you have the means to attend any of the upcoming performances, it is well worth a plane trip and a short hotel stay.
Next up, we have a belated look at the long-awaited English edition of Hyrule Historia. If you haven't read about the Japanese one, I talk about the design of the book in the previous article - this time around I'll be comparing the book to the Japanese version. Of course, the 25th anniversary of the series has long passed since the initial release of this book, so the English version does not promote itself as having such a connection to the anniversary - all such logos are removed and replaced with the pattern from Skyward Sword's Gate of Time.
The English version on the left, Japanese on the right.
A sight to behold!
Golden text all over.
The English version, published by Dark Horse Books, comes in two flavors - the regular edition and the collector's edition. Both are hard-cover, and both are glorious - but it's really a matter of personal taste over which one is better. The regular edition has a kind of Kokiri green cover with the logo and text stamped in gold foil, and sports a snazzy Master Sword picture pointing down the spine, while the limited collector's edition has a leathery texture that feels slightly spongy to touch. The logo and text are pressed into the surface of the leather, and the pages are gilded in gold, which has a habit of coming off on your hands as you turn the pages - beware of leaving glittery fingerprints on everything you touch afterwards. The limited edition also lacks the Master Sword on the spine, but features a little footnote inside the front cover that states it's one of only 4000 copies. Besides that, the interior of the books are identical.
The Collector's Edition, limited to 4000 copies.
When compared to the original Japanese version of the book, it's immediately noticeable that the English version is significantly larger. The lack of a dust jacket means no hidden cover artwork in the English version, but the inside of the cover now features a scroll painting spread featuring the Goddess Hylia as depicted in the opening scenes of Skyward Sword. Due to the reordering of a few pages at the front of the book to accommodate the extra translation credits, the page numbers for each of the segments within the book are also rearranged.
The gilded page edges conceal the golden treasure within!
Just in case you forgot how rare it is.
The paper is thick and sturdy, and the larger printing of the images does not reduce the sharpness at all, Dark Horse are known for their printing quality after all. While the Japanese version has the Skyward Sword manga in the end printed on a slightly matte comic book type of paper to the rest of the book, the English version uses the same paper all the way through. The glossy ink of the Japanese version isn't used in the English one either, so the pictures don't seem to shine or "float" over the paper like in the original, which is sad but a minor cosmetic detail.
have three copies of the same book. Totally worth
I haven't had the time to sit down and thoroughly read it cover to cover, but from what I've gone through so far, I'm pleased to say that the translation is impeccable. Plot details are accurate, character and names are spelled correctly, the utmost care has been taken to treat this book the way it deserves to be. Fonts have been chosen to match the original Japanese layouts and placement of art and all the original page border designs carry over to the English version, which just add to the overall presentation.
The inside of the cover features the Goddess Hylia from Skyward Sword.
Two points deserve particular praise regarding the manga in the back. Firstly it is kept in the traditional Japanese right-to-left page orientation without flipped artwork, the quality of the art is kept intact! Secondly, the original Japanese sound effects are kept. Some manga publishers in the West will try to cover the original Japanese onomatopoeia with English sound effects, and to be sure that they've correctly blocked out every remaining trace of the original text, they'll drop gigantic, bold text onto the image that often ends up intruding into the characters' space in the panel, or completely hiding background details (The VIZ publication of One Piece is especially guilty of this, if you've read that you'll know what I mean). Thankfully, Dark Horse have opted to keep the text effects of the original work intact and provide small, unobtrusive English onomatopoeic translations that work nicely with the art.
The Skyward Sword manga is drawn by the same artists as the other Zelda books.
The only other difference of note is that the rear blurb on the original book's dust jacket featured cover art for the three currently-available Zelda games in Japan, and a special page with a note from Akira Himekawa (Author duo of every official Zelda manga thus published) showed the cover from each of the previous Zelda manga books. Both of these cover compilations are excluded from the English version of Hyrule Historia: the latter of which is particularly disappointing - however Dark Horse make note that the English translations of the Zelda manga series are available to purchase, which is better than nothing.
I won't show any more of the regular pages, you'll just have to buy the book!
Regardless of the minor changes, Hyrule Hystoria is every bit the ultimate treasure tome for anyone who has played The Legend of Zelda, and if you're a fan of the series, you need this book. Sources say the initial print run is sold out and preorders of the next printing are also selling out quite fast, but fortunately the English version is a lot easier (and a lot cheaper) to get your hands on than the original Japanese print. Good luck trying to get the collector's edition, though!
Finally, I have one more piece of Zelda swag to show off. Last year, ZREO (Zelda Reorchestrated, the guys responsible for the symphonic arrangements in Symphony of the Goddesses) put together a Kickstarter for an album project wherein they spiffied up the entire soundtrack to Twilight Princess.
Those who pledged to the creation of their project received an exclusive and extremely limited 3-disc soundtrack of their brand new Twilight Symphony upon release. While not an official piece of Zelda merchandise (though it is legally licensed), I couldn't pass up the opportunity. The album is lovely and the music speaks for itself, those who wish to listen can check here for info about the upcoming digital release - but I'm here to show off the physical copy.
Enter the Mirror of Twilight to a musical world!
A nice collector's piece.
The track listing.
The folding CD case features lovely art depicting Hyrule Field with Link and Midna's silhouettes, and comes with a slide-out book with information about the guys behind the creation of the album. The disc designs are particularly nice, featuring pictographic outlines of the Master Sword, Midna's cursed helmet and Zelda's light arrows set in front of a Mirror of Twilight design. When folded up, the whole thing slips into a windowed plastic cover showing the Mirror's design. While actual Hylian text is used around the edge of the logo, attempting to translate them seems to result in a mess of random letters - a missed opportunity for some extra hidden detail. Nonetheless, the album is incredibly nice and a worthwhile piece of Zelda's history. If more of these albums come to fruition in the future I'll gladly pitch in my part to help out again.
Link and Midna prepare for their journey to the castle.
The design is quite cool.
The full package.
So there you have it. This is a wordier chapter of Mariobilia than I'm used to writing, but I hope it was nonetheless enjoyable, considering I haven't done one for a while. Thanks for reading as always, and look forward to my next one coming as soon as I receive one of several delayed figurine sets from Japan.