The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts Review

Zelda Art Artifacts

Upon reading this title, you may be thinking, PushDustIn…you’re crazy. Arts & Artifacts isn’t going to be released until 2017! Are you a Sourcer?

…well, it was just released in Japan. As Hyrule Graphics. Of course, I had to get my hands on it so I could review the contents for you guys (…and for my own personal collection). To be fair, Art and Artifacts may contain some extra stuff…we don’t know yet. However, comparing the promotional assets used on Dark Horse’s website, and the book it seems that they will be the same as the description and pictures matches Hyrule Graphics. You can check out the Amazon JP listing here. Hyrule Graphics is around 4,000 YEN (about 40 USD). The book is published by Nintendo Dream with Nintendo and Aonuma being given special thanks.

The book is over 400 pages, and includes images from every (almost) single Zelda game. I have included the table of contents below so if you are interested in a particular entry in the series you can see how much art it has. The artwork is stunning, and the quality is great. The paper feels nice, and the pictures look sharp. The book is divided into three parts: Masterpiece Sections, Character Illustrations, and Extra Contents. Masterpiece has a lot of concept art, and promotional assets. Character Illustrations are…well, characters. NPCs and enemies are included here. In the Extra Content section, there are packages, logos, sprites, and even an interview with several of the artists from Zelda. We’ll post a summary of that interview once we have a chance to fully digest it.

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Most of the artwork has actually been released before, so there isn’t really anything too shocking. There are some early drafts of certain artwork, and I’ve been pouring over them to see what has changed. For example, the early version of Twilight Princess main artwork was split completely vertically. Again nothing too shocking, but it’s interesting to see some of the changes as a fan of the series.

There are some new pieces here and there. There are over 2,000 pieces of art in the book! The Legend of Zelda II: Link’s Adventure section is particularly amusing as a lot of the art would be perfect for a sticker set on Facebook or Line. Seeing the evolution of Link from the original to Breath of the Wild is great…but I do wish there was more new content. The Breath of the Wild artwork has all been seen before. 

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…And we won’t have to wait that long for more. On the back cover, it states that the second entry into the 30th Anniversary ‘series’ will be released this winter with the third entry coming sometime in 2017.

However, the old content vastly outweighs the new. Hyrule Graphics, isn’t as compelling as Hyrule Historia. Hyrule Graphics makes for a great coffee table book, and something to flip through every once in awhile. There isn’t a lot of new information in it which makes it a bit disappointing for me, but being able to look at the artwork from nearly every Zelda game is certainly a treat. I wish there were more interviews, but Nintendo Dream might be saving it for later installments. Considering the price point (mostly likely due to the printing costs), hardcore fans will love it but casual fans might not feel it’s worth it.

Overall, I’d rate it 3/5.

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Table of Contents:

(Page number is listed after the title)

Chapter 1: Masterpiece Illustrations

The Legend of Zelda 1  004
The Adventure of Link 010
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Four Swords 014
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX 025
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D 028
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask 3D 042
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages 050
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD 054
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Four Swords 064
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure 065
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap 066
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD 072
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass 082
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 085
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 088
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds 096
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes 104

Chapter 2: Character Illustrations

The Legend of Zelda 1  112
The Adventure of Link 122
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Four Swords 132
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX 144
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D 148
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask 3D 180
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages 200
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD 216
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Four Swords 244
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure 250
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap 256
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD 264
Link’s Crossbow Training   301
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass 302
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 312
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 324
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds 348
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes 360

Chapter 3: Extra Contents

Logo Gallery 372
Logo Gallery [U.S. Version] 374
Package Gallery 376
Package Gallery [U.S. Version] 378
Extra Gallery 380
Pixel Art 388
Talking with the Illustration Artists 398
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 410
Credits 416

 


Editor’s Note: Not related to the Hyrule Graphics Artbook but we want to give Artsy Omni credit for his work on the beautiful “Hylia Serif” font, which we used in our article header. If you want to download the font, go check out Hylia Serif-homepage: http://artsyomni.com/hyliaserif

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PushDustIn

Founder at Source Gaming
PushDustIn is the founder and administrator of Source Gaming. Being obsessed with the history and development of games isn’t easy. Building a reputation on his research, translations and article write ups, PushDustIn fully encapsulates the meaning of data-miner. PushDustIn has studied Japanese for over six years, and has lived there for over four. The name PushDustIn comes from a garbage can in Osaka (Push Dust In). He lives with a very spoiled cat named Kuma.

Mains: Yoshi (64), Game and Watch (Melee), Wario (Brawl), Wario/Pac-Man (Smash for 3DS/Wii U)
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One comment

  1. I’m more of a concept art guy, but if the most of this is just a collection of stock art most wikis already have, then I might have to pass, as Hyrule Historia had more concept art.

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