Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Oracle of Seasons Manga

That's more like it. I guess the less story there's in a game, the easier it is for Akira Himekawa to make a good manga out of it. There they can amplify and change the story to their liking without hurting the game's original framework plot. It might even be the reason, why Himekawa chose to make mangas for games like Four Swords Adventures and A Link to the Past over games like The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. There they have the necessary freedom to write a good story and come up with their own ideas.

I have to say that the Oracles manga is definitely my favorite of the bunch. It's not perfect and I've read far better stories, but it's overall enjoyable and made good use of the game's original plots.

I'll admit that the main reason why I like this manga is the beautiful portrayal of Din. She's just magical and you really can't blame Link, that he immediatly falls in love with her, though she's probably too old for him. But if this would be adult Link, I'd say she's the perfect girl for him, she's something special, but also a lot more down-to-earth than let's say a princess. The manga is also the reason, why Din became one of my favorite girls in the Zelda series, even though she's not doing much in the games. But Link fells for her anyway and really wants to save her. Can't think of a better motivation.

What's also cool is, that Link basically builds up a party like in some JRPG or other Japanese fantasy stories. His first companion is some chicken, I'll get to that later. Then there's Ricky, though he's basically the Jar Jar Binks of this story, he's really annoying. I thought he was much cooler in the game. Then they are joined by Maple, who wants to get the Rod of Seasons for herself. And in the end there's also Moosh. No sign of Dimitri in both mangas, however. Well, there's one cool scene, where the entire party is surrounded by tons of monster including several bosses like Gohma, Gleeock or Aquamentus. That panel was pretty epic.

Well, the story completely skips over the dungeons, only some of the bosses appear as the bad guys. And I think this was the right choice, it would be boring to watch Link collect some essences. Basically it starts out with Link living by his grandparents, his grandfather really wants him to become a knight, but Link rather wants to live his own life. So, he leaves and ends up going to the knight qualifying test in Hyrule Castle Town anyway. There he gets in some trouble and somehow ends up by the Triforce. It sends him to Holodrum, where meets Din and gets the hots for her. So he joins the gypsies, but at some point they arrive at the Temple of Seasons, where Onox awaits Din, captures her and sinks the temple. Link decides to rescue her, meets up with Ricky and they accidently get caught in a portal to Subrosia, where they find the Temple and Maple. Equipped with the Rod of Seasons, they cut their way to Onox's castle and save the day. At the end Zelda appears and confers knighthood on Link. It's a simple story, but it works.

Well, there's also some weird stuff. One is the "Navi Chicken", I call that chicken that way, because it's basically a Navi replacement. I guess there's no way Link could survive without a sidekick, who tells him what to do. At the beginning it's just some normal chicken, but because of the Triforce Link can suddenly understand what it says and even gets awefully lots of knowledge about everything because of the Triforce. It doesn't make sense at all, but it's by far not as bad as some stuff in the Majora's Mask manga. Also, the Maku Tree appears, but unlike the Deku Tree he doesn't talk, but Link reads his mind... wtf? I guess Himekawa didn't get, that this was basically another Deku Tree, just watching over Holodrum.

I will continue to talk about the Oracle of Ages manga in my next post.

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