The New Legend of Zelda Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Comic Synopsis

A good while ago, I picked up the New Legend of Zelda "Adventure Hero's Book" by writer Mitsunori Kitadono and artist Ikuo Miyazoe (a.k.a. The Legend of Zelda: An Original Version, as per the title page). It's an interesting little volume: a choose-your-own-adventure in manga form. It's not worth a full translation - all the choices are between Safety or Death - but I thought I'd use the full power of my late-'90's HTML to put together a synopsis and hit the highlights.

The story begins not with a kidnapping, but a marriage proposal. The dark wizard Ganos - sic; no, I don't know, either - has demanded Hyrule's Princess Zelda for his bride. The king tells him to take a hike, whereupon Ganos flips out and encases Zelda in a giant crystal.

Court magician Howie Mandel is stymied, so the King thinks back to an ancient prophecy: "only by finding the treasures of legend shall the princess be saved." Yes, an actual Legend of Zelda.

Enter Link stage center.

This being the *New* Legend of Zelda, his look has slightly changed. He still, however, comes with his usual complement of tools and weapons: his sword...

...his bow & arrow (called "valchery" here for reasons later discussed)...

...his boomerang (or "valterang")...

...his power bracelet (he has two)...

...his ability to fly like Mary Martin...

...his over-9000 Kamehameha "Aura Ray"...

...his ability to suck enemies into rifts in time ("Time Strahl")... know, the usual panoply.

Perhaps you were distracted by Link's sweet headband, but you might have noticed the small shield emblems on Link's power bracelets. All of Link's subweapons, as well as his sword, are activated via and materialize from his power bracelets, which can also grow to full size to serve as traditional shields. They also function as a sheath of sorts for his sword.

You might also note that Link is the only resident of Hyrule with elf ears. In the book, (though he does indeed have a human mother), he is a descendant of the Valcon, a race of "fairy warriors," and a servant of the goddess Valkyria. (Hence the "valchery" & "valterang." It's worth noting that the word used to denote "fairy" here, "yousei," can also mean "elf," though more the Keebler than the Tolkien variety. It's up to you to determine where Link falls on that scale.)

Link leaves the castle on his journey, only to be accosted by a little pickpocket right off. The thief pockets a few rupees (here represented by a type of gold coin) and runs off.

Link gives chase to find his little friend indisposed by a Gohma.

After Link dispatches the beast, the thief - whose name, we learn, is Com - is duly impressed and asks to accompany Link on his quest. Com claims to have been orphaned by Ganos and to know the Hyrulian countryside pretty well. That's a break for Link, who's already pretty lost as to how to accomplish his objective ("Hey, you know any stories about any treasure anywhere?").

Com leads Link across a river... the fairy forest, where they come across some...Manhandlas, I suppose.

This is, incidentally, one of the better mechanics of the novel: you have to choose wisely which weapon is best to use on each of the foes you meet. The arrows, for example, dispatch the Manhandlas neatly.

The boomerang, however, is less effective.

Further on in the forest, the pair meets a fairy with Sadako eyes.

Her name is Fonti, this Zelda's fairy of the fountain and a friend of the Valcon. After she and Link exchange a greeting in their ancient tongue, she offers him both a healing drink and help down the road, promising that "a crystal will guide them."

That's later, though. They eventually, with no help from anything crystal whatsoever, find one of the treasures of which the prophecy spoke in the hollow of a giant tree.

I don't know if this is a reference to the entrance of Zelda's first dungeon or not. Unsurprisingly, the treasure's a part of the Triforce - the Triforce (er, Treasure) of Wisdom, actually.

It's kind of dinky.

Link and Com press on to a wasteland. Ganos's home looms in sight.

Soon, however, they are a visited by a crystal bird - a crystal *talking* bird. This is Cryckon, Fonti's friend.

The bird gifts them with a crystal and leaves.

The journey continues. Landslides are dodged.

Merchants are patronized.

Baddies are fought.

Potions are drunk.

Labyrinths (here labeled the "makai" or "demon realm") are encountered...

...and Triforces - er, Treasures - of Power are found behind helpfully-labeled doors.

Link's power bracelet absorbs it like a Bag of Holding.

Eventually, the two come to Death Mountain.

After encounters with some Reaper-like Wizzrobes and a dragon Link punches to death that might be an attempt at an Aquamentus (which are basically "Do you have two Triforces?" checks, 'cause if you don't, it's game over for you, buster)...

...the duo come across a mirror. Guided by the crystal and Cryckon, the two press through the mirror and walk through the wall.

On the other side is Ganos's throne room.

Link makes threats. Ganos is unimpressed.

The battle is joined. Link quickly gains the upper hand by suplexing Ganos.
(All right, it's a brain buster.)

On a purely personal note, I had a classmate in elementary school who insisted that he had gotten to the end of The Legend of Zelda and claimed that in the last room, you found Ganon seated on a throne posed exactly like this, head leaning on his hand and all. I doubt that he had access to this manga growing up, so I will content myself to note that history bears witness to your lies, Vincent Formisano.

Also, Ganos has this strangely memorable attack where he breathes black smoke.

Another thing: Contrary to tradition, arrows are the wrong choice when dealing with Gano(n)/(s).

Anyhow, back to the correct progression of events: After a followup Kamehameha and sword thrust, Link joins forces with Com and Cryckon to annihilate Ganos with the power of friendship.

He shrivels to dust, as per the game, and leaves behind the Triforce of Courage, as not per the game.


Link goes to retrieve the medicine to revive that, unfreeze Zelda from the crystal somehow, which Ganos has stored below an alabaster bust of the princess he's kept in his chamber.

Link is more interested, though, in the commemorative plate underneath.

Upon returning to Hyrule Castle, Link learns that Zelda got better, being trapped in a crystal the moment Ganos bit it. It turns out Link's Franklin Mint priorities were correct after all, as the plate is necessary to contain and store the Three Sacred Treasures Link picked up on his journey. Zelda announces that she's given the Treasures a name - the Triforce ("the three forces!" she enthuses to Link, presumably to solicit compliments on her cleverness).

Zelda also announces that her family's going to take in the orphaned Com, who shows up in new clothing.

Zelda discloses that her real name is Commy Impa. Ha ha ha.

Link departs to continue his Fairy Warrior training, and the tale ends with a prophecy from the very first Zelda that if the Triforce is ever lost, a lone hero will visit the land to set things right.

We are not told about the status of his headband.

Back, if you came from my dumb site.