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Manga / The Legend of Zelda

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Take The Legend of Zelda, turn it into a graphic novel, and you get this. Beautiful combinations of plot and humor (usually), the manga follow the adventures of Link and what he does in that game to save the day and rescue Zelda (usually).

So far, the official manga are:

Manga With Their Own Pages

Most of the manga are written in Japanese and have been fan-translated on the internet for people to read, like at Zelda Legends. Official English translations of all of Himekawa's adaptations have been released, while the Ishinomori version of Link to the Past was written for the English audience in the first place.

Not to be confused with the Zelda comics, produced in 1990 and 1991 and based on the two NES games in the franchise.

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This manga series provides examples of the following:

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    General 
  • Adaptational Badass: Sometimes, the bosses put up an even greater fight than in the games. This is prevalent in Four Swords Adventures with Vaati, Ocarina of Time with Dark Link, and Ran Maru's Adventure of Link with Bolba.
  • Adaptational Wimp: The bosses from the games are often less powerful in manga adaptations, and rarely need more than a single blow to be killed.
  • Big Bad: Usually Ganon(dorf). Sometimes turns out to be Vaati/Gufuu, and was once the Skull Kid. Twinrova is The Man Behind the Man (er, women behind the man) in the Oracle stories.
  • Courtly Love: Some of the stories, Ocarina of Time and the Himekawa Link to the Past in particular, depict varying shades of this between Link and Zelda. Four Swords Plus presents them with gifts of flowers and holding hands.
  • Fairy Companion: Navi in Ocarina of Time (as in the game), Tatl and Tael in Majora's Mask and Ciela in Phantom Hourglass (ditto), the nameless fairy in Four Swords, Ephermelda in Ishinomori's A Link to the Past, and Felicia in Link's Awakening.
  • Heroic Mime: Averted in the Twilight Princess manga and Oath of Lilto. Used frequently in the Wind Waker 4-koma.
  • Kid Hero: Link in almost every adaptation aside from Twilight Princess.
  • Luminescent Blush: Multiple examples:
    • Link has this (complete with hearts in his eyes) when Zelda kisses his cheek in the first half of Ocarina of Time.
    • He also does it repeatedly during the course of the Himekawa Link to the Past.
  • Parental Abandonment: Typical of the Zelda franchise, although the background of Oracle of Seasons does show the death of Link's mother. There's no indication of his father's identity, however. Conversely, Four Swords Plus gives him a father, but no mother. Link to the Past (Himekawa version) explains the absence of both, as it's plot-relevant.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Link, in a few of the stories.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: Zelda is almost never seen without it (except, of course, when she's Sheik or Tetra).
  • Suddenly Speaking:
    • Link is seen speaking in the pre-Oo T comics and in the Twilight Princess manga.
    • A lot of unintelligent monster and animal type enemies can now talk.
  • This Cannot Be!: Some villains when they're defeated in the adaptions made by Akira Himekawa.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: The adaptations made by Akira Himekawa seem to admire this trope. Link calmly declares this to Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time after being forced to kill his old friend Volvagia in order to free him from Ganon's curse and awaken Darunia as the Sage of Fire. He also shouts this at Agahnim in A Link to the Past as he absorbs his magic with the Master Sword and sends it right back at him after Agahnim sends Zelda to the Dark World encased in a crystal as part of a sacrifice ritual to open a portal to said realm itself.
  • The Wise Prince: Gender inversion. Zelda, whose wisdom is even sought and deferred to by adults when she's a child, such as Link's father in Four Swords Plus.

    The Legend of Zelda — Ran Maru 
  • Came Back Wrong: Ganon's revival is incomplete, as Zelda's blood was spilt onto his ashes, leaving him looking almost like a corpse, and needing to cover his eyes when attempting to attack Link, due to Zelda having placed two pieces of the Triforces of Power and Wisdom into Link's Magic Shield.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The first game is covered in only a few chapters, with only two of them having Link explore dungeons, particularly the Eagle Dungeon and Death Mountain. The rest of the dungeons are covered in a single chapter showing Link's adventure and his obtaining the many items and upgrades he needs to defeat Ganon with. On the flipside, Zelda 2 takes three volumes to cover, with interesting story progression between the Temples, including what happens after Link awakens Zelda I.
  • Cult: The Cult of Ganon are the main antagonists of the Adventure of Link, led by the Prince's aid, Ganon's alter ego. They are successful in reviving their master in Vol. 2
  • Dissonant Serenity: Don't let the Osamu Tezuka-style art fool you. These four volumes are quite bloody. The most violent they get is in the final volume of the Adventure of Link. Link defeats his Shadow by bisecting him down the middle, with a visible blood splatter. The Zelda from the first game is dropped into a pool of lava, before Link is able to save her. The kicker is when the Prince's aid rapidly decays before a skeletal Ganon runs him through.
  • Ret-Canon: Of all things that were in the manga, including Link's pink hair on the covers, the one thing that made it into the games and was later deemed canon was the identity of the Magician: he's Ganon as a human. His overambitiousness towards attaining the Triforce led to him becoming Ganon's alter-ego, eventually realizing that this led to his own death in Vol. 3. Such an idea of a lamenting Ganon would appear in the Wind Waker's depiction of Ganondorf (already Ganon's human form as early as A Link to the Past, and Hyrule Historia would confirm the Magician to be one of Ganon's alter-egos, similar to Agahnim.
  • True Final Boss: Ganon becomes one at the end of Zelda 2 Vol. 3. After he obtains power from the Triforce of Power and takes to the skies, Link obtains an Infinity +1 Sword by combinging all three pieces with the Magic Sword, making it into a proto-Master Sword. Link then cuts off Ganon's wings and burries him under a boulder with the Power Glove, then stabs through the boulder with the sword, making sure that Ganon will never return. After he leaves Ganon's tomb, the now purified River Devil (a giant salamander in this adaptation) finds Link's discarded flute and plays a bit of music.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Link inexplicably has pink hair on the first two volumes of the manga, later being rectified as blonde. This later appeared in the games with A Link to the Past (though that's only due to sprite limitations and his canon color is blond).

    A Link to the Past — Multiple Versions 
  • Cursed With Awesome:
    • In the Ishinomori version, Roam has come to accept and even depend on his beast form (a hawkman) to aid him in battle. Ghanti in the Himekawa version doesn't mind her beast form (a wolf or fox, it's hard to tell), either. Link himself has a noticeably better form in both compared to the game's rabbit — he's a wolf. But he doesn't let himself fall victim to it.
    • Link's werewolf form was originally a choice made by Ishinomori to reflect the darkness within Link; Himekawa's take on it, based on his hate towards Agahnim, was due to how Twilight Princess was still in development at the time of publication. In both Cagiva and Taguchi's versions, Link never changes his form.
  • Dark World: The Trope Namer world of A Link to the Past, of course.
  • Death by Adaptation: In all three manga adaptations, Link's uncle remains dead at the end of the story and is not revived.
  • Decomposite Character: In the games, Agahnim is Ganon's avatar in the Light World. All manga adaptations depict them as seperate villains.
  • The Dragon: Agahnim. (The game, in contrast, depicts him as Ganon's clone.)
  • Ghost Reunion Ending: Link's Uncle and parents are seen together at the end.
  • Playing Tennis with the Boss: How Link fights Agahnim in all four manga.
  • Psychic Link: (No pun intended.) Link and Zelda are brought together by her telepathic distress call, as in the game. In at least Himekawa's version, they then continue to maintain their psychic bond throughout much of the story. Averted in the Cagiva version where Link is never contacted by Zelda, but instead, is given a mission to save Zelda by the leader of the knights.
  • Ret-Canon: All four manga manage to show something that would later apear in the games.

    A Link to the Past — Junko Taguchi 
A second adaptation of of A Link to the Past. This manga was written and illustrated by Junko Taguchi and published by Hippon Super! in 1993.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Oddly enough, Agahnim in this version. He appears as a dark-skinned man with a well-built physique.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Most of Link's journey in the Dark World is cut down, showing him arriving in the land, fighting a Lynel, meeting the transformed inhabitants, and finally fighting against Ganon.
  • Ret-Canon: Ganondorf's appearance in the manga differs greatly than how Ishinomori depicted him. Here he is shown as a muscular man in black armor and skilled with a sword, very much like how Ganondorf would be presented in all games following Ocarina of Time.

    A Link to the Past — Ataru Cagiva 
An adaptation of A Link to the Past. This manga is set in the same continuity and has the same Link as the Link's Awakening manga. It was actually created and released after the Link's Awakening manga, making it a Prequel, despite the original Link to the Past game being released before the Link's Awakening game.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The King of Hyrule is much younger and thinner in this manga than he was in the game.
  • Annoying Arrows: At one point, Link's arm is pierced by an arrow all the way through, but this only leaves a minor wound that quickly heals.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Rasuka fights entirely bare handed in a setting where everyone else uses swords.
  • Canon Immigrant: The Master Sword's guardian is revealed to be a Precursor Hero and the previous wielder of the Master Sword who fought against Ganon 600 years ago during the Imprisoning War. This manga came out in 1995, three years before Ocarina of Time which makes the Hero of Time a Canon Immigrant from this manga. This comes across more as Nintendo and Ataru Cagiva having the same idea of a previous hero wielding the Master Sword during the Imprisoning War rather than a deliberate attempt at a Canon Immigrant. This would also make his unnamed Fairy Companion a rough counterpart to Navi as well.
  • Canon Foreigner: Link and his uncle's friends Tou and Rasuka. Rasuka accompanies Link on his quest. There is also the leader of the Hyrulean Knights who serves as a mentor to Link and also accompanies him. When Link tries to pull the Master Sword out of its pedestal, a guardian spirit appears to test if Link is worthy to wield it. In the Dark World, Link meets Kanika, a scholar who is knowledgeable about the Dark World.
  • Cry into Chest: Leader comforts Link after Link's uncle dies by having Link cry into his chest while shirtless.
  • Expy: The Master Sword's guardian's fairy companion has an identical character design and personality to Felicia from the Link's Awakening manga.
  • Faceless Goons: Averted, the Hylian guards have visible faces.
  • Fake Defector: Kanika openly admits to previously working for Ganon but has had a change of heart and joins Link. It turns out he was The Mole all along.
  • Fairy Companion: Link's spirit advisor, the Master Sword's guardian, has a fairy companion who also turns out to be a spirit as well.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Not only is Link wanted for kidnapping Zelda like he does in the game, in the manga, he is also framed for the murder of his uncle.
  • Heroic Lineage: The Master Sword's guardian who is revealed to be a past hero and the previous wielder of the Master Sword who fought Ganon during the Imprisoning War is also revealed to be Link's ancestor.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In their final fight, Link kills Agahnim by running him through with the Master Sword.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Rasuka and Leader accompany Link on his entire quest, but in the final fight against Ganon, Link goes in alone.
  • Legacy Character: The Master Sword's guardian is revealed to be a hero from centuries in the past who had previously wielded the Master Sword.
  • A Match Made in Stockholm: Link and Zelda meet when Link kidnaps Zelda to get her away from Agahnim.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Link's uncle is given the name Zanji in the manga.
  • No Name Given: The Master Sword's guardian and his Fairy Companion are unnamed in the manga.
  • Pet the Dog: Agahnim revives a puppy that was run over by a coach with his power. This is a subversion as he only did this act of kindness to gain people's trust.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Part of Link's uncle's death scene.
  • Precursor Heroes: The Seven Sages seal away Ganon during the Imprisoning War in the backstory. A Canon Foreigner, the Master Sword's guardian, is revealed to be the previous wielder of the Master Sword who fought against Ganon during the Imprisoning War.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Kanika and everyone else in the Dark World. After Ganon created the Dark World 600 years ago, time stands still for people inside of it and they no longer age.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Kanika dies from injuries he sustains returning the Master Sword to Link.
  • Ret-Canon: The concept Link being mentored by a Spirit Advisor of a previous hero who wielded the Master Sword would appear in a canon game in Twilight Princess. Going by Nintendo's official timeline, both spirit advisors would be the same person on different timelines.
  • The Rival: Rasuka was always fighting duels with Link since they were children and even when they go on a quest to save Hyrule together, they still end up competing against each other.
  • Spirit Advisor: Link is mentored by the guardian of the Master Sword. The guardian is later revealed to be the spirit of the previous hero who wielded the Master Sword.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Rasuka and Leader walk in on Link's fight against Agahnim, but stand aside to let Link fight Agahnim himself.
  • Secret Test of Character: The Master Sword's guardian fights Link to see if he is worthy of wielding the blade. Link ends up being no match against the guardian, but the challenge was to test Link's resolve and not his fighting ability.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The King of Hyrule is never killed in the manga like he was in the game.
  • Tender Tears: Link cries after his uncle is murdered. Zelda thinks Link's tears are a sign of weakness, but the leader of the knights tells her that Link cries because he loved his uncle and that Link's love is a sign of strength.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Subverted. Link throws the Master Sword at Agahnim, but it turns out to be a trap with Agahnim being an illusion. The trap results in Link losing the Master Sword, the only weapon that could harm Agahnim.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: Rasuka and Leader get trapped in one of these rooms and Link has to use the Master Sword's Sword Beam to break them out.

    Link's Awakening — Ataru Cagiva 
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: Reasoning that Link will likely wake the Wind Fish, the monsters go on a hedonistic rampage, and destroy animal village.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Link. Link is told that he is the "Messenger of Awakening", a chosen one who will awaken the Wind Fish. He later finds out that the true role of the "Messenger of Awakening" is to cause a Dream Apocalypse and destroy the island.
  • Bag of Holding: Felicia holds the Instruments of the Sirens for Link. She dematerializes the instruments for storage and rematerializes them when Link needs them.
  • Blood Knight: Master Drona, the Hinox warrior, fights Link for the enjoyment of fighting. This also applies to the other monsters to a lesser extent who make it clear they enjoy fighting.
  • Canon Foreigner: Felicia, the Tsundere Fairy Companion. She's another Canon Foreigner fairy companion that predates Navi. There are also several original villains like Karuna, the Moblin swordsman, and Master Drona, the Hinox warrior.
  • Damsel in Distress: Surprisingly enough, not love interest Marin, but the fairy companion Felicia who is kidnapped by Moblins.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: There seems to be a G-rated equivalent of Did You Just Have Sex? during a dialog exchange between Link and Felicia. Of course, that isn't what actually happened, this is a Nintendo game after all.
  • Girl Next Door: Interpretations of Marin in the game range from exotic islander to girl next door, the manga goes heavily into a girl next door interpretation.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Link likes the red-headed Marin.
  • Heroic BSoD: Link gets one after learning the truth about the island.
  • Invincible Hero: Link in this depiction, the only time the possibility of him losing is when his sword breaks and when he fights Dethl, apart of that he's presented as being pretty much unbeatable. The other time he's in danger is when his sword breaks and he has to fight a monster with bare hands. This ends up working out since the focus of the story is less about the tension of him succeeding in his quest, he, in fact, clears dungeons off-panel, and more about coming to grips with the reality of it.
  • It May Help You on Your Quest: Link is given the ocarina from Madam MeowMeow as a reward for rescuing Bow-Wow instead of finding it in the Dream Shrine like in the game.
  • Jump, I'll Catch You!: Played straight between Link and Marin when they are attacked by monsters while traveling to the Animal Village.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Since Link can actually talk in the manga, a good portion of the manga deals with Link's emotions as he eventually accepts that he must wake the Windfish and bring about the end of Koholint Island.
  • Master Swordsman: One of Link's fights is with Karuna, a Moblin master swordsman.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The unnamed ghost in the original game is given the name "Nakura" in the manga.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: One of the rare aversions for this franchise. While there still isn't any actual hugging or kissing, the manga does play up the romance over what was present in the game if only because Link can talk.
  • Smooch of Victory: Madam MeowMeow tries to give Link one for rescuing Bow-Wow, but Link runs away in terror.
  • Take Up My Sword: Literal example. Nakura the ghost in the manga is a soldier who defended the island when he was alive. After Link takes him back to his house, he gives Link his sword which finishes his Unfinished Business.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Thinking that waking the Wind Fish will result in a Dream Apocalypse (which it does), Link abandons his quest and tries to leave the island his own way.
  • Tsundere: Felicia.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Link assumes he's on a run of the mill save the world quest. He finds out he's dead wrong and his actions will actually destroy the island, which prompts him to try and run away from it, not aware that of the You Can't Fight Fate present. On a lighter note, when he gets his hands a new sword, he initially assumes that it's just an ordinary sword like what he was using before. He finds it's a lot more than that.

    Oath of Lilto — Junya Furusawa 
The Legend of Zelda: Oath of Lilto is a spin-off set in the Zelda universe around the time of A Link to the Past but staring original character Lilto and his friends, with Link and Princess Zelda only having a small role in the story.

    The Wind Waker 4koma 
  • Container Cling: In Monsters Are Not Good With Tricks, Link sneaks up behind a Moblin in a barrel only for the Moblin to suddenly turn around and snatch up the barrel. Link manages to hold on inside in the barrel and the Moblin wanders off confused.
  • The Ditz: Link. However, it's frequently subverted in that he's either a Genius Ditz or a Cloudcuckoolander. Lampshaded by a certain talking boat:
    King of Red Lions: "Is he smart or stupid? I don't know."
  • Heroic Mime: Used frequently.
  • Lighter and Softer: By virtue of being a cute and humorous 4-koma instead of a serious adaptation.
  • Running Gag: A surprising number of people think that "[Link's] clothes look uncomfortably warm ..." Including Ganondorf.
  • Sneeze Cut: As Link is sneaking inside the Forsaken Fortress, Aryll reassures Mila and Maggie that her big brother is definitely going to come to rescue them. Cut to Link sneezing, almost giving his location away to a nearby Moblin.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Gonzo and Nudge both try to disguise their ship in That's A Smart Way with signs saying This Ain't A Pirate Ship.

Alternative Title(s): The Legend Of Zelda Manga

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