In the 1980s, the original The legend of Zelda for the NES it was a great success. People from all over the world traveled for the first time to the land of Hyrule, uncovering their puzzles and revealing their secrets in the playground, in the break room, in the pub, whatever. Many of her puzzles were extremely cryptic and if you didn’t have the manual or map that came with the game or a full-fledged brother or friend, who knows how long it could take to get anywhere.
These days, someone could just Google the correct path through Lost Woods or the location of additional Heart Containers, but in the past, players would write their own notes and come up with their own maps to help them traverse the world and dungeons a little easier. An artist named Philip Summers has made a big name for himself by drawing his own tutorials for classic games, and a guide to the first Legend of Zelda is his latest creation!
True to its name, each Link sketch, each item, enemy, and map is hand-drawn, and each word string is handwritten. Philip’s drawings and words breathe new life into the game and the land that encompasses it. Being able to see it through this new lens is quite a magical experience.
The first pages cover the characters, enemies, items, and a brief summary on how to play the game. The rest of the guide covers the overworld and its dungeons. Each dungeon expansion features a map of the dungeon and displays some of the monsters you will encounter, along with an extremely detailed sketch of the dungeon boss. Seeing these originally 8-bit bosses in this kind of detail is really something to behold. Each section of the dungeon is also linked with story segments and tips on where you or Link should travel next. Sometimes it seems like you’re reading a storybook, the way Philip has managed to connect the sections of the game. The book also comes with a handy Hyrule dropdown map, complete with a key on the side detailing locations, heart containers, and other secrets.
Regardless of whether you’ve played the original on the ground or are curious to see what the original Legend of Zelda is all about, this hand-drawn game guide is a great way to experience Link’s first adventure in the land of Hyrule. It is located right next to the Magic Sword as one of the most important pieces of equipment you could have in your inventory. A hand drawn love letter for the game that started it all.
You can purchase a PDF version of the Legend of Zelda Hand-Drawn Game Guide on June 29 at the Hand-Drawn Game Guides store with a price option of $ 1 or more. 100 physical editions of the guide will also be available online, and if the demand is there, Phillip said he would consider printing more. You can follow Philip on Twitter or more updates on the book.
Do you still find yourself referencing pocket guides every time you find yourself stuck in a game? What kind of guide would you like to see Philip tackle next? Let us know with a comment below.