After training abroad, Link is sailing back to Hyrule, but is shipwrecked in a violent storm. He awakens on Koholint Island, and is taken to the house of a kind man named Tarin, and his daughter Marin (who bears a strong resemblance to Princess Zelda). A mysterious owl tells Link that to return home, he must awaken the Wind Fish by gathering and playing the eight Instruments of the Sirens. The bosses in Link's Awakening, who guard the Sirens' Instruments, are said to be the Nightmares of the Wind Fish. When Link plays the Ballad of the Wind Fish with all eight Instruments, he can enter the giant egg atop the Tal Tal Mountains, where the Wind Fish slumbers. There he must face the final Nightmare, shadowy apparitions which include umbral visions of foes from Link's past.
This manga was based on a not so popular game (at least not as well known as others in the series) called Link’s Awakening based on the Game Boy version of the game. For reference, I have only watched a playthrough of the game myself so I wasn’t really going in blind on the game, although I haven’t played it. Sadly, the manga lacks much next to the game, where it gives insight into parts that were quieted down, the main story seemed to suffer greatly by just how short and fast passed it was. In order to talk about this manga, I must get
into many of the main pieces of the story and also have to spoil a few things since they are major parts in the storyline. I do apologize for this but as it is based off a game, I feel I have no way of not doing this.
We start out with Link in the storm, just as the game starts out and everything goes good up to the point where he is going to the forest and such. It seems that they decided to scratch off many of the side quests that made the game even better then just a linear piece such as Tarin turning into a raccoon or the secret sea shell quest to find them all for the upgrade of the sword. This bothered me for it changed the story, making the quests that would of taken most of the game seem like they were not worth it. And yet, even with the quests being taken out, you would think that they would have spent more time with the temples then as they are the second part of the game that took up the most of it. The answer is no. The barely touch it! It’s a couple images of him jumping over stuff, fighting stuff that looks like blobs and then the boss fight that he has only a little bit of time. What do they do have then? Link walking around and talking to a little fairy character named Felicia who isn’t even in the game at all!!
There the manga lacks in a lot of things, there are a couple things that they do have well. They explain more about who the ghost is that you help is as well as why he died away from his home. They also explain what Link feels as he learns about the secret of the island and what he goes through knowing exactly how things would happen. Sadly, the way they make the owl sound is almost like he is an enemy himself. I didn’t really like that because they do not make him feel like a voice of reason.
The artwork, while mostly well done, does lack a lot in my mind. The characters just seem very bland and I could not recognize some of them as I should. There are times when the characters seem to have ‘jagged cheeks’ where when looking at a 3/4th view, the cheek looks like it has its own nose. The eyes are way too big for the face at times and make the character look really dopy or like the eyes are up on the forehead. They will even slightly curve to put them up on the forehead at times it feels. I would of liked it if they had made the characters look slightly closer to the game because the game had rather good graphics for its time. On the cover, it feels that they can’t decide the color of Link’s clothing is.
Like most anime and manga, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening had it's pros and cons.
Probably the biggest flaw with this manga is it's storyline compared to it's game counterpart; honestly to get any thorough enjoyment out of it, you had to know the game. All side quests were excluded and the dungeons barely covered, leaving the manga storyline pretty hollow.
However, unlike the game Link has his own dialogue, which provided a great insight into what his character was actually like, what he was feeling through different stages in the journey, what he was tihnking at ceratin points, etc. I got a few pleasant suprises
to find he recated similarly in some points where I had in the game.
As for art, while people and some animals were not done so well, there was some good shots of scenery, especially at the some of the new chapter pages. But even the poorer sections of drawing are not eyesores or detract from the story in any way.
So in summary, while it had some good character development, the plot was worn too thin by cutting out too much of the plot that was provided in the game.