Ocarina of Time: Adult Chapters- Reviewed by Mirren
Rating- 4 out of 5 Hearts
Once someone finishes the Child Chapters of the Ocarina of Time Manga, they should immediately continue on reading into the Adult Chapters, not only to see how the rest of the story progresses, but also because it’s just so great. As expected, the Adult Chapters contains the adventure of Link while he’s a young man, going throughout Hyrule to rescue the Sages, find Zelda, and finally defeat Ganondorf. And to say the least, it does this in a very interesting manner.
Unlike in the video game, where there was a very common feeling of dread and severity while Link fought as an adult, the Manga doesn’t make everything seem so doom and gloom. Though Hyrule is still suffering under Ganondorf’s tyranny, it’s done in a way so that we only see moderate amounts of it, and that some areas still have some life to them. It’s somewhat of a big change from what was seen in the original story, but in the end it turns out to be a good choice on the part of the creators. This way, the reader doesn’t feel like the tale is grim 24/7.
Also, another major difference seen in the Manga adaptation is Shiek’s role in the story. In the game, he only showed up when Link would first discover a new dungeon, give a deep, mysterious speech and teach him a song before bolting. Here, Shiek is actually working with Ganondorf, but only to learn of his plans and try to protect Link. Furthermore, he appears much more often, and in other scenes than just greeting the Hero of Time. Sometimes you’ll see him speaking with Ganondorf, other times you’ll see him tracking Link throughout his travels, and towards the end, he ends up fighting alongside Link as they make their way through the Desert Wasteland.
This was probably done to make his character more interesting, but maybe a separate reason for him not coming only at the dungeons is because our hero doesn’t exactly spend a lot of time in the dungeons. Just like the Child Chapters, the Adult Chapters rarely has Link navigating through the temples; the only ones he actually visits are the Forest Temple, the Water Temple, and the Spirit Temple. These are all brief outings, too.
Now, this may lead you to think that because of this, there’s more attention put towards the battles with the bosses. Unfortunately, the Adult Chapters features a few poor enemy encounters. Some, like the fights with Phantom Ganon, Volvagia and Twinrova feel rushed and lack a lot of action. Then there are a couple, notably with Morpha, that are just plain short. Morpha probably doesn’t appear for six panels. Luckily, it’s not all bad; there are enough sequences to give you a good dose of exciting combat. Most extraordinary of these brawls are the battles with Ganondorf, and the duel between Link and Dark Link. There’s some outstanding sword fighting to be found there.
In terms of the storyline, it’s mostly what was found in the game, with a few additions here and there to up the drama a bit. For example, during Link’s return to Death Mountain, he squares off with Volvagia on two separate occasions, but that’s hardly the highlight of the section. Instead, there’s a flashback to Link’s childhood that tells a short story about him buying a baby dragon from a store that kept him cooped up in a cage. The little creature doesn’t instantly take a liking to the Hylian boy, though he soon starts to follow him and Navi. After saving Link from a gang of Stalchilds, the dragon and Link become good friends. The creature turns out to be Volvagia, corrupted by Ganondorf, and now an older, matured Link must kill his former pal.
Then there’s an interesting chapter about the Hero of Time visiting Lon Lon Ranch once again, which helps to break up the action from central plot (just as it was done in the Child Chapters). While there, Link does things a bit differently from the game; instead of just racing Ingo for ownership of Epona, he competes alongside Malon in a melee with Gerudo warriors, and has to cut the source of power that Twinrova is using to possess Ingo. It’s a rather fun little event that has one of the more exciting scuffles.
However, there’s a major flaw with the plot found only in the Manga, and it’s how the quest to save the Sages is handled. Just like before, Link is told by Rauru to rescue them, and it starts off nice enough with Link searching the Kokiri Woods to find Saria, but eventually it starts to go downhill. Darunia and Ruto are given next to no time to develop, and it’s almost like out of the blue they’re revealed as the Sages. Impa, being the Sage of Shadow, is never given the moment to awaken as that, and Nabooru only awakens once Link reaches Ganon’s Castle. Now, what’s bizarre about this is how Link acts; after Zelda is captured by Ganondorf, he immediately heads out to Dragmire’s fortress, even though he’s seen only three of the Sages in their true form. By the way it looks, it’s like he’s decided to completely ignore Rauru’s advice and the entire mission at hand.
Still, as weird as it is, it’s nothing that completely drags the comic down. Besides that goof, the rest of the story progresses well, and we get to see just as much character interaction as there was in the Child Chapters. If anything, the Adult Chapters has even more development for Link, and the way Shiek evolves is quite interesting. And just like the first part of Ocarina of Time, you may just want to read this comic simply because of how beautiful the artwork is. Everything is drawn very well, keeping the Zelda feel to it but keeping a distinct Manga image. You’ll notice this particularly in characters like Link, Zelda and Malon, whose grown-up forms are truly striking.
The Adult Chapters also has an unrelated side-story at the end of it, which is about Link meeting a young boy of the Watarara Tribe, a race of bird-people that migrate across Hyrule once a year, who has gotten lost from the rest of his flock, and can’t fly well enough to meet up with them. While it’s not up to par with the extra story found in the Child Chapters, it’s still a fun read. You may get annoyed by the Watarara child’s personality, but there are plenty of very funny moments to make the episode worth your time.
When it comes down to it, the Adult Chapters is a great Manga to read, whether you’re a hardcore Zelda fan or not. While it bears an unexpected flaw in the storyline, and has a couple of weak action scenes, it’s still a very quality comic. Truth be told, the Ocarina of Time Manga as a whole is a very quality comic. Whether you’re a pure Zelda fan, or a casual Zelda fan, check it out; it’s that good.