Ocarina of Time is split into the Child Chapters, and the Adult Chapters just as the game was. Like other Mangas for the series, it keeps most of the storyline from the game intact, while adding or removing a few things and editing a couple sequences. Overall, it does a fantastic job of this, almost everything you remember from playing as Young Link will appear in the panels.
It’s surprising just well this works, too. As extremely common with video games, Ocarina of Time didn’t tell a tale worthy of being major motion picture, but despite how true the Manga stays to it, the story doesn’t feel very awkward. You certainly won’t be blown away, regardless of whether you’re a Zelda fan or not, but there are very few times where you’ll feel that it’s becoming bland or dull. Some brand new occurrences that are added to familiar scenes help to make them more developed and interesting, notably in some of the epic moments like Ganondorf’s attack on Hyrule Castle. During that, we’re not only shown a brief confrontation between the Gerudo warlord and Impa, but she and Link also clash with a bunch of Stalfos. Additions such as this make the saga feel like more than just a casual adaptation from the video game.Another major reason for the superior story is definitely because of how the characters are portrayed. The N64 had graphical limitations, so every NPC couldn’t have multiple facial expressions 24/7, or at least, they couldn’t be done very well. But in here, everyone shows emotion, whether it be through the looks on their faces, or the amusing, and well-written dialogue. This is especially noticeable for Link, who has a great personality and talks quite a lot, unlike most of the incarnations found in the game. But still, the rest of the cast really shines, from Mido, to Saria, to Zelda, to Impa, to Malon, to Darunia and all the rest.
The other thing about the flow of events that works very well is that the story isn’t just about Link going from dungeon to dungeon. In the middle of his travels for the Spiritual Stones, he spends a deal of time interacting with other people in several different locations of Hyrule. This includes incidents familiar to the game such as his trip to Lon Lon Ranch, and meetings with Kaepora Gaebora, as well as some new happenings that include Link’s extensive visit to Hyrule Castle Town alongside Zelda. It really helps make the reader feel like they’re reading about Ocarina of Time, because they’ll recognize a lot of these moments from the game. They also add some variety to the story, thus keeping it from becoming the same thing over and over. And based on how likeable all the characters are, chances say that you’ll enjoy the scenes simply to see the cast at work.
Now, it is true that the focus on these scenes probably made the adventures on Death Mountain and in Zora’s Domain feel a bit short, but it’s not a serious hindrance at all. What is disappointing, on the other hand, is how brief some of the battles are. Being six chapters long, the Child Manga contains only four or five fights, and two that you think would be rather important, those being the encounters with King Dodongo and Barinade, come out feeling rushed. They barely appear for a couple pages, and there’s not as much fighting in them as there is Link and the others with him just trying to survive the attacks. Still, they’re worth reading purely because of how hilarious they are; you’ll never forget the some of the hysterical facial expressions the characters show.
And at that, they’re nice to look at, as the designs for those bosses are very impressive. In fact, the entire book is nice to look at; the artwork presented here is perfect by all means. Characters look great, monsters look great, and the backgrounds and settings are excellent no matter what angle you look at them from. What’s a real treat is that the artists made everything very similar to the way it was seen in the game, but at the same time added their own style to them so that they fit perfect for appearing in a Manga.One really nice thing about the Ocarina of Time comics, both Child and Adult, is that they include a side-story each. These aren’t like the ones mentioned before, that break up Link’s journeys to the dungeons, because they’re not even a part of the main storyline, they’re stand-alone-episodes.
The one for the Child Chapters is the longest, spanning two chapters. It depicts a story about the young Kokiri preparing for an important festival that they celebrate with the fairies and the Deku Tree. While making props for their theater-production, Link’s mask is stolen by someone who’s run off into the Lost Woods, and in order to prove his bravery to Mido, he chases after the thief. Soon Saria follows behind, and eventually Mido and his pals do the same, but before long they find themselves in trouble with the villainous Bagu Tree (a tree corrupted by an evil bug) and the monsters of the forest.
It’s an extremely enjoyable little story that brings out the very best of the relationships between Link, Mido, and Saria, probably the most interesting characters of Link’s childhood. We’re also introduced to someone who was ignored in the main plot, that being the Skull Kid, and he ends up playing a major role throughout the events, much bigger than anything found in the game.
Even though it acts as merely a side-chapter, there’s a good deal of character development and emotion showed, as well as a sufficient amount of action. When all is said and done, the narrative turns out to be a very fitting prelude to the Ocarina of Time storyline, and a great insight on Link’s life before he became the Hero of Time.The truth is, the Child Chapters isn’t “perfect”. But the flaws that it has are so few in number and so minor that you’ll barely notice them for five seconds. It’s simply not fair to refuse this comic a perfect score because of one or two tiny blemishes, while the rest is nothing short of phenomenal. If you’re a big Zelda fan, and especially if you enjoy Manga, make sure to check this out; you’ll definitely have a good time with it.