Second Quest
April 23, 2015 1:14 AM   Subscribe

In 2012 Tevis Thompson (writer of Saving Zelda, previously) and David Hellman (illustrator of Braid) had a Kickstarter for a graphic novel. (Previously.) What had been assumed to be "a comic book about Zelda pedantry" has turned out to be something rather different. The graphic novel is now available for purchase on Fangamer, but 20 pages of it (one-sixth of it by length) can be seen as a free preview on the project website. Second Quest is about a young girl, Azalea, living in a city floating in the clouds, but burdened with dreams of the world below and visions of an age before.
posted by JHarris (11 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
That's gorgeous. Thank you.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:45 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

I saw this on BoingBoing Offworld (thanks Leigh Alexander) and immediately bought a copy. It really only peripherally has anything to do with Saving Zelda, and is wonderful even if you've never managed an inventory screen or pressed a button in anger.

Related to Zelda though, I thought it was interesting because it spares a bit of empathy for the "pig thief," who anyone who has played the games would recognize as an allusion to primary series villain Ganon. My favorite Zelda game, I've said before, is the first, but my favorite moment in the series is near the end of Wind Waker, where -- spoiler....

...Ganon looks sadly over the sunken ruins of Hyrule, the land he's coveted for centuries, and quietly, somberly, questions his own motives. It's the most human he's ever been, in the game where he's the most entertaining he's ever been (even though he's only actually visible a tiny fraction of the game).

Thompson has written about how he partly excepts Wind Waker from what he regards as the series' decline, and if there's a second book (I really hope there is) I hope to hear more of this Pig Thief.
posted by JHarris at 4:06 AM on April 23, 2015

David Hellman (illustrator of Braid)

Also of A Lesson Is Learned But The Damage Is Irreversible (previously, previouslier).

Thanks for posting this, I look forward to enjoying it!

oh my god ALIL updated like a year and a half ago and I had no idea
posted by a car full of lions at 4:12 AM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]

This looks fantastic, in all senses of the world. I'll definitely get a copy.

On a tangential note, you can see some of the comics Dale Beran has been doing for the Baltimore City Paper on his tumblr. They're closer to gag strips than anything he wrote for ALIL, but his weird, dream-logic sensibility is definitely there.
posted by zchyrs at 6:48 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thompson's essay on the decline of the Zelda series is great, and a much better expression of the same thoughts I've had ever since Link to the Past came out.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:18 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

oh my god ALIL updated like a year and a half ago and I had no idea

I know that feeling. Savor it. Learn every contour of it. Come to accept that its rare beauty can never be articulated in mere hollow words, but must be appreciated as its own forever-receding joy.

Meanwhile, I have some Nerds of Paradise to catch up on. This thing looks good, too.
posted by byanyothername at 9:20 AM on April 23, 2015

Although there are a lot of good points, at a certain point in I realized the ratio of the one game he loves to everything else and wondered why the hell he is still bothered after so many years. He doesn't seem to realize that they are a type of game that he's just not into in the same way that I'm not into Madden.
posted by One Hand Slowclapping at 11:00 AM on April 23, 2015

Was this advertised on Kickstarter as turning the "essay Saving Zelda (previously) into comic book form", but this was produced instead?
posted by Brocktoon at 12:31 PM on April 23, 2015

Brooktoon, I think elements of the essay are there (that feeling of danger and that secrets may be everywhere), but they went ahead and made something more out of it too. I consider it a bonus, and a great one since, as we saw when I posted Saving Zelda a while back, not everyone agrees with Thompson's thesis.

One Hand Slowclapping, well, we had quite significant arguments about that before. My opinion is that the original Zelda is still the only game to provide its kind of radical exploration gameplay and non-linearity (the original Metroid is similar but as a side-scroller), and it was the foundation of the series. Everyone who played it as their first Zelda still has its echoes lingering in their mind. If Nintendo released a side-series that played more like the original Zelda he'd be happy, but they haven't, it remains the sole example of its kind.

It is interesting that both Sega and NEC produced their own knockoffs of the original Legend of Zelda, Golden Axe Warrior in the first case and Neutopia I and II in the second, and both play kind of like a hybrid of Zelda I and a more traditional action-adventure. Both are keen to look like Zelda more than play like it, which is a strange design decision to make.
posted by JHarris at 1:47 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

I tried reading the article, but the insufferable tone put me off. Every Zelda sucks except the first one? OK then. (Maybe try making the same points without shrugging off decades of critical and player acclaim with a few snide remarks?)
posted by archagon at 4:19 PM on April 23, 2015

I'm really happy to see this here! My copy should arrive soon!
posted by Corinth at 9:15 PM on April 24, 2015

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