The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia completes Dark Horse’s English translation of the Nintendo fantasy series’ epic history and art appreciation. You can check out a preview here or buy the book here (though you’ll probably want the deluxe edition for a few rupees more, or course). Whichever version you acquire, like Hyrule Historia and Art & Artifacts it’s a stunning tome that belongs on every Zelda fanatic’s shelf.
One thing I’ve noticed — and I’m not alone — is that the Zelda Encyclopedia’s geography section finally places the Hyrule “Overworld” of the original NES game, The Legend of Zelda, in a broader historical context with the other games.
The Zelda Encyclopedia confirms that the entirety of the first game on NES takes place on Death Mountain from Link to the Past pic.twitter.com/Z0qkvTvPMK
— Tristan Cooper (@TristanACooper) June 21, 2018
Basically, the entire first Zelda game takes place on what was Death Mountain in the Super NES installment The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. This makes Death Mountain a volcano of truly Olympus Mons-ian proportions, but it also could explain Hyrule’s wealth of caves.
The maps in the Zelda Encyclopedia also illustrate what many have long believed: The Legend of Zelda took part in just a tiny corner of the Hyrule explored in its direct sequel, the villager-infested Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. That game is the immediate predecessor to the even more expansive A Link to the Past — at least, it is in our world. The Zelda timelines are a Gordian knot of time travel and theories, and the Zelda Encyclopedia takes a crack at addressing those, too.