A LiveJournaler by the name of studiojfish has gathered together 23 early Zelda drawings by Katsuya Terada that ran in Nintendo Power back in the 80's, and they make my heart ACHE. This is the kind of thing they would print to convince you the little blobs of sprites on your screen were actually fierce monsters and the brave heroes that slay them. Technology has advanced since then, and gamers no longer have to rely on their imaginations to visualize dramatic worlds. So why is the current incarnation of the Zelda universe so dull when compared to these early drawings? THIS is what we gamers were visualizing as we played and replayed the original NES masterpiece. The monsters were huge and terrifying, not goofy slapstick comedians. The shopkeepers were craggy old men in dusty caves, not moon-faced jokesters. And most importantly, MOST IMPORTANTLY:
In our minds, Link was a hero with gravitas and personality, not a bland effeminate mute. When your hero has no character development your story is in trouble. Giving the poor kid some personality and a fucking voice (text is fine) would at the very least eliminate the necessity for the annoyingly chatty fairies and sidekicks that have plagued every modern Zelda game.
Behold: There once was a dream that was Hyrule, and Nintendo has castrated it. Twilight Princess was a step in the right direction, but these beautiful images show there's still progress to be made.
Hit the jump for a few of my favorites from the collection...