Review: The Legend of Zelda – Hyrule Historia

There are very few series – in any medium – that have survived the test of time. It should be appropriate, then, that the Hero of Time would be one of the only ones to make it through.

The Legend of Zelda. Those four words (and those four notes) can elicit all kinds of emotions in gamers young and old. I can remember the first Zelda I’ve played, and how old I was when it happened. (Zelda II: Adventure of Link, 7 years old.) I can remember the first Zelda I successfully finished myself (Ocarina of Time), and the feel of the controller in my hand as I mashed the A button to render Ganon asunder. I recall friends who named their Link “Aquascum” just so they could see Ganondof scream, “Curse you, Aquascum!” as he fell, defeated. And, I suspect, most wizened gamers have the very same memories. (Maybe not that last one.)

From its humble NES beginning throwing you into a beige field where an Old Man awaited to give you your first wooden sword, the tales of the Princess Zelda and her young hero, Link, have reached the hearts of many across the world. There are few who don’t have that twinge of comfort and nostalgia when thinking of the Nintendo-bred series.

And that’s why you’ll buy The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, available today from Dark Horse.

Finally translated into English after being released in Japan in 2011, Hyrule Historia celebrates the 25th anniversary of the fabeled game series. The 280-page tome collects tons of stunning art and nuggets of behind-the-scenes information that any discerning Zelda fan would want. The book details the in-game mythology behind each story, interwoven among the much-discussed official timeline for the games.

Hit the jump for our full review of this much-anticipated Zelda release!

Review: Star Wars #1

Star Wars #1, Cover by legendary artist Alex RossStar Wars has been in the news a lot since the October 30th announcement of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm. Talk has primarily focused on the future of the films, such as the question of whether original players like Harrison Ford and Mark

Doctor Who Returns in March!

The wait for more Doctor Who is almost over! The BBC has announced that the start date of the second half of series seven will be March 30, 2013!  Happy Easter! As has been the recent tradition, the episodes will premiere on both sides of the Atlantic on the same

Fringe Series Finale Recap: ‘Liberty’ and ‘An Enemy of Fate’

The time has come to say goodbyeFringe went out with a bang on Friday during a very emotional two hours. There was hugging, there was crying, there was universe hopping, and there were floating Observers.  Series finales are funny things. They bring extremely high expectations and there is quite a bit of pressure to make sure every character has a moment of joy or redemption and pay homage to all that has come before. I think that JH Wyman, Jeff Pinkner, the cast and the writers really succeeded in making these final two hours a love letter to what made Fringe great and innovative. No new territory was blazed, but that’s ok – all the trailblazing came before and this was just the bittersweet end.

This Liberty Island thing is a problemo, you guys

More of my thoughts later – let’s jump right in! We open on the Harvard lab, where the team is trying to figure out where the Observers are holding Michael (who allowed his tiny bald ass to be captured); September has disappeared for the moment and they don’t know how to get in touch. Olivia calls Broyles, who lies to a lieutenant and asks where Michael is; the dude tells him (“Are you suggesting I might be the Dove? I’m more of a raven, don’t you think? Lol black joke). It’s on Liberty Island! Hey, I know that place! It’s now the place where Michael makes Windmark’s nose bleed and his eye pop! Yeah! So much for interrogating ‘the anomaly‘, jerkface.

That’s right, asshat. I’ve seen this future, and you lose!

Broyles tells the team Michael is at Liberty (AHA! Episode title) Island, but due to the crazy security, it seems like they can’t get in. But Olivia has an idea. How about blipping Over There, going to LI, blip back here and get Michael, blip back Over There and go to another location, and blip back here with Michael? Not complex at all!  This will require lots of Cortexiphan – enough for four crossings.

Hit the jump for the full recap of the final episode of Fringe!

The Essential Fringe

One more day until the Fringe series finale, and when we bid a fond and teary farewell to our intrepid team. I must admit, I am quite saddened by the prospect of not seeing the gang in action any longer. Not to mention in action as more than one version of themselves! Fringe remains an innovative show with tons of heart, and like so much excellent TV that came before it, is really a story about love. Father/son love, soulmate love, friend love and deep loyalty, and love of our world. 

Likes any series, Fringe had its moments of wandering and, I think, was one of those that was truly hampered by non-progressive network politics. It didn’t really come into its own until season two, but definitely gave us tantalizing glimpses into its true nature from the get-go. If you are late to Fringe, or if you want to go back and get the larger picture (or see the writers connecting the dots earlier than you ever thought) after what is sure to be an explosive and dizzying series finale, here is a list of the essential Fringe episodes you must watch to truly know the series as a whole. It ain’t a short list, but it’s a thorough one. Let’s get crackin!

The Fringe team: more awesome than you

Season 1

Pilot – duh. Just watch it.

The Arrival – this is the first episode focused on September, our lovely bald Observer friend! We discover some quirks about these odd trenchcoated lurkers, and we see that Walter protecting the cylinder and meeting with September.

Typical Walter – one hand in a corpse and the other holding a Red Vine

In Which We Meet Dr. Jones – the title says it all, and we see David Robert Jones, as visited in a Frankfurt jail by Olivia. Walter and Peter communicate with a dead guy to give Dr. Jones information. 

The Dreamscape – aka the butterfly episode. We get more information on the subtle and mysterious workings of Massive Dynamic, and we begin to see the power of Olivia’s mind.

Hit the jump for our choice episodes of this soon-to-be-concluded series! Then, be sure to catch the two-hour series finale tomorrow night at 8PM on Fox!

Fringe Recap: The Boy Must Live

Holy jumping Red Vines, you guys! The end is here – part 1, anyway, and was it ridiculously awesome or what???!!! Part one of the three-hour Fringe finale, The Boy Must Live, aired on Friday and delighted fans with answers received, plans set in motion, and lots and lots of September/Donald! I was super excited and happy to see our main Observer squeeze, Michael Cerveris, back in action as this layered and intriguing character. I hope Cerveris hops on the convention circuit one day, because I need to give him a hug. He has always given an inspired performance, but this week’s was masterful. So much happened, I barely know where to start – but Walter, naked in the deprivation tank, seems like the place.

While in the tank (after an exasperated Olivia finds out he’s removed his boxers in order to “be free”), Walter visits Donald/September’s apartment in his mind’s eye. He looks out the window – they are looking at the New York City skyline, and are under a bridge. The Williamsburg bridge, to be precise. The team rapidly warps from the lab to the city (how do they do that? No I-95 corridor of wretched traffic in the future, I suppose?), and outside the apartment, Peter and Walter have a lovely father-son moment, and I get something in my eye! Walter says that when Michael the child Observer touched him, he not only provided lost memories of the recent past, but all of Walter’s memories of the previous Peter-filled timeline (Peter springing him from St. Claire’s, the Machine, September saving them from drowning in Reiden Lake), PLUS he healed Walter’s brain of its insidious Walternate tendencies of pride and cruelty. Yay! We have our old Walter back!  This should have happened six episodes ago. Harrumph. Although Walter still does not remember the Plan, of course. Why should he. But there are adorable hugs and face squishes all around, and Peter calls him Dad, and I love Peter and Walter, and will sorely miss them when the last glyph hits the screen on Friday.

Hit the jump for the full recap of this revelatory, penultimate episode of Fringe!

Fringe Recap: Anomaly XB-6783746

Happy third-to-last Fringe Friday, everyone! I have returned from holiday hiatus with the recap of the December 21 episode of Fringe, Anomaly XB blah blah blah. Like anyone is supposed to remember that number. Anyway, it was an epic, crazy, sad, intense hour of television and we actually got…wait for it…answers! They weren’t super specific, but they were provocative and tantalizing. We also lost a highly beloved member of our Fringe family, which I was sad to see go but felt it was a good death for the cause. Read on for the insanity!

The first order of business is to pour one out for Nina Sharp, badass and HBIC (head bitch in charge), who loved our team and fought for their cause so staunchly that she took her own life to protect them and the Child Observer, Michael. I have always enjoyed Nina, and Blair Brown’s portrayal of her has been mysterious and masterful over these five seasons. She both helped and hindered the Fringe division over the years, and was always more on their side than not (except when her evil twin was holding Olivia hostage). She loved William Bell and he left her with his most prized secrets. We were initially not sure if we could trust Nina, but in this last season she’s been a touchstone of twenty years gone by, and a link to the old spirit of Fringe in this unfamiliar landscape of 2036. We’ll get to the circumstances around her death momentarily, but respect had to be paid. I’ll miss ya, Nina, and I’m glad you died a noble death. I definitely shed a tear for her during the episode, and her death stuck with me for a few days, which is the norm for me personally when one of my favorite shows offs an excellent character I enjoy.

What brought us there? Tiny Observer, of course! Michael was having a hard time communicating with the Fringe team. They tried to have him write down his thoughts, with Olivia has his emotional compass. Fail. Walter, moving ever-closer to his prideful agitated self, suggested putting him in a coma, which Olivia and Peter squashed. Dude, if I were that kid I’d be outta there if I heard these weirdoes suggesting comas! Thankfully, they hit up Nina Sharp and her ever-accessible Massive D tech. She directed them to a black lab hidden on the outskirts of town that would have the equipment they needed. The lab was pretty cool! Where was this thing hiding all season? Sheesh.

Hit the jump for the full recap of this revealing episode as we count down to the end of Fringe!