If you haven’t tried the wonderful Zelda-like adventure game Tunic yet, we highly recommend giving it a shot if you’ve got access to a decent PC or an Xbox. Our friends over at PureXbox reviewed it and gave it a 9/10, calling it a “fantastically clever adventure that kicks off in familiar Zelda-esque fashion before branching out to become its own thing entirely”.
It’s no secret that developer Andrew Shouldice took a great deal of inspiration from the Zelda franchise during the making of the game. In fact, Tunic’s in-game manual – arguably one of its finest features – is so heavily inspired by Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, that there are clear parallels between the two works. It’s a wonderful callback to a period where manuals weren’t just added filler; they were integral to the player’s experience, providing hints and tips that nowadays would be relegated to a simple Tweet.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a more comprehensive rundown of some of the comparisons between Tunic’s manual and Zelda II’s manual, but here are just a few of our favourites:
This first pair of images highlights the two games’ focus on symbols to convey meaning, with each one taking shape within an adorable little speech bubble:
Next up, our two heroes are in a spot of bother, and appear to have, well… died. Both images depict the characters with a sword and bow in their back, though Link seems to have at least found the strength to surrender with a cute little white flag:
Finally, we have the world maps from both Tunic and Zelda II in all their glory. Tunic’s map is definitely more geometric in its design compared to Zelda’s more traditional approach, but we reckon both do a wonderful job in depicting their respective worlds:
There’s plenty more where they came from, and you can check out a few more examples over on Rock, Paper, Shotgun – though we’d also encourage you to play the game itself as soon as you’re able to! We love all the artwork from Tunic, and we also highly recommend you check out the game’s artist ma-ko (@blurring_my_day) on Twitter for a glimpse at some more incredible pieces of art.
Has Tunic’s Zelda-inspired artwork inspired you to check the game out? Do you own your own Zelda II manual? Let us know in the usual place.