Well first things first I can tell you what “Second Quest” isn’t and that’s Legend of Zelda. No siree. A kickstarted graphic novel “Second Quest” tells the story of Azalea and her friend Cale, living on on an island high up in the air. Explorinjg dungeons for hidden passages and forgotten trinkets like ocarinas and boomerangs. Azalea and Cale must balance this with learning of their islands past of kidnapped princess and pig faced bandits. Okay maybe it’s a little like Legend of Zelda.
The book starts with the pair using the young boys excellent speech abilities to sneak past a guard to the outskirts of the island where forgotten dungeons still lie. However this time the two come across a hologram of the past showing one of the girls who had gone before. This is cut short however when their tampering with the forgotten artefacts triggers part of the island to literally fall off. Quickly making their way back to town the two find that the quake was felt fart and wide and the town is on the lookout for whoever would have been stupid enough to trigger such an event.
Cale is content to call it a day on their little excursions but Azalea might not have much of a choice as these flashbacks to long gone lives keep coming and they seem to be syncing up. Not only do things seem to be repeating but the history they are told might not be entirely true. As things get worse it seems that the only hope for Azalea might be the Abess, but will she like the answers. Will the world around her?
I enjoyed this book and I think this is a must for anyone whose ever put some time and thought into the Legend of Zelda. That’s not to say that this is only for fans of Zelda but it defiantly plays heavily with some of the “problems” with LoZ. The first is the title and the notion of a legend. I’ve argued in the past that there is no Legend of Zelda timeline in the same way that there is now way you can plot out a timeline for Robin Hood that manages to incorporate a time when the Sheriff has the power to call of Christmas and Robin is able to speak in a British accent. A Zelda story told by an island society will look like Wind Waker while someone trying to appeal to an older audience might speak of the Twlight Princess. At least that has always been my idea. Not that this comic plays into this in any way shape or form, I just thought I would put this out there.
The second is Zelda getting pride of place in the title despite being little better than a chaos emerald. As the story progresses there comes the threat of Azalea loosing all agency starting with the question asked “what about what she wants?” It seems silly but, especially for someone like me more used to the older generation of Zelda games, it’s such an obvious question that never got asked. Even when she did get to speak her mind she had to be a man to do so and even when she’s a dread pirate captain she looses all drive as soon as she puts on the crown. Otherwise she just sat quietly in her cell or had a nap.
And the last is the repetition, assuming of course that there is one grand timeline. What if you were born a blonde haired princess and your parents had settled on the name Zelda. Not too bad right until you have a brief check of history and see that everyone else to bear the name and title had been kidnapped by some pig faced monster and won’t see the light of day again until some voiceless young boy with a wooden sword bothers to come and save your sorry ass. It’s like some fantasy version of ‘Final Destination’.
All three of these are wrapped up in the one plot that begs for you to see the homages and winks to the famous Nintendo line. That isn’t to say you can’t read this other wise but I think then you’re going to be more even more hurt by the ending which seems rather open and asking for a sequel unless you realise that it has kind of said what it wants to and needs to about the series and while a sequel might make a good fantasy story it won’t now have the same weight. Because without that you’re just left with a story of white colonialism, immigration and the dismissal of the other “lesser” races who can only babble at you in their primitive tongue. Which isn’t bad for a decent drawn comic only racking in at about one hundred and twenty some odd pages.