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Amazon suffers ‘Hyrule Historia’ hysteria

To end your week right, here’s some unexpected news that proves that, just sometimes, sanity and order can prevail in a universe that all too often seems cruel, callous and entirely capricious: 50 Shades of Grey is no longer the best selling book at Amazon.com, being bumped from pole position at the top of the charts by a book about a video game that’s been available for less than 24 hours. Doesn’t that put a smile on your face?

The surprisingly popular book in question is The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, a 248 page hardcover co-published by Oregon’s Dark Horse Comics and Nintendo Co. Ltd. that seems targeted very squarely at the crossover between the comfort zone and wheelhouse of videogame fans worldwide. Dark Horse describes the book like this:

This handsome hardcover contains never-before-seen concept art, the full history of Hyrule, the official chronology of the games, and much more! Starting with an insightful introduction by the legendary producer and video-game designer of Donkey Kong™, Mario™, and The Legend of Zelda™, Shigeru Miyamoto, this book is crammed full of information about the storied history of Link’s adventures from the creators themselves! As a bonus, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia includes an exclusive comic by the foremost creator of The Legend of Zelda manga—Akira Himekawa!

Admit it: You’re trying to work out if you can scrape together the $34.99 to buy the book right now, aren’t you?

Well, you’re not alone. And, with Amazon offering the title  at a significantly reduced price – $20.99, a 40 percent saving – it’s no surprise that the book was a hit when it was made available for preorder yesterday. And yet, knocking 50 Shades of Grey from the top spot? That’s definitely success on a scale that few could’ve been expecting.

The book is a translation/English language edition of a title published by Shogakukan in Japan at the end of 2011. Interestingly enough, the original version is significantly longer – 274 pages – which suggests either than there’s more going on here than a straight-up translation (This is, after all, a coffee-table-style art book, so you’d expect the page counts to be identical), or that there may be some level of missing material in the new edition. Given the hardcore fanbase for Nintendo material, video game or otherwise, it shouldn’t be too long until we see a detailed comparison of the two versions, with differences, edits and minor mistranslations being highlighted for the discerning reader.

It’ll be interesting to see how longHyrule can maintain its place atop the Amazon sales charts. If nothing else, we may finally get an answer to the question, which is more popular: the mainstreaming of bondage porn, or the more innocent, purer love fans have for a little hero called Link.


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