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Very Early Painted Cel of Link


Art of Nintendo Power

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I've been showing this around on social for a couple days, but thought ya'll would like to see it 🙂

This is an early painted cel of Link during the lifespan of the original Legend of Zelda game. So early in fact that it pre-dates Nintendo Power 1, as it is found on the last page of the Tips and Tactics guide.

This might be the most historically significant piece I've ever held. I'm so excited to have found it!


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4 hours ago, Archon 1981 said:

This might be the most historically significant piece I've ever held. I'm so excited to have found it!

That is so awesome!!  I'd bet anyone here would be proud to have that.  Your whole collection is amazing.  Are you planning to frame it up like your Nintendo Power pieces?

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I'll be honest, to me, this is probably the most significant piece of art I've seen show up here or on NA.  Considering it's age, Nintendo hadn't really formed an exact Link style when they were drawing him, and Mario was kind of in that camp to.  Nintendo (or at least NOA) was still in the process of solidifying the look of their characters.  This is an early rendition of link that looks like link.

I know it's not iconic box art, but this is part of the early-genesis of the character we know and love today.

@Archon 1981 Thank you so much for sharing this.  Is there a story behind how you got this item, or is it simply people reached out to you through what I am sure is an amazing network of contacts?

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49 minutes ago, RH said:

I'll be honest, to me, this is probably the most significant piece of art I've seen show up here or on NA.  Considering it's age, Nintendo hadn't really formed an exact Link style when they were drawing him, and Mario was kind of in that camp to.  Nintendo (or at least NOA) was still in the process of solidifying the look of their characters.  This is an early rendition of link that looks like link.

I know it's not iconic box art, but this is part of the early-genesis of the character we know and love today.

@Archon 1981 Thank you so much for sharing this.  Is there a story behind how you got this item, or is it simply people reached out to you through what I am sure is an amazing network of contacts?

I agree! I dont care about most box art cause I didn't stare at that shit for hours like I did with magazines.

No real story id like to share. Just layers upon layers of networking. 

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2 hours ago, RH said:

Considering it's age, Nintendo hadn't really formed an exact Link style when they were drawing him, and Mario was kind of in that camp to.  Nintendo (or at least NOA) was still in the process of solidifying the look of their characters.  This is an early rendition of link that looks like link.

Can you point me to something earlier that doesn’t look like him? They went through way more of that weirdness /different interpretations with Mario, especially with arcade machines and 3rd party consoles. And there was a lot more time for Mario to develop as Nintendo found its footing in a new industry, from Jumpman to the SMB1 manual.

I’d love to see similar stuff for Link but I’m not aware of much if any. Legend of Zelda pretty much came out of the gate with the first game and that art was on par with this.

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9 minutes ago, Link said:

Can you point me to something earlier that doesn’t look like him? They went through way more of that weirdness /different interpretations with Mario, especially with arcade machines and 3rd party consoles. And there was a lot more time for Mario to develop as Nintendo found its footing in a new industry, from Jumpman to the SMB1 manual.

I’d love to see similar stuff for Link but I’m not aware of much if any. Legend of Zelda pretty much came out of the gate with the first game and that art was on par with this.

I can't place it but I feel like I've seen some official "odd" looking Link's.  This was from photos and stuff and nothing I've owned.  I think it was shortly after this period (maybe a year or so) they made the Topp's cards.  Link in those sticker images is actually a bit more squat and "tubby".  I think that artist drew a bit more inspiration from the fact that his LoZ sprite is square.

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10 hours ago, Link said:

Can you point me to something earlier that doesn’t look like him? They went through way more of that weirdness /different interpretations with Mario, especially with arcade machines and 3rd party consoles. And there was a lot more time for Mario to develop as Nintendo found its footing in a new industry, from Jumpman to the SMB1 manual.

I’d love to see similar stuff for Link but I’m not aware of much if any. Legend of Zelda pretty much came out of the gate with the first game and that art was on par with this.

Zelda Game & Watch: 

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He’s really stubby here, elf-like but also leprechaun-like. Yeah maybe he’s a child but he seems impish.

Zelda Game Watch by Nelsonic:

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Maybe this isn’t Nintendo’s fault but to me the face is nothing like Link. Again, too elfish.

In both examples it’s the nose that really sticks out, pun not intended.

 

Edited by MiamiSlice
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