Zelda fans love their memorabilia. Just look at the recently released Hyrule Historia, which landed on both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists and continues to be a top seller on Amazon. So it should come as little surprise that Hyrule Historia is not the first merchandise to peek behind the curtain of the Legend of Zelda franchise. In fact, a decade ago, Nintendo celebrated the launch of the GameCube’s Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker with a similar package called Zelda Box. We imported Zelda Box when it first hit shelves and are happy to provide a look at what makes this unique, Japan-only bundle so special.
Released shortly after The Wind Waker by Enterbrain, Inc. and Nintendo, Zelda Box differs from Hyrule Historia in a number of ways. While Hyrule Historia offers close to 300 pages dedicated to the entire Zelda franchise, the Zelda Box’s included book is almost entirely focused on The Wind Waker. It offers 116 pages of information, from concept sketches and character profiles to insights and excerpts from 49 of the game’s developers. A brief Zelda series retrospective is included in the back of the book, but The Wind Waker is clearly the main focus here. This makes sense when you consider its original release date. Much like Hyrule Historia acts a print follow-up to Skyward Sword, Zelda Box was the print retrospective for The Wind Waker.
As its name implies, Zelda Box is more than just a book. It’s a whole box of goodies. Included in the package are two miniature figurines (one of Toon Link and one of a Moblin), as well as a twelve-track CD that offers music from throughout Zelda history. All of the music was hand-picked by Nintendo’s composers, with the likes of Koji Kondo explaining each selection within the main book. The first eight tracks are evenly split between music from the original Legend of Zelda, A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, and Majora’s Mask. The final four tracks focus solely on The Wind Waker with tunes that include the title theme, Outset Island’s main melody, and boss battle music.
While Hyrule Historia may offer a more thorough look at the Zelda franchise, Zelda Box is a great item for any fan of the series. Unfortunately, the package is hard to come by these days. It originally retailed for only 1,500 yen (less than $20), yet the asking price is now over $100 on eBay. However, between the success of Hyrule Historia and the upcoming Wind Waker remake on Wii U, it’s certainly possible that Zelda Box will officially come to North America after a decade of waiting. In the meantime, the below photos will hopefully give you a taste of this cool collectable. We also encourage you to read this excellent fan translation of the Zelda Box concept art notes, courtesy of GlitterBerri’s Game Translations. Enjoy!