A new listing recently appeared on Amazon.com for a hefty hardcover book called The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts. Clocking in at more than 300 pages, the Dark Horse-published volume appears to be the English counterpart to an upcoming Japanese Zelda artbook and will arrive in February.
This will be Nintendo and Dark Horse's second Zelda retrospective print collaboration, following on from Hyrule Historia. And, much as with the previous volume, which arrived alongside Skyward Sword, Art and Artifacts will be released (presumably) around the same time as Breath of the Wild. As such, Dark Horse has placed considerable emphasis on the book's Breath of the Wild-related artwork and content in its promotional materials, clearly hoping that will be a major draw for Zelda fans hungry for a glimpse of the long-delayed adventure.
Honestly, though, the most valuable content in Art and Artifacts will likely be the older material that has surfaced for the first time here, or that will appear in reference quality rather than as low-dot-pitch prints in cramped, cheaply made instruction manuals. Nintendo rarely offers players the luxury of delving into its internal documents and archives, and the company has grown ever more tight-lipped over the past 10-15 years. With the passing of company president Satoru Iwata last summer, the valuable Iwata Asks series — which offered a fairly candid glimpse into the history and personalities behind Nintendo's new and classic games alike — has ceased production as well. That makes books like this all the more valuable.
Amazon and Dark Horse haven't posted much in the way of detailed information concerning the book's written contents besides "interviews with some of the artists", but the handful of samples the book's page includes for some of its illustrated spreads certainly look worth the asking price for serious fans of the series and its history.