Demian's Gamebook Web Page

Item - The Shadow Prince

Please log in to manage your collection or post a review.

(British edition)
Series: Nintendo Adventure Books — no. 10
Translated Into: Prinsen från skuggorna (Swedish)
Authors: Wayne, Matt
Peckinpaugh, Roger ("text by" credit)
Illustrators: Wray, Greg (cover)
Koehne, Josie (puzzles)
Dates: February, 1992 (American edition)
November, 1993 (British edition)
ISBNs: 0671742086 / 9780671742089 (American edition)
0749715456 / 9780749715458 (British edition)
Length: 121 pages (59 sections)
Number of Endings: 11
User Summary: During an encounter with moblins, Link and Zelda meet a mysterious stranger....
Demian's Thoughts:

This is definitely the stronger of the two Legend of Zelda adventures in this series. Its tone is somewhat closer to the cartoon series (though not faithfully based on it), with some mildly amusing banter between Link and Zelda and a fairly engaging (if less than subtle) plot. Unfortunately, although the story is acceptable and the length of the adventure is substantial enough to be satisfying, most of the puzzles are weak. As before, some are simply incomprehensible while others serve only to provide foreshadowing which actually spoils and undermines the story. There are a couple of good puzzles that actually do integrate well with the story, allowing the reader to visually ponder Link's situation, but it's too little, too late. I would actually recommend ignoring all of the puzzles unless they obviously relate to the plot; some of these choices are more interesting if you don't know which decision to make based on a dumb maze. Nintendo fans will probably have some fun with this, though they may be troubled by such things as Link calling Zelda "Zel" a lot and Ganon being described as a skeletal figure. Perhaps if more Zelda adventures had been released, further improvements would have led to something really good; unfortunately, though, it ended here at the level of mere adequacy.

My High Score - 900

More reviews by Demian

Shadeheart's Thoughts:

[Rating: 1/10]​​
[Recommended? NO]

Impassioned, illogically conceived, and unmistakably deluded at the center, "The Shadow Prince" prances around in a far more puzzling way than its puzzles pose a challenge. As elementary as the other "Nintendo Adventure Books" were, this gamebook bears very little resemblance to the source material and, quite rightfully, equally leaves Legend of Zelda fans dumbfounded at the mockery that is this "adventure". One of the most compelling reasons a reader might consider reading on through the entire work is just to LAUGH at how poorly-handled the source material is (as with everything else it gets wrong) - from the depiction of Ganon to the shake-your-head-it's-so-bad "humored" dialogue it frequently falls back on, the work is, in all honesty, a predictable and unapologetic disaster that hopes to amuse through its own incompetence. While it is perhaps best to refrain from breaking this down too thoroughly, so as not to exhaust anyone, I'll illustrate the most notable example: at one point Link reveals to essentially the entire kingdom through the mirror of truth that Charles is Ganon (which he's spent the entire book trying to prove). In what may be the worst gamebook blunder ever, the next puzzle involves Impa trying to prove it to Link - the dice-word puzzle - and in the next section, Link reveals the obvious: he's known this all along and had just told her this only a moment ago. (What in the name of Hylia was this included for!?) This, I tell you... I believe THIS will go down in infamy.

As an "old-fashioned" Nintendo fan with standards to uphold I cannot recommend this book, save as perhaps a historical timepiece to know once existed, part of the yet woefully inconsistent - period in which it was written and published, catalogued not only in Nintendo's legacy but in that of child-oriented gamebooks as a whole. Really, though, with an underwhelming adventure like this... the not-so-creative series is begging for a GAME OVER. ^^

(Mysteriously disappears into the shadows.)

More reviews by Shadeheart

Users Who Own This Item: Arkadia, B0N0V0X, dave2002a, egokun, Fireguard, katzcollection (British edition), kinderstef, mlvoss, ntar, RonaldFrobnitz, waktool (UK 1st)
Users Who Want This Item: bbanzai, Cyan, exaquint, Hugues, jdreller, MasterChief, Mr ?, nelsondesign, NEMO, Pseudo_Intellectual, Radical347, Ryuran333, Sheridan77, Von Scotty, Waluigi Freak 99, zat

Please log in to manage your collection or post a review.