Vote: Box Art Brawl: Duel # 92 – The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past

Zelda Brawl
Image: Nintendo Life

Hi everyone, welcome back to another Box Art Brawl! We’ve got a great one for you this week, just in case the picture and title did not quite reveal it.

Last week, we looked at Mario Golf (which is out now on the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass!), Where we pitted North America against Japan to decide which box art design is better. The more ‘classic’ design of North American boxing came out on top and received 67% of the vote. It seems that the more ‘artistic’ approach to the Japanese version did not quite resonate with readers, and we fully understand that!

This week, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past in North America, we will look at how the region’s box art design holds up against Japan’s. We will not include Europe on this occasion because its boxing art is so similar to NA’s that it does not really justify looking at it as a separate entity.

Be sure to cast your vote in the poll below; but first, let’s look at the box art designs themselves.

North America

Zelda NA
Image: Nintendo / Zelda Wiki

The North American boxing art of A Link to the Past is very distinguished. There’s just something about that gold background, right? It’s an aesthetic that has been prevalent with Zelda box arts since the very first game on the NES, and although it has fallen a bit with later titles, we do not think anyone would complain if Nintendo used the same design for all Zelda titles. It just working.

Coincidentally, this is also the first game in the series to feature a sword piercing the letter ‘Z’ in the Zelda title, a design choice that returned in Link’s Awakening and – to a lesser extent – Ocarina of Time before taking a vacation. until 2017’s Breath of the Wild. Again, it feels like year Zelda and we love it!


Zelda JP
Image: Nintendo / Zelda Wiki

Japan’s boxing art follows the general tone of the NES Zelda games from the region with a beautiful drawing of Link in a typical action pose against the backdrop of The Lost Woods. Master Sword can be clearly seen in the background, illuminated by beautiful rays of the sun. It’s the opposite of NA box art, but undoubtedly does an equally good job of portraying what the Zelda series is all about.

The logo itself is also absolute breathtaking. The gold metallic lettering against a striking image of Triforce is iconic in a completely different way than the NA version. This is something we have not really seen again since, as Japan’s logo design is more or less on a par with other regions.

Overall, it is definitely one nicer looks design in our eyes, but does it trump the classic gold aesthetics in the NA box? Hmm, not sure …

Thank you for voting! See you next time for another round of Box Art Brawl.