Review: The Legend of Tarot

The Legend of Tarot – Alexandra and Noa Page
2014

If you need more evidence that Hylia loves you, I have another Legend of Zelda tarot deck, The Legend of Tarot deck. (See here for my review of another Zelda tarot, and the Triforce Spread)

The Legend of Tarot combines the Legend of Zelda with the tarot into its own interesting form. The suits are shifted to fit the world of Hyrule; Swords are Swords, but Wands are Sticks, Cups are Bottles, and Coins are Rupees.

lotdeathThe images on the cards derive from across the series, pulling characters from each era and timeline it seems, with an emphasis on Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. The cards are not directly inspired by the Smith-Waite tarot, but draw more on the interpretation of the creators relating to the meanings of the card. For instance in this deck Death is not a figure of Death, with corpses below and a weapon in hand, instead it is Sheik, standing in the night playing the Goddess Harp, transforming into the Princess Zelda, playing into the interpretation of Death as transformation. The creators also opted to switch the elements of Air and Fire, so Swords are Fire and Wands are Air, and the meanings and images on the cards have been shifted to match this change.

I’ve yet to decide if these changes work against the deck or support it, as is often a concern with a deck that breaks out of the Smith-Waite model.

lotbackThe artwork is very well done, though not a style specific to the games, it is not so alien as to not work with the imagery either. Each card is framed the same way, with two Triforces in the upper corners, and two overlapping circles, one highlighting the suit or trump’s number, the other embracing the image of the card. While I don’t know what purpose this serves, if any, it is a pleasing artistic touch. The backs of the cards are symmetrical, always happy to see that, with a simple, yet beautiful image of the Triforce and the Ocarina, gilded with a gold foil. Another intriguing artistic element of the deck is the coloured borders of every card, I cannot figure out what the logic of this is, in the sense that I don’t know the pattern used to decide what colour is on each card, if in fact there was a pattern. The suits tend to have a loose colour scheme, but that it is. The bottles, for instance, is shades of blues, greens, and purples, and there is no pattern I can see within the suits. I find it works though, the colours are reminiscent of the meanings in an intuitive way, so they help reinforce the moods of the cards.

This deck comes with a small book, just a bit bigger than the cards themselves, and just over 100 pages. It explains each card, starting with a key statement almost a second title, and then a paragraph on the image and what it means. As the deck isn’t based on the Smith-Waite, it is very helpful to see how the meanings and cards connect, but the book will also be of great us to anyone unfamiliar (or less familiar) with the tarot.

All in all this is a gorgeous deck. I still have a bit of trouble linking some cards to traditional meanings, but taken as their own thing, they work wonderfully. The colours are rich and elegant, the art is beautiful, and it’s Zelda and Tarot.

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