Since last Thursday, Wizards of the Coast has been sharing sneak peeks of upcoming Magic: The Gathering (MTG) expansion Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, and it has revealed new card art from Katsuya Terada, the Doodle King himself, who provided art for the original The Legend of Zelda games on NES / Famicom: Say hello to The Wandering Emperor and Tamiyo, Compleated Sage.
In Magic: The Gathering, The Wandering Emperor is the ruler of the world of Kamigawa but has been absent for 10 years due to a malfunction with her magical abilities. Tamiyo is a long-time fan favorite who has been transformed into an evil cyborg by the villains. (I was in a terrible mood for several hours when I learned about this.) Both Magic cards are beautifully drawn by artist Katsuya Terada, who brought his signature outlines and coloring to my favorite analog game.
Long before his time making MTG cards, back in the ’80s and early ’90s, Katsuya Terada composed illustrations for American materials connected to The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, A Link to the Past, and Link’s Awakening. Gamers of a certain age will remember seeing these pieces in instruction booklets and strategy guides, as well as some other places. The artwork provided a much darker look into the land of Hyrule than the official Japanese illustrations. They captured a harsh world full of peril and monsters, but also a magical place full of hope and beauty.
The Zelda Wiki showcases all of it, but here are a few samples:
Of course, Katsuya Terada is known for more than both early Legend of Zelda art and MTG cards. He’s done pieces for Dragon Warrior, Tekken, and a few other video games, as well as many manga and anime over the years. That such a prolific Japanese artist is contributing art to the Magic: The Gathering set based on futuristic Japan is a testament to the talent and imagery Wizards of the Coast wants to bring to the game. Previously, Magic: The Gathering has received card art from prominent video game talents like Castlevania artist Ayami Kojima, Xenoblade Chronicles artist Raita Kazama, and Metal Gear Solid artist Yoji Shinkawa.
You’ll be able to get your hands on Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty starting February 18. May the Way of the Hero Lead to the Chase Cards.