Hyrule Warriors is an official spin-off game, using the template of the established Dynasty Warriors series mixed with lore and legend of the Legend of Zelda series. Developed by Omega Force and Team Ninja, and published by Nintendo and KOEI, the game was directed by Hisashi Koinuma and Yosuke Hayashi, with supervision by Eiji Aonuma.
Hyrule Warriors was released in August 2014, in Japan, and later in September for American and European markets. A 3DS port of the title, named Hyrule Warriors Legends, will be released in 2016 and will feature exclusive content and characters as well as all he previous downloadable content from the Wii U version.
Selling modestly in Japan on release, the title sold better in American retailers and in January 2015, it was confirmed to have shipped one million copies to retailers.
Development and Release
<img class=”alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1291” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/koei-logo-250x159.jpg” alt=”Koei Tecmo Logo” />Hyrule Warriors was announced on December 2013, in a Nintendo Direct video as a collaboration with Koei Tecmo. As such, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated that the game would not be the next main series instalment of The Legend of Zelda, but rather a spin-off from the main series.
The concept for Hyrule Warriors was first proposed by Team Ninja lead developer Yosuke Hayashi while he and Koei Tecmo executive VP Hisashi Koinuma, who was in charge of the Warriors franchise, were discussing a possible Dynasty Warriors cross-franchise game with Nintendo. Zelda was chosen due to the fact that Hayashi, Koinuma and many staff at the company were fans of the series.
When Warriors was presented to Eiji Aonuma, Koei Tecmo used their cross-over game One Piece: Pirate Warriors as an example of how the game would feel. In contrast to previous collaborations, Nintendo was confident in Koei Tecmo’s ability to make the game, leading them to have “far more expectations than uncertainties.” This confidence was shared by Aonuma, who readily accepted being offered a place in the game’s development by Shigeru Miyamoto.
Part of the reason behind Aonuma’s strong support of Hyrule Warriors is an ongoing push by him to break away from many traditions that have become attached to the Zelda franchise since its inception. Along with Omega Force, the main developers for the Dynasty Warriors series, Hayashi and Koinuma brought in help from Team Ninja, who had developed the Dead or Alive series, to help more with one-on-one combat and inject new ideas into the development process.
<img class=”alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1290” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/lana-hw-250x347.jpg” alt=”Lana” />Hyrule Warriors was publicly displayed at the 2014 E3 with a new trailer, in which Agitha, Lana, and Midna were confirmed as playable characters. Zant and Argorok were also confirmed as boss characters. The game also appeared in playable form for show floor attendees, as part of a Nintendo Treehouse presentation.
A female version of Link was also considered as a potential playable character, but was scrapped during development.
<img class=”alignleft size-wcsmall wp-image-1292” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/HW_Treasure_Box_Edition-250x250.jpg” alt=”Treasure Box Edition” />The game was first released in Japan on August 14, 2014, and was available in both regular and special editions. The first special edition, the “Premium Box”, features a copy of the game, an art book, a Triforce-shaped clock and two extra costumes for the character. The second special edition, called the “Treasure Box”, adds a third costume, a scarf resembling Link’s in the game and a miniature treasure chest accessory. A special edition featuring the game and Link’s Warrior scarf was released in Europe, Australia, and New York City.
Three costume packs of were available as downloadable content (DLC) for those who pre-ordered the game at specific retailers. Each of these gave Link and Zelda one additional costume based on their appearances in a prior Legend of Zelda title, including Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword.
Players who registered the game on Club Nintendo within the first month of release received costumes for Ganondorf based on Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. These DLC packs were later made available for purchase via the Nintendo eShop in December 2014. Players who use the Link or Toon Link Amiibo figures with Hyrule Warriors will also unlock the Spinner weapon from Twilight Princess for Link, while scanning other figures will grant the player random equipment or items, with figures based on The Legend of Zelda granting higher-tier rewards.
A free update that adds Cia, Volga, and Wizzro as playable characters was released in October 2014, and the game has since received a series of free updates that add several other features, such as a higher level cap, new character and weapon skins, and additional challenges. An additional “Classic Tunic” costume for Link based on the original The Legend of Zelda was distributed for free in celebration of Hyrule Warriors Legends announcement.
Additionally, four DLC packs were released in the months following the game’s launch. The first DLC bundle, the “Master Quest Pack”, was released in October 2014. This bundle includes a new “Cia’s Tale” story campaign, alternate Guardian of Time costumes for Lana and Cia, Epona as a weapon for Link, 16 unlockable character alternate colour costumes, and most notably, a second map for Adventure Mode.
The second bundle, the “Twilight Princess Pack”, was released in November 2014, and adds Twili Midna as a playable character, the Dominion Rod weapon for Zelda, Ilia and Postman costumes for Zelda and Link respectively, 16 unlockable character re-color costumes, and a third Adventure Map.
The third bundle, the “Majora’s Mask Pack”, was released in February 2015, and added Tingle and Young Link as playable characters, a Skull Kid costume for Lana, Ocarina of Time costumes for Sheik and Impa, 16 unlockable mask-based costumes, and a fourth Adventure map.
<img class=”alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1285” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Hyrule2-250x141.png” alt=”Boss Pack” />The final bundle, the “Boss Pack”, was released in February 2015 in Japan and March 2015 in North America, and adds two new modes: “Boss Challenge”, in which players fight multiple boss enemies at once, and “Ganon’s Fury”, in which players can play certain challenges as final boss Ganon, with a playable giant Cucco for Ganon’s Fury and 5 new re-color costumes as rewards. Players who purchase all four packs receive an exclusive Dark Link costume.
<img class=”alignleft size-wcsmall wp-image-1288” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/legends__banner-auto-cropping-250x132.jpg” alt=”Hyrule Warriors Legends” />On June 10, 2015, a leaked trailer revealed a port of the game for the Nintendo 3DS, titled Zelda Musou: Hyrule All-Stars in Japan. The game was officially announced as Hyrule Warriors Legends six days later during Nintendo’s Digital Event at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015. The port includes all previously released DLC, features the ability to switch characters on the fly, and adds a new story chapter featuring characters and environments from The Wind Waker that serves as an epilogue. Tetra, King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule and Toon Link, all from The Wind Waker, along with Skull Kid from Majora’s Mask, will be added as new playable characters, with others to be announced leading up to the game’s launch.
The new characters can also be transferred to the Wii U version. Due to hardware limitations, the game will only support auto-stereoscopic 3D on the New Nintendo 3DS.
<img class=”alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1287” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/DW8_12-20-250x141.jpg” alt=”Dynasty Warriors” />Hyrule Warriors mixes the hack-and-slash gameplay from the Dynasty Warriors series with the settings and characters the Zelda series. Amongst many other characters, the player controls an original iteration of Link, and while there is a much stronger emphasis on combat than other games in the Legend of Zelda series, the player may use common weapons from prior games in the series, such as a sword, bombs, and Link’s signature spin attack. Enemy targeting also returns, in combination with elements from the Dynasty Warriors combat system. Obtaining items through discovering and opening chests is retained as well.
Hyrule Warriors has a context-based combat system, in which the player character’s abilities change depending on the weapon chosen. Role-playing elements such as weapon and character levelling also appear Defeating certain enemies gives players weapons bags, which will grant a random weapon to the character, and materials bags, which can be used to power up characters. “Sealed weapons” can also be found in treasure boxes, which increase the types of weapons randomly generated for the player in the field.
<img class=”alignleft size-wcsmall wp-image-1286” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/B_FocusSpirit1-250x140.jpg” alt=”Focus Spirit” />A special usable technique is called “Focus Energy”. By filling up the green Magic Bar at the top-left of the screen and then pressing the R button, the Warrior will enter “Focus Energy”, enhancing their attack and attributes - similar to the Fury Gauge in Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce. During Focus Energy, characters also gain temporarily access to an even more powerful Special Technique.
Most of the hordes of enemies are weaker enemies like Bokoblins and often appear alongside greater foes such as King Dodongo, encouraging players to think tactically. Warrior characters also fight alongside regular Soldiers and other playable characters, and the game will alert if an ally requires assistance. The game also features multiple locations throughout Hyrule that function as battlefields.
<img class=”alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1284” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/hyrule-warriors-adventure-250x140.jpg” alt=”Hyrule Warriors Adventure Mode” />The main campaign of Hyrule Warriors, “Legend Mode”, allows players to progress through the game’s story; these story chapters can be replayed with any character in “Free Mode”. Additionally, the game features an “Adventure Mode”, in which players explore a map based on that of the original The Legend of Zelda and complete specific objectives, such as defeating a certain number of enemies within a time limit or completing a mission with a specific character and weapon.
An update released on the game’s launch date added “Challenge Mode”, which encourages players to collect as many rupees as possible in a set scenario.
The in-game Bazaar allows players to forge new weapons, spend rupees to raise characters’ levels, create potions to temporarily boost a character’s stats in battle, and exchange materials for badges that augment characters’ abilities. The game also offers an additional quest to collect 100 Gold Skulltulas, tokens that appear in specific Legend Mode and Adventure Mode levels after defeating enough enemies, which will unlock illustration pieces of the several characters in the game and contribute to upgrading the in-game apothecary.
Hyrule Warriors also features a local co-op mode. In co-op, one player uses the GamePad as their screen. The Wii U Pro Controller and Wii Remote with Nunchuk control styles are available options for both multiplayer and single player. In single-player, the GamePad functions as a battle status log sub-menu, similar to how it was used in The Wind Waker HD.
Trivia and Facts
Darunia’s victory sequence is a reference to Ocarina of Time, where Darunia dances happily when Link play Saria’s Song.
An early screenshot shows the Lizalfos enemies with the designs from Skyward Sword.
Using the weapon switching glitch with Zelda using Lana’s Summon Gate will cause her to hum her theme song while preforming a combo.
The game’s producer, Yosuke Hayashi, stated that he is a huge fan of the Zelda series, and viewed the Hyrule Warrior’s development process as making ‘the official Zelda fan game.’
There were originally plans for a stage in which the player simply chops grass. However, the stage never made the final cut.
Hyrule Warriors does not take place in the official Zelda Timeline, instead acting as a “separate dimension” according to Eiji Aonuma. He does, however, suggest that while the game does not fit into any particular part of the timeline, it has links to different periods of the timeline, and that characters have been “brought together”.
Hyrule Warriors Backstory
<img class=”alignright wp-image-1283 size-medium” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Cia_Wand-228x300.png” alt=”Cia” width=”228” height=”300” />Long ago, Ganondorf was defeated and his soul splintered into four fragments. Three of them were sealed in different moments in time, while the fourth was trapped by the Master Sword. However, Ganondorf plots his resurrection through Cia, a sorceress who protects the balance of the Triforce while maintaining neutrality.
Cia becomes fascinated with the spirit of the Hero of Legend, with her amorous feelings for the hero providing Ganondorf an opportunity to purge her inner light. As a result, Cia becomes consumed in her desires, opening the Gate of Souls, a portal to different time-space realities of Hyrule, to amass an army of monsters.
Seeking to unite the Triforce and conquer Hyrule, she uses her subordinates Volga and Wizzro to wage war against Princess Zelda and the Hyrulean army.
Hyrule Warriors Events
<img class=”alignleft size-wcsmall wp-image-1282” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/zlCfzSUnbV0b5-CzLE_zps214e2d51-250x141.jpg” alt=”Lana, Link and Impa” />As Cia’s forces attack Hyrule Castle, Link, a Hyrulean soldier-in-training, rushes out to aid the other troops, discovering he possesses the Triforce of Courage. However, the castle is taken and Princess Zelda is unaccounted for in the aftermath, so the Hyrulean general Impa asks Link to aid her in finding the princess.
<img class=”alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1281” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/shiek-hw-250x333.jpg” alt=”Sheik” />While still searching, Link and Impa meet Sheik, a Sheikah warrior who claims to know Zelda’s whereabouts, and Lana, a white sorceress from the same clan as Cia. The group heads to the Valley of Seers hoping to close the Gate of Souls, but Cia traps Link and Sheik, who is revealed as the bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom. Cia steals both Triforce pieces, combining them with her own Triforce of Power, and uses the completed Triforce to open portals in time and space to the resting places of Ganondorf’s spirit fragments.
To restore Hyrule to normal, Link, Impa, and Lana each lead their own campaign to drive out Cia’s armies and close the Gates of Souls in each era. Along the way, they are aided by each time period’s native heroes, including Darunia and Princess Ruto from Ocarina of Time, Agitha and Midna from Twilight Princess, and Fi from Skyward Sword.
During this time, Sheik reveals herself to be Princess Zelda in disguise, and Lana explains that she and Cia were once the same person, with Lana embodying the light Ganondorf purged from Cia’s heart. Meanwhile, three of Ganondorf’s spirit fragments are released, allowing for his body to be resurrected. No longer needing Cia, he attempts to take the Triforce, but Cia sends Link and Zelda’s pieces back to their owners and uses her own piece to lock Ganondorf away.
After retrieving the Master Sword, Link prepares to confront Cia, with the Sword’s power strengthened by his bonds of friendship. He defeats her and she fades away, with Lana inheriting her piece of the Triforce.
Using the completed Triforce’s power, the time-displaced heroes are sent back to their own periods and Hyrule is restored to normal, with Lana closing the Gate of Souls. However, due to the Master Sword’s removal, the last of Ganondorf’s spirit fragments is released, and Ganondorf is fully resurrected, summoning Ghirahim and Zant from across time and space.
<img class=”alignleft size-wcsmall wp-image-1279” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/maxresdefault-4-250x141.jpg” alt=”Ganon” />With their combined efforts, Ganondorf manages to retake all three Triforce pieces from their bearers, using it to strengthen his army and take over Hyrule Castle. However, Lana summons the heroes from Hyrule’s history, and the combined group of heroes defeat Ghirahim and Zant before venturing towards Ganon’s Tower.
Link manages to defeat Ganondorf, but he uses the Triforce to transform himself into Ganon. With the help of Zelda’s Light Arrows, Link defeats Ganon, and the heroes use the Triforce to seal him away once more. The heroes of the past are returned, Lana resumes watching over the Triforce in Cia’s place, and Link and Zelda return the Master Sword to its pedestal to prevent Ganondorf’s escape.