Well, here it is. The Hyrule Warriors news we’ve all been waiting for. Nintendo and Koei Tecmo did put quite a bit of news into this one as is the case with most Directs, especially for new IPs or spinoffs. Most of the news was clarifications of information that has come out beforehand, but there is some new info that’s pretty cool.
This Direct was hosted by Yosuke Hayashi, producer of Hyrule Warriors at Koei Tecmo, with some appearances by Zelda series creator Eiji Aonuma. To open the show, Hayashi explained the Dynasty Warriors-style combat being brought to Hyrule Warriors. The setup is pretty much what you expect from a Dynasty Warriors game, where the players acts as a one man army to help control the layout of the battlefield.
For those who haven’t played Dynasty Warriors before, there are set zones on the map called keeps. These keeps allow enemies and allies to advance their respective armies. The goal of most stages is to drive the enemy back and dominate the battlefield. Sometimes, familiar Zelda bosses will appear, forcing the win condition to change to “defeat the boss”.
Other Zelda staples are being thrown into the mix as well. So far, the confirmed items are bombs, the bow, the hookshot, the boomerang, and bombchus. These can be obtained through treasure chests like the norm in Zelda, but these items can also be used to navigate the stage and to take out the stage boss.
Some other references are being retained as explained by Aonuma. Firstly, Cucco will appear in some stages. Like in Zelda games past, the Cucco will swarm to attack the player if the player provokes them. The Cucco can also help the player in some situations by turning to attack the enemy.
Additional references are grass cutting, Majora’s Moon from Majora’s Mask, the Chain Chomp from Link’s Awakening (although its pretty much just a Gauntlet skin), and the Golden Skulltulas. The Skulltulas, when found, unlock illustration pieces for artwork. In total, there are 100 Golden Skulltulas.
Rupees are also back and will contribute to character progression. There are various ways to enhance your Warriors in this game. You can level them up as you defeat enemies, some monsters can drop materials for crafting badges to enhance weapons, and find new weapons with skills to fuse together.
The stages were then highlighted, showing off some of the designs for Skyloft, Lake Hylia, and Twilight Field. Along with this, it was confirmed that stage appearances will only be from Ocarina of TIme, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword. As far as characters go, let’s hope there may be a few left (fingers crossed for Groose).
The classic-looking Zelda gameplay shown off in the Features trailer a while ago has now been confirmed to be Adventure Mode. In this mode, you travel across a Legend of Zelda-style map. Certain areas have challenges, which transport you to a stage in the normal gameplay to complete. you can also use classic items you collect to unlock secrets and find rare weapons and items.
Although this has been mentioned before, the game supports 2-player local co-op. Instead of splitting the screen, one player plays on the Gamepad screen, while the other player uses the TV. When doing this, the game will be running at a slightly lower resolution than normal, but no specific resolution was mentioned. Another noteworthy thing is the ability for 2nd player to use the Wiimote and Nunchuck, which is great considering you don’t need to have a Pro Controller to play.
Lastly, we have the most up to date information on the character roster. Current confirmed allies are Link, Zelda, Impa, Sheik, Darunia, Ruto, Midna, Agitha, Lana, and Fi. Impa and Lana’s new weapons have been confirmed to be the Naginata and the Spear respectively, but Lana will also be getting a new weapon called the Summoning Gate. Its attack style is unknown at this point.
The game is confirmed to have playable bosses as well. Out of the ones revealed so far, Zant and Ghirahim are confirmed to be playable. Zant’s weapon will be the Scimitar attached to his hands, while Ghirahim will use a sword called the Demon Blade.
Oh yeah, how could i forget? Ganondorf has now been confirmed to be a playable character in Hyrule Warriors. A trailer at the end of the Direct shows off his Warriors design, and it looks radical! This version of Ganondorf is definitely a Dynasty Warriors characters, and that a good thing. His weapons will be massive twin swords as they have in the past, although the Great Sword name is a little weird.
Ganondorf will also have alternate costumes from Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, which will be available when you register the game with Club Nintendo. Unfortunately, the alternate costumes for Link and Zelda will be pre-order bonuses, which is a first for a main AAA Nintendo game. These will probably be downloadable later, but it sucks in the meantime and that’s a discussion for another day.
Overall, though, I am extremely excited for Hyrule Warriors after seeing this. It would be nice to see more representation from the older games in terms of characters, but the current roster is still fantastic. Considering that the Japanese release is next week, it’s likely that the cast is finished (besides the possibility of secret characters).
Hyrule Warriors is coming to the Wii U on September 26th in North America.