Eiji Aonuma (supervisor)
|Series||The Legend of Zelda,
|Genre(s)||Action, hack and slash|
|Distribution||Optical disc, download|
Hyrule Warriors, known in Japan as Zelda Musō (Japanese: ゼルダ無双 Hepburn: Zeruda Musō?, lit. "Zelda Unrivaled"), is a hack and slash action video game released in Japan on August 14, 2014, and scheduled to be released in the West in September. Developed by Omega Force and Team Ninja for the Wii U video game console, the game is a collaboration between Koei Tecmo and Nintendo, and contains elements of Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series and Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors series.
Hyrule Warriors mixes the hack-and-slash gameplay of Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors series of video games with the settings and characters from Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series. Amongst many other characters, the player controls an original iteration of Link in melee combat to take on large numbers of enemies from the Legend of Zelda series. While there is a far 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.
The game has a contextual-based combat system. Depending on the character selected, the abilities of weapons equipped will change. Role-playing elements such as weapon and character leveling will also appear. Defeating enemies will give players weapons bags, which will equip a random weapon for the character. "Sealed weapons" may also be found in treasure boxes, which increase the types of weapons randomly generated for the player in the field. The game supports an asymmetric local two-player mode with one player using the Wii U GamePad and another using a monitor.
Besides combat, Hyrule Warriors will offer an additional quest to collect one-hundred Gold Skulltulas, which will unlock illustration pieces of the several characters in the game.
The game is set in the fictional kingdom of Hyrule, and stars an incarnation of series protagonist Link as a Hylian soldier-in-training. At some point in the story the Princess of Hyrule, Zelda, is kidnapped by a witch named Cia. Formerly the protector of the Triforce, Cia, a good person at heart, becomes corrupted by an evil force when she falls in love with Link and grows jealous of Zelda's familiarity with him. Sending out her subordinates Wizzro and Valga, Cia wages war against Hyrule by opening time portals and prompts Link, aided by Zelda's protector Impa, the mysterious Sheik, and white witch Lana, to restore balance to the land with the aid of Hyrulian heroes from different moments in time and space, such as Darunia and Ruto from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Midna and Agitha from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Fi from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Matters worsen when a revived Ganondorf then summons Ghirahim and Zant from across time and space to lead a campaign so he can obtain the Triforce.
Development and release
Hyrule Warriors was announced on December 18, 2013, in a Nintendo Direct as a collaboration with Koei Tecmo. As such, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated that the game would not be the next main series installment of The Legend of Zelda, but rather a spinoff from the main series. Long-time Zelda producer, Eiji Aonuma, is supervisor for the title. 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 presented to Eiji Aonuma, they used their cross-over game One Piece: Pirate Warriors as an example of how the game would feel. In contrast to previous collaborations, Nintendo had a large amount of confidence 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. Speaking in an April 2014 interview, Koei Tecmo's president Yoichi Erikawa stated that he hoped Hyrule Warriors would appeal to fans of both franchises and go on to sell at least one million copies.
Hyrule Warriors was publicly displayed at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo with a new trailer, where 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 showfloor attendees, as part of a Nintendo Treehouse presentation. Over the time span following the E3 announcement, Nintendo has released further information on the game's website, confirming Fi, Ruto, Darunia and Sheik as playable characters, as well as Ghirahim, the Imprisoned and a version of Gohma as boss characters. During a Nintendo Direct presentation on August 4, 2014, Zant and Ghirahim were also confirmed to be playable, alongside the game's main antagonist and final playable character, Ganondorf.
The game was first released in Japan, on August 14, 2014. It 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.
IGN stated that, while they had observed that the fan reaction upon the game's reveal was mixed overall, they saw potential in the prospect of combining the Dynasty Warriors aspect of playing as multiple characters, with all of the characters from the Legend of Zelda series.
All four Famitsu reviewers awarded Hyrule Warriors a score of 9 out of 10, for a total score of 36/40. However, the game sold only 69,090 copies, or 57% of its shipment, on the first week of its release in Japan.
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- Official website (English)
- Official website (Japanese)
- Hyrule Warriors at GameFAQs
- Hyrule Warriors trailer at YouTube