Cadence of Hyrule

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Cadence of Hyrule
Cadence of Hyrule.jpg
Icon artwork, featuring from left to right, Link, Cadence, and Zelda, with Octavo above them
Developer(s)Brace Yourself Games
  • Ryan Clark
  • Toshihisa Nikaido
Producer(s)Makoto Isobe
  • Oliver Trujillo
  • Ryan Clark
  • Stephen Kiazyk
  • Alain Carter
  • Oliver Trujillo
  • Paul Veer
  • Lucas Carvalho
  • Ted Martens
  • Tyriq Plummer
  • Ryan Clark
  • Oliver Trujillo
  • Kramer Solinsky
  • Toshihisa Nikaido
Composer(s)Danny Baranowsky
Platform(s)Nintendo Switch
ReleaseJune 13, 2019
Genre(s)Roguelike, rhythm
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda[a] is a rhythm game developed by Brace Yourself Games and published by Nintendo. The game is a crossover of Crypt of the NecroDancer with The Legend of Zelda, combining the rhythm-based movement and fighting mechanics with elements reminiscent of earlier games in the Zelda franchise. The game was released for the Nintendo Switch on June 13, 2019.


Cadence of Hyrule combines the rhythm-based gameplay of Crypt of the NecroDancer with settings, characters, and music from The Legend of Zelda series. Players play the majority of the game as either Link or Princess Zelda, with other characters such as NecroDancer protagonist Cadence becoming unlocked by progressing through the game or completing certain quests, each with their own unique abilities. Players venture across the overworld, composed of predefined regions and map layouts related to Zelda lore such as Hyrule Castle or Death Mountain, but whose relative placement is procedurally generated for each new save file. This map remains the same throughout an entire game, but certain dungeons such as those found in temples will be randomly generated every time they are visited. Whenever enemies are in an area, the player is required to move and attack in time to the music using the directional buttons, with bonus multipliers and extra rewards available for maintaining the beat. Throughout the game, the player can find or purchase weapons and equipment, such as shovels for digging through dirt or torches that can reveal the contents of chests, as well as recurring Zelda items such as bows, bombs, and hook shots.

Partially carrying over roguelike elements from NecroDancer, the player will lose amassed rupees and temporary items if they lose all of their health. Diamonds, which can be found in dungeons or earned by defeating every enemy in an area, are retained even if the player gets a game over. Players can activate Sheikah Stones in certain areas, which they can either fast travel to or respawn from following a death.[1][2] The game features optional modes such as "fixed-beat mode", which removes the need to play to the music,[3] and permadeath mode, which challenges players to play through the campaign without dying once. The game can also be played co-operatively with a second player on the same Switch unit with each player using one Joy-Con to move.[4]


In the Kingdom of Hyrule, a mysterious man named Octavo uses a magical lute to put Hyrule's king, as well as Link and Zelda, to sleep, before using the Triforce of Power to turn his Lute into a Golden Lute. In this time of need, Cadence is mysteriously transported to Hyrule by the Triforce and manages to wake up Link and Zelda. While Cadence goes off to try to find a way home, Link and Zelda travel across Hyrule to find and defeat Octavo's four champions, who each possess enchanted instruments containing musical power. After Link and Zelda, soon rejoined by Cadence, obtain the instruments and enter Hyrule Castle, Octavo reveals that he and his champions were meant to be used to battle against Ganon, who will take over Hyrule in the future. Finding himself defeated, Octavo opens a portal into the future, where Link, Zelda, and Cadence confront Ganon and combine their forces to defeat him. With help from the Golden Lute, Link and Zelda use the power of the Triforce to try and send Cadence back to her own world.[5]


Cadence of Hyrule was developed by Brace Yourself Games, directed by Crypt of the NecroDancer creator Ryan Clark.[6] It began development when Clark approached Nintendo to ask permission to use The Legend of Zelda content as DLC for the Nintendo Switch port of the game. Clark stated that a mutual interest in the idea grew "faster than they were expecting." The project eventually evolved into a new crossover title. The project was described as a new entry in the Crypt of the NecroDancer series, while also taking care to make sure it works as a Legend of Zelda game as well. Clark stated that he was excited to work with The Legend of Zelda soundtrack, due to the series' compositions as well as the use of instruments as gameplay mechanics.[6] While Nintendo has worked with larger third-party studios and publishers before on titles related to its intellectual property, such as with Ubisoft, Atlus, and Capcom, Cadence of Hyrule is one of the few times Nintendo has given out its properties to a small independent developer.[6]

Composer Danny Baranowsky provides the 25-song soundtrack, which remixes several classic Zelda songs.[7] Part of the pixel art style for the game was developed by members of the Sonic Mania art team.[8]

The game was announced on March 20, 2019, at the end of a Nintendo Direct 'Nindies' showcase[9] and was released on June 13, 2019.[10]

Free downloadable content (DLC) for the game was added on December 18, 2019. It includes additional story-based content, with Octavo as the playable character, and a Dungeons mode.[11] Three additional paid DLC were announced in July 2020, and can be purchased individually or as part of a Season Pass. The first, released on July 20, 2020, adds five playable characters to the game from both The Legend of Zelda and Crypt of the Necrodancer, each with their own special moves and attacks. The second, released on August 31, 2020, is a pack containing additional music tracks for the game arranged by Jules "FamilyJules" Conroy, Alex "A_Rival" Esquivel, and Chipzel. The final DLC, released on September 23, 2020, is a new adventure titled "Symphony of the Mask", starring the Skull Kid from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, which includes new maps, modes, and music.[12] Additionally, a physical version of the game that includes all DLC was released on October 23, 2020.[13]


Cadence of Hyrule received "generally favorable reviews" according to review aggregator Metacritic.[14]

The Verge called the style of the game a "welcome shot of retro charm" when compared to the more realistic The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.[25]

Cadence of Hyrule was the best-selling digital Nintendo Switch game during its first week of release in Japan.[26] The physical version sold 1,539 copies within its first week on sale in Japan, making it the twenty-fourth bestselling retail game of the week in the country.[27]


Year Award Category Result Ref
2019 2019 Golden Joystick Awards Best Audio Nominated [28]
Nintendo Game of the Year Nominated
The Game Awards 2019 Best Score/Music Nominated [29]
2020 NAVGTR Awards Game, Music or Performance-Based Won [30]
18th Annual G.A.N.G. Awards G.A.N.G. / MAGFest People's Choice Award Won [31]


  1. ^ Japanese: Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of NecroDancer Feat. Zelda no Densetsu, Hepburn: ケイデンス・オブ・ハイラル: クリプト・オブ・ネクロダンサー Feat. ゼルダの伝説


  1. ^ Frushtick, Russ (2019-06-13). "Cadence of Hyrule is the best Zelda spinoff ever made". Polygon. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  2. ^ "Guide: Five tips for surviving Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer". Destructoid. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  3. ^ Hernandez, Patricia (June 14, 2019). "You can play Cadence of Hyrule without the rhythm mode". Polygon. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Carter, Chris (June 13, 2019). "Review: Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer". Destructoid. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  5. ^ Conditt, Jessica (March 20, 2019). "'Cadence of Hyrule' for Switch puts a Zelda spin on an indie classic". Engadget. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Marks, Tom (March 20, 2019). "How an Indie Developer Is Making an Official Zelda Game". IGN. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  7. ^ Weidner, Matthew (March 20, 2019). "Cadence of Hyrule brings Crypt of the Necrodancer and The Legend of Zelda together in style". Nintendo Wire. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  8. ^ Craddock, Ryan (March 21, 2019). "Cadence Of Hyrule Features The Work Of Two Sonic Mania Artists". Nintendo Life. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  9. ^ McFerran, Damien (March 20, 2019). "Cadence of Hyrule Is What You Get When You Cross Crypt of the NecroDancer With Zelda". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  10. ^ "Zelda Crossover Cadence Of Hyrule Now Locked In For June Release". Nintendo Life. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  11. ^ Wales, Matt (December 18, 2019). "Cadence of Hyrule adds free new playable storyline, Dungeons mode". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  12. ^ Oxford, Nadia (July 20, 2020). "Cadence of Hyrule Is Getting Three DLC Packs, Including One Dark Journey For Skull Kid". USGamer. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  13. ^ Romano, Sal (July 20, 2020). "Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer featuring The Legend of Zelda Season Pass and physical edition announced". Gematsu. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda for Switch Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  15. ^ Treese, Tyler (June 19, 2019). "Cadence of Hyrule Review | A lovely harmony of two unlikely tunes". Game Revolution. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  16. ^ Vazquez, Suriel (June 19, 2019). "Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring the Legend of Zelda". Game Informer. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  17. ^ O'Connor, James (June 17, 2019). "Cadence Of Hyrule - Crypt Of The NecroDancer Featuring The Legend Of Zelda Review". GameSpot. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  18. ^ Epstein, Mike (June 18, 2019). "Cadence of Hyrule Review". IGN. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  19. ^ "Test : Cadence of Hyrule : Un mariage réussi entre Crypt of the NecroDancer et Zelda !". June 21, 2019. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  20. ^ Lane, Gavin (June 14, 2019). "Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda Review". Nintendo Life. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  21. ^ Ronaghan, Neal (June 14, 2019). "Cadence of Hyrule (Switch) Review". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  22. ^ Tekaia, Pascal (July 9, 2019). "Cadence of Hyrule Review". RPGamer. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  23. ^ Hawkins, Josh (June 18, 2019). "Cadence of Hyrule review: Follow the song in your heart". Shacknews. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  24. ^ Oxford, Nadia (June 19, 2019). "Cadence of Hyrule Review". USgamer. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  25. ^ Webster, Andrew (March 20, 2019). "Cadence of Hyrule is an indie-developed Zelda spinoff for the Switch". The Verge. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  26. ^ Romano, Sal (June 21, 2019). "Cadence Of Hyrule Was The Most Downloaded Game On Switch Last Week In Japan". Nintendo Life. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  27. ^ Romano, Sal (October 29, 2020). "Famitsu Sales: 10/19/20 – 10/25/20 [Update}". Gematsu. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  28. ^ "Golden Joystick Awards 2019". GamesRadar+. Archived from the original on September 28, 2019. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  29. ^ Winslow, Jeremy (November 19, 2019). "The Game Awards 2019 Nominees Full List". GameSpot. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  30. ^ "2019 Winners". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. February 24, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  31. ^ Tangcay, Jazz (May 6, 2020). "'Death Stranding' Sweeps Gaming's G.A.N.G. Awards With Six Wins Including Audio of the Year". Variety. Retrieved May 7, 2020.

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