After months of silence following its December 2013 reveal, Hyrule Warriors is undoubtedly a hot topic as a result of its recent Famitsu coverage. Hitting Japan on 14th August, confirmed gameplay details have perhaps contributed to a sense of optimism around this Warriors and Zelda crossover.
The fact that Nintendo's series producer Eiji Aonuma is involved as a supervisor is certainly reassuring, and he's spoken to Famitsu magazine — along with general producer Hisashi Koinuma and producer Yosuke Hayashi of Tecmo Koei — to outline the origins of the project. The Warriors franchise has gone through various mashups, including One Piece, Gundam and Fist of the North Star, and Aonuma-san recounts how impressed he was by a previous Tecmo Koei presentation.
This presentation was actually from several years ago, when they showed us One Piece: Pirate Warriors. At first, when they said that One Piece would become a Warriors [game], I wondered, ‘How will that turn out?’ but once I actually played it, I felt that they did a good job of implementing the Warriors system.
So, it sparked my interest when I thought: ‘I wonder what a collaboration with The Legend of Zelda would be like.’ Shortly afterwards, Miyamoto told me, ‘The folks at Tecmo Koei are talking about a Zelda Musou. Are you interested?’ and I responded with ‘definitely!’
Aonuma-san re-iterated his confidence in the idea by saying that Nintendo has had "far more expectations than uncertainties" over the project. Perhaps that optimism is also driven by the fact that various members of the core development team are big fans of the series, as Hayashi-san and Koinuma-san made clear.
Hayashi: With Koinuma and myself included, we have many fans of The Legend of Zelda in our company, and that would be the ultimate reason. The basic fights in The Legend of Zelda series involve one-on-one fights, so 'having over 100 enemies like the Musou games would surely make things interesting,’ was something we discussed among the staff.
Koinuma: You can say that luck also played a role. The title that our company wanted to do a Musou game collaboration with the most just so happened to be the one title that the folks at Nintendo said ‘we can entrust them with this one’ to, so we were both able to come to an agreement regarding The Legend of Zelda.
We're certainly a little more optimistic about this title having learned of the presence of Link's trademark moves such as the Spin Attack, Z-targeting and the inclusion of characters such as Impa; the screenshots show some attractive visuals and fairly faithful portrayals of Hyrule, too. While we'll see for ourselves in the final game, it seems that a level of care and respect for the series is being shown.
We'll bring you a little more in the form of a screenshot blow-out later today, but let us know what you think of these comments from the game's key development figures.