News Article

Feature: Hyrule Warriors - Everything We Know So Far

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Hacking and slashing up the details

Hyrule Warriors is the next major release on Wii U, with Nintendo no doubt hopeful that it'll kickstart a sustained period of solid sales for the home console, with subsequent months also bringing a variety of major releases. It's also the first high-profile and direct crossover for the Zelda franchise — aside from cameo appearances and outfits — and caused quite a stir when revealed in December 2013. Impressions so far show that it fundamentally plays like a fairly standard Dynasty Warriors title, yet from another perspective it's crammed with characters, items, stages and references that will be immediately familiar to fans of Nintendo's franchise.

A lot has been revealed and shown, most recently in the Hyrule Warriors Direct, so we thought we'd combine as much information as we can into one handy place, to help us get a better grasp of what's coming ahead of its September arrival in the West.

Some key points — we're sticking to officially confirmed details from Koei Tecmo and Nintendo, and not referencing leaks or information emerging from the impending Japanese release; spoiling the whole game is not our plan. Also, this will be a dynamic feature, so anything we miss will be added in over the coming days to give the full picture.

Let's get to it.


Playable Characters

Primary Weapon — Hylian Sword
Additional Weapon — Magic Rod
Additional Weapon — Gauntlet

Primary Weapon — Rapier
Additional Weapon — Wind Waker Baton

Primary Weapon — Giant Blade
Additional Weapon — Naginata

Primary Weapon — Harp + martial arts

Primary Weapon — Hammer

Primary Weapon — Zora Scale

Primary Weapon — Shackle

Primary Weapon — Parasol

Primary Weapon — Scimitar

Primary Weapon — Goddess Blade

Primary Weapon — Demon Blade

Primary Weapon — Book of Sorcery
Additional Weapon — Deku Tree Spear
Additional Weapon — Summoning Gate

Primary Weapon — Great Sword

Additional Attacks

Each character, also depending on the weapon in use, will have unique Special Attacks used to clear out a large number of enemies.

Racking up combos also fills a magic guage, and when that's full you can use Focus Spirit, which heightens the destructive power of the character.

Additional Items / Collectibles

Bow — Used for attacking distant enemies.
Hookshot — Climbing to new areas and more.
Bombs — Widely seen in demo builds, used to clear routes and in the King Dodongo boss fight.
Boomerang — Another long range weapon for defeating multiple enemies.
Chain Chomp — Shown being swung around (not dissimilar to the Gauntlet) by Link.
Bombchu — Much larger in size that those seen before, a demonstrated use was to blow up a wall blocking progress.
Moon from Majora's Mask — Use a hookshot to pull the moon to the ground and destroy enemies.
Gold Skulltula — Find these to obtain illustration pieces.

Stages

Non-Playable Boss Enemies (at time of writing)

General Battle Progress

Stage areas are a significant size and with multiple areas in Hyrule Warriors, with various objectives given in each. There are Keeps placed around the map, so claiming these as territory is a priority to tilt battle in your favour and claim victory. Triggered events take the form of enemy Captains, which are tougher to fight; giant bosses also appear in this respect. The appearance of new enemies prompt changes in Victory conditions — when a stage is cleared, you're then ranked on your performance.

Character and Weapon Progression

Battles naturally level you up, and sometimes enemies will drop items — you use these to craft badges. Badges are then used to boost weapons on the item tree, increasing the number of attacks, improving combos, the number of times you can use potions and special attacks, extending abilities such as Focus Spirit time and more.

Different weapons also have their own unique Skills, that boost a particular feature such as life hearts, attack damage and more. A weapon with an empty skill slot, meanwhile, can be fused with another weapon to increase its skills.

Adventure Mode

This initially takes place on a retro-styled, grid-based overworld — below.

Moving onto an area will often move you into a typical Hyrule Warriors battle with some unique victory conditions, though some parts will bring up an NES-style screen — image below — that may task you with finding a hidden item; once you find the item you then fight for it in the game's modern world. Completing challenges will unlock grids, with the idea being to explore the whole area; there will be special items and even playable characters that can only be accessed through this mode.

Co-Op Mode

Co-Op is local multiplayer only, with one player on the GamePad screen and the other using the TV; we're told to expect a drop in visuals to accommodate the dual screen play. Online co-op is not included, though some online features are expected.

Costume Set DLC

Demon King Costume Set — Club Nintendo members in North America and Europe will have four weeks from the title's release date (below) to register the game and receive this DLC for free.

Ocarina of Time Costume Set — Available from select retailers as a pre-order bonus in North America, European details to be confirmed.

Twilight Princess Costume Set — Available from select retailers as a pre-order bonus in North America, European details to be confirmed.

Skyward Sword Costume Set — Available from select retailers as a pre-order bonus in North America, European details to be confirmed.

Miscellaneous

Off-TV mode is supported on the GamePad.

Cuccos feature, and if you attack them they'll — of course — become angry; they can be used against enemies as allies, however.

Release Dates

Japan — 14th August
Europe — 19th September
Australia — 20th September
North America — 26th September

Limited Editions

The various limited editions in Japan are unlikely to make it to the West, though the DLC outlined above will in some cases be pre-order bonuses. The Official Nintendo UK Store has unveiled the bundle below, however, which includes a rather colourful scarf.


Plenty of information there, and below is the recent Hyrule Warriors Direct that goes through many of these details. Are you excited about Hyrule Warriors on Wii U?

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User Comments (73)

IxC

#4

IxC said:

I find it weird how graphically impressive The Imprisoned is compared to the rest of the game.

The Direct today was pretty good. Nice to know how Adventure mode works. And confirmation of the playable villains was awesome.

I hope there are tons more stages though. I don't know how Dynasty Warriors games usually are with stages, but this game definitely needs many more than it currently has announced.

We do need to know what the online mode will be though. If only to shut everybody up complaining about it.

Ralek85

#5

Ralek85 said:

On the one hand, I'm afraid that this first attempt to branch out the Zelda franchise will fail, on the other hand, I almost hope it does. Nintendo really need to think about, how inclusive they want to be. Their obstinate approach to online in general, and multiplayer(/co-op) in particular, is getting on my nerves and with each passing year, I have a harder time justifying putting up with it. Maybe failure is the only way they'll learn - sure don't hope so though =(

Azooooz

#6

Azooooz said:

And that's that! I think we have all the information we need about Hyrule Warriors.

Let's hope that Nintendo keeps the hype train rolling with similar things like those.

Yurikun

#7

Yurikun said:

HYPE TRAIN de-railed. We can't play online but they want to take time to announce that you can cut the grass. Are they serious???

Nico07

#8

Nico07 said:

I'm pretty excited for this game and will be picking it up in September in North America. My only concern is this possible retailer specific DLC. I plan on picking up from retailer Best Buy but I really want ALL of the announced DLC. I suppose an option to purchase all DLC will come at some point.

Vrael

#10

Vrael said:

Still not sold. The gameplay just looks like you mash x to win. I will wait for review before I make the final call.

MeddlingIdiotStaff

#11

MeddlingIdiot said:

With all the characters and locations gathered together in this article, I'm starting to get quite excited about this one now. I'm not sure how long it'll hold my interest for but I'm sure it'll at least be great for some short, nostalgia-based bursts now and then.

SavoirFaire

#12

SavoirFaire said:

You left at 2 closely guarded secrets in the game that, judging from just about every comments section, many people do not know:

1) this game is made by koei tecmo with Nintnedo oversight, not a true Nintendo game.

2) there are multiple difficulty levels that range from stupid monsters waiting to die to smart monsters ready to annihilate you.

Tritonus

#13

Tritonus said:

I dunno why, but I just can't really get exited for this game. Maybe I'll wait for the reviews to see if I'm gonna get this or not.

Edit: Just finished A Link Between Worlds last night and I LOVED it. I'm a massive Zelda fan, but this game kinda falls flat for me.

ZeroZX_Dev

#14

ZeroZX_Dev said:

@SavoirFaire
For 2, in everyone's defense, whenever the game was showcased it's always on easy mode. People keep forgetting this is still a Musou game, so if you don't like that, you won't like this. Not even with the extra Zelda elements people seem to be ignoring.
@Tritonus It's a beat em' up. Don't like the genre, you'll hate this.

cfgk24

#15

cfgk24 said:

@Vrael No, none of the videos demonstrate the true strategic value of the Gameplay. It is a hack and slash game in one respect but you will lose if that is all you do.

Nintenjoe64

#16

Nintenjoe64 said:

It amazes me how many people think this sort of game is button mashing. It's the same as saying Smash is just button mashing. It's only button mashing if you randomly hit buttons hoping to do something.
They're probably the same people that think A - Attack, B - Block, X - Parry is a deep combat system.

Anguspuss

#18

Anguspuss said:

19th september 6 weeks till d day. Let the button mashing begin.
Yes you have to be savy for later levels but at the start xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

outburst

#19

outburst said:

From hype level 3 to level 6 after watching the direct. Still not a day-one purchase though nor paying 50-60€.

Great guide btw. I will be checking this from time to time.

Bizzyb

#22

Bizzyb said:

Not liking this DLC setup at all. Retailer specific content is THE WORST. I'm sorry but no gamer with half a brain thinks this kind of DLC is Ok. Its very anti consumer and only serves to hurt the consumer. Why would Nintendo ever go for this??

Yurikun

#23

Yurikun said:

@Dogpigfish
I really want to like this game. It has just about every Zelda fanboy/fangirls dream on one disk but i dont have any friends that have WiiU so online stuff does not matter to me but it matters to a lot of people. And I can't rightly remember the last time i plugged in a Zelda title to just cut a bunch of tall grass.

Tsurii897

#24

Tsurii897 said:

@Bizzyb
I didn't see anything about retailer specific DLC for Europe yet (and I hope it's not that I just missed it), still hoping it'll be different here, especially since 80% of Europe/PAL regions will get screwed over in one way or another anyway :|

_

I was hyped since E3, but Ganondorf's new design made waiting even worse for me. I want it asap.

Famitsu gave it a 9/10 btw

plunkettmonster

#25

plunkettmonster said:

Day One purchase for me, I am excited about this game, I have been since it was announced last December, the Nintendo Direct just reaffirmed I am buying it on day one. I just have to decided which costume set I want so I know where to put in my pre-order.

Sir_JBizzle

#26

Sir_JBizzle said:

I'm super pumped for this game, but man this coverage is exhausting! Not from NintendoLife but I just mean all the info they have given us. I hope there's a few surprises left for us. :-)

DiscoGentleman

#28

DiscoGentleman said:

Heya, NL, you got a character typo: Shia's official name is Cia. Shia was what people were calling her before an official english language name was announced.

WaveWarlock

#29

WaveWarlock said:

@Vrael
This. I don't care if it has Zelda Asthetics, this game looks like a total mindless affair. I don't have one ounce of excitement for this at all. Underneath it all is Samurai Warriors after all, which would have zero chance of being successful in the west. But now it's going to be a smash hit because of the new LOZ 'skin'. These ZeldaLings just can't help themselves.

What's next? Is nintendog's going to get a sequel called "Gannon babies" edition.

Hmm, i'll admit i don't go ape sh** whenever a new LOZ game is revealed. The series just doesn't excite me the same way Mario and Mega Man do. ;)

BertoFlyingFox

#30

BertoFlyingFox said:

It's just looking better and better. Adventure mode sounds great too, can't wait to have a co-op marathon with this game.

eleccross

#31

eleccross said:

@Vrael @WaveBoy No game ever will be "just press X to win" developers know that's stupid, they know there needs to be a challenge. Most of the footage has been from the first levels and I'll assume on easy difficulty so of course the enemies will be sword sponges. Easy mode is there for A) beginners B) those who just want to kick the shit out of things for fun. If you don't like it great you don't like beat'em ups. But don't try to form some uber negative opinion of "Zeda fan are mindless zombies who'll buy anything with zelda on it." Because that's not true. CDi Zelda?

ricklongo

#32

ricklongo said:

I enjoyed the Direct last night, and as such my enthusiasm for the game has shot up a bit. I do know Famitsu just gave it a 9/9/9/9 score, which is nothing to scoff at. Bummer it's still almost two months away, though. Those waits between Wii U retail releases only seem to get longer and longer.

Riptide515

#33

Riptide515 said:

if this game has online multiplayer of some sort i'll get it day one. if not than i'll just wait for the review.

Diddy_kong

#34

Diddy_kong said:

@ThomasBW84

Does anybody know if you'll be able to play as any character on any stage, or will there be "Link stages" and "Ganon stages" where you have to use a certain character. No trailer or anything that I've read has ever addressed this as far as I know.

Tlozbj

#36

Tlozbj said:

Shia was actually kinda confirmed. When NoA's twitter account was mentioning the known playable characters, they end the list with both Lana and Shia

https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/496493979945299968

It should also be noted, that what the Direct seems to be saying is that all 3 DLC sets will come together, but that preorder bonus will only be available in certain retailers, since some are saying that each DLC set will be specific to a certain retailer.

Naptime85

#38

Naptime85 said:

Honestly, I told myself if it didn't have online multiplayer, I wasn't going to buy it. Sorry, I get the whole "have fun on the couch with your friends and family" but I'm far too busy anymore to go over to a friend's house every time I want to play multiplayer. Nintendo's lack of response to online multiplayer even as a option for some is really starting to get under my skin. It's 2014 Nintendo. Come on...

SpookyMeths

#39

SpookyMeths said:

Anyone saying that Warriors is a 'press X to win' series has clearly never played the game on a difficulty above normal. Which is a shame, because it extends 3 difficulties beyond that and the game is nuts in Chaos mode.

Anguspuss

#40

Anguspuss said:

CaviarMeths said:
Anyone saying that Warriors is a 'press X to win' series
it was me but I said only to win at start for later levels you have to be savy.
Im an omega force junkie just love their games

conman2012

#41

conman2012 said:

It seems to me that Nintendo's main input has simply to be to ensure the Zelda elements are "supervised". It thus would seem that it is Tecmo Koei's choice to exclude online multiplayer, and not necessarily Nintendos.

Meanwhile, whilst this isn't likely to me my sort of game, I hope it succeeds to help prove that games other than strictly Nintendo ones can sell.

Anguspuss

#42

Anguspuss said:

this will boost sales in japan at least more than any other title this year.

Not sure about anywhere else but if this had been pre wii u days we might just have got the two finger salute & never seen it

ValiantPixel

#44

ValiantPixel said:

I was originally going to wait until Christmas to get this, but with the pre-order bonuses AND Ganondorf promotion, there's no reason to wait. It's also a good way to pass the days until Smash Bros. 3DS!

vattodev

#47

vattodev said:

@Vrael Don't wait for the review. That's exactly what the review is going to say. But anyone that played other Musou games know that it's only true in normal difficulty, which usually means up to LVL 20. You can play the entire story mode in that difficulty, but then you won't grow further. On higher difficulty levels the game becomes an intense crowd control game in which you can't get hit more than two or three times. Your skills and reach usually improve too, so your character gets better and better and become able to finish the hardest quests on the hardest difficulties without a single hit. But that's only if you use the combos that leave you least vulnerable and tailor your skill set to bring most of those attacks.

Aslanmagic

#49

Aslanmagic said:

I'm excited....for my UK friends, I'm happy you're able to get the scarf. Jealous, but happy

kensredemption

#50

kensredemption said:

@Vrael Constantly evolving winning conditions, RPG-esque character development, an expanding roster and unique stage navigating options in addition to homages to the Zelda series.

I was hyped before, but after seeing that Direct I creamed myself over, and over, and over, and over, and over...

...and over, and over, and over. I'm glad I didn't buy into anything from EA, Ubi or Acti this year. This year's all about Nintendo.

R_Champ

#52

R_Champ said:

@Yurikun

Haha! I was thinking the exact same thing! The whole Direct seemed like an excuse/distraction as to why they decided to omit certain features (like online). Hype train definitely derailed for me as well. Still looks pretty cool, but with Bayonetta less than a month after this AND it has better mechanics/online co-op...sorry Hyrule Warriors, you might not make the cut...unless you count cutting the grass...in which point you're doing amazing :P

Windy

#53

Windy said:

I think this game is going to be awesome! I played some Samurai Warrior last night to get pumped. Nothing like a little Samurai Warrior to get you all pumped up!

SavoirFaire

#54

SavoirFaire said:

@Steven1094 I don't think we've seen the full roster yet. There was a 4chan character roster leak floating around that looks rather neat, and I hope it turns out to be true. We should know by ~August 10th or so with the Japan release. It would take a sub 5/10 score on multiple sites to turn me away from this game, and seeing the quad-9's already from famitsu makes me happy :)

123akis

#55

123akis said:

Brilliant read Tom! Straight after I watched the Hyrule Warriors Direct I was sold so I pre-ordered this game on shopto.net! This game looks so awesome!!

sinalefa

#56

sinalefa said:

Nice to hear I can play as Ghirahim. I could even forgive them if they don't include Groose and Tingle.

But I am not too keen on the costumes being retailer exclusive. I buy at Amazon only (for several reasons) so I hope in the future all three costume packs are for sale in the eShop.

Yurikun

#57

Yurikun said:

@R_Champ im definitely looking forward to Bayonetta 2. HW still looks fun but to me this game just keeps looking less and less interesting. And that is about it till Xenoblade Chronicles X comes out next year.

CaPPa

#58

CaPPa said:

I'm sold on Hyrule Warriors now.

So for 2014 I think I'll be getting:
Hyrule Warriors
Bayonetta 2
Smash Bros 3DS
Persona Q
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
Smash Bros Wii U
An Amiibo or two (Samus for sure)

I'll also consider Watch Dogs (if it's better than the PS3 version), Sonic Boom and Project Cars; although I should really have enough games to play already.

c1pher_c0mplet

#59

c1pher_c0mplet said:

@Ralek85 Seems like you've been putting up with Nintendo's crap for a long time: I commend you, friend. Personally, Nintendo has always been a "secondary" company for me. While I have an absolute blast with their offerings (I'm a 3DS-a-holic lol), they are just too draconian, too stubborn, unwilling to address their shortcomings, and it's only getting worse as the years progress. Their eccentricity is their biggest asset and their biggest failure. And in my opinion, Iwata & Co. don't make it any better.

MAB

#60

MAB said:

I will wait for the big Wii U drought mid 2015 before adding this to my Digital 4 Lyfe gallery... Hopefully it doesn't sell too good so Koei Tecmo are forced to drop the price by a large amount ;)

Emaan

#61

Emaan said:

I've gone from uninterested (I know I'm a bad Zelda fan) to wanting this game desperately, very quickly~

erv

#62

erv said:

@MAB that's something i've been contemplating too. I'll wait for the reviews, asking price and inevitable comparison between this and bayonetta.

Iggly

#63

Iggly said:

My wallet will be shot down pretty soon as I'm currently saving up my money for Hyrule Warriors. :)

PigmaskColonel

#64

PigmaskColonel said:

Dang! If only I wasn't buying a Wii U around the Holiday period for Smash Bros.... I need to go kick some butt with Ghirahim and Ganondorf!!

tre

#65

tre said:

Not sure if anyone commented about Zelda characters speaking. On ND they mentioned Sheik speaking ninja-style... plus you see cutscenes with the characters conversing without pop-up text. So excited to hear Zelda's voice. I just hope Link remains silent.

ModestFan93

#67

ModestFan93 said:

@tre I thought I was dreaming when I heard Impa and Zelda taking to one another. I'm so excited to hear if other characters speak and really I sorta wanna hear Link talk to if it's just saying limited responses or one or two phrases.
@SavoirFaire Leaks? Where? Who?
@Windy Oh man not used to you being excited for a game. Well if you seem to be on board that bodes well for things. XD
@ricklongo Sorry to burst your bubble but I wouldn't trust their reviews anymore lately. They have been throwing scores around to games that aren't deserving or games which had amazing content abs they just screwed them over. Really the last truly amazing score they gave was Pokémon Black/White and even that I don't agree with because they turned around and gave Black 2/White 2 a lower score dispute them improving on the game tenfold.

Windy

#70

Windy said:

@ModestFan93 haha I still have to buy a Wii-U also. Its coming for sure. I'm hoping to have a Wii-U by November. I'm looking forward to Hyrule Warriors, Xenoblade and the Zelda game announced at E3. I really sense good things coming up for Wii-U

jakysnakydx

#72

jakysnakydx said:

I'm a little miffed on the roster. Warriors Orochi had some 70 playable characters all with individual move sets? Hyrule Warriors, the love letter to Zelda fans, gets 13? There are PRIMARY characters that just got washboarded... That just tickles me pink here. Even with such a sparse representation instead of throwing in a ZELDA characters we get this Lana crap? I under Cia and Wizro and Valga. Cia is a new villain (awesome!), Valga is Volvagia (come on guys... we've even seen him transform now) and Wizro is a poe of sorts; at least these fit in. Personal feelings about Lana aside - I feel cut short here on the roster overall.

jakysnakydx

#73

jakysnakydx said:

@Naptime85 I hear ya. I'm at the point where I don't have friends who play games like I do (i.e. people pay for cars, homes, families and other hobbies). Online is my only multiplayer.
Nintendo's choice to omit online isn't going to force me to go get new friends or coerce my current ones in to a slaughterfest - that's not fun anyway.

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