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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

Link
Link

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

Zelda
Zelda

Primary Weapon — Rapier
Additional Weapon — Wind Waker Baton

Impa
Impa

Primary Weapon — Giant Blade
Additional Weapon — Naginata

Sheik
Sheik

Primary Weapon — Harp + martial arts

Darunia
Darunia

Primary Weapon — Hammer

Princess Ruto
Princess Ruto

Primary Weapon — Zora Scale

Midna
Midna

Primary Weapon — Shackle

Agitha
Agitha

Primary Weapon — Parasol

Zant
Zant

Primary Weapon — Scimitar

Fi
Fi

Primary Weapon — Goddess Blade

Ghirahim
Ghirahim

Primary Weapon — Demon Blade

Lana
Lana

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

Ganondorf
Ganondorf

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

Hyrule Field
Hyrule Field
Skyloft
Skyloft
Lake Hylia
Lake Hylia
Twilight Field
Twilight Field
Lanayru Gorge
Lanayru Gorge
Palace of Twilight
Palace of Twilight
"The Surface" - Skyward Sword
"The Surface" - Skyward Sword
Forest Temple
Forest Temple
Eldin Caves
Eldin Caves
Death Mountain
Death Mountain

Non-Playable Boss Enemies (at time of writing)

Shia
Shia
Wizzro
Wizzro
Valga
Valga
Argorok
Argorok
Imprisoned
Imprisoned
Gohma
Gohma
King Dodongo
King Dodongo

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.

Adventure Mode 1

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.

Adventure Mode2

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.

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?