Nintendo Unveils ‘Legend of Zelda’ Spinoff ‘Hyrule Warriors’

Published 1 year ago by

Nintendo is in a troublesome place at the moment, coming off a year where it struggled to sell the Wii U to the same audience that made the Wii so popular. Due to the console’s low sale numbers, gamers have expected to see the company announce big, long-awaited titles to boost interest in the console. While Nintendo only just recently released A Link Between Worlds, there were high hopes that the company might final unveil an original Legend of Zelda game for the Wii U during the Spike VGX, but all fans got was confirmation that Cranky Kong would be in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.

Although, it hasn’t taken too long for Nintendo to show what the future holds for the Zelda franchise. During today’s Nintendo Direct several high profile announcements were made, but perhaps the must peculiar of them all was Hyrule Warriors. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata made it clear that this game isn’t in the ‘main’ Zelda franchise, but is instead a spinoff being developed in conjunction with Tecmo Koei, the company responsible for the Dynasty Warriors franchise.

The game looks like a hybrid between both Dynasty Warriors and the Legend of Zelda, bringing the large, open combat battlefields to the land of Hyrule. From the Hyrule Warriors trailer, the game appears to have very similar gameplay to Dynasty Warriors‘ familiar hack and slash arenas, but now all set in the world of Hyrule with Link as an onscreen avatar.

This isn’t the first time that a franchise has gotten the Dynasty Warriors treatment – its trademark gameplay was adapted into the world of Gundam Wing for Dynasty Warriors: Gundam. Dynasty Warriors does exceptionally well in Japan and mixing the game franchise with one of the most popular animes of all time proved incredibly popular when it hit shelves. Now that the gameplay has Hyrule outfitting, it will likely find an even bigger audience due to the popularity of Zelda in the west.

The game looks like a big departure when compared to some of Link’s previous adventures too and that might be the best thing going for it. The Legend of Zelda is synonymous with dungeon crawling, small scale combat and puzzle solving. Hyrule Warriors, if the trailer is anything to go by, is more about slashing away at tens of enemies, sending them flying across the landscape in their bunches.

Little is known about the game or when fans can expect to play it, but it will be interesting to see which of the characters from the Hyrule universe will be playable as well as which locations and enemies must be conquered on the battlefield.

Are you impressed by Hyrule Warriors? Enough to buy a Wii U for? Would you like to see another Dynasty Warriors type mash-up in the future or do you just want a proper new Zelda title? Let us know in the comments.

TAGS: Dynasty Warriors, Nintendo, Tecmo Koei, The Legend of Zelda, Wii U

  • fizzystrings

    I wouldn’t say it’s at all a system seller. It seems like more like a sideshow to keep us entertained untill the next main series game is released. That said, it will probably be pretty fun, as long as no one goes in expecting a true story-driven, puzzle-filled zelda adventure.

    • Kaihaku

      I wouldn’t expect puzzles but you might be surprised on the story driven front. Warriors games are usually very lore based. Plus, there are two major wars in the Legend of Zelda timeline – the one before Skyward Sword and the one before Ocarina of Time. The traditional Legend of Zelda adventure format wouldn’t do well at letting someone play through an epic war…but a Warriors style game on the other hand.

  • GeeEmm

    Eeesh. I will be buying a Wii U but it wont be because of this game. Adore the Zelda series but this looks average at best. Links Crossbow Training anyone?

    • Kenny

      The Link Crossbow Training was merely a short side game to launch with the Wii Zapper, it wasn’t meant to be a full fledged title like this one is supposed to be. To put it shortly, it’s the equivalent of Wii Sports.

      • GeeEmm

        Fair enough. Still, the Dynasty Warriors formula is not my cup of tea so more than likely ill be skipping this.

    • Jamhead

      Yeah I’m with you. Link’s crossbow training was a lot of fun. I still play it once in a while when friends over. Nintendo needs to hurry up with the full Zelda title. I will not be buying a Wii U until then.

      • Kaihaku

        No, Nintendo needs to take their time and make the next full Zelda title as good as possible. I’ll gladly wait for a better game.

      • crowda86

        I agree with you jamhead! One of the only reasons I got the wii was because of the main storyline “legend of Zelda” games! Not spending 350 plus on a new system for a spinoff!

  • Kenny

    It looks pretty awesome spin off. Granted that I am waiting for an actual Zelda title for the Wii U to be announced at E3. But it’s about time the Zelda franchise gets a spin off, some spin offs like Pokemon Mystery Dungeon are just about as good as the main series; so I’m having high hopes for this title. I feel that it’d make a good title in my upcoming Wii U collection.

  • Red


    That officially pushed me two points up on the scale of wanting a Wii U. A scale of **** Nintendo to 10, I’m at a 3 now. Good work Nintendo, a few more games like this and I may be back in the “give a rat’s ***” section for Nintendo again.

  • Josh Calkins

    Wanted to point out that “set in the world of Hyrule” may be shorthand for “Zelda style”, but it isn’t necessarily all that meaningful. While a few elements and species have become norms over the years, each game, and especially each version of Hyrule has been pretty radically different. Rather than refer to any specific flavor of Hyrule, I suspect a new and less interesting playing field. If they said you’d get to play through a Hyrule I actually recognize, that would be one thing, but a battlefield full of vaguely-familiar species shout-outs is far from feeling like a return to any of the lands I associate with the franchise, so the claim feels bogus. If it were debuting along side a new HD Zelda I would have only a mild grumbling at the notion of reducing such a series to hack and slash for the masses but in the ongoing absence of core franchise titles from Nintendo, I am exasperated. On the other hand, they added a monkey to the next DK! (Just kidding. Does anyone care?)

    Btw, new Mario is fun, and splinter cell on Wii U is really fun with the two screens, so I try to be patient…

    • fizzystrings

      Nintendo is still working hard on the next main game. This isn’t even being made by Nintendo, so don’t expect this game to slow them down.

      • Josh Calkins

        That is encouraging! Now some sign of the next core installment is what I am hoping for. Much like the elder Scrolls online, I’d hate to have it exist INSTEAD of the main franchise, but so long as that’s nt the case I have little to lament. Of course if it isn’t a quality game then it shouldn’t be tarnishing the name , but I am open minded about it being worthy.

    • Kaihaku

      This is more than a Zelda skin for a Warriors game; it’s clear from that trailer that core elements of the Zelda battle system have been incorporated into game engine – like locking onto large enemies and being able to perform Link’s usual acrobatics. While this will still be a crazy hack and slash, that should add some layers to the combat.

      Next… This could be canonical. There are two great wars in the Hyrule Histora timeline that have often been mentioned in game lore. The Great Triforce War that took place before Ocarina of Time and the war that took place before Skyward Sword. The resemblance of the Link in the trailer to Hylia’s Chosen Hero with the cape and shoulder armor is noteworthy. It wouldn’t make sense to flesh out great wars using the traditional Zelda adventure format but it would make sense to use the Warriors format to do so.

  • Rhett

    Haha omg, I so called this. Like, 2 years ago I posted on some forum how awesome it’d be if Nintendo made an open-worldy type action game about the 7 years where Ganondorf took over hyrule between when Link pulled the Master Sword and then woke up as an adult. Although since Link is clearly in this it probably actually isn’t about that. Still, I wasn’t too far off lol

    • Kaihaku

      The “Link” in the trailer could be the Hero of Time’s father in the war that took place prior to Ocarina of Time.

  • ios

    Boring !!!
    A creative loss as it seems !
    Sad times for Nintendo !

  • returning poster

    It’s completely stupid how games is inspired by something from the start of popular gaming.

    Mario is name after a land lord that once harassed Shigeru.
    Donkey Kong character is a similar clone to King Kong
    Metroid is a complete Alien(film) knock off.
    Link share the same vibe from Peter Pan.
    Contra and other war games from the 80’s is more like Rambo.
    Final Fight is a videogame version of the movie Streets of Fire.

    You see what I mean?

  • SammyTaylor

    OcArInA of TiMe was better than this uninspired tech demo

    • returning poster

      Now why would you even compare a full game against a tech demo? Just stupid,

  • HopingforZeldaU

    I think this may be straying from the Zelda plotline a bit TOO far… As a huge Zelda fan, I saw some images of the game and got into this HUGE hype about it… but now I’m not too sure. This is sort of a creative loss for Nintendo… Unless the game has AMAZING gameplay, then I won’t be impressed… Am I still hopeful about this game being a creative win? Yes very much so.

  • Michael J. Simmons

    I was literally a day away from buying a Wii U! Wind waker HD and a new Zelda title to be coming out soon! How could you go wrong? Well you can easily go wrong when the new zelda isn’t a zelda game at all, just a dynasty warriors game with zelda graphics pasted onto it. Even with the price drops I don’t think the Wii U can be saved. I need another solid Zelda game. A Link Between Worlds is fantastic! 10/10! And it’s a handheld game! How can they follow up a game as simple (yet innovative) as A Link Between Worlds with a spinoff? It’s depressing really… Maybe if this was released after an actuall zelda game before giving us this. But that’s just my two cents.