When a developer takes hold of a crossover between series, it's not surprising to find them treading a dangerous line between risk and reward. While on one hand crossovers appeal to the basest love of seeing two or more beloved properties melded together in some way, the margin for error can be incredibly high given the voracious nature of fans. Hyrule Warriors is no different, but it may surprise gamers to hear that in its initial stages, it looked much different from what it has become.
As it stands now, Hyrule Warriors is very much a Dynasty Warriors title that has been lovingly wrapped in the cloth that Nintendo used to forge the universally-recognizable Legend of Zelda franchise. This is hardly a slight on the game, as it looks to expertly draw from both pools to create an experience that should appeal to fans of both. According to Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma and Koei Tecmo's Yosuke Hayashi, the game began its life more as a traditional Zelda title than a Dynasty Warriors title.
This comes following an interview with Nintendo Life in which the two spoke about the game's development and Shigeru Miyamoto's involvement in the process. According to them, Miyamoto was responsible for coming in and having "up-ended the tea table". Aonuma states:
"At first, when Hayashi-san approached me, he wanted to make this title closer to a Zelda game than a Dynasty Warriors game — that extended to having boss battles in the dungeons and [having] certain characters in the game. However, Mr. Miyamoto came along and up-ended the tea table, saying, 'No, that should not be the case. What we’re doing here is grafting Zelda onto the Dynasty Warriors experience.' It was a reversal of the original proposal from Hayashi-san, which was adding elements of Dynasty Warriors onto the Zelda franchise. It ended up being the other way around based on Miyamoto’s direction."
Should this original proposal have gone through, it's no surprise that the game would have looked quite different. While the game's trailers show off enough familiar faces and iconic gear to get even the most stoic Zelda fan excited, there's no denying that something more in the vein of Nintendo's upcoming mainline Zelda game would have sent gamers into an uncontrollable frenzy. While the Dynasty Warriors influence would have invariably made its mark, the prospect of delving into dungeons inhabited by big bosses is quite tantalizing indeed.
Hayashi goes on to say that Miyamoto's intention behind this shift was to give Zelda fans something completely different from what they are used to. Rather than having the title lean on one property over the other, he felt that a balance needed to be struck so that fans of both sides would be able to find enjoyment in the game. Given the positive responses the game has received so far, this choice seems to have paid off.
In particular, Aonuma says that fans have taken to the Miiverse to praise the game's cinematics, saying that they're "better than the stuff Nintendo does." The game's screenshots definitely do paint a beautiful picture and while Aonuma is overjoyed to hear this, he says that it provides him with a goal to make sure the next Zelda title "can hold its own" in comparison to Hyrule Warriors.
Featuring iconic villains like series mainstay Ganondorf and the possibility of a female Link making an appearance, Hyrule Warriors seems poised to make waves when it launches on the Wii U later this month. Despite facing a weak sales forecast early in the year, it's looking more and more like Nintendo will be finishing off 2014 with strong footing.
Hyrule Warriors is set to launch in North America on September 26, 2014 for the Wii U.
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Source: Nintendo Life