It’s a good time to be a Legend of Zelda fan. While The Legend of Zelda Wii U is still almost a year away, Nintendo has been pulling out all the stops, keeping the series fresh in the minds of gamers everywhere. Not only did Link, Zelda, Gannondorf, and the rest of the crew make their regular main-roster appearance in last fall’s Super Smash Bros. revivals, but Link also showed up in November’s well-received Mario Kart 8 DLC. Two traditional Zelda titles have graced consoles in the past year and a half – Wind Waker HD, which brings the GameCube classic to the Wii U, and A Link Between Worlds, a brand new adventure for the 3DS – with a third, Majora’s Mask 3D, coming in the next few weeks.
That’s a lot of Zelda, and that list doesn’t even include Hyrule Warriors, Koei Temco’s Dynasty Warriors-inspired spin-off. At first, Hyrule Warriors seems like an odd combination; Dynasty Warriors is known for its frantic hundreds-vs-one hack-and-slash gameplay, while The Legend of Zelda series is concerned just as much with puzzle-solving and world building as it is with combat.
Despite expectations, however, the mash-up caught on. Hyrule Warriors might rely too much on fan-service and not enough on deep, satisfying gameplay, but Koei Temco remains confident in their product. Last year, Koei Temco predicted that the game would sell over one million copies. It was right. The studio just announced that over a million copies of Hyrule Warriors have been shipped to stores worldwide, with no sign of stopping any time soon.
For a Wii U-exclusive, that’s a major accomplishment. Only nine games on Nintendo’s latest console have moved over a million units, and Hyrule Warriors is the only one not developed by Nintendo or one of its subsidiaries. On the other hand, it’s hard to get too excited; the Zelda series already has a large and dedicated fan base. It’s not as if a brand new IP cracked the top-sellers list.
Still, it’s safe to say that Hyrule Warriors is a legitimate hit, and the title looks like it’ll have a long shelf life. On February 5, the game’s Majora’s Mask-themed DLC pack hits, introducing two new characters (Young Link and Tingle), as well as a new Adventure Mode map and some alternate costumes. Hyrule Warriors also recently received Amiibo support. Players who collect Nintendo’s series of plastic figurines can now scan the toys using the Wii U controller in order to unlock in-game weapons. Ultimately, Hyrule Warriors may not be the new Zelda adventure gamers are clamoring for, but it’s done an admirable job filling the void in the meantime.