Thursday, August 28, 2014

More Hyrule Warriors Ideas: Mikau, Yeto, Batreaux and the Crossbow

Well, the game has been released in Japan for a while now, there's tons of footage and I just want to share some ideas for updates. Some things from my pre-release wish list still stand, some don't, but let's see.

I still want Nabooru and Groose badly as characters from existing games. Also, I would like to see a Majora's Mask expansion including characters like Fierce Deity Link, the Deku Princess, Mikau and the Skull Kid. Not Darmani, however, because you could just give the Bongos to Darunia.

And I still think that additional troops would be nice like Zora, Deku, Gerudos, LD-301 Robots and Garo. But seeing how the troops are organized, the "Skipper" will most likely just be a stronger commanding unit, but not a playable character. More about that later.

We also got a lot more insight into weapon types now. For example the Skull Kid would probably have "mask" as his weapon type with the Skull Mask and Majora's Mask being different ranks. And with the exception of that odd 8-Bit sword in the upcoming update, there seem to be no joke weapon skins. The Chain Chomp together with the Power Glove is actually the best Gauntlet. And weapon types can be silly and not have to do much with the actual fighting like Agitha's parasol. So, a Fishing Rod would probably be its own type instead of a joke skin for the whip.

My rules for new ideas are not as strict as before. Not every character needs an "arch enemy" and the same stage can be home for multiple characters, while not every character strictly needs his or her own stage.

Batreaux



  • Weapon Types: Scythes (Shadow)
  • Stage: Skyloft

Yesterday I played some Skyward Sword again to prepare for an upcoming podcast about the game and I noticed, how nicely this guy could fit into the game. The scythes in his house could act as a nice weapon type and overall it would be interesting to have a dark demon fighter on the side of the good guys. He even might utilize bats in the same style as Gomess or those scary demon cats from Skyloft, haha.

He also could have his human form as an alternate costume... so far only Link, Zelda and Ganondorf got costumes and it certainly would be nice to have other characters with this feature.


Mikau



  • Weapon Types: Guitar (Lightning)
  • Stage: Pirate Fortress

While Darmani gets pretty much covered by Darunia, who could wield the Bongos as his second weapon type, Mikau still would be a nice addition to the game as a second Zora next to Ruto. Simply because he's a rockstar and the soundtracks is very rock heavy. He should be in the game for this reason alone.

He would fight with his fin blades on his body similar to Majora's Mask, but also use his guitar for combos and special attacks. The electrical barrier should also be a thing, probably even as his Focus Spirit, so maybe his fighting style is mainly Lightning based unlike Ruto's. He would appear on a Pirate Fortress stage, where you fight Gerudo troops!


Yeto



  • Weapon Types: Fish (Water)
  • Stage: Snowpeak Ruins

Seeing how Agitha can fight with a Parasol, I could easily imagine the "Fish" to be a fun fighting style for Yeto, where he not only smashes enemies with a fish, but uses his entire body. Actually the fish fist the weapon upgrade system nicely, where the Reekfish and the legendary Hylian Loach would be the upgrades. And naturally he would come with a Snowpeak Stage, which would be a perfect addition to Hyrule Warriors.


Linkle



  • Weapon Types: Crossbow (Fire), Whip (Water)
  • Stage: Outset Province (new area)

At first this was another case, where I want to see a specific weapon like the Scythe or the Whip, but don't really care about, who would wield it. The crossbow would be a nice nod to Link's Crossbow Training and with that it probably makes the most sense as another weapon for Link, but... today Koei Tecmo asked on Twitter about Linkle again, Link's younger sister. She wields the crossbow as her weapon and I would totally love that combo! And it wouldn't be the first time that in a Musou game a female character fights with a crossbow. Take a look at Lianshi.

The crossbow would be a fire type weapon utilizing Bomb Arrows. Because Bomb Arrows make everything better! And if they really add Linkle, they should give her the Whip as her second weapon! :D Oh, it would all be so perfect!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Link in Mario Kart 8

Remember my post about potential Mario Kart 8 DLC? Well, I certainly didn't see THIS coming:



Don't now, if I'm supposed to hate this or if I'm finally getting a favorite driver in Mario Kart...? It's not like this is a new idea and I'm glad that they're not making a "Zelda Kart" instead, but it's certainly not "Mario Kart" anymore. When Nintendo said that they're going to be less protective about their IPs earlier this year, they really meant it.

For Zelda this has become the "year of crossovers". The level in Sonic Lost World, the costume in Bayonetta, Hyrule Warriors, Super Smash Bros. 4 and now Mario Kart 8. Let's see, how they will jump the shark next.

But it looks like these Mario Kart 8 packs have lots of content (16 new tracks!) for a fair price. So, that's good DLC there! Definitely getting it.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ghirahim, the Assist Trophy

Smash Bros. 4 does it again...


So, they basically compiled a list of the most wanted Zelda characters for Smash and turned them all into Assist Trophies. I just can't get excited for the new Smash and people wonder why...

Also, how terrible do they look? Both Link and Ghirahim look nothing like in the games. Link's face is so weird and Ghirahim looks very goofy, those are like parody versions... This is how they should look like:


Koei Tecmo can consider themselves lucky that Nintendo is doing such a terrible job with the new Smash Bros. All the more reason to play Hyrule Warriors instead.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hyrule Warriors: Updates Coming!

I was actually expecting Hyrule Warriors 2 next year, but getting an actual expansion in the near future is nice news. Actually it seems like every Dynasty Warriors gets a "Xtreme Legends" update with a few new characters and game mode changes. However, those were new games instead of downloadable add-ons, so I'm not sure about this.

But I suspect that the first update(s) will still focus on Ocarina of Time, Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess and close some gaps here like Groose or playable Cia / Volga / Wizzro and maybe add some other fan favorites like Nabooru. Majora's Mask could be a nice separate update. And A Link Between Worlds together with A Link to the Past (Adventure Mode!) will probably be in Hyrule Warriors 2. But I'm ready to be surprised again. ;)

And according to Famitsu you can easily pump 100 hours into the game already. And considering that the Adventure Mode supposedly has 128 missions (one on each square of the NES TLoZ map), this might not be an exaggeration...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Why Hyrule Warriors got me so excited

I haven't been so excited for a new video game in a very long time. True, I have been excited for A Link Between Worlds and even The Wind Waker HD last year, but this goes way back. I realized that Hyrule Warriors is actually something I wanted for many, many years now. It has to do with ideas I had in the years 2000/2001 and 2005... the first has to with Majora's Mask and some things that I wanted to see in the game. The second is a game concept, which I recently rediscovered and which is not unsimilar to Hyrule Warriors.


Old Desires from Majora's Mask

Majora's Mask was actually the first Zelda game, which I got on day 1 and where I eagerly anticipated the release of the game, closely following its development in gaming magazines (no internet available). And while it certainly was my favorite game at the time, I had some complaints about it ...

The biggest one was probably Tingle. I was convinced that Majora's Mask would have been a much better game without this character. I grew to like his character later on with The Wind Waker and Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, but back when Majora's Mask came out, I hated him. Well, I was 14 years old at the time and everything had to be "cool", so he simply wasn't acceptable. This doesn't have much to do with Hyrule Warriors, except for maybe how cool this game looks, but I thought this something funny to mention.

What has to do with Hyrule Warriors though are weapons. I really didn't like, how the transformation masks didn't utilize any items to fight. Except for Fierce Deity Link they all fight with their bodies, but I would have preferred it, if Darmani had used a hammer, Mikau a spear and if Deku Link had shot Deku Nuts instead of silly bubbles. Today I don't necessarily share this view, I like how the characters were designed, but for me Zelda always has been heavily item based. And even though I grew to like Darmani and Mikau in the way they were, it's still good to finally get a Goron, who's actually fighting with a hammer! I love that and Darunia will probably become one of my favorites in the game.

Also, with Majora's Mask I really liked the idea of playing different characters and races inside Zelda, but the game didn't fully satisfy me and then the Zelda series never really got back to it (save for the remote control sections in TWW). It was nice to be able to play with a Deku, a Goron and a Zora, but I wanted more. Even if this might sound totally ridiculous, but I wanted a Gerudo or a Garo Link as well. And with Fierce Deity Link I wanted to play with him outside of the boss chambers and fight normal enemies with his power ... I can't tell, how many times I replayed all the individual bosses just to feel Fierce Deity's might.

Well, Hyrule Warriors most likely won't let me play as Fierce Deity again or as a Gerudo woman, but there's still the potential to fulfill these old wishes in a sequel. In the least the first game will let you play with different characters including a Goron and a Zora.


Zelda Fighting Game Concept

I recently discovered an old draft for an actual Zelda fighting game based on Unreal Championship 2 - The Liandri Conflict (UC2). This game basically combined the action of Unreal Tournament with the 3rd person melee combat of a Zelda game. It even had the targeting system and is one of the most enjoyable console shooters I've played. Unreal Championship 2 is even one of my favorite games of all time, I bought and still keep the old Xbox just for this game, my only non-Nintendo gaming console. I still like to play it today every now and then, in fact I did so last weekend.

In the game you also get 14+ individual characters, where each of them wields their own melee weapon. Anubis fights with a staff, Apophis with an axe and the sexy Selket with dual swords. Sounds familiar, right? The roster was even made out of hexagons and had a similar shape and size to the roster of Hyrule Warriors. Here's a recent video of the game, where you can view the roster and see some gameplay:



When this game was released, I was obsessed with getting something similar for Zelda. I even made my own Zelda roster with the following characters:

  • Link
  • Sheik
  • Mikau
  • Darmani
  • Nabooru
  • Din
  • Ganondorf
  • Shadow Link
  • Lizalfos
  • Stalfos
  • Iron Knuckle
  • Gomess
  • Majora's Wrath
  • Fierce Deity

Each of them would have gotten their own special melee weapon. Link used sword & shield, Mikau a spear, Darmani the hammer, Nabooru dual scimitars and Din the Rod of Seasons. Some characters, especially the mini bosses, I only added for their weapons. Like Gomess with his scythe, Majora with its whips or the Iron Knuckle with the axe. In the arena you would find and use typical Zelda items like the Bow, Bombs or Hookshot, much like in Hyrule Warriors.

There was also a Horse Battle mode, where every character got his individual mount. Link had Epona, Darmani got Dimitri and the Stalfos was riding a skeleton horse.

In a way Hyrule Warriors is a nice implementation of this idea, which does things a lot better with the one man army system. It just suits Zelda more than only having 1on1 combats and allows you to do way crazier things with the characters. And the mounts actually could become a thing in a sequel, since there have been Warrior games, where you can use mounts

I also like, how Hyrule Warriors handled its weapon system. Everyone gets his own item to fight, just the way I like it, but they allow multiple weapons per character to chose from and they didn't go down a route, where they simply added a character for its weapon. But at least now you know, where my ideas have been coming from. And I also was too focused on the weapons, while you can have characters fight with magical items, which allowed female characters like Ruto or Lana to enter the stage and shine.

But besides the differences I'm actually amazed, how close this Warrior Zelda hybrid got to my old ideas. And it certainly feels satisfying to finally get my cool Zelda fighting game after so many years.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hyrule Warriors - Loose the Groose!

Okay, the latest Famitsu gave us also some insight, what stage in the story mode of Hyrule Warriors unlocks what:


Unlike I thought in my previous chapter analysis, Agitha and Ruto don't actually join your parties. They only support you over the course of one mission and then will be unlockable in the Adventure Mode. Darunia gets unlocked after Death Mountain, Midna gets unlocked after the Twilight Lands stage and Fi gets unlocked after the Skyloft stage. Ruto supports you on Lake Hylia and Agitha supports you at the Twilight Lands.

Only the Skyward Sword branch doesn't have a support character. Or does it? I mean, come on! The Sealed Ground stage is there. In the middle of an Imprisoned Battle, where they even have the Groosenator ready. Why didn't they include Groose as a support character here, who later gets unlocked in Adventure Mode? Storywise it would even make sense for him to stay, where he is, because he has to take care of the Imprisoned.



So, Groose still feels like a big missing puzzle piece. Nabooru won't be in the game, Majora's Mask characters won't be in the game - I already accepted this (waiting for the amazing sequel). But I still believe in Groose! He would be a nice secret character for the last update.

Groose, Link's Whip, Lana's Portal, Midna's true form, Cia, Valga and Wizro ... sounds like a mighty final update, unless of course they keep the rest "secret". It won't matter anyway, in less than a week we will know everything about the game, since it will be released in Japan on Friday.

Hyrule Warriors - Weapon Element Count

So, let's check this again. Each weapon type is bound to an element. Some weapon types support various elements with different attacks, but still have a main element. E.g. Sheik's harp uses primarily the Storm element, but can also cause Shadow, Water, Light and Fire attacks. Or Ganondorf's Great Sword can cause Light, Fire and Storm damage. The main element also effects the color of the "Focus Spirit" mode.

  • Link's Sword: Light
  • Link's Rod: Fire
  • Link's Gauntlet: Storm
  • Link's 4th: ???
  • Lana's Book: Storm
  • Lana's Stick: Water
  • Lana's Portal: ???
  • Impa's Giant Knife: Water
  • Impa's Naginata: Fire
  • Zelda's Rapier: Light
  • Zelda's Baton: Storm
  • Sheik's Harp: Storm
  • Darunia's Hammer: Fire
  • Ruto's Scale: Water
  • Agitha's Parasol: Light
  • Midna's Shackle: Shadow
  • Midna's 2nd: ???
  • Fi's Goddess Sword: Light
  • Ghirahim's Demon Sword: Shadow
  • Zanto's Scimitars: Shadow
  • Ganondorf's Great Sword: Shadow
  • Cia's Staff: Shadow
  • Valga's Lance: Fire
  • Wizro's Ring: Shadow

Now the element count:

  • Light - 4
  • Shadow - 6
  • Fire - 4
  • Water - 3
  • Storm - 4

Quite the pattern! Water is one short, so I'm still pretty sure that Link's final weapon type will be a water based whip (with the Fishing Rod as a joke skin).

It seems like characters with multiple weapon types, get different elements with each weapon. So, for Link only Water or Shadow would be left. And considering that we already got six different Shadow weapon types and only three water types, I'm placing my bets on water. That and it would be weird to have the Hero fighting with dark magic, except for the Fierce Deity form, which they'll most likely save for the sequel.

As for Lana's Portal and Midna's 2nd weapon (probably used by her true self), I'm guessing that both will be Light based. I don't think Lana would use Fire (it doesn't suit her nature theme) or Shadow and the Portals don't look like they are Fire or Shadow based, so they probably make the most sense as a Light weapon. Maybe it's Storm, but she already has a Storm weapon. And with Midna it would create a beautiful contrast to have her use Light in her true form.

With that we would get an equal number of Light and Shadow weapons and the other elements all get four weapon types each. This would fit nicely:

  • Light - 6
  • Shadow - 6
  • Fire - 4
  • Water - 4
  • Storm - 4

Update:

Okay, with the Japanese release it turned out that Cia, Volga and Wizzro sadly are not playable and therefore do not count. Also, Midna does not have a 2nd weapon anymore. While Link's fourth weapon (which I won't spoil, but funnily enough they already showed it in the character trailer!) really is water based, Lana's portal is very different from what I originally thought and actually a fire weapon. So, we have a total of four weapons per element.