Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hyrule Warriors: Fierce Deity vs. Majora

If you check message boards about Hyrule Warriors and ask what people expect, which characters will be chosen for the Majora's Mask Pack, you will get very similar results in most places. Pretty much everyone agrees on Skull Kid and there's not much arguing about it. However, the second character is where opinions really differ.

I see "Tingle" A LOT, usually with the argument that it was his first game. But I don't get it. I'm not a Tingle hater, just check some older posts about him, and I'm certain that he will be a fighter in Hyrule Warriors at some point. But including him via the Majora's Mask pack would be like including Ganondorf via some Ocarina of Time pack, just because that was his first game. Tingle is a recurring character, in fact he has the most appearances after Link and Zelda, and he should be treated as such. He should get his own Hyrule Warriors incarnation, which should be saved for a sequel, where adding more joke characters next to Agitha would be more acceptable.

I also read Happy Mask Salesman or Kafei a lot, but I have a hard time imagining a good moveset for them. They already admitted that they had lots of trouble turning Agitha into a fighter, so they will probably go for characters with actual fighting potential first. Mikau and the Deku Princess are very solid choices for that, but I feel like those characters should be introduced properly in a sequel, where they get tied into the story via the Legend Mode. The interaction with the others is what makes them really shine and come to life in this game.

The Majora's Mask Pack won't offer new scenarios or any other expansions to the Legend Mode. So, my bet is still on Fierce Deity Link. Not a costume or a weapon, but as a full character. Because together with Skull Kid and maybe Clocktown (and/or the Moon) as a new battlefield they would create a great story context without having new cutscenes or similar. In fact the whole "Fierce Deity vs. Majora" conflict never really got explained in Majora's Mask. It's just something that exists at the end of the game and since then has tickled the imagination of fans. It's one of the most mysterious parts of the Zelda lore, which is why it's so fascinating and spawned lots of fan fiction. People are excited by the unknown.

And this they can use. Having Skull Kid (using Majora's Mask as a weapon) and Fierce Deity Link battle it off in a new series of Adventure levels just works on its own without forcing a greater story context, which explains everything. There's no need for explaining, it's a platform for imagination. Actually the Adventure Mode always has been. I've seen Zelda fans, who like to fantasize about how the Adventure Battles, which can be rather random, came to life with their own little stories. And Koei Tecmo can ignite more of that with the "Fierce Deity vs. Majora" theme.

It's a meaningful and worthwhile addition, which works without a drawn-out story, and certainly a lot better than just randomly adding two characters without any real context.

So, I'm still thinking that Skull Kid and Fierce Deity Link will be the characters. Also, don't forget that both of them have First 4 Figurines. If they add Fierce Deity Link and Skull Kid, all Zelda First 4 Figurines will be playable in Hyrule Warriors!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hyrule Warriors: Master Quest Pack (Review)

This review was originally published on ZeldaChronicles (formerly known as ZeldaEurope) and got translated for this blog in 2022 by the same author.

On October 16th the first DLC pack for Hyrule Warriors became available. It includes new scenarios for Legend Mode, a "Master Quest" version of the Adventure Map, Epona as a new weapon type for Link, as well as lots of costumes and some other goodies. So, let's take a closer look.

The Master Quest Pack costs 6,99€ on its own, but it's also included in the Hero of Hyrule Pack for 14,99€. The latter will also give you access to the three upcoming DLC packs, as well as a special Shadow Link costume as a bonus. Future DLC will contain new playable characters from Twilight Princess and Majora's Mask, as well as new Adventure Maps, where overall the Hero of Hyrule Pack seems to provide a lot of bang for your back.

This review is for players of Hyrule Warriors, who are already acquainted with the game and are now looking to expand their experience. Most of the images used in this review are post-processed promotional screenshots.

Version 1.3.0

Let's first talk about the free update, which accompanies the Master Quest Pack. This includes a variety of improvements, but also three new playable characters: Cia, Volga, and Wizzro. Without any of the paid DLC, you can still play with them in Free Mode, Challenge Mode and many of the Adventure Mode missions, unless they have restrictions.

This seems fair, since these three characters already appeared as bosses in the main game. But on the other hand this can be seen as a sweetening, because without the Master Quest Pack you won't get any dedicated missions for these characters, which also means that you won't be able to obtain their weapon upgrades or any of their additional Heart Containers. If you happen to like the new characters, you will need to buy the Master Quest DLC to truly have something to do with them. Well, you don't look a gift horse in the mouth, but in a way the free update works like a demo for the paid DLC, where you're obtaining one half of a whole here.

Otherwise the update finally adds the option to deactivate the intro scenes for the characters and bosses in Adventure Mode. This doesn't work in Legend Mode, but it's mainly in Adventure Mode where they were a problem. In some cases, like on the Rewards Map, you had to skip five of these intro sequences in a row just to start the fights. So, it just speeds things up tremendously.

This is good to hear, but what might not be good to hear for some is that the glitch got fixed that let you swap the weapons of the characters. At the same time you may run into an Impa using the 8-Bit Wooden Sword or Zelda fighting with Sheik's Harp on the new Adventure Map, where the developers had some fun with such a "feature" themselves...

Challenge Mode remains unaffected, by the way. This mode got added in version 1.2 with the announcement that they were going to add more challenges in the future, where hopefully Koei Tecmo won't forget about this, because right now this mode is entirely bare-boned.


Before we dive into the contents of the Master Quest Pack, let's take a look at the three new characters, which a central to this wave of DLC. In the review for the main game they already got praised for their designs. It's a also a refreshing idea to have two groups of villains, who are even opposed to each other, where it's nice to finally slip into the role of this second group as well.

Cia flipping some Hylian soldiers into the air

Cia is easily one of the most powerful characters in the game and lives up to her reputation as a primary villainess, whipping her way through enemy forces. She's even a lot more dangerous in the hands of a player, because unlike her AI counterpart you can cancel out of all her combos, which makes you much less vulnerable.

Her C1 Charge Attack increases her steadfastness and adds darkness damage to all her attacks for a short period of time. This gets indicated via a bar below her Special gauge, where this isn't really something new, but it's much easier to perform than with Midna and faster than Fi's similar boost. This state also protects her from the stun effects of the Gibdos and ReDead Knights, which is very useful. It doesn't last very long, though, where you constantly have to charge her again and may even tend to ignore it entirely.

What's really satisfying are her combos. Her C2 creates a dark shockwaves at the swing of her hips, which can be repeated up to three times and lets you clear keeps within seconds.  Her C3 lets you shoot energy balls, also up to three times in a row, where this is perfect to keep stronger enemies at a distance. And her C5 creates energy fields on the ground, which stun your enemies and create mighty blasts. The highlight are her four Shadow Links, however, which can be summoned via C4 and C6 in different ways. They can cut their way through the weak point gauges of any giant boss in one turn easily.

In addition, Cia gets a very powerful Special Attack, where she fills an entire area with dark energy eruptions. Those have different phases, where it's easy enough to get those magic 100 K.O.s with one Special Attack. Overall, her fighting style fits Cia very well and fans of this character won't be disappointed.



The dragon knight might feel a little bit underwhelming compared to his computer controlled counterpart, who can give you a hard in Legend Mode in multiple occasions. He's also the simplest of the three new additions, but nevertheless might be a very good fighters, maybe even a new favorite for many.

His C2 can be chained, similar to Impa's Naginata, so that you can keep juggling enemies with a little bit of practice. The C3 dragon claw attack offers a good ranged a attack, while his C4 lets you perform a fire breath in 360° to quickly clear keeps.

a fiery dragon flying over a group of Stalchilds and a Stalfos

The big boom comes from the dragon transformation, which you can trigger via a C5. Volga then dive bombs into the enemies, which can take out many of them in a single strike. It's ideal for the "Defeat x enemies in 10 minutes!" Challenge Battles, where every enemy group can be wiped out with one of these blows. But it doesn't come with the fire ball attack, which Volga uses beforehand as a boss enemy. That's a shame, but it's still very good even without it. Sadly, this is the only attack that lets you fully turn into a dragon, but at least it's always available.

As a compensation, Volga's Special Attack is a lot more directional, where you won't hit many enemies at once, but it will be enough to take out all the toes of the Imprisoned if you attack from the side. It's also interesting that you can use this Special Attack to charge forward.


The third of the bunch might not be as conspicuous as the other villains, where Wizzro probably will get underestimated a bit. The slow firing of energy balls feels somewhat weak at first, where the character may not be to everyone's liking. But once utilized correctly, this moveset also pretty powerful. The dark flames can be ignited via the energy balls, where there is a lot you can achieve by spam alone.

One specialty of Wizzro is also that his chain of regular attacks can juggle captains and commanders, where in addition the darkness damage effect is applied as well. Unlike other characters with this weapon element, the dark wizard doesn't have to trigger it in some way, it's always there for some good damage boost. And with his energy beam from the C5 you can then finish things in style.

Wizzro shooting multiple Gorons with a dark Kamehameha

The whirling circle of energy balls caused by Wizzro's C4 is also one of the best moves to clear the weak point gauge of the giant bosses. Only his Special Attack leaves something to be desired, where it's a surrounding attack similar to Cia's, just much smaller and less effective.

Wizzro's weapon type is the "Ring", by the way, which he is inhabiting. This is based on the magic rings from The Legend of Zelda (NES) and Oracle of Ages & Seasons, where the basic version is blue and the upgrades are red and green. He also uses a Wallmaster for some of his attacks, his Adventure Mode sprite is based on Blue Wizzrobes, and his design was probably inspired by the Poe collector from Ocarina of Time. Despite being a new creation for Hyrule Warriors, this character is entirely made out of Zelda references and that's awesome. (This is true for Cia and Volga as well, though maybe not on the same degree.)


Next to the three villains, there is one more moveset available, where this is part of the paid DLC: it's Epona as a weapon for Link. It's of the light element type and Link still uses his Hylian Sword, where some of the attacks feel somewhat similar to that moveset. His strong attack lets you swing the sword while riding, similar to Twilight Princess. And like in Ocarina of Time, you have a bar of carrots, where you can activate a boost via combo attacks. Epona can also hurt enemies just by riding through them with her hooves, just like in the Zelda games.

Link performing a spin attack on Epona

It's a fun addition and this was also a common request from fans. However, since Link already had multiple weapons, it's really just a nice extra. You can also ignore it entirely, where the DLC unlocks all three tiers of Epona right from the beginning. So, you don't have to unlock anything on the new Adventure Map, where there is actually no incentive to truly use Epona in the game. Also, Link and Epona never appear as an enemy in the game, even though this could have been a thing on the Master Quest Map...

All of this is probably because in Japan you can purchase each part of the Master Quest Pack individually. This means you can buy Epona on her own, in which case it would be bad if you also had to buy the Master Quest Map in addition just to receive her upgrades. For Europe this purchase option doesn't exist, though, and overall it would have been better to simply release a coherent content pack. This also goes for the new scenarios...

Cia's Tale

The Master Quest Pack extends Legend Mode by five new story scenarios, which let you play as Cia, Volga, and Wizzro on their quest to be the greatest evil in all of Hyrule. For the most part this tells what has happened before some of the battles in the main game, where you will learn how Cia got all her underlings and so on. Two of the scenarios even take place before Link's first battle.

Cia fighting against Princess Zelda on Hyrule Field

A common theme throughout the entire Master Quest Pack is betrayal, where your allies turn against you or you against them. As a result, some of the best battles with three armies are part of this new campaign. Otherwise these scenarios are the most lackluster, however, where they don't come with any cutscenes at all, only simple narrations.

The story isn't perfect either, creating even new plotholes instead of filling the old ones. One has to do with Midna once more...

There also aren't any Heart Containers, Pieces of Heart, Gold Skulltulas, or sealed weapons. All of this was put on the Master Quest Map, probably to keep things strictly separate again. And that's a shame, since the Gold Skulltulas and Heart Container were always hidden in much more interesting ways in Legend Mode, also giving you an incentive to replay these missions multiple times. The way it is these new scenarios just are way too blank and therefore very disappointing. There aren't any new battlefields either, it all just reuses the existing ones.

Master Quest – The 2nd Quest

The core of the Master Quest Pack is without a doubt the eponymous Adventure Map, which essentially works as a remix of the original Adventure Map. And indeed it's based on the 2nd Quest map of the classic NES The Legend of Zelda, which means that most of the dungeons and secrets are in different locations.

For example, you'll make more use of the Recorder to reveal hidden stairs in the most random places, just like in the original. There are also more caves where the location has been slightly shifted from the NES version, which means that the Compass item card, which reveals the secret spots on a screen, is more important than ever.

Overall, it's nice to see the 2nd Quest adapted as well, where the game gets extended by 128 more challenges. It's not all new, though, because about half of these challenges were copied from the original Adventure Map and just slightly modified. It can be interesting to play these missions a second time with different characters and conditions. For example the "Defeat 1000 enemies in 10 minutes!" Challenge Battle is now quite easy with Cia, while this was very tough to beat before. And that's despite some added restrictions.

Volga charging with his spear

However, in other cases the challenges were simply copied, even with rewards for the same characters. Repeating rather annoying battles, like "Watch out for falling artillery fire!" with Zant or "Defeat 800 enemies in 10 minutes!" with Sheik, was neither necessary nor wanted, where they really should have mixed things up more.

Ideally, everything would be new, where the added challenge types are actually rather good. Especially the "Rack up your KO count!" missions are excellent and basically what the "Defeat x enemies in 10 minutes!" Challenge Battles always should have been. You have to defeat as many enemies as possible within the given time limit, but you're actually surrounded by a large amount of enemies, instead of dealing with small, scattered groups. You're also encouraged to fight the giant bosses, instead of avoiding them, because defeating them lets more enemies spawn.

These new Challenge Battles also make good use of fighting with magic. There are Magic Jar Transport Troops everywhere, where you can use those to stay constantly in Focus Spirit, which lets you score the medal for 500 KOs within one Focus Spirit use much more easily. But you'll also get a lot more experience and Rupees, rarer materials, and better weapons, where the "Rack up your KO count!" challenges are the best and most fun way to grind for the endgame.

In addition, there are the "Defend the allied keeps!" Challenge Battles, where all the keeps are almost fallen and you have to intercept enemies, before they can reach them. These enemies are also fairly weak, so this is first and foremost about planning your routes strategically.

The new Adventure Battles are mainly about troop morale and betrayal. You'll have to defeat specific enemies to boost the morale of your own troops or take our Turncoat Leaders, who turn your own troops against you. None of this is really new, but it has gotten much more focus on the Master Quest map.

Overall you shouldn't expect too many new things. Like with Cia's Tale, there aren't any new battlefields here. That was to be expected, but for the upcoming DLC packs about Twilight Princess and Majora's Mask it would be nice to get some new stages, e.g. the Snowpeak Ruins or Clocktown, because this would add tremendously to the variety.

Master Quest Rules

Both the new and the remixed battles are subject to the so called "Master Quest Rules", where each mission gives you one of five different handicaps. This may sound tough, but for the most part this isn't too bad and might even be helpful.

With the rule "Speed Run!" you'll have to clear the battle within 15 minutes and "No Healing!" is self-explanatory.  Since you have to score an A-rank for most of the battles, which requires to beat them within 15 minutes and with only little damage anyway, those aren't really new restrictions. And with these rules in place you will always see how much damage you've taken or how much time is left, which is quite convenient.

Link attacking with the 8-Bit Candle

The rule "No Guarding!" even removes your taken damage out of the score, which makes certain missions much easier. With "No Item Attacks!" you can't use Bombs, Bow, Boomerang, or the Hookshot, but whenever this rule is in place the game is fair enough to not put you against giant bosses. You may have to face Beamos and Deku Babas without items, however, but those are the exceptions.

The only Master Quest Rule which will give you an actual challenge is "Don't Get Hit!". Like in the "All Attacks are Devastating!" Challenge Battles, every scratch will bring you down to a quarter heart. Except that this time the rule doesn't apply to your enemies. Your received damage also goes against your score, so you really can't get hit if you want that precious A-rank, where this will be frustrating. You don't need the usual 1200 K.O.s, however, where you can focus entirely on your main tasks. Also, for the first time since the NES classic, you'll find Clocks as pick-ups, which freeze all enemies around your for a short time for a cool effect. Luckily, this Master Quest Rule was used sparingly, where there are only seven battles in total with it, so it doesn't ever get too frustrating.

Otherwise you are also restricted to certain characters more often, which forces you to step out of your comfort zone and train with everyone. But at the same time every battle also has two recommended elements instead of just one, which gives you more options to truly reach the characters' full potential.

Master Quest Progression

The Master Quest Map has the same zones as the normal Adventure Map. So, there is the green starting zone, three areas for the games Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword, as well as the blue and red areas for the late game. This means you can start playing the Master Quest Map whenever you want, even when you're not finished with the Adventure Map yet. This way you can even unlock some of the new costumes earlier if you want them badly. However, the more difficult blue and red zones are now more prominent, where you will have to navigate around them in case you're characters aren't strong enough.

screenshot of the beginning of the Master Quest Map

If you've already completed the original Adventure Map and with that got your characters to higher levels, then you shouldn't have much trouble with the Master Quest Map. A big chunk of the new missions is also for the three new characters, where it's not necessary to get them to the highest levels. Level 50 should be enough for the more difficult missions and you will reach this level pretty much automatically just by playing.

It can take about 50 additional hours to complete the new map, where many full games don't even take that long, so this is quite decent for when you want Hyrule Warriors to keep you busy.


Rewards & Extras

Half of the fun in Hyrule Warriors is obtaining rewards. And while the amount of loot isn't as plentiful as on the first Adventure Map, Koei Tecmo still managed to fill almost all 128 quadrants with something to unlock.

For every character there are five addition Heart Containers and an alternate costume to find. Those new Heart Containers start a new row in the heart meter (one row has 15 hearts), where it's likely that the upcoming two Adventure Mode Maps will do the same the same thing to fill that third row. While even more hearts aren't exactly exciting, this gives every character on the roster at least five missions where he or she will be required.

Sheik in a black outfit playing on an 8-Bit Ladder

The additional costumes are certainly more interesting, but they all are just simple color swaps and not new models or outfits (like the preorder costumes for Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword). Still, some of them are quite charming and also offer nice references, e.g. there is now a Hilda variant of Zelda, Lulu's dress for Ruto, or a ghost Darmani look for Darunia. This adds some more visual variety to the game, where it's nice that now every character has at least one alternate costume. And hopefully they will continue to add more costumes with the upcoming DLCs.

Lana and Cia also get the "Guardian of Time" costume as part of the Master Quest Pack, where you don't have to unlock those. This gives a beautiful impression of how the sorceress must have looked in the past.

Other than the Heart Containers and costumes, there are also seven 8-Bit weapons, based on different items from the NES The Legend of Zelda. Some of this is very fitting, like the Book of Magic for Lana, others are completely absurd, like Impa swinging a giant boomerang. It's funny in any case and it seems like every original character will get such a joke weapon, where you can already spot a Midna fighting with the 8-Bit Red Ring, instead of her usual Cursed Shackle, where this will probably become unlockable with the Twilight Princess Pack.

In addition there are 20 more Gold Skulltulas to collect for a new illustration and a new scenario on the Rewards Map, which is about as crazy as the others. The Rewards Map got expanded in such a way that there are already two more places for additional battles, where we can safely assume that the other two Adventure Mode DLC Maps will have 20 Gold Skulltulas as well. However, the finding places of these new spiders are with one exception all in familiar places, where this is a little boring.


If you already have played through all of Hyrule Warriors and are now looking for more things to do in the game, then this DLC pack is for you. The Master Quest Map is mainly more of the same, but works quite well as a 2nd Quest for the Adventure Mode, staying true to the NES original.

If you're still busy with the original Adventure Map or simply not interested in playing Hyrule Warriors all too extensively, then you might want to wait with purchasing the DLC. However, you will get the three new characters for free and if you happen to enjoy playing as them, then you will need the DLC to get the most of them in any case. And for the price it's certainly okay, because you get a lot out of it.

The new Legend Mode scenarios may not be full-featured, but they are fun nonetheless and so are the new "Rack up your KO count!" Challenge Battles. In addition, the many new costumes and the 8-Bit joke weapons will give you more variety during gameplay. The only downside is that the individual parts of the DLC aren't connected at all, where Epona doesn't get much love in all of this...


The Good:
  • Wicked character additions (for free)
  • More scenarios for the bad guys
  • Complete 2nd Quest for Adventure Mode
  • Fun new KO count Challenge Battles
  • Lots of costumes and extras
  • More than 50 additional hours of play time
The Bad:
  • Lots of re-used missions
  • New scenarios without cutscenes and collectibles
  • Epona wasn't fully integrated into the game

Hyrule Warriors: Master Quest 100%

Well, this went down a lot faster than I expected. But having all characters above level 80 (except the three new ones) really helped. Most of the work with the first Adventure Map was getting stronger and better, leveling up and farming badges. This is where most of the time went. The Master Quest Adventure Map then was just one big rush, I also completely A ranked the entire thing yesterday:

It's still about 50 hours of additional game time. Which for the small price is superb, most full price games don't offer that much game time. Mario Kart 8 I only played for 43 hours...

Interestingly enough the three new characters, Cia, Volga and Wizzro, didn't require any high levels. They were around level 50, when I was finished. This is in big contrast to the first map, where I sometimes I even had trouble with level 99 characters to finish the job. And even on the Master Quest map there were some tough missions like the one for Zant's Heart Container in the southeast. This also had one of the toughest to get Skulltulas for me. But they made it easy for the three new guys.

But I love playing them. Cia became my absolute favorite character in the game. Her combos are so very versatile and fun to use. Her sexy C2 is a nice and quick crowd clearer... the "Defeat 1000 enemies in 10 minutes" mission was a real pain with Agitha and it was still hard to A rank with other strong characters. With Cia I did it easily on my first try and they even took the items away, so you couldn't destroy the Deku Babas! But Cia is simply that good. Her C3 is nice for duels and her C4 (where she summons four Dark Links) cuts through the weak point gauge of the giant bosses really, really quickly. So, you're almost guaranteed to make a big hit on each weak point stun. I already like her character and her looks, but the moveset is pretty much perfect.

Surprisingly I also think that Wizzro is a fun character. Especially in the new "Rack up your K.O. missions", which are really crazy and fun. They are basically what the "Defeat x enemies in 10 minutes" missions should have been in the first place. But those missions are really nice to quickly break weapon seals, level up and farm materials and good weapons, since you constantly use magic on tons of monsters and the occasional big guy. Anyway Wizzro has good crowd spamming, amazing juggle abilities and even a good duel move with the beam. And I enjoy his pure evil being.

Volga is very solid, but for me personally the most boring of the three newcomers. He has that dragon move, but it doesn't have the fireball and it takes a while to activate. But it's very useful in the "Defeat x enemies in 10 minutes" missions, because you can easily clear one crowd with a single strike, unlike most characters. The C2 and C3 are very useful for duels and the C4 offers some quick cloud clearing, though not as efficient as the C5 dragon, but a lot faster. He's definitely one of the better characters in the game, but I personally had more fun with Cia and Wizzro.

The Master Quest map was okay. I liked, how they stayed true to the original 2nd Quest and used the Flute for various secrets (even though the stairs were misplaced) and used all the 2nd Quest locations for dungeons. I didn't like that they recycled so many old missions, but for a 2nd Quest it's tolerable. I hope that the upcoming Adventure Maps will offer more new things, especially new stages like Snowpeak Ruins or Clocktown.

The Master Quest map also added five new Heart Containers for everyone. It added a new row of Heart Containers and it seems obvious that the other two upcoming DLC Adventure Maps will have five more Heart Containers for everyone each to complete this row. That's already a total of 80 Heart Containers per map and it completely destroys my idea of having the dungeons as Adventure Maps, because they are simply too small. Even Level 9 is only about half the size of the overworld. It's a shame, because I thought the dungeons would have made great Adventure Maps and added some variety to the items. (Update: Wait, actually the original dungeons were combined on two grids of the same size as the overworld. The shapes fit perfectly in each other. Maybe they use that. Or maybe they create new environments like on the Rewards Map, based on Twilight Princess Hyrule and Termina.)

And overall the announced DLC seems very final to me. Especially with the third row of Heart Containers, which got squeezed in. It's a nice thing, because it gives every character at least five new missions to do. There's also one alternate costume for everyone now, which is great, and they even try to add new joke weapons for everyone. I don't think that it all has to be 8-Bit weapons. For example Agitha could still have the Bug Catching Net as her Star Weapon and Darunia the Skull Hammer. But in any way with the end of the DLC the game will probably be finished.

And for me there's only little left to do. Leveling up some characters to 99, which now goes faster than ever thanks to the "Rack up K.O.s" missions. Getting some last bagdes, where the option to turn off cutscenes helps a lot. But I've already completed the badges of five characters (Link, Impa, Lana, Zelda and Agitha) and with most others I'm only missing a few golden ones. And getting some "near perfect" weapons, even though I probably won't have much use for them. But I did get a really nice weapon for Ganondorf, Lvl3 five stars and the following abilities:

  • Strength V
  • Darkness +
  • Stars+
  • Sockets+
  • Materials+
  • Bombs+
  • Legendary

An eight slot with Strong Attack+ or One-Hit Kill would have made it fully perfect, but it's already more than good enough. I especially enjoy having the Bombs+ ability, so I will try to get this with everyone. It would be nice, if you could replace weapon skills like in other Warrior games, because then it would be considerably easier to create your best possible weapon.

And if they add some good challenges to the game with the Challenge Mode and the two new game types, all the leveling up, crafting badges and creating near perfect weapons won't be in vain, because you might need your characters at your best. This might be what the Ganon Pack aims at.

I don't think there will be any more DLC after the Ganon Pack. Yes, there's tons of potential with characters from Skyward Sword, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask and A Link Between Worlds. But they need to save something for the sequel.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hyrule Warriors: Dark Costumes

So, turns out that the Master Quest DLC is quite awesome. The Master Quest for the Adventure Mode is great. They stayed true to the map of the original 2nd Quest up to the point, where you have to open trees with the Flute. And surprisingly there's lots to do for every character, not just the new ones (though I love the new ones).

Everyone gets five new Heart Containers and one alternate Master Quest skin. The five Heart Containers add a new line, which will most likely result in a total of 45 Hearts for every character at the end of the DLC. I guess that the two Adventure Maps in the upcoming DLCs will provide five more Heart Containers for everyone each to complete the third line of hearts. It simply adds up.

And I also assume that they will keep adding new costumes for everyone with the upcoming DLC Adventure Maps. For the Twilight Princess pack it would be nice to get the dark versions of everyone. We already got Dark Link as a preorder bonus:

But in the game there exists dark versions of every character. Just today I encountered Dark Fi and Dark Ghirahim in one of the new Adventure battles. They are not hard to make, but they are fun, so I assume this will be the next set of skins. Since there will be one new character and Link already got his dark version, it will add up to 16 again. Hey, I even had this idea before the release, where you could select the dark versions of everybody on the character screen. It would be nice to see this come true in a way.

Of course with this my idea of having the dungeons as Adventure Maps most likely won't suffice. There are already 80 Heart Containers, which they have to spread, and this doesn't include the hearts of the new character. So, they will need big maps again. But maybe Ganon's Lair / Death Mountain could be used. Or they make completely new environments loosely based on the Twilight Princess Hyrule and Termina. Well' see.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (Review)

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Review

This review was originally published on ZeldaChronicles (formerly known as ZeldaEurope) and got translated for this blog in 2021 by the same author. Nintendo had provided a download code.

Zelda fans already got their own action game this year with Hyrule Warriors, nevertheless they are cordially invited to join the tumult of the battle as Link, Zelda or Sheik in the next generation of Super Smash Bros. – the Nintendo 3DS version has been available for two weeks now, so let's take a look.

This review is split up into different categories, where in each category there will be a special focus on what's offered for the Zelda franchise. Out of the unlockable fighters, only the one for Zelda will be spoiled in this review (and shouldn't be much of a surprise).


Actually, there isn't much to say here other than: it's Smash Bros. to a T. If you've never played a single game from the series, then Super Smash Bros. is Nintendo's special in-house fighting game, where you have to smash up to three opponents out of the arena. The fighters are all characters from different video game series and the controls are relatively simple. There is one button for normal attacks, one button for Special Attacks and depending on how you're using the control stick those will turn out different. In addition there is a plethora of items and a variety of stages for a lot of fun and chaos.

Link in front of Engineer Link on the Spirit Train

Super Smash Bros. has been a successful formula with its very own fanbase and it shouldn't come as a surprise that the new title has already sold 2.8 million times. If you've played Super Smash Bros. Brawl, then you know what you're getting into. But the game has gotten slightly faster, which should make fans of Super Smash Bros. Melee happier, and the random tripping mechanic has been removed as well, which caused a lot of controversy in Brawl.

There aren't any major innovations in the gameplay this time, however. Super Smash Bros. Melee introduced the Side Specials (like Link's Boomerang) and Super Smash Bros. Brawl the Final Smashes, as well as the Assist Trophies. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS it's the same old, same old for the most part. The one new thing that sticks out as innovative is the ability to swap the Special Attacks of the fighters, but this doesn't really affect the core of the game.


Super Smash Bros. on the Go

Basically, the big, new thing about the new Super Smash Bros. is that it's also releasing on a handheld system for the first time, the Nintendo 3DS. And it might not be easy to decide whether this could be for you or not.

The main advantage is is certainly that you now can play Super Smash Bros. anywhere. But overall the game doesn't really suit such a small device. If you don't own a Nintendo 3DS XL, but only a normal Nintendo 3DS, then you'll be quickly hoping for a renaissance of the GameBoy magnifier. Especially with larger stages it zooms out quite a bit, making the fighters so small that it's even harder to follow the action, which can be quite chaotic anyway. Even the smooth 60FPS won't help you much then. A solution would have been to bank on small stages only, but this didn't happen.

Samus and Kirby in front of the tent at Gerudo Valley

Next to the small screen the Circle Pad can be another issue, since the controls of Super Smash Bros. heavily rely on different speeds for how you input in any direction. The fighters will only dash or perform Smash Attacks, if you do it fast enough. And the Circle Pad simply wasn't made for this, where the internet is already full of pictures from players who have already ruined their Nintendo 3DS by playing the new Super Smash Bros. intensively. The controls really aim at this and if you try to use the Circle Pad more carefully, then you often end up in situations where the game doesn't recognize Smash Attacks properly. And that's annoying.

In the previous games there were some alternatives for performing Smash Attacks, like using the C-Stick. Even if they weren't ideal either, they are missing here entirely. And especially on the Nintendo 3DS it would have been important to offer alternatives.

(Update: Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS does support the C-Stick of the New Nintendo 3DS systems, which lets you do Smash Attacks more easily. It does not support the Circle Pad Pro or the Circle Pad Pro XL for older generations of the Nintendo 3DS, however.)



Without any doubt, Super Smash Bros. is a game that's best played with friends and/or competitors. The single-player options even has decreased when compared to Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where it's even more important to find other players with a Nintendo 3DS and the game in order to play together. There is no support for Download Play, so each player needs his own copy.

Sheik bending backwards

If you don't know anyone to play with personally, then don't worry, the game also has an online mode in two variants: "For Fun" and "For Glory". This is either with or without everything. In "For Glory" you play exclusively on Final Destination (or the respective "Omega forms" of the other stages) and without any items, for those who want to truly compete. Sadly, the flat layout favors certain fighters more than others...

If you play online with friends, you even get the full spectrum of options, where you can adjust rules, items and all that to your liking. So, only if you get matched against random opponents, you will be confined to the two options of "For Fun" and "For Glory".

In any case you might face a common problem: lag. There are no servers, so everything is played via peer-to-peer connections. With only two players this works usually well enough, but once a third or even fourth player joins the action, you will end up playing in slow motion or even not playing at all...


Modes and Content

Now, if you can't find anyone to play with and the online mode doesn't work as well for you, then the single-player attractions will be your last hope. But as already mentioned, compared to Super Smash Bros. Brawl this game doesn't have as much to offer on that front.

Especially those who are looking for a story mode will be disappointed, because there is none. Instead of the Subspace Emissary, there is now "Smash Run", which can be seen as a trimmed-down version of that. In this mode all competitors have to fight their way through a giant labyrinth for five minutes, which is full of randomly spawning monsters. This includes many familiar enemies from the Subspace Emissary, but also ones from other Nintendo titles.

Zelda fans for example should recognize the Stalfos, Peagats and Redeads from Ocarina of Time 3D, as well as the Darknuts from Twilight Princess. But sometimes you might not recognize the enemies at all... Especially if you haven't played Kid Icarus: Uprising, because the developers have imported many of the enemies from that game, whether they were memorable or not.

Pikachu fighting a Darknut in Smash Run

You don't fight all those enemies just for fun, however, where they will drop "stat boosts" to increase your speed, jump height, attack power, Special Attack power, item power or defense. You might also find trophies and other collectible items, which makes this quite addicting. It's fun to brawl your way through the labyrinth and collect all sorts of things. This would even have an amazing replay value, if it didn't use the same labyrinth every time. It will take some time to explore it all, because it's so massive, but it will get boring eventually.

Once the five minutes are over, all players will compete in one of five disciplines. This might be a normal Smash battle, a race or even some Stadium activities, like the Multi-Man Smash, where each player will play on their own for a highscore. But in most cases you'll have the same issue: collecting the stat boosts only makes of little difference.

For example you might have the best speed value, maybe even three times as high as the one of the other players, and then get lucky to end up in a race. But if your fighter isn't as fast by default, then your enemies might outrun you anyway. And also in other disciplines the stat boosts rarely ever seem to be the deciding factor. And this makes you wonder why you are collecting them in the first place, other than just for fun.

Next to Smash Run there also the familiar Classic and All-Star Modes. In Classic Mode you will now have to choose between three different paths, each with their own difficulty level. The higher the risk, the better the rewards. This makes this simple mode a little more interesting and might also lead to some surprises. All-Star Mode was enhanced as well, where now it turns into a small history lesson, grouping the characters by years, which is nice.

Otherwise there is the Stadium with the aforementioned Multi-Man Smash, the classic Home-Run Contest and the new Target Blast. Multi-Man Smash now uses the three different types of Mii fighters, which is a great change, even though it's hard to recognize their faces on the Nintendo 3DS.

The Target Blast replaces the Target Smash and similar modes. In Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee those had special parcourses for every single character. Brawl simplified this by offering five different courses, which can be played with every fighter. And now this got simplified even more by making it more like the Home-Run Contest. The difference is that you're punching a bomb now, which then gets smashed into a set of targets – an amusing, but short diversion.

In addition there is also the Trophy Rush, where for the first time you get a mini-game for collecting trophies that makes use of the actual gameplay, replacing the Lottery from Melee and the Coin Launcher from Brawl, which were mini-games of their own. This time you'll use a fighter of your choice to destroy boxes falling down on you, which contain the trophies and other goodies. And this can be quite fun. The more coins you pay, the longer you can play.

And that's pretty much it. There is no Boss Battles mode (nor are there enough bosses) and for single-player enthusiasts Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS doesn't really have much to offer – especially when compared to Super Smash Bros. Brawl –, and is more something you would play on the side. Longer play sessions, like with the Subspace Emissary, are a thing of the past here.

On the one hand having a variety of single-player modes isn't really essential for a fighting game, but on the other hand it would have been nice to get something more on the Nintendo 3DS, since it's likelier to play this just on your own. 


This game offers a total of 49 playable characters (Brawl had 39 and Melee 26), which includes 15 newcomers. The rest is already know from Brawl and Melee, but every character has seen some adjustments, where this even led to some different or new attacks. One example would be Link, who traded his Down Aerial with Toon Link for whatever reason.

Zelda has now her own Down Special, where she can summon a Phantom in the style of Spirit Tracks. But with that she also can't change any longer into Sheik, who became her a separate fighter instead. Since the Nintendo 3DS has its technical limitations, this iteration of Smash doesn't have any transforming fighters any longer. Instead of the Pokémon Trainer you'll only get Charizard, while Sheik and Zero Suit Samus got their own slots on the roster. At least for the latter this is of advantage, because previously you were only able to transform via Final Smashes. Now Zero Suit Samus has her own Final Smash, which is reminiscent of the one from Snake, who sadly didn't make the cut this time.

Zero Suit Samus with her hand gun, looking good

Despite Snake's absence, there is still a variety of video game characters who didn't originate from a Nintendo game. Next to Sonic, Mega Man and Pac-Man now also join the fun, where they got integrated quite nicely. Mega Man for example has his classic death sound, whenever he gets blown out of the stage or destroyed, which would have been a nice idea for Mario as well. Apropos, Super Mario gets two new fighters (Rosalina & Luma and Bowser Jr.), much like Fire Emblem (Robin and Lucina from Fire Emblem: Awakening) and Kid Icarus: Uprising (Palutena and Dark Pit)... Pokémon gets another newcomer as well with Greninja.

Meanwhile fans of The Legend of Zelda are left out in the cold. It's Link, Toon Link, Zelda, Sheik and Ganondorf again, much like in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The only real change is the aforementioned separation of Zelda and Sheik, but otherwise it's pretty much it's the same old cast with slight gameplay changes and no big visual changes either, where most of the designs are still based on Twilight Princess.

It would have been more interesting, if the Nintendo 3DS version had used Ocarina of Time 3D for the models, while the Wii U version could have used the character styles from Skyward Sword. Or they could have done something like in Hyrule Warriors, where there are costumes for the different iterations of Link, Zelda and co. available. Some of the fighters in the new Super Smash Bros. do actually have some costumes with different models, even different characters (like Bowser Jr. with the seven Koopalings), but the Zelda fighters only get color swaps.

With Ganondorf it would have been also nice to make him more unique (instead of a heavy-weight Captain Falcon) and let him actually use the Sword of the Sages, instead of only posing with it during taunts. And overall it's a shame that there are no Zelda newcomers at all. Impa would have been a fine candidate or one of the four Zelda characters that got turned into Assist Trophies (more on that later). So, when it comes to fighters, the Zelda franchise got treated quite shabbily, which of course is a big minus for a Zelda site.

But if you're unhappy with the additions, you can now always make your own characters now with the Mii Fighters, which come as Brawlers, Sword Fighters and Gunners, while also offering a variety of costumes. Their attacks are quite similar to what the regular cast is offering, but for each Special Attack you can choose between three variants, which is fun to experiment with.

This also leads to one of the major novelties of this Smash title: you scan swap the Special Attacks of all the fighters. Palutena offers three different variants for her Specials right from the start and with other character you can unlock them, but it's usually just modified versions of the existing attacks. Link for example can use big bombs, which are slower, but have a larger blast radius. And Ganondorf even can use the Sword of the Sages for his Neutral Special, though this looks quite botchy.

In addition you can alter the attributes of all fighters by collecting and equipping special items. These may increase your attack value, but lower your defense or speed, which is different depending on the item. Anyway, you can only use these customized characters when playing with friends or in the Smash Run mode.



What's also important for the variety of the game are of course the different stages, where you will battle it out. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS offers a total of 34 (for comparisons: Brawl had 41 and Melee 29), but about a third is returning from previous titles. Some of them got polished a bit, others were simply recycled. And if you're greeted by the same old Brinstar, Corneria and Jungle Japes stages – after twelve years of playing them, since they also have been part of Melee and Brawl –, then this may appear somewhat uninspired.

If this was like in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where the returning stages were kept separate, then this wouldn't seem like an issue. But in this game they are part of the default stage select screen and used as a substitute for new stages for franchises like Metroid, where they seemingly didn't have any ideas.

At least The Legend of Zelda doesn't have to be content with recycled content and even got two new stages at once: Gerudo Valley from Ocarina of Time 3D and the Spirit Train from Spirit Tracks. The latter game is already five years old, but the stage might make you want to play it again. Accompanied with the great overworld music from Spirit Tracks you'll drive through the game's usual landscapes, while the wagons might get swapped or rammed by Dark Trains. It's a rather chaotic stage.

Gerudo Valley isn't exactly quiet either. The bridge at the center can be destroyed, where then you'll find some poles in the rock walls to save yourself from the abyss below. But this was also trigger Koume and Kotake, who will either completely freeze or burn one side of the stage.

Except for the two default stages, Battlefield and Final Destination, all stages come with such gimmicks. Some even have bosses to make your life harder, like the Yellow Devil from Mega Man or the Dark Emperor from the StreetPass Mii Plaza game "Find Mii". Or there might be other CPU enemies, like the Flying Man on Magicant from EarthBound.

As a compensation for all this madness, now every stage has an "Omega form", which turns them into a flat stage above an abyss, similar to Final Destination. This gets also used in the "For Glory" mode for some more variety, because otherwise you would be only playing on Final Destination all the time. But depending on the original stage, these Omega forms may vary a bit, where for example the version of Gerudo Valley is a solid rock with walls on each side, while the one for the Spirit Train is a floating platform.

Omega form of Gerudo Valley, where the stage is a square rock with a platform with Gerudo ornaments on top

And this also hasn't been fully thought through. Ideally, there also would have been "Alpha forms" based on Battlefield with the three go-through platforms above the stage. Because otherwise certain characters, who favor a plain playing field, will have an advantage all the time.

What also would have been really great, if the game had a stage editor, where you can use the backgrounds and visuals of all 34 stages, so you could just make your own competitive or crazy stages. The fun Stage Builder from Super Smash Bros. Brawl sadly didn't make a return on the Nintendo 3DS, where you can only hope that the Wii U version will have one...


At least one area where Zelda got expanded quite heavily are the items. So far there only have been the Heart Container, the Bunny Hood, Deku Nuts and Tingle as an Assist Trophy. Tingle now gets company from Skull Kid, Midna and Ghirahim, where arguably at least one of them should have had the potential to become a playable fighter, much like Little Mac in this game. And they are not the only Assist Trophies where you might think that, e.g. Dark Samus seems like an amazing candidate.

What's surprising is also how many new items there are from the Zelda universe: the Beetle and Gust Bellows from Skyward Sword, as well as Bombchus, a Cucco and a Fairy Bottle now all get utilized. The Fairy Bottle can only be used to heal yourself once you're above 100%, otherwise it can only be thrown. But it's really the items from Skyward Sword that are there for some totally cheap K.O.s.

Otherwise there are a lot of additions from Kid Icarus: Uprising, probably for the same reason as the monsters in the new "Smash Run" mode. There are a lot of new Pokémon as well and even the new Master Balls, which summon rare ones more often. There are even some Pokémon that you need to unlock this time in order to use them...

Collectibles and StreetPass

Other than the Pokémon, there is a lot to collect and unlock, where first and foremost there are 685 Trophies this time around. These might be not too exciting, however, where in case of Zelda you primarily get the fighters, enemies, items and Assist Trophies already present in the game. And rest comes from Spirit Tracks and Ocarina of Time 3D, where in some cases it even seems like the models were directly imported from these games. So, the times were these trophies got carefully crafted for Smash are probably over, offering quantity over quality.

It was already similar for the Stickers in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but for some reason those got cut and replaced by the equipment items, which you can use to customize your fighters. With that they work somewhat similar to the Stickers, but they are far less charming. There are also special "Powers", which can collect for the Smash Run mode and activate them via the touchscreen, but they don't really have the same collector's value as the Trophies and Stickers either.

What's more interesting are certainly the different outfits and headgears for your Mii Fighters, which lets you customize them with some cool looks. Some of them are obtained via the "Challenges" – these are special achievements on a board, which hide rewards like an Advent calendar, including stages and trophies.

This has already been a thing in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but here they are organized by pages. The problem is that you have to fully complete all challenges on one page before you can get to the next. And this might compel you into using one of the Golden Hammers to skip some of the challenges, even if you don't really want to. A good example would be the StreetPass feature, where you might not be able to use it for a time. But once you do, it will be annoying that you had to waste a hammer on it.

StreetSmash platform with lots of discs on it with directional arrows

The StreetPass feature is simply a silly, little mini-game, called "StreetSmash", where you to push round tokes from a platform. You can equip your token with the face of one of the fighters, but otherwise this doesn't really have to do much with Smash and is just for fun. It probably would have been more interesting to send customized fighters out there to battle against them, similar to the Shadow Links from A Link Between Worlds, which was a really well-done StreetPass utilization.

Speaking of, there's nothing from A Link Between Worlds in this game. No stage, no trophies, no music, nothing. It feels like Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS came out at the end of 2013, because the year 2014 is pretty much non-existent in its library.


Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS doesn't really offer many new things, especially for fans of the Zelda series. The Nintendo 3DS also doesn't seem like the best platform for such a game – the screen is too small, the Circle Pad not sturdy enough and the online mode is lagging. And other than the Smash Run mode, there aren't many interesting single-player activities.

Still, this offers the typical gaming fun and quality of a Smash Bros. title, where this is for everyone who wants to play Smash on the go or who doesn't own a Wii U. But for everyone else it's probably best to wait for the upcoming console version.

The Good:
  • Smash Bros. on the go
  • Good gameplay in 60FPS
  • Lots of characters
  • Nice new Mii Fighters and customizations
The Neutral:
  • Omega forms of stages, but no Alpha forms
  • StreetSmash is fun, but very simple
The Bad:
  • No new Zelda fighters!
  • Not perfectly suited for Nintendo 3DS
  • No major single-player mode
  • No Stage Builder
  • No Stickers
  • Online mode lags

Friday, October 10, 2014

Linkle in the Twilight Princess DLC?

So, what do you think? It could fit, since her design seems to be inspired by Twilight Princess and her weapon comes straight from Link's Crossbow Training, which is a direct spin-off of Twilight Princess. But of course the Crossbow could also be another weapon for Link, though I probably wouldn't like that.

I kind of expect to see half new things with the DLC. Like things they planned or which were in development. Whatever Midna's 2nd weapon, which got shown at E3, was supposed to be, it probably will be part of the pack. It's most likely something that brings up her true form, like the Mirror of Twilight. But of course true Midna could also be her own character slot.

And Koei did ask the fans for Linkle, which already implied that they were thinking about turning her into a character. And she could fit into the game nicely without introducing new settings, same as true Midna. Hero's Spirit could also work that way, but with Yeto I would at least expect to see a Snowpeak Ruins stage. Which would be totally awesome and it could be tied to the new Adventure Map.

Then there's Ganondorf's horse, which is already in the game and I certainly expect to get a horse battle moveset for Ganondorf as well, which would fit the Twilight Princess DLC very nicely.

Let's sum up all the ideas...

Potential weapons:
  • Mirror of Twilight (Midna)
  • Dark Horse (Ganondorf)
  • Crossbow (Link)
  • Spinner (Link)
  • Bug Net (Agitha)

Potential characters:
  • True Midna (if not a weapon)
  • Linkle
  • Hero's Spirit
  • Yeto (together with a Snowpeak Ruins stage)

So, there are lots of different options for the Twilight Princess DLC pack and I can't wait to see, which they will offer. I really hope that we don't get another new weapon for Link, because this would be boring and other characters need new goodies as well. But other than that I would be happy about all these options.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hyrule Warriors 100%

So, I finally completed the game in terms of unlockables. I got all weapon upgrades, all Heart Pieces, all Heart Containers, all Golden Skulltulas and both the blue and red tunic for Link. And I unlocked the true Master Sword skill. That's pretty much it, but it took around 275 hours in total! The game never got boring though and there's still some things left to do for the "true 100%". Spoilers ahead.

There's still one mission in Adventure, where I haven't scored an A rank yet. It's the infamous "Boss Gallery" on the Rewards Map. In this you fight all the giant bosses, three of them at a time. It's a Water recommended stage, so I beat it with a Level 90 Lana using the Stick (the normal attack string is really good at breaking the weak point gauge). For A ranking I might try a Level 99 Impa with the Biggoron's Sword, but she's not there yet.

So far I only have three characters on Level 99: Link, Zant and Agitha. Link got there first, naturally, since he's an allrounder with the most weapons. I guess, most people will have Link as their forerunner. Agitha then followed out of necessity, because her Lvl3 Parasol and her last Heart Container were quite hard to get. I paid for most of her levels to get her up fast and because I don't really like to play as her. And even on Level 99 she's weaker than some characters on Level 90 or even lower. Zant was next, because I had trouble getting the Skulltula on his Lvl3 weapon mission, but I also like playing him and I broke a Legendary Seal for his weapons.

All the other characters are above level 75. Zelda is even very close at Level 98, followed by Ganondorf and Lana. I won't force leveling them to 99, because this will happen eventually, if I keep playing. Every character is getting new missions in the updates anyway for costumes and 8-Bit weapons and I will probably just play with everyone from time to time to farm some remaining materials.

I need materials, because I still haven't completed all badge trees yet. However, I'm getting quite close, I got all silver badges and the majority of golden badges. I honestly thought that this would give me a lot more trouble, but for every material there are good places to farm them. For example there is this "Defeat all the giant bosses" mission with two Argaroks and one Manhandla. With a character above Level 80 this is fairly easy and you can finish the mission within three minutes. Lana, who needs Argarok's materials, was actually the first character, where I completed all three badge trees because of that. There's a similar mission with Ghirahim and two Imprisoned in the bottom left corner at C3, where you can quickly kill an Imprisoned with one weakpoint attack, if your level is high enough. But this helped a lot with the bagde trees for Agitha and Fi.

The missions on the rewards map are also a lot of fun for farming. My favorite one is probably "Evil Power", where you fight all six baddies at once. Volga and Wizzro even twice. So much fun to have and you get lots of rare materials here in a very short time. The "True Partners" one is also very good, because you just have to wait five minutes (kill some enemies in the mean time), until every girl is weakened to near death with the exception of Midna. Then pick Midna as your partner and quickly kill all the other girls... :D The "Unity" mission is very good at breaking seals, because you can easily get 3000 K.O.s in one run here thanks to the Summoner.

However, for the moment I will stop playing and wait for the 1.3 update to arrive. The farming should be a lot more fun, if you can disable all those annoying movies for the characters and bosses, which pop up every time you meet them.

But as a guy, who farmed all ship parts in Phantom Hourglass or collected 99 of all insects and most treasures in Skyward Sword just for the fun of it, at least farming here still has a meaning. Even if I unlock all badges, you still might collect materials for future characters or for potions, which help you with getting good weapons.

And this leads us to the last topic: "perfect weapons". I don't really consider this to be part of the 100%, because this is very subjective and random, but it's still some nice goal. A perfect weapon would be tier 3, five stars and eight sockets filled with skills that you actually want. However, getting a weapon with eight slots and and not having any unwanted skills on these slots is super rare. So, I'm settling for "good enough". I'm aiming at five star weapons with the Legendary skill for maximum attack power. I also like to have the "Materials+" skills and in most cases the elemental skills. In Zant's case I even go for a level 2 weapon with the Legendary skill. It won't have as many slots, but I like the design of the claws just a lot more than the Lvl3 scimitars. I might even do the same for the gauntlets. The big deal is getting the Legendary skill, however, which requires you to get 25.000 K.O.s with the same weapon. And this takes a while.

But as you can see, there's lots to do with this game, if you're up to it. My goal was to unlock everything before the DLC hits, so I can fully focus on the three new characters. So, the DLC is pretty much perfect timing for me and I'm really looking forward to next week.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fierce Deity Link in Hyrule Warriors

So, Majora's Mask is getting its own DLC pack for Hyrule Warriors with two new characters. As you might know, my pick would be Fierce Deity Link and Skull Kid. There are other potential characters from the game, like Mikau or the Deku Princess, but as a start it should really those two, maybe together with a Clocktown stage.

Now I've seen various fans, who don't like the idea of Fierce Deity Link being it's own character, especially on GameFAQs. They want him to be a simple costume for Link like in the new Super Smash Bros. 4, maybe in combination with a two-handed sword weapon, where the Double Helix Sword is just the last tier following the Biggoron's Sword and Great Fairy's Sword. Or have the Fierce Deity's Mask as a transformation. The main reason is that he doesn't take a spot from the two characters in the DLC pack, so someone else could be in like Kafei of the Happy Mask Salesman or even Tingle...

Well, I've repeated the same arguments over and over again, I might as well do a blog post about it.

First of all... I'm a huge Majora's Mask fan. It was the first Zelda game, which I got on its release day. I didn't have many games on the N64, but this one I played up and down. I repeated dungeons and boss fights just for the fun of it. And one of my favorite things in the game was blasting bosses with the power of Fierce Deity Link. This feeling was simply incredible and I always wished that you could do more with this character than just fighting the five different bosses, maybe a minidungeon, where you blast all the enemies from the game.

Now Hyrule Warriors is THE perfect chance to bring Fierce Deity Link back in full glory. With full glory I mean in his right size and a moveset that revolves around sword beams. Maybe you have a meter to replace the Magic Meter from Majora's Mask. You can only shoot sword beams, as long as the meter lasts, and then you have to use other techniques to refill it. Somewhat similar to the meters that Zant and Ganondorf have.

Of course a moveset like that wouldn't make sense for the Biggoron's Sword. In fact Impa already has the Biggoron's Sword as her third tier. It has a different shape, but the original design and it's clearly meant to be this game's Biggoron's Sword. So, why should there be a second one? They could even give Impa the Great Fairy's Sword as her "level 4" weapon. Again same colors and design, but different shape. It would even make a lot of sense for the Great Fairy's Sword to involve water magic.

Now about Fierce Deity Link being a costume... they could have a skin like that just for fun, because why not, but it would not replace the actual character or make much sense. Fierce Deity Link is 1,5 times the size of Adult Link from Ocarina of Time. Look at this size comparison from ZeldaWiki:

He doesn't even fit through doors! It's hard to notice, because you normally can only use him in boss fights, but just compare him against Odolwa ingame. You'll see. So, a simple skin for Link won't do this character any justice.

A transformation weapon for Link wouldn't work either, because costumes. How would all of Link's different costumes work with Fierce Deity Link, who has a different model? It fully makes sense for him to be his own character, exactly like Sheik is not some weapon for Zelda, but her own character. Actually Fierce Deity Link might even get a costume in the pack, one for his Majora's Mask looks. If they add them to the game, he will probably be designed after the Hyrule Warriors Link and have his own touch. If you want the more classic variant, you can use a costume though.

Fierce Deity Link is powerful and amazing. And if they add characters from Majora's Mask, he should be the first. And I trust that Koei Tecmo will make the right choice. (that and the fact that they could reuse Link's voice actor to save some effort :D)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Wizzro = Red Ring

With the update to 1.3 it's official now. Wizzro used to be the Red Ring! I already had this theory before. Sadly it seems like I haven't posted this on my blog yet, but I when I first read about Wizzro's backstory, I immediatly had the Red Ring in mind.

If you don't know Wizzro's backstory, he used to be a ring, who consumed the powers of its wearers. Cia then made him come to life. The ring he wears looks a lot like the Red Ring from The Legend of Zelda and Oracle of Seasons and this is now confirmed. He has the Red Ring, Blue Ring and Magic Ring as his weapon tiers. The Magic Ring seems to be the Green Ring, which combined both Red and Blue Rings in the Oracle games:

Now this officially makes Wizzro even creepier than he already was! Imagine that you used to wear him in three different Zelda games and while he was giving powers, he also slowly consumed the powers of Link! You can even come up with interesting theories. Like the Link from Oracle of Seasons discovered at some point that the Red Ring had dark powers, so he staged a Frodo and threw it into the depths of Death Mountain. Two generations later the Link from The Legend of Zelda then found it in Ganon's lair.

Naturally Cia was observing all this and she probably took the ring to make it part of her collection. Maybe even the good Cia stole the Ring to prevent that it could do harm to future Links. And then the corrupted Cia made the ring come to life. (Update: ah, it looks like the evil Cia found the ring in Eldin Caves, which basically is this Hyrule's Death Mountain.)

Overall I have to say that the design of the three new villains is absolutely amazing. I love how they used the designs of certain enemies as inspiration. Like Cia is based on the Poe Sister Meg, Volga on Volvagia, while Wizzro seems to be the master of Wizzrobes, Poes and even Wallmasters. They did a great job here and I can't wait to have them playable here in Europe.