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 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.

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.