Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hyrule Warriors: New and Future Items

Hyrule Warriors: Legends introduced two new items for everyone to the game, not counting any of the fairy rental skills. One is the Hammer, the other one the Ocarina.

This Hammer lets you activate certain switches around the map for different effects, e.g. activating cannons or opening doors. The Hammer also destroys Chuchus, while it stuns other enemies. And it triggers the weak point gauge of Big Blins, Boss Blins and the Helmaroc King.

So, it's quite useful in the new scenarios for The Wind Waker, but not really anywhere else. It's slow, so it leaves you vulnerable. And the Power-Up Hammer only increases the stun radius, but doesn't add any damage, which makes it pretty useless. I like to use the Power-up Bombs and Bow, where I can, while I usually ignore the Power-Up Boomerang and Hookshot. Now, the Hammer basically just decreased the chance of getting a useful power-up. It would be a lot nicer, if you could smash enemies with it.

The golden Ocarina lets you teleport to owl statues, which you've activated during battle. You play the Ballad of Gales on it, which is a nice touch, while it basically works like the Flute in the original The Legend of Zelda. With it you can navigate the battlefield a lot faster in addition to the character switching mechanic.

Now, the main issue is that this item is downright useless in any mission without owl statues. And there are too many of those. In Legend Mode there are already some missions without them, but Adventure Mode doesn't seem to have a single one, at least on the first Adventure Map. I haven't played the Great Sea Map yet, where hopefully they will be utilized, because right now this item basically just wastes a spot in your inventory, which increases the time for selecting the right item with the D-Pad. (Update: the owl statues are available on the Great Sea Map)

A good solution would have been, if the Ocarina lets you warp to any conquered keep, instead of Owl Statues. That way conquering keeps would have more meaning and the Ocarina would be very useful in all battles... Or at least remove it from the item list in any mission without warp points.


Anyway, I also want to think about what other items could be a thing in a potential Hyrule Warriors 2. Bombs, Bow and Boomerang have been series staples since the very first game, the same as the Recorder and Potions. Zelda II introduced the Hammer and A Link to the Past the Hookshot, which both have been staples as well. So, what's left?

I suppose, the Lantern would be the likeliest candidate, where it could be used for dark areas and lighting torches, as well as attacking with fire. Though I don't have any good ideas for bosses, where the Lantern would trigger the weak point gauge. Usually it just makes hidden enemies visible. (I could also see the Lantern as a weapon type for Wizzro, where the Ghost Lantern would be one of its tiers.)

Next to the Lantern the Power Bracelet could also make sense as an item. The Gauntlets let you pick all sorts of things up, which is an interesting mechanic wasted on a single weapon type. It probably would be more useful, if all characters could do this. However, this most likely wouldn't have a power-up version, because it would be weird, if you only could lift very big things at random for a limited time. And if I really think about it, it would be better, if characters could just lift stuff with A. That way you wouldn't need to select an item. And it's not like I miss doing this with the characters, where it also would be fine, if it remains as an extra of the Gauntlets.

A similar tool might be the Shovel, where they could hide things underground. I personally wouldn't like this, though, because smashing pots is a lot faster, while it serves the same purpose without the need of switching items. The shovel could be a weapon type for some new character, e.g. Dampé, where the Strong Attack could even let you dig around for Rupees, Fore Gems and the like, similar to how only the Gauntlets let you lift stuff.

Another questionable candidate would be the Pegasus Boots, because all the characters already run quite fast. The dashing would let you smash through certain obstacles (e.g. wooden walls) and shake trees, while Power-Up Pegasus Boots would also hurt enemies while running through them. Again, this could be solved without an item. Like there could be a power-up dash.

Among the newer items the Gust Jar comes to mind as something, which has established itself and could be considered as a possible item for everyone. There have been very different iterations of this item over the years, starting with the blows of the Deku Leaf, but in Tri Force Heroes we basically got its pure form, which also could be considered for Hyrule Warriors, where it could blow enemies away, activate windmills and move stuff round. (Naturally it could also be a weapon type for someone, but that goes for pretty much anything. And they could use something like the Gust Bellow or the Whirlwind for the weapon type, while the Gust Jar acts as the item.)

And you don't want to switch items too often. I already didn't like, how on the Forsaken Fortress map you had to keep switching between Hammer and Bombs all the time, just so you could destroy rocks. Why doesn't the Hammer destroy them as well? Inconvenient. With that in mind it's probably best to keep the number of items low, where I would opt to add the Lantern and the Gust Jar in the next game(s).


Marandahir said...

1. There are at least a few missions on the 1st Quest Adventure Map that use owl statues. Many, many missions on the Great Sea Adventure Map use the owl statues as well. I haven't unlocked the Master Quest Adventure Map, so we'll see if it holds true for the revisions to the older DLC maps as well.

2. Chu Chus can also be beaten by using your Special attack (powered by yellow force crystals). Why you'd want to waste that on them is anyone's guess, but before I figured out they could be flattened with the hammer, I was killing them with my X-attack (Zelda button configuration).

3. Not sure if any of those items you mentioned are iconic enough. Lantern and its variants (candles, deku sticks, etc) are the only one of those that have been with us really since the beginning. Pegasus Boots seem more suited to be part of a character weapon series (along with generic running boots and the hover boots), maybe as Linkle's new weapon in the Link's Awakening DLC. But I'll grant that they're as iconic as the Hammer, given that the Hammer and Boots both first appeared in Zelda 2. I feel like we've basically exhausted the subweapon options; Bombs/Bow/Boomerang/Hookshot/Hammer/Instrument are pretty much all the iconic weapon items that have appeared game after game after game. But if they're going to allow something that's not iconic, Gust Jar/Bellows/Deku Leaf and the blowing/sucking function of these weapons might be interesting. That's really pushing it for me though. The set above really define Zelda items to me; Gust Jar isn't that important. Shovel and Lantern really feel just about as important as the Fishing Rod or the Bug Net – that is to say, would be interesting as a character weapon but not really worth it as an iconic subweapon.

4. Switching subweapons was super easy with the touch screen swipe on the Wii U (akin to the hold-and-point item switching in Skyward Sword). It's also pretty easy by tapping the item to open up the item screen on the 3DS. A little bit more work, but a lot less room for error and confusion than scrolling through them with the D-Pad. Food for thought. I'm pretty sure that they'll include something like one or both of these if they make a HW2 on the NX.

TourianTourist said...

Thanks for the input.

1. I haven't seen any owl statues on the first Adventure Map yet and I'm quite far. Good to know that the Great Sea Map has them, but I wouldn't be surprised, if the other maps don't. They kept most of the battles unchanged anyway, save for the rewards and hidden items. And I still think that it would be a good idea to add owl statues to conquered keeps to simplify the whole thing.

2. My bad. I actually was just going to say that it lets you smash ChuChus, not that it was the only way. But that's what happens, when you post late at night. I fixed the sentence and I think that you can also kill them after stunning them with the hammer. I have to try again, because so far I haven't dealt with the Wind Waker content all that much. Only played the Legend mode scenarios once or twice.

3. I agree for the most part, I was simply throwing some ideas against the wall to see what sticks. And the Lantern seems like something with potential, where they could have dark areas on the battlefields and torches for lighting. It could also be a weapon type for someone, e.g. Wizzro, or both. The Gust Jar certainly is another possibility, which I've added to the post.

4. I personally don't like using the touchscreen, as long as it's not necessary. I usually change items on the D-Pad while running around. But it's nice that the 3DS item menu pauses the game, which makes the Ganon fights less annoying.

Marandahir said...

You're welcome!

1. I may be wrong about it – it's been a while since I played Adventure Map; just finished Great Sea Map. Will revisit these comments if I find Owl Statues in Master Quest.

2. You can kill them after stunning with the hammer – I've done that too! I'm not sure if other items work, though. Haven't tried.

3. Agreed about Lantern – I like the idea of it (and the Ghost Lantern and Lantern of Flames as higher-level versions) as a Wizro alt-weapon; so many dark types, a fire alt weapon would be great for him!

4. Different strokes.

TourianTourist said...

Th Chuchus can actually be stunned with any item, so you don't really need the Hammer for them. It lets you smash them with one hit, though.