Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022 – The Year of Wait

2022 with the mural of the mysterious figure and the seven tears, a screenshot of Link on the glider object and Kalimari Desert from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

As Zelda fans we have been very much spoiled for the last ten years, where you can't help feel a bit disappointed when looking back at the year 2022. This marks the first year since 2012 where the Zelda series hasn't gotten any dedicated release. And even in that year you could count The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, which was part of Nintendo Land.

But after announcing the next big Zelda in early 2013, Nintendo had seemingly made it their mission to have something on the table for Zelda every year. This could be a new top-down title, a remake, a remaster, an enhanced port, a spin-off, DLC, something. The four years before and after Breath of the Wild always had something to offer:

  • 2013: The Wind Waker HD and A Link Between Worlds
  • 2014: Hyrule Warriors
  • 2015: Majora's Mask 3D and Tri Force Heroes
  • 2016: Twilight Princess HD and Hyrule Warriors Legends
  • 2017: Breath of the Wild
  • 2018: Hyrule Warriors - Definitive Edition
  • 2019: Cadence of Hyrule and Link's Awakening
  • 2020: Hyrule Warriors - Age of Calamity
  • 2021: Skyward Sword HD and The Legend of Zelda Game & Watch

This list isn't even including all the DLC Expansion Passes for the various games. But in 2022 this all came to a halt. It really might be that Nintendo had originally planned to release Tears of the Kingdom this year and weren't able to find some "placeholder" in due time.

Ports of The Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD are what comes first to mind here, where they would have been a good filler, but even these are not done out of the blue, especially after Skyward Sword HD set the bar quite high last year. You want those fluid 60FPS.

So, in the end we got nothing. Well, we did get a new trailer for Tears of the Kingdom during the September Nintendo Direct, which is how we even know the game's title by now and that it's going to be released on May 12th next year. It was also the main source of discussion and speculation this year, next to a small glimpse at the game from the February Nintendo Direct, which is where they had announced the delay.

Other than that there were some Nintendo Switch Online goodies, mostly user icons, and the release of Majora's Mask for the Nintendo 64 library, given that you're subscribed to the Expansion Pack. But these things are hardly worth the mention.

It's rare that Metroid has more going on than Zelda, where in 2022 the latest installment in the series, Metroid Dread, got two updates with the Dread Mode and Boss Rush, which were a good excuse to revisit the game once more.

Some Zelda fans may also be interested in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, because they love to enter the race with Link and the Master Cycle (Zero). And here Nintendo has revived the game with the Booster Course Pass, where they have been porting over courses from their mobile game, Mario Kart Tour. Half of this has already been released, where the other 24 tracks will appear throughout 2023.

But that's really it and therefore 2022 was a good year to check out some other games in the Action Adventure genre, where there are a variety of "Zelda-likes" and "Metroidvanias" out there to keep you entertained when Nintendo doesn't deliver. This blog took a look at Death's Door and Hollow Knight, but if you're looking for something released in 2022, there also has been Tunic and of course the big shot, Elden Ring.

Replaying Link's Awakening in Hero Mode

receiving the Full Moon Cello in Hero Mode

Link's Awakening is one of the shortest Zelda games, given that you know your way around Koholint, which makes it a good choice if you're looking for some nostalgia with little commitment. As I've said many times on this blog before, the original version on the GameBoy was my first Zelda game, which I've gotten for Christmas 1997, 25 years ago. And it became a bit of a tradition to replay this game once per year, ideally during Christmas.

This time I already started on my birthday, however, right at the beginning of June. This was after Mysplaced had made the news, a game that copied the artstyle of the Link's Awakening remake, which made me want to play it once more. And since I haven't cleared it in Hero Mode on my own Nintendo Switch yet (I did so before on someone else's system), there were multiple incentives to replay Link's Awakening on the Nintendo Switch.

I didn't get all too far at the time, where I've only played for a couple of hours in one evening. It was enough to have beaten the Bottle Grotto and the Color Dungeon, which is by far the hardest part in Hero Mode. But once you've obtained the Secret Medicine, a filled Fairy Bottle, and finally the Blue Mail, there is little to worry about, unless you're doing lots of mistakes.

So, I basically had the hard work already done half a year ago, but I ran into a bit of a roadblock with the Chamber Dungeon at the time. As much as I have loved this feature in the past, doing it all for the fourth time gets a bit stale. As a result I went with the most simplistic and efficient solutions this time...

Placing the Basics challenge solved with only five chambers

You still want to play the Challenges as early as possible, especially in Hero Mode, because it gives you some valuable goodies, like a Piece of Heart or a Fairy Bottle. And if you don't start with the Chamber Dungeon until later in the game, it will get a bit much all at once. It's better to do the new Challenges once they become available to have some more variety in activities.

However, this also may cause certain habits or patterns. For example, I prefer to use the new tiles I got from the most recent dungeon. And because of this the solutions tend to become somewhat similar to my previous playthroughs, where I've done the same thing.

Things get more interesting with the twelve golden challenges in the post game, which is where you have everything available, including the +Monsters effect from the Trendy Game. But I'm saving this for later right now and I also plan on building more difficult versions of all eight main dungeons (I already have one of the Color Dungeon stored to an amiibo).

As for Hero Mode, I'm still thinking that its implementation here wasn't a good idea. I would have preferred something that made use of the +Monsters effect during the entire game, while you are still able to find Fairies and maybe apples normally. Every damage taken accumulates, because you won't find anything to heal inside dungeons, so you might end up in a situation where you feel inclined to leave the dungeon, heal somewhere, and return. It's not more difficult, it's just less convenient.

I've also struggled a bit in the beginning, because the controls are so different from all the other games that I have been playing this years, which includes Death's Door, Hollow Knight, and Metroid Dread. They all have in common that you attack with Y (on a Nintendo controller) and jump or roll with B. In Link's Awakening it's the other way around, where the sword is set to B and I usually keep the Roc's Feather equipped to Y.

It's not really a complaint, because they simply stuck to traditional Zelda button controls, which haven't really changed up until Breath of the Wild. The controls also make sense the way they are with the two item buttons. But it's a factor where I have been making some mistakes at first...

There was also a surprise situation in the Key Cavern for me, in the room with the three Green Bombites. I wanted to take them out with bombs, as I always do, because it's safer than attacking them with your sword. But one of the Zols then jumped against my bomb and kicked it towards me... I didn't know that they could do that in the remake! It's such a crazy detail and a fun enemy interaction.

Link starting from the warp point at the Seashell Mansion

The Secret Seashells will always be one of my favorite collectibles, simply because they can be found anywhere. I've said this before, but it's well done how they game let's you obtain the Koholint Sword after getting the Flippers, which also used to be the case in the original GameBoy version, only that this time you need twice as many shells. There are 41 Secret Seashells accessible at this point, so you need to find all but one available.

I always turn the Seashell Sensor off right away and go by memory alone, but this time I completely forgot the seashell hidden at the beach where Marin waits for you. I guess, it's just not as obvious as the other ones below the ground. The one from Christine also usually eludes me, but otherwise the seashell additions in the remake are all very memorable and that's fun.

But I'm disappointed that it doesn't refill your hearts when obtaining the Koholint Sword. That's a bit of an oversight, because you want to feel the power of sword beams right after exiting the Seashell Mansion with your shiny new sword...

As for Pieces of Heart, this time I've forgotten about the one in the cave that leads back up to the Raft Shop. Since you can just restart the mini-game at the end of a ride, using this "shortcut" wasn't necessary and therefore I didn't pass by this piece at all. And I didn't notice this until I've reached Turtle Rock, where only one Piece of Heart should be left.

fighting the Turtle Rock

Anyway, this was fun, I greatly enjoy the visuals and the overall quality of the remake, save for the issues with the frame rate on the overworld. But nonetheless I really hope that we will be getting remakes of Oracle of Ages & Seasons in the same style after Tears of the Kingdom.

PS: ← ↑ → → ↑ ← ← ↑

Friday, December 30, 2022

Nintendo Switch: Tears of the Kingdom Edition?

 leaked photos of the Nintendo Switch OLED model Tears of the Kingdom Edition

There has been a leak from China, which supposedly shows us the upcoming "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Edition" of the Nintendo Switch OLED model, as seen on Resetera. This looks very much legit. If this is a fake, it's well done and should be shared anyway for the effort alone.

And I'm sure that this will happen with Tears of the Kingdom, whether this is a fake or not. If you've followed this blog in the recent years, you know it has been kind of a running gag to predict a Zelda-themed Nintendo Switch, only for it not to happen. Well, this should have been a thing right from the start with Breath of the Wild in 2017, but Nintendo wasn't interested and they weren't interested in doing this with spin-offs, remakes, or remasters that followed in the years after, where now it has been SIX years... And by now this just feels like a double-dip move. Almost all Zelda fans out there should have a Nintendo Switch, where Nintendo now wants them to buy a new one.

Well, I know a single Zelda fan out there who has been holding off on buying a Nintendo Switch to wait for the obligatory Zelda edition. This person will certainly be happy with the news, but those are six years of Nintendo Switch action missed out. This is a very long time. I personally regret that I've waited with buying one until Age of Calamity in 2020, because I've accumulated a sizeable backlog of Nintendo Switch games by then, where I may never find the time to play it all.

And in hindsight I probably should have gotten the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition, because this ended up as my most played game on Switch. At least the Nintendo Switch OLED model will be an upgrade of some sort, though I don't use the Switch in handheld mode so often that it would matter. But the new Nintendo Switch dock looks quite good in general.

As for the "Tears of the Kingdom Edition"... it looks alright. The dock is great and the Joy-Cons fit the overall aesthetic of the game really well, where I like the symbols on the back and front. I'm not really fan of mixing gold with green, which happens too much with 3rd party merchandise for Zelda, but at least that's only an issue with the left Joy-Con. The right Joy-Con with gold and white design looks gorgeous. And it's much prettier than the Skyward Sword HD Joy-Cons, that's for sure.

I will definitely be getting this if it's real. And with the thing leaked, Nintendo probably won't wait long with an announcement now. Maybe this will be one of the first news in 2023.

However, this also means that we won't be seeing a new Nintendo console / an upgrade of the Nintendo Switch with Tears of the Kingdom. They wouldn't make a special edition of the Nintendo Switch OLED model in that case, but of the new console. Or none at all, like it was the case with Breath of the Wild, which came out between two systems.


Via @pixelpar and ntower

Saturday, December 24, 2022

25 Years as a Zelda Fan

25 years stylized with Zelda fonts and the palm trees from the modern Link's Awakening logo

This is the first Christmas in a couple of years that I'm spending with my family, where this brings back memories of Christmas from my childhood. And the most magical Christmas will always be 1997 for me personally, where I've gotten The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for the GameBoy. I still remember how I marveled at the instruction booklet after unwrapping my gift, where it was full of colored artwork and made the game feel like a compelling mystery.

Anyway, I've written a bit about my past as a Zelda fan on my 20th Anniversary, where I'm not going to repeat this. Instead, I want to reflect on the past five years, which are right between the two newest Zelda games, Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, a period of "filler".

We got a number of side releases during these years, like Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and Skyward Sword HD, but the one that means the most to me is certainly the remake of Link's Awakening – the game that made me a Zelda fan for life. It makes me quite happy to have this new version to go to, where I'm hoping for the Oracle games to get remade in the same charming style at some point.

For me these remakes and remasters also became the main incentive to revisit past Zelda games. Before Breath of the Wild came out, during the 30th Anniversary of the franchise, I've replayed all the Zelda games available on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. And with that I came to a closure with the series, where from now on I will focus mainly on "new" Zelda releases, even if these are just enhanced ports.

There simply needs to be something new to experience, which then wakes my interest. I guess, it's part of the reason why the Zelda randomizers have gotten very popular over the last years, where I'm willing to try some of those out myself at some point, starting with Link's Awakening of course. It might be the kind of different experience that I'm looking for...

But there is so much else to play and not enough time left to play it all. And after getting into games like Hollow Knight and Death's Door, I also feel a bit disillusioned about my favorite game series, because these indie titles show how you can make a challenging, but fair difficulty in an Action Adventure, while also offering good world design and a fantastic soundtrack. These are beautiful games with compelling combat and I want to replay Death's Door at the moment for its fun fights alone, while Hollow Knight has been one of my most-played games in 2022.

Breath of the Wild dared to be more challenging again, at least in the early game, where there is hope that Tears of the Kingdom will build upon that and offer a more masterful experience. It will need a good number of things to set itself apart from its predecessor, since they are re-using the same world again, which still makes it seem like an enhanced version of Breath of the Wild. But right now I really need Tears of the Kingdom to rekindle that Zelda flame inside me, which has been shining a bit dim lately.

Well, I'm sure it will manage to do so, once Nintendo starts to show more of the game, because nothing beats the excitement of getting a new Zelda for me personally. The childhood Christmas days, where I was stranded on Koholint for the first time in my life, may never come back, but there always will be new magical worlds to dive into, which are just as good and sometimes even better. So long!

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Hollow Christmas!

Got this as an early Christmas present last weekend and thought I should share it. It's a Hollow Knight figurine of the knight sitting on a bench, where this is a handmade item from Etsy. Looks quite nice and will always be a reminder to take a rest.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Majora's Mask 3D: Song of Time Screen Icons?

Ikhana Kingdom has faced me with an interesting question, where I had to do some digging to find an answer. When you play the Song of Time in Majora's Mask 3D, it shows you on the touchscreen what you are going to lose, most of it anyway, as a warning. It's essentially a mix of your item selection screen and the right column on the gear screen. When you travel back in time any type of ammo will be set to 0 and you will also lose the content of your bottles, as well as all the trading quest items, like the Moon's Tear or the Room Key, where those go into the right column.

However, there is another row of items at the bottom, showing your Rupees, whether the Pictograph Box has photo or not, and four more slots for... something. And this led to the question: What are these four slots for?

Ikhana already had found out what the third and fourth slots are via a reddit thread, leaving the first two a mystery for the both of us. For me it has been many years since I've played the Nintendo 3DS remake, so I couldn't remember if I ever saw any of these. But I do remember that I was wondering about this myself while playing the game, where it now it was the time to finally satisfy that curiosity... Anyway, I couldn't find anything on the internet, so I had to boot up my good old Majora's Mask themed 3DS and find out myself.

Do you know what goes in there? Do you have any guesses? Well, click to find the answer:

I don't think I ever saw any of these before, because I usually don't use the Song of Time when I have any of this in place. But it's good to finally know, where this has been a fun little mystery!

Friday, December 9, 2022

Tears of the Game Awards

Cereza looking at a copy of Tears of the Kingdom

Not sure why I keep getting my hopes up to see something about the next Zelda at the Game Awards year after year... Well, it is mainly because Breath of the Wild had quite the presence at this event: we saw the first ever gameplay at the Game Awards 2014, we got a new trailer at the Game Awards 2016, and The Champions' Ballad was released right after the Game Awards 2017, where Breath of the Wild won game of the years.

Hopefully the last bit will repeat next year, but so far Tears of the Kingdom has been absent from Geoff Keighley's big show, other than being the most anticipated game for 2023. And when you have to sit through Christopher Judge slowly thanking everyone and their mother for existing (which was adorable), you kind of hope that it will lead to something. At least the event was somewhat shorter this time and there have been some huge announcements, just not from Nintendo.

Nintendo has been more concerned about promoting the Super Mario Bros. Movie, which is fine and certainly fitting for an event that focuses a lot on the cinematic side of gaming. It looks like fun and I'm going to see it, but... it's not what I'm excited about at the moment.

The other announcements from my favorite video game company also have been laughable. The Bayonetta Origins game looks very cute, but this was surely something for a Nintendo Direct, even when Bayonetta 3 won best action game.

And announcing a day one Expansion Pass for any game will always leave a bad taste in one's mouth, where Fire Emblem Engage is no exception. Bringing back units from previous Fire Emblem games also isn't exactly exciting, when this has been done before... Maybe not as glamorously, but it's something where they could just keep milking the cow once more. Yes, by that I mean that they will bring back Camilla.

Anyway, they are keeping things tight with Tears of the Kingdom. The game will come out in five months and we have seen little about it. On the hand it's not really necessary, because this is not Breath of the Wild – it's the sequel to Breath of the Wild. People already know what kind of gameplay they can expect here and it's better when Nintendo keeps the game close to their chest, instead of spoiling half of it months in advance. It will be more fun to find things out for ourselves.

On the other hand it makes you wonder if there is even much to show. I would love for them to dive into some of the new gameplay mechanics and also into the underground world, if there really is one. Maybe in the next Nintendo Direct, then, which should be around February...

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Booster Course Pass: Wave 3 Impressions

Merry Mountain start with the full moon in the background and lots of Christmas themed houses

This week is early Christmas for gamers, with lots of presents directly from the internet to keep you entertained. There's the Game Awards later tonight, where we will hopefully see more of Tears of the Kingdom and maybe some other exciting announcements. Also, quite a number of games are getting a content update this week, which includes Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with the third wave of the Booster Course Pass.

And arguably this is the best wave so far. The visuals have improved quite a bit, where some of the new additions have been getting closer to the base game quality, even matching them in one case. The courses finally also make better use of the different driving modes, where more than half of them have anti-gravity and there is a first course in the DLC with under water gameplay.

It genuinely feels like Nintendo has been listening to feedback, which is great. It's just a shame that they can't go back and overhaul some of the courses from the first two waves, other than making the cars at Coconut Mall spin. Anyway, here are the new additions...


Rock Cup:

  • Tour London Loop
  • GBA Boo Lake
  • 3DS Alpine Pass / Rock Rock Mountain
  • Wii Maple Treeway

 

Moon Cup:

  • Tour Berlin Byways
  • DS Peach Gardens
  • Merry Mountain
  • 3DS Rainbow Road

 

First of all, you may notice that some tracks got reshuffled from the previous datamines. Originally, DS Waluigi Stadium was going to be part of the Moon Cup, Peach Gardens was part of the Rock Cup, and Maple Treeway was not supposed to be released until a later point, in the Acorn Cup. The latter is a bit disappointing, because it would have been a better fit thematically.

The courses in a cup don't necessarily have to match the corresponding trophy item, of course, but there are some clear references here and there, like having Rock Rock Mountain in the Rock Cup or ending the Moon Cup with the 3DS Rainbow Road. These are good calls and likewise you would put Maple Treeway into the Acorn Cup. Not sure why Nintendo has changed these, but if there is one course to move from the Rock Cup into the Moon Cup, it should have been Boo Lake and not Peach Gardens, since this track is bathed in moonlight. So, I'm not a big fan of the decisions here, but naturally this doesn't affect the quality of the actual courses.

Brandenburger Tor in Berlin Byways

And the quality is overall really great in wave 3. The city tours, London Loop and Berlin Byways, are probably my least favorite this time, where the magic of the ever-changing course layouts has worn off a bit. In fact, in these two cases it can get quite confusing, because there is just very little consistency and a lot going on. Especially in Berlin I'm constantly thinking, "where do I need to go? Where do I need to go?! Where do I need to go...?!"

Both of the courses have some nice touches, however, like the little drawbridge for the London Bridge, which keeps going up. And the Berlin Wall has Whomps crashing down, which is very clever. The music is also pretty great, where overall they still feel like good additions, it's just a bit too much clutter.

start of Boo Like with Luigi's Mansion in the background

GBA Boo Lake is another fantastic re-imagining of a Super Circuit course. I would even go as far and say that it's my favorite one so far, though Snow Land is quite close. It just perfectly captures those spooky Luigi's Mansion visuals and is a lot of fun to race in 200cc, similar to SNES Rainbow Road. There is also an underwater section in this track, the first and only in the DLC so far. While the underwater gameplay isn't terribly exciting, it's a bit crazy how there hasn't been any new underwater course since the base game Mario Kart 8 in 2014.

This makes you wish for 3DS Wario's Galleon / Wario Shipyard, but that's not going to happen, at least not in this Booster Course Pack, because we have already gotten all courses from Mario Kart 7 that are going to be in the DLC, at least from what we know. And with that in mind 3DS Alpine Pass (also known as Rock Rock Mountain) isn't exactly the greatest choice. The track is okay, but I was never particularly fond of it on the Nintendo 3DS and this didn't change with the new version.

It's probably the most disappointing course addition in wave 3, where it's also the least impressive visually. We're talking about wave 1 quality here with completely flat textures and trees made out of clay. You even have a cave with bats flying at you, exactly like in Choco Mountain, where it's clear that they are re-using as many assets as possible for these new tracks. At least they have spiced things up a notch at the last section, where now it makes use of anti-gravity while going up the mountain, which was a good change.

flying towards the giant maple tree

Now, off to Wii Maple Treeway, where this has always been one of my absolute favorite courses ever since Mario Kart Wii. However, I feel like this is my least favorite version so far and I can't exactly put my finger on it why that is, but there is just something off. I guess, it just looks too dark. While the textures in other courses are often very bright and simple, here they took the grittiest wooden surfaces they could possibly find. It also has been scaled up a bit, where the Wigglers seemingly pose no threat any longer. Just drive by them, there is enough space.

But visually this is a huge upgrade over Mario Kart Tour. When compared to the previous course, it's a day and night difference. Alpine Pass looks like it was directly ported out of Mario Kart Tour, while this one here got a lot of work done on it, almost like it was made by a different team. And this has to be praised at this point.

giant Peach topiary

Another surprise comes with DS Peach Gardens. This has always been one of the more relaxed courses and that's fine, but to change things up a gear you now go in reverse during the last lap. That's ingenious. Well, Mario Kart Tour has reversed variants of all its courses, where it's about time that they made some of use of this for something other than the city tours. Of course you need a part of the track that lets you go in a circle, so this will be difficult to implement with most of the classic courses, but they certainly have found the perfect candidate here.

After the lackluster Sky-High Sundae my expectations for Merry Mountain were quite low, but I have been positively surprised here. This course may still be simple, but it flows. It's just very enjoyable to drive around here and it has to be one of may favorite courses for 200cc. It's also the only one of the new courses where I managed to beat the staff ghost on first try. And the last section reminds me of GCN DK Mountain, the part where you're going downhill after the cannon.

This wave also re-introduces half-pipes to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, where both Merry Mountain and Maple Treeway make use of it. Anti-gravity is active here and this could be interesting for some future additions, like GCN Waluigi Stadium, which was originally supposed to be part of this wave, as already mentioned. But this makes me wonder if something about the half-pipes still needed some further adjustments...

3DS Rainbow Road with Pink Gold Peach

Finally, we have the 3DS Rainbow Road and this one is a looker. The texture they have been using for the road itself is absolutely stunning. And the whole course is very beautiful from start to finish. Unlike the Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 8, this one also works wonderfully in 200cc. It's easily my favorite Rainbow Road in this game next to the SNES one, where there are four Rainbow Roads now in total.

The Spiny Cup will end on another Wii course, where the total could go up to five. But I'm thinking that they will go with Wii Bowser's Castle there, because there haven't been any of the previous Bowser Castles in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe yet... Imagine that. And after the 3DS Rainbow Road this will be hard to top, it's an amazing finale for the first half of the Booster Course Pass.


Version 2.2.0

Other than the new course additions, the recent update for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also came with a small variety of improvements. The biggest addition is by far the custom item selection, which you can use in the VS and Battle Modes, as well as online friend lobbies and tournaments. If you play Super Smash Bros., then this should be familiar to you, where it's actually quite weird that it took this long to make it into Mario Kart as well.

But better later than never, because this can be a lot of fun and lets you do all sort of crazy things. It doesn't work too well with just a hand full of items, because it seemingly still applies the usual item rules. So, if you have bananas and a bunch of powerful items, you will mostly just get bananas in the front rows. There needs to be a frantic custom item selection of sorts. But it's good for deactivating some annoying items, like the Blooper, or just playing with a single item. Like only Spiny Shells. Or only Bullet Bills. Or only Lightnings...

custom item selection screen with only Lightning active

Speaking of Lightning, this item got finally nerfed, where now it won't disable your glider any longer. No more target shocks for you...! This actually makes playing against CPU quite a bit nicer, because they loved to snipe you whenever you were above an abyss.

The invincibility time after getting hit now also varies depending on your kart combination, which may or may not change the current meta. Well, I don't play online with randoms, so I don't really care and will stick to my beloved Master Cycle Zero, no matter what, but this still could be interesting and may end the reign of the Waluigi Wiggler.

And in general it's nice to see that they are working on the game outside of the new courses. Remember the 1.6.0 update, where they've added Link from Breath of the Wild with the awesome Master Cycle Zero? I wouldn't mind getting more like that, where they could use drivers and karts from Mario Kart Tour. Go for it, Nintendo!

This was really enjoyable overall and made Mario Kart 8 Deluxe my favorite "ongoing game" of 2022. Too bad that it wasn't nominated in this category of the Game Awards.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Zelda Calendar(s) 2023

2023 Zelda calendar with the cover motif of Breath of the Wild from European version

It's December already and with that it's time to look for some new calendars to hang on your walls. However, you will quickly notice that there is no general Zelda calendar available this time, which feels fitting after 2022, the first year without any release for the Zelda series in a decade. Instead there are two "different" calendars for Breath of the Wild only – one by Abrams and one by Danilo.

Also for the first time in a decade, I haven't gotten the calendar from Abrams, because it felt heavily redundant. They already had made a Breath of the Wild calendar in 2019 and two more followed by different companies, where there is only so much that you can do with a single game. So, I decided to check out the 2023 calendar by Danilo instead to at least have something "new":

photo of the Dalino calendar's back with all motives

Pyramid hasn't released another Zelda calendar for 2023, where their Breath of the Wild calendar for 2022 has essentially served as a blueprint for the competition this year. In fact, a majority of the motives has already been present in the 2022 calendar, where about half of the Danilo calendar is made of repeats and the one by Abrams has only two artworks that weren't present in Pyramid's calendar from last year. It just seems lazy and uninspired, like so often. Both calendars even feature the same "Link fighting against a snow storm" artwork in December...

This seems like missed opportunity for Pyramid, where they could have scored big time with a general Zelda calendar, which offers something different. Their 2021 calendar with the Chamber Dungeon design is still my favorite. I don't know... maybe these licensed merchandise corporations didn't think that there would be any interest in such a thing, because Zelda is all about Breath of the Wild now. At least they could try to use something from Age of Calamity as well, but this would probably require them to get licenses from Koei Tecmo in addition, which creates more cost and therefore generates less profit, all while Age of Calamity isn't that popular. So, I think I understand the business decisions here, but I really don't like them.

And we won't be seeing anything from Tears of the Kingdom before 2025, because the calendars for 2024 will be developed before the game comes out. Maybe one of these calendar companies is smart enough to already grab the existing cover art for Tears of the Kingdom and uses it for a general Zelda 2024 calendar. This would be preferable, because they have seemingly reached the limit of what can be done with Breath of the Wild.

Anyway, between the two Breath of the Wild calendars there wasn't much of a choice for me personally. As already said, the one by Danilo has less repetition and comes with a new design. There was also another selling point, because they've advertised it with having a poster inside. However, this is a bit misleading...

photo of January with a Master Sword artwork and the poster

The poster is essentially just the center of the calendar, where they have made a double page. You can open the staples and remove it, but it has the typical holes at the top and bottom, so it's not a poster like you would expect it. The poster displayed on the back of the calendar doesn't even show these holes, where it's a bit of false advertising... It's still a good idea and I guess I can just leave it hanging like that, should there be nothing available for 2024. But as a poster it's not very nice.

The calendar design itself also isn't that great, it's a bit too dark for my taste. But they were going with a Sheikah Slate look and it's certainly more inspired than what Abrams has been doing for a couple of years now, so it's still the better choice overall.

Again, there was no Metroid calendar available, which seems like another missed opportunity after the release of Metroid Dread. Since I have one open calendar space right now, I would have gotten anything they throw at me...

Thursday, November 24, 2022

LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias

title screen

After replaying LostWinds the other day, I was frankly disillusioned about the game, because I remembered it to be a lot better than it was. However, this may have something to do with its sequel, which is a pretty much everything a sequel should be...

It takes off right where the first game ended and sends you into the curiously named "Summerfalls", where everything is frozen. First thing you notice is that you get to keep all your wind abilities from the first game, imagine that. It's actually rare for this type of Action Adventure to do this, where they usually has to be an excuse why Link, Samus, and co. lose all their stuff and skills at the beginning of the next game. Not so with LostWinds 2. Only the "Jumberella Cape" is gone, which was quite overpowered, because you could just easily fly everywhere, so that's understandable. And of course there weren't that many upgrades in the first game to begin with, but it's still refreshing.

Instead it expands upon what was done in the first game by introducing a variety of new mechanics... The most important one is without a doubt the winter, where at first you need to stay close to lit torches or the cold will hurt you. Here the ability to carry fire with the wind, which was already possible in the first game, finds a new importance. The vortex can also be used to create giant snowballs, which is pretty clever.

And generally, freezing areas are a good idea for a restriction within an Action Adventure title, where for example Breath of the Wild had some potential here, but didn't make much use of it, because you can just simple get the Warm Doublet. Here you will also get the "Oloua Suit" to keep you warm, but you have to earn it by traveling through some cold areas first. I guess, you could even compare it to Metroid Prime 2, where you can't fully explore Dark Aether until you've found the Light Suit and until then you need to stay close to bubbles of light. Except that it doesn't take that long and this game world is a whole lot more pleasant, despite the cold.

a tunnel with water solid frozen, Toku wearing his warm outfit

This comparison isn't even too crazy, because with the winter in Winter of Melodias also comes a "dual world mechanic", where you can change the seasons between summer and winter at certain statues. It's visually impressive Рit makes the whole game world look completely different and the atmosphere fully changes with it, very similar to that one part in Metroid Dread. And story-wise this is achieved by Sont̩, the Spirit of Seasons, where there are multiple other spirits next to Enril, the Spirit of Wind

When it comes to the gameplay, however, the changes revolve around water for the most part. Ponds, lakes, rivers, and falls are all solid frozen in winter, often blocking off your path. Sometimes it's the opposite, where a strong current won't let you get up a hill in summer, but usually you can explore more space during the warm season. Prepare for lots of Melodia Idols found at the bottom of a lake...

So, there is some wasted potential, but overall the game was a great reminder how fantastic changing the seasons in a video game can be. The Zelda series has only done this twice, primarily with Oracle of Seasons, but also with the Mountain Village in Majora's Mask. And there is just a certain sense of wonder about this, where I heavily enjoy the progressing seasons in Animal Crossing: New Horizons as well. I'd love to see another Zelda game, preferably a top-down title, to make use of this idea again. Though, I would also settle for a remake of the Oracle games right now...

playing as Riverin in a temple at the start of the game

Changing between summer and winter is not the sole focus of Winter of the Melodias, however, where the last third of the game introduces a companion, very similar to Medli and Makar from The Wind Waker. Here most of the gameplay takes place in some ruins, which can only be visited during summer, so the game heavily shifts its theme and ideas here.

And this is quite interesting, because it's not a long game. It's less than an hour longer than LostWinds, which took me about two and a half hours to beat, where I had to backtrack quite a bit in both games to collect all Melodia Idols. There are twice as many in the second game to find, but they are as pointless and often hidden very predictably, so there is not much of an improvement here.

You can also now collect letters from your mother, who you are searching for in this game, which deliver some story and therefore are more interesting. But they are usually dropped along the way, so it's not really some secret collectible...

Toku flying over Summerfalls

Like LostWinds, the game also ends after the first major boss battle, where the plot offers a much better resolve and everything feels more wholesome overall, despite the short length. The first game felt more like a demo in comparison.

But... both games talked about this ancient demon king, called "Balasar", who is the root of all the evil in the story. Its introduction may even feel very familiar to Zelda fans, because the depictions in LostWinds even use a similar art style to what Niko and Oshus have been showing you throughout their expositions in the Nintendo DS Zelda games. And Balasar is somewhat reminiscent of Bellum and Malladus, because it's this ancient mystery evil, while there are these different "spirits" of nature opposing him.

And with all that in mind, it seems like it was meant to be a trilogy, where a third game never came to see the light of day, sadly. The story wasn't interesting or exciting by any means, but I would have loved to see what gameplay ideas had come out of a third game, because Winter of the Melodias really stepped things up and brought the game to a whole new level, where for its short length it's packed with ideas.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

LostWinds

Toku in front of a windmill on a hill

LostWinds and its sequel, LostWinds - Winter of the Melodias, are two old WiiWare games, which were made by Frontier Development and got released in 2008 and 2009 respectively. I have played them both on the Nintendo Wii, back when they were fairly new, and I was convinced that I wrote a review somewhere at that time, but I couldn't find anything... So, I decided to play through them again and finally share my thoughts for real.

For this I have used the Steam versions, where they are basically for free during a sale. However, it's noticeable how those are mere dumps of the WiiWare games, after the Nintendo Wii Shop Channel found its end. There are no options in the games whatsoever, where you have to edit some of the game files to change the language, resolution, and controls. It's not difficult to do, but it's somewhat inconvenient. At least it looks prettier on the PC, where the art style has aged really well and already profits from an increased resolution.

Anyway, LostWinds is another "Metroidvania", if you can call it that. But after playing Hollow Knight this feels like soothing for your soul, because it's essentially the entire opposite. It's very short and easy, where you can beat this in one evening, and very relaxed, where the focus is more on puzzling than on combat.

The core gimmick of the game is that you can control the wind via a pointer. This is done with the Wii Remote or your mouse, where you can draw paths for the wind. The game's main character, Toku, can only walk and pick things up, where you have to assist him with the wind wherever you can, as the wind spirit "Enril". At first you can only make him do small hops with the wind, but gradually you will unlock new abilities, where at the end you can just fly anywhere you want.

It can be a bit fiddly, though. Especially using the vortex ability is frustrating at times, because first you have to flip objects into the air and then draw a circle around them, but often they just fall down before you can pull this off. I never really got the hang of it to perform this reliably and dealing with objects handles like a handicapped version of the wizard from the Trine games.

Combat is also entirely done via the wind and can be equally awkward later on. There are only four different enemies in the game and the basic "glorbs" are simply enough to defeat by pushing them against walls or the ground via the wind. It's fun and simple. The ones with leafs around them need you to repeat this process several times. However, later enemies need you to get a bit more creative or even use the vortex, where this can be a problem, especially since Toku is a sitting duck.

You get four hearts and enemies don't instantly do damage, so there is a bit of reaction time to get them off Toku. You can eat fruits to heal up, where Toku takes a bite and then crushes the fruit for some reason, which is funny.

a cherry blossom tree

The game is very atmospheric with calm music and lots of background interactions with the wind. It's enjoyable to sweep over everything and just see what happens. Sadly, this isn't connected to any real secrets, like there were in Donkey Kong Country Returns with the blowing. Here it's just for your amusement, which seems like a missed opportunity, because there is a lot of stuff that could have been done with the mechanic. And sometimes you even expect it to do something special, like reveal an item, but it never does.

There are 24 "hidden" idols in the game to collect, though, with one in each of the sections, which are connected in several ways. Collecting them has no purpose whatsoever other than getting a sense of completion out of it, which is another missed opportunity here. It's really just there as an "incentive" to explore every nookie.

On your journey you will really only go through two different areas: the villages and hills above the ground, as well as an underground cave system. And here things can start to look a bit similar and repetitive.

Overall the game is very linear and even likes to block off paths you're not supposed to take, like Metroid: Other M. Only that it feels even less natural here. At the end there are two things to look for at once, where you have a choice where to go next, but it doesn't really matter. It then all ends after the first and only boss, where the whole game feels more like a demo. It even ends with an advertisement for the sequel...

This will all sound very critical, where it's not a big recommendation. I had fond memories of playing LostWinds originally, however, where it felt like THE title for WiiWare, which was all about small downloadable games on the Wii. It even made me obsess with getting multiple WiiWare Zelda games at the time, which never happened, probably because Nintendo wanted the platform to be for smaller developers and not give them even more competition than what they already had with the Virtual Console.

The Wii's system memory was very limited and Frontier had achieved a lot with something that was just around 33MB (the PC version takes 405MB for some reason, where maybe the textures got increased in size). The mechanic of drawing the wind in a platforming game was also quite innovative at the time and it's very much a charming game. For the small price (until November 29th you can get both games for 2.99€ on Steam) there isn't much you can do wrong here. So, if you're looking for a small and relaxed Metroidvania for in between, then LostWinds may be worth a shot.

The sequel is also more interesting with its season mechanic, but we will look at this game in a separate post, coming soon.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Halloween at Hallownest

the knight and Hornet in front of a shrine surrounded by candles and dark cobwebs

Ahem... Originally, I was going to call this "Holloween", but then I googled the term and I don't want any wrong associations here... Too bad, I thought it was an excellent pun. But alliterations are always great, too.

Now, the Hollow Knight special on Hyrule Blog will come to an end. I'm not done with the game yet, where I'm still only about a third through Godmaster and I'm not even sure I will ever complete all of Godhome. It's nice to get back and do some boss battles every now and then, however. I'm also in the middle of my second Hollow Knight playthrough, where I'm going for the opposite choices. And in the future I might give a "speedrun" a try and maybe even Steel Soul Mode. Well, probably not the latter.

But I think I've covered everything I wanted to say for now... And I can't overstate how much I like the game. It's top 5 of all time material. Not only does it the whole Metroidvania thing on a level of pure excellence, it infused it with some elements from the Zelda series to make it truly special. So, if you enjoy Zelda and Metroid, which you probably do when you're reading this particular blog, then I can only advise you to play Hollow Knight, if you haven't already.

And I know... You have probably heard this before and dismissed it several times. How good can the game really be, right? Well, let me tell you that it absolutely is. And I also know that its challenges can be daunting, where it feels like a game best avoided by completionists. This is even what stopped me from getting into Hollow Knight until now, especially the Path of Pain. However, the game is made in a way where it challenges you, but also keeps the motivation up. It's not the most difficult game at its core and it eases you into the more challenging stuff, where you might be even up for it when it comes to it.

Hollow Knight: Silksong also quickly became my second most anticipated game, right after Tears of the Kingdom. At least the wait won't be as long for myself as it already was for many Hollow Knight fans out there and I have still enough to do with the first game until then.

Anyway, I like the game so much that I even made some Hollow Knight decorations for today:

photo of printed paper masks of the knight, Hornet, and Zote
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Of Charms and Magic Rings

Playing Hollow Knight really made me appreciate its Charm system, which is somewhat similar to the Magic Rings from Oracle of Ages & Seasons. And if these two Zelda games were ever to be remade, then they would profit from a few adjustments to the ring system, where the developers could learn a thing or two from the Charms in Hollow Knight.

The main difference between the Charms and the Magic Rings is that you can equip multiple Charms based on a number of notches. In Oracle of Ages & Seasons your "notches" came with the Ring Box, where the L-3 Ring Box could store up to five Magic Rings. However, you could only ever equip one ring at a time, which could be changed on the fly.

This had quite a negative effect on the gameplay, because there is an incentive to go into the menu and change your equipped Magic Ring based on the situation. Attacking some foes? Equip the Red Ring. Dodging some traps? Equip the Blue Ring. Going for a dive? Equip the Zora Ring.

An extreme example could be a difficult boss fight, where you might want to switch from the Blue to the Red Ring whenever you're about to strike and then back to the Blue Ring when you have to dodge some attacks. I actually did this when I first fought Onox in his second phase and the fight turned out too difficult for me at the time.

But this leads to constant interruptions of the gameplay, because you keep going into the menu. One of the major improvements that came with the Link's Awakening remake was that you didn't have to constantly open the menu to switch your items any longer, since most of the important items got their dedicated button. The Oracle games will profit from the same thing, but the Magic Rings were yet another reason to go into the menu more often than necessary if you wanted to make the most out of them.

A simple solution would be to follow the example of Hollow Knight and let you equip multiple Magic Rings at the same time, as many as there are slots in your Ring Box. This even makes sense, since Link has more than just one finger to put a ring on.

This idea may seem somewhat broken at first, especially when you could get the benefits of the Red, Blue, and Green Ring all at the same time, so you could increase both your attack power and defense simultaneously. But keep in mind that you had to play through most of both Oracle games in order to even obtain these rings. If they were to turn the Hero's Secret into a Hero Mode with the usual shenanigans, such as increased damage and no hearts, then having a new advantage will be good. Plus, you still will need to find those larger Ring Boxes in a New Game+, so you're not overpowered from the get-go.

Some rings might cancel each other out, though, where it will have to automatically remove the conflicting rings, with the most obvious example for this being the different transformation rings. So, there will be some limits to all of this, but it would still be much more interesting than in the original.

The main problem with the Magic Rings in Oracle of Ages & Seasons was that some rings were simply too good, first and foremost the aforementioned Red, Blue, and Green Ring, and with that there was little to no reason to try (m)any of the other rings. Some were useful, no doubt, but just not useful enough to remove the bigger advantages. But if you could equip multiple rings at the same time, then this would make some of those perks suddenly a lot more interesting, e.g. the Red Joy Ring, which lets you find more Rupees, or the Swimmer's Ring.

In addition, now it would even make sense that the game lets you keep inferior versions of certain rings, like the Heart Ring L-1 or the Rang Ring L-1. If you could use them together with their upgraded counterparts, their effects would stack. If you equip the Light Ring L-1 and L-2, for example, which let you still shoot sword beams after taking two and three hearts of damage respectively, then you will be able to shoot beams after a deficit of five hearts now.

Hollow Knight actually does something similar, where some Charms are stronger versions of others, though the system there works even better thanks to the Charm Notches, where more powerful Charms use up more notches. They also could do something similar with the rings, but it wouldn't make much sense, because it's not like one ring would be larger than the others and then waste more space in your Ring Box. And it's best to keep it simple, where the system shouldn't change too much.

One other effect of a few Charms in Hollow Knight is changing interactions with certain characters, similar to the masks in Majora's Mask. And that's even something you would expect from a variety of the Magic Rings, e.g. the Friendship Ring, or basically any ring that acts as a trophy. Imagine Impa being very confident about you in the beginning of a New Game+, because you are wearing the Victory Ring. This doesn't have to be anything major, but some altered dialogues here and there depending on your rings could be interesting.

Got Bayonetta 3: Trinity Masquerade Edition

main box

We interrupt the current Hollow Knight program to show off some more merchandise, specifically the recently released "Trinity Masquerade Edition" of Bayonetta 3, which came out two days ago. And it's one of my favorite Collector's Editions for the Nintendo Switch so far, even though it's not perfect.

cover boxes, steelbook

It came with the game and a clean cover, an artbook, as well as a box with alternative covers for all three Bayonetta games. There is even a blank Nintendo Switch card case attached, which you can use for one of the games. This seems a bit pointless, because why would you use this for just one of the games, but not the others?

The steelbook in the above photo was actually not part of the Trinity Masquerade Edition, but an extra that you could from various stores. Ideally, this would have been part of the edition to make things simpler. Like, Amazon Germany did not deliver the steelbook, despite them having it in the article name, which is a shame for everyone who pre-ordered it there.

alternate cover sheets

I suppose, the steelbook didn't really fit the overall idea of swapping covers. And I really this idea, but the execution is a bit sloppy. There is nothing on the inside, it's just white, and the games' titles will end up on the back of the box. Which is weird...

And then there's the fact that you need the other Bayonetta games on Nintendo Switch in the first place. The My Nintendo Store in Germany had the physical version of Bayonetta up for like five minutes, before it was sold out. They will do another round, but I doubt that it will last much longer, where it's just ridiculous that Nintendo refuses to meet the demand and makes their products artificially scarce like that.

I could import it, where other regions seem to have handled this a bit better, but this would still leave Bayonetta 2, which is hard to find today as well and comes with the first Bayonetta as a download, which I don't need, nor want. Well, it doesn't really matter if you are going to use the alternate covers, but I would prefer to have a normal version as well.

So, for now I will stick to my copies for the Wii U. I have played into all three games, but never got all too far. I love the over-the-top action and the staging, and Bayonetta is absolutely awesome as a character, but the gameplay is a bit "meh" for my taste. But let's see, I was having fun with the beginning of Bayonetta 3, so I will probably keep playing this for now.

The art of Bayonetta 3

Anyway, the Trinity Masquerade Edition also came with an artbook, which is always nice to have. It's softcover, but quite heavy and has some fantastic concept art in it. More of the usual, but I like collecting these, the same with the steelbooks.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Hollow Knight x Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. x Hollow Knight

It didn't take much of playing Hollow Knight to give me a new most wanted fighter for the next Super Smash Bros. title, whenever that game will become a reality. At least when it comes to the realms of 3rd parties, there is no other character that I would like to see join the roster more than the knight.

And I even put in quite some thoughts as to how he should play, where he will be in the same boat as Min Min and Steve / Alex, meaning that there is a lot of potential by keeping his gameplay mechanics close to the game he came from.

Since Hollow Knight also uses directional modifiers for some of its attacks, mainly the spells, you can easily translate the abilities of the knight to the usual Super Smash Bros. input. Here is a rough concept for his moveset:

  • Attack: Nail
  • Neutral Special: Vengeful Spirit / Shade Soul / Focus (Hold)
  • Side Special: Shade Cloak
  • Up Special: Crystal Heart
  • Down Special: Desolate Dive / Descending Dark
  • Forward Smash: Great Slash 
  • Up Smash: Howling Wraiths / Abyss Shriek
  • Down Smash: Cyclone Slash
  • Final Smash: The Void

There are two main gimmicks here. One is that you use the attack button exactly like in Hollow Knight. So, you swing your nail and you can do so in four directions. With the Down Aerial you can bounce off enemies and certain hazards, exactly like in Hollow Knight.

Striking opponents with your nail then fills up your SOUL gauge, which then can be used to perform the three different spells (as marked in italics). Or you can use it to heal yourself a bit by standing still and holding the Special button ("Focus"). So, this is the second unique gimmick.

The question is whether it should be totally faithful to Hollow Knight, in which case the knight couldn't use spells at all without SOUL, rendering three of his attacks inert. Alternatively, you could perform the weaker versions of the spells without SOUL and the upgraded versions when you have enough SOUL. This would probably be a good compromise.

As for mobility, you can reset your double jump and the ability to dash (with the Side Special) by striking a foe or hanging on to a wall, which will make the knight very powerful in off-stage play. Your main recovery will be the Crystal Dash, however, which is the one thing that works completely different from the source material. There you could only use it on the ground or on a wall, but it will propel you horizontally as far as possible. In Smash it probably should work more like Sephiroth's Up Special, meaning you can use it even in the air and you can control the flight angle. And of course it can only last for a certain range or else it would break the game.

There is one more gimmick and that's one of the knight's taunts: the Dream Nail. Striking any opponent with it will briefly show their thoughts. It's basically like Palutena's guidance or the Snake codecs, but a lot simpler, because it will just show a small text box with a line. Here are some examples:
  • Mario: "Here we go!"
  • Link: "....."
  • Min Min: "Ramen!"

Just some silly one-liners for entertainment.


Stage: Colosseum of Fools or Godhome

The world of Hallownest takes place within underground caves, where it's actually hard to find something that feels like a good fit for Smash. Well, there is one place that comes immediately into mind and that is the Coliseum of Fools. This combat arena could be modified to not have a solid ground any longer, basically like the Spring Stadium from ARMS, where thematically it would be the perfect choice and it's also a very memorable location from the game.

They could even include several mechanics here, where it spawns enemies from cages or it has Garpedes running all over the screen. They could even include a Zote cameo this way for the laughs.

However, it's not the only arena in the game, where in the world of dreams you are often in the open sky with nothing but an abyss below you, battling the most difficult bosses. Sounds like the perfect choice for Smash? Because it is!

the Godseeker throwning over a platform in the heavens with an audience underneath it

And this leads us quickly into Godhome, which is the ultimate challenge in the game, where all the bosses come together, and is essentially another coliseum, where you fight for the entertainment of the Godseeker. Maybe the Godseeker even sees all fighters in Smash as "gods". There could even be a nice little gimmick, where the Godseeker always follows the leading player with its eyes...

But it's arguably a little bit out there and part of the endgame, which a lot of players might not even have experienced themselves. Godhome would be the more epic choice, while the Coliseum of Fools is more grounded and closer to the base game.


Music

The soundtrack by Christopher Larkin is absolutely beautiful and with so many boss themes you can create a pumping playlist for the next Smash Bros. game. Here are some good choices that should be considered:

  • Hollow Knight (Remix)
  • False Knight
  • Decisive Battle
  • Greenpath
  • Hornet
  • Mantis Lord
  • City of Tears
  • Soul Sanctum / Soul Master
  • Dung Defender
  • Hive Knight
  • Broken Vessel
  • Nosk
  • Dream Battle
  • Truth, Beauty and Hatred
  • White Defender
  • White Palace
  • The Grimm Troupe / Nightmare King
  • Gods & Glory
  • Daughter of Hallownest
  • Sisters of Battle
  • Sealed Vessel
  • Radiance

This essentially wrote itself. And speaking of songs...


Silksong

By the time Hollow Knight will even get considered for the next Super Smash Bros. game, there is a chance that the sequel, Hollow Knight: Silksong, will already have been released (and I know that some Hollow Knight fans are probably laughing at this statement right now). In any case, the sequel will have some relevancy to all of this.

Since this is Sakurai we're talking about, I can easily see him turning Hornet into an Assist Trophy. It would even fit the original Hollow Knight very well, where she was both foe and ally. But of course I would prefer her to become a second playable character from the franchise in the future, maybe to get even a DLC Challenger Pack based on Silksong.

If the knight from Hollow Knight ever becomes playable in Smash, my next 3rd party most wanted will automatically become Hornet. That's how much potential I see there and how much I already love this franchise from my little time with it.