Lots of words about Hyrule Warriors Legends

I’ve been playing a lot of Hyrule Warriors Legends since it came out. While it is generally a fairly mindless sort of game, the original version is one of my most played Wii U titles, and the new 3DS remake is climbing the ranks very quickly. Legends contains everything available original, including all the DLC, and it also adds so much new content that you could almost convince someone (who isn’t overly cynical) that it’s a sequel.

In the base game alone, there are five new characters, two new stages, nine new story missions, two new bosses, a new item, a new weapon for Ganondorf, a new adventure map (with roughly 100 missions), the “My Fairy” feature, and God only knows how many new costumes. And that’s all before the new season of DLC that adds a buttload more of everything. It’s an awful lot of stuff crammed into a tiny little game card!

While all of that stuff is great, there are a few bits that stand out from the rest, at least to me. The first is fairly minor, though important to me personally: the new weapon for Ganondorf. When he was first revealed to be a playable character, I went nuts. Not only did Ganondorf get an absolutely awesome makeover for Hyrule Warriors, but he also ended up being one of my favourite guys to play. The only thing that nagged at me was that his weapon was… huge twin swords? That’s… not very Ganondorf-esque. They would be a little more fitting for Demise (who ‘Dorf seems to be modelled after here).

All the while, I wondered “Where is Ganon’s trident?”  It seems to be another one of those relics lost to time at this point, but for a long time it was Ganon/dorf’s consistent weapon. When Amiibo appeared on the scene and unlocked the Spinner weapon, I very loudly hoped that the Ganondorf amiibo would unlock Ganon’s trident. That did not happen.

However, Hyrule Warriors Legends contains exactly one new weapon for an existing character, and that weapon is indeed a trident for Ganondorf. I don’t know how it happened. Maybe Tecmo Koei heard my pleas from afar, maybe they just discovered a notable piece of Zelda heritage that they missed the first time around. But it happened. Also, there’s a new Toon Ganondorf costume, which pairs nicely with his dual swords. They’re still a little too chunky to be right on the money, but at least they fit a little bit better now.

Perhaps a more shocking omission from the original Hyrule Warriors was Skull Kid as a playable character. Originally, it wasn’t a big issue, because the game focused most of its contents on four specific Zelda games, and Majora’s Mask was not one of those. However, one of the DLC packs was Majora’s Mask-themed, and it came with two new playable characters. Those characters were Tingle and… Young Link. Now Tingle I understand, and Young Link is actually fairly fun to play, but how could they make the error of putting another Link in the game instead of Skull Kid? It seems like such an obvious choice.

Fortunately, along came Hyrule Warriors Legends, and with it, a playable Skull Kid. You have to work to unlock him, but it’s totally worth it. Skull Kid is a blast to play, making use of bombs, lasers, puppets, and that creepy moon as attacks. Word on the street is that he was included because the development team were big fans, rather than because fans griped about the missed opportunity in the original game. I think it’s probably a little bit of both, but you can be sure that they’ll never admit that they dropped the ball the first time around.

The “biggest” addition for Legends is the massive amount of new content based on The Wind Waker. Only the titular baton made it in as a weapon for Zelda in the original game, but they have created all sorts of Wind Waker elements. There are two new stages based on mashed-up locations from the game, and a whole new adventure map that’s made to look like a remixed version of the Great Sea. Possibly the bet part of these additions are the new remixed tuned that come with them. The 8-bit Great Sea remix in particular is wonderful. Helmaroc King and Phantom Ganon also appear as two new bosses who mare their entrances in the new epilogue stages of the main game.

Three characters from Wind Waker are now included, and one of them, of course, is Toon Link. I want to complain about there being yet another Link to play as, but truth be told, he’s one of the most fun Links yet, second only to vanilla Sword Link. Tetra comes equipped with a sword and a magic gun, and I haven’t quite nailed down her playstyle yet, but how can you not like Tetra? (Aside from her technically being the fifth playable Zelda variant.) The last new Wind Waker character is King Daphnes, perhaps better known as The King of Red Lions. I was absolutely stoked about how silly the idea of playing as a boat would be, but he retains his human form most of the time. His weapon is a sail however, and some of his attacks do have him turn into Boat Form briefly. Sadly, he’s not terribly fun to play.

Medli is also going to be included sometime in the near future as a free DLC character. It’s sort of interesting that she will be the second playable character that uses a harp as a weapon. Even more interesting is that both Medli and Sheik’s harps are actually lyres. I know it’s not a well-known instrument, but come on, guys! Know your instruments!

Of course, I’ve saved the best addition for last: Linkle.

A scrapped idea for the original game, Linkle lived on as a piece of concept art in the Hyrule Warriors art book. At that point, I believe that she was simply a gender-swapped version of Link, but between then and now, Linkle has become a much more fleshed-out and lovable character than Link is. She’s your typical anime heroine, all spunky and somewhat airheaded, but she is an absolute blast to play as. She wields dual crossbows and is very prone to stocking them with bomb arrows for her special moves. Not to mention that she’s very speedy and has a tendency to sing out the “got a treasure” jingle in between attacks.

She’s a little bit doofy, but I really do like Linkle as both a warrior and a character. It’s probably her destiny to be resigned to Hyrule Warriors forever, but I think that Nintendo would do well to keep her as a recurring character in the main Zelda series. Even as an NPC or a sort of partner character. the Wii U Zelda game is rumoured to have a gender toggle for Link, but I don’t think that would simply turn him into Linkle if it’s set to “female.” She’s got a lot more personality than Link typically does, and they would have to write her a unique scenario to do her justice. Either way, a huge part of the fanbase has been clamouring for a playable female hero in Zelda for a long time, so there’s no better time than now to promote her from a supporting role in a spin-off to full-fledged hero.

I suppose that there is still more new content in Hyrule Warriors Legends, but I’ve gotten the big stuff out of the way. It’s nice that the new characters can be transferred over to the Wii U version (or purchased independently), but they’re really only the biggest slice of the New Content pie. I think that Legends has definitely been worth that gift card that I had forgotten about and then stumbled upon randomly. Would I still have bought it if I didn’t have a gift card? Probably, but I surely wouldn’t be as jazzed about it. As much new stuff as there is, it’s still a game that I already paid $75 (and God knows how much more on DLC) for and put a good hundred hours into.

Leave a Reply