HYRULE WAR­RIORS

De­vel­oper Omega Force, Team Ninja, Nin­tendo SPD For­mat Wii U Re­lease Out now (JP), Septem­ber 19 (EU), 26 (NA)

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“WE SIM­PLY LOOKED AT THE MEM­O­RABLE CHAR­AC­TERS FROM THE SE­RIES AND FOUND THAT MANY WERE FE­MALE”

Koei Tecmo and Omega Force have ap­plied fa­mous names to the Mu­sou se­ries be­fore – Dy­nasty War­riors Gun­dam Re­born launched for Euro­pean PS3s in July – but Hyrule War­riors is a de­par­ture for Nin­tendo. It’s pure fan ser­vice, let­ting play­ers take not just Link, but char­ac­ters drawn from across Zelda’s 28-year his­tory, into the Mu­sou se­ries’ pitched bat­tles.

Many of the fighters you’ve re­vealed so far have been fe­male – an ap­proach that many would like to see more of from the in­dus­try. How im­por­tant is it to you to have a good gen­der bal­ance in the games you make? Yo­suke Hayashi We weren’t specif­i­cally con­sid­er­ing gen­der when se­lect­ing the char­ac­ters. We sim­ply looked at the most mem­o­rable char­ac­ters from the Zelda se­ries and found that many of them were fe­male. Maybe the main char­ac­ter, Link, be­ing male helps make the women he meets in the se­ries stand out more.

Some char­ac­ters from the Zelda se­ries seem bet­ter suited to a War­riors game than oth­ers. Link, with his Mas­ter Sword, is a nat­u­ral fit, but para­sol-tot­ing bug col­lec­tor Agitha per­haps less so. Who has been the hard­est char­ac­ter to de­sign in that sense? YH Ac­tu­ally, it was Link with his sword. For other weapons and char­ac­ters that users have never played with in the past ti­tles, we sim­ply had to cast [our] ideas into shape. On the other hand, how­ever, peo­ple will in­evitably com­pare Link to their ex­pe­ri­ences with him in the main Zelda se­ries. For this rea­son, he was the char­ac­ter that we spent the most time with, and that needed the most re­vi­sions.

There’s a com­i­cal el­e­ment to the game – the size of the bombs, for ex­am­ple, and how many of them Link throws at once. How im­por­tant is it to con­vey to the player that Hyrule War­riors has a less se­ri­ous tone than they might ex­pect from a Zelda game, and how else do you plan to con­vey that? YH There are always hu­mor­ous el­e­ments in­cluded in ev­ery Zelda ti­tle. Al­though there are lots of se­ri­ous scenes too, all of the games have a light­hearted at­mos­phere on some level. Of course, we think such el­e­ments are im­por­tant for Hyrule War­riors and that fans would ex­pect them, which is why we in­cluded Cuc­cos in the game. Eiji Aonuma The bombs in Hyrule War­riors were not par­tic­u­larly cre­ated to be com­i­cal. They were made like this be­cause there can be so many char­ac­ters fill­ing the screen at once that we wanted to re­ally give the bomb a big­ger pres­ence. I think play­ers who know the se­ries very well will ap­pre­ci­ate why we did this. This mix­ture of se­ri­ous and com­i­cal el­e­ments is some­thing that you’ll see across the whole Zelda se­ries.

The War­riors se­ries is per­haps the most pro­lific in all videogames. How are you able to make games so quickly, so ef­fi­ciently, with­out com­pro­mis­ing on qual­ity? YH I think it’s be­cause of the game en­gine. Many peo­ple prob­a­bly don’t know about it, since it’s not pro­vided to other com­pa­nies like Un­real En­gine, but we ac­tu­ally have our own en­gine at Koei Tecmo. With our highly ex­pe­ri­enced de­vel­op­ers in ad­di­tion to that, we are able to de­velop lots of great ti­tles.

Hyrule War­riors is no mere but­ton-basher, with craft­ing, lev­el­ling and char­ac­ter-spe­cific skill trees

EIJI AONUMA ZELDA FRAN­CHISE SU­PER­VI­SOR, NIN­TENDO

YO­SUKE HAYASHI DEVEL­OP­MENT PRO­DUCER, KOEI TECMO

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