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