Nintendo and Koei Tecmo launch the second part of the spin-off Hyrule Warriors, for Nintendo Switch and with the hook of telling everything we did not know about the great war 100 years before Breath of the Wild.
One of Nintendo’s big bets for this Christmas 2020 is centered on a spin-off of one of the most important sagas of its cast: Hyrule Warriors. Announced a few months ago as the great opportunity to experience what we never saw, but did know of its existence, The Age of Cataclysm arrives to narrate all the events that happened 100 years before Breath of the Wild and that led to the long lethargy Link (and his amnesia) to awakening, adventure and fight against the evil Ganon. Nintendo and Koei Tecmo go hand in hand again. More Zelda or more Musou? Without a doubt, the second. But with elements of interest regarding the first.
Hyrule Warriors was born six years ago from the collaboration between the Kyoto company and the kings of mass fighting, the fathers of the Dynasty Warriors saga. The game originally launched on the Wii U, then had a version on the Nintendo 3DS, and finally came out as the Definitive Edition on the Switch not too long ago. Controlling Link, Impa, Sheik, Ruto, Darunia, Midna, Tetra or Toon Link, the title was an amalgamation of characters, final enemies and locations inspired by several of the titles in the saga. from Zant from Twilight Princess to Girahim from Skyward Sword, we were invited to review great battles against hundreds of enemies while maintaining some of the mechanics of the saga. If an enemy was vulnerable to bombs, like Dodongo, here too. If it was to arrows, like Gohma, the same.
Hyrule Warriors did not stop being a musou, a game in which we have a delimited area where hundreds of enemies appear, sub-bosses and bosses and we have to crush them all while we fulfill small objectives of recovering bastions, ending specific rivals and other tasks . But within being a musou, it adapted somewhat to the mechanics seen in The Legend of Zelda saga. With the Age of Cataclysm it is a bit the same. He is still a musou and that is noticeable in the development and in the type of missions, as well as the fact of ending each chapter with 400, 500 or more than two thousand dead enemies. But with certain characteristics of Breath of the Wild.
The Great War, with another development
One of the great attractions of this new installment of Hyrule Warriors is the location and what counts. The game is set in the events of 100 years before Breath of the Wild, when the forces of evil begin to emerge and eat ground in Hyrule, Ganon awakens and his power ends up corrupting everything. It is the story that we learn through memories in Breath of the Wild, with Link recalling his adventures with the Chosen: Daruk, Revali, Mipha and Urbosa. And, of course, the fateful outcome that leaves Zelda fighting to infinity with Ganon until his awakening. If we consider that the Ballad of the Chosen, the DLC of the Nintendo game, did not go too deep either, the opportunity is golden.
But it is also true that Nintendo’s way of presenting it has not been as precise as expected. At first, it sounded like we would have canon history in our hands and a way to find out what happened by heart. Also with its outcome. But the reality is that this is Hyrule Warriors and not The Legend of Zelda, and the nuance is very important. Already in the first chapter, which can be played via a free demo in the eShop, a disruptive element is made clear at the narrative level: the little guardian. A contraption that, faced with the defeat of the Hyrule troops at the hands of Ganon, opens a temporary portal and travels through time. We are on a new timeline.
We have already covered this in previous articles, but Hyrule Warriors uses a narrative technique that we have seen in other games. Ocarina of Time has three timelines: that of Link boy, where the game begins; that of Link adult, where Ganon is defeated; and the Game Over, which presupposes that Ganon ends up winning. Time travel generates new lines, and this is what happens here. The little guardian causes a new timeline in which he returns to the past because he wants to change what he knows.