Hyrule Warriors Is Part Of Aonuma’s Plan To Break Away From Zelda Traditions

By Sato . May 22, 2014 . 5:32pm

In an interview with the game’s developers, this week’s Famitsu discussed how Hyrule Warriors came to be. In the same interview, The Legend of Zelda series producer and Tecmo Koei producers Hisashi Koinuma and Yosuke Hayashi also talked about working together, from teams to ideas, for the upcoming game.


During the interview Hayashi explains that the staff of Team Ninja, known for their work on the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden games, are working on Hyrule Warriors, but that certain members have been specially selected to be part of the development team.


According to Koinuma, both the game and the development team constitute a collaboration of sorts. For example, the main programmer on Hyrule Warriors is a staff member from Team Ninja, while the main planner served the same role in Omega Force’s development of One Piece: Pirate Warriors. Meanwhile, the director has a background in the Dynasty Warriors series.


When Famitsu asks if this makes it the first time that Team Ninja and Omega Force have worked together on the development of a game, Hayashi explains that it is, and it’s something they’ve wanted to do for a while, but never had the chance to.


“When it comes to getting a good feeling out of beating down enemies, Omega Force, who develop the Dynasty Warriors games, would surely have an edge in that department,” says Koinuma. “However, as far as one-to-one combat goes, I felt that that Team Ninja, who worked on the Dead or Alive series, could also come up with something good. So, we just decided ‘let’s just mix them together!’”


Famitsu asks if Tecmo Koei had any trouble working with an IP such as The Legend of Zelda, in terms of what they could and couldn’t do.


“When we first began working on the plans [for the game], there were many things that we couldn’t decide on from within our company alone, so we often went to Nintendo and also consulted with Aonuma for the more detailed parts,” explains Hayashi. “As this process went on, we were able to see a fine line between what we could and couldn’t do with Hyrule Warriors.”


“It got to the point where we and Aonuma reached a common understanding of what we could do with Hyrule Warriors, and from there, development really really sped up.”


Aonuma also mentions that this ties in with his earlier words, when he expressed his desire to change the mindset of having The Legend of Zelda stick to its traditional roots. For this reason, he felt that Hyrule Warriors would make things interesting.


The Legend of Zelda has a history of 27 years, and the way it is played has already been well-established,” says Hayashi. “So at first, we went in the direction of wanting to make something that could follow the way The Legend of Zelda is played.”


“However, that is something you could experience by playing any game of The Legend of Zelda series, and even if we could imitate the surface of it, it’s not something we could actually make. In the end, we realized that it would be best to make a Warriors title that has elements from The Legend of Zelda series.”


Aonuma adds, “There wouldn’t be a reason for making it a Warriors [game] otherwise, right? I wanted Tecmo Koei to make a Zelda game that I can’t make. And for this reason, I asked them to ‘give it more of a Warriors approach’.”


Hyrule Warriors will be released on August 14, 2014 for Wii U in Japan and later on in the West. Note that this game isn’t the next mainline title in the Legend of Zelda series, so Aonuma’s comment about breaking away from Zelda tradition isn’t limited to this game.

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  • logginsmessina

    i wonder if they will add something like Ambition mode from DW8, to extend the replay value.

    • Sperium3000

      The most common theory is that it’s going to have a main story mode where you play only as Link and a free mode in the vein of Ambition where you can play as any other character.

  • eincvajdraj

    its really sad to see that a game like Sengoku Basara gets overlooked by Dynasty Warriors, when you get called a Dynasty Warriors ripoff you know you hit rock bottom.

    • MrJechgo

      Sengoku Basara is more of a Samurai Warrior rip-off… and its first localized game, Devil Kings, didn’t help the series either…

      • eincvajdraj

        IMO Sengoku Basara series has way more personality and more fleshed out characters than the whole Musou universe together..

        • MrJechgo

          Honestly, the only Basara character I love is Masamune Date. To have seen the series and played SB3, he’s got quite the development and personality. Then again, having him voiced by the same guy who voices Dante from DMC and Ken from SFIV did help a lot :P

          The other characters are pretty hit or miss. Sure, Yukimura Sanada is pretty funny, but after jumping back and forth between his version and SW’s version, SW’s version comes across as better and less annoying.

        • Ni ~Algidus~

          Aside from Dokuganryuu. The characters personalities and interactions between them in the Warriors series are far better than Basara. Specially the Nobunaga Crew

        • Haganeren

          And even with that, since Dynasty Warrior come before, it’s still “Dynasty Warrior rip-off”…
          It’s not a matter of quality but of coming sooner.

      • logginsmessina

        well, dynasty warriors 2 was the first who introduced that style of gameplay, samurai warriors came later.

        • MrJechgo

          But Basara came out after SW though…

      • mujokujeafataotkiva

        Capcom had another shot at it with Sengoku Basara 3(Samurai Heroes) which came out after DW6, and DW6 sucked hard, that was their chance and they blew it due to the complete lack of advertising.

        • MrJechgo

          Lack of advertising? Not too sure about that, because they managed to release the game at the same time the anime came out both in Japanese and English.

          However, how do you market a series when the first entry sucked hard due to shoddy localization choice and when the 2nd game didn’t even make it stateside BECAUSE of the first entry?

          • DaiRaiOh

            Honestly, the first one wasn’t bad because of localization issues. In localization, they actually improved it from a gameplay standpoint. It just wasn’t a great game in general which is why the series didn’t take off much at all until the second game came out and fixed the glaring issues of the first.

    • Twilleppac

      I love Sengoku Basara and Dynasty Warriors and I’m super excited for this. I do wish Capcom would have brought over SB4 tho, I was really looking forward to it. :(

      • MrJechgo

        On Capcom-Unity, they said that there’s no plan for an english release of SB4… probably because SB3 didn’t do so well in the US.

    • Abend

      Clearly people where not putting their guns on

    • 60hz

      the latest incarnation looks amazing – i need to get my hands on it!

  • Aisha Lee

    After reading this article, I wonder if this game well be canon in the series.

    • Daniel Jeanbaptiste

      it will be like Chain of Memories to KHI-III

      • Aisha Lee

        yeah i can see that. The whole war kind of past my mind.

      • grayson gee

        And that was?

        • Aisha Lee

          that it could potentially connect one zelda game to another. especially seeing that this could be set in one of the triforce wars.

    • Chaos_Knight

      Maybe it will. Everything sounds too good for the game to be non-canon.

    • I imagine since they stated it was a spin-off in the first place, it’s rather unlikely.

    • Brandonmkii

      I treat every Zelda game like it’s in its own timeline/universe unless otherwise directly stated. Basically, I think the series timeline is bunk and every game is non-canon with every other game. So even if it’s canon somehow, it’ll probably be in its own little universe.

  • kyrt

    Now if nintendo actually would release this game on multiple platforms like PC or the other systems I bet this would sell a lot better in the west. It will probably sell great in the East but anywhere else I’d be cautious.

    • idrawrobots

      Why would they do that?

    • mujokujeafataotkiva

      Wii U is in desperate need of games, exclusive games like this sell the system.

      • idrawrobots

        Listen to your friend Orochimaru, he’s a cool dude.

      • kyrt

        The Wii U is on par with the virtual boy in how bad it is as an actual console for actual gamers. Nintendo should just give up exclusives and go for profit making by allowing their IPs to be used on other systems. The Wii U needs games because the console is so poorly designed and completely unnecessary next to the Wii and no one is willing to buy one because they know it. Exclusive games like this one do not sell systems because the only people buying this game already have the system.

        • grayson gee

          Last time I checked the Wii U wasn’t discontinued in its first year and had horrible games. The Wii U isn’t even close to the kind of failure the Virtual Boy was. Sure it’s not selling like hot cakes its predecessor the Wii did. It’s more like a GameCube situation where due to low 3rd party support, Nintendo is trying to release a ton of exclusive games.

          • kyrt

            That is true comparing it to the virtual boy was probably a disservice to it. The reason though it has so few low 3rd party support is because developers have said they find working with the Wii U difficult which could also be interpreted to mean one of two things. 1. The console is not worth the effort. or 2. The console is ahead of its time and the 3rd party developers do not wish to bother with trying to be innovative but rather profitable.

          • NintendoPSXTheSecond

            Yet many indie developers have said it’s super easy working with the Wii U and Nintendo? Come on man.

          • MrJechgo

            1) Nintendo isn’t becoming a 3rd party for someone else anytime soon.

            2) The Wii U is struggling because 3rd parties are too stupid to MAKE great games on the system. All they care is money and graphics. They just don’t put efforts into them. They could make stellar games on the Wii U, just like they did for the DS… put these days, they only think about survival as games become more and more expensive without guarantee of ROI.

            3) The Virtual Boy fails because of EVERYTHING, from the design, to the red, to the premise and to the physical problems. The Wii U is more powerful than the PS3 and X360, has a gamepad for extra gameplay element, similar to a DSS and a 3DS, doesn’t promise more than having 2 screens, like a DS and 3DS and finally, doesn’t cause you to gouge your eyes out.

        • mujokujeafataotkiva

          if you wanna play this game, you must buy a wii u, its simple as that, Nintendo will never give their characters to another console.

          • kyrt

            I am well aware that nintendo will never give their characters to another console just like we’ll never see it happen with exclusive characters from microsoft or sony. However if all of them wanted to be more successful they would realize that the ability for more people to get attached to their characters would lead to larger profits…in theory…most likely it would just end up hurting them but is there any example of a company that actually has tried giving one of their IP characters to another console? I can’t think of one myself but we don’t know what would be more effective if no one has tried.

          • Nanashrew

            Sega released some games on PC back in the day to drive software sales and get more people interested in their brand and that didn’t work out for them.

            I still have my Sonic CD OEM disc that came free with my grandma’s IBM computer.

          • kyrt

            I have to ask but was the reason their software sales didn’t do well on PC because they didn’t know how to program for PC. I’m not sure that’s a good example of a console developer trying that strategy because wasn’t that game bugged and also had really poor marketing during a time that PC was just beginning to become popular to the average citizen and most average people were still skeptical of it or didn’t have a PC (at least not for gaming purposes yet?)

          • Nanashrew

            It was programmed really well from what I remember. But yes, you are correct that PC gaming was just really only just beginning at this point. these days, now that they’re 3rd party, Sega now mostly supports PC more than consoles with their backlog.

            A lot of speculation and what-ifs but I can imagine if Sega was still a hardware developer that they would possibly make a VC too for their console to get people into their hardware.

            I do still genuinely miss Sega as a hardware developer because we got a lot of unique games from them during those times. More so than we do now.

        • Haganeren

          No, the Wii U falls don’t have anything in common with Virtual Boy. The console is actually very well designed and not even hard to make games for it.

          But it’s poorly marketed, that’s for sure.

          Moreover, going suddenly on PC or other console with all the competition (especially on Steam which is literally flooded by games every day) and the fact they wouldn’t know the architecture would be a good blow to the quality of their games. You know, Nintendo is the most close you can get of old arcade game constructor which know their architecture by hearts and make beautiful game for it as a result.

          Also, their console are generally profitable, it’s not because THAT Generation (which isn’t even finished) is not that they need to just drop the ball. Never watched a shonen ? Never give up !
          (Ah ah, ok, that was silly)

    • PreyMantis

      And kill their system and potential hardware sales even more in the process? That’s beyond stupid.

    • Haha no. Nintendo has their own platforms, and they will release games exclusively for those platforms or there is no point in having them.

      Their platforms have been generally profitable, and they have no reason to kill it off because some people can’t be bothered. I feel for those who simply can’t, but those sorts would likely not be able to buy many big games anyway.

    • CozyAndWarm

      …are you serious?

      • Namuro

        Some men just want to watch the Wii U burn…

    • TempestTwin

      Because not everyone likes to PC game? PC gaming has always been for people who complain and can’t afford the actual console. If you are like me, who has a great high end gaming PC and can afford all the consoles then you wouldn’t complain.

  • Nanashrew

    So basically Dynasty Warriors with Ninja Gaiden combat. I am down for that! Day 1!

    • MrJechgo

      *sees Ryu Hayabusa, Rachel and Momiji in Warriors Orochi 3*
      Close enough ^_^

      • Sam Malik

        You forgot Ayane.

        • MrJechgo

          Who debuted in DoA, not NG

    • David García Abril

      If they manage to do that, I swear I won’t bitch about the game anymore. :)

  • SinisterKid

    Hopefully the graphics will be improved before release. After seeing Mario Kart, they should be able to do something more worthy of Zelda than what’s shown here.

    • kyubey777

      I’m more looking foward for the gameplay

    • Haganeren

      I don’t think the graphics will be better.
      Musou are notorious to be not that good graphically because they are a lot of enemies in the same time, lot of object, lot of Fxs and a really big map… It’s one of the reason they don’t sell in Western market, we rarely want to develop concept of game which would sacrifice graphics over gameplay. We prefer concept which will have both (Unless it’s PC i suppose… Because it’s powerful) because it sells way better.

      So yeah, Musou can’t do miracle with his type of gameplay on the graphics side… (And Koei don’t have that many employees to begin with)

  • Eric Harris

    break away from traditions. Lets make this just like another game that has been around for 10 years!

    • Nanashrew

      To be fair, Tecmo and Koei, despite being merged companies, the teams behind them rarely interact with each other. So Team Ninja helping with Omega-Force is breaking tradition :P.

      That is at least some new element to the Musou genre.

    • Sebastian lucero

      aonuma talks about breaking with zelda traditions and clearly this is different to a conventional zelda game, did you even read?

  • Slickyslacker

    This isn’t going to centrifugally shift traditional Zelda gameplay. TLoZ hasn’t and isn’t undergoing the same cycle of change that, say, FF has.

    Aonuma said it best himself. “I wanted Tecmo Koei to make a Zelda game that I can’t make.”

    Hyrule Warriors doesn’t equate to core Zelda games becoming full fledged beat em up’s or hack and slash’es. If anything, it’s an indicator of more spinoffs to be born, and traditional Zelda gameplay to be honed.

    • Nanashrew

      I can imagine there will be some slight influences. The final Ghirahim battle had a lot a horde of moblins you had to hack ‘n slash your way through (and one of my favorite moments too).

      Aonuma seems to be carefully considering what can and can’t be done or used for the next Zelda game. A Link Between Worlds was a great way of returning to the roots while trying something different with how weapons are gotten and used, and Wind Waker, fixing some of the legitimate problems it had with travel and the Triforce hunt.

      Changing too much you alienate the fans and changing too little many will cry for more change.

      • Slickyslacker

        Ahaha, I was thinking of the Ghirahim fights while typing that post.

        That’s just it, though. If anything, the combat of the series should become more intricate, which is clearly what they’re trying for with each entry. There’s never a dearth of puzzles or problem solving challenges, even if conflation of these elements may be occasionally lacking.

        I’m anticipating Hyrule Warriors. It’s one of the many games I’m surely getting during the second half of this year, and I dearly want to support the Wii U.

        • Nanashrew

          I agree. I hope to see lots of good puzzles, side quests and mini dungeons to explore in 3D zelda like we got in ALBW.

  • ElAbuelo69

    Aside from Nintendo loyalists…truth is we all want a more epic Zelda. More along the lines of TP in style, and OoT in story epicness (the growing up theme was a hit to all of us when growing up). But we have grown, a more adult themed Zelda would be superb, and no, it doesn’t have to be rated M or Ao. I’m not sure if we are majority, but I can guarantee we’re a big chunk of the Zelda fanbase.

    Of course, a lot of fans are kids and all I get it I get it…

    • epy

      Sigh… It’s because of thoughts like these that we have Man of Steel. Twilight Princess was mature enough (moreso than most “adult” games) and I don’t really think any Zelda title so far has been made for kids as the main audience.

      • ElAbuelo69

        Re-read my comment. I actually cited TP as the basis for style. Going farther away would break the Zelda image. I mean, just look at how everyone’s jaw dropped with the technical Wii U demo. Why? The style.

        As for adult themes…you don’t have to go too far, or be edgy like Man of Steel, or too gritty like The Last of Us. But how about breaking a convention and stop the very black & white representation the Zelda series has of good and evil? That’s just a small example.

        • Nanashrew

          Getting Yoshiaki Koizumi would be a wonderful start IMO. He is one of my favorite developers at Nintendo with his great story telling, character interactions and game design.

          He’s the reason you cried with Anju and Kafei, got teary-eyed during Rosalina’s story, felt emotional
          at Link’s Awakening but every reason you loved the gameplay, mechanics and worlds of each one.

          • ElAbuelo69

            You get me. The Anju and Kafei story is a great example!

            Thanks for the information btw, I was unaware of the man behind the scenes :)

          • Pyrotek85

            I’d love to see more from the guy who wrote the story for Link’s Awakening, still one of my favorites.

        • David García Abril

          “Twilight Princess” wasn’t particularly mature. It only had a realistic art style, but it didn’t feature any plot lines that were more grown up than the average Zelda game.

          Actually, “The Wind Waker” was much more mature in that regard, and THE most mature Zelda game is “Majora’s Mask”, by a landslide.

          “Twilight Princess” gave in to teenage boys and immature young adults who demanded what they THOUGHT is mature, but isn’t.

      • Shippoyasha

        Man of Steel was a long time coming though. Superman had a lot of really dark plotlines for 20 or so years and it was due. Not to mention they want to build Justice League movies now. Zelda games don’t need much other than maybe a little more story exposition (like maybe Majora’s Mask which had a lot more interplay with NPCs than usual).

        That being said, Zelda is likely going to still have moments of childlike wonder as that was the whole basis of the franchise.

        • epy

          I wish that were the case. But Man of Steel was likely born in a meeting that probably went:

          Suit 1: Those guys at Marvel are making truckloads of money. So, Justice League time?
          Suit 2: We better start with Superman then. How should we make it?
          Suit 3: Well, people really liked that dark and gritty Batman, right? So let’s do that.
          Suit 1: Call Nolan and also get me a director that’s good with dark and gritty stuff.

          I wasn’t fair to Grandpa up there (I’m sorry about that) because I confused his comment with the schlock written by 17 year olds that think they’re adults now about every Nintendo franchise ever:

          “I want a MATURE Star Fox/Metroid/Pokemon/whatever. It should have death and blood and sex and adult storylines!”


    • idrawrobots

      Twilight and Ocarina are in some ways my favorites and in other ways my least. They are both too big for their own good and feel empty, and have nothing compelling going on with story.

    • E.T.993

      That’s a good idea, but there’s something missing. I can’t remember it…OH!Yeah, right. FUN! You know, the word that you didn’t mention. Although I wish for a Spiritual Successor to Majora’s Mask(darkest Zelda game in the series, IMO), I still want the game to be FUN. I know Zelda fans are a picky bunch, but don’t they want the actual game to be FUN? In all honesty, how about making the main storyline straightfoward and making the sidequests dark and gritty?

      • Mugiwara

        What is “fun”? Never heard about it. Maybe I should look on the dictionary. :P

  • pokeroi

    A spin-off is welcome for an old franchise. It makes people look the franchise under a different angle, spark more imagination, and keep the franchise existence longer. Now, we need a SRPG Zelda….

    • Sam Malik

      Or Link in Fire Emblem.

      • GH56734

        Link was almost included in Golden Sun as a cameo.

      • pokeroi

        or link as champion in pokemon…

  • Joseph Santee

    I just hope the game retains the exploration elements that are key to the Zelda franchise (at least in Story Mode, if there IS a separate story mode). If that happens, I will be VERY PLEASED.

    • Busted

      :( Oh man… you’re expecting exploration on a DW game?

      • Joseph Santee

        Yes, I feel that’s a reasonable expectation. Yes, I know, it’s a DW game, but come on. Give Omega Force and Team Ninja some credit.

        • pimpalicious

          It wouldn’t be a Musou/Warriors game if they slowed down the action with stuff like exploration and puzzles. I’m pretty sure you won’t get that here.

        • Slayven19

          I don’t want them to deal with exploration ever again after one piece warriors.

  • Roger

    What about adding companions like Ys-series and more dialogues/story (SS had some, but still not quite there)?
    Not sure if one Musou-entry will change anything.

    A Link Between Worlds was awesome, though.

  • Prototype_

    I recently picked up Pirate Warriors 2 (First Warriors game in a few years) I forgot how much fun they could be. I wasn’t too excited about this game at first but now I really really hope we don’t have to wait to long for a western release.

  • Aaron K Stone

    This could either be really good or really bad.

  • SirRichard

    This says to me that Aonuma might be pretty open to other Zelda spinoffs, in order to change up the formula a bit. Good to see that he’s being pretty open in how he wants to shake things up, even if this is just a one-off. Though, knowing Tecmo Koei, it never is!

  • Kornelious

    I felt that Link was pretty badass in Skyward Sword. So I can’t wait to see him in this! :D

  • fairysun

    Aonuma adds, “There wouldn’t be a reason for making it a Warriors [game] otherwise, right? I wanted Tecmo Koei to make a Zelda game that I can’t make. And for this reason, I asked them to ‘give it more of a Warriors approach’.”

    Sometimes you have to let others to create a spin off game. Make sure you still make the main series. Don’t pull Capcom where they give the reboot of main series to outside party.

  • harmonyworld

    Too bad it’s for WiiU or else I’d get it

    • ShawnOtakuSomething

      you wanted it for the Gamecube? what else do you think?

      • harmonyworld

        My gamecube is broken, why would I wan it for that?
        For PS3 obviously!

        • Sam Malik

          Get a Wii U.

          • harmonyworld


          • Sam Malik

            You will if you want to play this since this revolves around Nintendo’s IP.

          • Leonard Norwood Jr.

            harmonyworld, Legend of Zelda will always be Nintendo’s no matter what, so you’re stuck knowing that to get the game you have to buy a Wii U with it. And you know that it is impossible, very impossible for Hyrule Warriors to be Sony’s or Microsofts console, because it never works that way. You have your reasons, but if you want this game…you’re gonna have to at least consider it.

          • harmonyworld

            Exactly why I said too bad~ :3
            oh well, they could make more money if they branched out, but what’eves~

          • Leonard Norwood Jr.

            When I think about the possibility of Hyrule Warriors being on a PC at least, it is there, but the question is, will it be profitable enough for Nintendo to consider for some of their games from this point on? I say this because Sega did this years before, and it didn’t work out for them so they didn’t make anymore Sega games for the PC. The PC is awesome especially given how powerful it continues to be, making it work is one heck of top priorities, because if the the Nintendo games on PCs don’t sell, it will be hard for them to re-consider it again because it wasn’t profitable to them the first time and trying it again could cost them more. Branching out is an idea to at least try, but they have to make everything work to ensure that it is an idea that can sell.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    I don’t care what anyone says, this game is going to be epic!!…..

  • They want Hyrule Warriors to be a more Warriors/Musou game? So that means instead of a Hyrule Field to run around, we get menu’s to scroll through. And instead of dungeons to explore and puzzles to solve, we get maps and 1000’s of enemies to kill. Definitely a different Zelda experience, but still a fun experience.

  • So according to Nintendo. Shia’s official NA name is “Cia.”

    • Sam Malik

      It could still be pronounced Shia. DW had this pronounciation issue of names for some time.

      • I’m sure the pronunciation is the same or similar. I was merely pointing out the spelling.

  • Heath Bunch

    So…like a three way collab between Omega (thats what that symbol is, right?), Team Ninja, and Nintendo. This game just gets curiouser and curiouser!

  • Sperium3000

    Frankly I’m surprised that Nintendo would let anyone marginally related to Team Ninja anywhere near one of their properties after the fiasco that was Other M.

    • Sam Malik

      Because that was NINTENDO’S fault. Not TN’s. They did gameplay and did it well.

    • Heath Bunch

      I’m hoping Aonuma makes a better supervisor than whoever was the supervisor for Other M. The part about Nintendo telling them whats ok and what isn’t makes me hopeful.

      • Sam Malik

        It was Sakumoto (thats his name, right) He made Metroid but didn’t make the Prime series. So he was out of touch with his series for 10+ years

        • Heath Bunch

          Was he supervisor or writer or both? What I usually hear people complain about the most is the story.

          • Sam Malik

            Writer. I’m unsure about being supervisor but he was definitely the story man. Sad part is that Team Ninja gets the hate for his screw up.

            Aonuma, however, is known for Zelda since OoT to todays Zelda games. So don’t worry.

    • chocodino

      you know that everything bad people says of Other M was Nintendo and not TM right? [TM only made the gameplay, the story and characters where done by Nintendo]

  • Jirin

    I don’t have a problem with companies taking their own idea and giving it a recognizable brand. Nintendo has been doing it for years with the Mario brand, this is just them now doing the same thing for Zelda. Let’s just be open about what it is.

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