Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda is the sort of game where every playable character is viable. Each one has their own special abilities that can make it possible to defeat Octavo and beat the game. While you only start with one initially, eventually a party of four is available. to you. But, while every person is great, sometimes it feels like Zelda could end up being the best Cadence of Hyrule character.
Part of this is the novelty of it all. Zelda was playable in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, but this is primarily as a Phantom. She’s playable in Hyrule Warriors, but that’s an entirely different sort of game. This spin-off is the first game somewhat similar to an actual The Legend of Zelda game where she is there and doing her thing. Having that opportunity is an extraordinary thing.
This means the adventure picks up with her escaping from a captured Hyrule Castle. Impa is there, advising her to go and giving her an out. When Zelda gets to Kakariko Village, she’s the one who has to save Link by battling his doppelganger for the Hibiscus Potion. After he wakes up, we get to hear her usual plea for him to help save Hyrule. Except, immediately after, he is benched. We get to keep playing as Zelda as we like, only bringing out Link if we choose to at a Sheikah Stone or have someone else around who also wants to play.
It isn’t just about having the option and knowing she’s there. Zelda’s initial abilities are just a smidge more helpful to people, since they involve actual magic spells. All three characters have a shield of some sort. Cadence and Link’s is more standard, with the upgrade allowing them to move and keep their shield up at the same time. Zelda’s is, well, better. Immediately after choosing her as your first playable character, you find Naryu’s Love in Hyrule Castle. This is a shield that can also reflect projectiles back at opponents. If you cast it ahead of time, it blocks a shot. If you cast it a beat before the projectile hits, it reflects the shot back at an enemy. This is especially great when dealing with the Deku Scrubs and Octoroks in the world.
The other great thing about Zelda is Din’s Fire. This is her second ability, which Cadence will give her after finding her in a cave. This is a projectile that is great when Zelda is alone or if you have someone else controlling her in a two player game. When fired, Zelda remains stationary and you instead control this orb of fire as it moves around the screen in time with the beat. It not only can hit a foe on the same level as her, but ones on different levels. If someone else is on hand, it is great to have them protect her from additional enemies while one person guides Din’s Fire to perhaps attack a boss or particularly frustrating foe. Cadence and Link don’t have versatile skills with this kind of range and, when equipped with the Fire Rod, it only sends out a single fire ball in a straight line.
As mentioned in an earlier piece, every character in Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda can be pretty great. But, there are ways in which Zelda is a little extra cool. Part of it is actually getting to play as her. There are no gimmicks, like Phantom suits of armor. It is actually Zelda. Also, she has these unique abilities that are totally different from what the other characters have to offer. She brings a lot to the table, and it’s great to see her stand out.
Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda is available for the Nintendo Switch.