Hyrule Warriors is a Spin-Off of The Legend of Zelda produced by Nintendo in collaboration with Tecmo Koei, and developed by Dynasty Warriors developer Omega Force, with some help from Ninja Gaiden developer Team Ninja. Announced by Nintendo during a Nintendo Direct on December 18th, 2013, it takes the gameplay of Dynasty Warriors and gives it a Zelda theme. It was released on the Wii U on August 14th, 2014 in Japan, and is set for release on September 19, 2014 in Europe, and on September 26, 2014 in North America.Generations ago, Hyrule almost fell into a state of chaos, when a hero in green saved the day. The hero separated the evil force into 4 separate pieces, with one piece sealed away in the Master Sword, while the 3 other pieces were sent into the depths of the space time continuum somehow in hopes this would prevent any possible return. Ever since then, a sorceress has watched equilibrium of the Triforce through a special crystal. Now, the delicate balance of the Triforce has been disrupted. Cia, the sorceress of this generation, developed feelings for a young knight trainee named Link, but those feelings turned into jealousy when she saw his close relationship with Zelda, the Princess of Hyrule. Her jealousy made her succumb to the dark power that she was supposed to watch over, and her spirit was corrupted. Now, Hyrule Kingdom is once again being torn apart by the dark power unleashed by Cia.
Impa gets her chance to show why she's Zelda's personal bodyguard, as she is a playable character, with a BFS to boot. Zelda herself is also playable, wielding a Bow and Sword, in Accord, as well as Midna, using her Prehensile Hair to kick some major ass. More are expected as new information about the game is made public, with Aonuma himself confirming "at least half" of the cast will be female.
Alternate Continuity: Confirmed by Aonuma, who says Hyrule Warriors is more of a "celebration" of the Zelda series than a proper entry in it. (He uses "different dimension" to describe it, but his main point is that it's not part of Zelda's canon timeline).
The game exists in a separate dimension to the various branches of the current Zelda timeline; the premise being the antagonist opening portals to different eras of the Zelda-universe, and bringing various heroes and villains together. Thus, the story is not non-canonical in and of itself; rather, Eiji Aonuma compares it to The Avengers.
Big Bad: The witch Cia at first. Ganon turns out to be the true main villain in the end.
Bigger Bad: Turns out that Ganondorf was the one who corrupted Cia.
Big Bulky Bomb: One power-up temporarily replaces the character's bombs with giant bombs bigger than them.
Big Damn Heroes: In the Temple of Souls, Link is trapped in a room with several Dark Links. Lana comes in to aid him however even with her, they are still at a disadvantage. Just when things are looking dire, Darunia, Midna, Fi, and Impa appear to save them.
Book Ends: The first and final missions both take place in Hyrule Field.
Boss Subtitles: Per classic Zelda tradition, bosses are introduced with a descriptive phrase followed by their name, like "Fire Breathing King Dodongo," usually the same as in their original appearance.
The Bus Came Back: As this game takes place in multiple eras of the timeline, many Zelda characters, hero and villain alike, get to make a return.
Colony Drop: The Moon from Majora's Mask returns. It's summoned by a Great Fairy to aid the heroes in knocking a large boss out of the sky after the hook shot and two sets of magical chains fail. Though it turns into a mass of normal fairies after it does its job.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Comes naturally with the territory. The very numerous Bokoblins go down in droves, whereas the more infrequent Lizalfos and Dodongos take longer to bring down.
Continuity Porn: The game has tons of references to the main Zelda series, and not just in the major stuff like characters and places. There's also small details, like the loading screen being a classic 8-bit Link defeating an Octorok and obtaining the Triforce, the classic Item Get jingle and animation, the Game Over and Boss Clear tunes from Ocarina of Time…
Dem Bones: Stalchildren with their Ocarina of Time design appear as regular mooks. The larger weapon wielding Stalfos, which likewise sport the Ocarina of Time design, appear as Elite Mooks. The four armed Stalmasters from Skyward Sword also appear as Elite Mooks as well.
When playing a chapter normally in story mode, certain character roles will be switched depending on the character chosen to play it. For example in the second The Lanayru Gorge instance, Zelda at one point goes to the Great Fairy fountain with a contingent of soldiers. However if she is chosen to play as for the stage, Ruto takes up her role instead.
The first chapter of story mode requires obtaining the bomb sub-weapon in order to clear some boulders blocking the entrance to a keep. In replays of said chapter wherein the player now has access to bombs, the boulders can be cleared right away from the start. The other entrances of the keep pass the boulders however will remain locked even if the keep is secured by the player. This is to prevent Sequence Breaking through the chapter early on.
Elite Mook: Lizalfos appear to be this, due to only one appearing in a horde of Bokoblins in the teaser.
Equal-Opportunity Evil: In terms of troops, the Dark Forces have a slew of different monsters that fill out similar roles that their armies can mix and match for a variety of different army setups. In contrast, the Hyrulean Forces just simply use Hylian and Goron soldiers as troops.
Expy: Valga is shaping up to be Lu Bu cosplaying as Volvagia.
Fisher King: In the first stage, under Zelda's rule, Hyrule Field is lush and vibrant. In the final stage, after Ganondorf takes over, it's a hellish landscape pierced with many a building-sized greatsword.
Good Morning, Crono: A tradition in the series. Except in this case, it isn't Link who the games starts with waking up, it's Princess Zelda.
Heavily Armored Mook: Apart from the knight-like Darknuts, a few of the soldiers from both sides of the conflict are outfitted with more armor amongst their less unarmored brethren.
Hijacked by Ganon: Ganondorf winds up being the True Final Boss of the story. Asperthenorm. Given the nature of the game, this is kind of to be expected, considering how he is an antagonist in a game with multiple villains. However, despite this not being surprising, this game does win extra points by letting you play as him when he performs the hijacking.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: That Sheik is actually Zelda and that Midna is the ruler of the Twilight Realm are casually revealed by the game.
Let's Split Up, Gang: After Cia brings forth the multiple areas from different eras to the main world, the Hyrulean Forces split up into three armies to deal with the problem on three separate fronts. The armies are initially led by Impa and Sheik for one, and Lana and Link respectively for the other two.
Lost Woods: Two different versions of the Faron Woods serve in two different stages. The Skyward Sword iteration is part of the "Sealed Grounds" stage. Then there is the aptly named "Faron Woods" stage. While it resembles the Twilight Princess iteration in design, it is actually a completely new original version for the game as it contains a giant Great Deku Tree which serves as the stage's centerpiece and a Tree Top Town built around it.
Love Makes You Evil: Cia's feelings for Link is what corrupts her into villainy, although it's heavily implied that there are outside influences that fueled her corruption.
Man-Eating Plant: Deku Babas which spew a circle of poison to protect themselves and hinder characters.
Tutorials are accompanied by a voice clip of Navi's infamous "Hey! Listen!" The Game Over music is also taken from Ocarina of Time.
The official artworks for Link and Zelda's alternate outfits, based on their appearances in Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword, are in the same pose as their artwork from those games. The artwork for Zelda's alternate skin from Ocarina of Time uses the same pose as Young Zelda from the Ocarina of Time remake.
Zelda goes missing at one point of the story, and during that time, Sheik appears. Hmmm...
Our Goblins Are Different: Bokoblins with their red Skyward Sword feature as regular enemy mooks. Bulblins with their green Twilight Princess look also serve a similar function. Moblins with their pinkish red overweight Skyward Sword look also appear.
Our Dragons Are Different: Argorok the Wyvern-like Twilit dragon from Twilight Princess is a boss of the "Palace of Twilight" stage.
Playing with Fire: One of Link's weapon choices is the Magic Rod. Due to it primarily attacking with flames, it was initially mistaken for the Fire Rod, though it can also transform intoa large axe, as well as having a few ranged attacks that aren't fire-based.
Pre-Order Bonus: Link and Zelda have their appearances from Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword available as pre-order bonuses at select stores, as well as for members of Club Nintendo. Ganondorf just has his appearances from Ocarina of Time, and Twilight Princess.
Scarf Of Ass Kicking: Link has a blue one in this game in addition to his usual attire, which has been spectacularly well received by the fandom.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The legendary hero separated the evil force into four pieces, sealed one in the Master Sword and sent the other three into the depths of space-time.
Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: The majority of the female heroes of the Hyrulean Forces revealed so far are sensibly dressed. The sole exceptions are Midna and Ruto who are technically naked but get a pass since both lack certain human attributes and the latter's Ocarina of Time 3DS design makes her look like she's wearing a dress of sorts. Cia on the Dark Forces' side though, is dressed in a veryStripperiffic outfit.
Shout-Out: Several of Link's moves from his guest appearance in Soul Calibur II, particularly the Cyclone Slash, make an appearance.
Link's gauntlet special attack where he flips the world with his ball and chain is similar to an attack used by Whitebeard in the One PiecePirate Warriors spinoff. Likewise, some of Ruto's moves are reminiscent of Jinbe's from the same game.
Silicon-Based Life: Gorons, which are rock based rock eating characters from the other Zelda games, appear as regular grunts for the Hyrulean Forces.
Stripperiffic: Cia's outfit is quite revealing, to say the least.
Suddenly Voiced: In a first for a Zelda game, there's a fully voiced narrator who recounts the events of the main story between chapters as opposed to a silent one like in other games. Other than that, the rest of the characters follow Zelda tradition wherein they either just grunt, just speak simlish in the case of Midna and Fi, or just utter short phrases in the case of Proxi. Link himself doesn't even speak directly as his dialogue is provided for by Proxi.
Super Mode: Focus Spirit mode. After filling up a magic meter, you'll be able to enter this mode by pressing R. While in Focus Spirit mode, your character's abilities will be increased, much like the Style Action from One Piece Pirate Warriors 2.
Throw Down the Bomblet: Bombs are a sub-weapon that can be used by anyone. Several bombs can be spammed at once to take out multiple enemies.
Timey-Wimey Ball: It's thanks to Cia twisting space-time that characters and elements from different eras and Alternate Timelines which would normally not be able to interact with each other, are able to do so.
Tree Top Town: The "Faron Woods" stage has a town built on the trees adjacent to the Great Deku Tree.
Prior to her reveal, most weren't expecting Midna to be a playable character at the time partly due to a lack of information before the reveal, and due to early screenshots which led to the speculation that the game would probably take place somewhere around Skyward Sword era thanks to the abundance of that game's enemies. She was also unexpected as she seemed to be just a One-Shot Character who was explicitly written out at the end of her first appearance.
invoked According to Aonuma himself, he was surprised at quite a few of the characters to be included in the roster. Another such example soon came in the form of Agitha, a one-shot character who isn't even plot significant in Twilight Princess. note She is the instigator of one of the game's biggest sidequests however.