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Video Game / Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

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This page assumes you have played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild prior to this one. Therefore, there will be unmarked spoilers for that game here. Also due to the nature of this game, there will be unmarked spoilers for this game as well. You Have Been Warned.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/age_of_calamity.png
"I think you are now ready. Ready to hear what happened 100 years ago."

"The history of the royal family of Hyrule is also the history of Calamity Ganon. A primal evil that has endured over the ages."
— Impa
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Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a Hack and Slash Spin-Off game in The Legend of Zelda franchise. Produced by Nintendo and Koei Tecmo, and developed by Omega Force, the title is the second entry in the Hyrule Warriors subseries. Unlike the previous game, which served as a non-canon Intra-Franchise Crossover, Age of Calamity serves as an Alternate Timeline narrative taking place 100 years prior to the events of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A demo consisting of the game's first chapter was released on October 28, 2020, with the full game being released on November 20, 2020.

Set 100 years before the events of Breath of the Wild, the game's story follows Link, Zelda, and Impa as they fight a desperate battle to prepare Hyrule for the upcoming onslaught of Calamity Ganon, an Ancient Evil that seeks to destroy their kingdom with armies of monsters at its command. When a mysterious miniature Guardian from the future comes bearing evidence of their failure to accomplish this, the trio expedite their efforts in locating and working together with the four Champions of Hyrule's other races to better bolster their forces and hopefully change their fates.

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Like Hyrule Warriors, the gameplay combines the 1 vs. 100 combat, weapon classes, and light Real-Time Strategy present in the Dynasty Warriors franchise with various mechanics present in the Zelda franchise; in this case, specifically those from Breath of the Wild, such as the flurry rush, the four Sheikah Slate runes and elemental rods, Power-Up Food, and others.

Trailers and Previews: Announcement, Champions Unite, Untold Chronicles From 100 Years Past (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3,) Nintendo Treehouse Livestream, Unleashing the Divine Beasts, Launch Trailer.


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Age of Calamity contains examples of:

  • 11th-Hour Ranger: King Rhoam is unlocked right before the penultimate chapter, while Master Kohga is unlocked right before the chapter before that.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: In the original timeline, Link was saved by Zelda stopping all of the Guardians with her awakened powers at the last minute, but she sadly could not put it to effective use and turn the tides of battle since Hyrule has already fallen. In Age of Calamity, Hyrule has yet to fall by the time of her awakening, and with Link and the Champions still alive and fighting, she is able to flip the balance of the battle back in their favor.
  • Actionized Sequel: Prequel in this installment. Compared to Breath of the Wild which had Link traversing through the quaint landscape of Hyrule, Age of Calamity has Link and The Champions venturing onto large battlefields facing waves of Ganon's armies of Mooks to turn the tide of battle.
  • Adult Fear: As Zora's Domain is under attack in her recruitment mission, Mipha loses sight of her little brother Sidon and frantically asks every Zora Captain she saves if they saw him. Her fear for the worst almost comes true when she finally finds him in the worst possible place: Polymus Mountain, home of the Lynel.
  • All There in the Manual: Harbinger Ganon being the Terrako from the present infected by Malice that came from the future is only explained in the loading screen tips and the blurb on its art in the gallery. The main story itself never actually says where it came from.
  • Alternate Timeline: Thanks to the interference of a miniature white Guardian, Zelda, Link and the other Champions are now aware that Calamity Ganon will take control of the Guardians and destroy Hyrule and now seek to change their fates. They succeed thanks to the help of the future Champions. One of the loading screen tidbits even states that when the mini-Guardian arrived in the past, a new world was created.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes:
    • Some challenges and quests give pieces of gear for Link to wear, all from Breath of the Wild. Unlike in that game, however, the outfits are purely cosmetic and offer no combat advantages. Getting the maximum approval rating in all regions of Hyrule earns you the tunic from the first Hyrule Warriors.
    • Finishing the main story lets you choose between the Champions wearing their royal blue scarves or not, and also gives Zelda the option of her casual clothes, ceremonial dress, and winter coat. Before finishing the story you can't decide what they wear, it's based on story progression. Zelda's royal dress is also programmed in, but Dummied Out, though it can be made usable by hacking.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • As mentioned below, you can pay to the training camp to level up weaker heroes, avoiding the need to grind.
    • When replaying story missions with both regular and Divine Beast segments, you can choose which part you wish to replay only or the whole deal.
    • Compared to most Warriors games, combat happening off-screen progresses very slowly, giving you ample time to reach NPCs or forts that you must guard as part of a battle's objectives.
    • Heroes only take damage when you are controlling them, meaning you won't have to constantly switch between them to heal if they're caught up in a boss's attack while controlled by the AI.
    • Missions have several checkpoints and losing allows you to retry from there. Very useful, especially if you fail a quest such as Sudden Death at the last possible moment.
    • Need missing items for quests? Sheikah Sensors exist to pick up missions (both side and story types) where enemies drop them, or stores where they can be bought. They also mark items in your inventory when you sell so you can avoid accidentally selling them. You can also apply this for cooking ingredients.
    • If you cut it extremely close on a weak point smash failing to kill an enemy (around 2 or 3 percent of its health left), the game may decide to be merciful and give you the kill anyway so you don't have to worry about chipping them down the last little bit. This is especially nice at higher levels where that last little bit can still be a fair number of attacks.
  • Anti-Grinding:
    • You can opt to pay the Training Camp to bring your weaker characters up to speed if you don't feel like playing manual catchup. Although this will cost you more and more rupees per level.
    • Shopping allows you to buy items that you'll need in advance or are running short on instead of trying to find and collect them in battle.
  • Artistic License – Geography: In the initial release, the narration preceding the Breach of Demise level mentions how the party is heading to the Hateno Ancient Tech Lab, which is practically in the opposite direction. Presumably, they actually meant the Royal Ancient Tech Lab, which is just north of the Breach. This was fixed when the first wave of DLC was released.
  • Ascended Extra: Impa, Purah, and Robbie have much bigger roles in the story, and Master Kohga is more active as a threat ingame and within the plot, as opposed to only appearing once in Breath of the Wild.
  • Attack Reflector: The ability to parry enemy attacks returns from Breath of the Wild, and with it, the Perfect Guard. And before you ask, yes, it can deflect the Guardian's laser beams, though they merely stun the Guardian briefly in addition to dealing massive damage. Only characters carrying shields (that is to say, Link with one-handed swords, Urbosa, and Riju) can perform a parry. Anyone else who tries the same input will simply take the Guardian laser to the face as it blasts through their standard attack.
  • Badass Fingersnap: Urbosa when she activates her powers of lightning.
  • Badass in Distress: Calamity Ganon's awakening and corruption of the Divine Beasts traps the Champions piloting them while they struggle to combat the Blight Ganons by themselves.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Right when it looks like the champions are going to be killed by the Blight Ganons like in the original game, the future champions arrive to save their past counterparts from their fates.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Both Hyrule Castle and Akkala Fortress qualify, since now they don't carry the wounds of the Great Calamity's destruction, or the subsequent 100 years of decay. They are very gorgeous and ornately designed.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Zelda’s forces successfully defeat Calamity Ganon, but the Future Champions must now return to their own timeline and victory comes at the cost of Terrako blowing itself up. The true ending rectifies this by having Robbie and Purah repair it.
    • It's bittersweet on adult Sidon's side too. He's separated from his sister once again after the battle with Calamity Ganon, but he goes back knowing that she is alive and well in another timeline, one that he, alongside the other champions, have helped change for the better.
  • Bookends: The game starts with an inactive Terrako reacting to Zelda's awakened power and activating the Time Gate to travel back in time. The second phase of the Final Boss Calamity Ganon starts with a heavily damaged Terrako reactivating itself as Zelda uses the Triforce's power against Ganon, sacrificing itself to make Ganon vulnerable to damage. During both times, Zelda says the same declaration as Terrako takes action.
    Zelda: I must protect...everyone!
  • Break Meter: Weak Point Smashes return, with them being revealed either when the enemy misses with an attack or is countered with the appropriate move or Sheikah Rune.
  • Brick Joke: A sidequest for Master Kohga involves providing a whopping 4,000 Rupees so that the Yiga Clan can buy up Hyrule's entire stock of a certain fruit. In a later sidequest, a boy raids their home because he loves that fruit and there was none left in the shops. Gee, now how could that have happened...?
  • But Now I Must Go: Having fulfilled their duty of stopping the Great Calamity from coming to fruition, the new Champions all return to their original timeline.
  • Call-Back: As well as Call-Forward. In a moment of despair, having witnessed the fall of her home, the corruption of the Divine Beasts, and the demise of her father, Zelda sobs as she surmises that everything she's done until now has been "All for naught". But unlike in Breath of the Wild, she's not alone, and there's still a chance to turn it all around.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Most of the characters who speak will call out the element they use when using elemental rods. For example...
    • Zelda: "LIGHTNING!". "FREEZE!". "BURN!"
  • Camera Screw: The game's camera has a habit of getting hung up on walls and corners when you're locked onto an enemy, particularly in narrow corridors.
  • Chekhov's Gun: That strange artifact King Rhoam confiscates from Zelda? It's a Guardian Shield, which activates just in time to protect him and his royal guard from several Guardian blasts.
  • Contrasting Replacement Character: Impa has traditionally been a matronly or older sister figure to Princess Zelda, and indeed appeared in Breath of the Wild as the elder of the Sheikah clan. Here, Impa has yet to grow into that matronly role; she is around the same age as Link and Zelda, and serves as the princess's royal advisor. While Impa is just as skilled in combat as the others are, her introductory cutscene shows she can also be clumsy.
  • Critical Failure: Like in Breath of the Wild and Hyrule Warriors, using certain Runes will interrupt mini-boss enemies' attacks, leaving their weak points open.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: In Breath of the Wild, getting the Golden Ending requires freeing the four Divine Beasts, getting the Master Sword, and recovering all of Link's memories. The presence of the time-travelling New Champions and recognizing Link confirms that in the original timeline, Link allied with them and subsequently freed the four Divine Beasts at the very least.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: All three versions of the original Hyrule Warriors had two preset control schemes — "Warriors Style", using the Dynasty Warriors traditional layout, and "Zelda Style", which rotates the face button commands 90 degrees clockwise to feel more natural for Zelda players. It also had fully customizable button-mapping available for those dissatisfied with either preset. Age of Calamity lacks both the "Zelda Style" preset and customizability, making for a frustrating experience for many Hyrule Warriors veterans.
  • Decisive Battle: The Siege on Fort Hateno is narratively the fight that finally gives Hyrule the edge they needed.
  • Decoy Protagonist: While Link is the initial playable character, he plays more of a bodyguard role in the story. Zelda is the main focus of the story, as she is the one who leads the army into battle and seeks to awaken her inner power that can stop Ganon. Also, to an extent, Terrako is the main hero, whose time travel abilities are key to saving the day, and its dedication to protecting Zelda causes it to make a Heroic Sacrifice to defeat Ganon.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Before his second Boss Battle, Master Kohga boasts that he's "going to kill you all, to death!".
  • Deus ex Machina: Just when all the champions were about to die as in the original timeline of Breath of the Wild, Terrako uses its time travel powers to bring the champion's successors from the future back in time to save them from their deaths at the last minute.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Strong enemies have certain moves that can be countered with specific rune attacks to send them into a vulunerable Weak Point state. Since Zelda uses runes as part of her regular attack strings, they're completely capable of activating these weaknesses. The only exception is Magnesis, which can't be activated with her normal attack string.
    • Just like in Breath of the Wild, you'll never have to discard a weapon to obtain the Master Sword if you have a full inventory — Link gains another weapon slot specifically for it. The same applies to Zelda and the Bow of Light.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Towards the end of the game when the Calamity happens, you have to beat several key monsters on the map and then the Blood Moon rises. This is a returning game mechanic in Breath of the Wild but here it takes place ONCE inside of the main storyline and it returns all of them fit as a fiddle. Afterwards it becomes a game mechanic for replayable missions.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The DLC weapon Prototype Ancient Short Sword has a base power of 36 right from the start, making it an effective weapon to use for most of the game. Once fully upgraded its stats are comparable to the Master Sword.
  • Doomed by Canon: This happens 100 years before Breath of the Wild. The Champions are doomed to fall against Ganon. Except not in this timeline.
  • Doppleganger Attack: Impa's unique gameplay element. By creating and stealing special seals from enemies, Impa can create up to six Hard Light copies of herself that mimic and enhance all of her attacks.
  • Downer Beginning: The game begins mid-Calamity, with Hyrule being razed to the ground, the King and Champions presumably dead, Link mortally wounded, and Zelda having awakened her sealing power far too late to do anything but run damage control.
  • Dueling Player Characters:
    • In the main story, Revali must be fought in Rito Village before he’s recruited into the Champions (you are just unwanted visitors to him, after all). Kohga, Terrako, and Ganon also act as bosses prior to becoming playable themselves.
    • Outside the main story, every member of the party can be fought in “Daily Drills” and other training challenges across Hyrule.
  • Easter Egg:
    • When you choose a mission from the main menu and your chosen characters paraglide to their destination, Link will sometimes use a cucco instead of his paraglider.
    • You can control the mini guardian on the loading screen by pressing L or R.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: As in the original game, fire and ice are effective against one another, and electric attacks are effective against enemies in water or with metal weapons.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The Announcement Trailer shows monsters and Guardians hijacked by Calamity Ganon overrunning various parts of the kingdom of Hyrule that are nothing but ruins 100 years later in Breath of the Wild.
  • Enemy Mine: Disgusted with Astor using Yiga clan footsoldiers to empower the Blight Ganons, Kohga and his clan sever their ties with him and team up with the Hyrulean Forces to combat the Dark Forces.
  • Equipment Upgrade: The blacksmith upgrades weapons for you. It's surprisingly complex.
    • First, you fuse a character's weapon with their other weapons (although limited to said character's stock, e.g. you cannot use Zelda's weapons as fusion fodder for Link's weapon). Doing so gives them experience to level up.
    • Each weapon has a seal slot. Seals are bonus abilities like additional damage or range. Some weapons start already engraved with a seal, some have an empty slot. More slots appear as the weapon reaches Level 5, 10, and 20.
    • When you fuse a weapon with an empty seal, the seal of the first weapon you used as fodder will transfer to the empty seal. This means a total of four seals can be fused to a weapon.
    • Seals also have shapes. When two or more seals of the same shape are fused in a weapon, they give an additional +5 attack and their bonus is greatly increased.
    • And then there are secret seals, unlocked by making the weapon reach Level 25 and 30. The bonuses and shape are already predetermined per weapon and thus requires using a guide.
    • Finally, it's best to note the weapon's tier. A Level 10 weapon of a weak weapon would probably have as much attack stat as that of a Level 1 mid-tier weapon.
  • Exploding Barrels:
    • Red barrels can be found littered around stages, much like in Breath of the Wild (though they are significantly bigger here, as not to blend into the hordes of monsters). Blowing them up kills every regular enemy caught in its radius and sets larger ones on fire, which causes their Weak Point gauge to deplete faster. However, they can damage the player just as easily if they're too close. They can also be launched by using Stasis and whacking them a few times.
    • Impa can create a blue Hard Light variant of the barrel with her special move, to the same effect.
  • Expy: The diminutive Guardian is a tiny but remarkably heroic robot, whose "voice" just happens to sound exactly the same as R2-D2, and it serves a similar role in the story too.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Astor boasts that he can bring down the world with Calamity Ganon, not-so subtly implying that he believes that Ganon would be under his command. Sooga finds the prophet's statements to be foolish, retorting that he must be blind since "Ganon is not for mortals to control." When Astor is beaten at Hyrule Castle alongside Harbinger Ganon, he makes the fatal error of ordering Ganon to consume the heroes with Malice. Ganon, fed up with Astor's failures, decides to consume the prophet instead, using his body as the base for its One-Winged Angel form. To make it even more obvious, Astor himself even took part in betraying the Yiga Clan and sacrificing their footsoldiers to power up Ganon, yet he honestly believes Ganon wouldn't do it to him too.
  • Evolving Title Screen: And an evolving loading screen.
    • The title screen changes as the game progresses. It consists of Link and the Diminutive Guardian standing atop the Central Hyrule Sheikah Tower, with a view of the sky and Hyrule Castle. The time of day changes after missions, going from day to dusk to night. After Calamity Ganon prematurely awakens, the five columns containing numerous Guardians are visible on the title screen (and the game's map), as is the haze of Calamity Ganon's Malice, and the sky turns an ominous orange color to reflect the bleak tone. The towers are also shown being deactivated. After Ganon's defeat, the castle's haze is gone, and the towers are reactivated, and the columns around the castle are turned blue instead of magenta.
    • The loading screen changes as well. Aside from the tidbits of information, the playable characters of the game are all shown marching across the screen, including the unplayable Diminutive Guardian. Zelda and Link's icons change throughout the game, too, with Zelda's icon changing to include a flowing dress after she dons her ceremonial garb, and Link's icon changing to display his Champion's tunic and include the Master Sword. The characters are all shown in the order that they're obtained, save the Champions, who are always shown in the order of Mipha, Daruk, Revali, Urbosa, reflecting the order of the four Champion's chapters. The New Champions follow suit, shown in the same order; Sidon, Yunobo, Teba, and Riju. The optional playable characters, the Great Fairies and Monk Maz Koshia, are always listed in that order at the back until you unlock Calamity Ganon as a playable character, and the DLC's Battle-Tested Guardian.
  • Field Power Bonus:
    • The elemental rods' area of effect will change depending on the terrain they're being used on. For example, the Fire Rod covers a lot of ground if used on an area covered in grass but barely anything at all if used in water.
    • Using Cryonis in the water will instantly freeze all enemies in the immediate vicinity.
  • Fighting Your Friend: After Harbinger Ganon takes his final form, his malice finally infects Terrako — who has spent the whole game following Link in gameplay — forcing Link to fight and destroy the little Guardian. He proves to be Not Quite Dead and pulls a heroic sacrifice to make Ganon vulnerable.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: You quickly obtain the Fire, Ice, and Lightning Rods from corresponding Wizzrobes in the first two missions. The button combinations to use them are organized from left to right in this order in the default control scheme. These are also the three elements commonly used by enemies, with Fire, Ice, and Electric versions of lizalfos, moblins, hinox, guardians, and lynels.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The opening mural depicts two sets of champions fighting together. This foreshadows the future champions coming to aid their past counterparts.
    • Nintendo advertised the game as a tale depicting events happening 100 years before Breath of the Wild. They never said it was the same timeline.
    • If the Spoiler Opening of the time-traveling Guardian wasn't a big enough indication, Link getting the Master Sword after the Champions were selected (and the Champions' recruitment going much differently than what was depicted in The Champions' Ballad DLC of Breath of the Wild) should clue the player that this is an Alternate Timeline and the fates of the Champions can be averted.
    • Purah mentions in the cutscene where she demonstrates the Sheikah Slate's teleportation ability that she's just added a bunch of new researchers to her team. A few chapters later, some of those new hires reveal themselves as Yiga infiltrators and take over the research lab. Notably, the aforementioned cutscene plays immediately after the Champions drive the Yiga Clan out of their hideout.
  • For Want of a Nail: The arrival of the diminutive Guardian made changes to the timeline that go beyond its initial objective.
    • Due to the Sheikah Slate's runes and the Sheikah Towers being unlocked early, Zelda cuts short of her archeological research and spends more time training herself to fight with the Sheikah Slate. Additionally, with the conclusive proof that the Calamity will happen soon, the more peaceful opportunities of levity that Zelda would have had with Link according to the Memories in Breath of the Wild never took place.
    • With the surprising appearance of the Sheikah Tower in Hyrule Field, King Rhoam appoints Link to be its protector while they try to figure out the tower's purpose. The sudden appointment is likely why Link didn't get the Master Sword as early as he did in the original timeline. The towers being unearthed also makes it much easier for Hyrule's army to transport and travel across Hyrule. This, along with Terrako summoning the New Champions from the future, is a key reason on how the Champions were able to avoid falling against the Blight Ganons.
    • Link, due to chasing the diminutive Guardian, ends up encountering Zelda much earlier and he soon accompanies her to the Royal Ancient Lab as her personal escort, delaying his journey to obtain the Master Sword even further. His non-Champion presence with Zelda allows her to appreciate him as a person, especially when he saves her from a Guardian's laser blast, rather than see him as a reminder of her burden.
    • Malice that has been chasing the diminutive Guardian through time ends up infecting another diminutive Guardian and subsequently, that Guardian begins altering events to ensure an even greater victory for Calamity Ganon. Monster attacks and Yiga assassination attempts become more frequent and organized, with every settlement and race under siege, forcing Link and Impa to accompany Zelda as she tries to recruit the Champions. The growing threat also necessitates the Champions to stick together and use the Divine Beasts more often than usual.
    • With the Champions sticking together for protection, Zelda gets more advice and support from friends like Impa and Urbosa that she lacks in the original timeline. This in turn allows her to get over her feeling of inadequacy when seeing Link with the Master Sword and subsequently, she forms a better relationship with her appointed knight. It also helps that Link pulls the Master Sword out of necessity to protect Zelda from Astor, rather doing it because of the prophecy.
    • Because of the diminutive guardian warning everyone of when Calamity Ganon will attack, the latter decides to strike before Zelda's birthday instead. As a result, Zelda, Link and Impa are still in Hyrule Castle when Calamity Ganon awakens. This allows Zelda to bear witness King Rhoam's apparent death, which gives her a stronger catalyst to unlock her Sacred Powers before Link is mortally wounded later. In the cutscene before Zelda also builds up the courage to confront Rhoam over their relationship and give him as a piece of guardian tech as a plea to him. This ends up being a guardian shield that deflects the lasers that would have killed Rhoam, allowing him to survive and escape.
    • Being able to know that the Calamity is looming sooner than expected and eventually confirming its exact date to be on Zelda's birthday, King Rhoam orders mass evacuations of the Hyrule Town and Field areas. As a result, the implied utter massacre of soldiers and innocents is averted. It also means that Fort Hateno and Akkala Citadel have more manpower, allowing them to hold out until the Divine Beasts and Link's party arrive to turn the tide, ultimately stopping the fall of Hyrule's last defense.
    • Thanks to having more warning and a Guardian's attempt to kill Zelda in Mission 2, Purah sets up an ultimate failsafe: a Sheikah device that will completely short out and destroy every Guardian in range. Once the heroes manage to get this up and running, it fries every Guardian outside of Fort Hateno — the bulk of the army that razed Hyrule originally — leaving Ganon deprived of all but a handful of them and forcing him to instead rely on his other minions. This also marks the point where Hyrule begins its full counterattack that leads to Ganon's defeat, as his forces are far more manageable with Guardians down to rare keystone threats.
    • Ironically, one of the absolute biggest screw-ups was Astor assaulting Fort Hateno and trying to kill Link. Both in Breath of the Wild and Age of Calamity, Zelda's power finally awakened due to wanting to save Link from death. In the original timeline, this occurred when Link was far too injured to continue on, but in Age of Calamity, Astor was too greedy and Zelda awakened her power far earlier than before, allowing her to turn the tide against Astor and the Calamity. Given she had shown the exact same inability to use the power just as in the original timeline, Astor may have succeeded if he had allowed Link to escape with Zelda, as she would have had no reason to double back for Link and save his life in a burst of desperation. In fact, moving the Calamity up a day failed not just due to Terrako calling heroes from the future, but everyone being in far better condition and more coordinated to fight back. Zelda's awakening was just the final nail in the coffin.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The Diminutive Guardian has a four-note riff that it uses when it originally summoned a time portal to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. It plays these four notes again, after Calamity Ganon's surprising premature awakening, and unleashes a column into the sky. Blink and you'll miss it, the column of light splits into four pieces. This is because the Diminutive Guardian is summoning the four New Champions Sidon, Riju, Teba, and Yunobo, to save Mipha, Urbosa, Revali, and Daruk from their demise.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Zelda in the story is not much of a fighter, and relies on creative use of the Sheikah Slate to do so. Conversely, her combat gameplay style is very different to that of the other characters. All the other characters have the same attack set up, with a string of seven consecutive basic attacks, and five strong-attack combos, the fifth of which can be used with either the fifth or sixth regular attack. It's not until Zelda takes a story-line level in badass unlocking her sealing power and the Bow of Light that her upgraded moveset finally becomes more standard.
    • When Calamity Ganon awakens prematurely, it catches everyone by surprise, and enacts its plan to take over the Guardians and kill the Champions. During this time, the Champions along with any challenges that require them to be present, are not just unable to be played, but are absent from the character menu, which prevents them from having weapons forged or being leveled up in the camp. This is because they're trapped in their Divine Beasts fighting for their lives. This also helps to hide the fact that the good guys succeed in changing the future and saving them - why would challenges continue to exist for characters who are about to die?
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Despite Zoras being allegedly weak to electricity, Mipha and Sidon don't take increased damage from it. Which is odd, because part of Mipha's introductory chapter constantly goes on about how weak Zoras are to electricity, and how they have to save the captains from being wiped out because of it.
    • Zelda is framed as The Load of the characters. However, her moveset with the Sheikah Slate is among the best of the entire game, as it can exploit Rune counters without having to waste an activated Rune attack, and even then, her rune attacks charge faster than everyone else's and are far more powerful. It makes her the Action Girl to outclass even the Champions.
  • Golden Ending: This game is one for the backstory of Breath of the Wild.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Zigzagged. Calamity Ganon is and always was the overarching Big Bad of the game, but for the majority of the story, Astor is the de facto leader of his armies. It isn't until the very final battle, when he's already awakened, that Ganon forcibly takes the helm from Astor. It's quite a literal interpretation as well, as Ganon hijacks Astor's actual body, as well as the role of primary antagonist.
  • Identical Grandson: Impa looks remarkably like her granddaughter, Paya, who made the same observation in the original game.
  • If You Can Read This:
    • In a cinematic, the small white Guardian creates a portal with spinning Sheikah script that reads either as "Gate Of Time Open" or "Open Gate Of Time."
    • When a large enemy begins an attack that a Rune can counter, the red Sheikah script that appears on them reads "Rune".
  • I Was Quite the Looker: Compared to the short wrinkled old lady she is in Breath of the Wild, in this game Impa resembles her cute future granddaughter Paya. The same can be said for Robbie and Purah, who were all good looking a century ago; although in Purah's case, she has a mix of She's All Grown Up due to accidentally reverting back into a young child in Breath of the Wild.
  • In Spite of a Nail: The opening cutscene, the Diminutive Guardian is shown have come from the time where Hyrule is currently being devastated, and is sent back to the current time to warn people of what will happen. Although it has managed to alter many things in the process, namely activating the Sheikah Towers and giving Zelda full access to the Sheikah Slate's power, the Calamity still occurs on Zelda's 17th birthday and the Blight Ganons overpower the Champions and would have killed them like in the original timeline had the New Champions not arrived through a time portal. The Siege of Akkala Citadel and Battle of Fort Hateno also happen under similar circumstances but the outcome is in the heroes' favor this time around.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Despite the source material, many of the barriers preventing free navigation of the maps are small cliffs or piles of debris that Link would simply be able to climb over immediately following a 100-year nap, to say nothing of the jumps, flight and teleportation that the whole roster is capable of. It comes to a head at The Great Plateau, where the player characters need the help of the Yiga and Sheikah's teleportation prowess to save allies in imminent peril instead of simply walking around the rubble on the stone paths.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • The game’s loading screen tutorials can tell you that the diminutive Guardian’s name is Terrako before it is revealed in the final chapter.
    • While Zelda only unlocks the Bow of Light near the end of the story (or earlier if you use Zelda series amiibo, with Princess Zelda amiibo having higher chances to yield the weapon), it's easy to guess that she'll be getting a second weapon long before then if you pay attention to the quest descriptions and notice her "Bonus Combo" rewards all specify they're for the Sheikah Slate rather than her. Hell, those who bought physical copies of the game can plainly see it on the back.
  • Joke Weapon:
    • The game's pre-order bonus provides a ladle and shield weapon set for Link.
    • Link can wield a tree branch, originally one of the weakest weapons in Breath of the Wild.
  • Just Before the End: The Announcement Trailer frames this game as a direct prequel to Breath of the Wild (which is itself known for its After the End status), telling the story of the Great Calamity.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: Like the last Hyrule Warriors game, getting hit with an otherwise lethal attack will instead leave you with 1/4 of a heart (1 HP). note  Unlike the previous game, this does not apply to One-Hit Kill missions; taking any damage will count as failing the mission this time.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Revali and his soldiers attack Link and Impa's diplomatic envoy to the Rito, with Revali nearly killing Link in a duel before being stopped by Zelda. When asked why he attacked them, Revali reveals that the Rito have been attacked by monsters led by a diminutive Guardian nigh-identical to the one accompanying Link, so when Hyrule's envoy showed up he assumed they were enemies.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The first stage reveals that while using the sword and shield, Link can use his deflect move to parry attacks. And just like the original Breath of the Wild, it can be used to deflect Guardian lasers back at them as shown in the cutscene where Link parries a shot aimed at Zelda when they travel to Robbie's lab. Other characters who can do this are Urbosa, who is the only other character besides Link that uses a shield, and Riju, whose ability to shield parry may come across as surprising since she mainly uses her shield as a surfboard, which can be hard to notice.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • While all characters improve as their combos are unlocked, the character that benefits the most from this is Sheikah Slate Zelda. Her starting combos are considered the worst in the game, but once her full combos are unlocked she is amazing at exploiting captains' weaknesses, since her basic moves can trigger them, and her AOE is one of the best in the game.
    • If you can put up with the extraordinary effort to finding a Farmer's Pitchfork and investing rupees and weapons into upgrading it, you can unlock a very valuable seal that will make material farming significantly easier.
  • Magitek:
    • All playable characters can use the Sheikah Slate's Runes in combat due to the miniature Guardian amplifying the Sheikah Slate's power, and they all do so in different ways. For example, while Link uses Cryonis to make a platform that launches him into the air, Impa uses it to slide around on a block of ice and run over enemies. Zelda, who carries the Sheikah Slate with her in battle, takes this further than the rest of the cast as her entire moveset revolves around the Runes.
    • The October Mini Direct trailer showcases the Divine Beasts: Humongous Mecha entrusted to the Champions of Hyrule for the purpose of defeating Calamity Ganon.
  • Magnetism Manipulation: The Magnesis Rune can be used to latch onto nearby metallic objects. The Tokyo Game Show gameplay footage shows that when Link uses it, it allows him to grab hold of metal objects to launch as projectiles; while Impa uses it to create a massive hammer out of assorted metal scraps.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: The opening cutscene reveals that some of Calamity Ganon's Malice followed the mini Guardian into the past, enabling it to prematurely corrupt some of the Guardians in an attempt to assassinate Zelda before she could awaken her powers. A sliver of that future Malice ends up possessing this timeline's Terrako, becoming Harbinger Ganon who proceeds to give Astor and the Yiga Clan vital information regarding the near future.
  • Manly Tears: Kohga and the Yiga clan are all moved to tears when they witness the reunion between Zelda and her father, who survived an onslaught of Guardians attacking Hyrule Castle.
  • Mass Teleportation: In the story, in this timeline due to having the Sheikah Towers active and having the backing of the government to provide resources and funding, Purah was able to research and unlock this ability for the Sheikah Slate.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Just like in Breath of the Wild and the first Hyrule Warriors Link can wield multiple types of weapons. Aside from one-handed weapons, Link can use spears (or similar polearms) and two-handed weapons (swords, axes and hammers).
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Just like the original Hyrule Warriors, the first character the player recruits is Impa.
    • The first stage is very reminiscent of the original Hyrule Warriors' first stage: a legion of monsters is heading toward Hyrule Castle and many soldiers, including Link, head out into Hyrule Field to fight them. Over the course of the battle Link saves Impa, and his impressive performance against the invaders catches the attention of his commanding officer, who promotes him to a larger role in the army.
    • The semifinal stage is very similar to the final stage in the first Hyrule Warriors: You return to Hyrule Field, the sky is red, and it's been devastated and corrupted by Ganon and his followers.
    • The climax involves summoning heroes from different time periods to aid their friends in battle.
    • Lon Lon Ranch appears on the Hyrule Field stage (analogous to the Ranch Ruins in Breath of the Wild) and it looks exactly the same as its appearance in Ocarina of Time.
    • Various scarecrows scattered about the Hyrule Field stage are modeled after Pierre and Bonooru, the talking scarecrows from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask: they have straw hats, blue jackets, and red scarves.
    • The opening cutscene of the game has the little Guardian open a portal back in time. The Sheikah writing around the edge of the portal reads "Gate of Time open"; the Gate of Time was the method of time travel used in Skyward Sword.
    • One of Zelda's idle animations has her drop to her knees to catch a frog, exactly the same as one of the memories in Breath of the Wild.
    • Urbosa has an idle animation where she turns and poses similar to her official character art from Breath of the Wild.
    • One of Teba's idle animations has him sitting down while giving his bow maintenance before looking over his left shoulder, just as he was first presented to Link in Breath of the Wild.
    • When picking a story mission, Link will sometimes grab a Cucco when jumping off the Sheikah Tower instead of using his paraglider.
    • When completing the quest that unlocks the Military Training Camp, the instructor says he'll let you train anytime — as long as you have enough rupees!
    • Terrako is refered to as the "Guardian of Time" upon being unlocked as a playable character, the same title that Cia held in the backstory of the original Hyrule Warriors.
    • "Each Step Like Thunder" has a clip where Link takes on powerful monsters and allows Impa to escape with Zelda, much like he did in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Only this time Zelda has none of it and goes back to save him, unleashing her sealing power.
    • The credits for the true ending have Daruk pull all the Champions into a bear hug, just like he did for the Group Picture Ending of the Champions' Ballad DLC from Breath of the Wild.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailers made it seem like the game would follow the original timeline, especially with King Rhoam stating, "I think you’re ready to hear what really happened 100 years ago." The actual game takes place in an alternate timeline, where the champions survive and defeat Calamity Ganon.
  • No Fair Cheating: Trying to take out the rampaging Guardian in the second mission by reflecting its beams back at it results in minimal damage until all of the Decayed Guardians are hijacked. This doesn't stop you from simply defeating it yourself in a war of attrition, but its main weakness can't be exploited for an easy win.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Urbosa's dodge move has her ever so slightly twisting herself to the side, rather than doing a large jump like other characters.
  • Nostalgia Level: While all the levels are recreations of locations found in Breath of the Wild, the Great Plateau is a standout example. To get inside, you have to teleport inside the Shrine of Resurrection, which looks identical to the one in the game (Sheikah Slate pedestal included). The outside is identical to the one in the BotW, and there's even a Korok seed right at the edge of the cliff to encourage you to stand there. And afterwards, you have to take the exact same route that you did in BotW to reach the rest of the map. Even the trees are identical.
  • Not His Sled: As opposed to everyone assuming this would show what happened a century before Breath of the Wild, it's actually an Alternate Continuity that acts as the Golden Ending to that story.
  • Not Quite Flight: Characters are able to launch themselves in the air (either with certain attacks or performing Wall Jumps) and pull out the paraglider in order to glide over enemies.
  • Not What I Signed on For: The Yiga Clan are working together with Astor to bring about the Calamity. After he uses Yiga footsoldiers as sacrifices to power the Blight Ganons, the Yiga Clan sever their ties with him and work with the Hyrulean Forces to stop him.
  • Oh, Crap!: Purah and Robbie get two of these moments in quick succession: first when they look at the newest data from the little Guardian and realize that it shows the Divine Beasts taken over by Ganon, and again just seconds later when they are taken hostage by members of the Yiga Clan who were disguised as lab techs.
    Robbie: I was too careless. This is bad.
  • Old Save Bonus: Having a savegame of Breath of the Wild on your Switch gives Link a wooden sword and shield.
  • Promoted to Playable: From Breath of the Wild, Age of Calamity has Zelda, Impa, and the four Champions (Mipha, Daruk, Revali, and Urbosa), originally supporting characters, joining Link as part of the playable roster. Not to mention the four modern Champions (Sidon, Yunobo, Teba, and Riju), Hestu, King Rhoam, Master Kohga, the four Great Fairies, and Monk Maz Koshia.
    • As of the "Pulse of the Ancients" DLC pack, the much dreaded Guardian Stalker is becoming playable in the form of a "Battle-Tested Guardian", making this only the second time a generic enemy from the Zelda franchise has become playable in any fashion after the Deku Scrub in Cadence of Hyrule.
  • Random Number God:
    • It's not always a waste of time to go exploring the map to cut grass as you can find some valuable materials (like lizards) which would cost you a significant sum of rupees to buy from the store out of convenience.
    • Every weapon drop that you find has a numerical range upon which its starting Base Attack is set, making it much harder to find and craft the very best weapons than in Hyrule Warriors. Thankfully, there is a weapon seal that improves the quality of dropped weapons.
    • Normal Weapon Seals come in four types and three quality grades with the "++ variants" being the rarest ones. And then there are extra-rare Weapon Seals that are denoted with a yellow border to indicate that they have much more unique effects and are harder to obtain.
    • Monsters drop monster parts, guardians drop ancient parts, and pebblits and taluses drop minerals. Because of this, there are dedicated seals that improve the probability of finding them in higher quality and quantity.
  • Remixed Level. Played With. At first glance, this trope is downplayed. While the maps look like they are lifted straight from Breath of the Wild, there are buildings and ascended terrain that create natural borders for Musou-style map design that aren't found 100 years later. This is justified due to the destruction of the Great Calamity. Disregarding the new additions to the map, a closer comparison between the two games shows that this game has a degree of differing map geometry including landmarks being moved closer to one another to facilitate the fast-paced gameplay of Musou and pathways being widened to accommodated large armies fighting. See the comparison here.
  • Retcon: The opening cinematic for the game is a Downer Beginning showing the Great Calamity. One of the events replayed is Zelda awakening her sealing power, but the scene is different than in Breath of the Wild. In the original game, Zelda's powers unleash a blast of light that fades as it expands across the field. In this game, Zelda's powers in the revisited moment create a much more opaque ball of light with dark spots similar to what she used to seal away Calamity Ganon in the original game.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Destructible objects are frequently encountered, and certain ones like boxes can give you materials and rupees when destroyed. There's even a statistics counter for the number of trees you've cut down.
  • Robot Buddy:
    • As shown in the prelude opening and during the first mission, Link finds a small, white, egg-shaped Guardian that activates when Impa throws him the Sheikah slate. With its noises and mannerisms, it closely resembles Star Wars astromech droids like R2-D2 and BB-8. It later turns out that it was Zelda's robot buddy first, having built it as a child with the help of her mother. She was so young when her father took it way that she'd mostly forgotten about it.
    • Zelda's Bomb rune takes the form of an Action Bomb rune robot that walks under player control and spawns smaller bombs.
  • Scenery Porn: The team has gone to great lengths to recreate the richly-detailed environments of Breath of the Wild which makes for impressive-looking levels despite the amount of enemies on screen.
  • Secret Character: Four, who can be split into two sets:
    • The first two have absolutely no role in the story and are unlocked after a series of optional quests: the Great Fairies and Monk Maz Koshia.
    • The second pair is unlocked in the postgame: Terrako by completing the sidequests to repair him, and Ganon by completing every challenge quest.
  • Serial Escalation: The game takes the combat of the home series and boosts it to ridiculous degrees. In BOTW, bombs were mainly used as an exploration tool and an emergency weapon, but here it is capable of wiping out hordes of enemies and bringing strong monsters to their knees. You thought shooting five arrows at once was pretty impressive? Here, a single bow attack from Link has him shooting a barrage of arrows like an assault rifle, at practically no cost. Speaking of Link, his one-handed weapon moveset is roughly the same as his sword moveset from Hyrule Warriors, except with a wider variety of new charged attacks and better aerial mobility.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The opening cutscene reveals that the miniature Guardian came from the future, during Calamity Ganon's attack on Hyrule Castle, in order to help potentially prevent that outcome. Its first step towards this is unlocking the Sheikah slate's runes as soon as it detects it, giving defenders an edge they explicitly didn't have in Breath of the Wild. Zelda and the others discern that it came from the future almost immediately, though it takes them rooting through its data files to learn that this is its purpose.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • As this game is a prequel to Breath of the Wild, the map of Hyrule is intact, with Castle Town in particular showing more streets than the earlier game. However, in the cutscene where Purah excitedly shows the completed map on the Sheikah Slate atop Akkala Tower, Castle Town is prominently visible as its destroyed version. Notably, the area directly in front of the Hyrule Castle drawbridge should look more like a U with a line connecting the top, but it looks like a J instead.
    • King Dorephan is shown having scars on his forehead, which Breath of the Wild states he got during the Great Calamity fighting a corrupted Guardian.
    • In Breath of the Wild, Link was stated to have been chosen by the Master Sword at a young age and was implied to have carried it with him for many years, with the official Creating a Champion artbook stating he most likely got it around age 12 or 13. In Age of Calamity he doesn't obtain the blade until the game's second chapter, where he's about 16 or 17.
  • Shock and Awe: Urbosa is capable of infusing her attacks with electricity. All characters also have access to the Lightning Rod once its acquired in the game's second mission.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The hand signs that Impa uses are taken straight from Naruto. While some of them may be based on real shinobi gestures, the ones that were created specifically by the series's author are included in Impa's animations.
    • The way Impa uses the Paraglider is identical to how Mario floats with the Cape Feather in Super Mario World.
    • Link's spear moveset is clearly inspired by Zhao Yun.
    • One of Master Kohga's lines upon completing a Quest is "Now I'm even more charming, no?"
    • The music for Yiga Clan missions incorporates the Donkey Kong climbing music as its bassline. Perhaps referencing their shared obsession with bananas?
    • Upon defeating Revali in his story mission, "You may think you're good... But I'm better!" Appropriate considering who Revali is an obvious Expy of.
  • Socketed Equipment: The game uses seals on weapons to determine various bonuses like frequency of finding healing items or movement speed. Each weapon starts with 1 seal slot, and as they get upgraded they get to have 4 seal slots in total. And then there are the two unlockbale hidden seals per weapon.
  • Spoiler Opening: The miniature Guardian traveling to the past in the opening is a pretty dead giveaway that this isn't the same timeline as the original game.
  • Standard Status Effects: The demo demonstrates the same burn/freeze/paralyze trio as Breath of the Wild, all three of which cause an enemy's Weak Point gauge to deplete faster when hit.
  • Stealth Pun: When we first see the little guardian, a blue butterfly flies towards it. It is triggering the Butterfly Effect.
  • Stealth Sequel: The New Champions are from after the Divine Beasts were freed in the original timeline. As such, it's one from their perspective.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • The gameplay has different ways to make explosions, such as the use of the Bomb Rune, explosive barrels strewn about the battlefield, and certain moves of certain characters.
    • Link uses the Bomb Rune to lob a volley of explosives ahead.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Some characters that previously just had Voice Grunting, like Robbie, Kohga, and Hestu have fully voiced dialogue.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Downplayed. The champions have no problem with Revali until he starts acting up, at which point they groan and try to calm him down.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Each of the Sheikah Slate Runes are super effective against a mini-boss performing a certain attack. Charging enemies are stopped by Cryonis, spinning enemies are halted by Stasis, and Bombs break the defenses of guarding enemies; in all cases, the mini-boss will be forced into an extended weakened state, making it easier to whittle their Weak Point gauge. Additionally, using Magnesis on regular enemies with metal weapons will disarm them.
  • Terminator Twosome: The miniature Guardian comes from the future to try to avert the Calamity. However, it is followed by a part of Ganon's malice who possesses the miniature guardian from the new timeline in order to fulfill the prophecy, becoming the being known as Harbinger Ganon.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: During the opening cutscene, the miniature Guardian whistles the game's main theme just before it summons the Gate of Time.
  • The Worf Effect: When Link and Zelda enter Korok Forest, Astor unleashes four Hollows on them. Though Link manages to hold out for a few seconds, the Hollows quickly deliver a Curb-Stomp Battle that renders him completely helpless for the first time all game. Only moments later, the tables are flipped; Link draws the Master Sword, gaining a Heroic Second Wind, and absolutely decimates the Hollows that just curb-stomped him. Watching Astor's minions fall apart now that Link has the Master Sword proves without a doubt how insanely powerful it is.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Many characters use the Sheikah Slate's Bomb Rune to toss, launch, or make rain a volley of small bombs, with each character having their own unique way of doing so.
  • Timeline Altering Macguffin:
    • The miniature white Guardian has the power of traversing through time and has information on the future when Calamity Ganon is released. Its presence also alters some key elements, such as the Sheikah Towers being unearthed 100 years earlier than in the events of Breath of the Wild.
    • The corrupted miniature Guardian possessed by Ganon's Malice from the future is shown giving Astor images and information from the future, which prompts the evil prophet to intensify the monster attacks as well as Yiga assassination attempts to ensure the doomed future for Hyrule. This is why the game has so many massive battles in what is supposed to be a relative calm before the storm.
  • Time Stands Still: The Stasis Rune on the Sheikah Slate can freeze enemies in time. Just like in Breath of the Wild, striking enemies in this state will build up momentum and cause them to pinball around the battlefield.
  • Uncertain Doom: Sooga disappears from the game after the Battle of Akkala Citadel. While it's heavily implied that Astor killed him, prompting the Yiga Clan's Heel–Face Turn, all that's said by Kohga is that he's watching from the clouds, nor is his fate All There in the Manual.note 
  • Underground Monkey: Like in Breath of the Wild, enemies can come in different colors and/or elements.
  • Variable Mix: Much like the previous Hyrule Warriors game, the stage music has different mixes that it switches between when doing things like entering an enemy keep, leaving an enemy vulnerable, and the like.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: All the main villains who have multiple Boss Fights across the game run away after their defeats. A special mention goes to Master Kohga, who summons his minions and immediately disappears in smoke in his introduction.
  • Wall Jump: Pressing the dash button while up against a wall can let the player jump off of it and pull out the paraglider.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The shots of the future Champions appearing to save their predecessors from their tragic fates. It’s at this point of the story where you realize events are going to play out much differently from here on out.
    • Master Kohga bowing down towards Zelda, indicating that he's switched sides.
  • You Are Too Late: Zelda fails to awaken her inner power before Calamity Ganon does, which ravages Hyrule Castle and corrupts the Divine Beasts. Fortunately, because of Terrako, things turn out much differently this time around.

I must protect...everyone!

 
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Yiga Among Us

While Yiga Footsoldiers have been shown disguising themselves as Travelers in Breath of the Wild or Hyrulean Soldiers, their most convincing disguise is their old Shiekah professions, allowing them to infiltrate the Royal Ancient Lab and stop Robbie and Purah from learning the full analysis of Terrako, which shows the Divine Beasts being corrupted by the Blight Ganons before the events of Breath of the Wild.

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