Sunday, June 4, 2017

Hyrule Warriors 2: First Predictions

Hyrule Warriors has proven to be a great source of entertainment for Zelda fans during the years of waiting for Breath of the Wild. And it shouldn't come as a surprise, when Koei Tecmo develops another Hyrule Warriors title for the Nintendo Switch, after they are done with Fire Emblem Warriors. While this could be yet another enhanced port of the same game, we already had that on the Nintendo 3DS with Hyrule Warriors - Legends. For the Switch it would be nice, if we get a proper sequel with improved gameplay, new ideas and more.

So, here are some first thoughts about a potential Hyrule Warriors 2. After Fire Emblem Warriors has been showcased at E3, it might also be possible to say more. However, right now it doesn't look like it has any meaningful improvements over Hyrule Warriors on Wii U and 3DS.

Focus on Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild has become a big success and wildly popular, the game finally delivers a new base for the Zelda series in many ways. And with a new Hyrule Warriors game, they should set a clear focus on this. They could start by developing a roster based on Breath of the Wild, where the artworks of the game already look like they were made for a new Hyrule Warriors game to begin with, because they depict each character with a distinct weapon:

  • Link (Bow and Sword)
  • Zelda (Sheikah Slate)
  • Mipha (Zora Trident)
  • Daruk (Hammer Sword)
  • Revali (Rito Bow)
  • Urbosa (Gerudo Scimitar)

Some of the Champion descendants also could get their own character slots, especially Sidon and Riju are quite popular. In case of Riju she could even be different enough from Urbosa, if she uses the Thunder Helmet as her weapon type and unleashes lighting-based attacks on her enemies. With Sidon it might be difficult to find a weapon that's not just a copy of Mipha's or Ruto's fighting styles, because he never uses any special items in the game, just his charming personality. Yunobo also has his own charm, but his signature move is already used by Daruk. But of course you could say the same about Riju and lightning attacks. Teba is probably the least interesting, who doesn't really stand out when compared to Revali.

Another possible character from Breath of the Wild would be the "Old Man" using the Paraglider on the battlefield.

The story of the new Hyrule Warriors itself could take place some time after or maybe even before Breath of the Wild, in the era of ancient technology. Cia and Lana would still be the gatekeepers to other eras and they could receive visual upgrades, where both have more "technological" looks. Technology is the new magic after all. It even does fit their previous characters, where the Summoning Gates (probably based on the Gate of Time) seemed like a piece of technology, instead of something that's pure magic. So, Cia and Lana entering the age of technology could fit rather well.

They would also be the bridge to previous eras and summon various of heroes from all times for help, including the four Champions of Hyrule and characters from the previous Hyrule Warriors game. Koei Tecmo usually keeps all previous characters in a Warriors sequel, while there certainly also will be new characters from past Zelda games, not just Breath of the Wild.

Naturally we'd also like to see more stages and troops, where Breath of the Wild will be front runner. Zora, Rito and Gerudo warriors could be based on the game. There could be Guardian armies with the weakest type of Guardian Sentinels as the base enemy. And the game's Bokoblins, Moblins, Lizalfos and even Lynels also provide excellent entries for new enemy designs.

However, what makes the fighting in Breath of the Wild so great is the new combat system with its versatile enemies, the perfect dodging, the mid-air archery, the shield parrying and more. Ideally Koei Tecmo would also try to incorporate some of the new mechanics into their game and make the fights a little bit more challenging. Especially the Lynels shouldn't become some super-easy jokes with their Warriors renditions.

The stamina system could also become a part of the game and potentially replace the current magic system. Running around swiftly would deplete stamina (but not as much as in Breath of the Wild) and so would certain attacks. This way characters could also collect Stamina Vessels, instead of having too many Heart Containers (and Pieces).

Callable Mounts and Weapon Swaps

In Hyrule Warriors only Link could ride over the battlefield by using Epona as his "weapon". A sequel could introduce a slightly different system, where you can call mounts to cross the battlefields in a faster pace. Your moveset (and weapon) would change during the riding phase. So, instead of being a separate weapon, Link's horse would be something that he can call at any time and dismount at any time to return to his normal moveset.

Of course he wouldn't be the only character with such an option. Zelda could call her royal white stallion and Ganondorf could call the giant horse. Riju and Urbosa could use Sand Seals (Patricia in Riju's case). Goron characters could use some gecko-like Dodongo creature. Or Twili Midna could summon a large shadow wolf. But of course not every character would qualify for a mount, for example Fi would look really weird riding anything... It would only apply, where it makes sense.

Another possibility would be that characters could bring multiple weapons onto the battlefield and switch between them at any time. Only in certain cases the "switch" might feel awkward, e.g. Link switching to the Great Fairy. But she could become her own character to begin with, using a "Bottled Hero" as her weapon type.

Also, certain characters could share weapon types among each other. For example Cia and Lana could both use the Summoning Gate, while the Dominion Rod could be another weapon for Twili Midna.

New Adventure Mode

Overall Adventure Mode needs something new. Legends had a total of 10 different Adventure Maps with the tile-based mission system and if you've gone through all of that, chances are that having the exact same Adventure Mode again would lack any kind of motivation.

For the sequel a 16-bit variant based on A Link to the Past could be an interesting option. They could also stay with the classic 8-bit look and use "2D Zelda Prototype" that got created during the development of Breath of the Wild as an inspiration:

They could turn the entire Hyrule of Breath of the Wild into 8-bit, which certainly would be amazing and offer enough space to include enough missions for dozens of characters.

Apropos missions, in both cases the Adventure Mode wouldn't utilize a tile-based system anymore. Instead you would wander around with your 8/16-bit character and interact with the Adventure Map more like you would do in a Zelda game. "Challenge Battles" would be represented as enemies and "Adventure Battles" as shrines, caves or dungeons. So, by attacking an enemy that you see on the map, you would initiate a specific Challenge Battle. Different enemy tiers could even represent the difficulty level of the mission, where the toughest Challenge Battles are hidden under Golden Lynels for example.

Overall Adventure Mode would play more like an actual Zelda game, but at the same time it's still a "menu" and should allow for quick navigation of some sort, e.g. with a zoom out function.


Following Breath of the Wild, implementing a new Adventure Mode and of course adding many new characters and possibilities. Only this way Hyrule Warriors 2 could become a worthy sequel.

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