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Hyrule Warriors (ゼルダ無双 Zeruda/Zelda Musō/Zelda Musou?), is a non-canon spin-off series and a collaboration between The Legend of Zelda series and Tecmo Koei's Dynasty Warriors. The series began with the release of Hyrule Warriors for the Wii U in 2014 on August 14 in Japan, September 19 in Europe, and September 26 in North America and was later followed with the release of Hyrule Warriors Legends for the Nintendo 3DS in 2016 January 21 in Japan and March 25 for both Europe & North America.
The gameplay is very similar to the Dynasty Warriors series and thus is the most combat-intensive game of any Zelda series game, featuring hordes of enemies on the screen at once. Players will initially control Link, but as the story progresses, other characters such as Impa, Princess Zelda and Lana will be unlocked. One effect of the collaboration is that many characters are either playable for the very first time (such as Impa, Ruto and Darunia) or playable for the first time outside of Super Smash Bros. (such as Zelda/Sheik).
Players can execute combos, and have access to many of The Legend of Zelda's signature items, such as Bombs, Red Potions, the Hookshot and the Boomerang. Each playable character will have their own unique weapons and attacks. For instance, Link wields a sword and shield, the Magic Rod, and can perform the Downthrust and the Spin Attack.
The puzzles and dungeons that have been traditional Legend of Zelda mainstays are not present. However, the bosses that appear in Hyrule Warriors will still require an item that is instrumental in defeating them. Instead, players will battle to capture and defend keep bases to prevent the enemy from controlling them and spawning at those points, all the while completing the set objectives.
Just as in Zelda, the health bar is represented by Hearts, and maximum health of all playable characters can be increased by finding Pieces of Heart and Heart Containers. A yellow bar represents the character's Special Technique Gauge or Musou Gauge, enabling him or her to perform a special attack once it is filled. The green Magic Bar also returns and functions similar to the Fury Gauge from Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce, granting added powers once it is filled and triggered, plus an even stronger Special Technique while it is active.
In Hyrule Warriors Legends, new gameplay mechanics where added such as the ability to switch between playable characters mid-battle, the ability to command other playable characters not currently controlled by designating targets for them via the Command menu, and the Smash Power Boost which grants bonuses to the player while confronting Giant Bosses alongside other playable characters. Most of the content (such as DLC) from Hyrule Warriors appears in Hyrule Warriors Legends, however content such as 8-Bit weapon skins and Challenge Mode have been replaced and/or omitted.
According to Eiji Aonuma, the Hyrule Warriors series exists in a different dimension from the main series, so the events within series are considered non-canon. The fact that the game's characters come together from their own separate eras further supports Aonuma's statement.
It is heavily implied that the some of the various Eras that appear in Hyrule Warriors are alternate timelines such as the The Era of Twilight and The Era of the Great Sea while others such as The Era of the Hero of Time and The Era of Skyloft are eras of the past.
In the universe of Hyrule Warriors, the Demon King Ganondorf repeatedly plagued the kingdom and land of Hyrule in countless conflicts over the Triforce. Each time the reincarnated Spirit of the Hero would be reborn to confront and defeat the Demon King. Eventually one incarnation of The Legendary Hero managed to end the cycle of conflicts by splitting the Demon King's soul into four Spirit Fragments. Three of the Spirit Fragments where sealed away across time and space, one in the Era of the Hero of Time, one in the Era of Twilight, and one in the Era of Skyloft. The final fragment was placed under seal by the Master Sword which was placed in the Temple of the Sacred Sword which was built on sacred ground, which was protected by both the Spirits of fallen Hylian Soldiers & a powerful barrier. Meanwhile in the Temple of Souls hidden deep in a forest far from mortal eyes, the Guardian of Time stood watch over the countless battles over the Triforce. Over time, the Guardian became enamored with the Spirit of the Hero, who soul was unlike any other she had seen, causing her to eventually fall in love with him, despite knowing that they could near be together as his destiny was tied to another. See a opportunity to free himself, the sealed spirit of the Demon King took advantage of the conflict within the Guardian's heart to possess and corrupt her. By driving the Light from her heart, he transformed her into the Black Sorceress, Cia, turning her love for the Hero into a twisted desire to possess the Hero's soul. Granting her the Triforce of Power, the Demon King manipulated her into opening the Gate of Souls to summon legions of monsters creating the Dark Forces. With her two Generals Volga and Wizzro, Cia's army invaded the Kingdom of Hyrule. Sensing the approaching darkness, Princess Zelda and her trusted Sheikah General Impa mobilized the Hyrulean Forces, as well as search for the current incarnation of the Hero, who turned out to be a promising young Hylian Forces recruit named Link.
- ^ 2014-6-11 Eiji Aonuma Addresses Hyrule Warriors’ Place In The Zelda Timeline, accessed on 2014-7-30