As part of the Nintendo Treehouse: Live @ E3 streaming event on Tuesday, members of the NoA Treehouse division gave a live demo of Hyrule Warriors that included several new details for the upcoming Wii U game and a guest appearance from Eiji Aonuma. The demo showed footage of Midna leading troops as they attack hordes of enemies in the Palace of Twilight stage, and later the same campaign with Link. Here are the highlights:
Menus and Screens
- Before beginning, players will select a level, a playable character to fight with, and, at least in the case of Link, a primary weapon to fight with. In the demo broadcasted by Nintendo Treehouse, Link had the option of picking a sword or the Fire Rod to fight with.
- Many characters and items were hidden and locked in the demo.
- After selecting a level, the loading screen displays gameplay tips, but even more interesting is the progress bar. It is adorned with an 8-bit Link from the NES era who deflects a projectile from an 8-bit Octorok before slaying it and claiming the Triforce; a clever nod to retro games in the series.
- The Palace of Twilight stage seen in the demo is a large, labyrinthine area with several rooms, halls, paths and outdoor areas. The stage is divided into different areas, and each area can be controlled by one army: either the Hyrule Army or their enemies. Gameplay is based on forcing the enemies back to claim as much of the stage for the Hyrule Army as possible.
- When fighting in an area of the overall stage, a meter will show how many more enemies must be killed to claim that area. When the meter is empty, a boss for that area will appear. In the Palace of Twilight level, a Moblin appeared as the boss of a room after enough Bokoblins were killed. Defeating this boss claims the room or area for the forces of Hyrule.
- Each level also has an overall boss that must be defeated to win that stage. For the Palace of Twilight stage, the boss is the giant dragon Argorok from Twilight Princess.
- The game can easily have more than fifty enemies on screen at any time.
- Other main characters will fight along you as NPCs during the campaign. In the demo, Princess Zelda and Impa lead their own divisions of Hyrule soldiers while Midna launched attacks on the front line.
- Your health is measured in typical Zelda fashion with a row of hearts. Finding Recovery Hearts on the battlefield will heal damage you have taken.
- Hyrule Warriors will focus mostly on combat, but there are puzzle-solving sequences from time to time. Often to progress, you must find a treasure chest with an item you need, such as bombs or the Hookshot, that will allow you to access new areas. In the demo, the Hookshot was used to cross a bridge after it was destroyed. Bombs were also used to destroy boulders on the battlefield.
- When opening a treasure chest, gameplay and the action stops for a reveal sequence, just as in modern Zelda games.
- Some areas of the stage have “magic circles” on the ground that can be activated by a playable character. Once activated, they launch powerful magical attacks against the level’s main boss. One power circle seen in the demo launched massive chains skyward to strike Argorok down.
- Fairy Fountains in the levels will contain magic circles. When activated, a Great Fairy will appear to assist the player. In the demo, the Great Fairy summoned the Moon from Majora’s Mask. The Moon theN plummeted into Argorok, sending him crashing into the ground. Afterwards, the Moon burst into several Fairies that flew away.
- The battle will rage on across the entire stage, regardless of where you are currently. You will receive real-time notifications of the progress and status of your army across the battle, including warnings when morale is low or certain platoons are fleeing. Running to assist these locations can keep the battle in your favor and prevent a game over.
Hyrule Warriors will use the following control scheme:
Y: Weaker yet faster attack
X: Stronger and slower attack
A: Special attack
ZR: Use equipped items, such as bombs or the Hookshot.
D-pad: Cycle through available items in your arsenal
The demo by Nintendo Treehouse had several new details on enemies, both new and old.
- Bokoblins: These Bokoblins were of the Twilight Princess variety, unlike the Skyward Sword Bokoblins seen in the Hyrule Field stage. They comprise most of the army you fight against in the Palace of Twilight stage and are usually easily dispatched by most of your attacks.
- ReDead Knights: These fearsome monsters are far harder to take down than the average Bokoblin. They will require patience and timing, as the key is to strike them when their guard is down and they are vulnerable. Still, it will be a feat to bring one down. They also can deal more damage and have a wide range with their sword.
- Moblin: A Moblin appeared as the boss of a room inside the Palace of Twilight, one of many such bosses for each stage.
- Aeralfos: Based on enemies from Twilight Princess, the Aeralfos fly above the action to deal quick attacks. They are much easier to defeat when the Hookshot is used to latch on to them and pull them to the ground within range of your troops.
- Argarok: The boss of the Palace of Twilight, Argarok, is very difficult to bring down and defeat. Multiple magic circles are needed before the final blow can be dealt. Until that point, the dragon will terrorize your troops and bring havoc to the battlefield with its fire breath. It can also fly to any area on the stage, leaving no area safe from attack.
Items and Attacks
- Multiple bombs can be thrown at once in quick succession.
- The Hookshot can be used to reach new areas as well as to latch on to enemies and attack them.
- Link can opt to don the Fire Rod and leave his sword at home, as he did during the E3 demo. The Fire Rod has powerful blazing attacks with a far reach.
- Players can fight using both strong, slow attacks or weaker yet faster strikes, as well as special attacks and magic.
- Magic, measured by a “Focus Spirit” meter, can be used to temporarily increase speed and attack power, or be used towards a larger and more powerful special attack.
- Midna can use the power of the Fused Shadow in her special attacks. When used, she will transform into a more monstrous form, grabbing enemies and annihilating them.
- Midna can summon a Twilight wolf to ride. This is not Wolf Link, but instead a creation of Midna’s magic. She can attack with the wolf much like Wolf Link did in Twilight Princess.
Update: Nintendo has released the full video from the Treehouse Hyrule Warriors live stream. Check it out to see all the details listed above in action!