A long time ago, I used to play a forum game called Hyrulian War. The premise of the game was very akin to the board game Risk or Diplomacy, except that our variant was much more complicated and also Zelda-themed. Upon a vast grid, a handful of players took up the causes of the various races of the Hylians, the Kokiri, the Gorons, the Gerudo, the Zora, the Sheikah, and naturally the Undead. (Hey, we needed space for a seventh player!) Over the course of several months, everyone would throw their military might at each other in hopes to come out victorious, whether with allies or on their own.
And then I saw a video for the game Hyrule: Total War. And in the back of my head, I knew that this was the game we were all playing in our heads long ago. (Video after the jump!)
The game is a total conversion project of the game Medieval 2: Total War led by Zelda fan Undying Nephalim. And, well, I think I’ll let Nephalim describe the project for me:
Hyrule: Total War is a conversion for Medieval 2: Total War. A vast majority of the iconic races from the Zelda universe have been represented as armies that the player can assemble, command, and ultimately use to destroy their enemies. The Hero of Time has chosen to return to the past, a choice that ultimately has ruined the charts of history and sent Hyrule into chaos. Major wars that were already decided have unmade themselves, allowing fallen armies a second chance at these critical events in Hyrule’s history. This is where you, the player, comes in. You shall choose how to rewrite the history of Hyrule.
Do you stick with the proper path and smite the evil in the land in the name of the Goddesses? Or perhaps you feel that the Hylians have overstayed their welcome as masters of the land and would rather the Gerudo forces of Ganondorf lead Hyrule into a new age leadership? Maybe you feel it’s time that the Gorons march from their mountain kingdoms and rebuild their long lost empire, smashing anyone who opposes their will? On the other hand, you might fall in favor of fighting for the Zora Dominion and cleansing the land of imperfect creatures and establishing a new order of purity. Perhaps the forces of nature have won you over, and you would see to it that the Kokiri and beings of the forest rise to power? Or maybe you would act against nature, and infest and consume all life as the infestation of Gohma…
There are many races to choose from, and many possible outcomes to your actions. Hyrule’s fate is now in your hands. Will you lead it to a golden age of peace, or dominate it in your name?
The final copy of the mod will feature 20 different races; all of the familiar ones from Ocarina of Time are present and accounted for, but there are also a handful of unexpected ones: the Gohma (which sound scarily enough like Starcraft‘s Zerg!), the Deku tribe, Stalfos, Moblins, Darknuts, Lizalfos, the Ikana, Wizzrobes, Fairies, and… dare I say it, eventually the Oocca. There’s a bunch of artwork and details about the kingdoms and their units, though it appears unfortunately that most of the screenshots can’t be seen because he’s run out of PhotoBucket bandwidth for the month.
Undying Nephalim’s long forum post describes pretty much everything you need to know about the game… as well as what you need to have and do in order to play it. By the sound of things, you will need a copy of Medieval 2: Total War along with the Kingdoms expansion pack. The conversion is still in active development, but there’s a playable demo that is virtually all but complete.
Ready to tackle Hyrule in Link’s stead? The opportunity awaits.