Coinciding with the Japanese release of Hyrule Warriors comes an art book chock-full of concept drawings for the game’s characters, plus detailed imagery of weapons and costumes. It also gives a handy chart that outlines the relationships between the various characters, giving a better idea as to how they all fit within the story.
Perhaps the most interesting of all the artwork is what appears to be a female Link. Now before you get too excited, Kotaku explains that it’s actually the design for a little sister-type character for Link named Linkle. In the concept art, Linkle wears the traditional green hat and attire, but opts for a skirt, cape and puffed-sleeve top rather than a tunic. She seems confident with a sword, shield and crossbow. While Linkle didn’t make it into the final cut, it’s still pretty cool to see how the game’s designers would imagine Link as a girl.
He saved her, she saved him; learning how all these characters know each can be a lot to take in. Luckily, we have this chart that will clear up any confusion.
Nintendo Everything‘s translation of the relationship chart explains that when Ganondorf was killed, he was sealed away and his soul separated into four fragments. He gets reborn after he manipulates Cia to bring those pieces back together.
Cia creates Wizzro, who along with Valga, Ghirahim and Zant, obey her every command.
Notice the dotted line connected Cia and Lana. That doesn’t appear anywhere else on the chart. It’s thought that Lana and Cia are from the same group of witches, explaining how they are connected in the story.
Nintendo Everything posted a translation of the Japanese text regarding Link’s design:
“We had many different ideas for the concept ‘Link running around the battlefield’. For example, we considered Japanese style armor and heavy armor, but in order to make dashing around the plains look pretty, we decided on the simple design with a blue scarf. This scarf can be worn only by a person who leads Hyrule’s royal army, so it is a special proof of one’s worth.”
Our princess makes her way to the front lines of the battlefield, proving she can easily hold her own in a fight. One of the developers has this to say about Zelda’s design:
“In this installment Zelda is a princess who participates in battles, so we needed to to add the easiness of movement to her elegant princess-like design. As a result, the attire – which may be the sexiest princess Zelda costume in the history of the series – was born. Personally I also really liked the negligee costume so I wanted to choose that one instead… (laughs)”
The white witch Lana was originally planned to be a fairy-type character.
Like Lana, Cia was also originally planned to be a fairy. The art book explains her current design:
“Since Cia is Lana’s polar opposite with her evil heart, her main colors are also the opposite of that of Lana. By having noble metals on her sexy body, Cia’s greedy nature was expressed visually.”
Impa is part of the Sheikah tribe and also a fan favorite. The designers pulled from historical Japanese culture to create her attire:
“In this game, in order to strengthen the Japanese style look of the Sheikah tribe, Japanese style armor was taken as one motif. Design’s details took some inspiration from Impa in Skyward Sword as well.”
You can’t have a Warriors game without weapons! Below are early illustrations of the fighters’ weapons alongside their current design.