Will we see hints about the new Zelda coming to Wii U in Hyrule Warriors? Is Hyrule Warriors a test bed for some of the action mechanics that will appear in the next Zelda?

[Eiji Aonuma] In the trailer I talked about the idea of the open world and how we’re going to really bring it to life in the next installment of the series. With Hyrule Warriors, it’s not a huge open world, but it’s a large area with battles taking place all the time. Link has to figure out what his strategy is, what his part is going to be, and how he is going to take over as many of these areas as possible. In that sense, it’s unlike the traditional Zelda titles where there is a process – a flow you have to follow. You start at A, you go to B, you get the key kind of thing. My goal is to eliminate that sort of formula and make it more of, as in with Hyrule Warriors, this large space where you have to figure out what your experience is going to be within that space. You define it

In a previous Nintendo Direct presentation, you outlined a few pillars of the Zelda series you wanted to rethink. One was taking dungeons out of order, which saw fruition in Link Between Worlds, and the other pillar you mentioned wanting to rethink was playing Zelda by yourself. Is Hyrule Warriors a step in that direction? Are we going to have to multiplayer in the next Zelda?

[Eiji Aonuma] The two-player functionality of Hyrule Warriors is actually something that has traditionally been done in the Dynasty Warriors series, but they’ve changed because of the hardware and the second screen on your GamePad. Instead of having a splitscreen on the television, you have one-player playing on the television and one on the GamePad. When I was talking back about making Zelda more than just a single-player experience? That’s something you will see in the future, maybe next year.

In the direct presentation, you said you will be able to play as your favorite characters. How obscure are you planning on going? And will there be any totally original characters?

It might be kind of rude to Zelda fans and some of the characters to call them obscure, but we have definitely tried to make a line-up that Zelda fans will enjoy and say, “Oh! You put that one in there!” That’s definitely something we hope players feel. In regard to new characters, Link, Impa, Princess Zelda – these are all characters that exist in the Zelda universe, but they are all original designs. We will be talking about original characters in the future.

So, they will exist? Can we say that at least?


What are your reactions to the feedback on the announcement of Hyrule Warriors?

We definitely check fan feedback. We were most nervous right before the Nintendo Direct reveal. We were all watching live as well and checking to see what fan reaction was. It was actually more positive than we had anticipated. We were able to relax a little bit and confirm that we were going in the right direction with the ideas we had for the game. It was something that was resonating with fans that they would appreciate, and we started seeing a lot of comments from fans saying, “We think this should be in there!” or “This element should be in there!” and “They should do things like this!” and a lot of those kinds of ideas starting popping up and there are actually several of those ideas that we took and put into the game. We’ll talk more about that at a later date, but there are definitely those elements that we put in because of fan reaction and fan comments to what they saw. It’s been reassuring to see there a lot of people who have said, “We wanted to play a Zelda game like this too!”

For Eiji Aonuma’s response to fan reaction regarding the recent Zelda Wii U trailer, head here.

Any final thoughts on the game?

Hyrule Warriors, for us is a celebration of Zelda and the workld of Zelda, and the entire universe of Zelda. We definitely want Zelda fans to enjoy the game for what it is – a celebration of the whole universe. But for people who aren’t familiar with the Zelda series, as well, this is an easy way to get into that universe and meet a lot of different characters, play with a lot of different characters from the series, and sort of get their feet wet in the series. I think the game is easy enough for people who are unfamiliar to pick it up and play and have fun with. We hope both Zelda fans and non-Zelda fans will check it out.

[Eiji Aonuma] I’d also like to ask those fans of the Dynasty Warriors series to play this one as their entry point to The Legend of Zelda. Link Between Worlds is out. Maybe after playing Hyrule Warriros they will decide to go to the store and pick it up, because the Zelda games aren’t ones you have to play in any particular order.

Hyrule Warriors is coming to Wii U on September 26. For the latest trailer for the game, head here.