Nintendo Announces “Hyrule Warriors,” A Dynasty Warriors-Esque Collaboration With Tecmo Koei

I can’t remember the last time I was outright speechless after a Nintendo Direct, but this is definitely one of those times. Excuse me while I gather myself….. wait, what?! In a twist that nobody could have predicted but is definitely awesome all the same, Nintendo announced earlier today that a game tentatively titled Hyrule Warriors exists. It’s a Zelda game, but it’s also not. Don’t worry, I was nervous at first too.

Company president Satoru Iwata made it very clear that Hyrule Warriors is not the next mainline Zelda entry on Wii U. Rather, it’s a collaboration between Nintendo and Tecmo Koei to bring the beloved (and occasionally mocked) Dynasty Warriors experience to a new setting, a setting that in this case happens to be Hyrule. There’s also a trailer for the game, which you can and should view at the top of this page.

What’s a Zelda fan to make of it all? I’m not even going to discuss whether this is a good idea or not — because frankly I have no idea — and I’m not one to hold a grudge against Tecmo Koei just because Metroid: Other M was one of the goofier things I experienced last generation. If you think about it, there’s plenty of room in Zelda lore for a Dynasty Warriors-esque plot to unfold: multiple Zelda games mention warlike conflicts, namely the Imprisoning War, and finally having some context and even visual representation of such an event would really help to flesh out the years of mythology Hyrule Historia so eloquently outlined.

In terms of the teaser itself, it’s hard to say much at this point. The game seems to play as Dynasty Warriors should, with Link performing ridiculously athletic, brutal, and devastating attacks, sending dozens of Bokoblins hurtling through the air like Orcs out of Mordor. Notably, he is shown wielding the Fire Rod for the first time outside of a top-down Zelda – does that mean the Link shown is from either Link to the Past or Link Between Worlds? Or is it a new hero entirely?

Hyrule Warriors is set to launch sometime in 2014, so there’s plenty of time for Tecmo Koei and Nintendo to finish the game, not to mention finish explaining what it even is. In the meantime, consider me certifiably perplexed.