This interview is from an older issue of Famitsu. The interview is with Yousuke Hayashi, the producer on Hyrule Warriors Legends and the development producer on Hyrule Warriors. Also, it seems like the interview took place in 2015, as he refers to Hyrule Warriors Legends‘s release date as “spring of next year.” Additionally, he refers to the Nintendo Direct where Tetra and the King of Hyrule were revealed as happening recently, so it seems like this interview actually took place awhile ago. That means the “additional characters” he refers to are Linkle and Skull Kid. I wouldn’t necessarily treat this interview as providing any new information.
Note: Do not repost the full translation. Please use the first two paragraphs and link to this translation. For additional information, please read this post.
Living up to the title of Legends
Hayashi: The Zelda series is a brand that has name recognition both inside and outside the country, and alongside Mario is one of Nintendo’s flagship titles, so in the time period between the announcement of this title and its release, to be honest, I did hear a lot of concerns, people who were worried. But the people who actually bought and played it rated it very highly, and in the end many people across the globe played and enjoyed our game. We’ve shipped over 1 million units, and that number keeps growing, and for us, it really showed us again how popular the Zelda series really is.
Interviewer: What parts of this game do you think Zelda fans enjoyed the most?
Hayashi: As opposed to having one part that was the most appealing, well, all of us here are fans of the Zelda series, so we just tried to make a game that we thought would be fun. And I think the fans were able to have fun in the same way we did.
Interviewer: And then the Nintendo 3DS title Hyrule Warriors Legends was announced. When did you come up with the idea for this game?
Hayashi: It was after the Wii U version had been released. The game was well-received, but because there were a lot of Zelda games being released around that time, we got a lot of requests from Zelda fans that they wanted to play the game on the 3DS. And so we started work on a 3DS version.
Interviewer: Can you summarize this game for us?
Hayashi: Instead of approaching this game as just a port, we approached it as a game that would add a lot of features to the base game, as well as adjust parts of the base game to make it work smoothly on the 3DS. We’re aiming for a title that players who haven’t played Hyrule Warriors on the Wii U and players that are experienced at the game can both enjoy, providing a fresh, new experience for both parties that lives up to the title of Legends.
Interviewer: Because of the added Legends in the title, it definitely feels like there’s a lot of energy and ambition associated with the game.
Hayashi: Instead of taking the stance that “because it’s portable, it’s just a secondary version,” we added the Legends part to say “hey, this is a real version too!” We’ve pulled in the series producer of Zelda, Eiji Aonuma, as a supervisor again, and he said “well, you’ve certainly stated your intentions boldly with that title.” (laughs) We plan on living up to the title we’ve chosen, of course.
New chapters and new characters adds even more breadth to the gameplay!
Interviewer: You’re adding a new story to this game, a continuation of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker’s story, what were the circumstances behind this addition?
Hayashi: In the Wii U version, we featured Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword, and used those three as the foundation for the story. We had planned to include Wind Waker as well, but it differs from the other titles greatly in terms of visuals and worldbuilding, so we gave up on it once because we felt it was too difficult to unify those worlds in a satisfactory way. However, with the development of the 3DS version, I wanted to add in a new epilogue-esque story, and the story that was chosen was Wind Waker’s.
Interviewer: So the Wind Waker story starts after the end of the Wii U version?
Hayashi: That’s correct.
Interviewer: So people who’ve played the Wii U version will have an incentive to replay Legend mode on the 3DS. Now I’d like to talk to about the two new characters that were revealed. I think it’s a natural fit for Tetra to be playable with the Wind Waker segment, but the reveal of the King of Hyrule as a playable character was a shock to me. Can you elaborate on why these two where chosen as playable characters?
Hayashi: I think if one were to list the key concepts of Wind Waker, I think “Link going on adventure, riding a boat on the ocean” would be the one that comes up. As you proceed through the story, it becomes evident that the boat that Link sails, the King of Red Lions, is actually the King of Hyrule, and if we wanted to incorporate the world of Wind Waker into this game, we couldn’t leave him out…And so we unanimously decided to make him a playable character. We showed a new trailer during the Nintendo Direct a few days ago, and he’s in there, so please take a look.
Interviewer: His fighting style where he transforms into a boat is a very unique characteristic, is that one of his special attacks?
Hayashi: No, that’s one of his standard moves. He transforms into the boat when you use the strong attack button, so you can incorporate it into combos as well.
Interviewer: Sounds like a lot of fun. Other than his transformation abilities, it seems like he fights with a sail as his weapon, but what sort of actions can he use?
Hayashi: He’s an entity that’s somewhat like a ghost or spirit, so I thought having him fight using magic as opposed to fighting with a sword or spear in hand matched the impression I get from his character. After thinking about how to differentiate him from other magic-wielding characters, I settled on having him swinging around a sail, which is associated with boats, while making use of various magical abilities as his fighting style.
Interviewer: Seems like a character that’ll play very differently from the ones we already have. On the other hand, Tetra looks like she uses a cutlass and a flintlock pistol. Will we need to specify which weapon to use when we’re selecting a character?
Hayashi: Tetra will be able to use both weapons simultaneously. Basically, the characters that can select several sets of weapons are characters like Link and Zelda that have appeared in multiple titles, and for characters that are from only one game will have a weapon that suits their image.
Full of new features that make the most out of the portability
Interviewer: Are there in change in terms of the controls?
Hayashi: Right now, we’re adjusting it so that we can recreate the control scheme and feel of playing it on the Wii U, exactly the same. On the New Nintendo 3DS, you can control the camera with the C stick while you play.
Interviewer: What I’m worried about in terms of this game being on a handheld is the number of enemies that can appear on the screen at once. The Wii U has better hardware specs, naturally, so what should we expect in terms of that?
Hayashi: Internally, by going through a lot of trial and error, and we can display a number of enemies that appropriately and strongly conveys the “fun” of Dynasty Warriors. We have some footage right here, would you like to see?
Interviewer: Woah! That is a lot of enemies.
Hayashi: It is, right? Phew (laughs).
Interviewer: I’d like to play it as soon as possible (laughs). Among the new features that were shown, the “player change” mechanic is also very interesting.
Hayashi: This was actually a feature that when the Wii U version was released, a lot of people requested it, so we decided to include it. Because of the addition of these new mechanics, we’ve also adjusted the story slightly, and made it so there’s no inconsistencies or weirdness if you change characters. On top of that, there are puzzles that can’t be solved without switching characters, and other things like that that are designed to maximize the enjoyment of these additional components, so please have fun with them.
Interviewer: It looks like you’ll be able to enjoy some very tactical battles.
Hayashi: Yes. For example, there may be areas that are difficult for Link to clear, but other characters can beat more easily. Or, you could defeat more enemies and do it even faster, stuff like that.
Interviewer: Just wondering, do you have any plans to add additional characters other than Tetra and the King of Hyrule?
Hayashi: I can’t give you an concrete details right now, but we do have plans for additional new characters other than Tetra and the King of Hyrule. There’ll be a character that’s a favorite within the Zelda fanbase, and there’ll be a weird, out-of-left-field type character that’s playable as well, so I’d be happy if you imagine who could be in the game while awaiting further news.
Interviewer: Wow! That sounds incredible. Do you plan on having more characters that are playable via the DLC route, like last time?
Hayashi: Right now, we’re just working on getting the game ready for release for spring of next year, so we haven’t decided on anything regarding DLC. If we were going to make DLC, that would be something we’d have to hash out and work on in the future.
Interviewer: I see. Because this game is on the Nintendo 3DS, do you have any plans to incorporate Streetpass into the game?
Hayashi: It is something that you want to see included, seeing as it is a 3DS game. In this game we have the Adventure Mode, which is geared towards people who really want to get into the game, and we plan on having Streetpass integrated into this mode.
Interviewer: I’m looking forward to it. you also updated the Wii U version on June 17th.
Hayashi: Yes. To express our feelings of gratitude to those who played the Wii U version, we added a new outfit for Link. We used the costume from the cover art of the first Legend of Zelda as a motif, I think it feels different from all of the other stuff that was added in prior updates, so please equip it and try some battles with it.
Interviewer: You want people to keep playing the Wii U version until Hyrule Warriors Legends is released, of course.
Hayashi: Yes. Hyrule Warriors is a game that a lot of people recognize and appreciate, but I think there are some players that are worried about whether the handheld version will just feel like an inferior version of the console game. We’re working as hard as we can to make sure that the great fun and enjoyment of the Dynasty Warriors games is conveyed to the player, so I’d like to assuage any of those fears. I’m hoping to have an opportunity to let people test out the game as well, so please look forward to that as well!
Sidebar: According to Mr. Hayashi, the 3DS version will be able to use amiibo in the same way that the Wii U version was. If you have any amiibo from the Zelda series, they can be used to obtain a random weapon for that character. Other amiibo can be used to get free items or rupees.