The Strange History of Legend of Zelda Games That Let You Play as Zelda

Spirit Tracks revolves around a central dungeon, the Tower of Spirits, which is inhabited by powerful warriors called Phantoms. Since Zelda is a disembodied spirit, she can possess them, and players can issue commands to her to help navigate the tower. Since Phantoms come in a variety of forms, Zelda can use different abilities depending on the one she possesses. Again, this isn’t quite the same as actually controlling Zelda, but it’s the best we’ve got so far.

Hyrule Warriors 

Lately, Omega Force, the developers of Dynasty Warriors, have been killing it with their licensed titles. While the studio has been mixing its Warriors formula with other franchises since 2007, Omega Force didn’t quite nail things down until 2014’s Hyrule Warriors.

Mechanically and narratively, Hyrule Warriors doesn’t deviate much from the Dynasty Warriors standard. Gameplay is the same fun hack-and-slash affair we have come to expect from Omega Force, combined with Legend of Zelda items and one of the most metal soundtracks you’ve ever heard. As for the story, it’s little more than an excuse to get characters from disparate periods of Legend of Zelda chronology in one game world, combined with some unique takes on existing characters and new faces.

Hyrule Warriors stars a who’s who of Legend of Zelda characters, including Zelda and her alter ego, Sheik. Zelda can charge into battle with a rapier and baton (and the Dominion Rod if you buy the DLC), and she also has a mechanic where she can summon light orbs to increase her damage output. Meanwhile, Sheik wields daggers and a harp, and virtually every strong attack that uses this instrument references a song from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It’s far from a traditional Legend of Zelda title, but it’s the most action a fully-playable Zelda has seen in a good game up until this point.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

The narrative of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is split between two time periods. While many cutscenes unfold in whatever time period the game takes place (the official timeline is legendarily vague), others either allude to or are flashbacks to the time before Calamity Ganon emerged. The game leaves enough information for gamers to infer key events, but many details are left up in the air. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity fills in those gaps.

While Age of Calamity is a prequel to Breath of the Wild, it is also a spiritual successor to Hyrule Warriors. Much like the original Hyrule Warriors, Age of Calamity offers a hack-and-slash adventure across Hyrule, but this time almost every character hails from Breath of the Wild. Moreover, instead of wielding classic Legend of Zelda items, players get access to abilities such as Stasis.

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