Review: Toon Zelda in Hyrule Warriors

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The latest and second to last DLC pack to be released for Hyrule Warriors and Hyrule Warriors: Legends was announced and released during the last 3DS Nintendo Direct on Thursday, September 1st. As many fans already know, the Hyrule Warriors franchise is a spin off game involving the magical world(s) of the Legend of Zelda while incorporating the hack-and-slash gameplay of Dynasty Warriors.

Although I have never been a fan of the Dynasty Warriors series, and likely never will be, the Hyrule Warriors series has been a huge part of my free time since its release in 2014. I had already written an article back in April, after Marin had been confirmed playable for the Link’s Awakening DLC pack, regarding my personal predictions for the upcoming DLC characters. With that, for those unaware, a sprite ripper found placeholder data in the game two months ago that revealed the upcoming playable characters joining the Hyrule Warriors gang. Japanese text had been pasted over Link sprites and displayed the names Toon Zelda (Tゼルダ), Ravio (ラヴィオ), and Yuga (ユガ). The sprites already revealed a Dark Toon Zelda icon, but no photos were revealed for Yuga or Ravio.

I play a majority of my gameplay on the Wii U version as I am extremely close to 100% completing the game and will be writing an article on that before the end of the year. Please keep in mind that any reviews I write for the franchise will be regarding Hyrule Warriors gameplay and nothing from Hyrule Warriors: Legends, as I have been too busy to pick up the game and play through it.

With that, let’s take a look at Toon Zelda’s gameplay. I managed to level her up to 109 thanks to the Training Dojo and spare rupees I hadn’t used, that way trying out her move set would be a little more enjoyable. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is one of the few games in the series I have yet to touch, aside from Four Swords and Adventure of Link, so I had to do some research to understand the references of her combo attacks.

Toon Zelda in the Faron Woods map of Hyrule Warriors.

A closer look at Toon Zelda in the Faron Woods map of Hyrule Warriors.

Zelda’s soul possessed a Phantom, a recurring enemy in the series, and can do a multitude of things with it in order to help Link progress through his quest. They are considered powerful enemies and serve as guardians in Spirit Tracks. On a funny note, according to the Zelda Wiki, “Evidently, (Phantoms) treat their job like a normal person would treat any other, mentioning things from their day-to-day life like how ‘Bob quit last week,’ or how the ‘break room is a broom closet.'”

So, in Hyrule Warriors, a majority of Toon Zelda’s moves involve three things: swinging around the clunky sword she wields, turning into the Wrecker Phantom form that rolls into a ball (when defeating a boss’s weakness gauge or using her basic Y attack), and leaving the armor so her ghost can attack with light-oriented magic. A majority of her combos involve her sword shining bright as her “phantom arms” weapon possesses the light element.

Toon Zelda in Hyrule Warriors

I first wondered if Zelda enjoyed possessing the Phantom’s armor. Her winning animation answered my question. She seems okay with her circumstances.

My personal opinion on Toon Zelda’s appearance in the game? I think it’s unnecessary. I believe the references are cool, especially for Spirit Tracks fans, but during my prediction I was almost certain Linebeck would be playable. I also considered Byrne’s appearance, as Linebeck incorporating boats into his combos might be too close to the King of Red Lions’ moves for comfort. Although I think her Phantom form is refreshing and unique, I am too bothered by the fact that Zelda, Sheik, Tetra, and Toon Zelda are all separate, playable characters, instead of incorporating them into moves. (An example: having Tetra turn into Toon Zelda for her focus spirit ability, similar to Young Link transforming into the Fierce Deity, or Ghirahim transforming into his final form.) I think that there should have been a bigger variety to the characters they brought to the game, instead of recurring characters with very similar to combos on top of that.

I also wondered why the Phantom Hourglass/Spirit Tracks DLC map was even considered in the first place. I believe making a separate Skyward Sword map, with Demise as an option for a final boss, would have been a lot more enjoyable and appealing as a DLC map for a Hyrule Warriors Adventure Mode. I have seen this debated within the Hyrule Warriors community. “Why create more Skyward Sword DLC when Fi, Ghirahim, an Imprisoned boss, and two level maps from the game already exist? Hasn’t the game played a big enough role in Hyrule Warriors?” This is what fans have usually asked me. I have responded to this question with “Why didn’t they release Skull Kid with the Majora’s Mask DLC? Why did Tingle have a higher priority over the Happy Mask Salesman, who is a considerably more memorable character in the game? Why are so many skins in Hyrule Warriors: Legends recolors instead of something more creative?”

Many fans of the relatively new Hyrule Warriors franchise can agree that many odd decisions have been made, whether it fits their personal preferences or not. I can confidently say that the series has not done its best at pleasing or listening to fans. From what I have seen, the playable characters people primarily want in the series are Groose and Vaati. In fact, my original mentality toward Hyrule Warriors: Legends before its release was “No Groose: No Buy.” Incorporating Groose’s originally greasy behavior, his use of the Groosenator, and the fact that he freaked out over cute, tiny birds all make great potential for an entertaining, fun-to-play playable character, with references that fans can enjoy. But, enough with that tangent.

Groose in Skyward Sword

The Hyrule Warriors team should have acknowledged your slick pompadour, Groose. I know.

In my opinion, Toon Zelda’s gameplay is mediocre and somewhat charming. She is not the best choice for a playable character in the series and was definitely not a highly demanded character. Does the fact I’ve never played Spirit Tracks have an influence on my review? Most likely. Regardless, her combos and gameplay are kind of fun, but it quickly grew boring and annoying, though I am glad Spirit Tracks fans were able to get a character they enjoy.

What are your thoughts on Toon Zelda in Hyrule Warriors and Hyrule Warriors: Legends? What playable character would you want to see in the series? Let us know in the comments below!


About Author

Hannah is a 20-year-old college student, avid Nintendo fan, and video game enthusiast. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Education at the University of North Florida. She fell in love with the Legend of Zelda series when her aunt introduced both her and her brother to the Nintendo 64 and Ocarina of Time. She has been hooked on the series since.

  • Tallyho

    I’d never thought of that but god what I would give to play with Vaati ! But I gotta agree with you there, Toon Zelda is a little unnecessary, but she’s still a cool character to play with and the use of her phantom form is kind of clever, it’s visually refreshing and unique as you said. All in all, good DLC but could’ve been more. (P.S.: Who’s your favourite character ? Mine’s Marin, she’s awesome !)

    • My favorite characters design-wise are Lana, Darunia, and Twili Midna. My favorites to play are Zant, Ruto, and Link with the Master Sword. Zant is probably my top favorite character to play as his moves are both entertaining and effective at winning games.