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Heard the news about the Hyrule Warriors DLC? One of our newest staffers, Adam, gives his thoughts on the recent announcement and what one particular pack may have in store for us. Click on the article to find out more...

Welcome to a brand new series, one which aims to make a counter argument or counter point to editorials and authors from another land. What I mean to say is, this is a series that does exactly what it says it does: it makes a counterpoint to someone else’s thoughts and ideas on the internet. Sometimes this may simply be a well-respected fan’s thoughts in the comments – other times it will be full blown editorial responses. Today, I am going to make a counterpoint to Alex Plant’s latest editorial, which states rather plainly that “Zelda Should Embrace Traditional Fantasy Visuals”. It’s a good read for those who haven’t had a chance to see it yet.

The continuity of the Zelda series spent many years atop the mountain of gaming mysteries. Devoted fans spent hours, weeks, even months of their lives trying to crack the code behind the Zelda timeline, in the process forging complex and convoluted theories from the most minute of details in order to prove their own unique take on how the games all tied together. Of course, Hyrule Historia put an end to all that, but I bring this up because it shows just how much some people (myself included; I was a timeline theorist for years) love to find the connections between various parts of the series.

Fast forward to today, when Hyrule Warriors' release is almost upon us in North America. Relatively early on, the game was confirmed to have absolutely no connection to the main Zelda series—sure, the title features numerous characters, locales, items, and enemies from a select number of the games, but it's all taking place in another parallel world that does not intersect with the ones Historia gave us. But was that the right call, and, assuming that the Dynasty Warriors/Legend of Zelda crossover gets a sequel, should Nintendo and Koei Tecmo continue to keep the worlds separate?

Head past the jump to hear my thoughts on the matter.

Hyrule Warriors is by no means a Legend of Zelda game and in no way did it ever try to be, that’s for sure. Bringing the classic tactical gameplay of Dynasty Warriors with a Zelda theme, Hyrule Warriors provides something new and fresh, but not something that encapsulates the Zelda essence of adventure and exploration.

Although Hyrule Warriors cannot (and never intended to) act as a bridge tiding gamers over to Zelda Wii U, it does have a few things to say about the upcoming full-blown Zelda adventure and the direction it may take. Six things in fact.

(PLEASE NOTE: There are minor story spoilers about Hyrule Warriors contained within if you read the full points. If you just browse the six main point headlines you will be fine.)

No, Hyrule Warriors doesn’t actually have traditional voice acting. What it does do that no other Zelda game before has done is provide voiced narration. Let me step back a bit: It’s not really a Zelda game at all, but for what it is involving Zelda lore, worlds, and characters, it makes me personally feel like it’s time to explore this in the main series.

I understand many of the valid arguments against voice acting. There is a real fear, for the most part, that it will be terrible – a Metroid: Other M type of terrible, and naturally if that is the alternative… we would rather stick with text boxes. Except that doesn’t have to be the alternative. Now, you may not like the narration voice/tone in Hyrule Warriors (I do like it), but it’s really adding something to the experience that the cut scenes themselves don’t have. A type of impact emotionally to me as a player – a sort “taking me into the world” that the cutscenes break me away from, simply because I have to read text boxes.

The Legend of Zelda has had its fair share of crossover Easter eggs. Whether it be Link's cap showing up in Kirby games, to Zelda's jingle playing in Super Mario 3D Land, to Link racing alongside Baby Rosalina and Pink Gold Peach in Mario Kart 8, the population of Hyrule has found its way into little nooks and crannies of other franchises throughout its history.

Now, we're nearing the launch of a crossover of proportions never before seen in Zelda...

The Happy Mask Salesman (or HMS) is the source of much speculation and intrigue in the Zelda community, and rightfully so. The hints as to his origins and to what exactly he is are scattered throughout Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time in such a way that bringing them all together takes some serious snooping through the text of the games and some serious consideration of the motifs in Majora’s Mask. Some have taken particular note of the dark and frightening aspects of Majora’s Mask – especially the Salesman’s erratic behavior – but Miyamoto has said that that game is meant more to get gamers thinking than to frighten, that the designers’ goal was "to present something which is very mysterious, rather than scary."

Let’s see, then, what we can discover about the mystery of the HMS. This article will first go over what is obvious about his character, examining what he says about himself in his opening speech in Majora’s Mask. Then I shall take a look at what may have happened in Ikana Canyon before it became a region of unsatisfied, anti-social undead. Finally, I shall take a look at the relationship between the moon children, Majora’s Mask, Skull Kid, and the Happy Mask Salesman before drawing some conclusions.

I have been looking forward to Hyrule Warriors since it was announced. The Legend of Zelda series has had many war stories told in its time...just, you know, it was always via backstory for whatever current conflict Link found himself wrapped up in. We have never gotten a Zelda game set in the middle of a war, with thousands of enemies coming at Link and his companions, and so the very concept of Hyrule Warriors appealed to me from day one. And I'm sure I'm not the only person like that.

Yet as time has passed, I've felt a bit of concern growing in the back of my mind. There's this constant worry that I've experienced every time we make a Hyrule Warriors post, or every time I read the comments, or even as I talk to the rest of the ZI Staff about it. It took me a while to put my finger on what exactly was causing this anxiety, but now that I've got it, I think we all need to step back and remind ourselves of one thing—something so simple, but which could drastically alter the way we receive the upcoming game:

Hyrule Warriors is NOT a Zelda game.

It's been many years since we last compiled a staff list of all 17 main line games being ranked. The question today is where the games collectively rank from our staff in 2014! Later we'll run a poll to help determine where our fans rank games, but more on that later. These sort of lists are ever changing each year as everyone shuffles games around over time. As of today, this year, in 2014... this is what the staff have determined to be our full list. This list is based on individual listings by staff members behind the scenes.

Never fear—this isn't a post that is going to be spoiling anything. Instead I am here to talk about the real enjoyment that can be had by spoiling a game. Not in the sense of us "ruining" the game for folks, but in the real logical sense why there are so many that want to have the game spoiled for them. You all know who you are, and when it comes to Zelda I am right along with you. The goal of this is to have an open discussion on the benefits of enjoying spoilers to give those who don't insight into a side they may never fully agree with.