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Cadence of Hyrule devs on how the game came to be, Nintendo’s supervision, and more

Posted on June 8, 2019 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch eShop

No one could have originally anticipated the final announcement for the latest Nindies Showcase earlier this year. Brace Yourself Games, in collaboration with Nintendo, revealed Cadence of Hyrule – a new game for Switch that takes a page out of Crypt of the NecroDancer.

At BitSummit a few days ago, Japanese website 4Gamer caught up with a few people involved with the game. Lead designer Oliver Trujillo and Brace Yourself CEO Ryan Clark along with Spike Chunsoft’s Riku Nikaido spoke about how the game came to be, one of Nintendo’s requests, and more such as how the team looked at Smash Bros. for Zelda’s moves.

Here’s our full translation:

To get right down to it, how did Cadence of Hyrule come to be?

Nikaido: Originally it was a proposal for collaboration on a Zelda themed DLC for Crypt of the NecroDancer. When we took that to Nintendo the idea expanded so much we were looking instead at creating a completely standalone title.

How did you feel when that happened?

Trujillo: Obviously I was really excited. It was amazing to think that I’d be able to collaborate on the Zelda series that I had playing since I was a kid. But at the same time I was worried about working on a series with a 30 year ongoing history and so many die-hard fans. We’ve tried out best to make a title that will please both the fans of the Zelda series and also the NecroDancer game.

Did Nintendo have any particular requests or demands for the collaboration?

Trujillo: They gave us pretty close supervision and guidance on the design and also the way we could use the Triforce. They were pretty clear that they wanted it to have the same sort of mystery in this game as it has in the series until now. Sticking with the same sort of setup as NecroDancer, we used that as our focal point and designed the game from there.

Speaking of the NecroDancer setup, the protagonist in that game, Cadence, has to move to the rhythm due to a curse on her heart, but do Link and Zelda also have a reason to move this way?

Nikaido: Sorry, you’ll have to wait a little longer for details on plot.

The graphics have changed a lot from the first game and Cadence has also taken on a new look, hasn’t she?

Trujillo: Yes. The art team spent an incredibly long time on the look of the game. The pixel animation is obviously great, but the character designs and background really stand out, and I think it all has a positive effect on the gameplay itself.

Clark: We only had one graphic artist working on NecroDancer, whereas this time we had four people. In the last game the characters were shown with only one, front-facing side, whereas in this one we have four sides for each one. The quality of pixel art itself is of course always great, but with this new design we have added new perspectives.

The music is a major part of the appeal of NecroDancer, but how many songs are going to make an appearance from the Zelda series in this game?

Trujillo: I can’t give exact numbers, but I can say that we’ve added a lot. While the theme from Link to the Past is the main one, they’ll also be a slew of other themes from all other games in the series.

The music is also such a huge part of the Zelda series, so I guess being able to arrange those tracks for the game was a big motivation for you.

Trujillo: For sure. Our composer is also a huge Zelda fan, so for every song he gave it his all. Also, this time around we also have outdoor areas rather than just the dungeons we had before, so he had the chance to arrange different music for all those locations in the NecroDancer style.

By the way, what is your favorite title in the Zelda series?

Trujillo: My favorite is Link to the Past. I played the original NES Legend of Zelda game first, but the world in Link to the Past was so much more expansive than the first generation of games. When I first entered The Dark World I was like: ‘How can this place be so big?!’ I played that game being constantly amazed.

Clark: I have two. If we’re talking about the old Zelda games then it would be Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. That was when they introduced the downthrust and the combat was great. If we’re talking about the modern Zelda games, then I love Breath of the Wild. The scale and exploration in that game were excellent.

I can tell you are both big fans of the series. So you mentioned earlier about the addition of outside areas to explore rather than just dungeons, but are there any other game elements that differ from NecroDancer?

Clark: That core element of matching your movements to the rhythm has not changed, but I think the way you play the game feels very different. For example, this time it’s possible to do battle while using the high and low area of the map to your advantage.

Trujillo: Also, in the Legend of Zelda series, those puzzles are also a key element, and we have them in this game too. Now the player has to work out how to access a certain area with the use of their weapons, items and other things in the environment.

You’re right – puzzles are a big part of the Zelda series. In the trailer on the site there is a scene with Link using his spin attack and also one with Zelda using Nayru’s Love and Din’s Fire like she does in Smash Bros. Did you design their move set with all of their different game appearances in mind?

Trujillo: We did. The games of the Zelda series itself are a given, but we also looked at those cross-overs too. It’s rare that Zelda is a playable character in games, so we mainly focused on her abilities in Smash Bros.

Clark: We chose actions and attacks that would look good matched with the beat of the game. I think all of the actions have been made to fit the NecroDancer system really well, so I think they will be a lot of fun in the finished game.

Great! There was one other thing I found interesting in the trailer, which was that in the Japanese version Cadence’s voice and internal monologue were in Japanese. I don’t think the previous game had Japanese voices included, but do you intend to include them in this title?

Nikaido: Yes, we are working hard to include a Japanese vocal track in this title. I think there should be more information on that soon.

We’re running out of time, so do you have a message for the fans out there?

Trujillo: We’ve been so eager to let everyone see this game and finally be able to play it that I think finally being able to release it will be a huge relief. We’ve blended that NecroDancer formula our fans like so much with the sense of exploration that Zelda fans love. I think fans of both will enjoy this game, so please look forward to the release!

Clark: It’s a great honor for us to be able to collaborate on the Zelda series. If we can transmit the amount of fun we had making this game to the people playing it, I will be extremely happy.

Thank you for talking to us today.

Translation by provided by Corks on behalf of Nintendo Everything

If you use any of this translation, please be sure to source Nintendo Everything. Do not copy its full contents.

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