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Zelda Hyrule Warriors: Young Impa joins the fight in new trailer for Breath of the Wild prequel

By Benjamin Bullard
Zelda heroes assemble in Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity Nintendo game

Nintendo must have a pretty good idea of just how excited the fans are for the full-scale sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, because the Big N showed up at this year’s Tokyo Game Show with a surprising amount of fresh new details about that other Zelda game — the BOTW prequel story we’ll be getting much sooner.

Nintendo’s new story trailer for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity takes players right back to the Hyrule they remember from Breath of the Wild — only 100 years earlier. From the look of things here, there’s way more to the team-based action game than just your run-of-the-mill hack-and-slash, because in the trailer Nintendo puts the focus squarely on the prequel story. Age of Calamity serves up a direct look at all those fateful, pre-Ganon events that we’d so far only gotten to hear about in Breath of the Wild.

The trailer also introduces a far younger version of BOTW’s Impa as a playable character — and just to make double sure that fans get an even better look, Nintendo also shared her fully illustrated character model via social media.

Impa shows up in playable fighting shape, appearing a century younger than her 120 years (give or take) in Breath of the Wild. Part of the mysterious Sheikah who’ve served as Hyrule royal protectors for generations, Impa’s BOTW appearance made her a kindly (but definitely no-nonsense) NPC, a wisened elder who ends up sending Link on many of the game’s key quests — all from her restful perch in a house at Kakariko Village.

Via Gamesradar+, producer Yosuke Hayashi has already said that Nintendo wanted to keep the Zelda DNA front and center for Age of Calamity, sharing when the game was announced that it’s the first Hyrule Warriors spinoff to be developed “by working closely with the Zelda team in every step of the process, including gameplay direction, graphics, world, and all dialogue.” That’s welcome news for fans eager for a fresh chance to dive back into the Hyrule they remember from Breath of the Wild, even as the world waits for the next progress update on Nintendo’s announced BOTW sequel.

So far, the extra care definitely shows. If there’s one thing the trailer makes clear, it’s that the new game doesn’t appear to be skimping on its BOTW pedigree, and you don’t have to squint to see Nintendo taking aim at a fully realized Zelda story. The four champions are all here, as are many more of the first game’s endearing faces, and it looks like they’ll have plenty to say when they’re not out trying (unsuccessfully, as we already know) from thwarting Ganon’s power-crazed plan.

Developed by Koei Tecmo and Omega Force for Nintendo, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity sails back in time with Link, Zelda, and the rest of the Hyrule gang with a Nov. 20 release for the Nintendo Switch.