Nintendo is once again letting a third-party developer work with some of its most famous characters. This time it’s not Ubisoft pairing Mario up with the Rabbids. Instead, indie developer Brace Yourself Games is remixing Zelda: A Link to the Past into a rhythm game.
Brace Yourself Games is the studio responsible for Crypt of the NecroDancer. That is a dungeon-crawling music adventure that requires players to fight enemies to the beat of its tunes. In its new game called Cadence of Hyrule, the studio is taking its NecroDancer gameplay and applying it to Zelda characters and settings.
Cadence of Hyrule is coming this spring.
In the trailer for Cadence of Hyrule, Brace Yourself Games shows off a ton of scenes that have direct analogs in other Zelda games. In once shot, the hero from Curse of the NecroDancer hero approaches the evil wizard Agahnim from A Link to the Past. Another shot revealed the dangerous Lionel enemies from Breath of the Wild and Zelda 1.
Like Crypt of the NecroDancer, Cadence of Hyrule uses procedural generation to create new levels each time you play. But those random stages will all follow specific Zelda-related themes. And you can, of course, explore them as Link, but Brace Yourself also enables you to play as Zelda herself.
Nintendo loves to share
Cadence of Hyrule is one of the best examples yet of Nintendo’s current strategy of working with external partners. The company has let other studios use Nintendo characters as unlockables to set the Switch release apart from the Steam or PS4 version. Mario + Rabbids is one example of that, but Ubisoft’s Starlink is another. That sci-fi space exploration adventure heavily features Star Fox to the point where it’s almost an unofficial sequel in the eyes of many fans.
Nintendo is building on that with indie studios as well. Brace Yourself Games is essentially making a new Zelda game. That’s a strong sign that the publisher is dedicated to working more closely with its partners.
And since indie games continue to sell extremely well on Switch, that could continue to attract well-known studios that want to work with Nintendo. And maybe we’ll get more mashups just like this one going forward.