Welcome to the official Hyrule Warriors thread. Since I think one of the main problems in previous game threads of mine was my excellence at playing video games (by the way, I am a very humble person) which in turn scared people away because they felt too ashamed of their own accomplishments or lack thereof, I'll make it clear upfront that my intention wasn't and isn't to shove it into other people's faces how good I am (Did I mention that I am humble?), but rather that I am here to help you to become better at the game in question and play it efficiently to save time. For that purpose, I've built a huge FAQ in this post and the one below, so that everyone gets a good overview and hopefully has more fun playing Hyrule Warriors than they already do. The FAQ is broken up into different sections to make it a little bit easier to find what you are looking for. Ctrl+F for roman numerals with a period.
Feel free to ask any Hyrule Warriors related questions in this thread or use wall posts/private messages in case that this thread isn't active anymore. Since I am playing the German version of the game, my translations of some terms into English don't necessarily match the actual English version. Apologies for that.
I. General Questions
1. Is HW any good?
2. Is the DLC any good?
6. Killing enemies
7. Oddities in co-operative multiplayer
8. Benefits of co-op
9. Drawbacks of co-op
10. Good order to play
13. Useful things to know
14. Power-up items
15. Character levels
II. Weapons and Skills
1. Unlocking weapons
2. Weapons to keep
3. Selling weapons
4. Recommended element
5. Trouble dealing damage
6. Forging skills into weapons
7. Sealed skills
8. Ultimate weapon
1. What are they?
2. Most useful
2. Rupee Glitch
4. Kills and skills
V. Legends Mode
1. Heart containers and heart pieces
2. Golden skulltullas
3. Hero difficulty
5. Secret chapters?
VI. Adventure Mode (Standard)
1. Where to go
2. Unlocking rewards
3. A-rank requirements
4. Playing for A-ranks
5. Golden skulltullas
6. Which character to use
7. Strong enough?
8. All Attacks Are Devastating
9. General tips
VII. Adventure Mode (Extra)
1. How to unlock
2. More missions with DLC?
VIII. Adventure Mode (Master Quest)
1. What to expect
3. Anything else?
IX. Adventure Mode (Twilight Princess)
1. What to expect
3. Anything else?
X. Adventure Mode (Majora's Mask)
1. What to expect
3. Anything else?
XI. Challenge Mode
3. Ganon's Fury
4. Cucco's Fury
XII. Enemies and Bosses
Elemental weaknesses and general tips
I. General Questions
1. Is Hyrule Warriors any good?
I handed out a score of 7.3/10 in my review, criticizing the game for its sloppy framerate in co-op multiplayer, lack of support for the Classic Controller (Pro) and eventual repetition. However, the last point might not be entirely accurate because I've been playing the game a lot during the time since the review; it's easily my most played Wii U title. It's also worth noting that 7.0 and above constitutes a recommendation at full MSRP on my review scale, provided you have an interest in the general theme of the game in question.
2. Is the DLC any good?
This is a question that you will be able to easily answer yourself once you've played the majority of the content in the base game. If you are still craving for more at that point, then yes, the DLC packs are definitely worth it because each of them adds another 25+ hours of playtime. I recommend the season pass because it's 15 Euro/$20 as opposed to 7 Euro/$8 for the three individual packs that feature new adventure maps, plus you'll get a Dark Link costume that you wouldn't get otherwise. The fourth and final pack features two new challenge modes and is free for people who purchased the season pass, as a standalone it costs 3 Euro/$4. The America-exclusive preorder bonuses from various retailers (costumes for Link, Zelda and Ganondorf) are sold in sets of two costumes for 99 cents each, so not all of the paid DLC is good.
3. What about amiibo support?
Link and Toon Link amiibos (either one works) will unlock a new weapon for Link (spinner from Twilight Princess) the first time you use them; afterwards they will give you a tier 3 weapon for Link, provided you have unlocked that tier already. This holds also true for Zelda and Shiek amiibos which will give you tier 3 weapons for the respective character. Everything else will result in a random gift, usually material. You can scan in up to five different amiibos per day for rewards.
4. If I want to get all medals (achievements), what should I look out for?
First off, you'll need all of the DLC packs as every adventure map has its own medals for completion. You will also need at least one amiibo to get the medal for 100 amiibo gifts. As for the rest, the only ones you really have to pay attention to is saving 500 allies (so try to use every reasonable chance to save one) and racking up 999 materials of one kind (select materials manually when creating potions instead of using the auto-select-function). Everything else can be earned by either playing the game to completion or playing a single map to specifically aim for certain medals.
5. Is there anything missable?
There is one thing as far as I know, but it's insignificant in the big picture. When you play the first level of the game for the very first time, you'll have to let King Dodongo approach the second fortress to trigger a tutorial message on how to defeat big monsters, otherwise it will never be added to the list of tutorials.
6. Do I need to kill all of the enemies on any given map?
Of course not. For the most part, you should focus on officers and commanders because they'll make minions spawn around them until you've killed them. Slaughtering normal enemies should only be done to rack up the kill count for the rankings in adventure mode, otherwise you should just run past them and let your allies take care of them, because any possible EXP gains are very small to completely negligible.
7. In co-operative multiplayer, why are some of the fortresses (almost) empty, even though they are supposed to contain a lot of enemies?
It's because of the programming that limits the total amount of enemies that are displayed on both screens. If one player's area is very busy, then the other player's area will only begin to fill up once the partner has killed some enemies, that will split up the spawn duties of the game again. At times the game has also problems to load allies that should be there according to the map. However, it's possible to save allies in need of help even if they aren't displayed on screen; of course, that's up to luck as you can only guess from the map where they are supposed to stand.
8. Any benefits in co-operative multiplayer?
While the total enemy count feels slightly reduced, two players can still kill faster than one. Objectives can also be split up between the players, so overall it's the norm that maps are cleared considerably faster, therefore making time limits for A-ranks pretty much a non-issue. Player two enjoys free character selection on every map, so weaknesses of player one's character can be compensated.
9. Any drawbacks in co-operative multiplayer?
At times the CPU has serious troubles to issue commands to all of the enemies, so you will come across some that move in circles or stand still. In a fight with a big monster you can lose a lot of seconds because you can't really do anything about it, although these CPU problems can work to your advantage when the big monster lies on the ground with its weak spot exposed, allowing you to deplete the whole gauge with ease because the enemy doesn't make a move. If you are grinding for EXP, the split up spawning in multiplayer is a serious disadvantage that has an especially strong negative impact on the usage of magic; for this reason it's a better idea to have the two players taking turns in singleplayer, rather than playing simultaneously.
10. What's a good order to play the game's modes?
I recommend to first complete the entire legends mode on either easy or normal to unlock all characters and weapons there (I'd say easy though, because for full completion you need to play all difficulty settings anyway), then move over to adventure mode and work towards earning all weapons. Once that is done, you can unlock the true power of Link's master sword by killing a whopping 25,000 enemies. Playing through free mode (same as legends, but free character choice) on normal is a good idea because you can get 1,000+ kills on most maps and complete another difficulty setting at the same time; or just play anything you like to grind the kills. Once you've unlocked the true power of the master sword (+200 attack, so 500 total), all other characters will be able to unlock their 25,000 skills which increase the base strength of the weapon it's equipped on from 280 to 300 (so 450 instead of 420 if the weapon has five stars). You shouldn't hurry that process though, because that would be a whole lot of tiresome grinding for an attack bonus that isn't all that special. Just keep playing new missions on the various adventure maps and you'll eventually unlock them all.
11. Should I make potions? If yes, which ones?
You are going to get tons of material from enemies and quite a few of the potions are really cheap to make. Investing in a basic More Slots or More Stars potion that costs 20 bronze materials and a few hundred rupees isn't a bad deal because you usually make back more than that on every full-fledged mission while slightly raising your chances to pick up better weapons. You shouldn't really bother with potions that require silver or gold materials until you are certain that you have a lot of excess stock and don't need them for character upgrades anymore. If you plan to grind for levels, you should obviously purchase an Experience+ potion to make the whole process faster.
12. I am so good at the game, I don't need elixirs to heal myself.
While that may very well be true, elixirs can still be useful because they also replenish the bar for your special attack.
13. What are the useful things that the game doesn't tell you in tutorials?
If you press and hold the dodge button, you can make your character sprint immediately which saves more than a second; you can go off the button as soon as you are sprinting. Materials and weapons that are dropped by enemies will be automatically added to your inventory at the end of a map, provided you successfully completed it; this means that you don't have to worry about collecting these things. You are invincible during special attacks, so if you get caught or about to get caught in an enemy's combo, you can activate a special attack to minimize or avoid damage taken; a special attack can also be used when you got paralyzed by a Gibdo.
14. Are powered up items useful?
Not really as far as I could tell. Powered up items don't increase the time a big monster is stunned. Besides those situations, there are hardly any where using items comes in handy and the basic versions do the trick just fine. For that reason I do not recommend to spend materials on these specific character upgrades until you've bought everything else.
15. How much of a difference do character levels make?
The attack power of any given character increases by 5 or 6 points with each level up, so two or three levels more don't have a notable impact on the difficulty. If you feel that a character is too weak, you usually have to grind 10+ levels to have it make a difference. Thankfully, grinding for 10+ levels is a matter of 30 minutes or less (refer to the Grinding section, question 1), so it's not that much of a hassle. Most characters in the game also receive an additional heart container for every level that ends on a 5, up to level 95.
II. Weapons and Skills
1. How do I unlock new and/or more powerful weapons?
Some of them are obtained by playing through legend mode (they are hard or impossible to miss), but the majority of them are rewards in adventure mode.
2. Is there any point in keeping tier 1 and tier 2 weapons after I have unlocked a tier 3 weapon?
Not really, no. While the 25,000 skill raises the base strength of any weapon to 300 and thus makes it possible to have tier 1 and tier 2 weapons with up to 450 attack power, the amount of skill slots for tier 1 and tier 2 weapons is limited to five and seven, respectively. Only tier 3 weapons can come with the maximum of eight skill slots.
3. If I am prompted to sell weapons, which ones should I get rid of?
Those that have no skills you want to extract and those who contain duplicates because there's no point in saving up the same skill twice. For duplicates, sell the better weapon of the two because it nets more money. While a difference of thousand rupees doesn't seem like much, it adds up to a huge amount when you sell hundreds of weapons.
4. How important is it to use a weapon of the recommended element for any given mission?
Very important. For example, Lana's tier 2 portal mission gave me trouble because I didn't like her portal (fire) with 112 attack and used a staff (water) with 420 attack instead. On a later try I went with with the portal and did more damage than with the staff, despite the huge discrepancy in attack power (the enemies on this particular map being weak to fire in general also played a part). So whenever possible, fight with the recommended element. There are only a few exceptions where the game tries to troll you, like recommending lightning while all enemies' general weakness is light; in such a case it is preferable to ignore the recommendation and go with a light weapon.
5. Why am I dealing hardly any damage to a specific character?
Like mentioned above, elements do matter. Each character is assigned a specific element, so sometimes the odds are stacked against you. For a detailed breakdown of enemy weaknesses, check out the appropriate section in the second post of this thread.
6. Which skills should I forge into my weapons?
In order of importance for general play, I recommend Experience+, Material+, Stars+, Slots+. You rarely have more than four empty slots on your weapons and removing skills costs a lot of rupees, so it shouldn't be done until you've got a really good weapon (rank 3, five stars, eight slots) that is worth making it as good as it can possibly be. Also, there is a rupee glitch that requires the Rupee+ skill, so keep one of those in your stock for at least one character (my personal recommendation is Cia).
7. Are the sealed skills any good?
There are numerous skills that have to be unlocked by killing a certain amount of enemies. You can pay rupees (10 rupees for each remaining kill) to examine sealed skills and find out what they are; if you are able to pull off the rupee glitch, money won't be an issue, so examining sealed skills is highly recommended because it saves a lot of time. Here is the breakdown of what they can be and my opinion if they are worth it.
1,000: All of the six skills in this group will activate for every 300 kills you accumulate. Four of these skills are for powered up items, the other two are for health and special attack replenishments, respectively. I don't consider any of these skills valuable, so there's no point in unlocking them.
2,000: This group contains ten different Vs. skills which increase your damage output against certain types of enemies. They are a nice thing to have and can be used to offset unfavorable matchups for any given character. For example, Ruto would benefit from the Vs. Twilight skill because her water element isn't effective against any of the three characters (Midna, Agitha, Zant) who this skill applies to. You can only forge one of these skills into your ultimate weapon and the best option is Vs. Dragon because it covers the biggest amount of enemies, including several that are annoying to fight against (meaning they don't regularly expose their weak spot).
3,000: Skills in this group are double-edged swords as they all come with certain tradeoffs. Deal more damage when health is low, take more damage but never get knocked back etc. The two most useful ones are No Healing (actually it's "only" a significantly decreased healing effect, but higher damage output) and Defenseless (unable to block, but higher damage output). Since you can only forge one of these skills into your ultimate weapon, you'll have to make a choice. While No Healing seems like the lesser penalty, the toughest missions in challenge mode are very long survival ones where the few opportunities to refill hearts really come in handy. That's why I recommend Defenseless, even though you'll have to say goodbye to exposing Zant's weak spot as well as have a harder time with Manhandlas; but if you quickly dodge to the side, you can usually escape the spit attack.
4,000: Extra damage when health is full, increased attack speed, increased power for weak point smash, increased power for special attacks, increased power during the use of magic, increased damage for normal attacks. All six of these are beneficial, but their actual value will differ based on the given character; you have to choose because you can only forge two into your ultimate weapon. My always recommendation is increased attack speed because it allows you to hit enemies more often in less time and get faster to your desired combo finishers. As for the second skill, characters with good combo finishers (like Agitha) should receive Finishing Blow+ while characters with a good string of normal attacks (like Link) should receive Normal Attack+. The other three skills are too circumstantial to be really useful.
25,000 (Master Sword): You will notice that the counter is purple instead of red. This means that the number won't decrease, no matter how much and what you kill. In order to turn the counter red, you will have to unlock all weapons and weapon tiers in legend mode and the standard adventure map. This skill increases the strength of the master sword by 200 points, giving the weapon a total attack power of 500.
25,000 (all other weapons): The counter doesn't turn from purple to red until you've unlocked the 25,000 skill on the Master Sword. This skill increases the base strength of any weapon it's forged into to 300, so a five star weapon will have an attack power of 450. That's 30 points higher than the previous maximum, so this permanent boost isn't all that big. In fact, a level 255 character with a tier 3/five stars weapon has an attack power of approximately 2,000; this means the boost from this skill is a meager 1.5%. So if you are going to add this skill to your ultimate weapon, it will be first and foremost for prestige reasons (a skill called Legendary, time-consuming to unlock). You might forego to bother with this skill because the effort isn't really worth the trouble.
8. So what else goes into the ultimate weapon?
Depending on how many slots you reserve for the above sealed skills (either four or five), you'll have three or four slots left. Since most characters make it easy to activate an elemental attack with their combos, you should add the appropriate Element+ skill. The remaining slots should be filled with either Strong Attack+ or Combo+ skills; obviously those that you use the most which are generally only two or three per character anyway.
1. What are badges and how do I get them?
They are permanent upgrades to your characters, enabling them to perform longer combos and finish various tasks more effectively. Creating a badge requires various amounts of materials (dropped by enemies) and a negligible amount of rupees.
2. What are the most useful badges?
This is an important question because the best badges are usually very costly when it comes to materials. I'll break it down into the three categories that are in the game.
Offense: Getting the full chain of combos is a no-brainer, it also only requires bronze materials. Improving the speed of depleting weak spot gauges should be the priority, followed by the duration of magic (focus spirit). I know, magic is something that you rarely use, so it seems like it's a waste. But each upgrade here extends the duration by 4-5 seconds and that will speed up grinding sessions considerably because there is an EXP+ effect during magic. The effect of these upgrades will be multiplied by the amount of magic bottles you pick up, so if played well, the duration of magic can be extended by more than a full minute. Beyond that, two special attack bars are sufficient, so getting the third one isn't of high importance; I'd go with damage dealt while enemies are blocking first. The rate at which the special gauge increases is easily the least important thing here.
Defense: Pretty much everything here has lower priority than the badges for offense. The various elemental defenses are the most important categories; upgrade them according to the weapon element(s) any given character possesses because, after all, you are going to play missions with the recommended element. Afterwards you can invest in the lesser knockbacks branch and more elixirs. Increased effect for hearts should be ignored until the end because even when it's maxed out, it's only three quarters of a heart extra.
Support: Taking over fortresses at a faster rate is more important than any of the badges for defense, because it will speed up the rate at which you can gain control over a map; I'd give only weak spot and magic badges higher priority than this one. The other badges in this category are a waste of resources, so they are the very last thing you should buy.
1. I am in dire need of a higher level to clear a certain map. How do I level up efficiently?
Buying EXP with rupees is a convenient way to level up, especially because there is a rupee glitch that allows you to max out your wallet when it triggers. However, a level 100+ character is recommended to reduce the time it takes drastically, so it isn't a great option until you've invested a significant amount of time into the game. Keep a Rupee+ skill in stock (since I'll explain the glitch only for Cia, my obvious recommendation is that you use her), because it is required to trigger the glitch. Said glitch is explained in detail in the following question, but first the conventional grinding methods:
For the early game, play the final level of legends mode on easy (even doable with tier 1 weapons), equip a weapon with Experience+ and buy an Experience+ potion for 50 bronze materials and 10,000 rupees. One run should take around 15 minutes and it nets five or more level ups as long as you are below level 30. You shouldn't bother with this strategy anymore once you are past level 40. At that point most of the missions on the first adventure map can be cleared with relative ease; if not, simply buy EXP with rupees in the training room because your problem is probably a character you don't like to play as anyway.
If you don't have any DLC, the extra map in adventure mode is the best source for experience, although its missions aren't all that great for fast grinding. It's merely a last resort if you don't have any other options, meaning no purchased DLC and buying EXP with rupees doesn't work because that is only possible up to the level of your best character's level. The mission where you have to fight all the girls works best; I am quite sure it is unlocked exclusively by skulltullas found in legends mode, namely the 18 easy ones and the first two of hard mode or above. Picking Midna as your partner seems to be the way to go, or at least some people said that.
If you have bought DLC, make your way to the bottom left square of the Master Quest adventure map. This can be realistically done once you've unlocked tier 2 weapons and are around level 25-30, this goes in particular for Zelda and Ganondorf which you will be forced to use. One of Zelda's missions on the way recommends the lightning element, but on the mission select screen you see darkness-based characters; avoid the game's recommendation and go with Zelda's light weapon. The beautiful thing about the bottom left square is that it is incredibly easy, but nets tons of EXP. You have only level 20 and a tier 2 weapon? No problem, and even if you should die for some reason, you'll get to keep the EXP you racked up to make a retry already easier. Here's one possible strategy for how you can play this grinding map:
Play with all possible Experience+ stuff and use magic efficiently to earn even more EXP; stay in the western area the whole time, move close to the central fortress after killing the initial group of Dark Ganondorfs and Dinolfoses (activate magic after killing the first Dark Ganondorf) because all important enemies will approach you eventually; a Stalfos who carries a full magic bottle will spawn about every 30 seconds, so kill him and let the bottle be every time; Argorok is a pushover, the two Manhandlas are less of a hassle when you expose one's weak spot and use your special attacks when the other is about to attack; if everything is done properly and if you have maxed out the badges for magic, you can basically play the entirety of the last four minutes (around the time when the first bunch of Moblins approaches you, provided you didn't take ages to kill the big monsters) of the mission with activated magic. One run takes ten minutes, so including loading and result screens, you can do five runs per hour. During that timespan you can easily raise a character from level 40 to 80 which will not only prepare that character for the Twilight Princess adventure map, but also make pretty much everything easy on the first two adventure maps. This level grinding can and should be combined with the unlocking procedure of sealed skills because you can rack up 2,000+ kills per run with any character.
The above is the be all, end all when it comes to conventional EXP grinding. EXP gains stay flat once you've reached level 80, so you will always get 6-7 level ups per run, all the way up to level 255. The rupee glitch will help you to raise characters quickly, but you obviously have to raise at least one character all by yourself. My recommendation is Link because he has six different weapon types and that's much more than anyone else. Plenty of sealed skills to unlock while you grind for levels.
2. How do I pull off the glorious rupee glitch? How and why does it work anyway?
The theory is that a bunch of rupee calculations that happen at once can get messed up by the Rupee+ skill, so your rupee count goes internally into the negatives and the game's reaction is to assign you the highest possible positive value because externally (what the player can see) there are no negative rupee values. It's just a theory though and ultimately it really doesn't matter how and why it works, but rather how you can get it to work.
The rupee glitch works with any character at any level. A weapon with a Rupee+ skill is required. A giant monster must be killed by not using a weak point smash (the automatic attack that triggers when the weak point gauge has been emptied), but either regular attacks or a special attack; it is allowed to use a weak point smash to weaken the monster, but you can't finish it off that way. I will detail a strategy for Cia because her moveset makes it easy to do it fast; the basis of this strategy was developed by Gamefaqs user hawkmark, but I'll add my own experience on top of it.
1) Standard adventure map, B12. A mission where you fight two Gohmas.
2) Cia, weapon with Rupee+ skill, character level is preferably 100+. Don't mix any potions.
3) Head west into the fortress, break the yellow pot to pick up a force crystal, exit through the north, then head west at the first opportunity. This path almost always makes the westside Gohma use her laser as the first attack as soon as you get into proximity.
4) Dodge the attack, fire an arrow, move to a side of Gohma where you are less likely to kill mooks. You want to keep your kill count low.
5) Start with a YYYYX combo. It's the one that summons four Dark Links. Hitting the X button twice during this combo might make the Dark Links attack twice; I am not sure myself, I just hit the button.
6) Right afterwards get some distance between yourself and Gohma, then immediately perform a YYXXX combo (once again, try to avoid hitting mooks to keep the kill count low). This one makes Cia shoot three balls of darkness (one for each press of the X button). If you were quick enough, Gohma is inside an orange circle now because her weak point gauge has been depleted. Since you created some distance, you stand outside of this orange circle and thus don't trigger the weak point smash.
7) Now it's time to weaken Gohma further with the YYXXX combo. Don't worry about Gohma getting up, it won't happen. Deplete her health bar until it's right below the G of the word Gohma. If you have level 100+, this won't take long.
8) Once that's done, move in front of Gohma and make Cia face her directly while staying outside of the orange circle. Press the A button to activate the special attack. The preceding movement serves two things: For one, you'll be in position to hit plenty of mooks with your special attack (that's when you want to kill them), and two, Cia's special consists of several beams and the probability that the rupee glitch triggers is much higher when you directly face Gohma instead of looking in a random direction.
9) Now your special attack kills Gohma, a bunch of mooks and potentially some nearby grass. All of this makes the game perform rupee count calculations, and the lower your kill and rupee counts were before activating the special attack, the better. The most important thing that happens is a random rupee bonus that triggers when Gohma explodes. At this moment your rupee count either suddenly shows 9,999,999 or starts to roll up into the 2,000 or 3,000 range and stops there. This is when you know if it worked or not. If it worked, great; head to the eastside and kill the other Gohma to complete the mission and get the money in your bank for good. If it didn't work, open the pause menu, pick the restart option and follow the steps from point 3 onwards.
It's important to keep in mind that despite all of the above steps, we are still only talking about a random chance. The above merely raises the probability of the glitch occuring. Once you got the routine down, a single attempt takes around 50 seconds at level 120. You have to go into this with the expectation that you need to repeat the above steps 10-25 times every time you want to trigger the glitch, so 10-20 minutes of playtime. Sounds tiresome, but this glitch can buy you about 80 levels every time it triggers. So if you have a lucky hour and trigger it five times, you earned 400 level ups. Meanwhile, the fastest legit methods amount to 40, maybe 50 level ups per hour. I've pulled off the above method 20 times already, so it is reliable. I can level up, examine sealed skills and remove unneeded skills from my ultimate weapons to my heart's content.
On a final note, if you exceed 20 minutes when trying this method, your current chance to trigger the glitch is potentially close to zero. Other users (on Gamefaqs) have reported that sometimes it takes hours to trigger the glitch, so I suspect that the random number generator of the game carries over between missions and is saved, and restarting a mission doesn't empty this cache, so you are stuck with unfavorable odds. The easy solution I came up with is to play at least one other mission (doesn't matter in which mode of the game), then come back and try again. It works. So if the glitch doesn't trigger within 20 minutes, you should seriously consider to quit and do what I suggested.
3. What's a good place to farm for ultimate weapons (tier 3, five stars, eight slots)?
Standard adventure map, A15. Works well enough. It's a quiz, so it's a rather short mission. I went there after raising any given character to around level 80, that way it took around five minutes per run. Exact times differ between characters due to the elements of their weapon. Since I used the Master Quest map method to level up my characters and unlock some sealed skills, I had a good amount of gold materials for the much needed Slots+ potion.
1) Use a weapon that has Stars+ and Slots+ equipped. Create the gold version of the Slots+ potion. This setup guarantees that any weapon you receive will have the maximum amount of slots. Optional: Forge Material+ in your weapon to raise the rate of gold material drops.
2) The character and weapon you use guarantees one weapon drop that matches your chosen combination.
3) In order to receive drops, you will obviously have to kill the correct enemies in the quiz (Ruto, Agitha, Ganondorf). But if you finish off the correct target while the other enemy is on screen, you will also receive a drop from said other enemy. An easy to method to make this happen is the usage of a special attack for the final blow. Smash the yellow pot in the first arena for a force crystal; afterwards the first couple of enemies will drop a giant force crystal, so you'll be good for the remaining two couples. A total of six drops results in three weapons (often), two (sometimes) or one (rare occurence).
Three to five runs (15-30 minutes) are usually enough to obtain the desired weapon. Since you can't mix two or three potions, you will receive plenty of tier 2 weapons as well as weapons of both tier 2 and 3 that do not have five stars; but at least you won't have to worry about the amount of slots. Occasionally you will have bad luck and play for 60+ minutes until you get what you wanted, but that's made up for by great weapons that you hadn't set out to get. Once I had the luck to get two ultimate weapons on a single run.
4. What's a good place to grind kills and how do I get more weapons with sealed skills?
As mentioned in the level grinding answer, the bottom left square of the Master Quest map works very well because it can be combined with level grinding; although this game has so many missions (not just in adventure mode, there is also challenge mode) that you should be able to unlock most skills before you have to play specifically for kills. The drop rates for Vs. skills (2,000) and Special skills (3,000) can be raised via potions.
When there are only a few hundred kills left to unlock a skill, an "All Attacks Are Devastating" mission like E5 on the regular adventure map is a good place to finish the job. Enemies are easy to kill and the mission can be completed quickly
5. Should I grind for materials?
Since this game has so many missions, especially if you buy DLC, there's no real need for that, unless you are really desperate to purchase certain upgrades earlier. The Twilight Princess adventure map features double drops from enemies as well as short missions that allow you to kill up to twelve versions of playable characters, so that would be a really quick way to obtain such silver and gold material. You should obviously increase your chances for rare materials by buying the appropriate potion.
V. Legends Mode
1. How can I get the heart containers and heart pieces, and where are they?
You have to play as the displayed character in order to find them. This means that in many cases you will have to play the same chapter another time with a different character. The chests either appear in conquested fortresses, are hidden under rocks that can be destroyed with bombs or are located on ledges that you can reach with the hookshot.
2. How can I get golden skulltullas?
Kill 1,000 enemies on any given map to make them appear. There will be a spider web displayed on the map to show you its rough location and once you get close, the music will fade out and you will hear the skulltulla's noise. You have about two minutes to kill them before they disappear. Once you've completed legends mode, there will be a second skulltulla to find in each chapter as long as you play on hard or hero difficulty. The specific conditions to make them appear can be looked up on the preparations/pause menu under Character/Skulltullas. The descriptions are a bit ambiguous, so I may list exact requirements for the more tricky ones upon request. Also noteworthy, it's not possible to collect two skulltullas in a single run, even if you meet the conditions for both.
3. Why is hero difficulty so freakin' hard?
It's balanced for level 99 characters with tier 3 weapons.
4. Cia is damn hot!
She is, but that's not a question. Next.
5. Are there any secret chapters?
No, but you'll get an additional five if you purchase the Master Quest DLC. They tell the story of how Cia gathered her allies and fill in a few of the blanks.
VI. Adventure Mode (Standard)
1. Where should I go first?
Unlike in legends mode where you can choose between several settings, the difficulty is predetermined in adventure mode. If you've played the original The Legend of Zelda game, the difficulty of the adventure map missions matches the paths to the numbered dungeons quite closely. So working towards the center, the east/southeast, the southwest, the north/northeast and finally the west/northwest is the rough order. Since the eighth dungeon was located near the second one, parts of the southeast can be quite challenging. Checking the rewards of individual squares also serves as a guideline; try to prioritize tier 1 and tier 2 weapons before you tackle tier 3 and you should be good to go for the most part.
2. How do I unlock the rewards?
You have to use the search function and your item cards before you start a mission. While the compass item reveals the exact location of where you have to use your bombs and candles (the correct spots for other items are usually obvious), farming it can get repetitive quickly. This map of the original The Legend of Zelda should be over 95% accurate for the secrets in Hyrule Warriors, so you can skip using compass cards (if there are any actual Hyrule Warriors maps out there, let me know). If the usage of an item card results in failure, you can quit the game via the home menu and load your save file because the game doesn't auto-save when you use cards, but it auto-saves after every mission; you get your item card back, but don't lose any progress.
3. What are the A-rank requirements?
On all of the bigger maps, it's 1,200 kills, 15 minutes or less, and either 4,000 (10 hearts) or 10,000 (25 hearts) damage taken or less. The small missions don't have any requirements for kills, so you only have to focus on being reasonably fast and taking as little damage as possible.
4. Should I always get an A-rank before I move on to the next square?
No, absolutely not. The difficulty of missions varies and an A-rank is often not required to get access to new missions. It will be far more efficient to return once you've unlocked better weapons and gained more levels. Failing to get an A-rank is even less of an issue in missions that reward you with item cards, because you will have to play many of them repeatedly anyway, otherwise you won't have enough cards to unlock all rewards. As outlined in question 10 of the General section, the priority is to unlock all weapons, so that you can proceed to unlock the true power of the master sword. Everything else can wait.
5. What are the conditions for the golden skulltullas?
For the first one on any given map, kill 1,000 enemies. For the second one, complete the first mission of the map, kill 1,200 enemies and take damage of four heart or less. Just like in legends mode, you cannot get both skulltullas of a map in a single run, even if you meet the conditions for both. For the second skulltulla on any given map, you shouldn't bother unless your character has already grown really powerful. There's no urgency to collect skulltullas as fast as possible.
6. Which characters should I use?
If the game allows you the choice, pick your favorite one that matches the recommended element (if any). While that means that you'll only properly level up three to five different characters, the rest of the cast can catch up quickly (if needed) by following the tips outlined in question 1 of the Grinding section. You won't get by without any level grinding anyway, and picking your favorites is not only more fun for general play, it will also be faster than trying to maintain a balance. Since there are no rewards whatsoever for Cia, Volga, Wizzro, Twilight Midna, Young Link and Tingle, you can bench these characters altogether.
7. How do I know if I am strong enough to complete a mission or A-rank it?
Much of this is trial and error because it's hard to tell how difficult something is going to be from the description on the map screen. If there's no reasonable chance that you can get the job done within 10 minutes (smaller missions) or 15 minutes (bigger missions), then your character is definitely not strong enough. For example, if you attempt a mission that asks you to defeat all big monsters on the map, but you only take off 25% or less with a weak spot attack, then you should seriously consider to quit the mission right away. The same holds true for any type of enemy that has a weak spot gauge. Depending on how much damage you do, it's quite easy to tell within a minute of play whether you are strong enough to successfully complete the current map.
8. "All Attacks Are Devastating" missions are pretty tough!
Actually, they are not. Since the description holds true for players and enemies alike, using the bow and arrow exclusively is a very good strategy because you can take down all of your targets from a safe distance.
9. Other general tips for adventure mode?
Organize your progress, so that you have the item cards to unlock the rewards before you play any given mission for the first time. In a few instances that is impossible, but for the most part you should go back and forth on the map because in the long run it will reduce the amount of missions you have to play. It's not a good idea to stubbornly push in one direction and being unable to earn the rewards.
VII. Adventure Mode (Extra)
1. How do I unlock this map?
It becomes available once you've completed one of the skulltulla pictures. It's a very small map and you will be able to play one mission for every completed picture. The difficulty level is quite high here, so you shouldn't try with anything less than tier 3 weapons. There aren't any rewards here, except for a new costume for Link. These missions are the best source for EXP if you haven't bought any DLC, but they weren't designed for easy grinding, so it's not a particularly fast process.
2. Do DLC packs add more missions to this map?
Yes, because each DLC pack features one new skulltulla picture to complete.
VIII. Adventure Mode (Master Quest)
1. What should I expect?
The Master Quest map is a tribute to the second quest of the original The Legend of Zelda, so it's virtually identical in appearance to the standard adventure map. Therefore this map from the NES game should be once again over 95% accurate when it comes to secrets in Hyrule Warriors. Note that the flute has an increased importance and joins bombs and candles when it comes to ambiguous secrets; squares that show stairs can require the use of a flute at the exact spot of the stairs; however, this is where I noticed the most discrepancies between the original and Hyrule Warriors, so I recommend using a compass; you should have enough of them when you don't need them for the squares that require bombs or candles, thanks to the map. In order to make things harder, each mission will have an additional rule, like no healing, no blocking or a time limit. In praxis, most of these rules don't have much of an impact and it feels like they aren't even there. Furthermore, some new mission types are introduced to spice things up. If you've already played the standard map to (almost) completion, then your level 40-60 characters with tier 3 weapons should make the Master Quest comfortably to play for the majority of time.
2. What are the rewards?
Tier 2 and 3 weapons for Cia, Volga and Wizzro, 8-bit weapons (same qualities as tier 3) for most other characters, 20 golden skulltullas, new costumes (palette swaps) and more heart pieces and containers. Overall, the rewards aren't as plentiful and valuable as on the standard map. If you haven't used Cia, Volga and Wizzro until now, don't worry. The missions where you are forced to use them are balanced for low level characters, so you shouldn't have much of an issue. If you feel that you really need a higher level, follow the tips in the Grinding section.
3. Anything else I need to know?
Not much. Traversing the map is similar to the standard version, only that the locations of most dungeons have changed and thus the difficulty spikes aren't in exactly the same spots. But like mentioned in question 1 of this section, if you already have characters with levels of 40+, you won't find significant portions of the Master Quest difficult at all. As for the A-rank requirements, they are still the same for the most part. A notable exception is that the kill count category is dropped altogether in missions that have the rule "All Attacks Are Devastating", so all you have to do is finish your objectives without getting hit at all.
IX. Adventure Mode (Twilight Princess)
1. What should I expect?
A notable increase in difficulty in comparison to the standard and Master Quest maps. In order to make proper progress, it's highly recommended to have unlocked all tier 3 weapons as well as character levels of at least 80. That alone won't do it though, because on this map you need to know the ins and outs of how to play as each character. Enemies hit hard, but the requirements for A-ranks haven't changed. As a result, getting caught in a single combo can be enough to erase all chances of attaining an A-rank. This goes especially for the missions with no recommended element where your armor upgrades are completely worthless. This map is smaller than the previous ones and has "only" around 100 missions. New mission types are introduced. All enemies drop two things (any combination of materials and weapons is possible). New item cards are introduced, but there's a lot less guesswork involved when it comes to using them, to the point that a guide would be completely redundant.
2. What are the rewards?
While Midna appears in her true form in various missions as ally or enemy, there are no rewards for her, so you can keep her benched. There are notably fewer rewards than on previous maps. Costumes are once again first and foremost palette swaps. A bunch of new 8-bit weapons and another 20 golden skulltullas.
3. Anything else I need know?
The map gets harder towards the center, so you are better off by working towards the various edges at first. You can make use of the teleport function to skip some hard missions, if you so desire.
X. Adventure Mode (Majora's Mask)
1. What should I expect?
A map that makes its rules sound more complicated than they really are. While there is a timer that goes down with each mission you play and threats you with the reset of the map, the map can be finished comfortably before that ever happens; and once the final boss of the Termina map is defeated, the timer gets removed, so you can complete it without any sort of pressure. New mission types have been added where you usually compete with an enemy team for kills or rupees.
2. What are the rewards?
More heart pieces and containers for the usual characters (so True Midna, Young Link and Tingle are once again out of luck), 20 golden skulltullas, a bunch of 8-bit weapons and some costumes. Said costumes are nothing more than any given character wearing one of the masks from Majora's Mask on their standard costumes.
3. Anything else I need to know?
The map's difficulty mimics Majora's Mask's structure, so you should play the four big areas in the order South, North, West, East. The Song of Double Time item cards add 10 points to the timer, so use them.
XI. Challenge Mode
Here is a rundown of the indeed most challenging mode of Hyrule Warriors that features three categories. Standard can be tackled at level 50 with tier 3 weapons. Boss features three different kinds of challenges that get progressively harder; even for the easiest challenges you should have level 100, for the medium ones 150, for the hard ones 200, and for the final one you should be really prepared with level 240+ and a properly forged weapon. Ganon's Fury is similar to Boss, except that you play as Ganon who cannot be used in any other mode.
Records get saved for every character, so it will take a lot of time to A-rank all challenges with all characters (thankfully you don't have to do it with every kind of weapon). The requirements for A-ranks that I list aren't 100% confirmed, so if you managed an A with a worse performance, please let me know. If any of the three categories (kills, time, damage) isn't listed, then it means that it is irrelevant to the final rank.
1) Phirone (1,500 kills): Since this challenge consists of several parts, you should come in prepared. Kill 500 enemies in five minutes, kill 300 enemies with special attacks in five minutes, kill 300 enemies with magic in five minutes, defend the HQ against Volga and Wizzro. Going into this with three special attack bars and maxed out magic upgrades makes it a lot easier. While you will receive a rank for each of the first three parts, they do not influence your final rank on the results screen; all they do is influence the difficulty of the following part, so don't worry if you only get a B or C. If you successfully complete all four parts, the 1,500 kills for an A-rank should be no problem at all.
2) Rage (1,500 kills, 4,000 damage): You get six minutes to kill stuff. There is nothing special to say here.
3) Kill 800 enemies (7 minutes, 4,000 damage): Don't bother with the giant monsters and it should be easy.
1) Kill 1,000 enemies (7 minutes, 4,000 damage): There are a lot of giant monsters here, but they belong to two different factions, so they will fight against each other most of the time. Kill isolated red giants to make regular enemies appear and also kill the red giants that will abandon their yellow enemies after a while in order to march towards you (triggers an on-screen alert, so you know when that happens). Don't bother killing yellow giants, it only costs time; they tend to ignore you because there are enough red giants to keep them occupied until you've fulfilled the goal of your mission.
2) Kill 1,500 enemies (10 minutes, 4,000 damage): Same strategy as the previous one, but higher difficulty. Giant monsters won't die after the first weak point smash, regardless of your level; the game employs a damage cap and there's nothing you can do about it.
3) Kill 2,000 enemies (15 minutes, 4,000 damage): Same thing again, but even tougher. The notable difference here is that you won't really get around killing the red Argorok in the south while he is fighting a yellow Argorok. You have to put up with that after killing all the red Gohmas, because otherwise there won't spawn enough regular enemies to complete the mission. The Manhandla tentacles that are bombarding the battlefield do not need to be killed, especially if they are in a fortress that is full of giant monsters; since you are constantly moving, you will hardly take any hits from the bombs anyway; and if you do, it's just a quarter of a heart.
4) Test of Courage 1 (1,300 kills, 4,000 damage): This type of challenge comes with a time limit and towards the end all enemies will march towards you. It's for this reason that you should focus on killing one giant monster after another, because otherwise you'll get caught in a mess in the end. It's essentially a modified Rage mission, so kills can be racked up quickly during the final stage.
5) Test of Courage 2 (1,600 kills, 4,000 damage): More of the same, but more difficult.
6) Test of Courage 3 (1,500 kills, 10,000 damage): Same thing again, now hardcore. You won't be able to kill all giant monsters here, but you don't need to. The final wave consists of Manhandlas and from those you will just run away while increasing your kill count. It's a good thing that you are allowed to take a good amount of damage in this challenge.
7) Survival 1 (11 minutes, 1,600 kills): In this type of challenge you will have to prevail against wave of enemies. More specifically, you only have to kill the officers with heightened moral and everything that is of an even higher threat level; the weaker officers will begin to rush you after a certain amount of time has passed, but otherwise they can be ignored. I recommend to check the map screen when new dangerous enemies spawn because it's of importance to defeat foes that can summon even more monsters as quickly as possible. Between waves, allied heart soldiers will pop up on the map, but disappear quickly: run to them to make them drop a heart; don't pick it up if you don't need it right away because it will remain on the battlefield. Aside from them, your only source for health are enemy soldiers that stay on the battlefield for the duration of a wave; kill them before you finish the given wave because it's better to be safe and have more hearts lying around than you'll need. Dark giant monsters are introduced here; they do not expose a weak spot, so you have to hack away at them until they go down. As for driving up the kill count, you should use some area attacks every time you have a good opportunity to get some easy kills. After three waves it's over; the final wave always gets announced as the final wave.
8) Survival 2 (19 minutes, 1,600 kills): More of the same, but more difficult.
9) Survival 3 (30 minutes, 2,000 kills): This is where things start to go crazy because a lot of unpleasant enemies at once get thrown at you. This peaks with the final wave that consists of a Dark Ganon that is accompanied by two Dark Imprisoned Ones. Bring down Dark Ganon as quickly as you can. The Imprisoned Ones are thankfully not intelligent, so the situation is rather easy to control. The only problem are the powerful red shockwaves that start to appear once they are down to less than a third of their health; be extra careful on this final stretch and use range attacks if your character has some; weaken an Imprisoned One enough to finish him off with a triple special attack to reduce the time of the red shockwave nightmare. If all else fails, remember that you cannot die while magic is active. On another note, since the Imprisoned Ones take so long to kill, you will be forced to take care of all the low level officers that will inevitably rush you.
10) Survival 4 (50 minutes, 3,900 kills): The final challenge, and yes, it's insane. They will throw everything at you, although you should already be familiar with a lot of it. The final wave is the same as in Survival 3, but with meaner spawn points for the three jerks. Going into this challenge with a level of around 240 is preferable to level 255 because each level up will fill up your special attack bars completely; that helps to lessen the impact of some nasty situations. Alternatively, you could buy the potion that fills up your special attack bar automatically; it's up to you how you approach all of these challenges.
3. Ganon's Fury
There's not much to say here in regards to the individual missions, so I just give some general advice. Ganon's YYXX combo covers a wide area. Since he is slow and also so big that you have no good view on the battlefield, you should always try to have all enemies in front of you instead of storming between them. If you get caught in a combo attack, you can minimize the damage by executing a special attack. Giant monsters tend to drop their own skills, so pick them up and use them against the appropriate giant monsters to expose their weak spots; there's no limit to how often you can use them. The most annoying part of this mode is that you can't access the shop, so you'll have to level up all on your own. Here's how:
If you are below level 50, pick Survival Battle 2. Kill the Big Icy Poe, then the two that spawn afterwards. Now Recons and Summoners will spawn; don't kill them and get spotted by one of the Recons. After about a minute three Dark Volgas will spawn. Lure them together, then execute special attacks until they've split up into twelve units (normal combos work too, but specials are easier and faster). Now it's time to activate magic and kill regular enemies until you activate the EXP bonus, then kill all of the Dark Volgas afterwards. Once that is done and your magic has run out, get yourself killed to restart the challenge; this is much faster than playing until the end because the Dark Volgas offer the biggest amount of EXP on the map. In order to fill up your magic before you go all-in, the three Big Icy Poes will drop a bottle each, the rest can be gotten from the patches of grass on the map, unless you are really unlucky.
If you are above level 50, pick Survival Battle 3. Kill the Lizalfos and Manhandla (if you are too weak, you can wait for a good minute). Kill the two Lizalfoses and King Dodongo (if you are too weak, you can wait for a good minute). Now four Dark Lanas will spawn in the western area of the map. Lure them together, then execute special attacks to make them split up into 16 units. Activate magic, kill regular enemies to get to the EXP bonus (what I do is start a combo at the western entrance of the central fortress to hit everything inside, then start another combo close to the eastern exit to hit everything outside, then perform another combo in the northeast direction; this should usually just about do it), kill all Dark Lanas. Get yourself killed, restart the challenge. There is plenty of grass here, so filling up and replenishing your magic meter shouldn't be an issue at all. Once you've reached level 70, you can reliably kill Manhandla and King Dodongo faster than the time limit for the next wave, so the grinding process speeds up. Eventually one run can be completed in about four minutes and the EXP gain bottoms out at about 2.5 levels per run. This is the best method to grind, because a similar strategy for Survival Battle 4 takes longer while netting less EXP.
If you clear Survival Battle 3 with an A-rank, you will unlock a Cucco as a playable character. A fourth option will be added to the challenge select screen.
4. Cucco's Fury
The game calls the Cucco the strongest character as justification for its limited moveset. Unfortunately, the Cucco isn't strong at all and you'll be pressing the Y button for its pitiful two hit combo a lot. The X button has a knockdown effect to all sorts of enemies, including giant monsters. The third and last attack in your arsenal is the special. Another noteworthy thing is that the magic meter fills up if you attack giant monsters with any move. The best thing you can do in this mode is to get to Survival Battle 2 as fast as possible because that's where you'll be able to grind to make things a whole lot more manageable. You are going to need all the strength and hearts you can get in this mode, although damage caps apply here too; there's a limit to how much you can outpower the enemies on the easier challenges. By the way, the challenges are identical to the ones found in Ganon's Fury.
The grinding strategy for Survival Battle 2 is similar to the one described for Ganon's Fury (see above). If you didn't get enough magic bottles from the patches of grass, you can launch specials on Manhandla to fill up your magic meter (four specials are equal to one bottle) or attack normally and add a knockdown attack every now and then. Make good use of the triforce shards on the map, because you are going to need a lot of special attacks to split up all of the Dark Volgas during your early runs of this grinding strategy. In order to use magic in the most efficient way, you should first refrain from killing enemies north of the fortress (and if possible, leave the northeast/east alone too). Lure the Dark Volgas to the southeast and execute your specials. Since you'll need more specials, work your way clockwise around the fortress (kill enemies to fill up your special meter, pick up triforce shards). The signal to activate magic is the game's message that all enemies are going after you (triggers after around five minutes); at this point you should move northwest/north of the fortress, activate your magic and kill the enemies that are incoming from the east (it helps to repeatedly steer in a 90° motion from forward/left to forward/right and vice versa to kill more enemies quicker). Once you are closing in on 150 kills (that's when the EXP bonus activates), you should turn around and the Dark Volgas shouldn't be far off. Kill them and everything else (minus Manhandla) with a yellow arrow above it. Get yourself killed afterwards.
Once you've leveled up a good amount, you can try to leave as many Dinolfoses as possible alive before you activate magic. While it won't net many extra EXP, it will add up over time. The EXP gain per run will eventually bottom out at roughly 2 levels. That's about the same amount as in Survival Battle 3, only that Survival Battle 2 is easier and slightly faster; the Ganon strategy for Survival Battle 3 doesn't work for the Cucco, because the latter won't be able to kill giant monsters quickly. For that reason you are better off by sticking to Survival Battle 2 for the Cucco.
Since the Cucco is considerably weaker than Ganon, the grinding process is much slower too. Whereas Ganon can do four runs in Survival Battle 3 in 20 minutes for ten level ups, the Cucco can only do three runs in Survival Battle 2 in 20 minutes for six level ups. Overall, you will probably be looking at around ten hours of grinding for the Cucco, if you want to max out its level.