Before I begin, I just want to make it very clear there are many SPOILERS for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity in this post! If you are looking for a spoiler-free review of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, go check out my post: Spoiler-Free Review—Is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Worth It? Now that my spoiler warning is out of the way, let’s get down to business.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity was first announced September 8, 2020. The announcement video that was released featured Eiji Aonuma, the producer of The Legend of Zelda series, and Yosuke Hayashi, the producer of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. In the announcement trailer, Aonuma and Hayashi talk about Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and how it will allow players to experience the world of Hyrule 100 years before the events of Breath of the Wild. From what I understand, the previous Hyrule Warriors game is not canon, but it seems there are many players who are unsure of whether Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is canon or not.
Before I started playing the game I thought Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity would for sure be canon since we were led on to think it would be a prequel to Breath of the Wild. In the announcement trailer for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, Hayashi even stated: “Unlike the previous Hyrule Warriors games, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity was developed by working closely with the Zelda team in every step of the process.” When I heard that, I took it as Nintendo actually trying to make Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity make sense and literally be a repeat of what happened before the Calamity. However, after playing and completing Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, I personally think this game is not canon. Keep reading for my reasons why!
Let’s Talk About Terrako, the Descendants, and Time Travel…
The first cutscene we see shows the Calamity already happening, then Terrako, this cute and mysterious robot in Zelda’s Laboratory, awakens and sees what’s going on. He then decides to time-travel and go back to before the Calamity happens. Terrako finds Zelda and she takes him to Robbie and Purah, who are able to look through his data and see that the Calamity does in fact happen and that they failed. Later, as they pull more information from Terrako, they learn that the Calamity happens on Zelda’s 17th birthday. Because of this, everyone is more prepared and isn’t caught off guard when Calamity Ganon appears.
The fact Terrako spoiled everything and actually prepared everyone, completely changes the events of the Calamity as seen in Breath of the Wild. The whole reason Calamity Ganon was successful in Breath of the Wild is because it caught everyone off guard. No one knew it was coming that early on and so no one was ready. No one in Castle Town was evacuated, King Rhoam dies, the Champions were outmatched by the Blight Ganons and are killed, and Link falls protecting Zelda from Guardians. A ton of people die in Breath of the Wild, but Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity has the opposite thing happen in that literally no one dies because Terrako prevents it.
Continuing on the Terrako idea, during the battle of the Champions versus the Blight Ganons, Terrako brings back through time Teba, Yunobo, Riju, and Sidon to help out the Champions so they could hold off the Blight Ganons until backup arrives. First of all, time-travel always makes any game confusing, but in this game it totally just changes everything. Teba, Yunobo, Riju, and Sidon showing up provides more fighting hands as they fight against Calamity Ganon. As a result, the battle against him is much easier and he is sealed almost immediately by Zelda. As a result of the Descendants showing up, the Champions (along with literally anyone else in this game) don’t die, they beat Calamity Ganon, and there’s a happy ending. The Descendants return to their time, and everyone else carries on life as normal. This whole time-travel thing confuses me, and its effect on the game doesn’t make sense. Wouldn’t the Descendants have their entire timeline changed if Terrako was changing the past? Would they even know what was going on if they were brought back in time to help fight the Calamity?
Well, the point is, because Terrako decided to use his time-traveling abilities to warn everyone about the Calamity and also bring the Descendants back in time, the entire story changed and the Calamity was only a short problem.
Then there’s Astor and the Yiga…
I honestly really liked the Yiga Clan in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. I thought they were fun bad guys! Astor was promising in the beginning of the game, but then he ending up just being an epic failure of a weirdo. The Yiga and Astor’s involvement in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity really affected the story. First of all, there’s almost no explanation for why Astor is even in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. He’s thrown in the game and we just have to assume there’s some logical reason he’s there. Not to mention the fact Astor works with the Yiga Clan and then betrays them, which leads to Kohga taking his clan and joining forces with Hyrule. It seems anticlimactic that the people whose entire purpose is to bring back Calamity Ganon, literally change sides once they realize that’s not exactly a great thing for them. The Yiga Clan becoming good guys would ultimately change the timeline, since they help defeat the Calamity and they wouldn’t be villains in Breath of the Wild anymore.
On a random side note, I was really hoping for an explanation of that giant hole in the Yiga hideout. Hopefully that’s a mystery we’ll learn about in the sequel to Breath of the Wild!
If Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is Canon, Wouldn’t Breath of the Wild Be Irrelevant?
This game didn’t end with everyone dying like I thought it would. Instead the entire story is flipped and literally no one dies and the Calamity is beaten quickly. Everyone is able to live out their lives fully and happily. If Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is canon, wouldn’t that mean Breath of the Wild’s events wouldn’t exist, and therefore wouldn’t matter anymore? The whole point of Breath of the Wild is that Link has to fix 100 years of damage and save Zelda who has been fighting Ganon alone for a century. Technically the events of Breath of the Wild wouldn’t exist if everyone beat Calamity Ganon right off the bat. Not to mention if Breath of the Wild’s events technically wouldn’t exist anymore, what would even happen in the sequel to Breath of the Wild? Would the sequel to Breath of the Wild be canon? How will Age of Calamity affect the sequel to Breath of the Wild? Maybe this is a separate timeline thing where Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a tangent from the rest of the series and is an alternate event on its own. But then the Descendants being brought back in time through a different timeline makes even less sense! But I’m also not a time-travel expert so I don’t know if that’s how time-travel works.
So What’s My Conclusion?
I don’t think Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is canon. I don’t want Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity to be canon. Breath of the Wild came first and should’ve set the precedence for how Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity would go. The fact Nintendo even advertised Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity as being a prequel to Breath of the Wild, but then made it an alternate event is even more frustrating. Now we’re left wondering how to take Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and whether the events are going to be considered part of The Legend of Zelda’s timeline or not. But maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be? Maybe we’re supposed to not be sure how to take Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity’s events, and just decide for ourselves if its canon or not. As for me, I see it as a fun spin-off game whose events don’t really matter because it’s not canon.
If you’ve played Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, do you think this game should be canon? Did you like all the changes to the plot? Let me know in the comments below!
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2 thoughts on “Is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Canon?”
No it wouldn’t “prevent what happened in BotW”. The game is canon as stated by Eiji Aonuma but to an alternate timeline. Meaning the events are separate to eachother and take place in parallel dimensions.
The events of Breath of the Wild are not only relevant to Age of Calamity, but INTEGRAL to the game’s ending. AoC runs off the Truest Ending of BotW, the one where Link recovers all his memories, restores all the Divine Beasts, helps al the New Champions, retrieves the Master Sword, and Defeats Calamity Ganon. If any steps are skipped, it becomes impossible for Terrako to summon the New Champions to help win the war. Thie deaths of the Champions in the original timeline were a necessary step to protecting this new one.