The full name of this Zelda spinoff is Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer featuring The Legend of Zelda. Phew, what a mouthful, right? It’s a terrible name, but a terrific game. It was a crazy announcement during an earlier Nintendo Direct this year. There is a Crypt of the NecroDancer sequel and it involves Zelda? That can’t be right.
Getting big third-party studios, like Ubisoft, to make a game for Nintendo is one thing, but this deal is unprecedented. It’s a win for indie developers that’s for sure. But what’s next? Wouldn’t it be amazing to see the Axiom Verge team make a Metroid spinoff? That’s just one of hundreds of little ideas in this head, but that’s an article for another time. For now, here are some tips for Cadence of Hyrule.
10 Genre Surprise
This is not a typical Hylian adventure. If one couldn’t guess based on that absurdly long name, this is a pseudo-sequel to Crypt of the NecroDancer. What was that? It's a roguelike RPG that had players match up rhythmically to the beat in order to vanquish foes. That’s what this game is as well, but a bit tweaked. It’s not easy by any stretch, but the difficulty and randomness have been toned down. It looks intimidating to be sure, but it’s not as hard as one might think.
9 Two Different Campaigns
Players will begin as Cadence as she crashes into Hyrule after a terrible fate befalls her. It doesn’t really matter why. She’s there for a quick tutorial before players get to choose who to play as between Link, or Zelda.
They each have their own separate campaigns, which start out differently on the map, but that said the map is almost the same. A few tiles get rearranged, but the main difference between the two is powers. For example, Link gets a shield while Zelda gets a magical barrier. It’s a lot of small things like that.
8 Enemy Weaknesses
One of the most difficult things one has to wrap their brain around is not only moving to the beat, but also being aware of enemies. The nice thing about them is that they have a pattern.
They might raise a club signaling an attack, or twitch with a telling sign above their head. Each area always has a lot to take in, but given time, the patterns will start to form. This is a rhythm game after all.
7 What Carries Over
It should be noted that like every good roguelike, or roguelite, whatever, there is consequences with falling in battles. So what carries over and what disappears? There is a menu bar to the right of the health status that includes torches, shovels, and so on. All that stuff goes along with money. There are permanent upgrades and equipment that won’t fade away, such as bombs and abilities. It’s kind of hard to tell at first, as shops sell permanent things along with disposable gear without signaling which is what. It’s luck of the draw before one learns.
6 Diamond Mining
While rupees may disappear, there is another currency: diamonds. These can be obtained by clearing an entire grid of enemies. There is always one given, but if one avoids damage, players can get two. Diamonds can also be obtained in secret chests strewn throughout Hyrule. These diamonds can then be spent in the in-between world before resurrecting. Some items can upgrade Link or Zelda likes pieces of Heart Containers. There are also disposable goods as well, like torches and shovels, to give players a good head start on the next run.
5 Explore For Essentials First
It may be tempting to clear every area of enemies in order to get those precious diamonds, but here is another helpful tip. The entirety of Hyrule can be explored from the start. Well, more or less. Let’s say 80%.
The rest is hidden behind roadblocks that can be passed once items are obtained from story dungeons. So before venturing into those, it’s wise to go from screen to screen first to beef up characters. It will help in the long run especially the fairy rooms.
4 Dungeons Are Randomized
Story dungeons are mainly set up the same in every game, but there are certain dungeons that do get randomized. Which do and which don’t? Well, the obvious answer to that will reveal itself upon perishing. Once resurrected the layout for some may change completely. This is more reminiscent of the original game. A little bit of randomness never hurt anyone. These are the wielders of Power and Courage after all. Don’t be too intimidated.
3 Fixed Beat Mode
The game can be a little intimidating on its own. Cadence of Hyrule is easier than Crypt of the NecroDancer, but it is not without challenge. Fighting enemies while tapping to the beat can be bothersome, but there is a solution: Fixed Beat Mode. This is available at the start in Options. Basically, it turns off the need to step to the rhythm and enemies no longer move on their own. It sort of transforms the game into a turn-based tactical RPG.
2 There Is Co-op
If turning that mode on proves to still be challenging there is yet another solution: co-op. Whether one initiates it from a brand new game file or uses it on a single player run, the option is available. Both players have their own health, but certain items and currencies are shared. If even this doesn’t lower the difficulty, well, then this game is meant for someone else.
1 The Cadence Effect
Ever hear of the Tetris Effect? No, not the PSVR game... This was a term given to those that played Tetris long enough where they then started to see shapes in real life and in dreams. Sound crazy?
Well, that sort of phenomenon can happen with Cadence of Hyrule. Let’s call it the Cadence Effect. Moving to the rhythm too long in the game may make real-life dull. That is to say one might want to keep the beat moving in reality. The music is just too good not to!