As the recurring hero of Hyrule, it wouldn’t be a Hyrule Warriors game if you couldn’t play as Link and, thankfully, Age of Calamity brings him back in a significantly more powerful incarnation than the one you can play as in Breath of the Wild. Armed with either a one-handed weapon, two-handed weapon, or a spear, Link has one of the more diverse playstyles in the game.
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Although Link is a simple character to play, much like his incarnation in the original Hyrule Warriors, his character also has a depth to it that allows for some truly crazy combos, particularly when his attacks are paired with the Sheika Runes.
Like his role in the original Hyrule Warriors, Link is a jack of all trades character, easy to use, and plays almost identically to the original Hyrule Warriors with his one-handed weapons. Where he starts to differ, however, is with the other two weapon options. The two-handed weapons focus on dealing huge damage with his unique actions while managing the HP loss taken by the strong attack and has the highest damage potential of all three weapons. The spears are focused on closing gaps and dealing damage fast from a distance, though the damage is reduced compared to both the two-handed and one-handed weapons to make up for this. This doesn’t mean the spear isn’t worth using, as it can deal damage very fast as is less likely to have its combos interrupted by enemy attacks.
A one-handed strong attack will cause Link to perform his signature sword spin, which is near identical to the original Hyrule Warriors and does increased damage if the attack button is held down. The two-handed weapon strong attack will simply replenish any temporary HP lost while using the ZR alternative attack, though this will be lost if Link takes damage before healing himself. The spear’s strong attack will cause Link to perform the same multi-hit combo he does in Breath of the Wild with a spear, though each attack shoots forward a damaging gust of wind, making it his longest-range attack option aside from the bow.
As is the case with the majority of Link’s one-handed actions, the special attack for the one-handed will perform a spin attack in much the same way as the original Hyrule Warriors. The two-handed special attack will heal Link of all temporary damage before attacking in a straight line in front of him, Getsuga Tensho style.
The spear special attack is much more dynamic, as Link will target a spot just in front of him and attack wildly, leaping into the air to attack from all sides and is one of the broader attacks in his arsenal.
Basic Combo Strings
All three of Link’s weapon choices have good options for dealing with single targets and hordes of enemies in their basic strings. The one-handed weapons, however, are a little better at dealing with single targets due to their decreased range and having fewer sweeping motions. The two-handed weapons and spears are great for dealing with crowds of weak enemies, though both weapons have good, high damage attacks for single targets as well.
Strong Attack Combos
To make up for its shorter range, all of the one-handed combos are good at dealing with hordes, as the majority of them perform a large sweeping motion, although these strikes also do decent damage to single targets as well. Two-handed combos are more single target focused, but also deal some damage around him when the ZR attack substitute is used instead. Spear combos are more focused on moving Link around the battlefield fast, keeping him out of reach of enemies while dealing quick damage in a straight line ahead of him.
Weak Point Drainers
The third combo on Link’s one-handed weapon is the best for weak point draining, the same as with the original Hyrule Warriors, though is also his best horde clearing combo. The fifth combo is also good, but it has the issue of taking a very long time to get there which might cause the weak point gauge to disappear before it is fully executed. The two-handed ZR attack deals the best damage while also being very fast to execute, though Link will take a substation hit to his HP in the process. The spear’s strong charge attack deals the best damage as well as having the advantage of being able to be used from a distance.
Although Link’s Runes are fairly straight forward, they do have some use outside of weakening tough enemies. Bombs are good for quickly clearing strongholds as he can move his aim between shots to hit in a wide area in front of him. Cryonis can allow Link to fly up into the air easily for aerial combos as well as allowing him to hit floating Wizzrobes more easily.
Stasis is good for dealing increased damage or attempting to break through a weak point with longer combos. Magnesis is his weakest general combat option, as it just makes him move slower while dealing a small amount of damage with the gathered metal objects he manages to find.
When it comes to defense, one-handed weapons are the best option as Link has a shield, so he is able to parry stun strong enemies as well as return Guardian beams back to stun them. Both the two-handed and spear weapons don’t have this option, so his best bet is to simply dodge out of the way of attacks or intercept them with Runes. The spear does have the second option of simply attacking in a different direction, as he moves quite far and fast while attacking.
As all of Link’s weapons are fairly simple, they don’t really require overly thought out modifiers to make the most of their capabilities. The Regular and Strong Attack increases work for all of his weapons, while Weapon Range increase is good on spears. For two-handed weapons, Attack Speed increase is very useful as several early combos are a little slow to execute and can result in Link being stunned before they are finished.
One-handed weapons will allow Link to use a bow, which is useful for hitting flying Wizzrobes and stopping Guardian eyes from firing lasers, though can also stun a Hinox in the same way as in Breath of the Wild. Two-handed weapons will cause him to perform a smashing attack in front of him as well as replace his strong combos with a higher damaging version at the cost of HP. The spear’s unique action will cause him to lunge forward and deal damage in a narrow cone in front of him while closing the distance and is the best way of getting close to a distant enemy.
Next: Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity – 10 Things to Know Before You Start
- Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Callum Archer is a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia. He is an avid gamer, Nintendo fanboy, and lover of weird sci-fi novels, who also dabbles in manga from time to time, usually dark and twisted work like Uzumaki and Death Note.
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