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Small details you missed in the Cadence of Hyrule trailer

On March 20, 2019, Nintendo dropped a delightful bombshell: a new Legend of Zelda and Crypt of the NecroDancer crossover from indie developer Brace Yourself Games.

Though Zelda is a household name, many gamers may be unfamiliar with NecroDancer. A unique hybrid, NecroDancer mixes roguelike dungeon exploration with a beat-matching rhythm mechanic, all set to a toe-tapping original soundtrack by Danny Baranowsky.

Titled Cadence of Hyrule, the plot of the latest addition to the Zelda lineup seems to center on NecroDancer protagonist Cadence. Called to Hyrule for an unknown purpose, she embarks on a new quest with the help of some familiar faces. The game lets you play as either Link or Zelda as you explore randomly generated areas and dungeons. Like Crypt of the NecroDancer music plays an important role in Cadence as you move to the beat of 25 remixed Zelda songs. 

Though Cadence of Hyrule is slated for release in spring 2019, there isn't much in the way of information beyond the reveal trailer. Despite its 57-second runtime, the video is jam-packed with a surprising amount of content for fans of both franchises, though some features are easier to spot than others.

Here are the small details you missed in the Cadence of Hyrule trailer.

Smooth Sheikah sounds

Stone slabs marked with a distinct pattern appear throughout the trailer. Longtime Zelda fans will recognize this symbol as the Sheikah Eye, a staple of the series since its first appearance in Ocarina of Time. Though the function of these slabs is unclear, they have a similar appearance to the Gossip Stones which also debuted in Ocarina of time. Pseudo-sentient telepathic objects, the Gossip Stones served many functions, depending on the method Link used to activate them.

In certain shots, the trailer shows a slab lit up in the Sheikah blue prevalent in Breath of the Wild. Due to their locations near important areas, it's possible the game will use them as save points. If so, this would break with the precedent set by the title's predecessor, which did not offer a manual save option.

If the slabs take after NecroDancer, they may function like the shrines within the crypt. Players could activate most of these shrines by bumping into them. Upon activation, the shrines dispensed specific items, most of which were cursed. 

The Sheikah slabs could work similarly to the Owl Statues in Majora's Mask. Link activated these items by striking them with his sword; he could then warp to any activated Owl Statue using the Song of Soaring. These statues also served as temporary save points.

Whatever their purpose, Brace Yourself Games seems to have styled the slabs to resemble a jukebox, a nice touch that fits with NecroDancer's rhythmic theme.

Death by a thousand puns

Fans of the original game likely recall Brace Yourself Games' love of puns. Crypt of the NecroDancer brought us such brilliantly named bosses as Coral Riff, Fortissimole, and Dead Ringer. Coral Riff is a water-themed boss which the publisher seems to have styled after the Rickenbacker bass, Fortissimole is a giant mole who raps during combat, and Dead Ringer is a bell-crowned demonic figure who summons undead to his aid.

Some keen-eyed YouTubers were quick to note that Brace Yourself Games seems to have continued their punny naming schemes in Cadence. We first see the Gleeok, a recurring baddy that first reared its many heads in The Legend of Zelda. With metal keys on its back and a mallet-like tail, it resembles a glockenspiel, leading fans to dub it the "Gleeokenspiel". 

Later, the trailer reveals the Armos Knights. Six of these imposing figures served as the boss of the Eastern Palace in A Link to the Past. Cadence uses a similar formation though Brace Yourself has replaced their shields with bass guitars. Clever commenters have given the boss the epithet "Guitarmos Knights."

Though the identities of these big baddies remain unconfirmed, the fan predictions seem in line with NecroDancer's tongue-in-cheek naming conventions.

The golden oldies

The trailer presents three playable characters: Cadence, Link, and Princess Zelda. Of the three, Zelda has the most diverse array of attacks on display. First, Zelda defends herself from a Lynel by encasing herself in a blue crystal. This ability seems to be Nayru's Love, a spell granted to Link by one of the Great Fairies in Ocarina of Time. In the Zelda universe, Nayru is the Goddess of Wisdom, one three figures who makes up the divine triad known as the Golden Goddesses or Old Gods. This ability is especially appropriate for Zelda to wield due to her connection with the Triforce of Wisdom.

Later in the trailer, Zelda appears to use Din's Fire, another spell from Ocarina of Time, to wipe out a mob of bokoblins. Din, another Old God, is the Goddess of Power. In Ocarina of Time, Link used Din's Fire to shroud himself in a dome of flame that expanded outward, affecting any targets within its range.

These two abilities match Zelda's skillset in Super Smash Bros. and Hyrule Warriors, though the trailer does not show her using Farore's Wind. In Ocarina, Link could use Farore's Wind to create warp points within dungeons. In Super Smash Bros., it functions as a sort of teleport spell, serving as Zelda's recovery move. Farore's Wind is associated with Farore, the Goddess of Courage.

An ode to the past

When it comes to style and content, Cadence of Hyrule feels a lot like the SNES Zelda classic, A Link to the Past. The trees shown early in the trailer use the same design as the trees that fill the Lost Woods. Later, its pans across a desert-based dungeon entrance, which bears a strong likeness to A Link to the Past's Eastern Palace, accessible through a rocky canyon. As noted before, the "Guitarmos Knights" shown at the end of the trailer were the bosses for the same dungeon. Other baddies from ALTTP also return in Cadence.

A lightning-themed building guarded by a Darknut displays similar designs to Ganon's Tower and the Tower of Hera in ALTTP. Ganon's Tower featured multiple levels of columns. The Tower of Hera used a similar design, with several floors composed of columns and brick. 

Castle or tower, the dungeon in the trailer seems to have a unique spin, equipped with fans likely to provide players with wind-based puzzles within. If this proves the case, it may have a similar feel to the gust and lightning challenges created by Divine Beast Vah Medoh in Breath of the Wild.

Classic hits

Classic Zelda enemies abound in this nostalgic offering from Brace Yourself Games. We first see Cadence vanquish a Stalfos, a skeletal soldier seen in dungeons across the Zelda series. A moment later, the NecroDancer protagonist bypasses two ChuChus. These gelatinous creatures first appeared in Majora's Mask and come in a variety of colors linked to items or elements. Poes, the lantern-wielding ghosts who have been terrifying Zelda fans since A Link to the Past make an appearance. In the same swamp-like scene, we see a pack of wolf-like Wolfos from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.

Many familiar baddies guard the entrance to the desert-based dungeon, including a Leever, Tektite, and Vulture. These enemies, originating from early Zelda titles, fit well in the rocky desert terrain. The identity of the armored being in the same shot is less clear, though the heavy armor and openings on their helmet evoke the Iron Knuckle. These evil knights first appeared in Zelda 2 and continue to be one of the series' most deadly foes.

A busy fight scene featuring Link unveils more classic enemies. The gelatinous Like Like threatens to gobble up our hero, while he fends off a Stalfos and some Bokoblins, the violent, goblin-like baddies common in recent Zelda games. A Wizzrobe, one of Zelda's undead spell casters, and a laser-shooting Beamos also threaten him from the corners of the room.

All the baddies die in a puff of skull-shaped smoke, a nice detail inspired by several Zelda titles.

Wellstock featuring Freddie Merchantry

Though much of Cadence of Hyrule seems inspired by A Link to the Past, the trailer includes some subtle nods to Minish Cap. A stump resembling the Minish Portals that Link uses to turn small appears in one shot, and the overall graphics style is also reminiscent of Minish.

Early on, Cadence visits a shop marked with a golden rupee on the door. Inside, she speaks to the shopkeeper who says, "My shop is stocked-well! Ho ho." For Minish Cap fans, this assertion may bring to mind Stockwell, a shopkeeper in Minish's Hyrule Town. Stockwell also appears in Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons though neither game names him directly.

The same scene reveals the return of a special NecroDancer character, Freddie Merchantry, also known as the Singing Shopkeeper. His clothing and design match up with the first game, explaining why Cadence says, "At least this guy is familiar." The music swells as the scene transitions, interposing the sweet vocal riff that earned Freddie his cult following and very own plush.

Comeback Club

Familiar weapons and equipment pop up in the trailer, including the iconic Hylian Shield and Master Sword. The Iron Boots, first used by Link in Ocarina of Time to access the sunken Water Temple, are on display in Freddie Merchantry's shop. In Ocarina and Wind Waker, Link also uses the Iron Boots to resist heavy wind currents. They may see a similar use in the fan-equipped dungeon shown later in the trailer.

NecroDancer fans may recognize the Titanium Shovel, Regular Shovel, and Obsidian Shovel among the wares Freddie has on offer. These shovels allow the controlled character to dig through different types of walls depending on the tool equipped.  

Zelda wields a blue sword with a red gem and a blue-hilted spear with a red ribbon. Zelda's sword looks like either the Tempered Sword or the Magical Sword from past Zelda titles and also resembles the one she carried in Twilight Princess cutscenes

Whether Brace Yourself Games had a specific Zelda-based design in mind, Zelda's weapons mirror weapon types seen in NecroDancer: the rapier and spear.

Sweet moves

Though Brace Yourself Games has resurrected many enemies from the Zelda franchise, their behavior in the trailer suggests they will use similar movement and combat patterns to those found in NecroDancer. Despite the brief nature of the trailer, it's possible to predict some of the analogues you'll find in the actual game. 

The Stalfos appear to mirror White-Shielded Skeletons, which require two beats to move. ChuChus have a clear counterpart in NecroDancer's Slimes. The Slimes, like the ChuChus, have specific color-based characteristics. Green Slimes have no movement pattern, while Blue Slimes pause for a beat between vertical movements.

Based on the monsters in the trailer, other potential analogues exist. The Wolfos may function like Hellhounds, restricted to diagonal movement. The Poes are likely Ghosts which can move one space every beat and only attack when the player's back is turned. Alternatively, they could function like the rather nasty Cursed Wraiths, cursing the player's hearts before vanishing into thin air. Wizzrobes would make ideal Skeleton Mages or Lightning Mages. 

Perhaps the baddies will reveal more of their true colors in future trailers.

The song that never ends

The logo at the end of the trailer shows a golden lute surrounded by purple fog, a detail that has some fans missing a beat.

In Crypt of the NecroDancer, the Golden Lute is the game's main MacGuffin and final boss. Melody, Cadence's mother, wields it throughout the game. Revived by the lute's power, she must continue playing to keep herself and her own mother, Aria, alive.

The purple smoke seems indicative of the lute's cursed nature. Its presence in the logo reveals that it's tied into the plot in an important way, though the role is unclear at this time. The instrument may relate to why Cadence was called to Hyrule as she mentioned earlier in the trailer. Due to the ending of Crypt of the NecroDancer, this raises a lot of questions, as the lute's destruction was a key part of the plotline.

No matter its role in the story, the Golden Lute is sure to keep you on your toes.