If you’re talking technicality, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity‘s Princess Zelda is the same person as Breath of the Wild‘s Zelda, but just in a different timeline. But if you’re talking real details, AOC Zelda has some secrets and fun facts that her BOTW counterpart simply doesn’t. So may I present to you another installment in my “You Never Knew” collection… 10 things you never knew about Age of Calamity‘s Zelda!
10. She Awakens Her Powers By Saving Link… Again
Link and Zelda really get close in Age of Calamity, long before Calamity Ganon even rose. The trigger for her sealing powers proves it: it stubbornly refuses to reveal itself until Link is desperately in trouble, just like in BOTW.
However, this case is slightly different. Instead of them running through a muddy forest while the Champions and King Rhoam perish, everyone’s still well alive and Astor pits Link against the four Blights all at once. As Link struggles against them all, Zelda extends her arm and shuts the Blights off with her legendary powers, causing Astor to flee in shock. She also appears confident and aware that her sealing powers have shown themselves, unlike her confusion in BOTW.
9. You Can Play As Two Versions of Her
Zelda is unique out of all of the AOC characters because she actually has two playable versions of herself. These are Scholar Zelda and Luminescent Zelda, and they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Scholar Zelda is likely the version of Zelda you’ll be playing as for most of the game. Her main and only weapon is the Sheikah Slate, which she wields powerfully in battle. However, Luminescent Zelda can project much more powerful attacks. She glows in battle and floats above the ground, and she can use her sealing powers and the Bow of Light to take enemies out.
8. We Get to See Her Mother
It’s only for a split second, but it still counts. Zelda’s mother’s bottom half makes a cameo in one of AOC’s heartbreaking ending scenes, a memory where the young princess builds Terrako. This reveals that Zelda and her mother did not bond over their shared sealing powers, but the ancient technology interest that Zelda passionately carries on. However, in this rare appearance, we get to see nothing really of interest. Zelda’s mother wears the blue regal robes identical to Zelda’s, and we don’t even get to see her face or hear her voice. Before we know it, the scene changes to Zelda begging for King Rhoam to let her play with her new creation.
7. She Relives the Frog Moment in Her Idle Animation
Everyone will remember when Zelda tries to feed Link a frog in Breath of the Wild, and you will love her even more when you find out she relives that moment in AOC. As Scholar Zelda, she picks up a frog and holds it up in the same pose in her idle animation, which you can activate by letting her stand around for a long period of time. It’s a fun easter egg to spot in the midst of the game’s intense, hack-and-slash world — keep an eye out for it the next time you play as the researcher princess!
6. Her Relationship With Impa Is Different
In the past, Impa has always been depicted as Zelda’s bodyguard or nursemaid, an older figure who acts lovingly toward the vulnerable princess. However, their dynamic is much more different in AOC. They are more friends and allies than they are two people in a mother-daughter relationship. Impa still protects Zelda wherever she goes and gives her valuable encouragement at times, too, but it’s obvious their relationship is much different in AOC. They also appear to be about the same age and height (who really knows with Impa’s Sheikah aging, though), which already puts them in a brand-new situation.
5. She’s The Only One Who Can Ride the Master Cycle
While Link is the destined hero and rider of the Master Cycle Zero in BOTW, AOC changes that completely. Instead, Zelda is the singular pilot of the ancient motorbike in the prequel. The “Pulse of the Ancients” DLC gifts this precious vehicle to the princess, classifying it as a weapon reserved for her. You can only obtain it in the “EX Royal Ancient Tech Lab” quest. Why Zelda is the only person worthy of riding the Master Cycle is unknown, but it may be her deep interest in ancient technology that caused it to choose her. You can also upgrade the Cycle to two new tiers above the original: Hunter and Sentinel.
4. Link Saves Her Five Times
It’s common knowledge that many Zelda storylines involve Link saving Zelda from Ganon. But he doesn’t only save her in Age of Calamity: he saves her five times. He first saves her from an incoming Guardian laser in one of the opening battles with a well-timed shield parry. Then, he saves her from Astor in Korok Forest using his newfound Master Sword, repelling the fortune teller right before he can strike the killing blow. The fourth time is King Rhoam’s near death. Rhoam steps forward with a Royal Claymore and orders Link to flee with his daughter to save her life, which he does right before a group of Guardians take aim at the king.
The final incident is, of course, from the big baddie: Calamity Ganon. As Zelda struggles to wield her sealing powers, he jumps forward and slices Ganon with the Master Sword. She and Terrako then finish him off with her recharged strength. It’s great Zelda saved Link once and awakened her powers, but five times is just too much. And four of those times, she just stood there in the face of danger like a stone and did completely nothing.
3. She Has a Secret, Unused Outfit
Most players have realized that one outfit is unavailable for playable Zelda: her royal floor-length gown. Her white ceremonial dress, blue scholar outfit, and winter clothes are all equippable and can be worn in any mission after unlocking them… but why not her royal gown? Fortunately, it was not completely out of the picture for it to be available in AOC. It was originally an equippable battle outfit, but the developers left it unused; it can only be unlocked through glitches.
The exact reason why is unknown, but it’s most likely that the gown is simply not battle-ready. I mean, who goes into a fight against hordes of Bokoblins in a ballgown? I am a fan of the outfit, but I can totally understand why it was left out. You can watch this YouTube video to learn more.
2. She Uses the Sheikah Slate Better Than Anyone
While most other characters can also wield Sheikah Slate runes, it’s obvious Zelda is the most proficient out of them all. Reasonably, too, because she researched it the most out of everyone and knows its little tricks to utilize it to its full potential. It is also her main weapon when you play as Scholar Zelda, which is why the devs created innovative attack moves for the ancient device.
And she can really do basically anything with it. She can freeze stampedes with Stasis, fling metal boxes with Magnesis, summon Cryonis ice blocks out of anywhere from the ground, and you’ll love this last one — take pictures of her enemies before knocking them out. Now that’s what I call a good princess!
1. She Is the Core of Age of Calamity
It’s strange that Age of Calamity is the one game that Zelda really bosses over, because it both doesn’t have her name in its title and is non-canon (as far as we know). If you look at the game’s storyline in this perspective, you’ll see that it revolves around Zelda’s failures, insecurities, personality, and her final victories. She is the real hero. She’s the one who created Terrako out of her wisdom and diligent research, who later dropped into her timeline and saved everyone’s lives.
The story is about Link and the Champions, but more prominently about Zelda. It doesn’t turn her into a complete warrior like the first Hyrule Warriors did, but a warrior who still can and does act in the role of the princess. So much, that she proves herself to even be a better ruler than King Rhoam himself. She then uses her sealing powers aggressively against Ganon and his forces, eventually triumphing alongside her allies and restoring Hyrule to peace. All of the Champions survive, their successors are returned to the future, and Terrako’s sacrifice is eventually reversed to give them all a happily ever after.
In conclusion, AOC really has an amazing storyline that, in the background, is finally giving Princess Zelda the character development she deserves.