Nintendo's musical 'Legend of Zelda' spin-off just came out for the Nintendo Switch, and it's already my favourite game of the year so far

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/NintendoThe iconic songs from ‘Legend of Zelda’ take center stage in a new spin-off game called ‘Cadence of Hyrule.’
  • “Cadence of Hyrule” is a “Legend of Zelda” spin-off from the creators of the indie hit “Crypt of the Necrodancer.” You can find it in the Nintendo Switch eShop for $US25.
  • Like “Crypt of the Necrodancer,” “Cadence of Hyrule” is a music-based dungeon-crawler that makes players fight and explore to the rhythm of the game’s soundtrack.
  • Playing as Link, Zelda, or Cadence, “Cadence of Hyrule” offers a wonderful blend of the two franchises, with 25 remixed “Legend of Zelda” songs serving as the pulse of this new adventure.
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“The Legend of Zelda” is one of the most beloved video game franchises on the planet, and the music of the series alone is iconic enough to fuel orchestrated concert tours across the globe.

Now, those iconic songs are taking center stage in a musical “Legend of Zelda” spin-off game called “Cadence of Hyrule.”

Quietly released by Nintendo on June 13, “Cadence of Hyrule” was developed by the creators of “Crypt of the Necrodancer,” an indie smash-hit released in 2015. “Necrodancer” composer Danny Baranowsky remixed 25 classic “Legend of Zelda” tracks for “Cadence of Hyrule,” and they serve as the pulse for the 2D throwback adventure.

Like “Necrodancer,” “Cadence of Hyrule” forces players to move to the rhythm of a song as they explore treacherous dungeons and battle waves of monsters. Cadence is the heroine at the center of “Crypt of the Necrodancer,” but in the new game, she finds herself lost in Hyrule, the kingdom where “The Legend of Zelda” is based.

“Cadence of Hyrule” offers a wonderful blend of the two series, mixing the rhythm-based gameplay and strategy of “Necrodancer” with the dungeon-crawling adventures, puzzles, and spectacular setting of “The Legend of Zelda.”

Here’s why “Cadence of Hyrule” is one of my favourite games of the 2019 so far:


When Cadence, the heroine of “Crypt of the Necrodancer,” finds herself stuck in the world of “The Legend of Zelda,” Link and Zelda agree to help her find her way home.

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/Nintendo

They soon find that Octavo, a musical magician, has hypnotized Princess Zelda’s father and taken over the Kingdom of Hyrule.

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/Nintendo

Playing as Zelda, Link, or Cadence, players will adventure across Hyrule on a quest to defeat Octavo’s champions, destroy the monsters plaguing the kingdom, and send Cadence home for good.

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/Nintendo

Here’s an example of what it’s like playing “Cadence of Hyrule” to the music.


When moving and fighting in “Cadence of Hyrule,” players must match the rhythm of the game’s soundtrack. A metronome at the bottom of the screen will help you find the beat.

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/Nintendo

Every monster has a unique attack pattern that matches the music. If you can learn their rhythms, you’ll have no problem taking on enemies in bunches.

‘Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring the Legend of Zelda’ Brace Yourself Games

Like all classic “Zelda” games, “Cadence of Hyrule” has tons of unlockable weapons, magic, and special items that you can use to dispose your foes or access new areas of the map.

‘Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring the Legend of Zelda’

“Cadence of Hyrule” has a cooperative mode so two players to join in on the fun together. You can also turn off rhythm mode if you struggle to match the music.

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/Nintendo

The kingdom of Hyrule is huge, and players will be able to visit memorable “Legend of Zelda” landmarks like Death Mountain, Lake Hylia, and the Lost Woods.

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/Nintendo

As you travel between the iconic locations, the music, enemies, and atmosphere will change to match your environment. The changes in music will shift your pace of play.

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/NintendoA dark cloud casts a shadow over the volcanic Death Mountain.

“Cadence of Hyrule” also has a handful of musical puzzles that require you to play a catchy “Legend of Zelda” tune to unlock new areas of the map.

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/Nintendo

For example, in Hyrule Castle, playing the princess’ theme song, “Zelda’s Lullaby,” will open a secret tomb beneath the throne room.


There are four dungeons hidden across Hyrule. Each one is guarded by one of Octavo’s champions, so you’ll have to clear them all to beat the game.

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/Nintendo

Octavo’s four champions draw their powers from magical instruments; you can beat them in any order, but you’ll need all four instruments to reach the final boss.

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/Nintendo

Each boss has their own theme music and special attack patterns that force players to adapt to survive.

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/Nintendo

Link, Zelda, and Cadence will grow stronger by adding new items to their inventory and finding secret power-ups.

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/Nintendo

The friendly shopkeeper from “Crypt of the Necrodancer” makes a cameo appearance to provide you with a few key items on your adventure. The shop will appear in dungeons, and at secret locations on the map.

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/Nintendo

Even if you’re not interested in playing the game, the “Cadence of Hyrule” soundtrack is worth a listen for anyone who’s familiar with “The Legend of Zelda’s” iconic music.

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/Nintendo

You can listen to the soundtrack right here:


“Cadence of Hyrule” is available now in the the Nintendo Switch eShop for $US25, and it’s already one of my favourite games of the year, without question. It took me six-and-a-half hours to beat the full game, and I did it all in two sittings!

‘Cadence of Hyrule’/Nintendo

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