Hyrule Warriors incorporates a variety of characters from across the Zelda timeline, but also has a few original creations in the mix, too.
One of these is the busty main antagonist Cia, who at the time of writing you can admire in the banner at the top of the page. She most certainly has her considerable appeal… but I think I’d be a bit terrified of what she’d do to me if she ever found out I’d called her a “waifu”.
So let’s take an altogether safer option: Lana, a delightfully cheery young woman whom you come into contact with relatively early in Hyrule Warriors’ main story.
Lana is a sorceress. If you’re anything like me, that specific word probably conjures up images of a tall, statuesque woman in a long, flowing gown with beautiful hair, piercing eyes and an understated but frightening command over powers beyond the understanding of mere mortals.
Most of that description certainly applies to Cia, but interestingly, Lana subverts most of those common expectations. The fact the two are polar opposites ultimately proves to be an important part of Hyrule Warriors’ main narrative, of course, but it doesn’t make Lana any less interesting as an individual character in her own right.
For me, the most striking thing about Lana is her face, and it’s honestly rather difficult to pin down exactly what it is that is so striking. It’s a kind face, certainly, and a very expressive one, at that — one that, at times, brings to mind feelings of youthful exuberance.
In fact, that can be said about Lana as a whole. Although she’s kind, caring, responsible and determined — “mature”, in other words — she’s also very much in touch with a feminine, youthful and distinctly playful side of herself. We can see this in the way she runs around with her arms outstretched behind her; we can see it in the rather whimsical nature of many of her special attacks (the one where she jumps atop a magic cube and rolls it around is a particular delight) and we can most certainly hear it in her voice.
Hyrule Warriors doesn’t feature a full vocal track, instead adopting the traditional Zelda approach of occasional emotive grunts and wordless utterances. But Lana’s voice is still by far the most expressive, consisting of girlish giggles, sorrowful sighs, determined declarations and, of course, angry sorceress noises. In some scenes, she even lets rip with a whole string of these with unintentionally comedic effect, but it’s all part of her charm; Lana is nothing if not memorable.
In terms of design, she’s pretty striking, too. Her electric blue hair, her side ponytail and piercing violet eyes all combine to produce a character that makes an immediate impact whenever she’s on screen — and one that is immediately recognisable from a distance in the heat of battle. She remains recognisable in the shadowy “Dark” form that occasionally pops up in Adventure Mode, too, thanks to her distinctive silhouette — the same is true for pretty much all of the characters in Hyrule Warriors, but this is something both the Zelda and Warriors series have both always been very good at.
Interestingly, I feel that very few pieces of fanart have quite managed to completely capture Lana’s true essence — particularly that tricky-to-define quality about her face I mentioned above. This isn’t to say said fanart is bad, of course, as the few pieces posted throughout this article will hopefully attest, and despite what I say there, it’s still very interesting to see the variety of ways artists have attempted to tackle this apparently tricky character.
Some emphasise her powerful nature as a sorceress. Some simply emphasise the fact that she’s an attractive young woman. And some actively play up her childish, playful side by depicting her as younger than she actually is. (And, of course, there’s plenty of that sort of fanart out there, too, but I’m sure you can track that down on your own if that’s really what floats your boat.)
All in all, Lana proves herself over the course of Hyrule Warriors to be a great addition to the Zelda cast. Despite being an original creation specifically for Hyrule Warriors, she doesn’t feel out of place at all, and offers a good complement to the taciturn Link and a rather grim-faced, serious take on Zelda herself.
The fact she fits in rather well amid the rest of the Zelda cast is partly down to the fact that Zelda has, on the whole, embraced an extremely broad range of character types and even aesthetics, so technically you could probably fit most types of character in there somehow. But it’s more than just fitting in due to the series’ long-established diversity of aesthetics; Lana fits in terms of personality too, and complements the existing cast well with her cheerful optimism and determination to see the game’s central conflict through to a positive resolution for everyone — including Cia.
Will we ever see her again in another game? Sadly, at this point I feel that’s probably unlikely; as well-received as the various incarnations of Hyrule Warriors have all been, they remain relatively niche-interest titles in comparison to the rest of the Zelda series, so I’d be very surprised to see another one.
However, if you’ve actually played Hyrule Warriors, you will know that it is one game which will happily keep you busy for several hundred hours… perhaps more. So if you, like me, enjoy the company of Lana and her various means of flattening her foes with sorcery, fear not; you’ve got 255 levels of her to grind, three weapon types to unlock for her and a whole bunch of skill badges to craft, so you’ll be seeing quite a lot of one another.
And then you’ve got the same to do for all the rest of the cast, too… ahhh. Who says games don’t offer good value for money any more these days?
More about Hyrule Warriors
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