With Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity freshly released, many players have been quick to sink their teeth into the closest thing we’ve had thus far to a Breath of the Wild sequel. While vastly different from everybody’s favorite Switch game, Koei Tecmo’s love-letter to the Zelda franchise is a direct prequel to the Breath of the Wild, taking place 100 years before Links’ awakening in the latter, and serves as official canon in Nintendo’s storyline.
There have been a few surprises leading up to and following Age of Calamity’s release, few more so than the fact that Impa is a playable character in the vicious brawler of a hack-and-slash.
Who is Impa?
Impa is a long-standing, recurring character in the franchise but has, until Age of Calamity, never been playable. Throughout the series she has often served the role as a guardian of sorts to Princess Zelda — in line with her role as one of the few confirmed Sheikah (a shadowy race of warriors sworn to protect the ruling family of Hyrule) and offered aid to Link in numerous installments of the game.
Impa is, in fact, responsible for kicking off the very series itself as the connection between Link and Zelda. It was she who, in 1986’s The Legend of Zelda, first charged Link with collecting the pieces of the Triforce in order to rescue Princess Zelda from Ganon.
Since then, we’ve seen her multiple times with numerous character designs and personalities but never had the opportunity to play as her.
All that changed a few days ago with the release of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. In it, players can finally explore Impa through her gameplay and learn more about how she served as a defender to Zelda for all those years.
Impa has a more complicated playstyle than many of the other characters in the game. Perfectly in-line with her shadowy background as a rogue-like Sheikah, she wields a short-sword and performs as Hyrule’s very own Naruto Uzumaki.
Much of her gameplay is centered around managing her Clones mechanic. As Impa attacks, she gains symbols by marking enemies and attacking them which can then be used to generate anywhere between 2, 4, and 8 clones depending on the number of symbols used.
All on her lonesome, Impa doesn’t really hit like a truck. Far from it. But that subpar damage quickly escalates as her clones start spawning; each clone attacks perfectly in sync with Impa, and can be detonated for explosive burst damage. But clones only appear for a limited time, so tracking their timers and establishing an effective pace of generating, attacking, and detonating at all the right times take more attention than the straightforward hacking-and-slashing of her simpler counterparts like Link or Daruk.
How to Unlock Impa in Age of Calamity
To unlock Impa in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, players need only work their way through the very first mission in the very first chapter, Chapter 1: The Battle for Hyrule Field. As soon as you’ve finished your first taste of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, you’ll be granted access to Hyrule’s resident Shinobi and start practicing her jutsu-skills on the field!
Who’s your favorite character for laying waste to Calamity Ganon’s hordes? Does Impa live up to her shadowy reputation? Let us know, and feel free to shoot any questions at us down below!