Hyrule Warriors was originally more Zelda-like, Miyamoto demanded it be more like Dynasty Warriors
Hyrule Warriors was originally going to be more of a Zelda game than a Dynasty Warriors title. Zelda Producer Eiji Aonuma said in an interview recently that Tecmo Koei was going to add dungeons, bosses, etc to the game but Shigeru Miyamoto came in one day and said that the game needed to be more like Dynasty Warriors.
At first, when Hayashi-san approached me, he wanted to make this title closer to a Zelda game than a Dynasty Warriors game — that extended to having boss battles in the dungeons and [having] certain characters in the game. However, Mr. Miyamoto came along and up-ended the tea table, saying, “No, that should not be the case. What we’re doing here is grafting Zelda onto the Dynasty Warriors experience.” It was a reversal of the original proposal from Hayashi-san, which was adding elements of Dynasty Warriors onto the Zelda franchise. It ended up being the other way around based on Miyamoto’s direction.
I guess I’m happy with how it worked out. A 3D Zelda game by anyone other than Aonuma and his developers wouldn’t be something I’d wanted to see from Tecmo Koei. Making it more of a spin-off and into what we know today from Hyrule Warriors was a wise decision.
The backlash alone from Koei making a “traditional” Zelda and having that be the Wii U’s first “true” Zelda game would have been pretty big. A spin-off is much more tolerable and more palatable if you ask me.