Zodiac Warriors is a 2.5D fighting game clone of the Super Smash Bros. series for the Wii U, and the sequel to the games Zodiac Champions and Zodiac Guardians. It is an umbrella game, often considered to be a Baby Waffle, with many characters hailing from various series - whether they be webseries, animations or video games. The game was created to rival the similar series of Fighters of Lapis and Crystal Warriors. It is a part of the Zodiax timeline of the Partial Macrocosm, taking place after Champions and Guardians.
This game brings together the casts of Champions and Guardians, though some characters are revoked of their playable status due to the story mode.
The game's main theme is "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from the Disney film Mulan. The song plays on the title screen and multiple times throughout the game's story.
Fans of the Super Smash Bros. series should be familiar with the gameplay of Zodiac Warriors, as they are almost identical. Two to five characters fight on various stages based upon the different elements of the Zodiac, attempting to knock each other off-screen. In the end, the fighter who has KO'd the most fighters (or the last man standing in stock matches) wins the fight. Additionally, items spawn onto the stage, which can be used to heal or hurt others.
Every character is unique in terms of stats and attacks. Some are big and slow, while others small and quick. Every character has four special moves and an Ultimate Special Move. The Ulimate Special Move (UM) is obtained by the losing character upon taking 200 damage (which also accumulates over up to two lives). Upon obtaining their UM, the Zodiac signs will surround them, and a circular glyph appear under their feet, emitting a blue-white light.
A new feature is the addition of dodging and shielding. Every character gets a special shield, which is made up of five Zodiac signs that circle around them. Should they be attacked or use the shield for too long, the signs will disappear, one at a time. Should all of the signs disappear, the fighter will take damage and suffer from a sickness effect: slowing them down and decreasing the amount of damage they deal. Additionally, they are unable to use their shield for a while. While shielding, moving the control stick left or right will also make the fighter dodge, which can be used to move around projectiles or fighters without taking damage.
Another new feature is the announcer. Every multiplayer match has an announcer, though this can be turned off. Additionally, other announcers can be unlocked through challenges.
Zodiac Warriors additionally combines aspects of RPG titles into a fighting game setting. All stages and special attacks, not including the Ultimate Special Move, fall under one of four Zodiac Elements: Air, Earth, Water or Fire. Additionally, some moves may inflict status ailments. Status ailments include: Sickness (slows down speed and weakens attacks), Blindness (controls are temporarily screwed up), Drain (deals 1% damage over five seconds; some attacks accumulate that damage as well), Freeze (makes the fighter temporarily immobile, though can still use projectile attacks) or Insane (makes speed increase but attacks weaker).
The game features a shop where players can purchase new announcer characters, and bonus characters and stages not unlockable through other means.
Players can buy collectible Figurines in the shop, each for 500 coins.
The camera starts by panning up King- starting from his feet, before zooming into his eyes, where silhouettes of the playable characters flash quickly one after another (adding more when characters are unlocked), before spinning around his head and turning towards a sunrise. The sunrise flashes and an outline of a skull appears on it, before the sky cracks and green lights pierce the ground, sticking out like lightning bolts. As it looks up at the sun, it shows the Virtue Senary glowing in the sky, and they glow with Zodiac signs behind them. As the camera turns downwards, it shows a large digital clock, with King standing in the centre. As the numbers count down, the camera gets closer, before the timer reaches zero and it cuts to black, ending the music abruptly as the logo fades in slowly.
The standard game mode, a player can fight up to four more players or computer opponents locally or online. They can choose between any character and stage unlocked. They can also change the settings- determine which items are to spawn and the chances they can spawn.
All matches are ranked, whether they be online or local, but playing against other fighters online increase the player's Zodiac Sign more than playing locally. The Zodiac Sign is not shared between Zodiac Champions and Guardians.
Like the previous, Warriors features a story mode, dubbed the generic "campaign" mode. The story mode centres around the playable characters, as they are pitted against one another by a mysterious entity. Unlike past games, this is the main focus of the game.
King's identity will be revealed in this game.
Rival Sign is a survival-based take on the normal fighting matches. The player, who chooses a single character, is given a single life to fight every fighter currently unlocked one-after-another. On a platform separated by a wall, a shadow version of the player's character also fights their own set of opponents. Each fighter beaten by the rival increases its power, and, if they defeat all fighters before the player, their power increases tenfold. After the player defeats all the characters, they are healed before pitted against their powered-up rival.
In the Zodiac Arena, the player must fight an endless wave of opponents- up to four at a time. It is a simple test of survival, as the player has to survive, and the mode ends once the player is KO'd. Defeating 20 fighters in one go unlocks its sequel: Zodiac Ultimate Arena.
Zodiac Ultimate Arena
Zodiac Ultimate Arena is quite similar to the normal Zodiac Arena in its basic form. Instead of a flat plane like the other Arena mode, Ultimate Arena takes place within a large maze, where, not only are endless fighters attempting to KO the player, but the Assists - unable to be defeated - also spawn in the maze, and it's a test of be KO'd once, and losing, or finding the maze's exit.
Zodiac Aces is a new mode in which the player must face all of the bosses from the single player campaign on a single life. The order in which they are fought is randomized.
Zodiac Self is a new mode in which the player controls a customizable character in a social simulator game. The player can speak to the game's main characters, befriend and even date them to learn more about their Zodiac counterparts. One can also befriend King to learn things not explained through the main story.