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Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time favorites join the Hyrule Warriors roster

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The roster of Nintendo and Tecmo Koei's Zelda-themed hack-and-slash Hyrule Warriors is three more strong today, with Sheik, Darunia and Princess Ruto added to the ranks, according to Famitsu.

Warning: Some spoilers for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time ahead!

All three characters first made appearances in 1998 Nintendo 64 title The Ocarina of Time. Darunia is the leader of the stony, mountain-dwelling Goron race, while Ruto is the headstrong young princess of the waterbound Zora people.

Sheik's presence in Hyrule Warriors is interesting, as in Ocarina of Time Sheik is the alter-ego disguise for Princess Zelda. Sheik has been included as a fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series since 2001's Super Smash Bros. Melee, but as a completely separate fighter from Zelda. Sheik's gender has also been hotly debated since Ocarina's debut, with some fan theories suggesting Princess Zelda possessed the power to change herself completely into a man in order to hide.

If you count Sheik, this brings the total number of female fighters in Hyrule Warriors to eight: in addition to Ruto and Sheik, Nintendo has previously shown Zelda, Impa, Midna, Agitha, Fi and newcomer Lana. Other fighters are Link and Darunia.

During E3, Polygon got hands-on time with Hyrule Warriors and spoke to development producer Yosuke Hayashi, who said Nintendo is happy to have a roster of strong female characters represented in its game.