The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild marks the beginning of a new era for the series. It’s the first game of the series to be released on Nintendo’s much-anticipated and hotly-selling new machine, the Nintendo Switch, and presents players with an open world Hyrule the likes of which they’ve never seen before, with an enormous world to explore. It also marks a new field of exploration in a mainline Zelda title: Downloadable content.
Nintendo has previously announced that they will be releasing two DLC packs which can only be purchased together in a bundle for $28.19, with the first releasing this Summer and the second during the holiday season. Details about what they would contain have been vague up until recently, when the company pulled back the curtain on the first pack, which is known collectively as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – The Master Trials.
Breath of the Wild is by no means an easy game, but thanks to frequent auto-saves and the ability to initiate saving data yourself, being knocked six feet under by an overwhelming foe doesn’t provide an unbearable setback. With that said, the new Hard Mode introduced by this first DLC pack will up the ante even further as you march into combat, with not only an increase in the colored “ranks” of the enemy (such as red Bokoblins becoming blue), but also the presence of higher-ranking foes where there were none in Normal Mode.
What’s more, Ganon’s minions are not only stronger, but have more keen senses that will make them more difficult to sneak up on. If that wasn’t enough, then know that they need to be dispatched quickly, or else their health will regenerate, making any sort of battle of attrition lean automatically in their favor. Hope you’ve packed plenty of kabobs.
On top of all that, there are now floating planks carried by balloons found at various points across the skies of Hyrule. Should you reach them successfully and topple the foes riding them, you’ll be able to collect treasure.
The other portion of content for which the pack seems to be named is called “The Trial of the Sword” (previously known as the “Cave of Trials Challenge,” which sounds like something Hyrulians would watch if they had TV). In this, Link starts off as naked as the day he woke up (read: undies) with no armor or weapons, and must fight one wave of enemies after the next. After defeating all the enemies in one room, he can proceed to the next, with a total of around 45 to complete.
Link’s prize for conquering this test is nothing to scoff at, either. The greatest issue players have taken with the game has been the fragility of weapons, with even the mighty Master Sword requiring the occasional cool-down period. But best the Trial of the Sword and the Master Sword will see its true power awaken, allowing it to always be in its glowing powered-up state.
The next mode seems like something that should have been there at the start. In the Hero’s Path Mode, your every step will be documented and their path marked in green on the map, tracking the last 200 hours of play time. A slider will allow you to track where you’ve been on a timeline, and even those who have already poured in numerous hours will be able to see where they’ve been, allowing players to figure out where they’ve been and where they need to go in order to discover the world’s many secrets.
Last, but not least, we come to the in-game swag. Arguably the most useful will be the Travel Medallion, found in a treasure chest somewhere in the game world, which allows players to conjure one new temporary travel point at a time wherever they’re standing upon using it. Having done so, Link will be able to transport back to that point at any time, not unlike the points found at the many Shrines in the game.
With the discovery of the Korok Mask, Koroks will be easier to find than ever as it will shake when worn if a Korok is hidden nearby. Other wearables to discover include equipment themed after fan-favourite characters and games, including Midna, Tingle, Phantom, and Majora’s Mask.
On top of all this, a free software update that is now available provides players with their choice from nine audio languages [Japanese, English, French (France), French (Canada), German, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Latin America), Italian and Russian] and a different language used on-screen. If you’re interested in enabling this feature in the Wii U version of the game, you’ll need to visit the Nintendo eShop and download a Voice Pack.
All of the above will be available for both the Nintendo Switch and Wii U versions of the game alike, while details on the actual release date and the specifics of the second pack’s contents are forthcoming.
David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.