With Breath of the Wild DLC, Nintendo proves it’s not messing around

This post contains some spoilers for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Since its release in March, Breath of the Wild has enchanted gamers with hundreds of hours of play time in an open-world setting with near-endless paths for exploration. Today, that world grew just a little bit bigger.

Nintendo released a DLC expansion pack for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, complete with Master Trials, a Hero’s Path map feature, and eight new types of armor. Early reviews from players suggest the difficulty has been turned up to 11 for Master Mode, and it’s pulling back in people who already thought their adventures in Hyrule were done. Here’s a quick look at some of the new developments from the first Breath of the Wild expansion.

How to use the Breath of the Wild DLC update

If you haven’t purchased the DLC already, you have to trigger it by going to downloadable content on the start screen to get the software update. From there, the game won’t be shy about introducing you to the new features.

The first time you load the game, you’ll be loaded up with a bunch of new quests prefixed with EX (for expansion) to point you in the right direction for all the new content.

Breath of the Wild DLC: Trial of the Sword

One of those newly assigned quests is the Trial of the Sword. The quest brief doesn’t offer much help—it just suggests you have to speak with the Great Deku Tree in the Korok Forest to begin—but the internet is more forthcoming.

In a discussion on the r/Zelda subreddit, players compared notes on how best to conquer the 45-room challenge: You have to complete the challenge in 15-room chunks, and the difficulty ramps up precipitously as you go; if you mess up on room 14, you’re booted back to the beginning and have to start all over again. But don’t get too confident once you make it past 15, either: Each segment forces Link to start over without any of his supplies.

One player outlined some general guidelines for surviving the trials, including:

  • Conserving your hearty meal ingredients by cooking one ingredient at a time
  • Defeating relatively weak and spear-wielding enemies early on so you can focus your efforts on the bigger bad guys
  • Storing rusty weapons in the early rooms for later
  • Holding your shield almost constantly
  • Scurrying up a tree to dodge the stalhorses

You can read the rest of u/6_lasers’ suggestions here. And yes, someone already beat it.

Breath of the Wild DLC: Master Mode

Zelda Breath of the Wild Master Mode DLC Screengrab via @TristanACooper

Looking to give yourself a more challenging experience through the map? Buckle up.

Though this play mode was advertised as giving all enemies one additional strength level, players on Reddit and Twitter report the play experience is substantially more intense.

By way of example, there’s a Lynel—the game’s super challenging centaur-esque enemiesjust hanging out on the Plateau, ready to attack right off the bat.

In addition to being stronger from the outset (no red Bokoblins here!), enemies also slowly regain health as you battle them, so make sure you aren’t giving them enough time to fully regenerate health, or you’ll never make it.

Struggling to keep up? Don’t worry: Master Mode save data is kept in a separate slot from your regular playthrough, so you can always go back to your relative security of mellow mode if Master becomes too much to handle.

Breath of the Wild DLC: Hero’s Path

This feature lets you view where you’ve been on the world map in one rambling green squiggle. Perhaps more excitingly, you can rewind your coverage and replay it from the beginning, watching your little icon as it discovers new corners of the map. The replay feature also morbidly shows each and every time you died, with a little red X and a small Link scream. The resulting demonstration is a pretty hilarious exposé of where you struggled the most against foes and challengers.

Zelda Breath of the Wild DLC: Hero's Path Screengrab via @Gameplicit/Twitter

And yes, of course, people are already finding ways to use this feature to draw things like fidget spinners and dicks.

Breath of the Wild DLC: New armor

There are eight new sets of armor hidden away in treasure chests around the map, one for each of the previously released Legend of Zelda titles. Tingle’s Outfit makes you look like an extra from Elf, so you’ve got that going for you.

breath of the wild DLC expansion includes new armor, like tingle's outfit Screengrab via Zelda.com breath of the wild expansion includes new armor, like majora's mask Screengrab via Zelda.com

Breath of the Wild DLC: Korok Mask

In addition to the eight new sets of armor, there’s one more article of garb tucked away in yet another treasure chest: the Korok Mask. This mask will shake slightly whenever Link approaches a location with a hidden Korok seed, so if you’re a completionist on a mission to find all 900 in the game, this just became your new favorite item.

Some players have already managed to find them all—one after only a few weeks playing the game—so I guess they don’t necessarily need this item. But if they’re that serious about finding all the things, they’ll probably want to pick this up too.

Polygon has a tutorial on finding this mask, which involves navigating to the Lost Woods and then following the wind to the northwest.

Monica Riese

Monica Riese

Monica Riese now serves as the Daily Dot’s director of production, having previously been the publication’s entertainment editor and assistant managing editor. She is based in Austin, Texas, and formerly contributed to the Austin Chronicle, where her breaking news work was recognized by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.