What We Learned About Zelda's First DLC, 'The Master Trials'

Things are looking up for Zelda fans. 

A screenshot from The Legend of Zelda with the Master Trail

During the Nintendo Switch Spotlight event on Tuesday, Nintendo brought The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s director Hidemaro Fujibayashi on stage to share details about the two previously announced downloadable content packs included in the game’s expansion pass. Available for $19.99, the expansion pass includes what we now know as The Master Trials and The Champions’ Ballad, both of which are set to be released by the end of this year.

While The Champions’ Ballad, which appears to be story focused expansion set before the events of the main game, isn’t coming until later this holiday season, the first DLC pack is actually slotted to arrive two months ahead of schedule on June 30 for both the Nintendo Switch and Wii U versions of the game. The Master Trials will be bringing a few new armor sets from the Zelda universe to Breath of the Wild, along with a fancy new map that can track where you’ve been, and a Master Sword-themed series of challenges you can complete to power up the legendary weapon.

Here’s all the details regarding The Master Trials, including details on the new challenges packed inside.

The first and more notable addition is the Travel Medallion, which will be available via a chest in-game somewhere on the map. Once you’ve picked it up, you’ll be able to bind a single location on Breath of the Wilds map to the medallion and make it a permanently available fast travel point, allowing you to transport there whenever you so desire. It’s a handy addition to say the least, especially if you’re into collecting rare weapons to decorate your personal home.

There’s also Hero’s Path Mode, which is a feature for your in-game map that tracks every step you take while exploring the world of Hyrule for up to 200 hours — with an included slider to adjust the amount of time tracked, allowing you to check multiple sessions and see where you’ve already been. This is helpful for those looking for new items, koroks, or fresh areas of the map containing new secrets worth discovering. What’s great is that Hero’s Path Mode is also retroactive, meaning players who’ve already put tons of time into the game will automatically receive tracking data from their previous adventures when the DLC is added to their game.

The highlight of The Master Trials is the game’s new survival mode called The Trial of the Sword, which can be found at the sacred location where you first pulled out the Master Sword in Breath of the Wild. Traveling back, you’ll find that you can slide the sword back into its resting place, where you’ll be teleported to a mysterious realm without any of your equipment. The goal is simply to gather weapons, armor, and resources, and push through the enemies of the challenge grounds until you’ve reached the end of the gauntlet. If you succeed without dying, you’ll then be rewarded with a much more powerful version of the Master Sword for your efforts.

If you’re looking for more of a challenge The Master Trials DLC is bringing a new difficulty called Master Mode too, which increases how deadly standard enemies are – giving them the ability to gradually regain health, gain one level of power over players, and have higher maximum levels than they would in normal mode. Master Mode also adds new enemies and platforms in the sky around the game’s map, bringing aerial combat to Breath of the Wild in a more meaningful way.

As for equipment, The Master Trials has you covered with new armor sets from The Legend of Zelda’s long history, including a replica of Majora’s Mask, Tingle’s outfit, and a Korok Mask – which will shake vehemently whenever Link is near a hidden Korok location.

Altogether, Breath of the Wild’s first content offering is a pretty promising package for fans seeking to improve their combat skills and tackle new challenges within the game. The addition of map tracking, new armor sets, and passive abilities provided by items like the Korok Mask is a welcome addition, and we’re excited to see what sort of story The Champions’ Ballad is going to explore later this year.

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