Be prepared for Breath of the Wild’s first major DLC pack.
Update: The DLC is out right now so go grab it. It’s 05.GB on Nintendo Switch and 3.7GB on the Wii U. Go get that new gear!
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is still the best game released so far for my money – and it’s about to get a little bit bigger with the release of its first piece of downloadable content: The Master Trials.
Announced way back at launch and detailed more fully in June at E3 2017, the first DLC pack is a solid mix of things for all types of Hylian adventurers.
Those still plodding on with the main story and shrines will find plenty of new items and features to help them along, while those who’ve finished can find themselves some all new challenges to partake in, including an enhanced difficulty mode with its own separate save slot.
But there are questions! When is it out? What is actually in it, in detail, and what do the items do? Well… we can cover you there. Here’s everything you need to know about Breath of the Wild’s DLC pack one.
Breath of the Wild DLC 1: The Master Trials release date
Breath of the Wild’s first DLC has been a long time coming – whereas most developers often pump out a DLC pack within a month of a game being on sale Nintendo has waited a while longer – by the time the third DLC pack for Breath of the Wild launches, it’ll have been well over three months since the game launched.
The DLC will go live on the Nintendo eShop for Season Pass / Expansion Pass owners on Friday June 30th. Those eager for the second DLC pack, The Champion’s Ballad, will have to wait until much later in the year, closer to Christmas.
Here’s what’s in the first DLC pack:
Trial of the Sword – a challenging new test
The trial of the sword is a new 45-room, wave-based challenge that’s focused on combat. If you’ve played Eventide Island (arguably the best bit of Breath of the Wild) you’ll be a bit familiar with the concept – you’ll start off in a challenging situation but with no clothes, weapons or equipment.
You’ll have to use your wits to survive and gather gear as you go. The trials are split into three different ‘sets’ of rooms, though if you’re brave you could try to tackle all three in one sitting. Each time you clear a room of enemies a path will open to the next floor of the trials where a tougher challenge awaits. It’s not all combat either – there will be puzzle rooms scattered among the trials.
If you do and manage to make it through all 45 challenging rooms you’ll unlock “the true power of the Master Sword”. What does this mean…? Well, minor spoilers below…
In Breath of the Wild The Master Sword has been weakened and isn’t as powerful as it once was. It has a fairly decent damage stat of 30, but it can only be used sparingly and then it’ll have to recharge, being left out of action for a while. By completing the Trial of the Sword you’ll restore the sword’s power, meaning it’ll always be powered up and ready to go as your go-to weapon.
How to start the Trial of the Sword
In order to get the Trial of the Sword going, you’ll simply need to return to Korok Forest, North of Hyrule Castle and East of Death Mountain.
Specifically you’re looking to head to the location of the Master Sword, right in front of the Great Deku Tree. In order to start the trials you need to have a bit of an Ocarina of Time moment – return the Master Sword to its pedestal and you’ll be teleported into the Trial of the Sword.
All your items will be removed when you teleport in, even on repeat visits – but don’t worry, the items will be restored to you when you leave.
Hero’s Path Mode – 200 hours, revisited
Back when this DLC was first announced, a lot of people laughed at the very Nintendo-like promise of a ‘new map feature’ for the DLC of Breath of the Wild. It sounded silly and small – and though this feature is pretty throwaway, it’s also fairly bad-ass.
IF you’ve got a hefty save file for Breath of the Wild, Hero’s Path will show exactly where you’ve been and when on the map – you can view all of your progress in detail, allowing you to retrace your steps and visit the areas of Hyrule you’ve somehow never been to in the last 200 hours.
Travel Medallion – fast travel made easier
Breath of the Wild lets you fast travel to any shrines or major landmarks you’ve uncovered, but there are areas of Hyrule that are less readily covered by these items. The DLC item the Travel Medallion will give you a leg-up. Once you find it from a chest somewhere out in the world, you can register one additional location as a fast travel point and travel there at any time. You can only have one point at once, though.
Master Mode / Hard Mode – put the wild back in Hyrule
Breath of the Wild is pretty difficult early on, but as you level up Link’s health and stamina and get your hands on some better gear the game begins to significantly ease off on the difficulty. If you want it to remain rock solid right the way through, Master Mode is the one for you – significantly toughening up the game by upgrading the enemy types and making enemies smarter and more tactical in combat. Enemies even regenerate health if you leave them alone for too long!
On top of this Nintendo has teased that this new hard mode might even include a few all-new enemies. Floating planks have been placed in spots where, if you reach them, you can have an airborne combat encounter with challenging foes.
Because of how much harder this is, it isn’t a simple toggle – it’s a separate save file that you can switch to without overwriting your main save. Handy!
New Armor and Equipment and their effects
An exciting little new addition, The Trial of the Sword DLC pack also includes several new cosmetic items for Link. This includes two new full armor sets, and three all-new hat/face items with unique functions.
Look like a classic Wind Waker universe Phantom Knight with this cool-looking heavy armor set. This includes the Phantom Helmet, Phantom Armor and Phantom Greaves. Wearing the complete set will boost Link’s attack power significantly.
If you want a lighter outfit than the threatening knight armor of the Phantom, how about dressing up as a grown man who is convinced he’s actually a fairy? This is an accurate recreation of Tingle’s Outfit from Majora’s Mask. This armor set includes three items: Tingle’s Hood, Tingle’s Shirt and Tingle’s Tights. Wearing all three together grants you ‘Night Speed Up’, letting you run more quickly at night.
With Wind Waker and Majora’s Mask given tribute, it’s only fair Twilight Princess gets some love too – and it does in the form of Midna’s Helmet, a new head armor piece for Link styled after the sidekick from that game. Being from an ancient civilization herself, it makes sense that Midna’s helmet grants you the ‘Guardian Resist Up’ ability, protecting you better from Guardian attacks.
The titular mask from the classic N64 game is also available for Link to wear. It appears that wearing Majora’s Mask will make enemies friendly to you, with Zelda boss Eiji Anouma teasing “If you’re not good at combat, I recommend you try this mask out.”
Koroks obviously have a rather large role in Breath of the Wild in general, and you’re likely to have encountered hundreds of them throughout the game. This is actually a really useful mask – if you walk near where a Korok is wearing the mask, it’ll shake. It essentially acts as a Korok radar for tracking down the hiding beasts.