-by Dylan DiBona
It’s weird to think of this, but The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild graced our TV’s over two months ago. Players have been captivated by the story and lush world of this new and exciting entry for a good amount of time now. I imagine plenty of us have already seen the credits roll and are waiting for whats next for Breath of the Wild, seeing as Nintendo promised DLC before launch.
We recently received information on the first of two DLC packs. This pack will bring us new armor, a useful Korok seed tracking device, a hard mode and a challenge trial. Not so much about DLC Pack 1 interests me as a player whose already completed all 120 shrines. Nothing screams “come back and play me again” which hurts because I’m already having fond memories of Breath of the Wild and I genuinely want to go back. But then I remembered DLC Pack 2.
We all know what’s the most attractive about Pack 2- a new original story! Looking at the past, I would argue Nintendo has done DLC correctly. Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U felt like a much bigger and better game with the extra tracks, and who’s going to say the extra Smash Bros characters weren’t great? Given the time of announcement for the DLC and how long away its release is, I’m expecting big things. This is Nintendo and this is a console Zelda game we’re talking about. More importantly it’s Breath of the Wild, a game instantly considered as one of the greatest of all time since it’s release, and how many games get that type of praise? This DLC is going to be up there with Undead Nightmare from Red Dead Redemption, in terms of a new story and changing the map and mechanics around. Today I want to focus on what I believe this story could be.
**Spoilers for Breath of the Wild**
So anybody whose played the game should know its main premise. The people of Hyrule resurrected old machines known as Guardians and Divine Beasts in preparation for Ganon. Ganon comes backs, takes over the machines, almost destroys the world and so Zelda seals him in the castle. Link is put into a coma for 100 years after taking serious damage from protecting the Princess. Now what?
I wholeheartedly believe Nintendo wouldn’t make a DLC story take place after the events of the game, usually they like to leave the credits rolling and that’s it. Except for Phantom Hourglass springing from The Wind Waker, I can’t think of a time where Nintendo said “Hey this is what happens to Link right after that game ended.” It wasn’t like the ending to The Wind Waker either which was open to more adventure and more possibilities; the last events we see in Breath of the Wild allow us to assume that Link and Zelda will repair Hyrule together. Where would Link having another adventure fit into that? Especially if peace was brought back to the land, it would be a huge kick to the teeth if Nintendo gave Hyrule another huge problem to face right after Ganon.
So if we can’t go forward, we can only go back during the 100 year coma. Now I know we could go back even further to when Link was still awake with Zelda, and hey I’d be down for that. But here’s why I don’t believe that will be the case:
There aren’t many things I force to the back of my mind to escape my memory, but Linkle from Hyrule Warriors is one of them. Linkle is Nintendo’s response to longtime fan demand of playing as a female Link, or even as Princess Zelda.
Now I genuinely want the option of a female Link. He was designed to be an avatar for the player, a tool of conveyance, why wouldn’t there be a female option for him? While I don’t think slapping an “le” at end of Link was a great idea, the concept of Linkle isn’t all that bad. Remember when all those rumors of being able to choose Link’s gender came up for Breath of the Wild?
It’s easy to understand why Nintendo would be hesitant to put in a female hero or gender choice in their next big Zelda game. Somehow The Legend of Zelda has been held to this standard of “tradition”, much more so than any other video game series I can think of. Older fans demand the series stay traditional to its roots while newer ones are excited for big change. So what’s the best way to test the waters for a female hero in Zelda without actually making a Zelda game with a female hero? Just tag along some DLC and watch the critics and fans respond.
It would all make sense if Link is still in 100 year coma. At first I was going to argue that Princess Zelda herself would be playable but she would be busy keeping Ganon at bay in Hyrule Castle. This would leave a spot open for possibly another Knight of Hyrule or maybe somebody who knows Link and Zelda personally. Perhaps we may even see more from Urbosa, the Gerudo Champion. If I had to place my bets, it would be that we play as an established character.
If we move onto gameplay, Nintendo should assume that by holiday 2017 most (truly dedicated) players have completed all shrines, gotten tons of Korok seeds if not all and explored the map greatly. There needs to be more incentive to explore, so the map will be different somehow. We can also guess that a new form of collectible will appear and perhaps even a replacement to shrines as a way to upgrade the player.
The second most interesting part of DLC-Pack 2 is the extra dungeon. Note dungeon as in a singular dungeon. I’m not sure if this ties in with the new unique story, but if it does I would assume this dungeon would be approachable at the end of the DLC. Breath of the Wild is all about upgrading yourself and transforming from a weak clueless person to a strong warrior; if Nintendo keeps that spirit up then we’re in store for around 10-20 hours of new content. Maybe even more depending on how much new stuff there is to collect.
Things will get a little different here as I’ll talk about my personal theory for what this story could be. I believe if this story does take place during the 100 year coma, we’ll be playing as a female hero and we’ll most likely be given a new reason to explore all 120 shrines. If you remember before the coma, Zelda and Link were going to the shrines to study so there was a reason for these people to visit them other than grabbing Spirit Orbs.
If this story takes place before the come, then I fully expect to play as Princess Zelda. Perhaps we get to play on Zelda’s journey to visit the three Goddess Statues and pray for her power to awaken.
And finally if this story takes place after the events of Breath of the Wild, I have no idea.
So I’ve said some obvious things but also some personal ideas I’ve been kicking around in my head. I really hope I’m right about this DLC story as it could push the series into a stronger direction. Either way, I’m just as excited about this second DLC pack as I would be for a full game; that says something about the power of Zelda.
Any huge Zelda or Breath of the Wild fans here? Do you agree or disagree with me? What are your theories? Are you excited for the DLC or not? Let me know down below in the comments and I’ll try my best to reply!