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Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s first DLC pack sounds really neat

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Introducing a “horde”-style mode and much more

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - hard mode
Link and his paraglider in Breath of the Wild’s hard mode.
Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s first add-on will throw rooms full of baddies at Link, make enemies a lot tougher and track his footsteps across Hyrule, publisher Nintendo announced today.

Known as The Master Trials, the downloadable content pack is the first of two planned add-ons for Breath of the Wild. It is scheduled to be released this summer, while the second DLC is slated to arrive this holiday season. They are only available to buy together in Breath of the Wild’s $19.99 Expansion Pass.

As previously announced, The Master Trials will bring a Hard Mode to the game. Hard Mode will mostly increase the difficulty of the enemies Link faces: Their ranks will be raised (for instance, Red Bokoblins will be Blue Bokoblins in this mode), and “players might even encounter higher-ranking enemies they wouldn’t find” in the current game, Nintendo said in a news release. In addition, Link will have a tougher time sneaking up on his foes because they’ll be able to detect him more easily, and during battle, they’ll slowly regenerate health.

Nintendo will give Link a bit of a hand in Hard Mode: You’ll see balloons holding planks in the sky over Hyrule. If you get up there, you can collect some new treasure — if you can manage to defeat the bad guys guarding it.

Another new option in The Master Trials is Hero’s Path Mode, which is what Nintendo referred to as “a new feature for the in-game map” in its original announcement of the Expansion Pass. In this mode, Breath of the Wild tracks every step Link takes and marks it in green on the map. The feature works retroactively — i.e., any progress made before installing the DLC pack will show up. Or, at least, the last 200 hours of footsteps, because that’s the limit of the tracking in Hero’s Path.

The Master Trials will also introduce a third way to play Breath of the Wild: a challenge mode called Trial of the Sword, which was originally known as the Cave of Trials challenge. Link begins without any weapons or armor in a room full of enemies. If you can kill them all, you gain passage to the next area; in all, Trial of the Sword will offer approximately 45 rooms. The reward seems like it will be worth the effort: When you make it all the way through, “the true power of the Master Sword will awaken and always be in its glowing powered-up state,” says Nintendo.

There are a few other pieces of The Master Trials, according to Nintendo:

Travel Medallion: There will be a new treasure chest somewhere in the game world which contains the Travel Medallion. With the Travel Medallion, players can create a temporary new travel point on the map where they are currently standing. Link can then transport himself to that point at any time. Only one travel point can be registered on the map at a time.

Korok Mask: By finding the new Korok Mask, players will have a much easier time finding Korok locations in the game. When equipped, the mask will shake, indicating that a Korok is hidden somewhere nearby.

New Equipment: Eight new pieces of equipment inspired by previous characters and games in the series will be added to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild after downloading the first DLC pack. Once discovered by the player, they will yield equipment themed after fan-favorite games and characters such as Midna, Tingle, Phantom and Majora’s Mask.

Nintendo also announced today that it has patched in the ability for people to play Breath of the Wild with a subtitle language that differs from the audio language. Fans have been requesting this since the game came out. You’ve always been able to choose from nine different languages, but only by changing the console’s system language — and even then, the subtitles would be in the same tongue.

Now you can change the language from within the game and play with, say, Japanese voice acting and English subtitles. (Today’s version 1.2.0 patch applies to both the Switch and Wii U versions, but people playing on Wii U will also have to download an item called the Voice Pack from the Nintendo eShop.)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is currently the Switch’s best-selling game, with more than 2.76 million copies sold worldwide in its first month on the market. The game’s second add-on will add a new dungeon and more story content.