Friday, July 7, 2017

Breath of the Wild - The Champions' Ballad: First Footage

Today at Japan Expo Nintendo presented quite a lot about Breath of the Wild, including the upcoming expansion, The Champions' Ballad. Nintendo Germany posted video on Twitter with new footage of what appears to be an epilogue scenario storyline. You can see Zelda kneeling before the Gerudo throne in one scene and approaching the Flight Range in another scene with the activated (but not completed) Sha Warvo Shrine on her way, accompanied by two Hyrulean Soldiers. It's not entirely clear with these scenes, but Aonuma did confirm that the DLC takes place after Ganon (according to this tweet).

I previously speculated about such a possibility here, so it's nice to see this become a reality after all. With the previous teaser from E3 it didn't look like that's going to be the case.

I think that you will be able to play the DLC storyline, after you've collected all 18 memories and defeated Ganon. This also includes freeing all four Divine Beasts. Most of the game world will probably stay the same. So, you can still go and clear Shrines, collect Koroks and do any sidequests that you've missed previously. But there will also be new story scenarios that you can play, maybe even with Zelda at your side.

It looks like Zelda might be seeking out the Champions' descendants: Riju, Teba, Yunobo and Sidon. The reason should be obvious, she wants them to become the new Champions, maybe even for a new threat on the horizon. When I started the game, I actually expected these characters to take over the Divine Beasts in the storyline, but this never happened. They just helped you to get inside the machines and then were pushed to the sidelines, which was disappointing. Especially Teba became such a forgettable character that it's very hard for me to even remember his name. And it seems that Nintendo will fill the gaps here with the 2nd DLC, which is a good move.

I expect that we will also get new memories about the previous Champions, how they became Champions in the first place. This was also missing from the game's story so far - we only ever saw them as the Champions, but not how they were chosen for these roles. And this could create some interesting new memory scenes, fitting the DLC perfectly. The scene in the Gerudo throne room might even deal with Urbosa, it's hard to see, if it's really Riju (but the character on the throne is quite short).

I also hope that the DLC will make the Divine Beasts accessible again. This was quite untypical for a Zelda game that you can't get back into the dungeons, after you've completed them. The only other game that did that was Zelda II - The Adventure of Link, other than that there was only the Ghost Shop in Phantom Hourglass with the same behavior.

As another appetizer Nintendo already released a render of one of the new outfits in the DLC:

It's Link with the Lobster Shirt from the Wind Waker! That's a really cool idea that makes a lot of sense. The Champion's Tunic always felt like it was designed after the infamous Lobster Shirt. Maybe we can the conductor outfit as well, haha.

They also announced that Breath of the Wild will get its own artbook called "Master Works":

Maybe this book will reveal the truth behind its timeline placement? We can only hope!

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