If you caught the latest Waypoint UK Podcast—if not, it's right here—you'll have heard me talk a little about how Nintendo could reveal what's forthcoming with their Breath of the Wild DLC beyond the already announced "Pack 1" at this month's E3. Well, in their Nintendo Direct, that runs during E3. You know what I mean. What is a stage, anyway?
The summertime-due Pack 1 contains a "Trial of the Sword" challenge mode, new outfits for Link, the "Hero's Path" which illustrates where Link's been across his adventure (so far), an enemy-strengthening hard mode, and more. Which all sounds cool, especially being able to see everywhere you've been on BotW's expansive map. But it's what's coming after—before the end of 2017 we're told—that really excites me.
Again, if you listened to the podcast, you'll have heard myself and guests talk a little about how amazing it'd be if—and, I admit, it's a big if—the promised "original story" of Holiday 2017's "Pack 2" cast us not as Link, but as Zelda. After all, she's a vital part of BotW's story, as much its hero as Link, but we see her only in flashbacks and [redacted for spoilers]. I'd love it if this original story was Zelda's—perhaps as a prequel-style adventure, covering the events that Link only sees as he's recalling his memories, or as something that's set after the end of BotW (say no more).
We've been able to control Zelda in a handful of games before, such as Hyrule Warriors and Super Smash Bros., but never as the lead character in a proper, mainline Legend of… release. And the series' producer, Eiji Aonuma, has previously told the press that "if we're going to have a female protagonist, it's simpler to have Zelda as the main character" (rather than a new, bespoke "female Link").
He also told me that the team was open to shaking up the current Link-as-leading-man formula. "In Hyrule Warriors, you've got Princess Zelda as a playable character. So, that exists already. But in the future, regarding doing that sort of thing again, and changing what you expect from Zelda characters, I'd say yes, it's a possibility."
Announcing, even in vague terms, what the new story content is going to be at this E3 is an easy win for Nintendo, guaranteed to encourage players who've almost exhausted their shrine questing to part with the expansion pass asking price. I'd really like to take Zelda out there, across the hills and mountains, to the various villages of this current-gen Hyrule, an open world that almost feels limitless.
I can't say anything more on why, beyond what's already above, because I'm certain a whole bunch of you haven't finished BotW's story. (When you do, let's DM.) But what about you?
What needs to come next for this amazing Zelda game? I keep thinking back to how incredible Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine were for The Witcher 3, how they added so much to what was already a classic of its kind. Give me something like that for BotW, ideally with a different, but no less iconic character, and I will gladly give you, Nintendo, all of my money. (Well, enough for the DLC, at least.)