Zelda: Breath of the Wild devs on The Champions' Ballad DLC - approach to the story, dungeon design, new outfits, more - Nintendo Everything

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Zelda: Breath of the Wild devs on The Champions’ Ballad DLC – approach to the story, dungeon design, new outfits, more

Posted on December 14, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch, Wii U

Nintendo has published the latest parts of its interview with Zelda: Breath of the Wild director Hideomaro Fujibayashi and series producer Eiji Aonuma. Once again, the discussion focuses mostly on The Champions’ Ballad DLC. The two talked about how they went about approaching new story content this time around, dungeon design, the new outfits, and more.

You can read the discussion in full below. Nintendo warns of spoilers, but there’s not really anything that’s discussed in terms of the story scenes or sequences specifically. Still, keep that warning in mind before proceeding.

For new players, should you play the DLC after you beat the main story?

Fujibayashi: While developing DLC pack 2, I thought the game is at its best when you have both DLC Packs 1 and 2, and has more memorable moments. This might sound market-y but for those who haven’t played it yet…

Aonuma: It’s not too late! (laughs)

Fujibayashi: For those that haven’t played it yet, I think the optimal way to play is to have all of the DLC included in the beginning.

Could you tell us why you decided to focus on the Champions for this DLC pack?

Aonuma: Especially after the launch, the Champions have been popular, so we assumed players will be interested in them. We’ve presented them as new and distinct characters in the series, so I think they stand out just as much as Link and Zelda. I hope that we can use them again in the future. (laughs)

Us too! Also, how was the idea born to deepen the Champions’ story through Kass’ new ballads?

Fujibayashi: In the main story, some of the story was told through Link recalling his memories, and the idea sprouted from discussing if we can have a different approach to tell the story. From there, we thought it would match the world of BotW to tell the stories from 100 years ago, and even ten thousand years ago through ballads passed on through the world’s long history.

So that meant someone needed to sing these ballads… and we remembered we already had a bard in the game! So we thought Kass would be fit to recite the story to Link.

Aonuma: I believe Kass is another character that stands out. After the game’s launch, I’m assuming Kass left quite an impression along with the sad melody recited on the accordian. In DLC, it’s a great opportunity to actually fully create the abilities and “what-ifs” for some characters.

Speaking of the Champions, who’s your favorite Champion?

Aonuma: After working on DLC Pack 2, Mipha became my favorite. In the main story, I had an impression that Mipha’s feelings towards Link felt like a devoted love that seemed a bit too much for me. But after working on DLC Pack 2, I learned that her feelings were more deep – something similar to a mother’s love towards her child – and I felt that was really touching.

Fujibayashi: Urbosa is still my favorite. She’s strong, king, and beautiful. I think the traits that make her a cool leader of the Gerudo make her the most charming character to me.

Is there anything you want to say to new players, Mr. Aonuma?

Aonuma: Since this game is part of the Zelda game series, some people may assume that you need to play the other games to understand it. However, Link starts this game without any memories. So it’s a game where Link goes on a journey figuring out who he is, and why he was asleep there. Because of this, players can enjoy the game without knowing anything about the past Zelda series games, and it’s a game focused on discovering what the game is about.

In addition, some games we’ve created don’t allow players to progress without defeating specific enemies. In BotW, there’s so much you can do that doesn’t require defeating enemies, and by doing tasks that don’t require defeating them, it can help you defeat enemies you couldn’t defeat before. And even if you still can’t defeat some enemies, you can discover new things to do and progress the game at your own pace. I would be happy if players that have gotten lost and stuck in other games play this game – it was designed to open up more paths as you explore.

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  • Didn’t they promise a postgame? I really really wanted postgame. Eventually, I wanted postgame in every 3D Zelda. So, may be DLC Pack-3? Please?

    • No. They didn’t.

    • Devlind

      I hope not. They better start working in the next Zelda.

      • Felipe M.

        They probably are as they are already thinking of how ‘Switch 2’ or whatever the next Nintendo console will be.

        Gaming companies do things ahead of time, especially Nintendo.

        I’d hope that there’s a DLC #3 because this was disappointing but in case it’s what it is, then whatever.

    • Tlozbj

      They never did, they always said the DLC #2 would look at the past of the Champions. It was news sites that for some reason began to spread that DLC #2 was going to be a post-game scenario.

  • IBO

    i get the vibe that this dlc has been a bit of a let down

    • Felipe M.

      Yeah, it was but at the same time it was fun so I won’t deny either.

      If this is the way that Nintendo’s wrapping up BotW (1) it’s pretty disappointing. I wish the castle would’ve been swiped clean from Ganon and those darn Guardians so that I could cruise there smoothly.

      • IBO


      • IBO

        you should have bought bitcoin instead πŸ˜›

  • Operative

    So, uh… the dlc was hardly “story”. Even the tiny cutscenes we get with the champions aren’t something I would consider important to the story overall, anyway. If they were already there as cute little snippets in the base game, they would make more sense. But as it is, the DLC is mainly for people that just want more shrines, not for people that want more story. More power to them, but it’s disappointing for me.

    • Felipe M.

      Yup, I was expecting a “original story” and instead I just found challenges to complete. The cutscenes were cool but that doesn’t make it a story.

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  • MagcargoMan

    “I hope that we can use them again in the future”
    They’ll have the same fate of any other character who isn’t Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, Impa or Tingle.

    • Devlind

      Hyrule Warriors 2?

      • MagcargoMan

        Warriors doesn’t count. Non-canon spin-off not made by Nintendo where bringing back one-off characters was the entire point due to how small the amount of recurring Zelda characters is.

        • Devlind

          Maybe 3 then?

      • Felipe M.

        Hyrule Warriors is a spin-off, not an official TLoZ game.

        • Devlind

          Still has Zelda characters.

          • Felipe M.

            So if we put a turd with Zelda characters does it count too? By your logic, that counts.

          • Devlind

            I mean, yeah, Lana is a perfect example.

  • Devlind

    They said the DLC was story based and it is, most of it is part of the main quest (which is story in BotW). BotW relied in memories for storytelling, and that’s why it felt weak, but it was a necessary move to make it really “open air”. BotW is not about the story, it’s about the journey and they did gave us more of that and I couldn’t be more satisfied about it.

    Now, moving on to the next Zelda, I really hope they challenge themselves to make another open air title but managing to add an ongoing plot in the world instead of it being in the past. I can imagine timed events that you could completely miss if you decide to ignore them, like the destruction of a town or something like that. They can even use the BotW engine, after all, Zelda has done it in the past (OoT-MM/LA-OoA-OoS/ALBW-TFH).

    But all of this is just my opinion.

    • Felipe M.

      With the bike on BotW this tells me that the next Zelda game will feature one and so on but I seriously hope they improve the bike on the upcoming games.

      It’d be awesome if the bike could hover (fly) around.. this vehicular flying reminds me of (K.I.T.T) Knight Rider Season 4 which was so bad for me that I didn’t even finish it. Love the first season to death, though.

  • Felipe M.

    I enjoyed the Expansion Pass game content but it honestly felt like scraps that Nintendo put together just to sell it separately. Even the bike isn’t as good as it could have been.

    A bit too slow and can’t be used on sand.