An Ancient Verse Known as The Champions’ Ballad
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has awed and inspired much of the gaming community since its release in March. While the base game itself packs quite the punch of thought inducing shrines, fetch and grab quests, hundreds of collectibles and the freedom to tackle whatever you wish first, it’s no wonder the fans craved for more. While the first DLC – The Master Trials – which released in the summer, gave fans a few more additional content pieces and challenges, the second DLC – The Champions’ Ballad – provides an all new quests line to the mix as well.
Upon defeating Ganon and taming all four divine beasts, Link will then be summoned to undertake the expansion’s series of story quests, The Champions Ballad. Returning back to where everything started, Link is given a new, exclusive questing weapon – the Obliterator, which will aid players into the forthcoming challenges. While the new expansion doesn’t add any more map to the massive world of Hyrule, it does however, add to the amount of puzzling shrines to the mix. But first, we set our eyes on this new weapon.
A Fierce New Weapon
First off, players must complete a series of four challenges using the ultimately powerful weapon, the Obliterator. While this weapon is extremely strong capable of knocking off almost any opponent in one hit, it also has the same effect on Link. While equipping this mystical weapon, players are susceptible to being knocked off with the slightest single hit, but the only way to continue forward is to use this coveted weapon. The first task seems simple enough – Link must clear out four bandit camps that lay in the Great Plateau region of Hyrule.
If the player for any reason leaves the Great Plateau, the quest will discontinue, returning the Obliterator weapon back to where you acquired it, at the Shrine of Resurrection. While the four camps to clear isn’t something that’s relatively new to BoTW, using the new unique weapon adds a completely new twist to the strategy. Link’s melee choices is restricted to only using the Obliterator, but pulling out his trusty bow and arrow is still a viable option. With the nuisance of falling to one strike, keeping your distance is futile in survival.
The long DLC quest line of The Champions’ Ballad is only starting from there. Once finished with the useful, but dangerous weapon, four brand new challenges open up, which act as the main portion of the DLC. A flurry of new shrines await across the four corners of Hyrule, returning Link back to the four now-tamed Divine Beasts.
Brand New Shrines
As faithful as ever, the accordion playing bard – Kass – once again provides useful information leading up to the whimsical quest line. After a series of discovering new shrine locations by using photos of the locations on the map. Each new shrine delivers trivial challenges exactly as the vast majority of base game shrines did. Granting much more of the same from the open world adventure, the new shrine puzzles are still very much as imaginative as any others in the game, fully utilizing the power of the runes.
Solving three picture locations, clearing the corresponding shrines and taking on the powerful revived version of the elemental Blight Ganon is the repetitive process of The Champions’ Ballad DLC. While the gameplay comes off as rather tedious, the new quest line takes you through a variety of different challenges for revealing each new shrine. The new cut scenes also provide a bit more back story revolving around Princess Zelda, and the five Champions that surround her.
After a long haul of shrine accomplishing and completing new, mostly fun objectives, the DLC closes it out with a brand new style of dungeon. Like the Divine Beasts from the base story, this puzzling labyrinth is by far the most trivial of the Breath of the Wild experience. Following the complicating mechanism of the new dungeon, the DLC finishes with a brutally challenging boss fight, facing off against an all new foe. After conquering what seems like the impossible, the story closes out with a significant sense of accomplishment.
Worth the Effort
Though The Champions’ Ballad DLC primarily adds more of the same freedom to go off and accomplish what you will, when you will – it’s still quite refreshing to accomplish more new objectives in Hyrule. Throughout the 5-10 hour-long quest line, players will find themselves back in the same awe-inspiring moments that captured them from the start of Breath of the Wild. And to top it all off, upon slaying the final boss, Link is rewarded with what could only be described as one of the most entertaining experiences in the entire game.
As worthy as any DLC to one of the year’s best games, The Champions’ Ballad returns the player to the vibrant world of Hyrule. Throughout a series of new shrines and returning boss fights, the ultimate prize at the end of the quest line is worth the time and effort alone.