Why we're thrilled and terrified of Zelda DLC

We got suckered.  All this time, Nintendo has feigned disinterest in online gaming, pretending that all the company wanted to do was make games for retirees. But now, if a certain interview Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma gave Game Informer is any indication, Nintendo may be making its first foray into downloadable add-on content soon – and to be quite honest, we just don't know how to feel about it.

Above: It's got our brains all thinking and stuff. It hurts

What if, for the first time ever, Nintendo takes a substantial leap into adding and expanding upon one of their most beloved franchises? Let's get your hopes up by taking a look at what good could come of this, and dash your dreams a bit with a healthy dose of reality.

The Good

Nintendo doesn't tend to half-ass a good thing. Even while watching Miyamoto make Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword look like a buggy tech demo at E3 2010, most of us knew deep down that Nintendo would never let this beloved franchise end up as an uncontrollable mess. And behold, hands on time with the game proved we were right. So while Nintendo may not have us entirely convinced that online downloads are the way to go, it's hard to deny that if someone is going to add some polished content to their games via DLC, it's Nintendo.

Above: This is actually possible. We checked

So what kind of Zelda DLC might we see from Nintendo? How about entire temples? A completely new area to explore, perhaps? Some new weapons or items would be nice too. Maybe make this the first Zelda game where money actually matters, and then give us some sweet loot in the form of a puzzle filled dungeon. We don't really know how Skyward Sword will be structured at this point, but it's safe to conclude that pretty much all of these things could fit in, and there's no denying that adding life to what's sure to be a great game is good for everyone.

Not to be forgotten is the possibility of multiplayer. While not entirely endorsed, Aonuma did bring up the prospect in his interview with Game Informer:

"Having people play together is a theme that's always stuck in my mind but it's about trying to create what would work best for Legend of Zelda, we haven't really found the perfect vehicle for that, but it's a theme that I'm thinking about all the time."

Above: Players one, two, three and four?

So while it may not seem like Nintendo's too keen on adding multiplayer to its next Zelda game right out of the gate, perhaps we could see some post release DLC that enables us to explore the world of Skyward sword with our buddies. It could be the spiritual successor to The Four Swords Adventures, which so many of us have wanted for so long. Or we could just get some team deathmatch with beetles. You never know.

What we do know is that people hated when Resident Evil 5 patched in its multiplayer with a super-tiny download almost immediately after the game shipped – because it was obvious that the mode was already on the disc and the download just unlocked it. Which leads us right into the other side of the DLC coin…



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  • slimjim441 - July 7, 2010 3:57 p.m.

    I don't mind if they put in an 'unobtainable item' in the DLC, as long as it isn't required to beat the game. That would be ridiculous. I think Nintendo will make the right choice.
  • Samuel71 - July 6, 2010 9:42 p.m.

    Oh fuck no. :(
  • Defguru7777 - July 6, 2010 5:46 p.m.

    My policy on DLC is this: if it expands the story, I buy it. I have both Mass Effect expansions, all Fallout 3 expansions, and The Lost and Damned (I'd also have The Ballad of Gay Tony, but I'm out of memory). I generally don't buy map packs for games, unless I play them frequently. I've bought Halo 3 and Gears of War 2 map packs. I don't buy Call of Duty map packs. My point is, DLC can be really good or really crappy. Like a game. It depends on the developers who handle it.
  • philipshaw - July 6, 2010 5:17 p.m.

    I don't want DLC, just make a game with no bugs like FFXIII
  • AuthorityFigure - July 6, 2010 8:35 a.m.

    I don't understand the gripe about WHERE the purchasable content is stored. If it's on a server that I have to download from, or if it's sitting on a disc in my drive, what's the difference. You don't own it until you pay anyway, and if it's on a server you have to wait longer. Just because it's on the disc already doesn't mean you 'own' it. You never 'own' the disc content, just the physical medium - that's why you cannot copy it legally.
  • CH3BURASHKA - July 6, 2010 7:31 a.m.

    Cyberninja is spot-on: if they are "thinking about it", they better be thinking of a storage solution alongside it. Even though we have 3 main consoles, the Wii has always been a black sheep, albeit the most successful one. DLC has become incredibly intuitive and even expected on the HD systems, a development thanks to the capabilities of the current-gen systems. The Wii, in this sense, is a past-gen system, and it will be very interesting to see how in the hell they will pull off DLC when the main consumer hasn't as of yet been introduced to it. Will we get a repeat of history, with their own horse armors and whatnot, or will they do what Nintendoes and somehow innovate in a space they haven't existed in? We can only wait and see. Like I said, DLC means they're thinking of a storage solution. Personally, I consider this a confirmation that the Wii HD 250GB is around the 2-year-ish corner.
  • Limbo - July 6, 2010 7:08 a.m.

    I really don't know about this one. Zelda is one of Nintendo's best series, and DLC could really screw it up. Plus, the Wii doesn't have that much memory on it. I say that Nintendo should keep DLC and real online gaming (Mario Kart is the only online game I've played that works) for their next console, which will hopefully be soon.
  • Imgema - July 6, 2010 6:01 a.m.

    For me, DLC is a major step backwards. First of all, it encourages the developers to not test the games properly. Hey, who cares, if there is a huge bug, we can always fix it with a patch one year later! Secondly, DLC encourages developers put less stuff in their finished games than they would if it wasn't for the service. There are countless examples out there. Lets take SF4 for instance. If it wasn't for DLC, do you believe that they wouldn't just fit the costumes on the disc? Or, if DLC existed in previous generations, do you believe that the extra costumes in thousands of games would be free? Sure, DLC can offer extra material for your favorite games. I wouldn't mind an extra level in Goldeneye for instance. But you would never know if this extra level was intended for the cartridge anyway...
  • V13Dragongal - July 6, 2010 2:59 a.m.

    I guess we will see how it turns out. I hope it goes well.
  • Grumblemire - July 5, 2010 10:10 p.m.

    Keep that DLC crap out of my Nintendo games.
  • crumbdunky - July 5, 2010 9:40 p.m.

    @neonsalmon-I trust Ninty as mucbh as the next guy but to assume they won't mess this up is folly in the extreme as they very easily could mess it up. People are already pointing out the lack of storage for the DLC meaning a key to unlock stuff already on the disc is easily the most likely thing and if you've forgotten, they DIDN'T HALF mess up the online side of SSBB didn't they? It was unplayable unless you played someone down your road and both had suer fast connections! So, they aren't immune to releasing half arsed rubbish for prime franchises and their online record stinks in terms of quality with the best Wii game online being MH3 which Cappers really put a lot of server side effort into just to make it tick properly. I can't see them m3essing Zelda up but, also, fail to see how or what they can offer as DLC in Wii's current state. As I say, unless it's already on the disc and look how that worked for other people on systems used to DLC.
  • NeonSalmon - July 5, 2010 8:41 p.m.

    they won't mess this up- its nintendo
  • Xplosive59 - July 5, 2010 7:39 p.m.

    the Wii has a tiny storage capacity (about 500mb i think) and i doubt you will be able to put dlc on a sd card so it would be pointless for nintendo to do this, also im not sure if you can get a hardrive addon for it
  • TheWebSwinger - July 5, 2010 6:54 p.m.

    @MetroidHunter32: I don't really ever see it "failing epically". I mean, DLC is a high yield, low-risk move for Nintendo, especially because PS3/360 have done the dirty work and ingrained it into the gaming milieu.
  • GodofPS314 - July 5, 2010 6:52 p.m.

    Well no doubt this game will rock, I truly am tired of DLC you have to go out and buy the cards redeem it download the god damn thing. Just put it in the game we buy for 60$
  • r3ap3r - July 5, 2010 6:51 p.m.

    i agree with metrodhunter32 this will either succeed greatly or this will bomb terribly
  • Nin10DOH - July 5, 2010 6:26 p.m.

    weapons and temples dlc would be cool...but i hope if they do it they don't mess it up
  • Metroidhunter32 - July 5, 2010 5:41 p.m.

    This will either succeed or fail epically.
  • Cyberninja - July 5, 2010 5:23 p.m.

    more temples would be nice but wouldnt they take up a lot of space on the wii limted memory?
  • Sukururu - July 5, 2010 5:16 p.m.

    I will burn Nintendo down if they do the bad side of this. Hope they don't...

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