Ever wish you could check the map in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (opens in new tab) and quickly see all the areas you haven't explored yet? Sure, scaling Sheikah towers gives you a broad idea of which regions you have visited, but we need something that can answer more granular questions like "wait, did I explore the other side of that river?" Nintendo has come up with a unique way to solve that problem, and it's coming as part of Breath of the Wild's first paid DLC pack over the summer.
Hero's Path Mode
Hero's Path Mode is a complete* record of your travels through Breath of the Wild. The optional new feature plots a green line across the map showing everywhere Link has journeyed, and it even includes a playback feature so you can rewind, fast forward, and skip around to see your adventure in progress.
Trying to find more shrines and Korok seeds? Pick an area without any green lines criss-crossing it and you'll know you're searching fresh territory. Beyond the practical applications, it also looks like it will be a mesmerizing way to celebrate your wanderings. And don't worry if you've already put a lot of miles on Link before the DLC arrives; Nintendo says Hero's Path Mode will work retroactively.
*Ok, technically it might not be your complete adventure, since it only records the last 200 hours of gameplay. But that should be plenty for most folks.
A Korok-seeking mask
Speaking of finding Koroks, a new mask coming in the DLC is all about the "Yahaha! You found me!" Hidden in a treasure chest somewhere in the world is the Korok Mask (I'm gonna hazard a guess and say it's probably in the Korok Forest). Equip this mask and it will shake whenever you're in the proximity of a hidden Korok. There are 900 of them in the game so that will be roughly all the time until you start thinning out the herd.
Find the Travel Medallion and break free of the tyranny of pre-made fast travel points. The special item lets players drop a new point wherever they're standing, so you can warp back into town to stock up on arrows or do your cooking or whatever. You can only have one custom travel point established at a time but it will still make a big difference in terms of cutting down on travel time. You just have to find whatever treasure chest it's in before you can start using it...
Usually hard mode in Zelda means enemies that do more damage and no recovery hearts. Breath of the Wild already got rid of recovery hearts so you know we're really in for it with a hard mode on top of that. Charge headlong into the new difficulty option and you'll find the monsters of the world have been promoted (red bokoblins and moblins become blue, and so on). They also have low-level health regeneration and are more perceptive, meaning you'll need to fight harder and sneak better to survive. The weirdest/coolest Hard Mode addition might be the floating planks scattered around the world, laden with treasure and monsters. Practice your paragliding skills for bounty and glory!
Trial of the Sword
One of the biggest thrills in Breath of the Wild is going back to basics after hours spent with high-level armor, weapons, and food bonuses. A certain part of the game forces you to survive with naught but the Sheikah Slate on your hip and whatever you can scrounge up, and the new Trial of the Sword will do the same for a prolonged series of combat encounters. Link starts without any equipment and must clear about 45 rooms full of monsters before reaching his final reward, which is a minor spoiler: a permanently powered-up Master Sword. That is, it will always have an attack value of 60 rather than 30, though it will still become unusable for a while if you rely on it too much.
The DLC will also add new gear based on characters from previous Zelda games. That includes the eponymous Majora's Mask, Imp Midna's helmet, a suit of Phantom Armor from Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, and - most importantly - Tingle's bodysuit. Yes, you can finally cosplay as Tingle while you play Breath of the Wild. There's no indication as to whether these outfits will confer special themed bonuses, but I really hope Tingle's Outfit gives you some kind of bonus to using Octorok Guts as balloons.
Nintendo still hasn't revealed a more specific release window for this DLC than "summer 2017." It's almost enough to make me stop playing and wait for all the cool new stuff to arrive… but not quite, I've got more salt-grilled fish to cook. If you aren't near a cooking fire at the moment, read our The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (opens in new tab) review and check out our Breath of the Wild tips (opens in new tab).