Nintendo Teases New Story-Focused 'Zelda' DLC, 'The Champions' Ballad'

Nintendo offered a sneak peek at the next expansion for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at the Japan Expo in Paris. The upcoming downloadable content (DLC) is called The Champions' Ballad, and it promises to offer more information about Zelda and the land of Hyrule as it exists in Breath of the Wild. The company also announced a new book devoted to the concept art behind Link and Zelda's latest adventure.

The Champions' Ballad will be Breath of the Wild's second expansion. It follows The Master Trials, which recently introduced a new hard mode, a way to unlock the Master Sword's true power by beating up a bunch of baddies, and a map feature that lets you retrace your steps, among other additions. Where the first expansion focused on gameplay changes, however, the second appears to be more focused on the game's story.

Nintendo shared a quick trailer for The Champions' Ballad at Japan Expo. In it, we see Zelda walking towards a cave on a snow-covered mountain and, later, being surrounded by Gerudo warriors. That isn't much, but as the teaser for Metroid Prime 4 demonstrated at E3, it doesn't take much to excite people desperate for additions to their favorite series. (Breath of the Wild end-game spoilers will be discussed below.)

The Champions' Ballad takes place after the end of Breath of the Wild, which sees Link and Zelda defeat Calamity Ganon. Contrary to popular speculation, it doesn't seem like the expansion will give you control of Zelda; series producer Eiji Aonuma said at Japan Expo that you'll still be in control of Link. This could be misdirection (remember when Naughty Dog said you couldn't play Ellie in The Last of Us?) but we don't know for sure.

Nintendo was careful to note that the expansion is still in development, so things might change between now and the DLC's release. The company also revealed that an iconic tunic from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker will also be added with the expansion, so we're probably going to see more throwbacks to the series' previous entries, as well. (If you haven't noticed, Nintendo loves to appeal to its fans' nostalgic leanings.)

The Champions' Ballad is set to debut this Winter. Just like Breath of the Wild and The Master Trials, it will be available for both the Wii U and the Switch. You can't purchase the expansion on its own; you have to buy the Season Pass, which includes all of Breath of the Wild's DLC and costs $20 from Nintendo's eShop. The Champions' Ballad is the last Breath of the Wild expansion--or at least it's the last one Nintendo's revealed so far.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.