Not only is it the 1st anniversary of TBG this month, but March also brings us the second anniversary of arguably the best Nintendo Switch game to date, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Some may call it a sign. Fate maybe? I call it a coincidence. Either way, both are very much deserving of a celebration!
To pay my respects to yet another legendary Zelda and Link adventure, I have chosen to try my hand at the Master Mode of BOTW – available through the paid DLC. For the month of March, I will be documenting my trials and tribulations as I embark on that truly wonderful adventure once again.
For those unfamiliar, the DLC listing shares the following: “In Master Mode, enemies gradually regain health, so take them out as quickly as possible. All enemies are also powered up by one level. For example, Red Bokoblins in Normal mode are now Blue Bokoblins. Enemies can also have higher maximum levels than they would in Normal mode. Look up, and you may also find enemies and treasure chests in the sky!”
With almost all the excitement and anticipation of my first time loading the game, I selected Master Mode from the main menu and got started!
After the oh-so-beautiful cutscenes which show Link awaking from his slumber after a solid 100 years asleep, I climb out towards the glimmer of light. All of the feelings that flooded me the first time I lay eyes on the Great Plains of Hyrule are back again, only this time I knew what to expect and it still caught me off guard. As noted in our upcoming TBG article as my favourite gaming moment of all time, this just served to solidify that claim once more.
I remember during my first playthrough that the game never truly got going for me until I had the paraglider, and that became my primary focus. Be it psychologically or otherwise, I felt all the more vulnerable without it. Knowing the enemies were stronger and there were going to be more of them, those three hearts left me uneasy. The paraglider represents an escape – albeit a small one!
It is the level of challenge that has me relishing the opportunity that Master Mode represents, and I cannot wait to experience it all again.
What struck me as I made my way through the four shrines to convince the old bloke to hand over his paraglider is that this was not going to be the same experience at all. Just travelling from one shrine to another was intense, and plotting my route was more reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid than that of The Legend of Zelda. Avoiding enemies, using trees for cover and flanking the opposition in the hopes of never seeing them again was the order of the day!
This proves to be more of a challenge than I thought – a fight with a Bokoblin rests my combat abilities and reminds me of my one and only disappointment with BOTW: your weapons can break. I understand the concept, and I love a spot of realism within a game, but it just feels so out of place here.
Paraglider obtained, I now seek to open the world map and reacquaint myself with this extraordinary work of art once again. I highly recommend you do the same. If my words of encouragement are not enough, just take a moment to be inspired by the screenshots I was able to take in amongst the madness. How dangerous I would be with a photo mode! Over to you Nintendo!
Thanks for reading and check back soon for more updates. If you’d like to share your experiences leave a comment in the section below, on Twitter or our Facebook page!