‘Breath Of The Wild’ Hard Mode: What We Want, And What We’ll Get, From A Harder Difficulty

breath of the wild legend of zelda lynel
A Lynel in Breath of the Wild. (c) Nintendo

Breath of the Wild is the hardest Legend of Zelda game since the original on the Nintendo Entertainment System, but don’t worry: it’s only going to get harder. Breath of the Wild is going to be the first Legend of Zelda game to ever get paid DLC (unless you include Amiibo-locked content), and we know a goodly number of details already. Part of that DLC is going to include a Hard Mode, the details of which are nebulous. But what can we hope for? And what are we likely to get?

Breath of the Wild Hard Mode: Many Kinds Of Challenges

breath of the wild legend of zelda lynel
A Lynel in Breath of the Wild. Photo: (c) Nintendo

Nintendo has been experimenting with Hard Modes in its last several Zelda re-releases. Three of the last four Legend of Zelda games—Wind Waker HD, Link Between Worlds, and Twilight Princess HD—all had Hero Mode in different forms. In Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, you took twice as much damage, and there weren’t any heart drops. In Link Between Worlds, you had to beat the game to unlock the mode, and there were still heart drops, but you took four times as much damage. It was brutally difficult, and so worth it.

It’s safe to say that enemies in Breath of the Wild Hard Mode will do more damage than they do right now—which will be a tough nut to crack, since a lot of enemies early on can one-hit kill you already. Later on, once you upgrade your life and armor, it will be more manageable. And it’s a worthwhile challenge—as it is now, eventually, even the hardest enemies in the game are relatively easily defeated—except, maybe, for those White Lynels.

But how else can Breath of the Wild get harder? There are already no hearts to drop, but one major change would dramatically alter the game’s difficulty: Block the use of food items during combat. Being able to spam food mid-fight is the key factor in making the game’s hardest enemies beatable even if you aren’t that good at combat; bring enough food and you can get through almost any fight. Limit it to just elixirs and fairies, maybe, and you suddenly have a much harder game.

Add into that a Cave of Trials or other combat dungeon and you’ve got yourself a Hard Mode going. There are other elements that could also make the game harder—more enemies, less durable weapons, more survival elements—but those might just make the game frustrating. But if Nintendo cuts back on the versatility of cooking, makes enemies do more damage, and maybe makes adverse weather do a little more damage, and we’ll have a great new challenge on our hands.

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