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Zelda: Breath of the Wild mods can now customize Link's skin, add entire custom maps

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild mods have been incredible since the beginning, when the Wii U emulator Cemu first made the game playable on PC. These days it's very playable, to the tune of 4K, 60 fps, and you can even play it in first-person

Most of the character mods were, naturally, ridiculous, replacing Link entirely or swapping his motorcycle for a rideable Sonic the Hedgehog. But modding progress continues to be amazing, and with a graphics pack it's now possible to extensively customize the look of Breath of the Wild, from its foggy skies right down to the color of Link's hair and skin.

The video above from BSOD Gaming provides a nice overview of the Too Many Options graphics pack, which you can download from a file hosted on the Cemu Discord server here. As it says on the tin, the graphics pack really does offer a dizzying number of options, but there are some great ones in there. Customizing the amount of grass and fog in the world can have a big impact, you can make some dramatic shifts to the color of the world, remove cel shading, and about a million other options.

The one that really grabbed my attention, though, was being able to tweak Link's hair, skin, and eye color. You can't change the structure of Link's face, but this is otherwise about as robust as many RPG character creators. I think many players would love to have these kinds of customization options in a real Zelda game, and it's pretty great that it's adjustable—in real-time—thanks to PC modders.

Hopefully when the Too Many Options mod pack is refined and finished, it'll be added to the Github repo of Cemu's graphics packs, making it a cinch to download.

Change a few drop-downs and you have a whole new Link.

The other focus of BSOD's video is on the ability to add custom levels to Breath of the Wild, which has potentially much bigger ramifications for the game's mod scenes. A modder successfully replaced one of the shrine trials with a recreation of Mario 64's Bob-omb Battlefield, which you can find here. It's a super simple map, essentially just the geometry, so there's not much in the way of interactivity. The lighting's weird, too. But for a game that has mostly had graphical mods for the last two years, it's huge. It proves modders can import custom-made levels into Breath of the Wild.

This is brand new stuff. Just this week, modder HailToDodongo released some tools for making custom maps work properly in BOTW. You can see an example playground they built in this video.

Right now, these areas are obviously simple, but the door is open for dedicated modders to design and import custom shrine puzzles into Breath of the Wild, or even entire new areas. Full-on dungeons, even? There are doubtless limitations that would make that difficult, but given what Zelda modders have accomplished so far, I wouldn't be surprised.

Wes Fenlon

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games. When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old RPG or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).