Age of Calamity DLC: Royal Ancient Lab Challenges Guide

The first DLC for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity seems to revolve around a new service called the EX Royal Ancient Lab – a place where Robbie and Purah have a chance to perfect their research and provide brand new tools for our favorite heroes. That includes a new playable ally, two new weapons, and a ton of quality of life improvements.

The first wave of content dropped in late June, 2021 and ever since fans have been clamoring to get a piece of the action. This guide details everything you need to know about the brand new menu and challenges – plus, it offers some useful tips for completing them painlessly.

General Tips For EX Royal Ancient Lab Challenges

  • Some of the resources you need to complete the challenges in the EX Royal Ancient Lab can only be obtained through EX (DLC) quests. For example, Robbie’s Maintenance Oil, Robbie’s Machine Lubricant, Guardian Claws, etc.
  • Some challenges don’t just require resources – you’ll also need to perform an action a certain number of times. For example, killing 1,000 opponents with Zelda’s Master Cycle or freezing 100 enemies in water with Cryonis.
  • For a challenge to unlock, all challenges that have strands leading to it from the left must be completed. For example, to unlock the challenge “An Apple a Day” in the upper web, both challenges leading to it – “An Abundance of Apples” and “Hungry Hunches” – must be completed.

Details Of Specific Challenges In Age Of Calamity

The challenges become more difficult as you go down the web. Many are easy to complete a require few resources, especially in the upper web, but others are more complex. Here’s what to expect.

The Guardian Flail

The main feature of interest for the middle section is unlocking one of the new weapons, the Flail. If you’d like to learn more about the process of unlocking Link’s flail and the new abilities that come with it, check out our guide on the subject.

Any challenge marked with that zig-zagging symbol will provide you with an upgraded version of the flail or an improvement to the flail’s attack power. 

Sheikah Rune

In the center of the middle section, towards the bottom, there is a challenge marked with a magnet. This is one of four challenges meant to increase the damage done by your Shiekah runes – all the others appear in the lower web.

It will require you to use Magnesis in a particular way before it can be completed.

The Battle-Tested Guardian

On the far right of the middle section are the challenges that will allow you to unlock the Battle-Tested Guardian.

You need to work through both the middle and lower challenges to gain access to the new hero. The lower web includes challenges that branch off from the first quest, entitled “The Menace of Vicious Monsters.”

Vicious Monsters

That very first quest is what allows you to take on the new, extra-dangerous fights added as part of the DLC: Vicious Monsters. These are extra-tough (often elementally charged) enemies that call other opponents to fight alongside them as you do more damage.

You can recognize them because a goofy little title will be included alongside their name, like “Health Advocate” or ” Stronger Than Strong.”

Several of the challenges across the entire web will ask for an item called “Report: Vicious Monsters,” which is essentially a trophy you get for each Vicious Monster you defeat. So, you’ll need to complete this one early.

Just to the right of this challenge, there’s another entitled “Analyzing Vicious Behaviour” which allows you to check what kind of monster you’ll be facing in these tough fights.

Tips For Completing The Royal Ancient Lab Challenges

Now you know what to expect, here are some hints and tips for completing these new challenges.

Sheikah Rune Quests

The Sheikah Rune quests in which you need to use the Rune in missions a certain number of times can be particularly annoying.

For most of them, you should repeat the quests you were given at the beginning of the game to learn how to use the Rune (i.e. “Mastering Magnesis”) because they are built with the intention of giving you opportunities to use it.

This is true for all except the Cryonis challenge, which asks you not only to use the Rune but to freeze your opponents with it. This means you need to use Cryonis on a body of water while enemies are nearby and the “Mastering Cryonis” challenge doesn’t include water. Instead, check for quests in Zora’s Domain, where there are usually pools of water to use.

How To Kill Lots Of Opponents

There are challenges in the lab that ask you to kill a large number of enemies with the new weapons for Zelda and Link. There are a few quests with huge swaths of enemies that are perfect for these quests, including (but not limited to):

  • Destroy the Yiga Clan!
  • EX Rupee Rescue
  • EX Handle the Horde
  • The Battle of Hyrule Field
  • Reclaim the Land

Since Zelda’s Master Cycle can be a bit hard to maneuver at times, if you’re working towards her kill count, we recommend quests with lots of open spaces for her to attack in.

Don’t Waste Your Resources

If you’re looking to complete the new quests and challenges quickly, don’t spend your resources on normal content on the Hyrule map that you haven’t completed yet.

It can be tempting when you see that icon pulsing but if you give away too many trophies for a particular enemy (or any of the other resources you need) it will be a pain to farm them.

Improve Your Weapons

Towards the bottom, you’ll find several challenges in two rows, all marked with blacksmith hammers. Completing them will provide quality of life improvements for your weapons, including:

  • Increased weapon capacity
  • Weapons found on missions will be of better quality 
  • The blacksmith can remove hidden seals on your weapons

Better weapons will help you complete the last few challenges.

Do Sheikah Rune Quests

Above the weapon improvements, there are three challenges marked with familiar symbols: a remote bomb, a lock, and a snowflake. These are challenges that, once completed, will increase the amount of damage enemies take from the associated Sheikah Rune. The final Rune, Magnesis, is in the middle web.

Each of these challenges will require you to use that Sheikah Rune in a particular way for a particular number of times before you’ll be able to unlock it. If you’re confused about what you need to do, return to the lab and reread the challenge description for a hint.

Use The Master Cycle

Completing challenges on the far right of this section will give you access to the other new weapon: The Master Cycle. Many players are familiar with it from Breath of the Wild but it’s in Zelda’s capable hands, now.

Investing in each of these challenges will provide more attack power for the Master Cycle, or a newer version of it. For more details about the Master Cycle weapon for Zelda or its new abilities, check out our guide about it. 

Rewards For The Challenges In Age Of Calamity

When you complete these challenges, as well as the rewards previously mentioned you’ll also gain quality of life improvements for the game. These include:

  • If an item is needed for a quest that you’ve registered with your sensor, it will drop more often
  • You need fewer ingredients when cooking meals before battles
  • You can buy apples, instead of only being able to find them on missions (note that you still cannot buy rods; the energy must be taken from elemental enemies)
  • You get a discount when buying apples
  • You recover more hearts per baked apple
  • The effects of elemental rods last longer
  • Merchants in Hyrule have a larger and more diversified stock

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