Anticipating that we’re all eager of Tri Force Heroes after the trailer shown at this year’s Nintendo Digital Event, the Nintendo Treehouse team kindly demonstrated 30 minutes of gameplay of the surprise new Zelda title.

The trio, which includes Audrey Drake of former IGN fame wearing an awesome Princess Zelda costume, revealed a ton of new details in their playthrough. Having analysed the video carefully, I’ve compiled a long list of interesting gameplay elements that weren’t previously touched on in the trailer or Developer Story video. You can also watch the video for yourself, which is highly recommend as the game looks to be very fun.

“A very fashion-savvy princess has been cursed wearing a horrible outfit that she can’t take off”

A vague summary of the plot was also briefly commented on. Audrey explains that, “A very fashion-savvy princess has been cursed wearing a very horrible outfit that she can’t take off.” She continues, “The king needs a hero to try and save her from this awful, awful fashion. So all of these heroes are showing up to try and save her”. For those of you sensitive to spoilers, you will be pleased to hear that there are no further major story details discussed. If you are extreme enough to avoid seeing any gameplay, though, then needless to say, you should stop here.

The Forest

The first level shown in the presentation is The Forest, a lush green environment with blooming plantlife.

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In this stage, red balloons can be popped when shot with arrows; some will lower bridges, while others will give the player a key. Deku Scrubs are found perched up high, requiring the three Links to form the totem pole and shoot them down with arrows.

The boss is a large, yellow, Buzz Blob-like creature. Its weak point is a red sphere, which is visible through its translucency. As the boss takes damage, it transforms and increases in height. This means that the players must make use of the totem form to be able to shoot the target. The first level shown ends once the boss is defeated, and the Links reach the Triforce warp.

The Temple

The second level presented is The Temple. It looks a lot like a traditional Zelda dungeon, with a cold stone architecture and filled to the brim with traps.

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The second boss shown is Margomill, which we previously saw in the trailer. It is defeated by throwing a bomb into its centre when it stops spinning, and then throwing a player on top to slash at its eye. Its second form is just the eyeball, which bounces across the stage frantically until shot with an arrow and struck with the sword.

The Fortress

The final level to be shown was The Fortress. Unfortunately, the time expired before the Treehouse team could finish and reach a boss, but we still managed to see a decent amount.

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It’s a colourful yet moody locale with tiled flooring, and with arrows being auto-fired at our heroes, security appears high (it is a fortress, after all).

This stage requires use of the Gust Jar to progess, which can be used to blow other players across large gaps. It can also be used to launch bombs into distant cracks and switches. Near the end, the Links are seen traversing on a cable tram, using the Gust Jar yet again to get the platform moving.

General gameplay details

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  • Before the level starts, each player must selecting a costume. There are six shown in the demo: the Hero Tunic, Big Bomb Outfit, Spin Attack Attire, Zelda Dress we have previously see. There is also the Kokiri Clothes, which allow you to shoot three arrows at once.
  • Hints are displayed during the load screen, which appear to be spoken by a character wearing a red hat.
  • The first hint reveals that “all players share the same heart meter”.
  • The Rupee amount in the top right of the screen appears in quadruple digits, suggesting that Rupees can be collected in their thousands.
  • Items are picked up from pedestals, like in Four Swords.
  • By tapping on the other players’ icons on the touch screen, the screen will directed to their position, showing you where they are and what they’re doing.
  • Unlike the shared health meter, magic meters are separate for each Link.
  • When selecting a level, each player can vote on what to play next. For the third level, the three Treehouse staff members cast their votes on “Fortress” and “Volcano”, with the former being randomly selected.
  • When the visual commands on the touch screen are tapped, Link will make a high-pitched sound and the corresponding cartoon icon will appear over his head.
  • Lives are represented by pink fairies. The demo in the presentation has the players start with 3 fairies, and when the health meter fully depletes, Link will fall before being revived by a fairy.

The full video

If you still can’t get enough of the game, remember to check out our previous coverage: here’s the reveal trailer, Developer Story video, and our art/screenshot round-up.

  • Ryan Haney

    The thing I want to know about Tri Force Heroes and Metroid Prime Federation Force is: Is it worth buying them if I am going to only play them by myself?

    • Adam Kruszynski

      I think the multi[;e links will have ai, and i think you can play ff alone. plus samus and metroids will be in it.

  • Soeroah

    The plot seems far more barebones than most Zelda titles and almost downright silly, but then you realise the plot is essentially three heroes working together to get the Princess out of her dress.