Nintendo really took us by surprise with the announcement of Tri Force Heroes. We have had multiplayer Zelda titles before, but unlike previous ones, Tri Force Heroes focus lies purely on co-operative play, rather than competition. Unlike Four Swords, it takes a more serious approach to Zelda. In a “Developer Story” discussion, Eiji Aonuma and Hiromasa Shikata talked about the development of the newest Zelda title.

The duo discussed the “totem pole” manoeuvre, which allows you to carry the other players to form a tall combined unit. This idea originated from Aonuma’s fascination with A Link Between Worlds‘ use of 3D depth. This is a key mechanic of the game, as it allows you to reach higher places or try different strategies by lifting your comrades and carrying them around. Shikata says that a totem of four players would have been too tall, so he settled on three playable Links instead.

The game takes place in a land that is inhabited by a bunch of fashionistas. When evil shows up, the king is looking for a hero; and each player trying to claim the title.

A totem of four players would have been too tall, so [Shikata] settled on three playable Links instead

Tri Force Heroes comes with both online and local modes, so those heroes helping you can either be real people from around the world, or a friend sitting near you. As a team of three, you can discover different dungeons, solve puzzles and defeat enemies. Of course, you also have the option to play the game by yourself. In the single player mode, the second and third Links are replaced by doll-like characters, and you can switch between playing as Link and the dolls to progress.

Another important aspect of the game are the costumes that you may have seen in the trailer. Those costumes grant you different abilities, but rather than simply finding or unlocking them, you are required to create them yourself using the loot collected from dungeons.

To hear the discussion for yourself, check out the video below. The Developer Story starts at the 17:38 mark.

Tri Force Heroes is heading to the 3DS this autumn. Stay tuned for more details here!

  • DimensionalRanger

    I can’t see how they could make this canon, it doesn’t fit at all with the timeline. Several people competing to be the hero sounds very unusual for the Zelda series.

    • Link Farore Hylian


    • Concerned Citizen

      What on earth are you going on about? It says explicitly in the article that it’s co-op. The Four Swords games are the competitive ones.

      • DimensionalRanger

        I mean that several people trying to become the hero seems kind of odd, on a story level: “When evil shows up, the king is looking for a hero; and each player trying to claim the title.” It contradicts the cycle that was revealed in Skyward Sword: Link, Zelda and Demise/Ganondorf being reborn again and again because of Demise’s hate. People trying to claim the title of hero doesn’t seem to make sense.

        • humulos

          Except that only applies to Ganondorf. Link has stood as a hero against any other evils over the years, all of which are in the timeline. Malladus, Bellum, Dethl, Majora and Vaati all fall outside that cycle. Every main Zelda game falls in the timeline somewhere.

          • DimensionalRanger

            Maybe I said this the wrong way: Demise’s hatred doesn’t necessarily mean that a Ganondorf is going to be reborn. Every time a powerful form of evil has threatened Hyrule, the spirit of the hero is reborn to counter it (well, Wind Waker was special, I guess that’s what you get with time travel). In other words, Demise’s hatred can be seen in every major evil event, since it triggers the awakening of the hero. The events like Majora’s Mask and Phantom Hourglass happened when the hero was still alive, and happened after the event that awakened the hero and so can or cannot be taken into consideration depending on your point of view.
            My point is: when great evil threatens Hyrule, the spirit of the hero is reborn. Having different people trying to claim the title of hero seems strange. Usually, the crisis that the evil creates within the kingdom makes so much of a commotion that there is no time to stage a tryout to see who is really the hero. Twilight Princess was very good at illustrating that, Zant not only covered the land in twilight, but also seized control over the government, effectively paralyzing the country.Only the spirit of the hero could have found out the truth and be able to do something about it. What I’m trying to say is that the plot that seems to exist in this game seems strange compared to the logic of the series.

          • bpc123

            What if the spirit of the hero was born in all three?

          • DimensionalRanger

            Well, it’s THE spirit of THE hero, so I don’t see how it could appear in more than one person at a time.

          • bpc123

            Just know that this is the Zelda series, so it’s never going to be as concrete as you want it to be. They’ll make whatever Zelda game they want in whatever order or style. Just make up an answer just like Nintendo does anytime they’re asked about the timeline.

          • DimensionalRanger

            Hmmm, there were some games that were actually related (skyward sword, ocarina of time, twilight princess, majora’s mask, wind waker) and some that weren’t. Curse you, reality! Curse you for ruining my party! 🙁

    • Ryan Haynes

      That’s what people said about Minish Cap. I think it might be between ALBW and Zelda 1.

  • Ryan Haynes

    I noticed that Green has ALBW Link’s voice, Red has Toon Link’s voice, and Blue has OoT Young Link’s voice.

    Think it’ll stay, or will it vanish like the other E3 voices?

  • CEObrainz

    It’s not so much the game I have an issue with but the core mechanic, it seems kinda plain and uninspired. I do like the idea of a multiplayer Zelda and multiple people wanting to be a Hero (an interesting Dynamic to the usual singular Hero story) but creating a totem pole to do things seems like it promotes slow gameplay and will be really forgiving for slow reaction times.

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