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!