With Tri Force Heroes now released for the Nintendo 3DS, a number of interviews are surfacing, revealing information behind the game’s development. In an interview with GameSpot, series producer Eiji Aonuma and Tri Force Heroes director Hiromasa Shikata share details on the chat icons, the lack of Amiibo support, and items that were cut from the final game.
When concerns were raised that experienced players would order around newer players through voice chat, the developers sought an alternate way to allow communication between the three Links. Drawing inspiration from both Facebook’s “Like” button and the Japanese app Line, which uses stickers to relay messages, Aonuma and Shikata created a method of communication useful for both new and experienced players.
“It’s almost like the ‘Like’ button on Facebook,” Aonuma explains. “When someone presses ‘Like,’ no one really knows what that ‘Like’ implies. Going off that idea, with these icons, it’s not just a direct meaning–it hides another meaning behind it.”
The lack of Amiibo support in Tri Force Heroes was a victim of its development schedule. The multiplayer aspects were the main focus, leaving little time to integrate Amiibo functionality. However, Aonuma says it was something the developers “really wanted” to do, and that Amiibo may be a part of future Zelda games.
Items from previous Zelda games also failed to make an appearance in Tri Force Heroes, although this was for more practical reasons rather than due to a tight schedule.
“We primarily focused on how three-player co-op would work best with the items that we chose,” Shikata explains. Therefore, items such as the Bombs and Gust Jars were chosen because they work well together and can serve multiple situations. Other items were considered but ultimately discarded — such as the Tornado Rod from A Link Between Worlds, considering the Totem mechanic already lifted the Links higher. “So when selecting and creating these items, we put an emphasis on three-person multiplayer,” Shikata went on to say.
Put all together, Tri Force Heroes’s unique elements create an equally unique installment in the Zelda franchise. For more details regarding the game’s development, check out the full interview at GameSpot.