Tri Force Heroes was a game I was dreading since I heard of its existence. To me, it sounded like another Four Swords Adventure, which was my least favorite Zelda game of all time. In fact, I think it’s the only one I ever outright disliked. However, it was still a Zelda game, so of course, I had to buy it!
The first time I played it I was on the train, commuting home from college. I couldn’t connect to the internet so I had to play solo. It was slow-paced and a bit tedious by oneself, but it did seem to have potential, so I trudged through the first few stages and waited until I got home to try out the rest.
Once I was home, I went to my room and connected to the internet to invite some other players to join me. I didn’t know anyone else with the game personally, so I had to join a group of strangers. I didn’t want to be a burden if I couldn’t keep up to speed with the “pro players”, so I chose the easiest difficulty setting and entered the online community.
I was shortly joined with another person, and I was happy to see I was designated the Blue Link of the group. It took a while for the final Red Link to show up, but in the meantime, Green Link showed me the secret of the magic music ball that we bounced around the room until Red got there.
We began the second level of the Riverside area. Although I had beat this level before, I was forced to endure it again as the roulette landed on this stage that someone else had voted for. The worst part? We all chose the same outfit: the Water Torrent Robes. I chose it because I just liked how it looked, but as soon as the level began we all rushed for the two Water Rods that was presented to us. I got shoved aside with ease and picked up the leftover bow (like I even had a choice). I followed the players, constantly getting left behind because they’d carry on with their special items and leave me in the dust. They did come back for me, sometimes even offering to carry me, which I was fine with — that is, until we came to a moving platform.
This should have been the part where one of the Water Rod-wielders moves the pully-platform with said weapon. What happened instead was that my escort thought they had to toss me across to the other side. I could clearly see that the gap was too large and tried to worm my way out of Red Link’s hands, but alas there was nothing I could do but watch as he chucked me across the chasm to my death.
I wasn’t mad, but I wasn’t exactly happy either when Green Link tried to give it a try and tossed me away like a used napkin. I repeatedly tapped the “No” emoticon, trying to get the two to stop. I saw there was a watermill and urged them to use their items on it, but they only replied with a “No” or “Shrug” emoji. I don’t remember how many more times it took for them to realize that they were, in fact, supposed to use their Water Rod, and we successfully crossed the chasm.
It didn’t end there as we were constantly stumbling to re-figure out the puzzles in this area and each of us wound up accidentally tossing a teammate over the edge at one point or another. It was actually kind of embarrassing how often we would do it, and we even lost a few levels because of it. I wound up wearing the Legendary Dress or the Queen of Hearts outfit to balance out how often the three of us would be losing hearts. However, even after all of that death and despair, I still found myself having a really good time.
I’d come back to this game time and time again to play with new people and explore new levels. There would always be something gone awry no matter which new players I’d encounter. Whether it’d be tossing each other off a cliff, chucking bombs in the wrong direction, getting hit by a boss as a totem trio, or running away from ghosts, there was always something to go amiss in this game. However, no matter who I played with, we’d always try. We’d work together as a team, trying to figure out these tiny puzzles or physical challenges, and cheering each other on once we’d accomplished something big or small. It was always a pleasure to engage with new people, take on these tasks, and find new ways to fail and have fun.