The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is the eighteenth game to be released in the Legend of Zelda series, set after the events of A Link Between Worlds. The game takes its place in the Downfall Timeline, after the events of Ocarina of Time where the Hero of Time failed in his quest to stop Ganondorf.
Tri Force Heroes was released in October 2015 worldwide for the Nintendo 3DS system, after being revealed during the E3 Nintendo Direct special earlier that year. The title was developed in collaboration with Grezzo, who also aided Nintendo in the development of Ocarina of Time 3D and Majora’s Mask 3D for the 3DS, as well as Four Swords Anniversary Edition for the 3DS and DSi platforms.
Topping the Japanese games charts with sales of 58,000 inside the first week of release, Tri Force Heroes received mixed reviews and responses from games publications and fans respectively.
Development and Release
Explaining that he wanted to make a multiplayer Zelda game, Hiromasa Shikata also wanted to stray away from the competitive nature of the Four Swords games and instead develop a concept where players co-operated in a traditional Zelda game.<img class=”alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1028” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Malladus04_Large-250x375.png” alt=”Spirit Tracks” />The initial idea was inspired by the mechanic of switching Link to Zelda in Spirit Tracks, which he also considered a form of multiplayer. Acknowledging the limitations players faced while playing Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures - having to find three friends with their own device and link cables - Shikata looked to the innovation of the 3DS and its wireless communication to look into building a more user-friendly game for the handheld console.
Using the 3D visuals and depth from A Link Between Worlds - which Tri Force Heroes is a direct sequel to — as inspiration for new mechanics in the game, series director Eiji Aunoma found that having four Link’s as a totem was too tall to display comfortably, so reduced the player count to three.
<img class=”alignleft size-wcsmall wp-image-1026” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/the-legend-of-zelda-triforce-heroes-combines-costumes-and-dungeon-fun-1434559230587-250x167.jpg” alt=”Zelda Dress” />Regarding Link’s ability to don a dress typically worn by Zelda in other instalments in the series, Shikata consulted many people in the US and Japan on the issue. The development team arrived at the conclusion that having a cross-dressing Link would not be an issue. Shikata expressed the team’s hope that having the dress and similar outfits in the game would widen its appeal to young female gamers.
Outfits were incorporated as a means of powering up the Links and their items, as Shikata wanted to include upgraded abilities similar to the enhanced items in A Link Between Worlds, and felt that Outfits would be a natural fit.
Shikata also explained that voice chat was once considered for the game, but was dismissed as he felt it would be too stressful for players. Expressive icons were instead added to convey messages and directions.
On October 14, 2015, Nintendo of America distributed demo codes for Tri Force Heroes to a number of Nintendo Network members over e-mail. The demo version could be redeemed with the provided code and be downloaded for free from the Nintendo eShop. Included in the e-mails were one download code, plus two more codes that could be shared with other people.
The demo version was similar to the E3 demo, in that players could team up with three and play through the Levels Buzz Blob Cave, Fire Temple, and Bomb Storage. The Forest Temple and Drablands Challenges included in the E3 demo were not included in this release, and only a limited selection of Outfits were provided.
Tri Force Heroes was released worldwide across three days in October 2015, first in Japan, simultaneously in Europe and America, and lastly in Australia.
<img class=”alignleft wp-image-1025 size-thumbnail” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/s-l225-150x150.jpg” alt=”GAME Limited Edition” width=”150” height=”150” />Pre-ordering the game in the English retailer GAME, a pin badge set was also included. The set featured a Triforce badge with the “T” logo and two communication icons badges, all inside a black box with the game’s logo.
<img class=”alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1030” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/new-3ds-xl-hyrule-250x146.png” alt=”New Nintendo 3DS XL Hyrule Edition” />Although not specifically related to Tri Force Heroes, a Limited Edition New Nintendo 3DS XL was released at the same time. The system is gold-coloured, similar to the Majora’s Mask themed console, and features an intricate Hylian Crest on the front.
<img class=”alignleft size-wcsmall wp-image-1027” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Triforce-heroes-4–250x141.jpg” alt=”Triforce Heroes Totem” />Tri Force Heroes is similar to the Four Swords games, in which Link is accompanied by two other Links (as opposed to three more in the Four Swords games) as part of the game’s multiplayer. These Links are depicted as green, red, and blue. The game supports download play, local wireless, and online co-op gameplay. During online co-op, players can select the option to play with friends or to be matched with random players from the internet. The game also allows single-player gameplay, in which the other Links are replaced with Doppels that the player can switch between during gameplay, similar to the single-player game in Four Swords Adventures.
The game is strongly based off of A Link Between Worlds’ aesthetics, including its graphics, enemies, and its use of platforms at different elevations. The Links can climb atop one another to form a Totem that allows them reach higher elevations.
<img class=”alignright wp-image-1023” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/screenshot9.0-250x300.jpg” alt=”Tri Force Heroes” width=”167” height=”200” />The Links must cooperate with each other and coordinate their attacks to solve puzzles, such as one Link throwing a Bomb while the other propels it away with the Gust Jar. On-screen notifications also appear to inform the other Links of one Link’s current state or idea, such as suggesting to form a Totem.
Several expressions can also be selected from the bottom screen, and can also be used to encourage the other Links or to express an idea or direction. Tapping on a Link’s portrait on the touch screen will direct to their position, showing where they are. The three Links share the same Heart Containers, lives (appearing as Fairies), and Rupees. As in A Link Between Worlds, there is also an Energy Gauge that depletes each time an item is used, and gradually recovers. Each Link has his own Energy Gauge.
Trivia and Facts
If the player swims to the bottom of the bridge with the right curve before Hytopia Castle, Link will jump through the bridge and will be able to walk through most of Hytopia’s walls, houses and trees which is normally out of bounds.
Tri Force Heroes is a direct sequel to A Link Between Worlds and features the same hero seen in the latter. It takes place in the Downfall Timeline, set before the Golden Era and the Era of Decline.
Tri Force Heroes Backstory
After defeating Yuga and restoring the Triforce, as well as restoring the land of Lorule, Link decides to take leave of the land of Hyrule, and travels to the kingdom of Hytopia. Aware that other people may still recognise him as the Hero that saved Hyrule, Link dresses in a casual bear outfit to mask his identity.
Tri Force Heroes Events
<img class=”alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1022” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/IMG_3065-250x161.jpg” alt=”Hytopia” />Hytopia, is a fashion-forward land and the kingdom’s princess, Princess Styla, is adored by all except for Lady Maud, the Drablands witch, who despised the princess’s cute fashion sense. The witch sent Styla a beautifully wrapped gift; however this was merely a trick, as when Styla opened it, she found herself cursed to wear an irremovable ugly jumpsuit.In her misery, the princess isolated herself as the rest of the kingdom wept for her fate. Fear began to rise among the populace of Hytopia, as people grew afraid of fashion in fear of being cursed as well. As only chosen heroes could enter the Drablands, her father, King Tuft, sent out a notification to kingdoms near and far asking for heroes to assemble, promising a great reward.
A prophecy within the kingdom however, tells of the Tri Force Heroes, who are described as having pointy ears, sideburns and side-parted hair, who come together to form a Totem. The prophecy goes on to say that once the Tri Force Heroes have overcome all challenges, the kingdom of Hytopia will be blessed with everlasting peace and style. The king firmly believes in this legend, and believes only those who meet this criteria are the true Tri Force Heroes. However, there is more than one person claiming to be that hero.
While passing through the land on his travels, Link notices King Tuft’s sign asking for heroes to assemble. He is then spotted by the assistant of Madame Couture, who immediately recognises his features as the same of the heroes of legend, despite his attempt at a disguise. Pressed into helping the kingdom and its princess, Link joins the Witch-Hunting Brigade and assembles with other Links as they enter the Drablands and fight its guardians.
After venturing through many areas and fighting creatures across the land of Hytopia, Link masters all dungeons in the Drablands and defeats The Lady, allowing them to lift the princess’ curse.
Tri Force Heroes Legacy
King Tuft, Princess Styla, and the people of Hytopia celebrate the heroes’ success while Link continues on his adventures across the land.
N.B. As Tri Force Heroes is a new title, details are more sparse than established titles. As such, this article will be updated with further details as they become available.