Work together!

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes may look and sound like Link Between Worlds, but that doesn't necessarily mean it takes place in the same universe, according to director Hiromasa Shikata.

Speaking to Game Informer, Shikata covered the tricky topic of which timeline the game fits into, and it's not as simple as you might expect:

The Zelda timeline is quite complicated if you look at the history of Zelda I think you can see there are three branches. I can't really designate which one of those branches we're looking at, but as far as the design itself, it really is Link Between Worlds. But it's not – as far as a timeframe – before or after. We haven't really settled on or said that.

Shikata also covered other topics, such as the costumes in the game. While there will be many outfits which take inspiration from other Zelda titles, there won't be any clothing based on characters in other Nintendo games. Also, there's no two-player co-operative mode:

You can't play through the multiplayer or single-player courses with two people. But we do have a two-player mode, which is the coliseum. It's a competitive battle mode that can be played two players. There is no two-players plus a dopple.

Finally, Shikata tackled the subject of how players communicate within the game when playing online, and revealed that voice chat was considered at one point:

We obviously looked at implementing text and voice chat. But one thing we did notice right away, is if we did implement voice or text chat where you could say whatever you wanted, it lead to what we thought would be an undesirable form of gameplay. If you have played this map three times and someone else had never played it, you're going to know exactly what to do and just say, "Hey dude, pick up that thing, get on my back, shoot that thing come over here…" and the novice would just say, "Okay. Sure. Okay," and it's not fun for either player. One player is just issuing orders, and the other is just following orders.

I think the key gameplay feature, the thing that you're going to have the most fun with, the thing we're focused on the most, is the cooperation element. You have to cooperate to solve puzzles to progress through that game. And if you have someone in the role of following orders and someone in the role of just issuing orders, it really does just take you out of that. In order to supplement and support that idea of communication, we implemented these eight panels. Of course you will be able to send and receive communication through these panels. Just eight, of course, isn't sufficient enough. One can't tell you everything, so it's going to require some ingenuity on how you will combine those to communicate.

Really for the person who is receiving the requests via these icons, it's not a straightforward, "Yo, dude, come over here and do this thing," it's, "Come here. Ok." And then something else, and you see that – it's like a quiz game almost. You will have to figure out what your partner who you're playing with is trying to tell you. We've done a lot of monitor testing in our team and I'm happy to say there has been nothing we've created in the game that couldn't be solved by using those communication panels. I do think with the person who is trying to communicate something through their ingenuity and the way they do this, once the other person understands what they're trying to do and they do it, there is a high sense of satisfaction by saying, "Yeah! I was able to get my point across." And for the person who is trying to follow the communication panels, they're like, "Okay, you want me to do this here at this time. Hey I did it! That's what you were trying to tell me. Yeah, we did it!" There is a real genuine sense of satisfaction when you are able to communicate using that. I really do think that what we have implemented is the best system to support the whole idea of cooperation to proceed.

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