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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Like it matters. At all.
This is what happens when you have such a complex timeline for a franchise. Personally I never really cared, I just play the games and have fun doing so.
Zelda never needed an official timeline. Just let the fans have their own theories; it's more fun that way.
I actually think the reasons for no voice chat make perfect sense in this case.
Also, I didn't know about the competitive two-player battle mode. That sounds exciting as heck to me, as I've always loved ducking it out Link vs Link, especially against someone who is not, you know, a StreetPass AI... Hopefully there'll be online for that as well.
I'm only interested in timeline from unofficial sources which used to be the only sources. Now the timeline discussion is so stale as we wait for Nintendo reps to either come up with something when asked or not because that's how it works now.
@Tsurii That was someone else who wasn't even part of the development team I think.
My all-time favorite series but I seriously don't care about the timeline at all. Correct me if I'm wrong but I suppose they never cared either, they just came up with it because of popular demand. That alone makes it totally irrelevant.
No ones cares about a time line in the Mario series, so why care about the Zelda time line series? Plus if you don't include the Phillip CDi games in the time line, then it doesn't really matter.
They are awesome games, just enjoy them.
"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."
^^^ this, so much win with removing the voice chat for this
Well seeing as Nintendo never planned for there to be an overall Zelda timeline, and only pretended that there was one to sell a book and silence fans, I really don't see how this is any surprise.
The only time I've experienced voice chat was someone shouting muffled obscenties at me in Injustice, just before they rage quit. Never played it online again.
The truth is all the time we've felt limitations on where we could go, how high we could jump, what we could skip, and who we could talk to has hindered the fun, were now realising in modern gaming that sometimes more is less, and there are invisible walls so not to destroy the challenge.
I hope the 'open world' Zelda doesn't suffer with giving us too much freedom.
See what happens when you mess around with time travel?
''Hey look! Who cares?''
I've always thought since the release of ocarina of time on the 3ds why not make a new game in that style? Everyone loves majoras mask and ocarina of time so why not?
How many Nintendo games this generation are going to consider voice chat but not use it? I love this game communication system though and I an very excited for this game.
I wouldn't want to voice chat with random peoples anyway. I'll admit the game does look a bit more appealing to me now.
The only part of the timeline I think is wrong is how the fallen hero timeline happens, basically Link dies in the final battle in Ocarina Of Time. I personally think that the real reason should be that link went back to the past to get the iron gauntlets, this creates a future where link disappeared and was therefore unable to defeat Ganon but had saved enough of the 7 Sages so the Sealing War could happen.
As for Tri Force heroes just let it be a side story set after A Link Between Worlds. So the Fallen Hero timeline would look like this
I don't care about the timeline, and apparently neither does Nintendo, having basically hired fanfiction writers to cobble something halfway coherent (albeit chock full of logical fallacies) from something whose connections were written terribly at best.
No two player mode besides battle?? There goes another game for my wife and I to enjoy together. So I have to play this by myself or with exactly three.people? I've been wanting to play this and Fedration Force, but these limited options worry me.
@rob955: That's what Twilight Princess was supposed to be, a return to the Ocarina of Time world and style.
@Whopper744: Seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeriously. That news has been around since E3 and I'm still bummed about it. I would play the hell out of this in two-player but I don't want to play it alone or with a third player, so I'm just skipping this entry, as disappointing as that is.
Please explain to me why it would be fun to play the same map 3 times? I thought the dungeon themselves would be randomly generated xc.
I still wondering where Link Between Worlds fit in, but Tri Force Heroes will probably come before/after Four Swords or Four Swords Adventure.
The key to understanding about the Zelda timeline is to just simply not care.
Forget Tri Force Heroes, what about the cd-i games!? You can't ignore them forever, Nintendo!
@Chaoz Hope this helps
The Origins Timeline
The Child Link Tineline
The Adult Link Timeline
The Fallen Hero Timeline
@GraveLordXD You can.
Gah! No two players? Blasphemous! As an adult gamer with no kids and a non-gaming fiance, very rarely I can get together with one friend. Three players is unheard of. I imagine this three player option is mostly wasted development and will be little used. Even among families with multiple kids, I imagine many share the console between members and may not have 3 3DS systems. I certainly hope this supports download play and does not require three game carts...
They're still doing that? Oi. I was annoyed when they outright said there wasn't any connection, but annoyed further when they said there was and gave us this overly complex mush. I didn't care about a hard and fast continuity because I knew it would require an overly complex mush. Fans had created and argued to the moon and back their own overly complex mushes for decades
Best of all, because the series was never built that way, the revelation has enhanced nothing. Unless you count articles like this one getting to be called news instead of thinkpieces. Oh, that and creating an official first game (until they decide to create a moreso first game).
I preferred when it was left to my interpretation. If I feel a title alluded to another game's presence, I declared (to me) that it was linked say 'that's kinda neat' and move on with my life.
Why are they considering a time-filler co-op Zelda game canon? Let it have nothing to do at all with any timeline. When I saw the game, I didn't think it even had a plot to it and it was just a co-op Zelda romp for the fun of it. I'm not picking it up, so either way it doesn't matter to me.
The Zelda timeline was probably the most pointless thing they ever made. Looking forward to playing the game though.
Why put it into the timeline at all? It's only a spin-off. It's like trying to put Link's Crossbow Training into series canon.
I didn't expect voice chat to go into this, especially after the Splatoon fiasco, but I'm curious to see where this game fits into the time line. Unlike some other Zelda games, I haven't seen anything that would place this one in a certain spot.
Why not make voice chat an optional setting? I feel like Splatoon should do the same.
@Whopper744 Yes, I was SOOO disappointed to learn this. My wife and I would have played two-player adventure mode every night together. What possessed them to not include it as an option? Seriously...either one or three players!?!?
The timeline will probably fall somewhere after the 4 Swords games, but we'll see. The bad guy at the end has a lot to do with the "when" for Zelda games lately it seems
I for one actually care about the timeline. But this game should not even be considered canon, just a fun spin-off.
@Pod I agree, I never saw the point in an overarching timeline. These games don't tell an epic story that unfolds over the course of dozens of games, it's roughly the same story each time. I always liked to see it as the "Legend" in the title is to be taken literally and each game is like somebody telling another version of a story they'd heard.
That's a very sensible reason for not having voice chat in this game. It's usually not fun to have people telling you exactly how to do something. Still, I would also be fine if voice chat was optional.
The 3DS doesn't have the best microphone anyways so I don't really mind because I'd rather just use Skype when I'm playing with friends. Though it wouldn't hurt them to add it in.
A bunch of people have said this before, but the Zelda timeline is about as consequential as the Mario or Star Fox timeline. In fact, all the terrible 'lore' and emphasis on story makes me enjoy Zelda games less.
See, that's ironic because I still haven't decided whether or not I will be buying the game.
....I care about the Zelda timeline.
@fed0ra7 I agree. As crazy as it is, I really enjoy the Zelda timeline. It really represents the expansiveness of the Zelda world.
There are some of us who enjoy having a timeline and all the lore it implies. The nods and watching stories unfold for long peroids of time is fun. Guess some fans here take Miyamoto words as gospel and don't even bat an eye at stories because "muh gameplay".
Still the official timeline is a mess, I liked it better when it was a fan proposal of 2 timelines, the child one and the adult one with the occasional spinoff.
They could had just say that it took place after the Four Swords and give us a vague explanation to why Purple Link is now dead.
Randomly generated stages and/or puzzles may have solved the voice chat issue. Removing it all together seems like a short-cut that will most likely force me to not buy the game.
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