The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

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The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
The Legend of Zelda Tri Force Heroes Boxart.jpg
Packaging artwork
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Hiromasa Shikata
Producer(s) Eiji Aonuma
Designer(s) Yoichi Yamada
Programmer(s) Shiro Mouri
Artist(s) Keisuke Umeda
Composer(s) Ryo Nagamatsu
Series The Legend of Zelda
Platform(s) Nintendo 3DS
  • JP: October 22, 2015
  • NA: October 23, 2015
  • EU: October 23, 2015
  • AU: October 24, 2015
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes[a] is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo, with assistance from Grezzo, for the Nintendo 3DS handheld game console.[1] An installment in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series and a direct sequel to A Link Between Worlds,[1] it was released worldwide in October 2015.[2]


The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is a cooperative action-adventure game in which three players control differently colored versions of series protagonist Link and join forces to fight enemies and solve puzzles.[2] Similar to previous multiplayer Zelda titles, such as Four Swords Adventures, players must work together, using the items they receive at the start of each level to help each other progress.[3] One of the key puzzle-solving techniques is stacking the three player characters in a totem pole, allowing the top player to reach higher elevations, attack enemies, be thrown across gaps, and perform other actions. Another game mechanic involves collecting items in order to craft outfits that grant the characters various abilities.[2] Players share a heart meter, with all players losing one of their life fairies should the meter run out.[3]

The game supports both local and online multiplayer gameplay, wherein players use icons on the touch screen to communicate with each other, as well as a competitive Coliseum mode.[3][4] A single player can also play the game by controlling doll-like companions called "Doppels" in place of additional players, though the main mode does not support two players without a third.[4] Tri Force Heroes features a visual style similar to that used in A Link Between Worlds.[2]

Downloadable content[edit]

During a Nintendo Direct presentation in November 2015, Nintendo announced free downloadable content (DLC) for the game, which introduces a new dungeon called "The Den of Trials" and two additional costumes. The Den of Trials contains a greater number of stages than the original dungeons and players must defeat all enemies in each of its stages in order to progress. The update was released on December 2, 2015.[5]



Tri Force Heroes is set several years after A Link Between Worlds and centers on Link, who was originally planned on appearing as the same protagonist of A Link Between Worlds. This was replaced with the Wind Waker styled Link in the final version.


Tri Force Heroes takes place in Hytopia, a kingdom whose citizens are obsessed with fashion. Princess Styla holds a great power over Hytopia until a witch known as "The Lady" curses her, forcing an unremovable brown jumpsuit upon her. King Tuft, Hytopia's ruler and Styla's father, is devastated by the curse and sends out a call for a hero who can lift it. While many answer the call, the king believes the true hero is one who fulfills a prophecy that tells of three heroes coming together to form a totem pole. This hero is revealed to be Link. He and two teammates travel to the Drablands, where they master dungeons by solving puzzles and defeating enemies. After doing so, the three vanquish The Lady, allowing them to lift the princess' curse. Link, King Tuft, Princess Styla, and the people of Hytopia celebrate the heroes' success.


The inspiration for Tri Force Heroes originated in 2009 from a portion of Spirit Tracks in which Princess Zelda is able to possess phantoms. In an interview with Polygon at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015, Tri Force Heroes director Hiromasa Shikata, who had also worked on Spirit Tracks, explained, "That element [the ability to control phantoms] really intrigued me and brought out the idea that I wanted to try multiplayer as well." Shikata's interest in working on a multiplayer Zelda game "was sort of revitalized and came out of hibernation" during the development of A Link Between Worlds.[6]

Regarding Link's ability to don a dress typically worn by Zelda in other installments in the series, Shikata said, "We consulted with folks here in the U.S. and in Japan, and asked 'Do we think we're going [to get] too much of a negative reaction by having Link wear a dress?'" 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 and remarked, "For us as developers, the more variation we have, and that we can provide to players, the better for everyone."[6]


Aggregate score
Review scores
Game Informer7.25/10[10]
Game Revolution3/5 stars[11]
GamesRadar+3.5/5 stars[13]
Nintendo Life6/10 stars[16]

Tri Force Heroes received mixed critical reception. While the title's multiplayer gameplay was praised, many reviewers criticized its single-player mode and lack of a two player option. Many reviewers also criticized the game's online functionality and matchmaking features. Review aggregator Metacritic gave the game a score of 73/100 based on 73 reviews.[7]

As of March 2016, total worldwide sales are at 1.14 million copies.[18]


Pre-release awards and nominations
Year Award Category Result Ref.
2015 E3 2015 Game Critics Awards Best Handheld/Mobile Game Won [19]
IGN's Best of E3 2015 Awards Best 3DS Game Won [20]


  1. ^ a b "The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes". Nintendo. 2015. Archived from the original on October 26, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Otero, Jose (June 16, 2015). "E3 2015: The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes Revealed for 3DS". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on June 16, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Dawson, Bryan (July 28, 2015). "The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes Strategic Preview". Prima Games. Penguin Random House. Archived from the original on October 17, 2015. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Schreier, Jason (June 19, 2015). "You Can't Play Zelda: Triforce Heroes With Only Two People". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on June 19, 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2015. 
  5. ^ Makuch, Eddie (November 12, 2015). "Zelda 3DS Spinoff Triforce Heroes Getting Free DLC". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on November 15, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b McWhertor, Michael (June 23, 2015). "The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes is a game of dress up, co-op and paper dolls". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 24, 2015. Retrieved June 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes for 3DS Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  8. ^ Carter, Chris (October 21, 2015). "Review: The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes". Destructoid. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  9. ^ Carsillo, Ray (October 21, 2015). "The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes review". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  10. ^ Hilliard, Kyle (October 21, 2015). "Welcome To The Drablands - The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes - 3DS". Game Informer. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  11. ^ S., Kevin (October 21, 2015). "Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  12. ^ Mahardy, Mike (October 21, 2015). "The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes Review". GameSpot. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  13. ^ Clapham, Matt (October 21, 2015). "The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes review". GamesRadar. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  14. ^ Jones, Brandon (October 26, 2015). "Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes - Review". GameTrailers. Defy Media. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  15. ^ Otero, Jose (October 21, 2015). "The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes Review". IGN. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  16. ^ Whitehead, Thomas (October 21, 2015). "The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes (3DS) Review". NintendoLife. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  17. ^ Miller, Simon (October 21, 2015). "The Legend of Zelda Tri Force Heroes Review". Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Supplementary Information about Earnings Release" (PDF). Nintendo. April 25, 2016. p. 4. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 27, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2016. 
  19. ^ "2015 Winners". Game Critics Awards. 2015. Archived from the original on July 22, 2015. Retrieved August 27, 2015. 
  20. ^ "IGN's Best of E3 2015 Awards". IGN. Ziff Davis. June 16, 2015. Archived from the original on June 17, 2015. Retrieved August 26, 2015. 
  1. ^ Released in Japan as ゼルダの伝説 トライフォース3銃士 (Zeruda no Densetsu: Toraifōsu San-jūshi, lit. The Legend of Zelda: The Three Triforce Musketeers).

External links[edit]