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This article is about the game. For the characters, see Tri Force Hero.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is the eighteenth main installment of The Legend of Zelda series. The game was released on October 23, 2015, in North America and Europe, October 24 in Australia, and October 22 in Japan. It was revealed during E3 2015 on June 16.[7][8]


Tri Force Heroes takes place in the fashion-forward land, Hytopia.[9] The kingdom's princess, Princess Styla, was adored by all except for Lady Maud, the Drablands witch, who despised the princess's cute fashion sense.[10] 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.[11] In her misery, the princess isolated herself as the rest of the kingdom wept for her fate.[12] Fear began to rise among the populace of Hytopia, as people grew afraid of fashion in fear of being cursed as well.[13] 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,[14][15] promising a great reward.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18] The king firmly believes in this legend, and believes only those who possess these Three Noble Attributes of Courage are the true Tri Force Heroes.[15] But there is more than one person claiming to be that hero.[7]


The ending

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 apprentice of Madame Couture, who immediately recognizes his Attributes as indicative of being a hero of legend. 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.


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, blue, and red. The game supports Download Play, local wireless, and online co-op gameplay.[19] During online co-op, players can select the option to play with friends or to be matched with random players from the Internet.[20] The game also allows single-player gameplay, in which the other Links are replaced with Doppels that the player can switch between during gameplay,[21] similar to the single-player game in Four Swords Adventures.

The game is strongly based on A Link Between Worlds' aesthetics, including its graphics, sound effects, 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. 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 expressive Communication Icons 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 the upper screen to their position, showing where they are.[22] The three Links share the same Life Gauge, 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.

TFH Dolls

Green Link with two Doppels

The game features 32 Levels, with at least four Levels per Area. The Levels themselves are structured and divided into four main sections each called Stages. A Boss is usually fought at the last Stage, or a group of enemies in lieu of a Boss. Each Level contains three different items that must be used to progress through them. At the end of each Stage is a Triforce Gateway that teleports the Links to another section.[22][23] Players can vote on which Level to go to from the Level selection screen while a timer ticks down. There are also Drablands Challenges, in which players play through more difficult versions of the Levels.[19]

The Links can also dress up in many different Outfits which grant specific abilities. These Outfits can be crafted at Madame Couture's from Materials found in Levels.[7][19][21] Before starting a level, each Link must select an Outfit to wear.[22]

In addition to the cooperative multiplayer, there is also a versus player mode referred to as the Coliseum. In this mode, two or three players battle against each other in timed levels and can use various items found in these levels. The player who receives the least amount of damage at the end is declared the winner and is awarded rare Materials that can only be obtained from this mode.[24]

Game Information[]


Game director Hiromasa Shikata explained he wanted to make a multiplayer Zelda game, but wanted to stray away from the competitive nature of the Four Swords games and instead build a game where players would cooperate in a more serious Zelda setting.[7] The idea was initially inspired by the mechanic of switching Link over to Zelda in Spirit Tracks, which Shikata considered a form of multiplayer.[20] Shikata acknowledged the limitations players faced when playing Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures, in that multiple link cables and Game Boy Advances were required to have the full experience. The onset of the 3DS's wireless communication encouraged him to look into building a newer multiplayer game for the handheld.[20]

Eiji Aonuma cited the 3D visuals and depth used in A Link Between Worlds as an inspiration, which he wanted to incorporate into the new game. This inspired the Totem formation mechanic usable by the Links. Shikata added that a four-player totem was too tall, hence why the Links were reduced to just three.[7]

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.[19]

In an interview with The Verge, Shikata explained that voice chat was once considered for the game, but was dismissed as he felt it would be too stressful for players.[25] Communication Icons were instead added to convey messages and directions. During development, more icons were planned to be included but were removed as having too many of them would make it harder to communicate.[26] An icon seller was also planned to be included, who would have sold icons in exchange for Rupees.[27]

Grezzo was in charge of making the Levels, creating enemies, and dealing with the user interface, while Nintendo programmed the main game systems and laid out the Level concepts.[28] Grezzo's Mikiharu Oiwa was in charge of creating all the Bosses.[29]

Timeline Placement[]

Shortly after the game's reveal during E3 2015, Shikata stated that it had not yet been decided when the game would take place in the Zelda timeline, as it could easily take place in any spot.[30] However, Julie Gagnon from Nintendo of Canada later stated during an interview that the game is not part of the timeline.[31]

On October 22, 2015, a day before the game's release, Nintendo revealed that the game takes place several years after A Link Between Worlds. It was also stated that it features the same Link, who dresses to hide his heroic origins.[32]

Demo Version[]

On October 14, 2015, Nintendo of America had distributed download codes for the demo version of 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 three download codes; one for the receiving player and two more that could be shared with others.

The demo version was similar to the E3 demo, in that players could team up with two others 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. Single-player was not available, and players could not leave the multiplayer lobby. Rupees and Materials obtained were also not kept, as these could not be used in the demo.

During the demo's distribution, Nintendo had briefly opened the game's online servers, on October 16 from 5 PM to 10 PM PT, October 17 from 5 PM to 10 PM PT, and on October 18 from 7 AM to 12 PM PT.

On October 29th, Nintendo of America re-released the free demo version for a limited time, intended to help boost sales. The demo's online servers opened on October 30 from 3 PM to 5 PM PT, October 31 from 3 PM to 6 PM PT, and on November 1 from 3 PM to 5 PM PT.[33]

Pre-Order Bonuses[]

By 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.[34]

Speedrun Records[]

Main article: Speedrun Records
Category Runner Time Date
Any% LustNoel 22m 58s August 25, 2021
Any% (Multiplayer) LustNoel
1h 4m 9s March 20, 2021
Any% (No Skips) LustNoel 54m 38s October 20, 2021
All Levels LustNoel 2h 6m August 23, 2021
All Levels (Multiplayer) LustNoel
2h 35m 4s Feburary 3, 2020
All Levels (No Costumes) LustNoel 2h 21m 36s March 6, 2021
All Levels (No Costumes, Multiplayer)
Den of Trials Koopary 24m 55s January 29, 2020
Den of Trials (Multiplayer) LustNoel
22m 42s August 1, 2021
Den of Trials (No Costumes) LustNoel 28m 45s May 17, 2021
Den of Trials (No Costumes, Multiplayer)
All Drablands Challenges LustNoel 10h 16m 26s September 20, 2020
All Drablands Challenges (Multiplayer)
All Drablands Challenges (No Costumes) LustNoel 12h 3m 31s Feburary 23, 2020
All Drablands Challenges (No Costumes, Multiplayer)

Downloadable Content[]


Several free patches have been released for Tri Force Heroes. These patches expand content and mend several parts of the game intended to improve the gameplay experience.

Ver. 2.0.0 was released on December 2, 2015 in North America, and December 3 in Europe. It included additional content and several alterations; including the Den of Trials, a new Area that challenges the Links to 40 Stages, and two new OutfitsLinebeck's Uniform and Fierce Deity Armor—which are based on Linebeck and Fierce Deity Link, respectively. The update also makes it so that Friendly Tokens can be purchased from the Street Merchant after Princess Styla's curse is lifted. Alterations were also made to the online modes of the game; players are asked questions that will match up him or her with other players who have a similar style of play. The option to Blacklist players who leave a game in progress through the Pause menu was also given. Several other adjustments were also made to improve the gaming experience.[35][36]

Ver. 2.1.0 was released on December 22, 2015 in North America. It added Hero Points, a new feature where players are awarded Points during online, Local and Download Play. In online play, Hero Points are awarded to those who continue and clear a Level that they did not initially vote for, as well to those who voted "I can't decide!". In Local and Download Play, Hero Points are simply awarded to those who clear any Level. These Points can be saved up to exchange for free Materials from the Street Merchant that unfinished Outfits require, and also increases the effects of the Bear Minimum Outfit. Several other adjustments were also made to improve the gaming experience.[37]













The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes received "mixed or average" reviews on Metacritic holding a metascore of 73/100 based on 73 critic reviews.[38]


As of December 2020, Tri Force Heroes had sold 1.36 million copies worldwide.[39] It is currently the worst selling entry in the main series.


  • Tri Force Heroes is the only Zelda game to date where Link cannot make use of a Shield.
  • Tri Force Heroes is also the only Zelda game to date that does not allow for multiple saved games.
  • Hidden throughout the town of Hytopia and its Castle are various journals detailing the author's travels in the Drablands, collectively known as the Drablands Diary. These writings frequently make mention of scenic spots that are hidden in the Drablands' Levels.
  • Link's voice in Tri Force Heroes is based on four prior Zelda games. When the player begins a new game, Link is randomly assigned a voice from either Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, Spirit Tracks, or A Link Between Worlds. If any Links in a multiplayer game share the same voice, they will be pitch-shifted to remain distinct.


TMC Forest Minish Artwork Names in other regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite
JapanJapaneseゼルダの伝説 トライフォース3銃士
ChinaChineseSI塞尔达传说 三角力量英雄Zelda Legend: Triangle-Force Heroes
Taiwan, Hong Kong, MacaoChineseTR薩爾達傳說 三角神力三劍士Zelda Legend: The Three Divine Triangle Swordsmen
South KoreaKorean젤다의 전설 트라이포스 삼총사The Legend of Zelda: The Three Triforce Musketeers
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.


External Links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 7
  2. "Solve puzzles as a team of 3 in The Legend of #Zelda: Tri Force Heroes for Nintendo #3DS from 24/10 in AUNZ" — @NintendoAUNZ, Nintendo AU NZ, Twitter, published August 5, 2015, retrieved April 7, 2022.
  3. 『ゼルダの伝説 トライフォース3銃士』(日文版)發售資訊, Nintendo Hong Kong, published October 12, 2015, retrieved October 13, 2015.
  4. 한국닌텐도 홈페이지, Nintendo Korea, published Janurary 7, 2016, retrieved Janurary 10, 2016.
  5. "Solve puzzles as a team of 3 in The Legend of #Zelda: Tri Force Heroes for #3DS from 23/10 #NintendoGC15" — @NintendoEurope, Nintendo of Europe, Twitter, published August 5, 2015, retrieved April 7, 2022.
  6. Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 10
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Nintendo Digital Event @ E3 2015
  8. Nintendo 3DS - The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes E3 2015 Trailer
  9. "Once upon a time there was a kingdom called Hytopia. At the heart of this fashion-obsessed land was the lovely Princess Styla." — N/A (Tri Force Heroes)
  10. "The people adored their fair princess... but the Drablands witch despised the girl's unbearably cute fashion sense." — N/A (Tri Force Heroes)
  11. "One fateful day, a beautifully wrapped gift arrived at the castle. The sender was unknown, and the box was brimming with an aura of mystery. The princess simply had to open it! Naturally, this was a HUGE mistake. When the smoke cleared, Styla was met with a terrible sight, followed by the witch's voice in her pretty head: "A perfect outfit for a perfect princess."" — N/A (Tri Force Heroes)
  12. "This cursed outfit of ultimate ugliness could not be removed no matter how the princess tried. Humiliated, she fell into misery and isolation. The people of Hytopia wept for her terrible fate." — N/A (Tri Force Heroes)
  13. "The worst part is that, ever since Styla became cursed, Hytopia and its people have fallen into despair. Everyone is afraid of fashion now, lest they become cursed as well. Hytopia has never looked so drab... Our kingdom is in peril!!" — King Tuft (Tri Force Heroes)
  14. "The king, too, was in agony. As only chosen heroes may enter the witch's domain, the despicable Drablands. King Tuft issued a call to kingdoms near and far for a hero to save the day." — N/A (Tri Force Heroes)
  15. 15.0 15.1 Jason Schreier, A Bunch Of Zelda: Triforce Heroes Questions, Answered, Kotaku, published June 24, 2015.
  16. "Whoever succeeds in this most noble of tasks will be rewarded to the fullest extent of my extensive power. So sayeth King Tuft, ruler of Hytopia!" — Sign (Tri Force Heroes)
  17. "WANTED: TRI FORCE HEROES!! Do you have pointy ears, truly epic sideburns, and side-parted hair? If so, YOU may be a Tri Force Hero!" — Sign (Tri Force Heroes)
  18. "But I believe. I must! I believe the legendary Tri Force Heroes will appear once more and save our kingdom! Speaking of Tri Force Heroes, there's more to the legend than most people know. The story goes... "When the Tri Force Heroes overcome all challenges, Hytopia will be blessed with everlasting peace and style." Naturally I believe YOU to be the hero of legend, destined to lead our fair kingdom to eternal greatness!" — King Tuft (Tri Force Heroes)
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Nintendo Treehouse Live @ E3 2015 Day 3 The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Emilie Aul, Shikata shares more on Tri Force Heroes’ conception, online aspects, and costumes, Zelda Universe, published July 6, 2015.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Antonia Pohl, Aonuma and Shikata discuss more Tri Force Heroes gameplay details, Zelda Universe, published June 16, 2015.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Reece Heather, Nintendo Treehouse footage and details: Three levels, two bosses, gameplay and plot, Zelda Universe, published June 18, 2015.
  23. Nintendo Treehouse Live @ E3 2015 Day 1 The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
  24. "The Coliseum can be visited through local or online multiplayer, and winning gives the players exclusive materials available only in this mode of play. With these materials players can craft better, more beneficial clothes that will give them an edge in competing." — Alex Aul, Details arise regarding Tri Force Heroes Player vs. Player mode, Zelda Universe, published June 20, 2015, retrieved August 22, 2015.
  25. Emilie Aul, Voice chat was considered but dismissed for Tri Force Heroes, Zelda Universe, published June 19, 2015.
  26. "But then the longer we thought about it, the more we realised that having too many different icons would actually make it harder, not easier, to communicate." —Hiromasa Shikata (Tri Force Heroes Miiting part 2)
  27. "At one point we had an icon seller in the game that would let you buy various extra icons with your hard-earned Rupees." —Hiromasa Shikata (Tri Force Heroes Miiting part 2)
  28. "Well, roughly speaking, GREZZO did most of the work on making the levels, creating enemies, dealing with the user interface and so on, while Nintendo took care of programming the main game systems and laying out the level concepts." —Hiromasa Shikata (Tri Force Heroes Miiting part 2)
  29. "To change the topic slightly, Mr Oiwa, I heard that you pretty much created all the bosses yourself." —MariChan (Tri Force Heroes Miiting part 2)
  30. "The Zelda timeline is "complicated" and if you look at the history of Zelda you will 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, we looked to Link Between Worlds. But it’s not – as far as a timeframe – it’s not before or after. We haven’t really settled on that." —Hiromasa Shikata (You Won't Be Saving Zelda Or Playing Two-Player Co-Op)
  31. "Triforce Heroes is completely different and not in the timeline of Zelda." —Julie Gagnon (Nintendo Talks Annualization of Franchises)
  32. "The game takes place several years after A Link Between Worlds and features the same hero. Certain events bring him to the kingdom of Hytopia, where he dresses as he does in order to hide his heroic origins. There's no telling where the other hero candidates come from, but the player character you control is the true Hyrulian hero from A Link Between Worlds." — Nintendo of America, Fans asked the developers of #Zelda: Tri Force Heroes: “Where does the game fall in the series timeline?”, Twitter, published October 22, 2015, retrieved October 22, 2015.
  33. "Starting 9 AM PST on October 29th, get the free demo and team up with two friends to tackle a tricky dungeon via local play anytime! Each hero will just need their own Nintendo 3DS™ system, along with their demo. (Other modes, such as single-player and Download Play won’t be available.) You’ll even get to try out three costumes: Hero’s Tunic, Kokiri Clothes, and Legendary Dress."Free demo for The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, Nintendo Official Site, published October 28, 2015, retrieved October 28, 2015.
  34. "Order Legend of Zelda:Triforce Heroes for 3DS & get an exclusive Pin Badge Set, only at GAME" — GAME, [1], Twitter, published October 18, 2015, retrieved October 21, 2015.
  35. Nintendo Direct returns with Wii U and Nintendo 3DS line-up details for Christmas and beyond, Nintendo UK Site, published November 12, 2015, retrieved November 13, 2015.
  36. Brian, Zelda: Tri-Force Heroes maintenance taking place tomorrow, full patch notes for version 2.0.0, Nintendo Everything, published December 1, 2015, retrieved December 1, 2015.
  37. Brian, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes update 2.1.0 out now – hero points, Nintendo Everything, published December 22, 2015, retrieved December 22, 2015.
  38. Metascore for The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force HeroesMetacritic, Retrieved May 27, 2020
  39. 2021 CESAゲーム白書 (2021 CESA Games White Paper) (in Japanese). Japan: Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association. 2022. ISBN 978-4-902346-43-5.

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