The game director for The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, Hiromasa Shikata, explains exactly where the game fits in the ever-expanding Zelda timeline.
Ever since Nintendo released the official series chronology timeline for The Legend of Zelda franchise, fans have tried to determine where each new entry fits. For those wondering when exactly The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes takes place in the timeline, Nintendo has now clued us in.
According to the game's director, Hiromasa Shikata, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes takes place after A Link Between Worlds, but before the first game in the series on the NES. This puts Tri Force Heroes in the "Decline of Hyrule" timeline created by Link failing to defeat Ganon at the end of Ocarina of Time.
Furthermore, the Link that players control in Tri Force Heroes is actually the same Link from A Link Between Worlds, with Tri Force Heroes taking place just a few years after the events of that game. As explained by Shikata:
"Initially, the story starts with the king recruiting hero candidates, and that's where Link steps in. There's a part of me that doesn't want people to come into the game thinking, 'Is he not a hero then? Is he just a candidate?' But I want to reassure people that this Link is the hero that came from the A Link Between Worlds world."
One would assume that since Tri Force Heroes stars the same Link from A Link Between Worlds, and is only a few years removed from that game, that fans would have been clued in to its place in the timeline since the E3 2015 reveal trailer. However, Tri Force Heroes is in many ways vastly different from A Link Between Worlds, so it's hard to fault fans for not realizing its place in the franchise's fictional chronology sooner.
For example, whereas A Link Between Worlds is a single-player adventure, Tri Force Heroes has a focus on cooperative gameplay. Additionally, Tri Force Heroes has a new gimmick wherein Link has to wear a variety of different costumes in order to utilize abilities necessary for him to defeat enemies and conquer the game's dungeons, something that's not included in A Link Between Worlds.
In any case, it's rare to see a Link from one Zelda game return for another adventure, with most entries in the series set hundreds of years apart from one another. That alone makes Tri Force Heroes special, so it's a shame that the game has received lukewarm critical reception when compared to the games that preceded it.
Have you been enjoying Tri Force Heroes so far? Let us know your thoughts on Link's latest adventure.
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is available now, exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS.