Hiromasa Shikata, the Nintendo director behind The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes, recently sat together with IGN to talk about the game.
He discussed various topics with them, including showing the project idea to Shigeru Miyamoto, the different outfits in the game, the online and Coliseum modes, why you can’t make Link a woman and why they have no Amiibo support for this game.
You can read the full interview here, but make sure to read below because I included a couple of quotes from other reports by IGN after talking with him.
On the game’s origins:
Hiromasa Shikata: It kind of comes back to working with Eiji Aonuma, who of course is the producer of the Zelda series. Mr. Aonuma wanted to incorporate more multiplayer that advanced the gameplay in Zelda. And, it really goes back to his work on Marvelous [Editor’s note: Marvelous: Another Treasure Island was a Japan only Super Famicom game released in 1996] and so, even from that time, that’s been something that he wanted to take on.
Shikata: We did have Zelda: Four Swords. But, if you remember, you had to have the game link cables, so getting four people together and linking everybody up to be able to play so that you could participate was a bit troublesome. With the 3DS and wireless communication systems, it eliminates that obstacle for people to play multiplayer. So, when we were working on Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, we thought “Hey, you know what? The time is right for us to go back and start looking at that multiplayer stuff that we want to work on. And that’s really where they said ‘Okay, we’ve got the hardware, we have our interest now, let’s do it.’
On the experience of showing this game to Shigeru Miyamoto:
Shikata: Of course, Mr. Miyamoto is overseeing and checking in on this title. So, after we finished up Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, we actually shared our ideas on trying to do some multiplayer gameplay with Mr. Miyamoto. At that point, he was pretty easily swayed and went “Yeah, why don’t you guys give that a shot? It sounds pretty interesting.”
And actually, we were able to play an early build with Mr. Miyamoto, and he actually got really into a three-player game. He was excited, calling out commands, and saying “Don’t do that, come here, do this…” and would give a sort of “Aaah!” when things wouldn’t work out quite right. He actually had a lot of fun with it, so we did get a green light from that early play experience.
On how online works:
Shikata: When you’re getting ready to play online, the first thing you’ll see is [an option to] play with friends or anyone. You will have people in your friends list. I don’t know the exact wording; I apologize. If you choose anyone or within my region or whatever it might be…then you could be playing with other folks who have made the same selection on their systems. This is a three-player cooperative game, but if only two of you are playing, you could also have two friends match up with a third person that wasn’t your friend.
Even if you go online and you choose to play with friends, and unfortunately none of them are available or what not, from there you can play with folks who you don’t know but are ready to play.
On whether it’s harder technically to have a system where someone could drop out and maybe you could find someone else to bring into that experience:
Shikata: That idea is really difficult from a player’s standpoint, because you’re coming into a situation like, “Okay, where are we at? What dungeon are we in? Do I have the right equipment, what’s going on?” It just seems like it would be a very difficult thing for players to do. If someone does drop out again, you’ll go, you’ll save your data, but you can jump right back to the lobby and you’ll just grab another person, you can go right back in.
On whether the outfits are meant to complement items that are automatically given to you at the start of a level:
Shikata: So it’s not quite like that. Actually, you’re able to choose whatever outfit you want to wear before you go into a level. There are a ton of different outfits.
As I think you’ve probably seen, each of the outfits highlight or add different capabilities to the weapons or the player’s characteristics. For example, if you have the Kokiri outfit, then you can shoot arrows in three directions at once. If you have the Goron guard, you can travel through lava without taking any damage. If you have the Spin Master armor, your spin attack has a larger area. So, all of these different outfits will either highlight a specific item or give you some special abilities.
So you are going to know which items are available in which course. And so, it’s up to the player that they choose which outfit they think will work best within that course in relation to that item.
On where the fashion element came from:
Shikata: I really think, as far as the fashion goes, that because it is a multiplayer game, and my image of how people are going to play is that you’re going to be playing a little bit each day. You can play with the same friends or a different group of people. Your work shows these other people how far you’ve progressed and the accomplishments that you have had. The outfit seemed to work really well with allowing you to say “Check me out, look what I’ve done!” It proves to them where you’ve been and what you’ve done so far.
Now, as far as the clothes themselves go, you don’t get an outfit in one go. You pick up the materials required to make that outfit as you go through dungeons. And, for of course, the higher level or more powerful costumes require even more special materials. Those are going to be located in more difficult dungeons.
On the number of outfits in the game:
Shikata: I don’t have a number, but as far as trying to get all of the different outfits in the game? A month’s not going to cut it; you might need like, three months of gameplay to get all the different outfits.
There’s so many in there. I want to tell you! But…
On The Colosseum:
Shikata: I’m going to change course on you a little bit here; I want to talk real quick…we’ll get back to it, just have a little segue. The Colosseum? I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Colosseum. It’s not cooperative. It’s a competitive battle mode where you can fight 1v1 or a free-for-all with two other players.
There are materials that you can only get by competing in the Colosseum. And they allow you to make clothes that are highly beneficial to competing.
Shikata: It’s not Street Pass. It’s online.
Shikata: In Colosseum, you’re fighting in a limited space, it’s an enclosed environment and there are items that you will rush over to pick up so that you will have a better chance at winning. And actually, the terrain will transform mid-battle. You’re trying to inflict as much damage on your opponent as possible.
From another article about why you can’t play as a woman:
I’m going to tell you a little bit about the story quickly and we’ll circle around, here. There’s this kingdom, an event happens, and the king needs heroes. So, he puts out a call for heroes to gather and one of those is this guy Link. He sees this audition, basically, ‘Heroes needed; apply here.’ And, that’s the start of his adventure.
The story calls for this sort of legend/prophecy where heroes will come together to help solve a problem. And in that, they are male characters. So, because the game is set with that as the story background, you cannot choose a gender; you are a male character.
I understand what you’re saying (being disappointed), and just as general information, we do have a lot of female staff members who are playing this game and enjoying it. It doesn’t seem to be a big issue to them. They still are getting emotional investment in this game. And to be honest, Link isn’t the most masculine of guys in the world, depending on how you want to project yourself into the character.
And finally, from another report about why there’s no amiibo support:
“I think it’s really something as simple as this game isn’t a natural fit for it. I think [that’s] because we’re focused on giving players the ability to choose different outfits to impact their experience within the game. We didn’t think amiibo added anything other than what games with it are already doing. There’s no reason to shoehorn it in.”