IGN interviewed Hiromasa Shikata, director of Tri Force Heroes, revealing some of the ideas that were being considered for the game, but ultimately scrapped. As it turns out, Nintendo did extensive testing with a four-player mode, but ultimately couldn’t get it to work as well as the finalized three-player setup. The problem stemmed from the totem mechanic, where each player stacked on top of another. While the bottom player controlled the group and the top player attacked the enemies, the middle two players had nothing to do. In addition, when testing the game out with four players, they would often split up into groups of two and end up at opposite sides of the map. When only three played they tended to stick together and cooperate more.
Another idea that was ultimately taken out of the final product was the ability to merge two players together into one. “[The fused heroes] could only go in one direction if both players wanted to go in that direction,” Shikata said. “Unfortunately, that made the gameplay very hard, so we had to take that mechanic out.”
It’s rare we get to hear from a Nintendo developer about ideas that were cut out of the final product. It’s great to hear they did try a four-player mode, and the reasons why it was cut from the final game seem to make sense. Oftentimes gamers, including myself, often wonder why games are missing certain modes or elements, so I always find it fascinating to hear the developer’s explanations.
For the full story, be sure to check out IGN’s article.