- "Link! The Shadow Links will regenerate if left alone! I must act... Link! Now! Defeat Shadow Link!"
- — Princess Zelda
Shadow Link is a character from The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, a monstrous entity that models himself after Link. He attempts to impede the hero's progress at various points throughout the game with an array of supernatural powers; sometimes, Link will be forced to fight Shadow Link and his copies, whereas other times he will be required merely to evade him. Hyrule Historia states that Shadow Links are demons created by the magical Dark Mirror from the evil thoughts and resentment of Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Shadow Link first appears when Princess Zelda and the Six Maidens go to check on the seal of the Four Sword. When all seven are captured, Link follows Shadow Link back into the Four Sword Sanctuary; once Link is inside, Ganon uses Shadow Link to convince Link to withdraw the Four Sword from its Pedestal, thus releasing Vaati. Shadow Link travels Hyrule to torment the populance in a variety of ways. Though Shadow Link is beaten multiple times throughout the game, he is not ultimately defeated until near the end of the game, when Zelda and Link seal him and his other copies inside the Dark Mirror.
Shadow Links serve as manifestations of a player's StreetPass profile in another player's game. They can be battled for Rupees, and the completion of certain goals. The weapons and items that a Shadow Link uses in battles is set up in a player's StreetPass profile.
Shadow Link's battle techniques are for the most part the very same as those of Link. Aside from using most of Link's items and weapons, Shadow Link uses Giant Bombs, forcing Link to break off the battle in order to take refuge and avoid the bomb's deadly blast. To defeat Shadow Link, Link must slash him with his sword while dodging Shadow Link's attacks.
Shadow Link can also assume the coloration of one of the four Links, requiring that particular Link to defeat him. When Shadow Link stops and begins panting, one final attack will subdue him. As the game progresses, the battles against Shadow Link involve increasing numbers of copies appearing at any one time. If Link destroys the original Shadow Link, however, the remaining clones will automatically be destroyed. Upon defeat, the true Shadow Link emits a high-pitched scream. Once defeated, he will leave behind a Force Gem worth 100.
Shadow Link's origin is expanded upon and his character is fleshed out. When he first appears, he easily defeats the four Links, as the Four Sword has lost its power. Later, he tries to sabotage the Links' mission by tempting the purple Link to evil. This fails, as the purple Link is revealed to have been lying to Shadow Link all along. He then joins the other Links, who together best Shadow Link.
Vaati later recreates Shadow Link using the Dark Mirror. Although commanded to fight against the Links, Shadow Link chooses to help them by informing them of his master's weak point. However, he soon realizes that as long as the Dark Mirror exists, Vaati will be invincible. With this knowledge, Shadow Link destroys the mirror, despite Vaati's warnings that he will die if it is destroyed. Vaati's words hold true, but not before Shadow Link is able to reconcile with the four Links. His nature is explained as "the shadow version of Link from the Dark World", and he utters his last words: "Shadows stay behind their masters, but I turned it around and defeated the enemy myself. It felt...pretty good..." After this, he turns into light.
Later, when the four Links fuse back into one being, Shadow Link becomes their shadow.
|Link (x4) · Princess Zelda · Six Maidens · Vaati|
—Full list of characters
|Phantom Ganon · Helmaroc King · Stone Arrghus · Jalhalla · Dagtail · Frostare · Big Dodongo · Vaati · Ganon|
| Whereabouts of the Wind · Eastern Hyrule · Death Mountain · Near the Fields · The Dark World · The Desert of Doubt · Frozen Hyrule · Realm of the Heavens|
—Full list of locations
|Bomb · Bombos Medallion · Boomerang · Bow · Fire Rod · Four Sword · Lantern · Magic Hammer · Quake Medallion · Shield · Slingshot|
|Blue Bracelet · Carrot · Force Gem · Force Fairy · Heart · Heart Container · Moon Pearl · Pegasus Boots · Power Bracelet · Roc's Feather · Shovel · Small Key|
|Knight Mark · Letter · Magic Book · Royal Jewels · Vaati Barrier|
|Gerudo · Goron · Hylian · Zuna|