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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords is an enhanced port of A Link to the Past for Game Boy Advance coupled with an entirely new game, Four Swords. This two-in-one game was released shortly before The Wind Waker.

While A Link to the Past is largely a faithful port of the original, it does include an entirely new dungeon and a new quest as rewards for the player playing through the multiplayer-only Four Swords. Aside from these additions, it includes a number of smaller gameplay and dialogue changes, the latter of which are designed to correct a number of minor translation mistakes and inconsistencies with the original Japanese release and to unify the common terms used with the later games.

Four Swords was later released as a standalone entry with added single player option and new stages on the Nintendo DSi and 3DS, known as Four Swords Anniversary Edition. The Game Boy Advance version of A Link to the Past has not been released again in any form, nor have any of the changes made been carried over to the Virtual Console releases. Even so, the changes to A Link to the Past heavily influenced A Link Between Worlds, most notably with the inclusion of Rupee rocks and the Great Spin.

Changes and Additions in A Link to the Past[]


The Game Boy Advance port of A Link to the Past features a semi-new and more faithful translation in the game's localization. Several strings of in-game text were changed and a few expanded, and are paraphrased differently from the original text. A few names and references were also changed to remain consistent with the rest of the series; most notably the Seven Wise Men now being referred to as the Seven Sages and the Hylia referred to as Hylians. The prologue in the game's intro was expanded and explains the Imprisoning War in greater detail.

Among other significant changes to the dialogue, Link's Uncle no longer says "Zelda is your..." when Link receives his Sword and Shield. A similar line is however referenced in the Palace of the Four Sword, when Blind the Thief II impersonates Link's Uncle.[3]


In A Link to the Past & Four Swords, the file select screen is entirely new and is displayed before selecting either of the two games. Both A Link to the Past and Four Swords share the same file. When starting a new game in A Link to the Past for the first time on a file, the story of the Imprisoning War and the rest of the prologue is displayed before the rest of the game begins, and cannot be skipped. The player can however skip the Triforce sequence before the title screen appears, which was previously only possible in the PAL version of the game.

When bringing up the save menu, it is now possible to "Save and Continue" playing without Link dying, rather than simply "Save and Quit". A sound effect now also plays when the save menu appears and disappears. Saving and quitting no longer counts as a "game played" or death on the Quest Log. When reloading a save file, it is now possible to start from the same location where the game was last saved from. This places Link where he last was on the overworld, or at the start of a dungeon. This option replaces the moutnain cave one found originally. Saving and quitting while in a dungeon no longer forces Link outside the dungeon when the file is reloaded. Filled Heart Containers are also preserved instead of being reduced when reloading a file.

A sleep option was also added to the save menu. This allows the player to leave their Game Boy Advance in a battery-saving mode and resume playing where they left off later.

Palace of the Four Sword[]

A new bonus dungeon, the Palace of the Four Sword, was added and can be found on the eastern side of the Pyramid of Power. It can only be accessed after completing the game and defeating Vaati in Four Swords on the same save file; otherwise a Gatekeeper will prevent Link from entering. Link faces several powered-up versions of the Dark World bosses throughout this dungeon, which are considerably stronger and require new tactics to defeat. These bosses guard the four colored blades necessary to destroy the barrier blocking the way to the final boss. The dungeon's final boss are a group of four Dark Links, which attack Link one by one.

The Palace of the Four Sword features an alternative credit sequence upon its completion. After the credits roll, a Quest Log shows how many times each item was used, times saved, Rupees found, enemies slain, and total play time.

Lumberjack's Riddles and Hurricane Spin[]

A new sidequest, known as the Lumberjack's Riddles, is available once the player has obtained 10 Medals of Courage in Four Swords and has defeated Agahnim the first time in the current game. The quest is given to Link by Q. Bumpkin, a Lumberjack that only appears in the port, and has Link collecting objects in a Basket to solve a series of riddles. After solving the tenth riddle, Link learns how to use the Hurricane Spin, a much more powerful version of the Spin Attack. He also receives three Statues resembling Link, Princess Zelda, and a Cucco.

Other Changes[]


  • The R-button now performs the same actions that the A-button originally did. The A-button now functions as the Y-button did.

User interface[]

  • When Link's Rupee, Arrow or Bomb carrying capacity is full, the color of the amount's number changes to yellow to signify this.
  • The secondary menu in the inventory screen that held the Bottles is now merged with the main screen, creating a new column on the right side. This is made possible due to the wider screen ratio of the Game Boy Advance.
  • The cursor in the inventory screen is now a pair of parenthesis instead of a circle.


  • The area south of Kakariko Village now plays the overworld theme instead of Kakariko's.
  • Link can now jump over some of the tombstones found in the Graveyard.
  • The Digging Game can now be played again without the need to leave and re-enter the area. Also, the sound effect played when an item is dug up is changed.
  • The cave in the Light World that can be accessed by using the Magic Mirror from outside Turtle Rock now contains Eyegores instead of Goriyas.
  • A piece of a broken bridge was added east of the Pyramid of Power in order for Link to see the Skulls used to cross the gap with the Hookshot.
  • The shop to the west of the Pyramid of Power now not only sells Red Shields, but also Fighter's Shields and, once Link obtains it from Turtle Rock, Mirror Shields. This is because Link can now lose his Mirror Shield to Like Likes, which now infest the area around the shop as well as the Palace of the Four Sword.
  • A new shop appears in the Village of Outcasts that sells Bees, Fairies and Golden Bees, though Link cannot buy Golden Bees until he shows the shopkeeper one from the Light World.
  • The Smithery is now called Smithy during the credits.
  • Dungeon names and their Level are now displayed on the screen when Link enters them.
  • One of the rooms in Hyrule Castle has a single Spear Soldier instead of the previous two.
  • The Ice Palace was altered to make the puzzle requiring Link to push a block to a lower floor slightly easier.
  • The symbol seen before activating the Treasure Chest containing the Big Key in the Eastern Palace is replaced with a new one.
  • The staircase leading to Ganon's Tower no longer makes Link walk faster halfway through it.
  • The platform with the Treasure Chest appearing after defeating Moldorm in Ganon's Tower is extended by one row.
  • The Telepathy Tile found in Chris Houlihan's room is no longer present.


  • During the prologue sequence, the blue Soldiers hold spears rather than swords as in the original Japanese version of the game.
  • The Witch's Assistant is replaced by Maple.
  • Trees in the Dark World only spit Bombs after being talked to, and only if they are unfriendly.


  • Obtaining an item which consumes Magic now fills the Magic Meter. Likewise, obtaining the Bow gives Link 10 Arrows.
  • The flames from the Lantern can now cause minor damage to enemies.
  • Light coming from the Lantern in dark rooms now disappears only after lighting every Torch in the room.
  • The archaic spelling "Faeries" has been changed to the much more common "Fairies".
  • The Good Bee has been renamed to the Golden Bee.
  • Pots can now be shattered using Arrows or the Golden Sword, and Silver Arrows can break through entire rows of pots. This new ability is used for puzzles in the Palace of the Four Sword. Signs can now also be destroyed with the Master Sword and its upgrades.
  • Bushes can now be destroyed using the Magic Hammer.
  • Link can now dive underwater using the Zora's Flippers. This allows him to dodge enemy attacks.
  • The Shovel now has its own inventory slot and is kept after finding the Flute. Link is also able to dig in all four directions instead of just right and left.
  • The Flute has a ninth destination point in addition to the original eight. This new location is at the top of the Light World equivalent of Turtle Rock.
  • The Super Bomb now grows in size when it is about to explode.
  • Link's hands no longer change color to indicate that he is wearing either the Power Glove or the Titan's Mitt.
  • Bomb drops no longer create a splash effect when appearing on water.
  • Upgrading an item at a Great Fairy Fountain now plays the "Get Item" jingle.
  • Items thrown into a Great Fairy Fountain now move up a down when retreived by a Great Fairy.

Enemies and Bosses[]

  • Enemies and bosses now flash white and shake when struck, rather than flash in multiple colors.
  • Crows are now more aggressive, however their Dark World counterparts, Dactos, are less so.[verification needed]
  • Fire breathed by Kodongos can no longer be seen in the darkness.
  • Goriyas keep moving even if Link is pushing a solid object.
  • Up to four Geldmen can appear at once instead of the previous three.
  • Stalfos in the Eastern Palace can no longer be defeated before spawning.
  • Like Likes appear in the Palace of the Four Sword and near the Shield Shop to the east of the Pyramid of Power. Much like the Pikits, they will eat Link's Shield, but will also run away and fly into the sky to prevent him from getting it back. They will even eat the Mirror Shield, which can be repurchased only in said Shield Shop.
  • Link can no longer shoot Arrows when defeating a Lanmola until it fully disappears.
  • Mothula can now be damaged by attacks of any of the Master Sword upgrades.
  • Kholdstare now has an animation when its shell is melted.
  • Ganon's arm when holding his Trident has been mirrored horizontally. This may either be a graphical glitch or an oversight.



The new title screen

  • The title screen has been slightly altered where the Master Sword is now blue in color, as opposed to purple in the original game. The background also takes up more of the screen and a "PRESS START" prompt now appears under the game's name.
  • The game has a lighter color palette to compensate for the lack of back light on the Game Boy Advance. However, the player can adjust the brightness on a file, and switching to "Dark" sets the colors closer to the original release. There is also a "Bright" option, which makes the colors even lighter.
  • There is an option to speed up and slow down the text speed.
  • The music and sound effects have been altered slightly due to the limited sound capabilities of the Game Boy Advance, resulting in some lower quality samples.
  • The icons that display at the top of the screen have been adjusted to compensate for the smaller screen size. The pause menu has also been adjusted.
  • Link now has voice samples as sound effects, which are taken from child Link. He will yell when attacking and falling down holes, and grunt when taking damage.
  • Certain sprites found in Dark World dungeons use the same green palette that is otherwise used for the overworld, as opposed to the blue palette used in all the original game's dungeons and the Light World. This has the effect of changing the color of certain enemies, such as Bari and Kyameron.
  • Certain Rocks and Skulls will sparkle on the overworld. If Link strikes these with his Sword, they will scatter Rupees. Link can continue striking them until they return to normal.
  • Pots make the same sound effect for shattering even if they fall down a pit, unlike in the original game.
  • Dropping Bombs or blocks created by the Cane of Somaria into a pit also makes the sound effect used when other items fall as well.
  • Rubble no longer falls from walls when blown with a Bomb.
  • Performing a Spin Attack on grass also cuts the grass patch Link is standing on.
  • Items dropped after bashing a Tree now produce a sound effect.
  • Dashing over landmines does not make them explode, unlike in the original where it would safety detonate them.
  • The Fairy Fountain theme no longer loops after a Great Fairy is summoned twice.
  • Link can now cancel a warp after being picked up by the bird summoned with the Ocarina.

Speedrun Records[]

Main article: Speedrun Records


TMC Forest Minish Artwork Names in Other Regions TMC Jabber Nut Sprite
Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese ゼルダの伝説 神々のトライフォース&4つの剣 (Zeruda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Toraifōsu & 4 Tsu no Tsurugi) The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods & 4 Swords


View Gallery
A Link to the Past Gallery
View Gallery
Four Swords Gallery

External Links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 7
  2. | Games Matrix - Game Boy Advance |, Nintendo Australia (archive), retrieved July 14, 2013.
  3. "Uhhnn... Link... I didn't want you involved in this... I told you not to leave home. You must rescue Princess Zelda... You are... the princess's... ... ... ..." — Blind the Thief (A Link to the Past)

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