- "The epic continues... And this time Link's not alone."
- — Four Swords Adventures trailer
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (ゼルダの伝説 4つの剣+ Zeruda no Densetsu: Yottsu no Tsurugi +?, lit. Legend of Zelda: Swords of Four +) is the eleventh installment of the Legend of Zelda series, released for the Nintendo GameCube in Japan on March 18, 2004, North America on June 7, 2004, and Europe on January 7, 2005. It utilizes the GBA-to-GameCube cable.
The story begins with the land of Hyrule being in a state of fear due to strange happenings that have occurred in recent days. One stormy night, Princess Zelda and the shrine maidens fear that the reason for these events is that Vaati's seal is weakening. She summons Link and brings him to the castle so he can protect her and the other maidens while they open the portal to the Four Sword Sanctuary. When they do, however, a dark figure appears from the portal. This figure was Shadow Link, who then kidnapped the shrine maidens and sealed them in crystals. Link follows him to the sanctuary where he retrieves the Four Sword to destroy this evil version of himself. When he does, Vaati is once again released and wreaks havoc on the once peaceful kingdom.
As the game progresses, Link learns that the creation of his evil counterpart and the release of Vaati is only a small part in an insidious plot to take control of Hyrule. Things complicate as the dimension of the Dark World appears and people are being abducted throughout Hyrule. Link learns that not only have the Knights of Hyrule mysteriously disappeared, but evil versions of them have been creating havoc. The castle has been taken over and monsters were appearing everywhere.
It is revealed later in the game that the true villain is none other than Ganon, King of Darkness. He has stolen a powerful Trident and used it to take control of parts of Hyrule. He stole the Dark Mirror and used it to create Shadow Link and then sent him to kidnap the shrine maidens and trick Link into releasing Vaati. Ganon wanted to gain control of as much power as possible and build up his army. To this end, he wants to take control of the shrine maidens' power as well as abducting people and sending them into the Dark World where they would become part of his army. Vaati, unknowingly, furthered his plans by creating monsters to add to his army. It is also revealed that the Knights of Hyrule were murdered by Ganon and their souls were trapped in the Dark World where they became creatures of Darkness. Link eventually saves the shrine maidens, retrieves the Dark Mirror, defeats Shadow Link and Vaati, and faces Ganon in an ultimate showdown. Link defeats Ganon and seals him firmly in the Four Sword. Peace returns to Hyrule and the people celebrate as all traces of the evil that plagued Hyrule are vanquished.
The main mode of Four Swords Adventures is Hyrulean Adventure, an episodic, cooperative multiplayer adaptation of the conventional Legend of Zelda gameplay. Shadow Battle is a competitive multiplayer battle mode. Navi Trackers, present only in the Japanese version of the game (and displayed briefly at E3 before the US release), is a multiplayer stamp rally race.
Hyrulean Adventure is the main campaign Four Swords Adventures, and can be played by one to four players. It consists of eight worlds, each with three stages and a boss battle. The graphics are similar to that of the Game Boy Advance version, but the maps are static rather than randomly generated and the game includes GameCube-designed effects taken from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Music is based on that of A Link to the Past but is rearranged in places.
In Hyrulean Adventure, most of the same mechanics as the previously-released Four Swords for the Game Boy Advance (GBA) are used. The multiplayer version requires each player to have a GBA, which is used as a controller and to which the action transfers when that player's character goes off the main screen, but the single player game may be played with either a GameCube controller or a GBA. There are always four Link characters (differentiated by different colors: the main green, red, blue and purple) in play, regardless of the number of people playing; "extra" Links are attached to those directly controlled and positioned around the controlling character. Normally, the extra Links just follow the player, but players can separate an individual Link and control it alone, or put the four Links into formations. These techniques are required to solve some puzzles and defeat certain enemies. Players are encouraged to work together to gather enough Force Gems to empower the Four Sword, destroy the Vaati Barrier, and progress to the next area; failing to do so by the time the Boss is defeated results in having to go back to the beginning of the stage to collect more.
Players are also allowed to play mini-games at Tingle's Towers (in multiplayer mode) found in every world, to gain extra multiplayer lives. These eight games are earned by playing though certain stages in multiplayer mode. The mini-games include horse racing, a hammer tag, monster hunting, and five others.
In Shadow Battle, two or more players battle each other until only one is left standing. As in Hyrulean Adventure, each player uses a different-colored Link character and wields various tools to attack the other Links. Five bonus maps for Shadow Battle are unlocked upon completion of Hyrulean Adventure (these maps are almost the same as the first five, but the player has limited vision). In each stage, items randomly appear. These are usually similar to the items in Hyrulean Adventure. There are also many special objects in each stage. Players can use these objects to their advantage.
There are 5 stages in Shadow Battle that players choose to play on before they fight. The stages come in both light and dark versions, but the dark versions are not unlocked until the player has completed Hyrulean Adventure.
A small section in the Hylian field. It may look innocent, but it is full of booby traps, as well as switches and dangerous objects hidden in the house, cave, and trees.
The Tower of Flames
A small section home to many caves and switches, as well as a large pool of lava and lots of bombs. Most players would say that this is the most lethal stage in the game.
An area in front of Hyrule Castle. There are many Guards, and occasionally Chief Soldiers or Ball & Chain Troopers will appear. Players can avoid these enemies by traveling to the Dark World for a limited time using Moon Gates that occasionally appear. The Dark World is home to items, as well as an orb that has a rare item inside.
Tower of the Winds
A large tower. Players can enter the Dark World through one of the many doors. They have unlimited time in the Dark World, so they will have plenty of time to use the switches to drop giant bombs on the light world.
Above the Clouds
This stage takes place on a cloud. There is a flame jet that rotates, and players can go to the middle platform and control the flame jet with a lever in the basement.
Despite the fact that all translation for the PAL version was finished in October, the game did not see its way to Europe until early January 2005. A possible reason for this is so that the game did not compete with The Minish Cap for sales, which in turn was released pre-Christmas in Europe because, unlike North America, it would not canabalise Nintendo DS sales.
Dummied data within the game implied that the original plotline was intended to tie in to the Imprisoning War that was alluded to in A Link to the Past. Most of these were cut due to Shigeru Miyamoto suggesting a simpler plot.
The official Four Swords Adventures trailer from IGN 425px
In other media
A manga novelization of the game was made by the manga author Akira Himekawa. One major bit is that each of the four Links was a distinct personality: the Link in green (Nicknamed "Green") acted similarly to his normal self, courageous and focused, the Link in red ("Red") was portrayed as a childish optimist, the one in blue ("Blue") was quick-tempered and aggressive, and the one in violet ("Vio") was aloof and self-possessive. This of course caused the four Links to argue amongst one another due to their conflicting personas. The four decided to use nick-names so they wouldn't confuse each other.
- Volume 1
- 1. The Four Links
- 2. Hyrule Castle Falls
- 3. Elne and Rosy
- 4. The Separated Links
- 5. The Pyramid Struggle
- 6. The Temple of Darkness
- Volume 2
- 7. Climb Death Mountain
- 8. Sad Shadow Link
- 9. On to the Tower of Winds
- 10. A Fight Against Father
- 11.The Immortal Demon Vaati
- 12.The Four Sword Forever
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords
- Locations in Four Swords Adventures
- Four Swords Adventures Characters
- Four Swords Adventures Glitches
- Four Swords Adventures Secrets
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures official site
- Four Swords Adventures page at Zelda.com
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures at Nintendo.com
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures at GameFAQs
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures at MobyGames
- Collection of reviews of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
|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|