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The ninth game in The Legend of Zelda series, Four Swords is actually a multiplayer mode that comes with the 2002 Game Boy Advance remake of A Link to the Past. It's the first multiplayer Zelda (and, until the DSiWare version, it was exclusively multiplayer) and was also the first game released to use the stylized cel-shaded design for Link that would later be used in The Wind Waker. It also had a few features to connect to A Link to the Past, such as new sword moves unlocked in A Link to the Past being transferred to Four Swords, and a secret dungeon in A Link to the Past upon beating both games.

The story for the game, though not terribly important, involved the wind sorcerer Vaati, who had been sealed away before, escaping from his seal and capturing Princess Zelda. Link obtains the Four Sword and uses its magic powers to split into four copies of himself (green, red, blue, and purple). The four Links must work together to defeat their foes in the various areas and make their way to the final fight against Vaati. Of course, there's plenty of room for competition as well as cooperation.

Four Swords was rereleased in 2011, unattached to Link to the Past, for DSiWare download as part of Zelda's 25th anniversary. Besides the advantages of being on a system with built-in wireless multiplayer (the GBA had to use link cables), this edition also includes a single-player mode. The single-player mode only features two Links and gives players control of both by using the X button to call the second Link to the first one (after which the second Link follows the first one and manipulates objects with him) and the L and R buttons to separate them and switch between them. Although the first Link is always green in single-player mode, players may choose which of the three colors the second one is, and this can be changed anytime the game is loaded rather than being permanent. (Multiplayer mode lets you use the X button to call for help, though the other Links don't have to respond...)

Tropes used in The Legend of Zelda Four Swords include:


  • Adaptation Expansion: Much like all the other games, a manga was made for this game as well. Within it, we get seperated personalties for the four Links, a characterization for Shadow Link, and some insight of everything that was going on, as well as proof that Zelda was mentally strong.
    • All In The Game: However, though it advertises itself as a manga for the remake, the plotpoint with the Maidens is only ever explored twice; we see them captured, they free two of them, and that's it. If it weren't for the game, no one would really know their use.
  • Blow You Away: Vaati's wind powers.
  • Bonus Dungeon: You need to beat it in order to unlock the bonus dungeon of A Link to the Past. If you don't have any friends who also have this game, you may be tempted to invest in an Action Replay or just walk through the walls.
    • The DSiWare remake added a couple to Four Swords itself; the Realm of Memories and the Hero's Trial are two bonus dungeons you can unlock. The rewards for completing these dungeons were previously available in the original, but getting them required progress in A Link to the Past to unlock them. [1]
  • Bubbly Clouds: The Palace of Winds.
  • But Thou Must!: The second game forces you to free Vaati.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Shadow Link is black, while the four hero Links are blue, red, green, and purple. Bosses often have colored weak points that have to be hit by the Link whose color corresponds to it.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer
  • Co-Op Multiplayer
  • Evil Sorcerer: Vaati, the Wind Mage/Sorceror.
  • Excuse Plot: There's no story at all beyond Zelda getting kidnapped and you having to go save her.
  • Faceless Eye: Vaati
  • Forced Tutorial: The Chambers of Insight, which you must complete before going on to any other levels.
  • High Altitude Battle: The final battle against Vaati in the Palace of Winds.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Vaati escapes his prison and immediately tries to get Zelda to become his bride... However, it's common knowledge that Vaati has tried this before, and he had seized a seven-girl harem in the backstory for the sequel.
  • Lost Forever: The DSiWare Anniversary Edition, for those who did not download it before February 20, 2012. Fortunately, you can just buy a used DSi or 3DS with it already downloaded if that's a problem, due to the shop accounts being bound to hardware.
  • Me's a Crowd
  • Milestone Celebration: The DSiWare release is part of Zelda's 25th anniversary.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: The boss of the Sea of Trees.
  • Nostalgia Level: The Realm of Memories in the DSiWare version, including stages based on A Link to The Past, Links Awakening, and the original The Legend of Zelda. The graphics and music even change accordingly.
  • One Game for the Price of Two: Literally, it's impossible to play the game past the opening cutscene and title screen without at least two copies of the game. Very frustrating if you want to see the Four-Swords-dependent bonus features in the A Link To The Past remake on the same Game Pack. Yes, this is a combination of One Game for the Price of Two and Two Games For The Price Of One. You may pick your jaw up now.
    • Averted with the free DSiWare remake, which includes a single-player mode, but doesn't include A Link to the Past, making it just One Game For The Price Of Zero.
  • Prequel: Set before Ocarina of Time, according to Hyrule Historia.
  • Save the Princess
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Vaati's sealed within the Four Sword.
  • Socialization Bonus: As it's a Game Boy Advance game and requires a link cable, you need friends in order to play this game.
    • The method of obtaining the Sword Beam and Hurricane Slash in the original version inverts this -- they require getting the Master Sword and learning the Hurricane Slash skill in A Link to the Past, which is single-player, with the latter skill being new to the Game Boy Advance version. This is not the case in the DSiWare version, however, which added bonus dungeons that unlock those skills once completed.
    • Averted with the free DSiWare remake, which can be played in Multiplayer AND solo. Of course, the more players you have, the more fun you will have, and now it's possible to team up with your friends to get the special skills that previously could only be obtained alone.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: If you die, you lose all the powerup seeds you've collected up to that point, making it harder to avoid dying again. (And every time you die you lose more rupees than last time.)
  • Updated Rerelease: The DSiWare remake. While it lacks A Link to the Past, it makes up for it by being free, including a single-player mode, making the multiplayer mode wireless, and having two bonus dungeons (one of which is a Nostalgia Level).
  • We Cannot Go on Without You: Since rupees are shared among all players, the death of one player will cause everyone to lose rupees to revive the player, and the penalty to revive them increases for every death. Should a player go down and doesn't have the money to get revived, everyone gets a game over.

Notes

  1. The first reward, the Beam Sword, was acquired by obtaining the Master Sword during standard gameplay; the second, the Hurricane Spin, required completion of a sidequest that required 10 Medals of Courage from Four Swords to even initiate.
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