When Nintendo readied a Game Boy Advance rendition of the classic Super NES smash The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, they probably figured that they needed something new to draw in players who had conquered the Light World and Dark World back in 1993. Working with Capcom, they produced a new multiplayer(!) Zelda game in the form of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords.

Included as a second game on the LttP cartridge, Four Swords follows the adventure of Link as the evil wind demon Vaati kidnaps Princess Zelda. Link retrieves the Sword of Four from the forest and finds himself split into four different Links! Players must link-up their GBAs with up to three friends (who must also have a FS cartridge) and each takes control of a different Link. Players will notice immediately that the Links in this game are different from the LttP Link. This is because the Four Swords adventure takes place in the same world and timeline as the Nintendo GameCube game The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

While initially the multiplayer aspect of the game may seem to be a mere gimmick, before long the Links will find themselves forced to work together. There are numerous hazards and obstacles that will take the multiLinks' full cooperation with each other. For example, one Link might need to stand on a switch while another Link goes through a door. Also, a boss might require two Links pulling on it from opposite directions to reveal a weak point which the other two Links must attack. Teamwork is essential, but don't worry if you don't have three friends to play the game with. Four Swords is perfectly functional with two or three players. The game will never introduce an obstacle that requires more than the number of Links that you have. Unfortunately, Four Swords must be played with at least two players. This is not a single player adventure. The single player aspect is why the LttP game is included on the cartridge, but even it plays an important part in Four Swords. Items earned in LttP can be used in FS, and likewise objectives completed in FS unlock new bonus dungeons in LttP that, while fun extras, do not impact the main plot of the game.

Four Swords was released in December 2002 so it's obviously readily available at game retailers. Nintendo even has a Nintendo Player's Guide for the title and it includes extensive coverage of LttP as well. While it may not be the all-star Zelda adventure that fans were hoping for, Four Swords will definitely keep players busy until the next great game in the series comes along, a Nintendo GameCube rendition of the game called The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures.

Playing the game

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