The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords is the ninth main installment of The Legend of Zelda series, released alongside A Link to the Past for the Game Boy Advance as a package known as A Link to the Past & Four Swords. It was the first multiplayer The Legend of Zelda game to be released, requiring two to four Game Boy Advance systems with a copy of the game to be linked up. It is the first in the Four Swords series. The game introduced Vaati as a new main boss for the franchise. By 2004, A Link to the Past & Four Swords had sold 1.89 million copies worldwide.
As part of the 25th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda series, an enhanced port of the game was released for the Nintendo DSi and Nintendo 3DS as a limited-time free download, Four Swords Anniversary Edition.
"Long ago, in the kingdom of Hyrule, there appeared a Wind Sorcerer named Vaati. Vaati could bend the wind to his will and used this awful power to terrorize many villages of Hyrule. In his assaults on the villages, Vaati would kidnap any beautiful girls who caught his fancy.
Many knights from the castle and other brave men set out to subdue the sorcerer and rescue the girls, but each one fell in turn to Vaati's awesome power. Just as the people had begun to lose hope, a lone young boy traveling with little but a sword at his side appeared.
When this boy heard what was happening, he said only, "I will defeat this sorcerer." He boldly entered Vaati's palace, mystically trapped the evil sorcerer inside the blade of his sword, and returned the young girls to their villages. The boy then went deep into the forest and disappeared.
The villagers asked the girls how a boy so young could have saved them all and defeated the sorcerer when no one else could. The young girls told a story of how with just a wave of his sword, the boy's body shattered into four pieces, each of which then formed a complete copy of the boy. These four young boys then worked together to defeat the sorcerer. The people did not believe the story, but they called it the Four Sword nonetheless. As rumors of the blade's power to divide a person into four entities spread, the people built a shrine to protect it.
Princess Zelda of the land of Hyrule was a beautiful young girl born with mysterious power to sense approaching forces of evil. For this reason, she was assigned with the sacred duty of protecting the shrine of the Four Sword and the blade itself. One day, Zelda was in Hyrule Castle when she sensed that something unusual was occurring at the Four Sword Shrine. She asked a boy named Link, whom she trusted above anyone else, to accompany her to investigate the happenings at the shrine..."
Defeat of the Wind Mage at the hand of the Four Heroes
As they approached the shrine to check on the seal, suddenly a dark figure grabbed princess Zelda. The seal on Vaati had weakened over time, and Vaati managed to break out of his prison within the Four Sword. Having still no memory of his time as a Picori, or the power of the Light Force, Vaati did not recognize the princess and saw only a fair maiden. He decided she was to become his bride to commemorate his return and took off with her to his palace. After being instructed by fairies, Link takes the Four Sword from its pedestal and is split into four, as the legend foretold. The Great Fairies could help Link to get to the Palace of Winds, but not until he proved himself courageous enough. After traveling over three different lands and the dungeons they contained, Link and his three other selves confronted the wind mage in the Palace of Winds, the seat of Vaati's power. After an arduous battle between the sorcerer and the heroes, Link was able to reseal Vaati into the Four Sword blade.
Four Swords has many features not seen in other The Legend of Zelda series games. It requires at least two people to play and uses randomly generated dungeons.
Floors of stages are made of two parts. These two parts are randomly interchanged to produce random floors. To move onto the next floor of a stage, all the Links must reach the warp zone. The faster they reach the Warp Zone the bigger the Rupee bonus. After clearing two floors, or nine floors if clearing Vaati's Palace with the Hero Keys, the Links will be warped to a boss room. After defeating a boss, with the exception of Vaati, a Great Fairy will appear. Depending on the number of Rupees collected, they will give the Links either a silver key, a gold key, a hero key, or in some cases no key at all. The Link who did the best in a stage will receive a Medal of Courage. These medals are needed to acquire certain items and a technique in A Link to the Past. The number of players playing the game, as well as which epic they are playing through, affects the type of random areas and items that will appear during a playthrough.
When a Link loses all of his hearts, he will be downed. A Link is incapable of moving while down until he pays a penalty of Rupees to be revived. The first revival costs 50 Rupees, but the amount needed increases by another 50 Rupees each time a Link is downed. The maximum cost of a revival is 500 Rupees. If a Link does not have enough Rupees to be revived, the game ends. If all Links have filled all of their heart containers, any Rupees a Link finds will be worth twice its normal value.
The Three Epics
The first time through Four Swords, the team of players will struggle through the first three levels for silver keys in order to complete the game. However, after completing the game, there is an option of going back through it two more times. Each epic has a different ending, and to fully complete the game, all three epics must be played.
- The First Epic: The first time through the game, the team will need to collect a total of at least 1000 Rupees per stage in order to get Silver Keys to open the path to Vaati's Palace.
- The Second Epic: Stages are a bit harder, and if the team already has Silver Keys, they may try to collect a sum of 3000 Rupees in order to receive Gold Keys to Vaati's Palace.
- The Final Epic: If the team of Gold Key holders can collect a total of 5000 Rupees per stage, the Links will receive Hero's Keys from each level. In the final epic, Vaati's Palace has four boss battles, instead of the usual one boss.
As can be observed in the plots of the three games featuring the Four Sword, Four Swords takes place many years after the events of The Minish Cap, and before Four Swords Adventures. The opening scenes of Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures cements the continuity of the three-game mini-series, dubbed the "Four Sword Series".
The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma said Four Swords was meant as the first game in the timeline, leading many theorists to place it before Ocarina of Time, while others thought that its placement may have changed with the release of Four Swords Adventures and other Zelda titles.
According to the official timeline released in Hyrule Historia, The Minish Cap and Four Swords take place between Skyward Sword and Ocarina of Time, while Four Swords Adventures takes place after Twilight Princess.
|Any%||Blank||1m 50s||Janurary 18, 2020|
|Any% (No Major Glitches)||RealAlphaGamer||1h 18m 59s||April 19, 2018|
|100%||RealAlphaGamer||1h 34m 12s||April 21, 2018|
|Low%||RealAlphaGamer||1h 52m 4s||April 20, 2018|
|Obtain the Master Sword||RealAlphaGamer||20m 33s||April 20, 2018|
|Obtain the Mirror Shield||RealAlphaGamer||45m 51s||April 20, 2018|
|Any% (Game Boy Advance)||legrandgrand
|20m 42s||July 7, 2016|
Ports and Remakes
Four Swords: Anniversary Edition
As part of the 25th Anniversary of the series, a special edition known as Four Swords: Anniversary Edition was made available as a free download as DSiWare for the Nintendo DSi and Nintendo 3DS between September 28, 2011 and February 20, 2012. It was later made available again as a free download for the Nintendo 3DS between January 30 and February 2, 2014, in North America only, to celebrate the release of A Link Between Worlds. The port features several changes and additions not present in the original, most notably a single-player mode and two new stages, the Realm of Memories and Hero's Trial. Due to A Link to the Past no longer being paired with it, rewards that could be unlocked and carried over from that game are now obtained in the new stages instead.
- Even though The Wind Waker was the first Zelda game to use the cel-shading graphics style, Four Swords was the first to use the style's accompanying 2D art elements.
- Four Swords is the first game featuring a dungeon set entirely in the clouds.
- It is the first multiplayer Zelda game.
- In Four Swords, the player does not get the option of choosing a name for Link, akin to Four Swords Adventures and Breath of the Wild. This was changed in the Anniversary Edition.
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||ゼルダの伝説 4つの剣 (Zeruda no Densetsu Yotsu no Tsurugi)||The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords|
|Korean||젤다의 전설 4개의 검|
- Official North American website
- Official North American Anniversary Edition website
- Official Japanese website
- Official Japanese Anniversary Edition website
- Four Swords page on Zelda.com
- Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 7
- | Games Matrix - Game Boy Advance |, Nintendo Australia (Web archive), retrieved July 14, 2013.
- 젤다의 전설 4개의 검+, Daewon C.I., retrieved March 25, 2021.
- Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 10
- Xenogears vs. Tetris, RPGGamer.
- "[Four Swords] will be available for free in the 3DS and DSi shops between September 28, 2011 and February 20, 2012." — Four Swords Anniversary Edition: release date and new levels, Zelda Universe, published September 13th, 2011.
- "It is said that the body of who touches this blade will be shattered to pieces. It has mysterious powers... Legends say that when mighty Vaati attacked, a hero arose and saved the people from destruction. They go on to say that by using this sword, the one was as four, and the four combined their strength!" — Princess Zelda (Four Swords)
- "When all hope seemed lost a young boy carrying little more than a sword appeared. According to the legends, when the boy drew his sword, he split into four, the four-who-are-one worked together to vanquish Vaati. [...] Ages flowed by... The wind sorcerer Vaati broke free of his prison and kidnapped Zelda, the princess of Hyrule. Princess Zelda's childhood friend Link used the power of the Four Sword to defeat Vaati and seal him away once again." — N/A (Four Swords Adventures)
- "The GBA Four Swords Zelda is what we’re thinking as the oldest tale in the Zelda timeline." —Eiji Aonuma (Game Informer A Legend Of Zelda: The Eiji Aonuma Interview.)
- 4 Swords, 4 Free, 4 Days Only, Nintendo eShop.