For episode 3 of my quest to replay every Zelda game up to Link’s Awakening, I replayed The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, the original Game Boy Advance version of the game (not to be confused with Four Swords Adventures, which released two years later for GameCube).
Four Swords is unlike any other traditional Zelda game because you must play it with one-or-more friends. It’s one of the only multiplayer Zelda titles around — and it’s also the best of them. I enlisted a friend and my trusty old Link Cable to play.
Four Swords laid the foundation for multiplayer Zelda
In the game, every player (up to four) is assigned a color and must cooperate to complete four different dungeons. Each of the four dungeons has three stages and a boss. In these stages, players are pitted against standard Zelda enemies and puzzles. Solving the puzzles requires teamwork. To make things more interesting, players are also engaged in a rupee-collecting contest. In the rupee competition, whichever player has the most rupees at the end of a stage receives a reward (usually a power-up of some kind). Additionally, players must collect a certain number of rupees as a team to progress through each stage.
My friend and I had a ton of fun playing through Four Swords. Each of the stages, while short, was decently challenging. The game introduced new enemies and bosses that required cool multiplayer mechanics to defeat, like pulling enemies apart and slashing a color-coded spot with your sword. The rupee-collecting contest, along with the several different power-ups you can pick up and the ability to literally throw your friend into a bottomless pit, added a nice change of pace to the standard puzzle-solving, enemy-slashing Zelda experience.
Unfortunately, since the game only has 12 total stages and a few bosses, it is quite short. My playthrough only took an evening. Also, since the game is primarily a multiplayer dungeon crawler, there is minimal story whatsoever. However, even with the brevity of the game and the lack of a story, I definitely recommend giving Four Swords a shot.
Hey, listen! Next up on my quest, I’ll be playing one of the best games of all time, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time! See you then!