The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures is a game in The Legend of Zelda series for the GameCube. It is one of the few games that utilizes the Game Boy Advance - GameCube Link Cable. As with any game that uses this cable, it is incompatible with the Nintendo DS.
Although it's gameplay focus is on multi-player, there is a single player campaign where one can use a normal GameCube controller to control the four Link's. In this mode, the player must control all Link's at once, ordering them into one of four formations.
Four Swords Adventures contains two games, except for the original Japanese version which includes 3. Hyrulean Adventure is a co-operative (though there are some competitive elements) multi-player adaptation of the conventional The Legend of Zelda gameplay. Shadow Battle is a competitive multi-player battle mode. Tetra's Trackers is a third game that was never included outside of Japan.
Hyrulean Adventure (previously known as "Hyrule Adventure" and "Four Swords") uses most of the same mechanics as the previously-released Four Swords for the Game Boy Advance, but unlike its predecessor has a single player mode available. The multi-player version requires each player to have a Game Boy Advance, 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 Game Boy Advance. There are always four Link characters (differentiated by their tunic color) in play, regardless of the number of people playing; "extra" Links are attached to those directly controlled and positioned around the controlling character.
The graphics combine elements of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past with the cel-shaded fluid style of The Wind Waker. There is a significant decrease in flair when the action is transferred to the Game Boy Advance screen.
Princess Zelda asks her childhood friend, Link, to accompany her to the shrine where the Four Sword rests, as she's sensed a growing evil there with her psychic powers. Dark Link appears and attacks them, Link, without a weapon, pulls the Four Sword from its pedestal, breaking the seal made by a different Link and Zelda at the end of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. The evil wind mage Vaati is released. When Link picks up the Sword, it's power is activated, and he is split into four people.
Zelda is kidnapped. She and Seven Maidens are trapped in crystals that are being guarded by monsters all across Hyrule. The four Links now have to travel around Hyrule and rescue the maidens and Princess Zelda and use their power to defeat Vaati.
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Vaati's plan was to actually resurrect the spirit Ganon. Ganon's human form, Ganondorf, the evil Gerudo king, was killed at the end of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. But the Guerdo tribe birth a new male Geurdo king every few centuries, and the most recent ruler had come of age and stolen a sacred Gerudo artifact: Ganon's trident. Apparently, the trident housed the power to awaken Ganon's spirit. Assisted by Vaati's magic, Ganon is brought back into Hyrule. Just as the Links and Zelda are escaping Vaati's crumbling tower the floor breaks away and they fall into Ganon's lair. Princess Zelda uses her magic to seal both Vaati and Ganon inside the Four Sword itself, and put it back on the pedestal. So far, no other game in the series has explained how or when they escape.
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 the same as the first five, but the player has limited vision).
Tetra's Trackers is only on the Japanese version of Four Swords Adventures (Four Swords +). In this game, multiple players, using a combination of the television screen and Game Boy Advances, search for members of Tetra's pirate gang to gain stamps from them, as many as possible within a given time limit. All action takes place on the Game Boy Advance used by each player, with the television screen showing a basic map and Tetra narrating the action.
Unlike most other Zelda games, players could enter their name as well as choose their gender; however they played as one of the Links regardless of this choice.
Unique in the Zelda series, Tetra and her pirate crew have full voice-overs in place of text-only dialogue, with Tetra also synthesizing the two-character name that each player inputs at the beginning of the session, possibly why this game was not localized for the English release. In an early version of the game showed to review sites Tetra apparently spoke English reportedly, one line was something like "Let's hear it for Mrs. A!" and was able to pronounce at least some synthesized phonetic letters, A, B, C, and D, as shown in screenshots (it is to be assumed the full alphabet was available).
However, while the two-symbol rule worked fine for Japanese players, English is a phonetic language, not a syllabic language. For example, if a player's name was Sarah that is two syllables, so if a sound-alike equivalent of that name was entered via Japanese characters, Tetra could easily pronounce "Sar-ahh" as a fairly realistic representation of the player's name. But this would not work with the Japanese version's implementation of English characters. Each of the two permissible characters being pronounced, the aforementioned player's name could only be "SA". Since the English voice had already been added, this technical barrier is the likeliest reason for its omission.
A single-player mode is also available, either collecting alone or in competition with Tingle.
- Official web site of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (defunct)
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures on Wikipedia