The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords

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A Link to the Past & Four Swords
Developer Nintendo, Flagship
Publisher Nintendo
System Game Boy Advance
Release Date US December 3, 2002
JP March 14, 2003
EU March 28, 2003
Genre Adventure
Gallery FS Gallery
ALttP Gallery
Rating ESRB: E

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords is the first Zelda game for the Game Boy Advance and contains two different games. The first is a remake of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and the other is the brand new multiplayer game The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords.


Story (Four Swords)

Years ago, the evil wind mage Vaati kidnapped maidens from across the land until he was defeated by a younger hero. The hero used a sword to split himself into four people, who worked together to defeat Vaati and seal him within the sword. The sword was preserved in a sanctuary and became known as the Four Sword.

One day Princess Zelda takes her childhood friend Link to check on the seal of the Four Sword because she suspects it is weakening. But Vaati had already escaped, and he kidnaps Zelda and retreats to his Wind Palace with her. Link draws the Four Sword and is split into multiple people, who must work together to defeat Vaati.


A Link to the Past

A Link to the Past is similar to the original game. Additions include a new translation of the script (which fixes many translation errors from the original game, such as reverting the wise men to sages), a new dungeon, a new sidequest, and voice clips of Link shouting from the Nintendo 64 games.

Four Swords

Four Swords is entirely new and very much unlike other games in the series. For one, the game is divided into levels, and each level's terrain is chosen randomly. Then of course, it is the first multiplayer Zelda game. Four Swords can only be played with from two to four players who each have a copy of the game. In each level, the Links must both cooperate to progress through the level and compete to gather the most Rupees.

Continuity Notes

  • Hyrule Historia's official timeline has shown Four Swords as one of the few games taking place early in Hyrule's history and prior to the timeline split. It is set after The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (which has always been a prequel to the Four Swords) and is followed by Ocarina of Time.
  • This game introduces Vaati, who is notable as being the only Zelda' villain other than Ganon to have a main role in multiple games.
  • A Link to the Past adds the Palace of the Four Sword, which references the Four Swords games and adds Shadow Links into the mix. However, it is uncertain whether or not this location is actually canon, as it is not acknowledged in the Hyrule Historia, and while the ending of Four Swords Adventures looked like it could lead into A Link to the Past, both games have been officially placed on separate branches of the timeline.


Four Swords started a subseries within the Zelda series which featured references to Vaati and the Four Sword rather instead of Ganon or the Master Sword, although Ganon did make an appearance in one of the Four Swords games.


The next Zelda game to be released, just a week later, was The Wind Waker. Four Swords itself later received a sequel, Four Swords Adventures for the Gamecube, and a prequel, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. A Four Swords game was also in development for the Nintendo DS at one point until it was replaced with Phantom Hourglass.

Ports and Remakes

  • In 2011, Nintendo announced its intentions to rerelease Four Swords as a standalone DSiWare game that would be available for free. It originally appeared to be a simple port with the main exception being the ease of multiplayer, but The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition was later revealed to have a host of new features, including new levels based on other Zelda games and an optional single-player mode.

See Also

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