The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
From Gamehiker Wiki
|The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap|
|System||Game Boy Advance, 3DS Virtual Console|
|Release Date|| Game Boy Advance|
JP November 4, 2004
EU November 12, 2004
US January 10, 2005
3DS Virtual Console
JP/AU December 15, 2011 (Ambassador)
US/EU December 16, 2011 (Ambassador)
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap is the first full Zelda adventure on the Game Boy Advance, developed by the people behind the Oracles games and Four Swords. This game completes the Four Swords subseries (for the time being), which also included Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures. However, this game acts as a prequel to the other two.
The game initially began development in 2001 as Flagship's Game Boy Advance follow-ups to their previous pair of handheld Zeldas, Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages. However, production of the game was put on hold once they decided to add the Four Swords game to the A Link to the Past remake in order to focus their resources on that game. The Minish Cap finally resumed production at some point afterwards.
It begins at a swordsman contest being held at Hyrule Castle. Link, whose grandfather is a blacksmith, was tasked with delivering the sword that would be given to the contest's winner. This contest was won by a mysterious young man named Vaati. But it soon became apparent that what Vaati was interested in was not the prize, but what was inside the Bound Chest. But not finding what he was looking for, he turned Zelda to stone and vanished.
Link set off to find a way to save Zelda and stop Vaati from whatever he was plotting. He was soon joined by Ezlo, a hat in the shape of a bird's head. Using Ezlo's powers, Link was able to shrink and enter the tiny world of the Picori people, who are also known at the Minish. At his new size, he soon discovers that some of his weaker foes are now colossal giants. Link sets out to travel at both normal and miniature size in order to restore the broken Picori Blade so that he could defeat Vaati.
This game takes on the familiar overhead gameplay of the previous 2-D Zelda games. It also incorporates elements from the 3-D games by allowing Link to roll and learn a variety of sword techniques. Many classic items such as the boomerang return, and Link also has new equipment such as the Gust Jar and the Mole Mitts.
The game's main feature is Link's ability to shrink while standing on special areas. In shrunken form, Link can access out-of-reach areas, and some of the game's dungeons can be accessed only by the shrunken Link, The shrunken Link can also talk to most animals, but some will attack him instead. Additionally, there are a variety of sidequests which mostly revolve around Kinstones, special stones that are all split into halves. Link can fuse his Kinstone pieces with nearly anyone, and doing so will unlock new areas, items or enemies.
- In the official timeline, The Minish Cap is shown to be the second game following Skyward Sword. This reflects The Minish Cap appearing to be set early in Hyrule's history (with no sign of Ganon or the Triforce). It is chronologically followed by Four Swords.
- The game is set as a prequel to the Four Swords games, although there are still some gaps between the later games. The game depicts Vaati's origin, shows the Palace of Winds's earlier use and also shows the creation of the Four Sword. However, the Four Sword does not gain the exact ability it has in the later games (although this could just be for gamplay purposes). Additionally, the game does not show how Vaati came to specialize in wind magic or how he wound up in his one-eyed monster form, and as it ends with his apparent destruction it does not cleanly lead into the Four Swords backstory. Hyrule Historia glosses over this by simply stating that Vaati returned one day with no memory of his past.
- This game does introduce the "light force", which is vaguely defined, although the evidence within the games implies that it is the source of the magic powers held by the various Princess Zeldas. The fact that this game also features a capless Link and shows how he got his hat at the end could also imply that this is the historical origin of the hat worn by most Links, although this is less clear. Both of these points were later undermined by Skyward Sword, which showed a different origin for Zelda's special powers, and it showed that there was a cap-wearing Link prior to The Minish Cap.
- While most games set in Hyrule feature some of the same landmark locations, this game notably lacks most of them in favor of original locations, save for Lake Hylia (which has a different water source) as well as recurring structures such as Hyrule Castle and Lon Lon Ranch.
- It is unknown if this is an intentional consistency, but this game sets up ancient civilizations in Hyrule's sky. This would be expanded in later games, although it is uncertain how the civilization referred to in Twilight Princess and the people of Skyloft from Skyward Sword (who are actually early Hylians) are related to the Wind Tribe who appear in this game.
- One item to appear in the game is the Ocarina of Wind, which has the same capabilities as the ocarina from A Link to the Past. Although it is unknown if this is the same bird, the bird is shown to be named Zeffa. The ocarina's tune is also the same tune played by the flute in The Legend of Zelda.
- This game, like most handheld Zeldas, contains counterparts of various characters who originally appeared in the N64 games, as well as several who are based on The Wind Waker characters. The most notable of such characters are Nayru, Din and Farore, who are based on the characters from the Oracle games. Nayru and Din's figurine entries actually reference the Oracle characters and establish them as part of the same bloodline, which explains their similarities.
This has been the last "Four Swords" game so far. The next Zelda game to be released was Twilight Princess.
Ports and Remakes
- In 2011, The Minish Cap was included amongst the set of Game Boy Advance games that were released for free download on the 3DS to those participating in the Ambassador Program. It has yet to receive a normal eShop release.
|Titles in the Zelda Series|
|The Legend of Zelda - The Adventure of Link - A Link to the Past - Link's Awakening - Ocarina of Time (3D)|
Majora's Mask - Oracle of Ages/Seasons - Four Swords (Anniversary Edition) - The Wind Waker
Four Swords Adventures - The Minish Cap - Twilight Princess - Phantom Hourglass - Spirit Tracks
Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland - Tingle's Love Balloon Trip - Tingle's Balloon Fight DS - Link's Crossbow Training