The Legend of Zelda Four Swords Adventures was a strange game in the Zelda series. Four Swords Adventures was a game that utilized the convoluted method of GBA to GC connectivity which Nintendo developed. But, for those who purchased Four Swords Adventures it would be an uphill battle to find enough players. This would not be the end of the struggles for the lucky players. After all, the true enemy of Four Swords Adventures are your “friends”.
Yes, before New Super Mario Bros Wii demonstrated your friends’ abilities to sabotage each other in a fit of anger, confusion, and vengeance. The Legend of Zelda Four Swords Adventures had pioneered in the genre. Nintendo knew that players were greedy and created the “Force Gem” mechanic to create chaos. If the players failed to gather enough force gems they would be forced to repeat a stage until the quota was met. These gems could be obtained through different means and would also provide a power boost if a certain quantity was gathered. At the end of the stage you would all be rated on which Link gather the most gems with the losing players crying.
This mechanic alone destroyed more friendships than any school ground resident village bicycle. But, if you’ve struggled together and endured the vicious sudden, but inevitable betrayal of your friends you would discover a fantastic gem of a game (a force gem if you will). Interestingly enough it also costs about as much as a precious gem in the real world.
This is because Legend of Zelda game had the unique distinction of requiring 5 total consoles and 4 GBA to GameCube cables along with 3 of your friends in order to experience the full game (not the story, but the mini-games as well). Overall the total price of Four Swords Adventures right now would be about 200 dollars and that is not an overstatement. This is probably the most expensive Zelda game to play and is totally worth the price of admission. But, back in the old days a player would have to go out of their way to find 3 friends (good luck with that one you friendless loser) and all of the accessories as a poor teenager still living at their parents’ house without a job only to realize that they now all hate each other.
Nintendo recognized that the chaos would be inevitable for this type of game. Your only alternative was to suck it up and fight fire with an even bigger flame. The mechanics in Four Swords Adventures actively encouraged this behavior. Eventually throughout the midst of all this confusion your team would eventually overcome all the grief, anguish, and betrayal to face Vaati which is the reason why Link once again took the mantle of the Hero of the Four Swords.
This game was actually semi-unique in this regard; Link is not setting out to stop Ganon (which has only happened in a few Zelda’s). Instead Dark Link has been kidnapping maidens and real Link must stop him using the blade with the power to split a soul into four. These four heroes must join forces to fight Dark Link which turned out to be Vaati all along (I know who would have ever guessed)? Four Swords Adventures sold 400k copies for Nintendo, but it was not enough. Thus Nintendo has not made a true sequel in this line for a long time.
The closest we have to this game is Tri Force heroes, but honestly that one almost sucks. Four Swords Adventures was where Nintendo had everything correct, the gameplay was solid, challenges were tight, and the puzzle were incredibly fun. It seems to me that in trying to emulate the partial success of this game Tri Force Heroes falls short and we might never see a good Four Swords game ever again . We might never see a Four Swords game again, but a man can dream, can’t he?