Yesterday, a friend told me that Nintendo is putting up a free game on the eShop for a few days. I thought it’d be an indie game or something. Imagine my surprise when I found out that they were putting up The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition for free.
Originally, I thought that they were releasing the Gameboy Advance version of A Link to the Past, which had Four Swords bundled with it as a multiplayer game mode. But I eventually found out that in 2011, Nintendo released a special limited edition of Four Swords to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords is a multiplayer game for two to four players. The players have to explore three stages in order to find a set of keys. Once all the keys have been found, the players can then venture into Vaati’s castle and rescue Princess Zelda.
The game itself involves cooperation between the players – they’ll sometimes need to stand on floor switches that will require all four Links to trigger, or lift giant rocks that only four Links can lift. Each player can only hold one additional item aside from their sword, and sometimes the group has to decide which of the players would need to hold what item. For example, the group may encounter an obstacle that would require a Bomb to destroy impeding rocks, but in order to place the Bomb in the right spot someone has to jump over a gap (using a Roc Cape). The Bomb wielding Link would then toss a Bomb to the Roc Cape-wearing Link, who will then toss the Bomb to the said rock.
Even in battle, the players will find that they will be required to cooperate. There are some monsters that need to be hit in a certain way that cannot be done by a single player. Boss battles, in particular, require a lot of teamwork in order to be beaten. However, each player is also competing against each other in terms of the number of Rupees that they get. The game awards a Triforce Medallion to the player who manages to collect the most Rupees at the end of a stage.
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition offers several improvements over the original Gameboy Advance version, the first of which are improved graphics and sounds. The Anniversary Edition also includes two new stages; the Hero’s Trials, which are a series of difficult areas designed for players who have gotten at least five Triforce Medallions, and the Realm of Memories.
Oh, the Realm of Memories. When we played these stages, I was hit by a major nostalgia bomb. The Realm of Memories stages use areas, graphics, and sounds from three classic The Legend of Zelda games: the aforementioned A Link to the Past, Link’s Awakening which was the first ever handheld The Legend of Zelda game, and the original The Legend of Zelda.
Unlike the original version of Four Swords, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition now has a single player mode which will allow one player to control two Links and play the entire game, switching between Links as needed. And that’s awesome for people who either don’t know other 3DS owners, or for those who can’t seem to get first place when playing with their friends.
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition was originally available for download last September 2011 until February 2012, but as I mentioned earlier, it’s back up on the eShop for 3DS users until February 2, 2014.
I’m highly recommending this game for Zelda fans or for people who have friends that have their own 3DS units. This is a really good game to play while having lunch with your friends, or during Street Pass meet ups, as it doesn’t cost anything and it only needs a little space on your memory card. Trust me, you won’t regret downloading this game.