Typically speaking, in a Legend of Zelda title, the lone hero Link sets out in the land of Hyrule in order to defeat the evil Ganon and rescue Princess Zelda. But 15 years ago, Nintendo put a multiplayer twist on things with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures for the GameCube. Using Game Boy Advance systems connected to the GameCube, Four Swords provided Zelda fans with a unique gameplay experience like nothing the series had done before.
The game still focused on Link trying to restore peace to Hyrule, which has been antagonized by the evil sorcerer Vaati. Link and Zelda discover themselves in the Four Sword Sanctuary, and when Link pulls the Four Sword from its pedestal it splits him into four different versions of himself. The Links must put a stop to Vaati before he conquers Hyrule, and must also contend with a fifth doppelganger: Shadow Link. They eventually uncover that Ganon was behind the events of the game all along, and put a stop to him once again as well.
Four Swords Adventures featured the “Hyrulean Adventure” campaign mode, in which one to four players can play through the story mode together. The game also included the “Shadow Battle” mode, a competitive multiplayer in which two to four players face off until only one is left standing. The Japanese version of the game also included a mode called “Navi Trackers,” using a combination of TV screen and connected Game Boy Advance units in order to seek out Tetra’s pirate crew; this mode was not included in the English-language release.
Though the game received high critical praise for things such as the narrative and the overall gameplay, the title only sold modestly, likely due in large part to how it required each player to use their own GBA system to control their character. A manga based off of the game was published, helping to further the personality differences between each of the four Links. The game never saw a true sequel, though the 3DS title Tri Force Heroes used a similar approach, making use of three different Links instead of four.