[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Minishcap.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[-TheHero, The {{Lilliputians}} and CaptainObvious-] ]]
->''But there is one thing you must know: being Minish-sized is full of dangers! Mere puddles at your normal size are bottomless swamps to the Minish.''
-->--'''Ezlo'''

The twelfth game in ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series, and the first completely new one-player ''Zelda'' adventure on the GameBoyAdvance. Despite the fact that it's one player only, it is a prequel to the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords Four Swords]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwordsAdventures games]], as it goes in depth about the origin of the titular weapon as well as [[StartOfDarkness who Vaati is]]. The game also features a "Kinstone" mechanism, by which Link can collect pieces of medallions and fuse them with {{NPC}}s. These Kinstone fusions unlock secrets, ranging from highly important bonus items to simple chests of more kinstones.

The story begins at a festival celebrating the legendary Picori, who can only be seen by children. At a sword fighting tournament at the festival, the winner is Vaati (later to become the main villain of the Four Swords games), who releases monsters all over the land and turns Zelda to stone, hoping to obtain the "Light Force" held by the royal family. Link meets a talking hat named Ezlo who joins him on a quest to reforge the famous Picori Blade and use it to defeat Vaati. Ezlo uses his power to shrink Link to the size of the Picori (actually called the Minish), which assists him greatly in his quest.

According to ''[[AllThereInTheManual Hyrule Historia]]'' this game is second in the overall timeline of the series, preceded only by ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword''.
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!!This Game Provides Examples Of:
* AdaptationExpansion: The Manga included a lot of things, but mostly explanations or the like. For instance: the sword tournament is changed to a simple fighting tournament, which explained how Vaati got through without implying that he cheated, we get a bit more on Zelda's relationship with Link, we see why Link wasn't in the tournament, and so on.
** AllInTheManual: [[spoiler: Of course, the hard-to-track extra chapter showed how horrible Elzo was as a teacher, what with sending Vaati out on quests to nonexistent locations so he wouldn't find his teacher at a party and doing things to distract him from the data on his games being saved over or lost.]]
* AdiposeRex: King Daltus.
* AlertnessBlink: When characters wake up, often '''!''' with a sound effect is seen.
* AlwaysNight: Royal Valley. Made all the more jarring by it being one screen away from (and only accessible via) another overworld area that's in bright daylight.
* AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield: Vaati's second and third forms each get one.
* AnimalTalk: You can talk to animals while in Minish form, probably thanks to your [[TranslatorMicrobes Jabber Nut]].
* AnonymousBenefactor: Its revealed in this game, the reason why Link always finds helpful items and Rupees under grass and rocks all over the world. The Forest Picori leave them, for humans they love, to find.
* BackThatLightUp
* BalefulPolymorph: [[spoiler: Ezlo is revealed to be a Minish sage, whom Vaati cursed to become a talking hat.]]
* BigBad: Vaati.
* BigBoosHaunt: Royal Valley.
* BlowYouAway: Strangely, Vaati doesn't do a whole lot of this. So... why did the backstories of ''Four Swords'' and ''Four Swords Adventures'' take such pains to describe him as a ''wind'' mage/sorcerer?
** ''Hyrule Historia'' finally explains this as Vaati no longer remembering being a Minish, and so used his new form to become a sorcerer.
** Link, on the other hand, does quite a bit with the Gust Jar.
* BraggingRightsReward: Getting all the trophies rewards you with a large number of rupees--[[MoneyForNothing but by that point in the game you don't really need them anymore]]. However, you DO get a piece of heart and the sound test. The other example is the "Tingle Statue" for fusing all the Kinstones. The statue and reward themselves are useless, but you get some form of reward for each Kinstone you fuse.
** Also the Mirror Shield. The requirements for it is to complete the Goron sidequest (which, by itself, you get a bottle for completing), fusing a Kinstone with one of the Gorons to wake up Biggoron (which can't be done right away), and...beating the game once.
* BubblyClouds: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Cloud Tops]], several layers of clouds that can be walked on and even dug through with the Mole Mitts in places. The Palace of Winds is a five-story dungeon floating above a tower built on the highest of these cloud decks. And as if that isn't high enough, the boss battle appears to take place a very long distance above the dungeon. [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes Also, Ezlo is afraid of heights.]]
* BubblegloopSwamp: Castor Wilds.
* CaptainObvious: Ezlo, though not as much as [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Navi the Fairy.]]
* CallForward: A musical one. The [[http://youtu.be/sGZBmVe8foI Mini Boss-battle theme]] is actually a remix of the [[http://youtu.be/MaJBwbXVWUk Normal Battle-theme]] of the Japanese Version of Videogame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink.
* CatsAreMean: Unlike the friendlier dogs and birds, cats will actively attack you while in Minish form.
* ChainReactionDestruction: That's what bosses are designed to do when they're defeated.
* ClothesMakeTheLegend: Ezlo gives Link his NiceHat in the ending.
* ColorCodedElements: The Fire and Water Elements are fairly standard red and blue throughout the ''Four Swords'' series. The Wind Element is [[WindIsGreen green]] in this game and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwordsAdventures'', although it was purple in its brief appearance in the intro to ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords''. Conversely and rather unusually, the Earth Element is purple in this game and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwordsAdventures'' but green in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords''. Of course, regardless of which Element has which color, the group must share the red, blue, green, and purple color scheme of the four Links in the multiplayer titles, and purple is not commonly used to represent any of the four classical elements.
* DarkReprise: A minor version of Zelda's theme plays in the aftermath of the battle with Vaati, emphasizing the extent of the destruction and the lives lost.
* DegradedBoss: A ''tougher'' version of the first dungeon boss (by virtue of being electrified) appears as a miniboss in the Temple of Droplets. To be fair, both of these are just regular enemies that Link happens to encounter while Minish-sized, the former a Green [=ChuChu=] and the latter a Blue [=ChuChu=].
* DisconnectedSideArea: Very common in the overworld. Some of these become accessible in a more direct fashion later in the game (e.g. the part of the Minish Woods near Syrup's hut), while others remain only indirectly accessible (e.g. a piece of land at the bottom of Veil Falls which can only be reached via neighboring regions).
* DoubleMeaningTitle: The "Minish Cap" in the title may refer to either of two caps: [[spoiler:Ezlo, who is a Minish wizard transformed into a hat]], or [[spoiler:the Mage's Cap, the wish-granting hat invented by Ezlo and stolen by Vaati, who was himself a Minish prior to wishing himself a human body]].
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: When she gets hit by a Deku Shrub on the way to the Picori Festival.
-->Zelda: We need something to defend against ''those nuts of his''.
* FinalExamBoss
* FlyingSeafoodSpecial: In a strange example, Cloud Piranha swim through the clouds in Cloud Tops, even though said clouds are apparently solid enough for Link to stand on. The boss Gyorg Pair is a more traditional example, a pair of giant flying manta-like rays.
* ForHappiness: Its revealed the Picori/Minish [[HumansAreSpecial adore humans]] and delight in making them happy, for it gives them energy to help make their lives ''even more happier''. Many have moved from their native home-world to Hyrule to be closer to them, and those from the Minish Village also moved to Hyrule Town to help them in their daily-lives due to their love for humans.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Vaati.
* GiantHandsOfDoom: Mazaal. Also, the Floormasters and Wallmasters.
* GiantMook: Not actually giant, but some of the bosses are normal-sized enemies that you fight while small. [[spoiler:The boss of the Deepwood Shrine is a Green [=ChuChu=], and the Temple of Droplets has a Blue [=ChuChu=] as a miniboss and an Octorok as the main boss.]]
* AGodAmI: [[spoiler: Once Vaati obtains the Light Force he proclaims himself a god. He does it again when he takes on his final form and right before he dies, leading to a ThisCannotBe declaration.]]
* GoodColorsEvilColors: Vaati is all about purple. He has mauve skin and hair and wears purple clothes. (His eyes, on the other hand, are [[RedEyesTakeWarning red]].) On top of that, he decorates [[spoiler:Hyrule Castle]] mostly in purple, with plenty of [[SicklyGreenGlow green]] and touches of red as well.
* HarmlessFreezing: You fight the boss of the Temple of Droplets immediately after it is thawed out from being frozen solid. It even partially re-freezes itself as a defensive tactic for part of the battle.
* HighAltitudeBattle: The boss in the Temple Of Winds.
* IncredibleShrinkingMan: One of the game's gimmicks.
* InevitableTournament: [[AvertedTrope Averted]]. It's over at the beginning of the game, and no other tournaments occur during the game's duration.
* JumpPhysics: When using the cape.
* LegacyCharacter: Like ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker The Wind Waker]]'', this game shows a hero, who could be a previous Link, in the prologue.
* LethalLavaLand: The aptly named Cave of Flames, an abandoned mine that has partially filled with lava.
* LoadBearingBoss: Killing Vaati's second form causes the castle to collapse.
* LostForever: If you don't save a certain NPC early on, you can never get the Light Arrows.
* MacGuffin: The Light Force.
* MacroZone: Any time you shrink.
* MagicMusic: Playing a song on the Ocarina of Gales summons a bird to take you throughout Hyrule.
* MarathonLevel: The Palace of Winds. Ezlo even lampshades this with his comment of "How much farther do we have to go? This place goes on forever!"
* MeaningfulName: The cobbler who sleeps a lot is named Rem (as in, REM sleep). The Minish who lives in the library is named, creatively, Librari.
* MessyHair: Link is quite the bedhead before the Minish Cap covers it up (presumably now he has even worse hat hair).
* MineCartMadness: Cave of Flames has sections like this.
* MiniDungeon: Royal Crypt. Upon completion, Link receives a gold Kinstone from King Gustaf to open the Source of the Flow, enter the Veil Falls and reach the Cloud Top to access the Palace of Winds.
* MookBouncer: Both the Wallmaster and the Floormaster.
* MouseWorld
* MythologyGag: Since this game was developed by {{Capcom}}, by the same team that developed [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames the Oracle games]], we see the three Oracles from those games as {{NPC}}s in town.
** DevelopmentGag: You can find homes for two of them, but not the third, a reference to a planned third Oracle game that never got made.
* NonstandardGameOver: [[spoiler:At the end of the game, if Link can't get to Vaati before the three bells ring, Vaati will have taken all of the Light Force from Zelda, killing her and making Vaati invincible. Ezlo states that it's all over and you see the Game Over screen.]]
* NoPronunciationGuide: How the hell do you pronounce "pacci"? Pah-ksee? Pah-kee? Chances are that it's a [[TooLongDidntDub direct Romanization]] of "pachi", the [[UnsoundEffect Japanese onomatopoeia]] for "snap", and you're supposed to pronounce the double c as a ch, like in Italian or liturgical Latin.
* NumerologicalMotif: The number 4.
* OddballInTheSeries: Not to the series as a whole, but rather the Four Swords trilogy, since it's a single-player installment in a trilogy that previously had much of its focus on multiplayer gameplay.
* OminousPipeOrgan: Most of Vaati's music makes use of this.
* OneWingedAngel: Vaati's "floating eyeball-cloud" form.
* OriginsEpisode: The backstory is this for Vaati and the game itself focuses on the origin of the Four Sword, which started out as the Picori Blade.
* PinataEnemy: Gold enemies, which are gold [[PaletteSwap palette swaps]] of relatively weak overworld enemies with tons more hit points and more aggressive AI that drop large amounts of money when killed. They appear as a result of certain Kinstone fusions.
* PokemonSpeak: The Minish speak exclusively using parts of the word "Picori".
** It also seems that "Picori" is the Minish word ''for'' "[[CallARabbitASmeerp Minish]]".
** {{Averted}} in the original Japanese and the German, French and Italian versions, where they talk backwards instead. This reveals that most of the Minish's unreadable dialogue in the beginning of the game is actually... just telling you that [[CaptainObvious you are human]] and that they don't understand you.
* {{Prequel}}: To ''Four Swords'', explaining the history of the Four Sword and Vaati.
* ReforgedBlade: The Picori Blade which is broken, fixed, and eventually upgraded to become the Four Sword.
* SealedEvilInACan: The chest containing all of the monsters in the world, which Vaati frees.
* SequentialBoss: Taking down Vaati in the end requires you to fight him in three different forms. (Luckily, between two and three, you can duck into a small room in the castle and reload your health.)
* ShoutOut:
** The game is positively ''loaded'' with nods to nearly every previous game in the series via character cameos and familiar leitmotifs. Some sound effects are also directly lifted from ''Link's Awakening''.
** The cobbler tells you that his shoes are being finished while he sleeps. By this point, you're aware of the existence of the Minish, and possibly that they like to make humans happy because it gives them energy, but that they do so in secret (you'd have to talk to a random NPC to learn this.) Furthermore, there's a vase that lets you shrink in the shop, and if you climb up onto the cobbler's desk, you can see a Minish there. Obviously, this is a reference to the tale of the cobbler and the elves.
** Later, in Melari's mines, one of the Minish tells you that "the mine belongs to Melari and us, his seven apprentices", the seven miners being reminiscent of the [[Literature/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs seven dwarfs]].
** Later still, after you can flip stuff (and therefore shrink in several more places in Hyrule Town,) you can get into the rafters of the bar. The forest Minish are visiting there, and remarking about how city life is so exciting, like the tale of the country mouse and the city mouse.
** At one point in the game, you meet an AbsentMindedProfessor named Dr. Left. As opposed to [[VideoGame/SimCity Dr.]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening (W)right]], one presumes judging by his hair.
** One of the books in the library is titled "''[[MarriedToTheMob Married to the Moblin]]''".
** You can cause a beanstalk to grow on Mt. Crenel, allowing you to climb up into the clouds, recalling ''Jack and the Beanstalk''. Smaller beanstalks on Mt. Crenel make the same sound that growing a beanstalk in Videogame/SuperMarioBros makes.
** One that would pass over the heads of most child players: In Hyrule town there are two houses next to each-other. The house on the left belongs to a man named 'Romio' living with his dog, and the house on the right belongs to a woman named 'Julietta' who lives with her cat and her mother named 'Verona', This is an obvious Reference to Romeo and Juliet, whom both live in the Italian town of Verona. According to their collectible figurine, they are in love with each-other and will be married once they have their pets' approval.
* SideQuest: As this game has one of the least amount of dungeons out of all Zelda games, it has an emphasis on sidequests to help balance out the time, similar to TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask.
* SlippySlideyIceWorld: The Temple of Droplets is primarily this, although [[UnderTheSea liquid water]] is abundant as well.
* SolidClouds: In one of the later dungeons, there are clouds you can walk on. Also, there are such clouds you need to explore in order to get to the dungeon in the first place.
* SoundTest: This is one of the few games in the series to have one. In this one, it's unlocked by getting every figurine and using a phonograph in a house whose entrance is blocked until they're collected.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: For some reason, Darknuts are called "Dark Nuts" in this game.
* StartOfDarkness: For Vaati.
* StealthBasedMission: At one point, while Vaati has taken control of [[spoiler:or rather, has [[FakeKing cast an illusion to look like]]]] the king, you have to sneak past the guards in order to reach the Elemental Sanctuary.
* SwordBeam: Unlike the other games that either give you one or no sword beams, you get ''two.'' One at maximum health and one when you have one heart. If you learned how to do it that is.
** This is [[UpToEleven in addition]] to the curse-breaking Spin Attack beam that you use when you unlock the Four Sword.
* TakenForGranite: Zelda from the first few minutes of the game onward, as well as many of Vaati's other victims later on.
* TempleOfDoom: The Temple of Winds.
* TennisBoss: Vaati's final form requires you to hit back four energy balls at a time before you can actually hurt him, but he [[TacticalSuicideBoss was nice enough]] to leave Link some magic panels that let him use his MesACrowd powers.
* ThisCannotBe: To Vaati's horror when you, in his eyes, a mere child, vanquish his second mighty form in the final battle.
* TimedMission: The Cucco minigame. Also, [[spoiler:when you're trying to rescue Zelda from Vaati's extraction process, there's a bell that, when rung three times, tells you the extraction process is complete, with Zelda dead and Vaati at full power. The first two rings are [[TakeYourTime not really timed]]--but the third one is. [[NonstandardGameOver That means if you take too long to defeat the Darknuts on that level...]]]]
* TranslatorMicrobes: The Jabber Nut, which lets Link understand the Minish language.
* UndergroundLevel: Aside from the Cave of Flames, there are walls scattered throughout Hyrule that can be dug into with the Mole Mitts, leading into tunnel mazes of diggable earth that may serve as shortcuts to other aboveground locations or hide secrets. Many of them are quite extensive.
* UniqueEnemy: There is only one Blue Tektite.
* WarpWhistle: Much like the Ocarina (originally localized as the more generic Flute) in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]'', the Ocarina of Wind calls a bird that carries Link to one of eight fixed locations in the overworld.
* WorldHealingWave: [[spoiler: In the ending, Hyrule Castle is utterly destroyed, smashing, and thus killing most of the people inside turned to statues. Elzo tells them not to mourn, and he and Zelda combine their powers to undo all of Vaati's deeds. They restore Hyrule to its former peace and purge the world of the monsters terrorizing it as well.]]
* YouShouldntKnowThisAlready: Sword-fighting moves.
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