[[caption-width-right:350:[-In order to successfully slay the LegionsOfHell, always have some [[MesACrowd clones]] in stock.-] ]]

-> ''"Our journey is fraught with danger, but together we four might overcome the mages' dark magic... ONLY THEN will all the maidens be released and our princess, once again, be rescued."''
-->-- '''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7e6mMaXFRFg North American ad campaign]]'''

The eleventh game in ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series was a sequel to the earlier ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords Four Swords]]'' and was released in 2004. Like its predecessor, it focused on multiplayer gaming for up to four players, and was much more linear in design than the average ''Zelda'' title (though the areas themselves had room to explore). A key component of the gameplay was the use of the GCN-GBA link cable which was required for multiplayer (though single player mode did not require it, instead putting an emulated GBA screen on the TV itself). The action of the game was split between the TV screen for the main areas, where all players could see what was going on, and the GBA screens, which represented indoor areas as well as the Dark World, where each player could only see their immediate surroundings. Unlike the previous game, all four Links were always present no matter how many actual players there were - the excess Links would follow the players and could be placed into formations.

The story is a sequel to '' Four Swords'' and features the return of Vaati. According to ''[[AllThereInTheManual Hyrule Historia]]'', this is currently the chronologically last game in the "child" timeline, following ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess.'' While Zelda is attempting to strengthen the seal on Vaati, Shadow Link kidnaps Zelda and the six shrine maidens, forcing Link to pull the Four Sword from its pedestal and release Vaati once more. Over the course of the game, it's revealed that Shadow Link was actually a minion of [[HijackedByGanon Ganon]], who is attempting to cover the land in darkness with Vaati's help.

In addition to the cooperative multiplayer mode (known as "Hyrulean Adventure"), there is also a competitive battle mode, "Shadow Battle", in which the Links fight against each other. Of course, it's [[CompetitiveMultiplayer not like]] [[{{Troll}} they weren't]] [[WeAreStrugglingTogether fighting already...]]
!!This Game Provides Examples Of:
* ArtifactOfDoom: The Trident of Power.
** Also, the Dark Mirror, which seems to be the remnant of [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess a certain other mirror....]]
* BackToBackBadasses: Diamond Formation, only available in single player, puts all Four Links back-to-back-to-back-to-back.
* BagOfSpilling: NONE of the items carry over to the next section of the game.
* BarrierMaiden: Zelda and the maidens.
* BigBulkyBomb: [[OneHitKill Instantly kills]] any player(s) stupid enough to not take cover in a cave/hole/room when it goes off ([[TooDumbToLive the game freaking TELLS you to GTFO or die]])? In some levels can be found in innocent looking [[PoisonMushroom chests]]? And in many others, are repetitively tossed around in specific rooms by Shadow Link? 'Kay... That's just not fair...
* BlowYouAway: Vaati, yet ''again''. Duh.
* BubblyClouds: Realm of the Heavens.
* ButThouMust: Zelda goes from genuinely helpful to grabbing [[IdiotBall Idiot Balls]]. During the escape from the CollapsingLair in the last stage of the game, Zelda repeatedly stops moving to... ''[[TooDumbToLive talk to you]]'', and will not budge from that spot unless you go up to her so she can speak. She does it no less than ''three times'' at the end, the last of which is her saying "There's the exit!" just in time for '''the floor to collapse under everyone'''. It's obvious that [[spoiler:the dev team couldn't come up with a better way to throw you into the FinalBoss fight.]]
%%* ColorCodedMultiplayer
* CombinationAttack: Once in formation, all the Links will attack and use items in sync with each other. In diamond formation, the four Links can perform one huge spin attack together.
* ComicBookAdaptation: [[Manga/TheLegendOfZelda The manga]], written by Akira Himekawa, which expanded on the narrow story and gave every Link a different personality, explaining that the sword's elements split up Link's personality as well, not just his body. Becomes FridgeLogic when you realize that is more of an AlternateCharacterInterpretation, since Green Link retains the original Link's personality without change and the character traits displayed by Violet Link are not present in the original Link at all.
* ContinuityNod: Tons, mostly to ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]''.
** Although it exists in a seperate timeline, there is no reason to assume it does not occur in the same location and year of Hyrule as A Link To The Past did (or well near it.)
** The level design of Stage 2-1 ("The Coast") is reminiscent of Toronbo Shores from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening''. Both areas have coconuts dotting their beaches and have common fauna (e.g. Sea Urchins, Sand Crabs, and Octoroks).
* ContinuityPorn: Averted. Deleted text found on the game disc indicates that this game was supposed to retell the BackStory of ''A Link to the Past,'' as items like the Master Sword would have shown up, but you wouldn't be able to use them. Shigeru Miyamoto [[ExecutiveVeto nixed]] this idea late in development because it would have distracted from the straightforwardness of the gameplay. [[ContinuityNod Continuity Nods]] still abound, though. For example, the existence of the DarkWorld and the Trident of Power still manage to make this a very likely BackStory for ''A Link To The Past''.
** Hyrule Historia has apparently {{Jossed}} this interpretation; the games don't even take place in the same branch of the timeline. Unless there's some temporal shenanigans going on, this game's events have nothing to do with ''A Link to the Past'''s.
*** Although there's nothing to say that the items didn't ''exist'' in that timeline, they were just never used by the BigBad so far as is known.
*** The director actually did verify that the intent was for this game to in fact be the Imprisoning War as mentioned by ''A Link to the Past'', but it was overruled in the end by Miyamoto. Similar to how ''Minish Cap'' was originally intended as the origin of the Master Sword, but Miyamoto also nixed that one and forced a change to the game being the origin of the Four Sword.
* ContinuitySnarl: Ganondorf's inclusion causes a lot of problems for what is otherwise an easily-arguable case for the series only having one Ganon.
** Fixed; it's been confirmed in [[AllThereInTheManual Hyrule Historia]] that this is the ''reincarnated'' Ganondorf, coming back after his death in ''Twilight Princess'' and regaining his dark powers via the Trident. So in a way, he's the same Ganon yet ''isn't'' at the same time.
%%* CoOpMultiplayer
%%* DarkWorld
%%* DeathMountain
* DopplegangerAttack: Phantom Ganon often splits into four, and Shadow Link is able to clone himself.
** The entirety of both the first ''FS'' and this one are basically one overly long DopplegangerAttack by Link himself.
* TheDragon: Vaati.
* DummiedOut: Large plot-relevant parts of the script, as Miyamoto deemed it would distract too much from the gameplay.
** Within the game disk, there are 90%-complete fourth acts for each world, in the final game there are three per world.
%%* EscortMission
* EvilTowerOfOminousness: Tower of Winds.
* EvilTwin: Shadow Link
* ExcusePlot: In the first game, collecting the Rupees had no real relevance to the plot, so Four Swords Adventures replaces Rupees with "Force Gems", which the player is required to (collectively) acquire enough to empower the Four Sword; otherwise, they cannot break the barrier at the end of every level, and will have to go back to get some more.
* FireBreathingWeapon: The Fire Rod.
* GuestStarPartyMember: Zelda in the FinalBoss fight.
* GrandTheftMe: [[spoiler:In the ending, one of the other Links can do this if they kill Ganon in multiplayer. Shown hilariously in the LetsPlay.]]
* GrievousHarmWithABody: Players can bludgeon enemies with items that they are carrying so they do not have to drop them in order to fight back. This works even if the thing the player is carrying is another player.
* HeartContainer: Only work for one level, and are found in specific chests.
* {{Homage}}: With the exception of the character sprites and special effects, which draw from the toon-style, nearly all the sprites draw heavily from ''Link to the Past'', complete with music. Parts of this game are bound to drop a nostalgia bomb on fans of [=ALttP=].
* HijackedByGanon: Vaati was being used by Ganon to wreak havoc.
* InsurmountableWaistHighFence: Played ridiculously straight, to the point that even using the Feather won't let you get over them.
* LetsPlay: There's a couple made by shadowMarioXLI and LetsPlay/{{pokecapn}}, both of which are 4-Player Let's Plays.
** As well as one by LetsPlay/SuperJeenius, LetsPlay/PCull44444, LetsPlay/NintendoCapriSun, and LetsPlay/JoshJepson.
* LoadBearingBoss: Vaati pulls a Ganondorf and decides to go and cause his tower to crumble when you kill him.
%%* LostWoods
* MeaninglessLives: Since they really only kick in when the player-controlled Link(s) are all down simultaneously, the fairies, which you can get several of at the end of every level, can really pile up.
** Lives are even more trivial in muiltiplayer mode, since a dead player will automatically revive after 10 seconds with full health.
* MultiMookMelee: The game loves to show off just how many sprites it can put on screen at once (if the image above wasn't any indication). Pretty much once a level, there will be an area that closes itself off and proceeds to throw dozens of enemies at you at once.
* MutuallyExclusivePowerups: Each player can only carry one item at a time (besides their sword, shield, bracelets, and hearts), though all Links following that player can also use the item.
%%* MesACrowd
* NPCRoadblock: Some of which require multiple Links to push out of the way.
* OminousFloatingCastle: Palace of Winds.
* [[OneGameForThePriceOfTwo One Game's Multiplayer For The Price Of Three To Five Systems]]: To play with more than one person, and access things like the Tingle Tower minigames, you need a Game Boy Advance for each player (plus a GBA-Gamecube link cable for each on top of that).
* PatchworkMap: The area of the map frozen in perpetual winter is right next to the desert. This is given a HandWave by saying that the freeze was caused by magic (and we do see the ice melt in the ending), but the map still looks like a bunch of different biomes sandwiched together.
* PlayingTennisWithTheBoss: Variation. Some energy balls can only be deflected by the player whose color they match.
* ProngsOfPoseidon: Evil variation with the Trident of Power.
* SealedEvilInACan: Vaati, [[spoiler:and Ganon gets sealed in the ending.]]
* ShiftingSandLand: Desert of Doubt.
* SocializationBonus: You can play this alone, but you get bonuses for playing with other people, not to mention exclusive minigames.
* StartOfDarkness:
** Another origin story for Ganon, separate from the one already in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]].'' This is because this Ganondorf is the original one's reincarnation, and he's lost all his former dark powers until he obtains the Trident of Power.
** In original planning, this was supposed to be the backstory to ''A Link to the Past'', entailing how Ganondorf there became Ganon, and took over the Sacred Land, following the events of the Child Timeline in [=OoT=]. Miyamoto nixed that one at what looks like halfway through production, since you can see a lot of the continuity nods and story ideas there for this being the Imprisoning War.
* StealthBasedMission: The Infiltration of Hyrule Castle.
* SuddenlyVoiced: In the Japan and Korea-only "Navi Trackers" mini-game, Tetra and her pirates are featured with ''full Japanese voice-acting''. This is the only example of full voice-acting in the ''entire'' history of the series ([[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaCDiGames no, the CDi games don't count]]). The cancelled English version even had the voice acting finished before it was axed.
* TheTrickster: Shadow Link.
* TimeBomb: Incredibly massive bombs that deal instant death to anyone who doesn't take shelter inside their GBA.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: The Links can't directly hurt each other with their swords, but once you get Bombs, Fire Rods, and bottomless pits thrown into the mix, you can start causing damage to the other Links. In the case of Bombs and Fire Rods, it also makes them drop a few force gems for you to steal. Never mind that picking up someone's trailing Link will recruit it to your team. Maybe you can agree to have one each in two player, but in three player, everyone's going to be fighting for Purple Link.