Resurrecting Co-op Zelda

Geek Culture

Four SwordsFour Swords

Four Swords

I guess at bottom I’m a social gamer. No matter how hard I try I struggle to invest time in the big single player games no matter how impressive (with the recent exception of Fable 2 – but that’s another story). Even the wonders of Zelda hasn’t won me over to the thrill of the one player adventure.

It was with some excitement then, that I came across an old copy of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure on the Gamecube (my review) in my local second hand games store. Here was a Zelda adventure that you could play with four friends co-operativley.

Reading the back of the box I realised that not only would I need three willing friends but also to track down four Game Boy Advances (GBA) and the necessary cables. You see, the genius of this game is that you control the Gamecube with the GBA rather than the usual controller. This means that when you go off screen, or into a house, the other players can keep playing while your action switches to the little GBA screen in your hands.

The hunt was on. Over the coming months a scoured the local stores to find those elusive GBA’s. Not willing to stump up the inflated Amazon or EBay prices I held out until I finally found them in store for a mere GBP8 each.

Next on the list were the cables. I discovered these were much harder to find and after a month or so searching I decided to cut my losses and buy them online for another GBP8 each.

Saturday morning and the family headed down to the den early, me clutching a big bag of gaming tech and the kids looking ponderously at what Daddy was upto now.

Four player ZeldaFour player Zelda

Four player Zelda

Happily, it all worked surprisingly well. The Wii made no complaints about running the Gamecube disc or having GBA’s rather than Gamecube controllers plugged into its backward compatible ports.

What I hadn’t expect though was how integrated the various co-operative elements were. This really is like taking the gameplay and graphics from Link to the Past on the SNES, injecting some Wind Waker special effects and adding the co-operative puzzle play from classic arcade games like Gauntlet. Add in the Bomberman-like multiplayer modes and we had a whole morning of Zelda related fun.

It took a bit of time and investment, but I think it was worth it.

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