The Four Swords section of the game is entirely new, and was jointly developed by Nintendo and Flagship, a subsidiary of Capcom. The latter team had experience in creating handheld games for the series, namely The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages. It is primarily a multiplayer game, whereas A Link to the Past is exclusively a single player experience.
- The Triforce sequence at the start can now be skipped.
- The audio is notably louder.
- The game can be saved at any time.
- The music has been remixed and sounds more like that of Ocarina of Time.
- Sound effects from Ocarina of Time have been added.
- The item "faerie" has been corrected to "fairy" for the North American localization (although the Virtual Console port remains the same).
- The game can be saved at any time and Link can spawn from the last building he entered.
- A new, multiplayer-only mode has been added.
Four Swords gameplay
The Four Swords part of the game was developed by Capcom's Flagship studio in cooperation with Nintendo R&D2. The game is a multiplayer experience that has the players (2-4) go through randomly generated dungeons, completing the puzzles to reach the end. The puzzles that are present will be determined by the number of players currently playing. For example, if two players are playing, then a puzzle that can only be completed with four players will not be present, though that particular puzzle will be if there are four people connected.
This part of the game had a GameCube successor called The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. The mechanic of controlling more than one Link was also implemented in the Game Boy Advance title The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, which was also created by Flagship.
A Link to the Past & Four Swords was one of the best received video games on the Game Boy Advance, with a whopping high score of 95% on Metacritic. This was partly helped by the fact it is an enhanced port of one of the more beloved Zelda video games.
The game sold over two million copies internationally.