Can Zelda Four Swords be played alone

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

This part of the “Zelda” series comes as an adventure game with a retro look. The consistently two-dimensional graphics are more in keeping with the style of the early 90s than they are today. The testers did not find this disadvantageous, but rather smiled benevolently at the cuteness of the simply designed figures.
The possibility of being able to experience the game with up to 4 other players is designed in practice so that one person can play via the Game Cube controller and all others have to use a Nintendo Game Boy Advanced with a corresponding connection cable (the necessary Cable is included with the game).

The story revolves around the starting situation that is typical of Zelda: Princess Zelda is kidnapped by the evil Vaati, this time even including the maiden around her. The young hero Link sets out to save her and the kingdom of Hyrule. A magical sword, the "Sword of the Four", which he courageously takes to himself, is supposed to help him. However, this sword has the property of dividing its owner into four parts, so that suddenly there are four links. In addition, an evil "shadow link" is brought into being, whose malice the hero divided into four is exposed to again and again during the adventure ahead.

In the further course of the action, the task is to bring the four little ones through the different levels undamaged and to let them fight against all possible smaller and larger opponents. They are helped by their ability to confront their enemies in different formations in order to fight more successfully, as well as various objects and weapons that they find on their way through the country. At the same time, it is important to collect as many force crystals as possible, which gradually make the magic sword they wield stronger so that in the end all maiden and Zelda can be freed and the country can be saved from great disaster.

So much for the task to be done, which is explained "very lengthy and unfortunately not to be skipped" (quote Silke) right from the start. “How this is supposed to happen, however, is not so clear.” An owl appears right at the beginning of the first level and gives a short version of the instructions and at the bottom of the screen, instructions appear for a brief moment like “Collect the four on the arrows to get ahead. ”But what is meant by that remains to be found out.
Since enough time has to be spent collecting Force Crystals anyway (especially when playing alone), it gradually becomes clear to the player that each level is divided into different areas that need to be reached .

For some young testers, the first level took a long time because they needed numerous attempts to find their way to the next area. Their patience and tolerance for frustration were put to the test. Especially since it was not clear to them (and even a look in the manual did not help) how and when to save. The solution came after successfully passing the first level in the form of the question “Save? Yes No".

Those who were already familiar with Zelda games as well as the steering and handling, on the other hand, got on very quickly.
The first level also serves as a training level, with a small guidance tutorial offering helpful support for the player. There are different ways to control the four little links: In the single player mode, a link can be selected and controlled, which the others follow at every turn, or only one link is controlled one after the other so that you can connect them to different ones Places can position what is partially required in the game to perform tasks. In multiplayer mode, each player controls one link.

The representations on the screen are quite different, depending on where the links are. Do they move e.g. B. on the surface, the normal screen display (view from above) can be seen. If they enter caves or buildings, the display changes to the Game Boy Advanced mode, which appears either on the respective external Game Boy or in single player mode on a separate display that appears on the screen. There are little jump & run adventures to be had there, as you know them from the Game Boy.

In order to be able to experience the diverse and also quite fun options in the game, you need to play with several people. In any case, the girls and boys found the single player mode to be quite boring in the long run, as they only had to concentrate on navigating the four links through the adventure and fulfilling the upcoming game requirements. In the multiplayer variant, on the other hand, they had completely different options for playing against each other and with each other. Despite the common goal of successfully leading the four links through the levels, driving the evil out of Hyrule, freeing the princess and the maiden and the knowledge that some obstacles can only be overcome together, the children enjoyed the opportunity to enjoy themselves during of the game to annoy each other. With powerful voices and lots of fun, the characters of the others were thrown around the area, collected force crystals stolen from the other players in order to be the winner at the end of each level. Some boys also took the opportunity to decide directly for the "shadow battle". They could compete with others here in a fighting form.

In addition to these varied and fun demands on team and competitive spirit, "Zelda" also requires solution-oriented and complex thinking. If some experiences and knowledge can also be gained through trial and error, the player must also develop the ability to see through interaction processes and to demonstrate strategic action. In the fighting, quick reactions, skill and perseverance are required. In the game groups, the girls and boys from the age of 8 were able to implement these skills and demands appropriately successfully in the game.