No more games, no more pretense — this is our list of the top 25 Zelda items of all-time. Whether they were weapons or shields or utility items, these are the panel’s selections for the coolest or most useful inventory slots in the series. We’ll be counting down one by one until we reach the #1 pick on Jan. 31.
24) Four Sword – 3 votes, 92 points
Shaun: Once you start creating autonomous clones, it can be a slippery slope. Sure, they’re replicas of the primary Link, but do they gain self-awareness? What then? And what if your clone does something terrible, like blowing up Ye Olde Hyrule Orphanage? Does that mean you’re actually a horrible person and capable of such atrocities?
Luckily, Four Swords Adventures tackles none of these pressing issues, and the Four Sword itself is simply a contrived excuse to allow four player co-op in a Zelda game. For what it is itself, the Four Sword is pretty meh, but I suppose some attention should be paid to an item that allows audiences to play Zelda with their friends, regardless of how many people missed out thanks to Nintendo’s convoluted requirements. Seriously, it’s easier to disable a bomb than it is to set up Four Swords Adventure on the Gamecube.
Chris: The Four Sword is exceedingly basic. It’s boring. It’s one of the least powerful weapons in the series, especially once you factor in upgrades.
It’s also the mechanism that gave us two four-player co-op Zelda games. Suddenly I’m much more interested.
Shaun mentioned the dumpster fire that was the Gamecube game, but the Game Boy Advance one wasn’t much better — you still needed four portable systems and a heaping helping of cables to get the game to work. If you were willing to invest the time and money into such an elaborate setup, you were rewarded with an experience that played like the other top-down adventures in the series, but with FRIENDS. Playing with GBAs also meant that you had plenty of screen real estate to yourself, and was part of a cool mechanic on the GC game where you looked down at the screen when you were underground.
I was one of the sad sacks who paid good money to get this to work, and I’d probably do it again if Nintendo weren’t a bunch of morons who hate money. Remember how the DS connected to the Wii for like two games? Or how the 3DS syncs up with the Wii U, in case you want to use the worst controller for Smash? WHY NOT THIS, NINTENDO? WHY NOT THIS?
Joseph: Let me get this right. I touch this sword and I get a multiplayer Zelda game? Why is this so low on the list? The Four Sword introduced us to what co-op Zelda games could be. They were fun, frustrating and a great experience overall. The only thing missing is an upgrade to the 3D platform, where Links could be solving complex puzzles while lighting each other on fire from across the map.
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