The classic Link to the Past is now combined with cooperative/competitive multiplayer...and it's all portable.
On May 11th, 2002 PGC exclusively broke the news that Capcom would be working with Nintendo to re-make the SNES classic, Zelda: A Link to the Past on Game Boy Advance. Then, just prior to E3’s start, we once again were first to bring you exciting news: the Zelda GBA game would include a four-player multiplayer mode.
Now all of this has been confirmed at Nintendo’s Pre-E3 Media Briefing. After showing off the highly controversial cel-shaded Zelda for GameCube, Miyamoto announced that he had brought another Zelda to show, and with a flourish produced a Game Boy Advance from his coat pocket. After commenting on Nintendo’s Triforce arcade hardware project with Sega & Namco, Miyamoto explained that the Zelda game could be played with up to four people on linked GBAs. Because of this, he’d need some help from the audience. Although many thrust hands into the air to volunteer, Miyamoto decided to bring up the man who was helping him make the game: Capcom’s Yoshiki Okamoto. For the other two slots, Miyamoto called up Amusement Vision’s Toshihiro Nagoshi (who is heading up F-Zero GC) and Namco’s Kaneto Shiozawa (who is making the Star Fox shooter) on stage.
The four then began playing, each controlling a different colored Link with the four screens visible on the main screen. The multiplayer aspect incorporates both competition and cooperation. The object is to collect the most rupees, though progressing through some parts of the dungeon requires teamwork. For example, there is a boulder blocking a passage that can only be moved by two people. This is undoubtedly only one of many puzzles that require players to work together. As it is being played on four different GBAs, the four Links could each go their own way, with colored markers indicating the location of the other players. Before too much could be seen, Miyamoto declared that he was losing and didn’t want to go on getting beaten. Nintendo’s press materials indicate that players will also be able to exchange items.
The single player mode is based on Link to the Past and is seemingly a pretty direct port from the Super NES version; the multiplayer side is apparently an entirely separate game called The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. Whether or not Capcom will be remaking parts of the original LttP quest is unknown. It seems that Four Swords and Link to the Past are two entirely separate games contained on one cartridged tentatively called The Legend of Zelda GBA; the LttP screens looks like a straight port while the Four Swords is the multiplayer mode. Link’s character design in Four Swords is quite updated from the LttP artwork, somewhat similar to the character model in the new GC Zelda. Link’s sword swinging animation looked much different as well. Instead of swinging a sword in the usual horizontal fashion, the four Links slashed in diagonal arcs, in an almost cutlass-like fashion.
A Link to the Past was released in 1992 for the Super Nintendo and is considered by many to greatest installment of the legendary series. LttP starts in the rain, where Link’s uncle departs on a quest after hearing the telepathic summons of the captured Princess Zelda. When Link’s uncle fails to return, Link sets out himself, embarking on a quest that will take him across the land of Hyrule and even into another dimension. Along the way, he’ll talk to all sorts of people and creatures to gain information to help him on his way. In traditional Zelda fashion, swordplay, throwing bombs, dash attacks, lifting, pushing and pulling objects and uncover items that grant special abilities.
This exciting new handheld Zelda will be available December 9, 2002.