Multiplayer Zelda was only a pipe dream until Nintendo released Four Swords as a bonus add-on with the GBA port of A Link to the Past in 2002. But it wasn’t until the follow-up Four Swords Adventures for the GameCube in 2004 that lonely players without three other Zelda friends could control all four Links in a single-player campaign mode, albeit with tedious maneuvering of pre-defined formations.
If you’re able to round up three other Zelda friends, all four players can each connect their own GBA with GBA-GC link cables and have portions of the game played on their own GBA screen. But for the ultimate Four Swords Adventures game play experience, each player can bring their own GameCube, GameCube GBA Player and TV display for supremely blissful 5-screen Zelda nirvana.
Like the other games in the Zelda series, the in-game text of Four Swords Adventures refers to all four players as male. I’d like to be able to play this game with my daughter and not have the game calling her a boy, so I hacked a gender-neutral version that replaces all of the male pronouns with gender-neutral language wherever it refers to the four Links.
After using one of several methods to extract or “dump” your own Four Swords Adventures GameCube game disc (specifically, the 2004 North American release) into an ISO file, you can then apply my gender-neutral patch of Four Swords Adventures as a .vcdiff patch file using the free xdelta utility which outputs a modified ISO file. You can play the modified ISO using a GC emulator or you can play it on an actual GC/Wii using any method that allows custom ISO files to be played on the GC/Wii.
This project is an ongoing work in progress, but here are the gender-neutral patches for the games in the Zelda series that I’ve completed so far and have made freely available:
- The Legend of Zelda (NES)
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA)
- The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX (GBC)
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GC)
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (GC)