Artwork of the Four Sword from The Minish Cap
Repelling and banishing evil
Creating clones of the wielder
Providing Time Travel when in need of Force Gems
Sensing portals to the Dark World
The Four Sword is a recurring item in The Legend of Zelda series. It is a legendary magical blade that sparkles with magical power, and it has a hilt of gold, usually encrusted with a jewel that varies in color. As its name implies, when wielded by one of pure heart, it has the power to split its pedestal into four near-identical copies of themselves. Not only this, but like its spiritual counterpart in the series, the Master Sword, it possesses the power to repel evil, meaning that like the Master Sword, it cannot be touched by those of impure heart. Like its counterpart, the only person shown to have wielded it in gameplay is the hero of Hyrule, Link. Typically when it is in use by Link, it will split him into four copies of himself with differing colored tunics: green, red, blue and purple. It has often been used to seal evil entities away such as Vaati and later Ganon.
- Main article: Picori Blade
Unlike the Master Sword, the Four Sword was not originally of the world of Hyrule, nor did it originally go by that name. As revealed in The Minish Cap, the Four Sword began as a creation of a race of tiny, thumb-sized beings known as the Minish (known as the "Picori" by Hylians) and was known as the Picori Blade. Long in Hyrule's past, a war broke out across the land when an army of dark creatures descended upon it and wreaked havoc. Just as all seemed lost, a young man known as the Hero of Men rose up to defend Hyrule, and the tiny Minish descended from the sky bringing him a Sword, the Picori Blade, and a golden light, the Light Force. Using these two gifts, the hero drove back the creatures and locked them all away within the Bound Chest, sealing it with the Sword itself. Following these events, the Picori Blade was carefully enshrined by the people of Hyrule while the Light Force was magically sealed inside Hyrule's princess. For many years afterward, the blade that would one day become the Four Sword was kept in the care of the Royal Family of Hyrule. It would be brought out of Hyrule Castle once a year for the annual Picori Festival held to honor the service the Minish rendered during the war against evil.
A Link to the Past
When completing A Link to the Past & Four Swords for the Game Boy Advance, the secret Palace of the Four Sword dungeon becomes available. Here, Link must defeat more challenging versions of the bosses from A Link to the Past and recover shards of the Four Sword. Once all four shards are collected, Link must fight four Dark Links. After defeating them, the shards unite and become the Four Sword.
In its titular appearance, the Four Sword appears as a sacred blade enshrined in the Four Sword Sanctuary that seals away a great evil, the Wind Sorcerer Vaati. According to legend, when Vaati rose to power some time in the past, he carried off many beautiful maidens to his palace and terrorized the people of Hyrule until a heroic young man wielding a Sword appeared. The hero was able to defeat Vaati, seal him within the blade of the Sword, and rescue the maidens. Nobody seemed to know how this young man succeeded where countless others had failed, but the maidens spoke of how his Sword caused him to split into four copies of himself and how the four who were one worked together to subdue the Wind Sorcerer. Following these events, the blade was left enshrined deep within the forests of Hyrule, in the Four Sword Sanctuary where it served as Vaati's prison.
Four Swords begins many years after these events. Princess Zelda goes with her childhood friend, Link, for a stroll through the Four Sword Sanctuary to check the seal on Vaati, which the princess senses is weakening. When they arrive, a dark figure descends upon the scene and captures the princess. Vaati reveals that the seal of the Four Sword is broken and that he will rage once again, but not before carrying Princess Zelda off to his palace above the clouds and making her his bride. The Wind Mage knocks Link out and carries the princess away, and shortly thereafter three fairies descend upon the scene as Link comes to, revealing to him what has become of the princess and explaining the power of the Four Sword to him. Seeing that he will have need of its power, Link draws the blade from its pedestal and is shattered into four colorful copies of himself. The four Links then use the Four Sword, now also shattered into four versions of itself (each having a different colored jewel to match the Link that wields it), to work their way across Hyrule to acquire the Keys necessary to open the way to Vaati's Palace. The heroes, after much toil, succeed in this endeavor and reach the palace, where they battle Vaati and, with the Sword's power, succeed in defeating him, resealing him within its blade. They free Princess Zelda from her captivity and return the blade to its resting place in the Four Sword Sanctuary, once again holding Vaati at bay.
Four Swords Adventures
In its second appearance, the Four Sword is shown to still rest in the Four Sword Sanctuary for several centuries. The Sword still seals away the Wind Sorcerer Vaati after he was re-sealed within it by Link and Princess Zelda. With the passing of time, the people have come to feel a sense of peace and security. However, dark storm clouds soon blacken the skies of Hyrule and fill all who see them with fear and dread. This has caused some to fear that the seal of the Four Sword binding Vaati may once again be weakening. The specter of Vaati's return causes such disturbance that Princess Zelda sees fit to convene a meeting of the six other Shrine Maidens that guard the different regions of Hyrule and have the power to open the way to the Four Sword's resting place. Intending to inspect the Sword's seal herself, Zelda decides to take Link along with her for extra security while she checks to see if Vaati's return is really imminent.
Upon opening the portal to the Four Sword Sanctuary, the entire party of the Shrine Maidens, Zelda and Link are surprised by the emergence of Shadow Link, who kidnaps the Shrine Maidens and Zelda before luring Link through the portal to the Four Sword Sanctuary. Seeing he has no weapon to duel his dark doppelganger, Link draws the Four Sword from its pedestal, causing himself to split apart in the same manner the Sword had worked previously, causing him to split into four different colored versions of himself. Shadow Link laughs and makes a quick exit as Vaati escapes his prison once again and sends the four Links far away with a whirlwind. Upon awakening, the four meet Kaepora Gaebora, who tells them that they must master the power of the Four Sword in order to defeat Vaati and rescue Zelda and the Shrine Maidens. To do this, they must gather a total of 2,000 Force Gems in each area they visit to fully power up the Four Sword and give it the Power to Repel Evil. In this manner, the four heroes work their way across Hyrule and gradually rescue all of the maidens with the power of the Four Sword. They eventually reach the Palace of Winds and confront Vaati, ultimately destroying him for good using the blade's power. However, it turns out that the true evil behind Vaati's release and the evil plaguing Hyrule is Ganon, who has stolen a Trident possessing the great magic of an evil spirit. Confronting Ganon alongside Princess Zelda, the four heroes succeed in subduing him while the Shrine Maidens magically seal him within the blade of the Four Sword. The Sword is returned to the Four Sword Sanctuary soon after, now serving as the prison of Ganon.
The Minish Cap
The origins of the Four Sword are revealed in The Minish Cap, where it is revealed to have once been known as the Picori Blade and was used by the Hero of Men to lock away the beasts that plagued Hyrule during the War of the Bound Chest. By the start of the game, many long years have passed since the war. The annual Picori Festival is being put on while marking the hundredth year since the Minish last came to Hyrule (as the Minish Door opens only once a century). The festival's Sword-fighting tournament winner gains the honor of approaching the Bound Chest and touching the Picori Blade itself. The winner this year is a new face in Hyrule, a dark stranger named Vaati. However, the stranger reveals he is a powerful sorcerer and uses his dark magic to blast open the Bound Chest thinking the Light Force is inside, shattering the Picori Blade in the process. When the evil sorcerer turns Princess Zelda to stone, Hyrule's King Daltus sends Link (and consequently his companion, Ezlo) on a quest to restore the Picori Blade and use its power to break Vaati's curse on Princess Zelda.
To this end, Link has the blade's fragments re-forged into the White Sword by the master Minish smithy Melari and learns from the Minish that he needs the mystical Four Elements in order to transform it into a new sacred Sword. The Four Elements are the crystalline jewels infused with the powers of the major Four Elements of the world: earth, fire, water and wind. They are scattered all across Hyrule in different locations, and Link must take them to the Elemental Sanctuary located in Hyrule Castle's courtyard in order to infuse each into the blade of the re-forged Sword. Meanwhile, Vaati, still searching for the Light Force, learns that it rests in a sealed chamber within the Elemental Sanctuary, and that the sacred blade is necessary to gain access to it. The villain decides to wait for Link to restore the sacred blade and use him to gain entry to this chamber. This plan succeeds when Link successfully retrieves the final Element, the Wind Element, from the Palace of Winds and brings it to the Elemental Sanctuary, where infusing its power into the blade alongside the others fully regenerates the blade and transforms it into the Four Sword. This opens the chamber revealing the location of the Light Force, which turns out to be embodied within the body of Princess Zelda. Vaati learns this and takes Zelda to the roof of the now Dark Hyrule Castle to perform the ceremony necessary to extract the Light Force from her. Link arrives in time to stop the ceremony and is forced to confront Vaati in several deadly forms (ending with him finally transforming into his Wind Mage form). By creating four copies of himself, Link finally manages to defeat him.
The Four Sword is a double-edged blade with a spear-point at its tip and a fuller hilt, which has usually been depicted as being gold in color. The hilt is engraved with an eye-like symbol, likely a reference to its history with Vaati the Wind Mage. On the pommel of the Sword's hilt near the top, the Sword is typically depicted as having a round jewel whose color usually reflects its wielder. For example, the part of the Four Sword wielded by the green Link will have a green jewel whereas the red Link's Sword will have a red jewel. In Link's case, the Sword will have a green, red, blue and purple jewel in each of its clones for each copy of Link. When the Sword is not in use however, it appears that the jewel has a dull greenish color likely to reflect its dormancy.
The Sword is shown to not have always been of this design however. For instance, when it was known as the Picori Blade, it more closely resembled the Master Sword with its purplish-colored hilt. After it is shattered by Vaati and re-forged into the White Sword by Melari however, it begins to more resemble the shape of the Sword it would become, albeit with a green-colored hilt. It was not until the power of the Four Elements were infused into the Sword that it finally transformed into its present incarnation, with its hilt changing first from red to blue and finally to the gold color that is seen in the chronologically later games. The Four Elements, which would chronologically later become known as the four "Royal Jewels," also typically are kept near the Four Sword's resting place on a special pedestal.
Powers and Abilities
Like the Master Sword, the Four Sword is blessed with many magical capabilities that have been infused into its enchanted blade. Some of these capabilities have been present in each game the Sword is featured in while others have been specific to a particular game. In total, there have been three major abilities the Sword has shown itself capable of performing, though as stated earlier not all of these have appeared in every game the Sword is featured in. Also, some of these abilities that are shown in more than one game are shown to slightly differ from game to game. Overall, the Sword has shown itself capable of repelling and sealing evil entities away, creating three separate clones of the blade's wielder, and also breaking powerful curses.
When the Sword is drawn from its pedestal, it will cause its wielder to split apart into four separate versions of themselves, each nearly identical to the original. The sole differences between the different clones is the tones of their voices (some are deeper than others) and the color of their clothing (in Link's case, his different clones along with himself are colored the four aforementioned colors). The non-canonical manga has depicted the Four Sword as causing the different colored clones to represent different sides of one's psyche as well. The four can work together as a team or they can work independently should the need arise as well.
When the four Links choose to fight in formation, they can do so in four different ways: horizontal line, vertical line, box and diamond. The horizontal line is just as it implies, with the four Links lining up in a vertical line and attacking in unison. The same principle applies for the vertical line with the exception of the four Links standing vertically instead. The box formation has the four Links stand together in a square shape and attack as though in a box. Finally, the diamond formation has the four Links assemble themselves in a diamond shape and attack from all sides simultaneously.
The Sword's ability to create clones has varied from game to game. For instance, while in Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures the Sword keeps the clones around indefinitely and in varying colors, this principle is different in The Minish Cap, where Link must power up the Four Sword and stand on special tiles to create the clones, who all look alike and only manifest themselves for a limited time before vanishing. The reason for this difference is not made clear, though it's likely just an aesthetic change for gameplay's sake. In this same game, the Four Sword also shows the ability to, when charged up, cast a magical beam of energy that can break curses, such as the curse Vaati placed upon Princess Zelda.
When Link's health is full in most games featuring the Four Sword, the Sword will emit an energy beam. However, in Four Swords Adventures, the Sword's power is based upon Force Gems, 2000 of which Link must recover in each area in order to restore the power to repel evil to the Sword's blade. Only when this is accomplished can Link destroy the Barriers in each area made with Vaati's magic and proceed to the next area. If not enough Force Gems have been found by the end of the area, the Sword will take Link back in time to redo the level and find enough of them. In Four Swords, the Sword will not emit an energy beam until Link has acquired the Master Sword in A Link to the Past.
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||フォーソード (Fō Sōdo)||Four Sword|
|FrenchCA||Épée de Quatre (FSAE)||Sword of the Four|
|FrenchEU||Epée de Quatre||Sword of the Four|
|German||Schwert der Vier||Sword of the Four|
|SpanishEU||Espada Cuádruple||Quadruple Sword|
- Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 124 (ALttP | FS | FSA | TMC)
- "It has mysterious powers... Legends say that when mighty Vaati attacked, a hero arose and saved the people from destruction. They go on to say that by using this sword, the one was as four, and the four combined their strength!" — N/A (Four Swords)
- "Your swords are filled with the power to repel evil!" — N/A (Four Swords Adventures)
- "That is the sacred blade I spoke of, the Four Sword. Sealed away in its forged steel is Vaati, the wind mage." — N/A (Four Swords)
- "The gifts the Picori gave the humans... What you call the Picori Blade was the first of those gifts. The second... Well, you call it light force, but it is a source of limitless magical power." — Ezlo (The Minish Cap)
- "The tiny Picori appeared from the sky, bringing the hero of men a sword and a golden light." — N/A (The Minish Cap)
- "With wisdom and courage, the hero drove out the darkness." — N/A (The Minish Cap)
- "Do you know about that sword, Link? It is called the Picori Blade, and it locks much evil away in that chest." — Minister Potho (The Minish Cap)
- "When peace had been restored, the people enshrined that blade with care." — N/A (The Minish Cap)
- "The legend has it that, long ago, the Picori gave us this blade. Whoever wins the competition earns the honor of touching the sacred blade." — Minister Potho (The Minish Cap)
- "In his assaults on the villages, Vaati would kidnap any beautiful girls who caught his fancy." (A Link to the Past & Four Swords manual, pg. 30)
- "As rumors of the blade's power to divide a person into four entities spread, the people built a shrine to protect it." (A Link to the Past & Four Swords manual, pg. 31)
- "My name is Vaati. I am the great wind mage! The seal is broken... so I shall rage yet again!" — Vaati (Four Swords)
- "I shall make you my bride!" — Vaati (Four Swords)
- "These six maidens guard the portal to the Four Sword Sanctuary to keep it safe." — Zelda (Four Swords Adventures)
- "This sword guards the seal on the wind sorcerer Vaati." — N/A (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Swiftly and suddenly, dark clouds covered all of Hyrule. Ominous clouds that filled all those who saw them with fear... A sense of dread swept across the land." — N/A (Four Swords Adventures)
- "The sky has become so dark and foreboding... I'm worried about the seal that binds the wind sorcerer Vaati." — Zelda (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Now, the shrine maidens and I must open the portal to the Four Sword's resting place." — Zelda (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Ah! Wh...who are--? It can't be... You're... Link?!" — Zelda (Four Swords Adventures)
- "If you draw the sword, you must know what will happen. Will you still draw forth the sword?" — N/A (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Hoot hoot! At last, you're awake, Link. I am Kaepora Gaebora. ... You sword is weak, but you can restore its power by infusing it with Force Gems." — Kaepora Gaebora (Four Swords Adventures)
- "To return the sword to its full strength, find the source of that power: Force Gems. Gather Force Gems wherever they lie, and rescue the maidens and Princess Zelda." — N/A (Four Swords Adventures)
- "...Ah! Link?! Is that you? And the shrine maidens! You're all safe... I'm so relieved." — Zelda (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Link! You've defeated the wind sorcerer Vaati. ...!" — Zelda (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Ganon... This beast was once of the Gerudo... Once human. He was called Ganondorf! King of Darkness, ancient demon reborn. The wielder of the trident!!" — Zelda (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Now, the Four Sword... Place the sword that sealed away the darkness on the pedestal." — Zelda (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Let the award ceremony commence! Vaati, champion of the competition, you may approach the blade!" — Minister Potho (The Minish Cap)
- "...?!? Empty? There was nothing in there but those monsters? What is the meaning of this? Well, I know the force I'm after is somewhere out there. I'm in no hurry. I can take my time searching for it. Heh heh heh..." — Vaati (The Minish Cap)
- "If Link has recovered, then yes, I would like to ask this of him. Please, turn my precious Zelda back to normal. The Picori should know how to create a new sacred sword." — King Daltus (The Minish Cap)
- "Wow! That was fast work! But not so fast that I didn't finish your sword! Here, take a look! I call this blade the White Sword!" — Melari (The Minish Cap)
- "Once you infuse it with the power of the elements, it will become a sacred blade!" — Melari (The Minish Cap)
- "If you want to infuse the sword, you must go to the elemental sanctuary. The sanctuary is a strange realm, trapped between two worlds. It is the bridge between the Minish world and the human world." — Melari (The Minish Cap)
- "You all know of the power the Picori gave to mankind, do you not? The golden light force of limitless magical power... I want it!!! It is somewhere here in Hyrule! Go now, and bring me this power!" — King Daltus (The Minish Cap)
- "Well, you're too late. A mere three more chimes to the bell will bring the ceremony to its end! And with the third toll of the bell, I will become like a god! And your precious Princess Zelda will be nothing more than cold, dead stone." — Vaati (The Minish Cap)
- "With the power of the four elements, your blade has become the Four Sword!" — N/A (The Minish Cap)
- "However, you must first gather the royal jewels to reveal the path to the Tower of Winds." — Green Maiden (Four Swords Adventures)