Four Swords Nintendo Gives Away Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition for 3DS, DSi

3DS and DSi owners will be able to download a free copy of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition through Nintendo’s digital shops anytime between now and February 20th, 2012.  What’s that, you ask?  Check out all the details after the jump….

One of the least known games in the franchise, Four Swords was a distinct multiplayer-centric adventure first bundled into Gameboy Advance copies of A Link to the Past.  The story involved Princess Zelda’s abduction at the claws of Vaati, a shadowy bat-winged eyeball who can only be defeated by collecting copious amounts of rupees, but this is primarily an excuse to have Link scamper around a colorful top-down world with three clones controlled by your friends.  The ultimate goal in each stage was to be the Link who collected the most rupees, but because each player could only carry a single item at a time, players needed to work together to overcome the obstacles in their path.  This neat design aptly blended traditional Zelda conventions with a Gauntlet-like sense of competitive cooperation, but was often hampered by the need to cable together four Gameboy Advance systems running individual copies of the game.

Four Swords Anniversary Edition replaces that tangle of link cables with local wireless multiplayer between any combination of DSi and 3DS systems you like.  It’s also been updated with new levels based on classic Zelda games, including monochrome 8-bit environments straight out of the original Gameboy, and even an all-new single player mode featuring two Links tackling challenges reminiscent of a Mario & Luigi game.

Check out the full scoop on The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords at Nintendo’s official game site, and be sure to snag your free copy before the offer expires in late February!