Palace of the Four Sword

The Palace

Located inside the Pyramid of Power in the Dark World, the Palace of the Four Sword is available only in the GBA version of A Link to the Past. From the top of the pyramid, keep descending on the east side, and you’ll soon come across a hole in the wall. Enter, and you’ll find an entire new dungeon–but the way is blocked by a single fox character. You can only gain access to the rest of this extra difficult bonus dungeon by beating Ganon in A Link to the Past and Vaati in Four Swords on the same save file. Once you have beaten both, go up to the creature, pay 20 Rupees, and he will let you pass.

Be warned, however! This dungeon is more difficult than anything you’ve seen in either of the two games you’ve just beaten; even longtime veterans of A Link to the Past will be sufficiently challenged in the chambers ahead. Four Dark World bosses are revived here, and they are much tougher than their original counterparts. And if you can make it past them, then you have a four-part final battle awaiting you that will make Ganon (and Vaati) look like a Ball & Chain Soldier! Make sure you have on the highest caliber outfit, sword, shield, maxed out Heart Containers, the highest allotment of Bombs and especially Arrows, and all four bottles full of either Fairies or potions. Upon paying your 20-Rupee admission fee, proceed carefully up the foyer, dodging the Chain Chomps that will attack you on the way. The next room is a large central hub giving you four paths to take. Let’s tackle these paths one at a time. Begin by going in the door immediately to the west.

Of the four paths, this one is the simplest. You are met with a body of deep water, but the current prevents you from swimming northward. Notice the torch in the southwestern corner? Light it with the Fire Rod, stopping the current. Immediately dive into the water and make your way to the north as quickly as possible, pressing the A button repeatedly. Unfortunately, a spiked roller will meet you–simply dive underneath it with the B button. Also beware of all the canonballs being fired at you–you can dive underneath these too, or do your best to dodge.

Boss Battle: Arrghus

This battle, as might be expected, is fought very similarly to the original bout in the Swamp Palace. Arrghus has upped the ante, however, by surrounding himself with electrified Jellyfish instead of the nearly harmless Arrghi. Another interesting change is the presence of aquatic blobs that will rise out of the water and try to collide with Link during the entirety of this fight, so be on your guard for them as well. The strategy remains the same, though. Extract them one by one with your Hookshot–but don’t slash them immediately! Instead, wait just a half-second to see if they go electrical, at which point you’ll have to wait it out. If not, however, kill it! (Another option is to use Arrows, which is less risky, but you may run out eventually.) Do this with all the Jellyfish, making sure to keep your distance when Arrghus swings them all out at you in a circular form. After you’ve destroyed the last Jellyfish, Arrghus will circle around the room and leap high into the air on you just as he did previously, except he’s a heck of a lot faster now. Moreover, this being a more powerful form, he will require many more hits than his previous incarnation–even if you have the Golden Sword (and you most definitely should in this dungeon). Be tenacious in pursuing and dodging him, still wary of the water blobs, and with the aid of perhaps a Fairy or a bit of potion, Arrghus should fall.

After you’ve defeated the boss, go north to claim the Green Sword and take the warp tile back to the entrance of the dungeon. (I highly advise you, at the end of each boss battle, to leave the dungeon and replenish your life meter, magic meter, bottles, and ammo. Failing to do this could result in decisive defeat later in the dungeon!)

Next, return to the central hub, and this time take a right into the eastern door. This room looks simple enough–but hurry! Immediately fight and destroy the Jellyfish in the southwest corner of the room first of all. Then quickly move to the north of the barrier attached to the east wall until you’re above it. Now stay on that east wall as the floor nearby begins to crumble away in a square formation. Once it has done so, you’ll need to use your long-range weapons to destroy the rest of the enemies in this room to open the north door.

Go through to find a room with some blocks, a conveyor belt, and crystal switch. Smash the skull pot immediately to your left and hit the switch with your Boomerang. Now notice the single blue block that has just been lowered? Stand on it and push the block below you southward into the wall. Go where that block was and push the block now impeding your progress eastward against that wall. Now push the block immediately above you northward and gain access to the Turtle enemy, which you can now fight and defeat. Next go all the way around to where you initially used your Boomerang on the crystal switch. Create a block with the Cane of Somaria and throw it over the conveyor next to the switch. Now go back around to the furthest northeast corner of the room, next to the raised red block. Swing the Cane of Somaria to detonate the Somaria block into four fireballs, one of which will strike the switch, lower the red block, and give you access to the boss chamber.

Boss Battle: Helmasaur King

As if this battle weren’t tough enough the first time around–this will battle will far exceed even that! One obvious change to note here is the presence of spike traps not only in the back of the room where the boss himself is–but now also in both southern corners where you might otherwise seek refuge from his attacks! So whenever he starts swinging his tail around for his massive tail-swipe attack, you’ll have to stand directly in front of his face to dodge it. When he emits the ever-dividing fireballs, note that they always split off diagonally, so try to stand either directly in front of or to the side of the fireballs. For the first part of this battle, use either the Magic Hammer or Bombs to chip away at and destroy the beast’s mask, just as in the original battle. Once his jeweled forehead is exposed, he’ll start spitting out smaller Helmasaurs at you; defeat them as you usually would. As for the weak point itself, you can only damage it with your sword, so get to it. After many hits, he will regrow another mask. Destroy it as you did the first one, and finally you’ll expose a large, single eyeball for a weak point. Hit it with a single Silver Arrow, and the Helmasaur King will be destroyed at last!

After you’ve defeated the boss, go north to claim the Red Sword and take the warp tile back to the entrance of the dungeon. Again, restock on all your supplies before proceeding.

Back at the central hub, now go northwest, and you’ll find some stairs in the northern wall. Take them to enter the third area of the palace. You arrive in a dark room, so use the Fire Rod to light one or both torches you see on this high platform. Afterward, descend onto the icy floor, being careful of your footing as you battle an Octoballoon and two Octoroks in order to open the way forward. Take the door west to reach the next room.

In this room, note that you’ll have to defeat all the enemies in this room before you can proceed. Simply fight them as you come to them, or as they come into range. What’s more important, though, is to focus on the puzzle in this chamber. First, step on the star switch dead in front of you in the doorway. Second, hookshot over to the skull pot in the southeast corner, stepping on the star tiles there. Third, hookshot west to the two skull pots on the middle portion of the south wall. Fourth, hookshot to the skull pot in the southwest corner. Underneath this skull pot is a floor switch; place a Cane of Somaria block on it to keep the switch pressed. Now it’s just a matter of walking eastward to an easily reachable set of star tiles, stepping on them, then proceeding north through the open door.

This can be a confusing little room. First, hit the crystal switch in the northeast corner of the room with your Boomerang, then throw a Cane of Somaria block on top of it. Now descend to the lower part and walk along the south path to reach the north ladder. Once you’re up there, detonate the Somaria block, hitting the switch, which lowers the red block in your way and grants you access to the boss chamber.

Boss Battle: Mothula

Another already difficult boss becomes even more intimidating. Thankfully, though, this floor doesn’t move, nor are there any spike traps. Mothula makes up for this, however, by producing two decoys to fool you. You’ll know you’re attacking a decoy when it goes down after only one or two hits and leaves angry bees in its wake after you’ve defeated it. Quickly kill the bees to minimize stinging. If you end up destroying both decoys, the real Mothula will simply spawn two more. Your true target takes a great many hits. Begin by wailing on it with the Fire Rod (be sure to bring at least one bottle of either Green or Blue Potion to this battle) as it’s particularly weak to fire. When that’s out, then you must rely on your sword. Be ever vigilant, dodging a triple dose of fire ring attacks, never relenting on the attack, and the battle will be yours. Have your remaining three bottles full of Fairies or healing potions as well if you want to live to see the end of this fight.

After you’ve defeated the boss, go north to claim the Blue Sword and take the warp tile back to the entrance of the dungeon. Again, restock on all your supplies before proceeding.

Now there’s only one way left to go from the central hub. Go to the northeast corner and take the stairs in the north wall there. You’ll find yourself in a long, narrow, and unfortunately dark hallway. What makes this place particularly tricky is the presence of Like-Likes (not seen in the main part of this game), who can eat your shield, as well as blue bumpers that will bump you backward right into them if you don’t proceed carefully. Light the two torches if you wish. Upon entering this area, go east, then follow the hall south, and west. When you start going west, take your first turn south (to avoid the blue bumper). At the dead end, go west (not east, which is where another blue bumper is), then loop down and around in order to reach the eastern door that takes you into the next room. Carefully destroy any Like-Likes that cross your path.

In this next room you’ll have some skull pots that you’ll need to destroy–but from a distance. Use the Silver Arrow! Shoot a Silver Arrow at the lone skull pot in the northwestern part of the room, as well as the one attached to the east wall–this one hiding a floor switch. How to reach it, though? Produce a block with the Cane of Somaria, and throw it such that it lands on and stays on the switch. Remember the other skull pot you destroyed, the one to the north? Hookshot over to there and proceed through the now open door. The following room is deceptively simple. Destroy the four Keese that meet you in here, then hookshoot to the block on the middle platform. But how to get across to the northern door? Simple. Stand due north of the lone block, face it, then ram into it with Pegasus Boots. The impact will send you flying across the gap to the platform with the door! (Alternatively, you can use a Bomb to get across, but you’ll take damge by doing so.)

Boss Battle: Blind the Thief

Just like the first time, this boss will begin with a bit of treacherous deceit. Instead of posing as a maiden, though, you’ll find him pretending to be your own uncle! Nevertheless, after he changes into his true form, the battle will be on. This one is probably the most complicated of the bonus battles. First off, attack him as usual with sword swipes as he moves around the room, being careful to dodge his fireballs and especially his powerful laser attack. After enough hits, his head will detach and fly around on its own, while the body keeps shooting at you. Similar to the boss of Death Mountain in Four Swords, you must use your sword to knock Blind’s head back into his own body, reuniting him. Once you do that, hit him two or three times to make two heads detach and fly around the room. Hit them also such that they are knocked back into Blind’s body. Hack away at the rejoined body, and this time three heads will run rampant around the room. Deflect them all back toward the body and claim victory over Blind for good!

After you’ve defeated the boss, go north to claim the Purple Sword and take the warp tile back to the entrance of the dungeon. Congratulations, you’ve just forged all four components of the Four Sword! One final challenge remains, however. Now more than ever, make sure that all your hearts are filled, your magic meter full, and all four bottles containing either Fairies or potions. Back one last time in the central hub, now proceed straight north, up the steps. Two Skeleton Knights will drop from the ceiling to ambush you; defeat them and move on to the electrified doorway to the north. Slash this barrier and proceed northward. The next room contains a vast bottomless pit and an invisible walkway over this pit. Save your Ether Medallion and simply go straight up and across to the north door. Therein lies the final battle!

Boss Battle: Four Dark Links

Green Link: The first Link doppledanger to challenge you will naturally be the simplest to fight. His only attacks consist of swiping his sword at you and charging at you with his Pegasus Boots. Dodge the sword, and when he charges at you, make sure you’re not standing within his line of pursuit–rather, move a little to the side and let him run into the wall. As he’s rebounding from crashing into the wall, move in and attack with your sword–or better yet, hit him with a spin attack! Other than that, he will be hard to attack since he can both dodge your sword swipes with a backward jump, as well as deflect them with his Mirror Shield if you attack head-on. So attack either from the side or behind, or lure him into a dash attack. Keep up these strategies, and this incarnation of Link’s dark side will soon fall.

Red Link: But next comes another doppledanger, this one with the abilities of the previous Dark Link yet also with the hurricane spin attack added to his arsenal (the same one you earn by completing the riddle quest)! Unlike normal sword swipes, there’s no way you can counter the whirlwind attack with a mere sword slash of your own–you can only get out of the way. Wait for him to stop spinning, then move in for the attack. Also, luring him into a dash as with the Green Link works well here too. Defeating him only means you’re halfway through the final battle, though.

Blue Link: Things get really unfair when this newest doppledanger not only has all of his predecessors’ abilities, but even gains a new one that you can never have–the ability to jump in the air and use a downthrust on you with his sword. (This is indeed similar to Link’s downthrusting ability in Zelda II.) He’s very fast in doing this too, making it hard to tell when it’s coming. Do your best to avoid it, then move in for the attack once he lands. Also, the strategies from the previous two Dark Links apply here as well. After his demise, there’s only one foe left to defeat!

Purple Link: This doppledanger is a doozy. He actually doesn’t copy all the abilities of the other three–he uses all except one, the dash attack, the downside of which is that it leaves you no convenient opening for an attack. The new attack that he brings to the table is the ability to shoot fire beams from his sword, which will be difficult to dodge if you’re not expecting it. To make things worse, his armor is tougher than the other three, seeing as how he takes twice as many hits to bring down. Except for luring him into a dash attack (since he doesn’t use that), the strategies from the other three fights will have to suffice here too. After he finishes an attack, do your best to move in (from the side or behind) and attack him with your sword. Alternatively, since this is the final battle, feel free to go all out with more creative attacks, like using the fireballs from a Cane of Somaria block. With perseverance, practice, patience, and either potion or Fairies, you should be able to prevail. And once you do, congratulations! You have now beaten this game package totally and completely. Enjoy the new ending!

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