The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

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The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Series The Legend of Zelda
Platform(s) GameCube
Release date(s) JP March 18, 2004
NA June 7, 2004
EU January 7, 2005
AUS April 7, 2005
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer, Co-op
Input methods GameCube Controller, Game Boy Advance
Compatibility 5Stars5.pngEdit rating: The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
GameIDs G4SE01, G4SP01, G4SJ01
See also...

Dolphin Forum thread
Open Issues
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The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures is a video game in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series. It was released for the Nintendo GameCube in Japan on March 18, 2004; in North America on June 7, 2004; in Europe on January 7, 2005; and in Australia on April 7, 2005. The Game Boy Advance hand held game console can be used as a controller when using the Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable bundled with the game.

Game Boy Player

Game Boy connection support can be supported via joybus emulation. Such requires VBA-M (r947 or newer) and a dump of GBA BIOS (see here an excellent dump guide). To connect GBA:

  1. Launch Dolphin (only r6059 or newer will work with DSP HLE plug-in, otherwise one must use the DSP LLE plug-in
  2. Start Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures and choose multi-player
  3. In connection screen, go to Config => GameCube and change the ports to GBA
  4. Launch VBA-M, go to Options => Emulator and uncheck "Pause When Inactive". Then, go to Options => Link => Joybus options, mark "Enable Joybus Connection" and use default settings (
  5. When enabling joybus, Dolphin will freeze (don't panic, its OK!). Now load the GBA Bios in VBA-M, after the splash screen Dolphin will recognize the joybus link and game will detect it as a standard GBA.

To connect other GBAs, just repeat last instruction. Remember to unblock Dolphin and VBA-M in your firewall (some firewalls may block joybus link), otherwise Dolphin will stuck in connection screen. If you are in doubt, refer to this video for more details.


Z-Order/Transparency Issues

Some sprites, primarily trees, are not ordered/transparent appropriately and layer on top of the player sprites. Refer issue 3426.

Odd Glitches

Odd rendering glitches sometimes occur.


Game can crash, stop, and/or freeze while going to another area after getting the fire rod on the other side of the river. In level 1-1 this can be avoided by picking up the boomerang again after burning the stumps outside the house and going over the river. Other crashes may occur, refer issue 5490

Moon Gate Crash

The game crashes when entering a Moon Gate, or operates very slowly under some versions. Can be resolved by enabling, Skip CPU EFB Access.

Can't Hold Button

In the game, there are events that require holding a button such as pulling a switch. It may not be possible to hold it for long enough because the button press is disrupted among frames. This problem can be avoided by disabling "idle skipping" in the configuration or by using VBA-M as the controller


When the frame rate is below 60 FPS sometimes one soundtrack will loop or hang causing all other sounds to be muted.

Pixel Shader from Byte Code

With 3.0-191 and likely other revisions, restarting the game after play has started will generate the warning "CreatePixelShaderFromByteCode failed at Src\D3DShader.cpp 151".


Only configuration options for the best compatibility where they deviate from defaults are listed.


Config Setting Notes
Video Back End OpenGL or Direct3D 11 The Direct3D9 plug-in has invisible texture problems post window resizing
Skip EFB Access from CPU On Corrects hang/crash/slow performance at Moon Gates
Texture Cache Accuracy Position 4 Prevents texture errors and all Link sprites being black.

Version Compatibility

The graph below charts the compatibility with The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures since Dolphin's 2.0 release, listing revisions only where a compatibility change occurred.

5.0-12257 (current)
2.0 (r5384)
Compatibility can be assumed to align with the indicated revisions. However, compatibility may extend to prior revisions or compatibility gaps may exist within ranges indicated as compatible due to limited testing. Please update as appropriate.


This title has been tested on the environments listed below:

Test Entries
Revision OS Version CPU GPU Result Tester
r4598 Windows Vista x86 Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 @ 2.2GHz Intel GMA 945 Fully playable: 50-80 FPS with default settings and DX9 plug-in
r6315 Intel Core i7-720 ATI Radeon HD 5730 Fully playable, even with multiplayer (GBA Link with Dolphin and VBA-M)
r6887 Windows Vista x86 Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 @ 2.2GHz ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470 Playable: Could play until the Moon Gate crash. 50-60 FPS with DX9 plug-in and OpenCL enabled.
r7303 Windows 7 x64 AMD Phenom II X3 N850 @ 2.2GHz ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 Slow: 10-30 FPS with DX11
r7440 Windows XP x86 Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.93GHz nVidia GeForce GTX 260 Playable: Some massive slowdowns and the known glitches. First Moon Gate worked fine, second crashed the game. Proto
r7714 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i3-370M @ 2.4GHz ATI Radeon HD 6370M Fully playable: No slowdowns, no known glitches.
3.0-436 Windows XP x64 Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT Runs okay, 25-35 FPS.
3.0-681 Linux Ubuntu 12.04 x86_64 AMD Athlon 64 X2 @ 3.2GHz nVidia GeForce GTS 450 Work great, but the game can freeze (issue 5490). RyDroid
^3.0-377 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i7-2600K ATI Radeon HD 6850 Work great, but the game can freeze/slowdown on when you enter a moongate. Fixed the problem with "Skip EFB access from CPU".
3.5-1769 Windows 7 x64 Intel Core i5-650 @ 3.2GHz ATI Radeon HD 5570 Runs great till Level 2-2. Transparency issues and similar minor graphical bugs are still there, but the game runs mostly at full speed. There is only some lag when the screen becomes busy. No audio problems discovered. No crashes, even not at moon gates. When entering those gates, there is an extreme lag, but no crash or freeze. This can be easily fixed by enabling "Skip CPU EFB Access". No error messages on reboot. No control issues. Enabled EFB copy to texture, anything else were standard settings. But when playing Level 2-3, the sound can stuck and the "can't hold button" bug is again there. Didn´t test the game further. Multiplayer untested. DARK

Gameplay Videos

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