The Dark Cloud

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The Dark Cloud is the second stage of the Realm of the Heavens, the final level of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. It is considered to be one of the longest stages in the game. The first half of the level is played in a 2D side-scrolling style, the same as was used in the Tower of Winds. There, Link finds the Bow and Bombs. At the end of the 2D half, Link steps into the light and is taken up to the second half of the stage, which is displayed the same way as most of the game.

In the second half, there are two paths available for the four Links to take. Link can obtain a Boomerang, but by far the most used is the Slingshot or the Magic Hammer, depending on which path Link chooses. Much of one path revolves around a large spike field. By slamming the hammer on the ground, nearby spikes pop up, revealing where Link can safely cross. The other path requires the use of the Slingshot to hit different Crystal Switches while on a platform, with the reward being much greater on this route. After navigating the spike field or the platforms, Link faces the final battle with Shadow Link. Realizing that the Dark Mirror, which is located in the center of the area, is causing multiple copies of Shadow Link to be revived as soon as they are killed, Princess Zelda takes control of the mirror and the seal holding it, allowing Link to ultimately defeat Shadow Link. After completing the stage, Link breaks the Vaati Barriers and enters the Palace of Winds.

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