The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Was Originally Planned As A Multiplayer Title
As it turns out, Nintendo wanted to feature multiplayer in Legend of Zelda long before Four Swords.
Dark Horse Comic's recently released Hyrule Historia has been a delightful cache of information new and old for Legend of Zelda fans, packing within its 272 pages the much debated official Legend of Zelda timeline, a comic by the game's original manga series artist Akira Himekawa, and of course the titular full history of the land of Hyrule.
Also shared is a host of previously unseen concept art, at least one piece of which reveals a tidbit about the 1993 Gameboy classic The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. As you can see in the screen shot above, a bubble from some early plans says "Problem: What're We Gonna Do About 1P Mode?", suggesting not only that Link's Awakening was originally planned as a multiplayer game, but exclusively so. As noted by ScrewAttack, the monochromatic palette of the Gameboy would have made differentiating between the four players very difficult, which likely contributed to their decision to shelf the feature for what would be another ten years, re-emerging for the Four Swords re-release of Link's Awakening on Gameboy Advance in 2002, which later was ported to Gamecube.
I personally loved the gameplay style of Four Swords and wouldn't mind seeing Nintendo bringing it back in a future installment, how about you?