From Zelda Wiki, the Zelda encyclopedia
Flagship is an independent developer funded by Capcom, Nintendo and Sega that was founded by game designer Yoshiki Okamoto. Flagship has often created scenarios for new and existing products, and has developed for Nintendo several times recently on the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance.
Conception: Flagship was founded by Yoshiki Okamoto on April 24, 1997. The company creates scenarios for games. Flagship, working under Capcom, with permission from Nintendo, has developed several The Legend of Zelda games.
Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons
Flagship began developing three new GBC Zelda games under supervision of Shigeru Miyamoto around the year 2000. The original plan concerned a trilogy known as the "Triforce Trilogy", comprised of updated remakes of The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link, and a third installment. After consulting with Mr. Miyamoto, the company decided to make an original trilogy, called the "Mysterious/Mystical Seed Trilogy", each game revolving around one of the three goddesses — Din for "The Mysterious Seed of Power", which had gameplay mechanics related to Seasons; Farore for " The Mystical Seed of Courage", a time-travel adventure (Ages); and Nayru for "The Mysterious Seed of Wisdom", which used color as the central gameplay element. Nintendo eventually decided that having only two games would make linking easier, so Farore's game was canceled, and after a bit of shuffling and rearranging, Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons were born, bearing several hallmarks of earlier stages of development, particularly elements in Seasons which hearken back to the original The Legend of Zelda. The two games combined ended up selling 3.96 million copies.
The group's next outing in the land of Hyrule was a two-for-one: a port of the Super Nintendo classic, A Link to the Past; and their new, two-to-four-player game, Four Swords. Four Swords marked the first time a Zelda game had ever featured multiplayer gameplay; indeed, no single-player mode was included, something which frustrated many isolated gamers. Also new to the series were level-based play, with the absence of an overworld (a level-select map screen was used instead), and randomly generated (or at least randomly manifesting) areas within each level. Players had to cooperate to complete tasks (the game adjusted these task to suit the current number of players), but also competed to collect the most rupees in each level. Instead of Ganon, the villain was a wind mage named Vaati. It also inspired a Nintendo-made sequel: Four Swords Adventures.
The Minish Cap
Released in the US in 2005 and everywhere else at the end of 2004, The Minish Cap details the origin of the mysterious Four Sword. As in the other Four Swords games, Vaati is the antagonist, but rather than a black, winged eye, he appears at first as a somewhat normal-looking person. Seemingly harmless in the beginning, he soon opens a chest full of malevolent spirits, and generally creates havoc – including turning Princess Zelda to stone. Her friend Link embarks on a journey to save her by finding the legendary Picori, tiny creatures who alone can restore a magical sword Vaati has broken. On his quest, he comes upon a green cap/bird creature being harassed by Octoroks. Saving the creature, named Ezlo, opens up the game's novel play mechanic: shrinking Link to the size of a Minish/Picori to explore his world from an entirely new perspective. Well received by critics and fans, this game returned to the handheld standard of allowing Link to assign any two items to the A and B buttons, fighting without a sword if he so chooses. It also introduced kinstone pieces, collectible colored fragments which could be joined with appropriate pieces held by NPCs to form a whole kinstone (a process called kinstone fusion) and create an effect somewhere in the Hyrule.
An unusual reference to Flagship's earlier work is the cameo appearance of the three Oracles from the Oracle Series. Link can help each of them to find a house in Hyrule Castle Town, but one of them will never receive a new house. While the game suggests that a third house will become available at some point in the game, it never does. Whether this is an unfinished gameplay element, or a deliberate reference to the Oracle games that also lack their third member, is unknown.