Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Family Computer Disk System, Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo GameCube, and Game Boy Advance. It is the second installment in The Legend of Zelda series.
Why It Rocks
- Great graphics that are more polished and incorporates new elements that reflect the variety of the ecosystems; there is also a clear distinction between the enemy-free paths and the rest of the ground territory (grass, trees, sand, etc.).
- The game introduces magic, which would become a staple of the franchise. You can acquire magic by finding or defeating enemies that either drop blue or red potions (blue potions can restore one block of magic while a red potion can restore 8 blocks). However, to acquire each spell, Link has to complete side quests, such as retrieving lost items, which is then taught to him by a wise man, each one in a different town. These spells are mainly used to defeat certain enemy types, get over certain obstacles, and most importantly defeat bosses.
- There are eight different spells:
- Shield - Cuts the amount of damage that Link receives from an attack in half. The effect of the spell wears off as soon as Link leaves a room and the scene changes.
- Jump - Certain sections of caves or palaces, or even towns are impossible to reach under normal circumstances. The spell of Jump enables Link to jump even higher than normal, and potentially overcome an obstacle that is blocking his progress.
- Life - Restores three blocks of Link's health meter.
- Fairy - Some passages in Hyrule are positioned so high or so dangerously that not even the spell of Jump can help Link traverse them. In these extreme cases, the spell of Fairy transforms Link into a diminutive fairy that can fly throughout anywhere on the screen. However, the player will be defenseless in this mode, unable to attack any enemies.
- Fire - Link can cast the spell of Fire, which allows him to conjure a ball of fire with every sword slash, regardless of his current health. Some enemies can only be defeated with this spell.
- Reflect - After casting this spell, Link can literally reflect magic back at its caster by blocking the attack with his shield. Certain wizards can only be defeated by their own spells. The spell can also be used to block stronger attacks such as fireballs, beams, axes, and maces that would otherwise get through your shield to damage you.
- Spell - It has a tendency to transform tougher enemies into the slime-like Bots. However, it has another rather unusual use which can help you obtain a very important item in a certain town.
- Thunder - Can be used to strike down most of the enemies which are visible on the screen. However, this magic is extremely expensive and should only be used in case of an emergency.
- There are eight different spells:
- You can visit towns and interact with NPCs. The towns are where you can learn spells and attacks, as well as, replenish your health and magic bar. Most NPCs will have nothing to give you, but some will give you side quests and two specific NPCs are very helpful, a woman in red and an old lady that come out of small houses. One can replenish Link's health, the other his magic.
- The game is longer than the original clocking at 11 hours long.
- The game takes on the reins of traditional RPGs. When exploring the overworld, you can run into random enemies and when in combat, it switches to a 2D environment similar to Metroid and the NES Mario games. These serve as a great opportunity to get XP.
- Also like traditional RPGs, is an experience and upgrade system. By gaining experience through defeating enemies or finding Point Bags you're able to upgrade three principle stats: Attack, Magic, and Life. This system stands in place of equipment upgrades that increase Link's attack and defense found in The Legend of Zelda like the Blue Ring or Magical Sword.
- It should be noted that if you lose all of your lives and the game ends, all earned upgrades are kept, but your current experience will reset to zero.
- You get to learn two new sword skills: Downward and upward thrust.
- The downward thrust is used to defeat certain enemies and can be helpful to get past tougher enemies.
- The upward thrust can be used to hit breakable blocks that are above or hit out of reach enemies.
- The world of Hyrule is even bigger than before with a lot more secrets to find most of which can be found by exploring certain parts of the overworld or by destroying certain rocks with the hammer that leads to secret caves.
- Tons of new enemies all that each require a different method to defeat them. Most can be killed through normal combat, but some require certain methods like spells.
- There are seven palaces all that are bigger and more challenging than the last with enemies that you can't find in the overworld and even traps.
- Tough and unique bosses each requiring a different strategy to defeat them. Most must be defeated with a spell or with one of the sword skills.
- This game introduces Dark Link as the final boss, the representation of the evil inside Link. He has the same moves as Link and copies everything he does, making him the hardest boss in the game. He would become a reoccurring boss of the Zelda franchise.
- Death Mountain. The hardest location in the game, not helped by its maze like layout and having to be passed through early on. You're going to have to grind for experience beforehand to even have a chance of making it though here.
- While exploring the world, three enemies will constantly spawn out of nowhere and try to run at Link which will start an enemy course.
- Still has the low health beep from the previous game.
- Whenever you die, you will always respawn at the beginning location of the game and not at the start of a dungeon.
- Like the first game, you are going to have a hard time beating it without a map or guide.
- The Second Quest doesn't change anything like it did in the previous game.
- The enemies don't drop hearts like in the previous game. The only way to heal is either in a town or with the Life spell.
- Unlike the previous game, there is no map for the palaces, which can make traversing the palaces confusing due to some rooms having the same layout.
- Some enemies like the Geru and Moa are really annoying to fight.
- There's only one weapon in the game and that's the sword.
- Grind XP up to at least 1,000 before heading to Death Mountain.
- Use a walkthrough.
- Use the Shield spell when fighting bosses.
- The game spawned the "I am Error" meme.
Like the first Zelda game, Zelda II was a bestseller for Nintendo, selling over 4.38 million copies worldwide. Reception at the time of its release was very positive, but modern reception has been more mixed. While many gamers have criticized the game for its difficulty, others also like the challenge of it. That being said, there is no doubt this game has not aged as well as its predecessor.