Charts Genres Community
Charts Genres Community Settings
Login

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

リンクの冒険

Developer / Publisher: Nintendo
14 January 1987
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link [リンクの冒険] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
2.79 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
818 Ratings / 7 Reviews
#3,700 All-time
#27 for 1987
After Ganon was destroyed, Impa told Link a sleeping spell was cast on Princess Zelda. She will wake only with the power of the third part of the Triforce sealed in a palace in Hyrule. To break the seal, crystals must be placed in statues in 6 well-guarded palaces. Link set out on his most adventuresome quest yet...
There was an error saving your submission.
Rate / catalog Rate / catalog another release
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
1987 Nintendo  
Floppy
JP 4 902370 500462 FMC-LNK
1988 Nintendo  
Cartridge
US 0 45496 63033 1 NES-AL-USA
1990 Nintendo  
Cartridge
ES 0 45496 63033 1 NES-AL-ESP
Show all 13 releases
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Series
1992 Nintendo  
Cartridge
XNA 0 45496 63033 1 NES-AL-USA-1
リンクの冒険 ファミコン ミニ
2004 Nintendo  
Cartridge
JP 4 902370 509441 AGB-FLBJ-JPN
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link Classic NES Series
2004 Nintendo  
Cartridge
XNA 0 45496 73489 3 AGB-FLBE-USA
2007 Nintendo  
Download
JP
2012 Nintendo  
Download
JP
2013 Nintendo  
Download
JP
Write review
Title
Thanks a million
I think I speak for a lot of people when I say Zelda was a big part of my childhood. However, I'll probably lose most of you when I mention that my favourite in the series is this one.

First of all, let's think a little about context. Whereas Zelda games eventually got certain expectations, especially since they moved on to 3D... You know. Go to the dungeon, find the item, use the item to beat some puzzles, use the item on the boss weak point... stuff like that. Zelda II isn't really like any other Zelda game, and there was no need for it to be, because the series hadn't evolved to that point yet. It's honestly a bit of a shame that they didn't try this kind of side scrolling format again. The first Zelda felt like a natural progression from The Tower of Druaga. In The Legend of Zelda, you didn't really need to be told what to do or where to go. You're immediately thrown into an adventure which takes place in an almost entirely hostile environment. Although there's certainly something to see or do almost anywhere you care to go, including a good amount of secrets that may not get to find on your own, there was a charming aimlessness, a nonlinearity to it that just worked. You could even do the Dungeons in many various orders, and it's easy to stock up on unnecessary keys, which could carry over into the next dungeon. The gameplay was also rather fast paced and more focused on action and with even a bit of multitasking, unlike the 3D games. It's a game of exploring moreso than following a format, and the actual gameplay, while it may seem simple now, was actually rather complex for its time. Later Zelda games got a lot more stream-lined, even including Zelda II. However, Zelda II was effectively skipped as an influence for future Zelda games. The first Zelda influenced LttP, which in turn I would say laid out the foundation for future Zelda games. OoT, of course, dictated how the games were supposed to work in the 3D format, and that's where I stop caring.

So as I mentioned, Zelda II isn't really a relevant entry to the series in terms of influence. It did clearly influence a number of other games, like The Battle of Olympus or Rambo, but it didn't really do anything for Zelda as a whole. It's pretty easy to see why, considering the foundations laid out by OoT. The main combat system and the platforming elements doesn't really have anything to do with the top-down or 3D perspective gameplay of other Zelda's. I mean, those games don't even have jump button. You don't fight with any items in Zelda II and you don't really use the items to solve puzzles. The experience system wouldn't be necessary in future titles. Although Zelda II did introduce significantly more NPC's and added towns, those would've been added anyway to make the series more story oriented. Effectively, Zelda II is its own thing and needs to be treated as such. The first mistake I want to tell you to avoid making, is to compare it unfavorably to other Zelda games just because it's different. Try to enjoy it for what it is, rather than lamenting that it is lacking something implemented in the future titles. In my opinion the future games really should've taken Zelda II more into consideration. 3D Zelda's are so slow and tedious, wouldn't it be more fun if they dropped the dreadful lock-on system, and just let you jump around and slash at things? Imagine running around in a 3D space and down-thrusting anything in sight, avoiding enemies and projectiles from various angles, and that kind of combat multitasking. It could've been a real hit, at least with me.

Enough talk about such matters, let's just get down to the game in question, how it works, why it works and what makes me enjoy it, as well as some of the undeniable and rather unfortunate flaws. I mentioned that Zelda II is more streamlined than the first game, and I'm not gonna comment on whether that's a good thing or not. Let's just say that I really liked the format of the first game. Zelda II has you do things more in a specific order, but there's still a bit of exploration involved. While you're gonna spend the majority of the game in the side scrolling sections, there's also an overworld to explore with a top-down perspective. This is one of the things in the game that could've been handled better. First of all, the overworld, although it feels pretty nostalgic to me, isn't all that attractive. It just looks kind of "blocky". Secondly, it doesn't have enough exploration, which kind of defeats the purpose of an overworld and betrays the original game. There's still enough there to satiate some of that hunger for nonlinear adventure, but there should've been more. The game's still rather big for a NES game, so that's good, but the problem is still that you're pretty restricted in where you're allowed to go.

The main attraction of the game is the combat, which takes place in the sidescrolling sections. Many of these are predetermined, including the larger portions (palaces), but you will also encounter enemies on the overworld, which leads you into a short skirmish on the terrain you were standing on. This is kinda neat I think, since the enemies and dynamics are totally different if you're standing on a swamp tile, which eats up your movement, or in say a forest, where the random encounters spawn right next to you, making it hard to avoid them on reflex. You're not going to find a whole lot throughout the game to make the game any easier for you, unlike other Zelda games. You'll find a couple of nifty spells and abilities, but nothing like later Zeldas. So it's imperative that you learn basic fighting to play the game. First, you have your shield, which cannot be upgraded. The position of the shield is around Link's upper area when you are standing, and the lower area while you are crouching. You can turn around, and crouch or stand while jumping, making blocking attacks and projectiles from left or right very flexible. Second, you have your sword. The sword itself cannot be upgraded either, you have the same sword throughout the whole game, but you can level up your attack power which is necessary to ever kill some of the future enemies, and find two new types of attacks (the down thrust, which makes combat easier and more flexible, and the up thrust, which isn't as necessary). Like in other 2D Zelda's, max health means your sword shoots out an additional beam, however this is quite a weak attack in this game, it's a tiny beam that only flies forward by a small amount and which only hurts smaller or some medium sized enemies.

In order to fight with your sword correctly, you must treat this also as a platforming game, and master jumping. Jumping around is key to fight well in Zelda II, as you will fight sluggishly and leave yourself vulnerable if you simply stand or crouch. Jump-crouch attacking or in some cases, like against Ironknuckles, jump-stand attacking is the way to go. Don't leave yourself open and in most cases be on the offense, jumping at enemies and slashing them, and you will learn that Zelda II isn't as difficult as people say. Although some enemies are a bit more random and unpredictable, in a lot of cases it's just a matter of finding the right method for combat. I mentioned Ironknuckles before, the Daira (axe mohawk dudes) is another good example, run forward and jump-crouch-stab over and over and it is easily defeated. This will even work against the red version, as you will automatically jump over all the thrown axes. In fact, after playing Zelda II more, it's the smaller, more unpredictable enemies that may end up more difficult to handle effectively.

As you're exploring, the various NPCs will give you (bad) clues as to where to go, but usually it's pretty easy just to find out on your own. Over the course of the game, there are various dungeons (though they're called palaces in this game) to enter, and unlike future Zelda's, these don't really contain puzzles. They're just about fighting things. The bosses, also, rarely rely much on gimmicks, so they're more like the regular enemies, except just bigger. Even so, each palace does hold its own item, and has various keys to collect and doors to unlock. The thing is that the items aren't really important. Literally every item is intended as a key to unlock a new part of the game, and have little importance other than this fact. You don't actively "use" the items you find. Some of the items do change the gameplay dynamics though. The gloves, which you find in palace 2, lets you crush blocks with your sword, and this is important in the game after that point. Furthermore, there are two skippable items that completely change how the game is approached. The first is the Candle, which is found in the first palace. As soon as you pick up the candle, you permanently light up all of the many caves in the game. Without the candle, the caves are dark and the enemies nearly invisible, you can just barely make out the shadows of the enemies if you look closely, but it becomes more a matter of enemy placement memorization to play without the candle. You can still see the terrain, though. Next is the cross, which lets you see invisible enemies. These unpredictable flying assholes are pretty much everywhere on the way to the final palace, but you can still make it through without this item. Skipping the Candle makes the game more fun to me, and is a must if you're speedrunning. Skipping the cross is a bitch, but it is also possible. Although the items are generally totally boring, the basic action gameplay is so good that it doesn't need equipment like bows, bombs or, uhh, deku nuts.

There's also spells. These are a little bit more impressive than the items, but they're still nothing to really write home about. They don't do that much to enhance the gameplay. Still, there's a bit of fun to be had here. You can use fairy to fly through locked doors and skip keys, or spell to turn all enemies on screen into bots (slimes). Some people may like to use Jump, which increases your jump height, to fight certain enemies. Most of all though, I would recommend to rely on the defensive spells, Shield and Life, to make the game easier for you. The more offense oriented spells, such as Fire or Thunder, aren't useful. Spells are taught to you in the towns after completing a simple fetch quest, most of which take barely any time at all.

Next there's the experience system. This part is actually really interesting and well done. It may seem a bit weird, when i explain its more intricate nature, but bear with me. In this game, you gain experience from killing enemies or picking up "P-Bags". There are three different stats to level up, Life (decreases damage taken), Magic (decreases spell costs), and Attack (increases your damage). These three stats all have different scales. At level 1, Life costs 50 experience, Magic 100, and Attack 200, so as you can see, the expense differs pretty greatly. For that reason, new players will typically not level up Attack enough. This is even more true since you can game over in this game, and game over makes you lose all accumulated experience (not levels, though). Now, let's move on to the more quirky parts. I mentioned how different stats have different scales, but there's more to it than that. When you gain enough experience to level up a stat, you get a choice to either level up that stat, or to level up a cheaper stat, or to wait and level up later. So let's say you want to level up Attack first thing, in that case, when you reach 50 experience, you have to skip that level. then when you reach 100 experience, you have to skip again. Only after that will you reach the choice to level up Attack. You cannot level up in between, either, this only serves to discourage new players from skipping levels, due to that fear of game over, and results in beginners with low attack stats.

A lot of people say Zelda II needs grinding. If you want good stats, it is a lot smarter to use a different trick than to grind. At the end of each palace, after the boss, you collect an orb of sorts that gives you all the experience you need to reach the next level. Consider this for a moment. I said before that Attack is the most expensive stat, right? Put two and two together, and that means you're going to want to collect these orbs when you have just skipped life and magic level ups, and you will get all the experience you need to level up your attack. With the candleless speed-run route, you can get attack level 5 from palace 1, attack level 6 from palace 2, and attack level 7 (or a crapton of life and magic levels) from palace 3 by abusing this, and there's room to level up life and magic in between the attack levels as well. You'll never have to grind experience when you can gain an hours worth of grinding experience in a moment. You'll have pretty strong stats already starting from palace 4, and if you still don't feel strong enough, you can get all the experience you want pretty quickly from grinding before palace 6 from those really lucrative lizard enemies. Of course, playing candle-less first thing isn't going to happen, but you can still use this trick no matter how you choose to play.

But wait, there's more. Enemies drop items, and this also plays into experience routing. The drops are mostly predictable. This is how it works. Enemies are sorted into different categories, you could say there's big and small enemies, as well as some enemies without drops. Every 6th small enemy and every 6th big enemy you kill will drop an item, and they have separate counters. The more you replay the game, the more it will become second nature to keep count of separate enemy types so you know where the drops will be. The drops themselves are random, but there's only two kinds of drops, a magic potion or a P-Bag. Bigger enemies will leave P-Bags, size is dependant on the XP worth of the enemy killed, or potions, the red kind which fills an entire magic bars worth of MP, and smallest enemies only drop blue potions which only fills one bar of magic. Needless to say, if you follow a certain route while playing, you will always gain roughly the same amount of experience, making it easy enough to use the experience trick at the end of palaces. Overall, the RPG aspect of Zelda II was a very welcomed addition. I say, try to level up Attack and Life for the most part, and don't bother much with Magic Levels until around palace 4.

The best part of the game though is definitely just simply fighting things, which has very fluid controls and mechanics, allows for a fair amount of multitasking, and simply feels satisfying. The various enemies offer up good resistance with different kinds of dangers, unblockable projectiles, blockable projectiles, jumping, boomerangs, slashing... It is a joy to fight them, the detail how some enemies are pushed back, and other enemies are frozen by your hits (which even lets you move through them until they can move again) makes it so much fun. Mashing down-thrust in a closed space to deal 10 or however many blows per second is hilarious. To me sidescrolling action is peak Zelda and Link in this game is the definitive Link. A badass who does damn near everything by himself. The weaker aspects to me are more about casual play, which can seem rather unfriendly. I've talked a little bit about how the experience system can be difficult to make use of properly without enough knowledge on the matter, but there are other ways the game is unfriendly. If you game over, you have to start from the beginning, which in some cases means you have to move through a lot of caves and shit to get back to where you were. You keep all your progress, but you still have to go back. I think the worst part about casual gameplay here by far is the secrecy of the game, which really doesn't live up to the first game at all. If you don't know where to go, it can be a huge chore to explore, whereas exploring was mostly fun in the first game. Sometimes it's rather senseless. This won't affect future playthroughs when you know where to go, but it's still a game flaw and something to take into consideration when picking it up for the first time. The NPCs are pretty much useless as help, and sometimes the palaces have fake walls and floors and are highly confusing to navigate. In addition, the design of the final palace is simply senseless. If you navigate it blindly you'll just run through stupid rooms and reach dead-ends. There's barely any enemies, but the enemies are really powerful, and they give like no XP, so you wanna make sure you've reached all the levels you want to at this point, and then probably just run past the enemies when possible. Even the final boss sucks, since there's a simple exploit to defeat it. Thunderbird who makes an appearance right before the final boss is good, though.

The Japanese version is pretty different. There are some animation differences, different music, and a totally different experience system. If you're a fan of Zelda II, I would recommend to play through this version once. The bosses are rather funny.

This was my most played game on the NES as a kid, and It's always had a special place in my heart. I think it's aged very well. Most of the games I played a lot as a kid aren't as good as I thought at the time. This one's an exception. I played it as a child, and sucked at it but eventually beat it. Rediscovered a bit later when a friend loaned me his Zelda collection for gamecube, and played through it frequently (unlike the other games on the disc) during a more boring part of my life (had no internet or computer). Once I had a computer again, I eventually learned about speedruns, and enjoyed to play without the candle. It's so damn replayable. Eventually, through on and off playing (I've never been all that serious about this game, like practicing or grinding runs) I just naturally got better and eventually I could beat it in almost record time (1:05 with the warpless 1cc category). The best players today are really strong, though, much better than me, some have even got sub-1 hour now. In fact, one of my grievances now is that the game is actually kind of too easy and gets a little boring. Speedruns have too much downtime in the towns and overworld, and stretches with little happening, and there's nothing else exciting besides speedrunning for me to do here. I don't think I can quite enjoy it as much as I used to, but I have to admit the fact that it has such a special place, and it is an all around great game, probably my favourite NES game, and a game that is undeserving of its relatively poor reputation in its franchise, and also of its reputation as a particularly hard game. Give it a chance!
Body
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Supplement
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Attribution
Requested publishing level
Draft
Commentary
Review
review
en
Expand review Hide
Title
I respect this game a lot. Yes, it's really extremely difficult especially within the final dungeon which is the only place other than your starting point where you get an in-game checkpoint for (an omen for what's to come). So difficult that I honestly think the best way to experience it is with replay and save states on hand. Still though there's a lot to love about it. I think the combat overall might be one of my favorites across all the NES games I've encountered so far. The swordfighting really gets you analyzing your opponent's movement and attack patterns and seeing what the best ways to counter them are. And it gets more and more rewarding the more figure them out and the more you can kill them quickly. The upgrades based on experience that you can put into any of health, attack, or magic (though let's be honest it's best to put as much into attack as possible early on) is super welcome too and makes you feel more powerful with each upgrade. I also really like the towns which feature some surprisingly helpful townspeople when it comes to progression or finding a secret or ability that may help you later on. Their hints are quite direct and otherwise not super cryptic so you can figure out what to do next pretty quickly. The rest is left up to exploration which is handled pretty well too. Honestly for being such a difficult game, it really is well designed for the most part. I think the worst it gets is the limited life system with the whole two checkpoints thing and the "your experience/health/etc. is now limited/gone" thing that Nintendo seems to really love doing with old NES games for some reason. Good thing they stopped doing this because it doesn't really add to the game, it makes it harder to appreciate the actual good difficulty that this game has in store. I'm interested to see how they'd handle a hypothetical 1-to-1 remaster because I'm sure it would be super fun.

Overall, it's pretty hard and I can see why it's considered the black sheep of The Legend of Zelda [ゼルダの伝説] but there's enough there where I feel like this game is really overhated. It's well designed for what it is even if it follows some philosophies that make it age poorly in some aspects. I am error.
Body
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Sothras 2024-01-02T22:46:00Z
2024-01-02T22:46:00Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Supplement
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Attribution
Requested publishing level
Draft
Commentary
Review
commentary
en
Expand review Hide
Title
Worth it (but only for the novelty)
I would rather play this game over the first. It gets a lot of hate for being really obtuse (both games are like this though), but the gameplay is a lot better here. I will preface this by saying that the game is not easy, and it's not designed to be.

The dungeons are now side scrollers, and there are now actual cities with people and dialogue. The dialogue is really bad, but it's not a hindrance or a real negative. I don't hate this change, as it's the only Zelda game to do this. Sure, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has it as the main gimmick, but that does not count.

The gameplay is hard. You have to react instantly to complex enemies, and it's probably a little unfair. Or very unfair. Thankfully you can basically skip every overworld enemy, just walk out. However, this is also the only Zelda game to have a level system. It's very simple and I'm happy that the later games don't have it, but it's cool (?).

The game has zero story. You save the princess. Magic. Etc. Don't play this if you're looking for an engaging story.

There are also even less puzzles this time.

But. Play this game. It's interesting, and definitely doesn't get it's fair share in the non glitchwave world.
Body
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
engired 2023-10-13T22:07:16Z
2023-10-13T22:07:16Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Zelda
Supplement
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Attribution
Requested publishing level
Draft
Commentary
Review
review
en
Expand review Hide
Title
I AM ERROR
I think that this installment in the Legend of Zelda series is seriously overhated. Released just a year after the debut, it takes a different perspective on the story, incorporating more RPG elements (not to say that there weren't any in the first game), which people seemingly like to paint as a bad thing. However, things like the experience system introduced in this game, which would be retconned in later installments, seem to me, at most, unnecessary. The levelling was well planned to coincide pretty much dead on with the very linear story; for me I had increased almost all three skills completely by the end of the game, and at no point were any enemies too tanky.
I think a really important aspect that was improved upon between this game and the last was the worldbuilding. Whereas, in the first game, all we got was a "It's dangerous to go alone, take this." and demands to purchase from merchants and such, in this game there is actual information, there are town names and lakes and palaces. In juxtaposition to the nothing adventure of the previous game, I was actually interested in the story here ,well what little there was (which was more than its predecessor).
The gameplay too, I found much more entertaining, which is a shame that they abandoned this style of crawler/side-scroller hybrid. The combat can be challenging, especially in the beginning, but you quickly get the hang of timings and strategies in order to defeat monsters. Personally, I found the combat in the first game to be much more annoying as opposed to this, since in the former it was almost necessary to have full health in order to fire sword beams for a good experience.
That being said, as with most games in the NES era, there are plenty of problems that could be improved upon. The main gripe I have is with the hidden items on the map. For the most part, when you have to find a specific tile, with the only information being the general area that it's in, it can be incredibly annoying. Something, like and overworld indication on the sprite of the tile (something small even) would be so much better. I think this crypticism, though, follows from the same problem in The Legend of Zelda with it's one-liner hints that are difficult to follow from only the game information. It does become a problem in this game due to the size of the map, and may have worked better were it smaller.
Overall, I really enjoyed this game and believe it's slightly better than the debut installment.
Body
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
JosefumiKujo 2023-06-20T18:10:36Z
2023-06-20T18:10:36Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Supplement
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Attribution
Requested publishing level
Draft
Commentary
Review
draft
en
Expand review Hide
Title
The fact that this game feels borderline unplayable in a lot of respects is a huge shame considering the fact that it has a lot of pretty cool, interesting ideas floating around it. Adventure of Link is a game that simultaneously feels like a huge step forward and back for the series in a way that hasn't really happened too often, at least not to this extent. It's hard to deny the total gameplay overhaul that this went to when compared to the first game, being more akin to an action platformer with light RPG elements rather than a top down dungeon crawling adventure, which when combined with the much livelier nature of the world leads to something that feels tonally and atmospherically extremely distant from what was accomplished beforehand. However, I'd argue that despite being a bit more conventional in a lot of respects, it ended up losing a big portion of the more distinct identity that had been previously carved out, feeling as if it much more heavily relies upon NES conventions played straight and in the process immediately losing a lot of its appeal that then wasn't really replaced by something to make it worth the compromise.

The pacing and expected path of progression is an especially anomalous aspect of the experience, as despite being considerably more linear and direct, it feels extremely unintuitive in comparison despite the fact that there are so many more instances of the game attempting to guide you. The elements of obtuse and frustrating NES puzzles feel frequent to the point where almost everything felt like it was just begging you to look up what to do, with whatever contextual clues given being far too minor to actually expect people to know where to go. The world in general loses its appeal with the way that the sense of scope always feels as if it's being trampled on, with the top down overworld going for a more generalised, zoomed out approach that makes things feel more artificial while also removing a degree of detail from where the player is exploring. On the opposite end of this, making the towns take place in the 2D perspective all the time leads to the towns feeling very small and lacking in any sort of character, instead being an assortment of random NPCs and the same 3 houses copy pasted endlessly. This leads to the world feeling rather flat to explore, everything just feels like a game construct without any real sense of flair or framing to add a stronger sense of atmosphere or even a particularly notable aesthetic, and it just makes the player feel rather removed from the experience and makes the whole narrative of the world slowly falling back into the clutches of evil miss the mark.

The combat itself is the main point of contention to me with the way that it's easily the most conceptually interesting part of the game, yet also the most unpleasant thing going on. The enemy design is the main way this falls flat, with the blatant input reading combined with the overly fast, erratic patterns of them all making it feel like it's almost impossible to actually avoid taking damage. It's yet another case where the obstacles just don't feel suitably built around the capabilities of the player, and it's a shame, because with a few tweaks I could see this being really cool. The enemy design is conceptually really interesting for the way that basically all of them feel explicitly designed around the dynamics that could arise from the moveset of Link, with a couple of slower encounters even working really effectively with a good balance between attacking, defending and baiting enemies into leaving themselves open. I saw someone compare the dynamic to something akin to Punch Out and I honestly can see the bones of something like that going on here, especially with the iron knuckles, which just like most of the other enemies, really just has the pitfall of being waaay too fast and unreasonable to actually deal with without using some cheap tactics. The sheer endurance tests that tend to go along with this doesn't help either, especially when the difficulty curve has a mind of its own (death mountain directly after the first dungeon is ludicrous), making it that much harder to want to slog through any of it.

The dungeons also kinda suck for the most part even if I prefer some of them to how they were handled in Zelda 1, usually having a stronger sense of theming the kinds of challenges presented and there being a couple that had just the right amount of labyrinthine qualities to feel exciting to explore. Unfortunately, there's still too many times where you're just moving through these seemingly endless mazes of near identical looking hallways that basically necessitates either painful trial and error suffering or just looking up a guide. I didn't finish the game and frankly don't plan on ever doing that, but I feel like making it through the 4th palace before deciding to quit is enough to get a solidly informed opinion without outright suffering for another few hours. Really wish I could see some more modern takes on this style that just make everything feel a bit more reasonable and engaging to deal with, because this is super cool in concept but just falls absolutely flat when it comes to actually playing it, and it's not even conceptually interesting in ways that could be easily separated from the gameplay that would give me more positive thoughts on the matter.
Body
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Kempokid 2022-09-07T11:34:37Z
2022-09-07T11:34:37Z
1.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Supplement
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Attribution
Requested publishing level
Draft
Commentary
Review
review
en
Expand review Hide
Title
Good Golly Miss Molly, this was excrutiating. Zelda II's reputation preceeds itself and if you fall into it blindly knowing only the parlance of other Zeldas, you'll immediately be thrown towards ruthless enemies and introductory segments that just make no sense: To get to the first dungeon you're meant to go through caverns with no immediate source of light(as said by walking townsfolk), and you struggle immensely as you try to find this would-be light source without resorting to actually passing one of the caves, when in fact, you actually have to in order to find the damn candle. I feel like this one objective represents Zelda II in microcosm.

A lot has been written for the level of obtuseness that permeates old NES games, and the first Zelda wasn't stranger to it. Zelda 1 was a schoolyard game where kids were meant to exchange advice and collaborate on beating it(and also a game that's stoked by strategy guides provided by gaming mags), but even so its essential components were often telegraphed in some semblance, like spotting that one tree that looks weirdly alone, or bombing that blank spot that appeared in your explored portion of the dungeon map. It was a gaming equivalent of sentence completion, and with careful reasoning it was still a game that could be beaten without a walkthrough, which I can't say the same for Zelda II. Fortunately the dungeons themselves are really straightforward, but it's how you find these locales and get to these spots that's really deeply tucked and hidden(such as finding essential NPCs or items - or WHOLE CITIES by chance). The essential pathways to completion are barred without walkthroughs which is a big strike for me.

Even so this game would still be enjoyable without the immensely difficult foes you have to deal with. The combat and magic systems are both neat, but the way you utilise them are way too scarce for their own good. The most iconic combat move of the game, the downward thrust, can be gained at only about 60% inside the game, and way too many magic spells drain out on your resources that you're often left without juice for utilitarian spells. You're out of luck for the high jump and the fairy transformation spells, since you need to use magic to heal yourself constantly, and the screen nuke spell comes way too late and it's way too expensive for it to ever be useful. If you're meticulous, you can grind blobs inside dungeons to farm for magic points, but there are no clearcut grinding spots to make things easier like there was in Metroid, and you're essentially left eternally starving for both magic and health, as the low-health beeper works behind as a constant reminder of this hell you've entered.

The enemies are so relentless. Dark nuts will be your worst nightmare because you can't beat them through traditional means(immediately from dungeon 1), but have to resort to exploits such as jump-attacking that I don't think was the intention by the inexperienced developers who made this. I played Zelda II with the rewind system on and even then it drained me and made me lose lives cos sometimes I'd run out of magic at points where it was essential that I jump high or transform into a fairy. There are way too many bottomless pits that will nullify your entire progress and make the extra lives you pick up worthless, and it's too easy to fall into them. Zelda 1 didn't have bottomless pits or insta-kill obstacles like that. But in Zelda II you always have to be on edge, all the time, and you're not even safe in the villages you enter to heal all of the time.

In a weird way it's a really drowsy, barren world that's suitably apocalyptic. It follows on the story of Zelda 1 that didn't have much in line of settlements or NPCs either, and, as it's later been established, the two original Zelda games pick up in the "bad" timeline where Ganon had won. There's a certain amount of artistic aspiration in making the Zelda II world feel so hopeless and horrible, and that's the one thing the developers got correctly. Undergoing such tremendous difficulties, I guess it makes sense why so many players would eagerly headcanon the health-replenishing women as being the village whores. It's Zelda-meets-George R. R. Martin, and Nintendo says just too little enough that the player is miraculously allowed to place their own interpretation of this desolate, dark, mesmerising world.

Just why does the final palace have so many Egyptian and Babylonian motifs?

What is happening behind this and who is the entity calling for Ganon's return?

Just who is Shadow Link?

It's brilliant how none of these questions are ever really answered. It's truly a bleak, mysterious game that leaves the player searching for their own conclusions, and this is perhaps this game's strongest factor. It's so different. Way too different a Zelda for me than I'd like to be comfortable with, but I'm still very glad and fulfilled I managed to play and beat this, especially on the FDS version which has a richer sound palette, a more benevolent fighting experience, and a translation hack.

Just please, do yourself a favour and either use the rewind function, or better yet - play the ROM hack called "Zelda 2 Redux". It does so much to rebalance the game and give the player a much fairer shake along with other quality improvements, and I think it's closer to the difficulty that Miyamoto himself would consider fair. You'll need all the help you can get with this.
Body
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Clownboss 2022-06-23T17:03:10Z
2022-06-23T17:03:10Z
2.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Supplement
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Attribution
Requested publishing level
Draft
Commentary
Review
review
en
Expand review Hide

Catalog

TheChomper リンクの冒険 2024-05-30T14:32:55Z
2024-05-30T14:32:55Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MaestroOak リンクの冒険 2024-05-30T05:25:28Z
2024-05-30T05:25:28Z
1.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Efourman リンクの冒険 2024-05-29T00:50:41Z
GBA • JP
2024-05-29T00:50:41Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sadgirl2023 Zelda II - The Adventure of Link 2024-05-24T01:12:46Z
Switch
2024-05-24T01:12:46Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sadgirl2023 リンクの冒険 2024-05-24T01:12:28Z
2024-05-24T01:12:28Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Maliptail リンクの冒険 2024-05-23T00:47:55Z
2024-05-23T00:47:55Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Bel3 Zelda II: The Adventure of Link 2024-05-22T00:24:33Z
Wii
2024-05-22T00:24:33Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
AnonyMatt リンクの冒険 2024-05-21T02:23:40Z
2024-05-21T02:23:40Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DissonantTimpani Zelda II: The Adventure of Link 2024-05-14T23:31:21Z
NES • US
2024-05-14T23:31:21Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Nezbie リンクの冒険 2024-05-12T22:54:08Z
2024-05-12T22:54:08Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Abacys リンクの冒険 2024-04-28T20:24:22Z
2024-04-28T20:24:22Z
3.5
3
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kenbenlen リンクの冒険 2024-04-28T15:09:24Z
2024-04-28T15:09:24Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Also known as
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
  • The Legend of Zelda 2
  • View all [2] Hide

Comments

Rules for comments
  • Be respectful! All the community rules apply here.
  • Keep your comments focused on the game. Don't post randomness/off-topic comments. Jokes are fine, but don't post tactless/inappropriate ones.
  • Don't get in arguments with people here, or start long discussions. Use the boards for extended discussion.
  • Don't use this space to complain about the average rating, chart position, genre voting, others' reviews or ratings, or errors on the page.
  • Don't comment just to troll/provoke. Likewise, don't respond to trollish comments; just report them and ignore them.
  • Any spoilers should be placed in spoiler tags as such: [spoiler](spoiler goes here)[/spoiler]
Note: Unlike reviews, comments are considered temporary and may be deleted/purged without notice.
  • Previous comments (28) Loading...
  • Prio 2022-10-16 07:50:17.40232+00
    I finally beat it but only after resorting to save states and a guide. There's a lot of cool ideas but it's just not worth playing
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • HeatherMadhouse 2023-05-30 16:45:09.152258+00
    like if the first one wasn't fucking confusing enough
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • CentreToWave 2023-06-01 22:24:24.577026+00
    Overview mode is pretty ugly but the gameplay on the sidescrolling stuff is fine.
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • typob 2023-08-20 04:40:02.264357+00
    First one is way harder and much more cryptic lol
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • foiebump 2023-09-16 14:16:42.506084+00
    i like some things in this like pogo sword jumping n shit but i wish they didnt double down on obtuse and outdated 80s game design crap
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • DiscotechDreamz 2023-11-16 00:10:47.713337+00
    I really need a remaster of this game
    reply
    • Grungy777 2023-11-27 04:21:03.242916+00
      Have you played Hoverbat's PC version? I don't know if remaster is the right word but it's widescreen and has tons of QoL and new content
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • mountainfalcon15 2023-12-12 02:29:52.892079+00
    nah i just beat the first one, besides the weird hiding of the heart containers and how evil dungeon 9 is it's pretty moderate. i just got to death mountain and this is even more evil than dungeon 9
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • More comments New comments (0) Loading...
Please login or sign up to comment.

Suggestions

There was an error saving your submission.
ADVERTISEMENT
Examples
1980s-1996
23 mar 2015
8 apr - 12 may 2015
1998-05
Report
Download
Image 1 of 2