Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was released by Nintendo in 1988. It is also commonly known simply as The Adventure of Link.
After the great success of The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo released a second game with the character of Link. Nintendo decided to call the game The Adventure of Link as Link was the star of the game. But to avoid confusion they added Zelda II to remind people that it is a continuation of The Legend of Zelda series. After Zelda II: The Adventure of Link's release, Nintendo went to a standardize format of stating The Legend of Zelda before each title.
The Adventure of Link varied greatly from the original Legend of Zelda. The first major difference in the two games is that the original game was a top down adventure game, where The Adventure of Link was a side scroller adventure game. The Adventure of Link also had a heavier RPG element to it then the original including levels, and magic.
The story of The Adventure of Link is also quite different; followers of Ganon have cursed the princess and she has fallen into a coma. The only person who can save her is the person who can reclaim the triforce of courage. The only person who can wield triforce of courage is the man with a special mark on his hand when he reaches a special age. This person turns out to be you, Link. Link must place six crystals in place to unseal the power and reverse the curse. It also ended up destroying the castle. In addition the followers need the blood of Link to revive Ganon.
The first thing you find as you start the game is that the side scrolling view. Each end of the scrolling screen (about the same width as Metroid) will move you to the next screen or back the map. The map is a top down view and after a certain amount of time monsters will appear on the map causing you to either fight or run from them.
On the map there was a couple symbols. There were castles, tunnels, towns, and hidden areas. The map is very sectioned in that there are areas that you can reach with ease and areas that are hard to get to in every section. The hardest section of the game was Death Mountain which contained a maze.
The dungeons were extravagant lairs with multi levels and many monsters. They were often quite hard and the amount of enemies made the play work over and over to stay alive. The magic system eased the trouble by far.
The magic system contained eight spells.
- Shield - Allows Link to lessens damage of attacks.
- Jump - Allows Link to jump insanely high.
- Life - Allows Link to regain some of his health.
- Fairy - Allows Link to turn into a fairy and fly.
- Fire - Allows Link to shoot fireballs from his sword.
- Reflect - Allows Link to reflect spells with his shield.
- Spell - Allows Link to find a secret cave and turn some enemies into slimes.
- Thunder - Allows Link to hurt all enemies on the screen.
There is also a range of inventory items that you may have.
- Candle - Allows Link see in the dark.
- Hammer - Allows Link destroy rocks or boulders.
- Glove - Allows Link destroy blocks.
- Raft - Allows Link use docks and cross the ocean.
- Boots - Allows Link to fly over the water.
- Flute - Allows Link destroy the black spider on the map, and make the sixth palace appear.
- Magic Key - Allows Link open all locked doors.
- Cross - Allows Link to find the last magical spell
The Adventure of Link also contains many monsters. The list of monsters is extensive. Included in them are many repeated monsters through the series, some of them are the famous Moblin, the Octorok, the Stalfos. The game also included some single time monsters, the three most famous are the Bot and Bit, two slimes, and ironknuckles. The ironknuckle was a knight who had a sword and shield and would fight Link one on one normally. They were very skilled and more then just an annoyance in the game.
The bosses in the game are different then most others bosses in the series as most of them were humans or humanoids. The list is as follows:
The Adventure of Link is considered the bastard child of the series by some as it deviates greatly from the flow of the game. Some of the biggest differences are:
- There are no usable items at all, everything is automated, that means no bow and arrows and no bombs, both being staples of the Zelda series.
- There is a pure magic system to the game. The most any other game has come to getting magic is the three spells of the gods in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and a similar system in The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past. Neither games had as an extensive magic system as The Adventure of Link.
- There is an actual experience system in The Adventure of Link, which includes growing levels in Life, Magic, and Attack.
- The game is a side scrolling game. No other Zelda game contains a purely side scrolling system since.
- There is a maze in The Adventure of Link on Death Mountain which is more extensive then any other game in the series.
The music for Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was truly amazing, there were actual scores instead of just random sounds, and there were different songs for everything. The music is perhaps one of best scores for the NES, which had a poor sound system. While it would be a stretch to call it orchestrated, the feeling of an orchestra playing it was there.
The game with all its difference is often considered as one of the best of the series by fans. The driving force is that it was truly different. It contained a difficulty that many of the later games lacked. It also was able to be memorable as Ganon was not a part of the game, and due to Dark Link's first appearance.