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Zelda II: The Adventure of Link – NES

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link – NES

zelda2- cover 2Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date: January 14, 1987

Genre: Action RPG

Nerd Rating: 7 out of 10

Ahh, the Nintendo Entertainment System. Truly a remarkable console. The console that played a crucial role in building the foundation of some of the greatest gaming icons that we won’t soon forget. Icons such as Mario, Donkey Kong, and most importantly, Link. Nintendo brought The Legend of Zelda to the world in February, 1986. The positive response to the very first, brought on the second of the series (we just can’t get enough Link!) which was released in mid-January of 1987. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

For those of you that remember the release of this game, I envy you. You guys had the joy of getting the bulk of the story by reading the manual and letting your imagination fill in the gaps. These newer games have these stupid electronic manuals and downloadable games with no manuals at all anymore. All they have to do is watch the cut scenes…

So, I pulled my golden copy of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and (carefully!) opened up the manual. Reading through it again brought a smile to my face. “I remember this!” I said aloud as I read. It says:

“Hyrule was on the road to ruin. The power that the vile heart of Ganon had left behind was causing chaos and disorder in Hyrule. What’s more, even after the fall of Ganon, some of his underlings remained waiting for Ganon’s return. The key to Ganon’s return was the blood of Link – the valiant lad who overthrew the King of Evil. Ganon would be revived by sacrificing Link and sprinkling his blood on the ashes of Ganon.” (- The Manual pages 3 and 4)


Not the Pig Man!


I never even strayed from the dang path!!

The story goes on to say that when Link turned 16, the Triforce (the divine relic left by the goddesses) crest suddenly appeared on the back of his left hand. He shows this to Impa (Zelda’s longtime nursemaid) and she shows Link where the true Princess Zelda sleeps. Cursed to sleep forever by a cruel sorcerer because she would not tell the brat prince of Hyrule where the triforce was. After the sorcerer cursed Zelda, he immediately died. Ashamed of what he caused, the prince brought Zelda back to the castle and ordered every female born with royal blood be named Zelda. The crest appearing on Link’s hand was no freak coincidence. This was surely the goddesses’ way of telling the realm of Hyrule that there was a chance to bring Princess Zelda back from her long slumber. That chance was Link. And so, armed with only a sword and shield, Link sets off to face the land of Hyrule in order to find the cleverly hidden temples and restore them. Somehow that’ll wake her up, but whatever, it’s a story, dammit. And I love it!

zelda-ii- enemy screen

Here is a standard battle screen in the forest.

But be wary, eager traveler! The land of Hyrule is very dangerous! Straying from the normal path brings out the ugliness of the land. There are more underlings of Ganon than I’d like to admit. That’s all well and good, but Hell! Being on the path still brings out monsters… Even though they can’t attack you while on the path, you still have to be taken to the battle screen. The battle screen is simply a screen that you can easily walk out of. if you encounter a “monster” while on the path, you end up on an empty battle screen. That’s annoying. No one likes that.

I also don’t very much appreciate the fact that you only get three lives before you have to start all over again! Well, to be fair, your progress is saved, but you have to re-navigate to the place where you died, from the place that the game begins. That is also annoying. Many times I have raged during such hard times.

My last bones to pick with this game is that to find important items to progress in the game, you absolutely have to talk to each and every single person in every town to get half a clue where the item is. And then you have to search every nook and cranny of the land just to come close to it. And then you have to go into this hidden cave that you find that was never there before, that’s riddled with Ganon’s goons. Once you actually get the item, you have to put yourself through hell once again until you get out of the cave. The only way that you can make it to Death Mountain at the end of the game is if you have four lives, instead of the three you’re given. You have to find this secret 1-up in the swamp somewhere. If you pick it up too soon, you basically screwed yourself.

Other than that, this game is a lot of fun. There’s a chance for Link to gain experience points and level ups, as well as magic spells. That certainly turns the tide of battle. Can you make it to the top of Death Mountain? Can you restore the last temple and break the spell? Can you bring yourself to battle an enemy that knows you as well as you do? Can you bring the Princess Zelda back from the eternal slumber? Play this colorful and challenging game! Zelda II: The Adventure of Link!

Written by Nerdy Friend

Nerdy Friend lives in the fair land of Michigan as a YouTuber, for the most part. Her hobbies include gaming, drawing, and writing. She has two sister cats named Moon Sugar and Skooma. Even though Mortal Kombat was the first game Nerdy Friend ever played, she always held The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998) close to her heart. Feel free to add her on Steam: NerdyFriend, and check out her YouTube channel: No Lives Left.


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One Comment

  1. Manbearpig Nooooo.

    Awesome read!


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