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This direct sequel to the original The Legend of Zelda is famous for taking the series in a new direction, while also introducing elements that would go on to become standard in future Zelda games.

In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Link is on a quest to seek the Triforce of Courage and awaken Princess Zelda from a sleeping spell placed upon her by an evil wizard. Meanwhile, Ganon’s minions are attempting to resurrect their master.

Instead of the regular top-down viewpoint, Zelda II uses a side-scrolling perspective and overworld map, and features role-playing aspects that are unique to the series. Zelda II also features many character and place names that fans of the series are sure to find familiar.

Game Review

Wii U eShop Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Zelda II, have you any tough dungeons? Yes sir, yes sir...

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Game Review

3DS eShop Review

Europe PAL Version

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The underdog of the Zelda series returns

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Game Review

Virtual Console Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Darren Calvert

The black sheep of the family?

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is often referred to as the black sheep of the Zelda family. Unlike the original Zelda games, the top-down perspective is replaced in favour of side-scrolling platform action, similar to that found in Castlevania. Perhaps...

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User Comments (126)



Andy said:

This game is insane hard and the combat system is a ton of fun. It reminded me a lot of the combat system they used in the 3D games.



Dood77 said:

I really love the combat system, i had this on the old NES but i got to the last temple and used a key wrong and it made it unbeatable



Shrapnel09 said:

Personally i think the RPG element was the only thing that saved this zelda game. I'm a very big fan of the series and i dont think there should be any more rpg elements in the game, but once is ok and i thought it defintally added to the experiance. Very hard though, damn beating this sucker took forever! i would give this thing 4 stars, however enemies that would just fly at ya and hit you without much warning hurts the gameplay so i would somewhat agree with 3 stars as well.



Manaman said:

This is one of the best games in the series, and is only 1 of the 2 Zeldas that actually tries something new and deviate from the formula (other being Majora's Mask).



Al said:

this ones a strange one, its very bloody hard beating the enemies but its yet got the sense of 'oh ill just do a little bit more' thing about it.i think it deserves more no less.



SAM said:

Was it worth about $40-50 when it was released? yes.
Is it worth 500 Points on the VC today? no.



rarson said:

The gold cart ruled! I loved this game when it originally came out. I'm not as big an RPG fan as the average Zelda fanatic though. I really liked the side-scrolling. Definitely different for a Zelda game.

I never played the first Zelda much, but I liked Zelda II a lot better. I'll probably be downloading both on the VC (though I don't think II is out yet in the US).



Zweck36 said:

This game is great. Not as great as the first one, but if you look at this game closely, a lot of things were taken specifically from this title that are now mainstays in all of the Zelda games. Four Stars for sure.



michinmuri said:

I'd say 3 stars. In my opinion, it'd have to be really good to get 4 stars, which it is not. However, the game does have really tight control, and is a break from the typical Zelda, which it seems most people don't like. Still a fair game for 500 points; it will keep you busy, whether searching for items or leveling up.



mc_chick said:

This was the first Zelda game I played. I really loved the game, but that was until I played Zelda III (link to the past). Looking back this is the worst Zelda you can play. If you love the adventure style of the Zelda's in the past this could be a big disappointment. The plot is thin and the RPG style doesn't fit a Zelda game. Why did I love this game in the past? I love RPG's and this was a good RPG.... but a bad Zelda.



DSAX said:

I can see that there are several different viewpoints to this game, so I thought I would leave my 2 cents. Call me what you want but I still see this as my favorite game of all time. I have played several RPG's in my life, and 99% of them I look forward to completing, and then never playing again, however this is one game that I can play over and over again. I bought this for the NES, the Gamecube, the Gameboy advance, and I look forward to the release here so I can play it on the wii. So my advice is if you havn't tried this game, and your thinking about downloading it- DO IT! and if you don't like it at least you've only blown 500 Points.



Flash said:

Even to this day this game has a strange magnetism to it where you are compeled to 'have one more go'. To begin with it can feel very unforgiving as enemies seem much stronger and having to start back at the palace when you die can lead to mild frustration. As you get further into the quest the game opens up more and becomes very addictive and hard to put down. While certainly not the best Zelda title ever created I wouldn't say it was by any means the worse. Maybe its the nostalgic feel to it having played it many years ago on the NES. Whatever the reason, it is still a challenging & compulsive adventure and certainly falls into the catorgory of 'Old School' gaming!



Periodiko said:

Though less "important" or "groundbreaking" and less of a classic, Zelda 2 belongs to that weird lineage of radically altered Nintendo sequels. Of course, in hindsight it's easy to say that Zelda should have stayed closer to formula, but like Castlevania 2, Zelda 2 predates the establishment of franchise.

All of this ignores that Zelda 2 is a really, really good game though. Combat, controls, and game mechanics are all extremely tight. Graphics are decent, but have a lot of character that helps sell the slightly darker atmosphere. Exploration is downplayed a bit (although the game is still essentially non-linear) in favor of challenging sword-play and platforming.

The bottom line is that Zelda 2 does what it does flawlessly. It's a very difficult side-scrolling exploration-platformer, with dungeons, towns, and the like tied together with an RPG style world map. The combat eventually becomes quite challenging, but controls are tight and involves a great deal of player skill. It is a very good game, but asks a lot of players.



Zweck36 said:

Periodiko's review sums it up pretty much perfectly. The majority of you people with negative reviews just hate the game because it is different.



mc_chick said:

People aren't negative because it is different, why do you think that? Maybe they just do not love the gamestyle. Zelda II is a good RPG that is true. But RPG's aren't that popular as the classic Zelda adventures are (legend of Zelda-link to the past-ocarina of time-etc).We only say if you love RPG styled games than you will love this one. If you expect a Zelda game (adventure style) it can be disappointing. That's not negative... that's the truth.



JNoodles said:

Zelda II deserves three stars most. It is not, and will never be, the best Zelda ever. Neither will Ocarina. Games like A Link to the Past and Wind Waker are much better.



Arito said:

Wow, that's so weird. This game is my all-time favorite and I never knew I was pretty much alone in that opinion. I haven't played any SNES and N64 zelda's but the wind waker was a huge, HUGE disappointment to me. I bought the system for that game alone and it has been gathering dust ever since.

Also, I didn't think the game was hard at all (although I now know where everything is so presumably it was more difficult back then) and I have never had to level up to beat certain enemies. Are we talking about the same game here?!?



influxor said:

much better than the 1st zelda, just shy of the 3rd Zelda.. i must say i think this one is refreshing and very very good 4 stars!



RMA said:

This looks quite similar to the Wonder Boy games...worth getting this while I wait or are they vastly different experiences?



This is actually a very good game. I didn't like it at first, I hated it actually. Once you get into it though it gets enjoyable. Give it more than one try, it is certainly worth 500 points.



deggs said:

hmmm, this was the first non-c64 video game i ever owned and as much as i liked it at the time, i'll prob never buy it again. The thing is this...

This game is absolutely amazing but it's also hard as hell. It took me years to beat it. Even then, that prob wouldn't have been possible had my buddy not bought a game atlus at some point. This game is hard (or at least for me as a 8-11 year old). It is long. Some palaces are pretty much impossible without a map (and even with one, I remember getting lost a few times). The last boss is hard. I was stuck on him forever. And even though you get 3 lives, the game is an exercise in frustration at times. Sometimes, it becomes a pain just getting to the palace in question because when you resume a saved game, you always start from the beginning.

that said, you shouldn't miss out on this game. It was prob one of the greatest games of all time and it is my second fav zelda, second only to the first zelda game (though i've only played the first 4 zelda games so that doesn't mean much). It was fairly innovative for it's time and it spawned many copycats (such as Gargoyle's Quest). Though it is hard, I still feel it deserved more than 3 stars. I remember being so impressed by those amazing graphics when it came out too (much better than the first Zelda's). Say what you will, this game is a classic and everyone should at least try it out.

still, i'm told that the new video games aren't nearly as challenging as the 8-bit generation so beware because this is one of the most challenging of the bunch and is prob the hardest zelda ever released (but also prob the most interesting of the series). Oh, and a word to the wise... I hope you have a lot of time to spend leveling up because that's a major part of this game as well...



Cataclysm said:

Zelda II really seperates the wimps from the good players of Zelda games. Zelda II is hated for the same reason many old school games and shmups are: it is hard and action orientated.

One of the reasons why Zelda games began selling so much with Ocarina onward was because girls began playing Zelda in mass (which shouldn't be surprising as Zelda games became less action orientated and more puzzle based. Today's Zelda games are the heirs to Myst). No one ever dies in Windwaker and Twilight Princess is also absurdly easy. Zelda II is almost entirely action orientated with little to no puzzles. This is hardcore Zelda.

This game is loved not because it is Zelda but because of the same reasons why games like Blaster Master or Guardian Legend were loved. It is a free form action game with lots of depth.

Zelda 2 has the best combat system of all the Zeldas. It also has the best music (not counting Zelda 1). It spawned an entire new wave of copycat games. Zelda 2 (and Super Mario Brothers 3) are the reasons why I still have my NES hooked up.

Gamers who dislike Zelda 2 are those type of gamers who view Zelda games only as something to be immersed in, not as something you really play. To them, Zelda is like a bath you soak in to 'immerse' oneself in the graphics, environment, and 'feelings'. With Zelda 2 they see only barren environments, random enemies displayed by abstract black ghost icons, and, of course, constant difficulty. Such abstractness ruins the immersion for them.

It should be noted that many of the Zelda developers view Zelda 2 as their favorite Zelda and have been pressuring Miyamoto for a sequel. With the collapse of the franchise in Japan (with Windwaker and Twilight Princess), the next Zelda just might be more 'Zelda 2' than 'Ocarina'.

If you like old school games that concentrate on action and gameplay, get this game. If you like new school games that concentrate on immersion and story, then go replay your Windwaker or Ocarina.



Kevin said:

I like this Zelda. I disagree with people who think this version sucks. I like it better then most of the Zelda games. It's different, but it isn't as corny as all the other games. It's hard because the enemies are challenging and not because the crappy 3-d camera doesn't allow you to see. I like the RPG aspects and spells. I vote 4 stars.

A Great NES game IMHO.



Mr_64 said:

I have to be honest, I'm in two minds about this game. It's ambitious for the time, features an interesting combat system, but ultimately I'm really not sure about it. It kind of reminds me of Simon's Quest (Castlevania 2) in the sense that it tried to expand the ideas of the first game, but somehow I didn't enjoy anywhere near as much.

In Zelda 2, for the uninitiated, Nintendo tried to bridge the gap between the true, old-school top-down RPG gaming of the first installment, with the hugely popular sideways scrolling beat-em ups that were popular at the time. This meant you explored the environment via a top-down view of a map and then when you came across a town/castle, the action switched to sideways viewed action. This was brushed under the carpet for all subsequent 2D Zelda games, which speaks volumes of how successful this idea was!

I'm not sure it's worth downloading to be honest. I tracked down the original cartridge for the NES a few years ago and I didn't play it half as much as the original Zelda.



deggs said:

Just a funny thing about this game...

I remember as a kid, a friend figured out a way to use the NES Advantge (it was an old arcade style joystick for the orignal NES) with an elastic band around the joystick, one button on Turbo/rapid-fire and the other button with a taped down eraser on it to create a constant feedback loop to level up.

Somehow we found some cave (and I think we used the jump spell as well) where link would always just jump forward shooting swords, kill an enemy and then jump up, hit a ledge, go back again and repeat the loop...

that made the game more playable... We'd come home from school and link would be levelled up and the game would be much easier...



Yipyip said:

Definately worth at least 4 stars - I'm a big fan of the zelda series and have played through almost all of them, excluding the NES ones. While I couldnt really stand playing the first zelda, this one has me totally hooked! The combat system is great! Hard at first but lots of fun once you get the hang of it. Just beating those knights and other tough enemies without getting a scratch, its so rewarding. This is a refreshing change from the other zelda games where there are hardly any fights that require skill.

This one also seems more polished and better thought out than the first one with its random layout and little oddities like having to bomb every single spot. All nostalgia aside, I would definately give this one 5 stars and the first one at most 3. The only thing I find bad is the fact that you always start at the beginning, which results in lots of unnecessary travelling.

Great classic game!



deerslayer said:

I agree with 4 stars, atleast. This is the only Zelda game where you can die from getting your ass whopped, and the first also. In the later ones
you only die from falling of stupid ledges. I like the challenge in this one. The newer Zeldas aren't challenging enough for me. I'm getting this now.



Ghetto_ninja said:

This game looks like POS. Yeah countless battles against stupid enemies to level up to fight more countless battles against stronger enemies sounds like fun. Ninja Gaiden looks better than this game. Link looks way wiik in this game. Besides with better side scrollers already out like Super Castlevania IV, Ninja Gaiden, and Ninja Spirit why on earth would you want an inferior game.



TheNintendoBoy said:

"Zelda II really seperates the wimps from the good players of Zelda games. Zelda II is hated for the same reason many old school games and shmups are: it is hard and action orientated."

No, but I guess it does tell you something about a person's intelligence. The game is not very hard overall. It starts out tough, and death mountain is frustrating because of the Darias, but the stronger you get, the easier it is and the supposedly challenging sword fights that make up most of the combat are easily avoided by doing jump attacks. Once you get fairy and thunder, just abuse the hell out of it and you'll finish this pretty fast. Of course, you'll have to struggle with not knowing where to go half the time, and towns people who act like cryptic pieces of a walkthrough.. among other things.

3/5 is a slightly generous, but fair score considering the time of release for the game.



Bass_X0 said:

The longer you play Zelda II (building up your levels) the easier it is. Its very difficult to try and rush through it.

Ghetto Ninja, its wrong to compare this game to Super Nintendo games because the Super Nintendo will always win. Ninja Gaiden may look better, but Zelda II still looks better than a great number of NES games.



Tull said:

Remember ducttaping the action button to farm exp while eating dinner in this one:)

__Garland Russell


Garland Russell said:

Why in the world would people want to waste 500 points on this? You can go for more better Zelda games, meaning Zelda 1, A Link To The Past, & Ocarina Of Time. I did play it once on GBA, & I did manage to beat it, but it's hard. After that, I never touched it again. I also like the Wind Waker & Twilight Princess as well, but this & Majora's Mask are my least favorite two Zelda console games.



Zweck36 said:

I finally get my game.I love Zelda 2. To me it is the most difficult game. I have never beaten it. I have literally walked through everyother Zelda game that has been released. So my mission begins now.

__Another Kevin


Another Kevin said:

The play control is good. I think people are also overlooking the fact that it is also the source of one of the major aspects of future Zelda titles, which is learning new fighting techniques. The upward and downward thrust are better than any of the items you get in terms of overall usefulness. If you grew up on Nintendo and don't mind the older-style graphics, I would say it is definitely worth 500 points. However, if you were conceived after the Playstation and don't know who Captain N is, maybe you won't appreciate your precious Link without his little bow and arrow.



Eric42 said:

I loved this game. Not that it's the greatest Zelda, of course, but it was on par for what Nintendo delivered back in the day, aka it didn't disappoint for an NES game (unless you compared it to the original Zelda, then it did). I enjoyed it nonetheless.



TheNintendoBoy said:

"The play control is good. I think people are also overlooking the fact that it is also the source of one of the major aspects of future Zelda titles, which is learning new fighting techniques."

Innovation doesn't equal entertainment. I'm actually surprised they didnt make you "learn" how to jump..

The play control is bad. It's like you're always walking on ice, and the jump control is very unforgiving.

The downward thrust breaks the game.

Sure, it's worth it if you grew up with it.



Bass_X0 said:

The only thing I don't like about Zelda II is that you can't save your EXP. You have to play until the next upgrade is obtained before you can safely save your work.



Lokust said:

Easily my favorite Zelda game, though I know I'm in the minority. I must have played through this well over a dozen times. I even had to send my cart back to Nintendo for a battery replacement.



mc_chick said:

Most old skool games were a lot tougher than the games made in the second half of the 90's. If you just like this game because it's a hard 'zelda' game and the others are to simple, then in no way you're a Zelda fan but a hardcore RPG-fan. Me? I'm both hahaha. I have played a lot of the old skool hard RPG games like phantasy star series (those r tough). I will say it again this is a good game, a good RPG-game... but I would like to warn the people that have played and love all the other Zelda games this can become a big disappointment.



morphballer said:

To Bass X0: Actually, I heard they fixed the save system so that it does save your exp. IDK if they did it for all versions though.

The more I think about it the more I want to download this game...



Zweck36 said:

I love this game!!!! I am to the final Palace. I have in just 5 hours and 33 minutes outdone my entire childhood at attempting to beat this game. I beat Zelda 1 in 2 hours and 57 minutes. This is by far the most difficult Zelda. The N64 and Wii Zelda's are just time consuming not difficult. Flawless but not difficult. Anybody that wants an old school challenge would be a fool not to DL this game. Anyone that whines about this being infearior is weak.



William said:

Whoo hoo! I finally DL'ed this game to my VC yesterday! Man... it's awesome! I don't mind playing it over and over again! However, Bass X0 is right: I guess I can't save those experience points (EXP) as they reset back to 0 by two ways: 1) It resets after the game is over (when you have no lives yet), and 2) it resets after you've earned your next upgrade. However, seeing that it increases between 50 and 9000, it still takes a while to beat up the monsters for every EXP you earn. For example, take New Kasuto town: The "stronger" monsters around there nets you 150 EXP each... so that's 60 times until then next upgrade you get.
Have you noticed that AFTER you beat Ganon (or the evil wizard) the first time in the game, you notice that all your levels (up to 8) is still there when you play the second (or "countless") time(s)? It makes the game a lot easier, y'know? Sorry if I spoiled that one, but.. I'm sure that most of you who HAVE already owned Zelda II before the VC version probably has known that by now.

__Matthew Hull


Matthew Hull said:

I wasn't able to beat this game as a kid, now I get a second shot at it. So far it is just as fun as I remember it.

One of the games I finished a little while ago on the VC was Dragon's Curse, this game feels very similar. If you have played that, or other Wonder Boy games then you might like Zelda 2. Now I am off to gain more Exp points, later...



Clint said:

There is nothing wrong with this Zelda game. I have never played a bad Zelda game in my life and I have played them all. (As far as Nintendo and I are concerned, those 3 CD-I monstrosities called Zelda don't exist) Zelda 2 is great. It was back then, it still is now.

This game is easily worth 5 stars, easy. Not just because it's Zelda either. The gameplay is great, even if they removed all the Zelda stuff and call it something else. This in one of my favorite Zelda's because it tried to be different. People just hate change.



JodyAnthony said:

Downloaded the game recently. I hated it as a kid because it was too hard. Now playing it I can see why there are a good amount of people that really like it. Not quite done yet, so take my words as you will, but 4 stars from me.



Mendez said:

Sorry, I just really didn't get into this game, and can't see why anyone would really like it...
To me, it's a disgrace to the Zelda series, but that's just my opinion



BluePaladin25 said:

Listen up, guys and gals... the thing here is to rate this NOT as a Zelda game, but as a side-scrolling action adventure game.

Though it doesn't remain true to the Zelda standard, this game has influenced many of the 3D Zeldas, and was the first Zelda to make normal enemies HARD.There is an armored enemy with a ton of health, capable of blocking and attacking in the same ways Link does. Fighting those guys practically made the whole game worth it.

It also boasts the first appearance of Shadow Link, and in my eyes, that makes this an instant classic. It's not perfect, but it's pretty amazing.



INpixl said:

It's quite a different feel in this Zelda game than all the rest, but it's all for the better. This game is great in so many ways. The design and music is what really stands out though. I just can't understand the negative buzz on this one.

__Smile Guy


Smile Guy said:

Grr... people are so harsh about this game. Yes, it's the black sheep of Zelda games, yes it's a break from the formula but it's such a good game in it's own right that it's all irrelevant. Soundtrack is just as good as other games in the series, gameplay is fantastically fluid and I've found myself wasting hours of it with my Virtual Console purchase.



deggs said:

yeah, the comparisons between this game, castlevania 2: simon's quest and Gargoyle's quest are fair...

This is prob the most challenging out of the three but still well worth the i said above, it's my second fav zelda (second only to the first one). but, like the other games i mentioned, once you beat these games, you will likely never go back. the first time, it's fun exploring and beating the game. the second time through, they're just frustrating...

still, the game deserves a 4.5 rating (DEFINITELY NOT A 3). i'll give it a high 4 stars



Steph said:

I don't get why people whine so much about Zelda II.
"This is not a real Zelda"... This game is a Zelda, it always will. Like it or don't, fan of the series or not, this will remain a Zelda and will always be part of it.

As for myself, I like how back then games gave us challenges. Today's game aren't challenging at all, just eye candies. This game is awesome and definitely deserve a 4 stars if not 5.
It's not just the challenge, it's the whole game. It's better than MANY games that was made on the NES, one of the best actually.



afBeaver said:

I really like this game. It's pretty different from other zelda games, and it's damn hard! But i really like it and think it actually beats the origial.



GoForkUrself said:

What is everyone's problem? All the gamers must be spoiled on easy games. Just because this game is harder, doesn't mean it sucks. The game only takes me about 10 hours to beat, and that includes getting everything and having maxed out levels. I usually go through maybe 6-7 game overs before I get to the grand palace at the end, so don't think I have mastered the game. Anyways, this is my personal fave Zelda, as it is the only one that actually has me getting game over, except the first zelda on NES. The other zelda's are fun, but the enemies are jokes, and the games are too easy to beat.
I recommend that if you don't know the game, you still get it, but expect to use an online walkthrough unless you really like to investigate the game.
Also, the amount of time total that I spent intentionally leveling up was about 30-45 mins for the entire game. Maybe if you aren't a good player, you might need more time, but that is all the time I needed along with the experience gained in dungeons to have maxed out levels before the final dungeon.
Best combat system ever for a Zelda game, if not any game. I remember thinking how lame Ocarina of Time was when I found out I could block every sword swing and range attack with the shield just by holding R. I intentionally used 2 handed weapons whenever possible so I didn't have a shield, as I thought it was unfair blocking so easy. In this game, you actually have to make sure you block low or high to block attacks from the enemy. The knights are definitely my favorite enemies in the game to fight with the sword battles as they have their own shield, and try to hit around your defenses, as you try to hit around theirs. About half the bosses are fun to play against, and the other half are too easy.
Also, the down stab and up stab in this game are the coolest things ever. Now if you haven't gotten either of these and won't use the walkthrough to find how to get these abilities, I understand why you don't like the game. You HAVE to get them to really get the full feeling of the combat system. I love bouncing of the tops of enemies with down stabs and running through dungeons evading damage. Starting from the beginning is no big deal, as you get a hammer to let yourself take short cuts.(I can get to any dungeon in less than 15 mins besides the final dungeon from the starting area in the game if I have the right items). Also since the last dungeon is so hard, you start there after game over if you die in it as the path to get to that dungeon is challenging.
The soundtrack is wonderful for a nintendo game, and I often find myself humming along lol.



darkpower said:

"ok maybe i'm just really stupid because its early in the morning, but how the hell do you use your magic?? i've tried it on the gamecube controller and the wii one and i can't seem to get it to work... i've loved this game since i was a kid but got frustrated when i couldn't figure the control"

It was select after you bring up the menu and pick out the magic you need or want to use.



INpixl said:

This is one of my favorite Zelda experiences. What makes it so great is the varied gameplay and awesome design as well as the excellent music and sound effects.



tank2tank said:

I'd agree with GoForkUrself about the difficulty- I mean, all the other Zelda games ARE too easy, (and oddly seem to get easier later into the game) But this game is very different to the other Zeldas and it makes it hard for me to accept it as part of the series. But nevertheless, it's a fine game, its just a shame it has been overshadowed by the original Zelda which was revolutionary, and ALTTP which was absolutely amazing.



darthmix said:

If this game didn't have the Zelda name on it, but had the exact same gameplay and design, it'd be one of the most fondly-remembered NES games. It's only in comparison with the the rest of the Zelda games (which make up one of the most brilliant franchises of all time) that this seems to suffer. On its own it's a terrific 8-bit adventure, deep and challenging and fun.



Chad said:

I'm a Zelda collector and fan of the franchise, and I have to say too many people were scorned bad by this one. I loved it (as an RPG), but it's still not even MY top zelda title. As the game holds up, though, I don't think it should be rated just by the fan opinion of it. I think it should be rated as a standalone game. It's no Final Fantasy, but it's still a decent and very tough RPG, with a memorable soundtrack and often engrossing gameplay that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Requires a LOT of level-crunching sessions if you wanna really kick some tail at it though. I think this is a prime example of the NES' "hardcore" characteristic.



Link_O_Fett said:

It's the odd ball in the Zelda family, but Zelda II is still a fun classic. I personally love the music and the gameplay, while quite different from the other Zelda games, is still fun. The only reason I knock it down a star is because the game is quite difficult.



Beau_Skunk said:

I don't care if it's different! It still has the same exploration, hidden item finding, enemy fighting, and challenge I love about Zelda games. Heck it even inspired some things for modern Zeldas. (Like the magic meter, and town visiting.) It also has more RPG-ish ellements then the other Zeldas, (such as EXP points and turn-based side-scrolling battles) giving it a unique flavor.

I know some folks will think it's a bit extreem of me to give this 5 stars, but I say for it's day before people got to used to the overhead Zelda games, and to the ideas of what the Zelda games should be like, this is a great game, even without the boomerang, and such. (Heck, it had nice magic spells to make up for it.)



Xiahou said:

Don't be mislead by these 5 star reviews - the game really is abysmal.



Drake said:

I never got the hate for this game, do people find it too hard or what? When you learn the locations of a few hard to find items it's never that hard again. You almost never have to grind if you know where to find the secret EXP bags and kill everything you come across. I like this game more than the original Zelda, which I find extremely frustrating and annoying, which is what most people think of this game.



Clayfrd said:

I downloaded this one, and it is tough. So far, I like it, but I guess I'll have to fight some more enemies to level up so I can handle the tougher guys in the dungeons. Worth trying, but due to my relatively limited play(even though I downloaded it months ago), I cannot rate it just yet. Maybe try it at a friend's house, or see if a used games store has one on display to see if it fits your taste, it is definitely worth at least taking a look at.

Interesting Zelda 2 and Mario 2 were released the same year, and are often deemed the worst (contrary to my belief).



Jogurt_the_Yogurt said:

This is one of the loved games from my childhood! I never made it very far as a kid, but it's certainly a lot of fun. Great music. Unique gameplay. People tend to dislike it because it's not the same as the first one. They're right, it's not the same, but this game stands on its own merits.



NESgamer said:

This game had a different feeling from the original Zelda, but isn't bad at all!. I believe it is worth 4 stars, awesome music and a lot of challenging temples.

I am a big Zelda fan, have played all the games, and it may be weird but... this Zelda is one of my absolute favorites.



An utterly lamentable entry into the Zelda series, I say it's about as much fun as looking out of a train window - with no features outside. Don't bother, anything else on VC is better than this!



GoForkUrself said:

I notice that Roo didn't take the time to say why he feels the game is boring. Most likely because it is too hard for him.
For your first time through the game, level crunching might be a good idea.
If it is your first time through, you will probably need this.

Mario 2 isn't even Mario, as far as I am concerned. It wasn't made as Mario in Japan, it just happened that when translated, the translators thought the game would sell better if they swapped the arabian family with the mario group, and change a few things like making mushrooms to make it more "mario-like." Nevertheless it is a decent game.

If all they did to make zelda 2 was make side scrolling levels filled with darknuts(knights), I probably would still rate this game 3 or 4 stars. Fighting Darknuts own! Way cooler than in any other zelda game.



whalleywhat said:

I like this game, but I can understand why people wouldn't. This is from the era of games that didn't contain tons of content, so there are serious challenges to overcome to move forwards. If you got on board with A Link to the Past or later, you probably expect to be able to play for an hour and make some sort of progress through the game. To get anywhere in Zelda II, you have to work, so when you do, you feel a real sense of achievement. Some players are willing to punish themselves to get that feeling. Some aren't. Almost no modern games require this. Even the difference in difficulty between Ocarina and Twilight Princess is glaring. For everything that's great about TP, the experience ultimately left me empty, because at no point did I feel like any of my progress was earned. Zelda II is nothing like this. If somebody doesn't care for it, they're not "weak" or whatever, they're just a different type of gamer. Maybe they have kids or some sort of social life.



Sharecrow said:

I've made it to the third temple and so far I am really enjoying this game. Although I haven't finished it yet, I am going to go ahead and give it four stars. I think that rating will stick, but I will correct myself if I find myself liking it significantly more or less than I presently do.

Not to change the subject, but this game reminds me that I want to play 'Battle of Olympus' again, which I hope makes it to the VC eventually....

__dan note


dan note said:

like this game, but I can understand why people wouldn't. This is from the era of games that didn't contain tons of content, so there are serious challenges to overcome to move forwards. If you got on board with A Link to the Past or later, you probably expect to be able to play for an hour and make some sort of progress through the game. To get anywhere in Zelda II, you have to work, so when you do, you feel a real sense of achievement. Some players are willing to punish themselves to get that feeling. Some aren't. Almost no modern games require this. Even the difference in difficulty between Ocarina and Twilight Princess is glaring. For everything that's great about TP, the experience ultimately left me empty, because at no point did I feel like any of my progress was earned. Zelda II is nothing like this. If somebody doesn't care for it, they're not "weak" or whatever, they're just a different type of gamer. Maybe they have kids or some sort of social life.



The_shoemaker said:

This game is so awesome it's worthy of 5 stars, if your hardcore. The only thing that sucks in this game is when you die you have to start at the first temple place and that can be quite the distance. But it's just all time awesomeness. And it's just fun trying to level up. I had a startegy, (before I beat the second temple) I would fight through the feild, fight through the temple, get out of temple, fight back through feild, and find secret, fairy to restore my health, then repeate, then after a few level ups I would most likeily have 1 life left so I would just die once my exp is at zero so my lives go back to 3 and I don't lose any exp! I would get maybe 5-6 hundred exp each time. Then when your ready you fight the temple boss. There's a lot of skill you need for this game, and there's a few power ups, I'm only trying to reach the third temple so I don't know everything. and even though I got so much exp, each level up after 3000, it adds 500 more exp to find (3500, 4000, 4500, etc.) and each time your exp goes down to zero so it's hard to get level up, so like I said this game is for hardcores, 5/5. Oh and make sure you use the home feature thing, because if you turn it off you lose all of your exp.



zelda_freak said:

I haven't completed this game yet so I'm not an expert, but I am a die-hard fan of the zelda series. This game was just too hard for me. I love the level-up feature, but it sucks that you can't always level up the right power. I can't stand the side-scrole either, it takes a lot out of the things I love about a zelda title. Even though difficulty is a little rough and the music gets just plain annoying, it was a good zelda game that tried something different. 3 stars is perfect.



Marvel_Maniac said:

You haven't completed the game and you give it 3 stars? Are you really a Zelda freak, or is that just an ironic name?

Honestly, this is one of my favourites in the series. I like it better than the first game, better than all of the gameboy games (even Minish Cap!). Only thing that tops this for me are the golden three: Link to the Past, Ocarina and Twilight.

Give this game a chance I say. It really isn't that hard if you play carefully and don't mind getting a game over once and a while. You have unlimited continues, so all you have to do is put your boots back on and go for it. As for the side-scrolling nature of the game, I don't understand why people complain about this. Its like an old-school Super Smash Bros style of game, and people seem to love that series. Zelda is also a series that is all about creativity and change. Not all of the games use the original's overhead view (in fact, most of the best ones don't) so I don't see this as the Black Sheep of the family.

Personally, I have a love affair with his game, so its gotta be a 4.5 out of 5!



Peppy_Hare said:

I'm with Marvel_Maniac. This game defines the word "classic". It spun the gameplay mechanics by introducing some RPG elements but kept the action-game flavour. The dungeons are really well thought-out and the bosses are fantastic. If you've been weaned on N64 or Gamecube this game may not be your cup of tea (as it is difficult), but I cannot apologize for a game that offers such a fantastic experience to those who choose to give it a go. I finally beat the game about 6 months ago after about 20 years of on-again, off-again playing and I appreciated every minute of it. After all those years the battery back-up on the original NES cartridge never failed me once!



MasterMario said:

I really hated this game. It was a good idea for a Zelda RPG, but there were many flaws in this game. I regret spending 500 Wii points on this game.



TheWiiMan said:

It's not that bad master mario I think one of the flaws it's the difficulty but it's still great!



Pickles said:

Filthy, rotten, scabulous, gaping wound of a game, taking the fine name of Zelda and dragging it through a miasmic swamp of twitch and blunder. To be purchased only if you are living in an accelerated time dimension and are a hyper-adrenal squirrel on some form of neutron-star concentrated crystal meth washed down with an ocean of Red Bull while nuclear powered electrodes accelerate your neurons into an electromagnetic storm of multi-dimensional awareness. Twitchy, I say!

The reviews here should be a lesson about the preferences of people who claim games are not hard enough for them - as if the wonderful world of Wind Waker would be enhanced by numerous sudden deaths which caused you to warp back to your original point of origin and then have to fight through the same bloody cave and random enemies just to get back to the spot where you can again suffer an ignominious slaughter at the hands of the same mystery beast which strikes both high/low/front/back simultaneously, leading you to wonder if perhaps you were given the gag edition of the game which sends a stream of your constant fail back to a large screen in Nintendo central where people sit and drink saki while laughing at your ineptitude.



deadly_by_design said:

I actually loved this game. The first Zelda was great too, and more along the lines of the series' pattern.

Still, I've great memories of this game, its uniqueness, difficulty, and music.



timp29 said:

When I was a kid, this game was my first taste of the zelda experience. Man was it hard. As a 10 year old, it took me a year before I even got to the last palace and even then I could never defeat shadow link.

Anyway, I remember this game inspired me to buy zelda 1 and I was very dissapointed. This zelda got me hooked on the franchise and it wasn't even the standard version of zelda. I find some of the comments through this forum by people suggesting that this game should be rated as a stand-alone game, and not part of the zelda series, to be quite appropriate.

I love this game and would easily give it 4 stars. And would ask people to rate this game as a stand alone, and not as part of the zelda franchise. I think when considered in this manner, this game will meet most of the basic requirements, depth of game, weapons and powerups (skills and spells), combat system, challenge, enemies music controls etc. Perhaps the areas which let this game down for my mind are: the story (a few sentences at the start and no real building from that) and for first timers, some of the clues to find stuff like bagus house and heart containers in the middle of the sea are pretty poor. I actually wish this game had been longer as well.

4 out of 5 ( and dont expect to beat it in a day for your first ever attempt)



George said:

Am I the only person to give this 5 stars!
the games great, fun enemys, great music and the difficulty level just makes you take longer too complete it, is that a bad thing??



Ircha said:

What is it with you all?! Only 3 stars? I would give it a 5.
This game is special, and YES it IS worth your 500pts.

This game is magnificent.
Don't ever think otherwise.

See? Most people agree with me on this.



captain-banana said:

i love it when sequels add new gameplay things to the games!! eg majoras time limit and masks, kingdom hearts 2's reaction commands!

but i have played this turd and agree that it didn't just break the original... it smashed it and left nothing left.



Cally said:

BAH! Zelda 2 is a classic! (an EGM issue knowingly went against the grain and appreciated it very highly on its last top 200 list).

FIVE STARS. This game is experimental and a success at doing so, with there being nothing really quite like it (Wonder Boy in Monster World wasn't even close). Some people might play this black sheep, sidescroller iteration after all the other top-down (or the highly-similar 3-D games) and they'll be all "this is ZELDA?!" and their heads will explode.

Everybody else will enjoy what is just simply an awesome fantasy game with a wonderfully functional level-up system, magic, skills, other RPG elements, and some totally excellent dungeon exploration.



Kingston said:

I must say... I'm intrigued by this game... The low scores are scaring me though...



couthedman92 said:

Hmmm... Zelda+RPG. How could that be anything BUT good? Maybe it's the supposed difficulty that scares people away, or they can't comprehend the fact that not every Zelda game has to play the same way. I might just buy this.



sephiroth79 said:

I always liked this game, it's not as good as the others, but still very fun. I love RPG's and I thought that was a cool addition.

Be warned though, this game is ridiculously difficult.



CanisWolfred said:

I gotta say, this was difficult to get into: the controls we're different, the overworld was different - It was just plain disorienting to play! Especially since the enemies would respawn until you excited the area, I couldn't quite grasp that at first, and I would try to kill every enemy, and just ending up getting killed. Once I got my bearings though, it was actually a lot of fun! It's not my favorite Zelda game, but it's certainly not my least, and I'm glad I got it!(even though I still think I should've gotten Startropics instead)



David77 said:

This game is very hard even for hardcore gamers, you decide if it's a good thing or not.



Ricardo91 said:

I got a reeeeeal nasty grudge on this one.

I originally played this as a classic NES series GBA cartridge. Hope you kids are thankful that you can buy this game for $5 now, cuz I ponied up 15 extra bucks for this sucker 4 years a go. At about the 5th palace (I think that's where I was), I got so mad at this game that I hit my GBA SP with my fist and literally broke it in half (I took my frustration out on it prior when I was playing Castlevania, so that might've softened it up.). True story. I was not happy. T__T

As you can tell, this game is crazy hard, and not in a fair way. I'd always lose a life ofr two getting to a palace, healing items are way too sparse, Link's got the dinkiest little sword and shield ever, the graphics are ugly, the music weird (though I like the temple theme, but mainly because it was in Melee), and when you lose all your lives, you not only have to start over all the way back at Zelda's temple, you lose all your experience points to boot! so I'd be 200 EXP. points away from my next level, almost defeating a palace boss, but then I die and have to do it all over again!!


Ok Cheez, calm yourself, man. Just settle down and think about A Link to The Past for a moment, and you'll be fine.....
........OK, I feel better now.

It's a shame. If they made the game a little less merciless, I would've liked it a lot more. I don't mind the completely unorthodox take on Zelda, but I did mind the maddening difficulty.

Until I get another GBA SP, I'm not even gonna think about downloading this and playing it again, or Castlevania for that matter. It is, dare I say it, the Weakest Link ! See what I did there?

I still give it a 3/5, despite all my frustration. It did introduce some good ideas to it's name, as well as some ideas that appeared in other games in the series (a magic meter, towns), and I like the guy that says "I am Error." Still don't want to play it again, though.

Edit: Oh yea, and the dungeons were monotonous and confusing too. A map would've really have been nice. But noooooooooooo. T_T



Shadic said:

This game is easily the greatest Zelda of all time, and definitely my favorite game ever.

You want the Zelda exploration? You've got it. Pay attention to what the people talk about in town, and you'll be well on your way to figuring out most of the game's tricks. I mean, the is a town hidden in the woods that you have to cut away, among other things. I've never understood how people say that this missed that crucial Zelda element.

And action? You want action in a Zelda game? It's here in spades - Far more than the Zelda game before it, and all the games after it. The combat system for this game is essentially perfect, with far more interesting combat than pretty much any game out there. The shield in this game quickly becomes your best friend, and you need to learn how to use it, well.

I still laugh at you people that complain about the lack of "Puzzles" in the game, but manage to get lost. Pick an argument and stick to it.




Beau_Skunk said:

I think one of the main reasons people hate this game is because they can't beat the Iron Knuckle knights in the temples. (I admit, I used to have trouble beating them, I used to use the high jump spell to jump over them rather then fight them most of the time.)
Apparentlly some folks can't figure out you can press down to lower your sheild to block low attacks, and attack low (or high) to try to catch the knights off guard.
Personally I felt the attacking & sheilding high/low system was pretty innovative for it's day.
Once you master that, the game becomes MUCH LESS difficult. (I also must add there is a healing spell in the game you can learn. Wich also makes things easier later on.)

The onley tedious part for me was trying to find your way through the southern maze cave parts. (to get to the third temple by the graveyard.) I was stuck there for a long time, so feel free to look for a walkthrough on that part.
I still say this game isn't as bad as most people say it was. (In fact the game was pretty well received back when it first came out. I dare you to find old 80s/90s Nintendo Power magazines and look at the player's polls, and find one issue where Zelda II wasn't in the top 20 NES games as voted on by readers.)



spyster10000 said:

This isn't my favorate zelda I much prefer the 3D titles old and new I love all the 3D titles, and after playing this it's almost like some crazy RPG thats surprisingly awesome worth the wii points and any Zelda fan should download it.



Marvel_Maniac said:

I find it interesting that the biggest complaint about this game is usually from people who are younger gamers, or, at least, from people who hadn't played it before. What is the complaint? That its too different? Second to this is a complaint about its difficulty. So what I'm hearing here is that these people don't like a challenge (valid I suppose, there ARE different types of gamers) and also that they don't like change or inventive ideas (not terribly open minded if you ask me). Humanity already has a crappy history of hating something because it is different. If you don't like this game, give it a decent critque of why, but don't tell me its because "ITS NOT ZELDA". <stomps foot> <wrings hands> <tear> <cry> <tear>

That really doesn't cut it. You know, the first people who played Metal Gear? Would their complaining that Metal Gear Solid's changed format for PS1 be useful in an intelligent forum? Probably not. Let's talk about the quality of the game for what it is please. And what it is, is epic, magical and magnificent!



RetroNL said:

The thing with this game is, is that it' s very hard in the beginning. But after you got the Hammer and played through death mountain. The game get' s more playable and enjoyable till the end. 4 stars from me, although it' s not your all day zelda game, it is still worth playing even for Zelda fans.



Corbs said:

I still love this game. I know it's the oddball in the Zelda series, but there was just something unique about it that I liked. It was hard, but fun.



Kurachi said:

i think people dont like it cuz it has a different fighting style and is hard for those who are new at it
comparing this to other zelda's , is wrong, because there were just 2 zelda's on the nes, and those just have different styles, just like how OOT is different from zelda 1 on nes, they are totally different games (except for saving zelda, green suit and sword)
this zelda is more rpg then other zelda's, cuz here you have to fight to gain power, life and magic, kinda new challenge
i dont try to "protect" this game, cuz its not my favorite zelda, but i DO like it and i dont like it that people always compare old games to newer ones, like nes games comparing to snes or n64 games

what i think is this: it's most of the times just about people's past/youth with these old games
retro games are mostly for those who have had nice times with these games back then

i'll buy this game later, and this time i try to master it more then i did back then
4 stars from me

ps. yes, the ssbm/ssbb temple music and stage are based on this game



Ho11oWxxMaN said:

Zelda II, is much like Super Mario Bros. 2, in my eyes. Both are the off-beat, red-headed stepchildren in the series. It doesn't mean that either game is bad, they are just...different. I suggest buying it, only if you are a big Zelda fan and want to own every game.



Capt_K said:

i think 4 stars is a fair reflection, they tried to do something different to the first one and i enjoyed it. Thought it was a bit too easy though!



Divock said:

I would buy it if I didn't have the collectors disc.
Sorry Nintendo, but your money is in another castle...probably Yoshi's Island or something.



CanisWolfred said:


Cool, I'll make sure to try it out, always wanted to play one of those Wonderboy games anyways.

As for how well the games have aged, for me it's the exact opposite: I thought Kid Icarus aged horribly, and I couldn't enjoy it at all, where as Zelda II felt fresh and fun, and I had never experienced anything quite like it before or since.



Nintendork said:

Oh yes, I have fond memories of getting the Classic NES version for the GBA, then returning it between 10 to 20 minutes later.



VenomTheEvil said:

Hard as nails and not like the other Zeldas but thats no reason to call it a bad game its quite good when you into it.

Wont download it anytime soon however.



nursedad said:

I remember seems to be a running trend....but I do remember trying so much to beat this game...I beat kid icarus a week before I go to this one when I was a kid. I recently got it again and still love it, as it was probab;y the most influential hard game for me to beat as a maps needed...5 outta 5



SuperMarioFan1995 said:

This game has to be the most hardest Zelda for NES. Every time I try'd to go through the first temple, but then I get hit and start over.

Have no idea why they made this harder than the first. I don't really think its a true sequel to the first, I'm afraid.



nephew77 said:

9/10: This action-RPG does indeed represent a sharp departure from the classic 2-D Zelda formula, but the road less traveled is worth taking here! The music is some of the best I've heard in a Zelda game, and the platform-style action and nuanced sword fighting system will keep you engaged. I have one warning to newcomers, however: This is easily one of the most challenging NES games out there. If patience is not one of your virtues, you will pull your hair out as you try to find hidden magic containers, spend hours leveling up, and die repeatedly in ridiculously difficult dungeons. If, however, you are a seasoned retro gamer, you will find in The Adventure of Link an innovative adventure game that rewards the serious gamer as few others do.

Gaming historians may also note that this came out at about the same time as another famous departure from a hugely popular series. That game was called Super Mario Bros. 2 (Doki-Doki Panic). Nintendo was taking big risks with what would become two of their biggest franchises.



WheresMeLoZ said:

still love it immensely even with all the maddening horrors that come to mind as i play it every now and again. for the most part i would agree with Ricardo91 but i cant help but play it still today.



Hawker said:

Alot of people love or hate this game, but it is still a great game. My best friend's mom to this day says this is the greatest game she's ever played. It's probably the worst Zelda, but it's still a great game.



Slayer said:

I never liked this game. It relates to Final Fantasy a little, stopping your journey to fight. I found this challenging, but it gave barely a hint of story in the short time I played it, and it starts you over from the beginning when you die.



Nintygek said:

The first Zelda game i got back in 1988 I think. Loved it. To this day I never finished it.
When it is released on VC in Europe, I will finish it!



RegalSin said:

1. With Japanese game developers they would usually try something different. This started with games like "Donkey Kong" where the first is one kind of game, the second is an different kind and so forth. So this way you can never say it is the same thing.

However what usually happened back then, is that they would make an expensive and complicated PC version and then an kiddie version for the console.

But because everybody started to purchase console ( TV Toy ) games, what would usually happen during the SNES days, is that people would just mimic what the last guy did.

Some companies ( especially in Japan ) would share code with each other like no tomorrow which lead to games progressing more and more faster.

In the west however they would have to resort to reverse engineering of games in order to make anything interesting at all.

Only a few people in the west or east actually made original games. Most of them are just clones.

Also Zelda is not original, their are two games that pre-dates Zelda series but because they were on other consoles/systems/computers we in the west never knew them at all.

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