Ef You Treyarch...

Know Your Roots – Zelda II: The Adventure of Link – 1987

There was once upon time after a few too many beverages during a wedding reception I was asked to give some advice to the groom on video. My response was “don’t forget your roots”.

Thinking back about this time honestly it was a silly answer. I don’t know shit about my own roots more or less enough to forget about them but on video it was rather funny. OK…back to the topic on hand.

For awhile (my entire LIFE!! omg so tragic) it lightly bothered me that I never beat Zelda 2. Growing up I remember getting rather far but getting stuck trying to enter the Great Palace but without placing all the crystals it’s impossible to enter. For some reason my young brain thought that using the Fairy spell to pass the barrier would work. That was as far as I ever got and never finished the game.

Back in November after an impromptu play of Zelda 1 it was logical to give the second game another stab. Going in knowing it was going to be rough I’m glad it was something I took my time with. After finishing the game it felt like a return to my roots so to speak. Or something to pass time while my girlfriend is at work rather then then shooting virtual terrorists in the face.

Really I’m just a stubborn idiot.

The first thing that sticks out is yes, I did perish many times over the course of Zelda 2. There are pits, and enemies that hit hard. Sometimes solutions are not clear as they should be and if you don’t level up and find the magic and heart containers things can get rough. Zelda 2 is still a challenge and mostly due to combat.

For 2d/2 button action fighting game Zelda 2 does hold up. Many of the enemy types are palette swaps in essence but almost every combat encounter can be troublesome. Even on the beautiful american box art Zelda 2 proclaims this game as the “ultimate challenge” and I can see how people would never see the end without cheating. In Zelda 1 the challenge came from figuring out where to do. Zelda 2 does carry over some of that but as a player you are going to die because some jerkoff with a shield is going to block all your attacks and slash you in the knees. The reward for this is the best game over screen ever.

Yes, this year is the Zelda’s 25th Anniversary but for now I feel pretty good where I’m at with the series.  After hearing so many good things about The Wind Waker I should track down a copy and work on that game next but a break is in order. Zelda 2 does come recommended but for first time players it can be daunting. Luckily I remembered most everything from my childhood but without that knowledge I would have had to look up a FAQ.

For a new player would highly suggest to look up the maps for at least for the final dungeon. Clearly you could pen and paper a map and I debated doing that to play “pure” but ef that there are wonderful maps already online. Also, look up the locations of the magic and heart containers. The magic ones are pretty easy to find but two of the heart containers would be just completely random to find them. With full magic and health the last few sections of the game are much easier.


Category: Video Games


2 Responses

  1. Vo says:

    The only NES games I have ever beaten are zelda 1 and Megaman 2.

  2. Bill M. says:

    In the past I had made it a point to always re-beat the entire series in order before the release of a new zelda title. I do in fact have the majority of the series memorized and fighting techniques mastered, to the pointer where I can beat most of the games in very fast times. Of course, at this point re-beating the entire series before every release has gotten a bit impractical given the size of the series, however, I still regularly replay Zelda 1 through Ocarina, and occasionally play the others beyond that.

    I admit I recently had a brain-dead moment and needed to look at a map of zelda 1 (hence how I landed here.) Zelda 2 is definitely a challenge, but I can in fact get 100% completion without cheats. There are tricks to the fighting. For example, once you have the downthrust, most shielded enemies can be damaged despite the shield using various combinations of jumping with a downthrust and then slashing while still crouched near their head. The real nasties are the blue knights, the great palace eagle knights, the maced enemies (red and blue lizalfos, red and blue diara, doomknockers), and of course the various flying jobs that tend to knock you into pits.

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