Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Reviewed 6/29/00

Zelda 2 picks up a few years after the original blockbuster left off, following the same Link into his teenage years. After all is peaceful once again in the kingdom of Hyrule, no one is expecting any trouble, but princess Zelda is put under a deep sleep by the palace magician, and only the power of the no. 3 triforce can bring her back. What's worse, Ganons henchmen still roam the land, and will try to kill you at all costs, as the death of Link will supposedly bring the cretin back to life. For once, we are given a storyline in a Zelda game that is actually good.

While it plays nothing like it's predecessor, Zelda 2 is teeming with adventuresome elements. In fact, every time I hear the phrase "adventure game", this game automatically comes to mind. It packs as much action and exploration as you possibly can into an NES cart. The vast world map is done in an overhead perspective, similar to other Zelda games, but very simple and bland looking. The 'main' part of the game is all in sidescroller form, and Link can actually jump this time around. What's more, the enemies are intuitive, and the bosses are distinct and complicated, making for THE best swordplay you will find on the NES, plus many scenes are very action oriented with pits and difficult jumps at every turn. The true beauty of The Adventure of Link, though, is that even with all of this action, it STILL manages to pack in what made the Zelda series so great. There are caves to explore at every turn, a plethora of items to find, puzzles up the wazoo, and this time there is a large catalog of spells to learn, each with diverse results.

But what of the dungeons? Well, the dungeons are the main reason a lot of Zelda fans don't see the beauty of Zelda 2, but I must say the dungeons, while completely different from the rest of the series, have a certain charm to them. You become immersed in each one as you search for the next key, or the dungeons special item, as the music pulls you in, and enemies such as Goriyas and Iron Knuckles will push your skills to the max. Plus, every one of the boss fights are cool, and very unique.

Instead of just one central town, Zelda 2 has cities at almost every turn. In each city you can get a new spell, if you find a certain item and return it to the town elder. There is also people who can refill your life and magic completely, and there are many hearts and magic jars to find as well, which extend your life and magic meters. The game also incorporates some RPG elements, namely level building. When you get a level up one of your three aspects; life, magic or attack, go up by one.

With a large world to cover, and the fact that it's laced with a near-perfect mix of action and exploration, it's not hard to see that Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is the most expansive Zelda game ever. Don't let some militant Zelda fan tell you that Zelda 2 sucks, try it for yourself. The game occupies the noble position of my third favorite NES game.

Graphics 8
Very pixilated...
Yet the graphics have a certain charm all thier own
Sound 10
Immersive dungeon music, in fact 'immersive' describes the thick of it, and it has a very "early-NES" sound to it
Very kick-ass opening tune and a kickin' remix of the classic Zelda overworld theme
Innovation 10
You just don't see many sidescroller adventure games with such a vast overworld (and you should)
It was a very bold move to take the series in this direction
Gameplay 10
This game SCREAMS 'adventure'
It's vast, it's challenging, it's diverse, it's everything you could want
Replay Value 9
After the first time you know the solution to every puzzle or maze
I've played at least 7 times, I'll let that speak for itself

Overall Score