Zelda II: The Adventure of Link


Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was the second game to be released in the Legend of Zelda series, set immediately after the events of its prequel, The Legend of Zelda. The game finishes, for now, the Downfall Timeline and completes the story arc set from the previous game.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was released in Japan in 1987 for the Family Computer Disk System, less than a year after the release of The Legend of Zelda. The game was also released in Japan before the first title had even been released in any other territories. It was later released on the NES platform in North American and PAL regions in 1988, and went on to become another hugely successful release for Nintendo.

Selling 4.38 million copies worldwide, The Adventure of Link was reported to have sold out in many retailers and one of the most popular NES titles ever, coming fifth in the platform’s all times sales.

Development and Release

Wanting to create a fundamentally different sequel to the first game, Shigeru Miyamoto returned to produce Zelda II: The Adventure of Link with Takashi Tezuka returning to write the story and script, and Tadashi Sugiyama directing on his first project for Nintendo. The game’s music was created and composed by Akito Nakatsuka. Key members from The Legend of Zelda’s design team, such as Takashi Tezuka and Kōji Kondō, were not involved in The Adventure of Link’s production.Almost none of the music from the previous game was integrated, save for the introductory notes of the over-world theme, which were sampled at the start of the new over-world theme. Most music in The Adventure of Link has generally not been incorporated into later games in the series, most likely because it was significantly different from the direction that the series ultimately took. However, orchestrated versions of the Palace track were used in Super Smash Bros. Melee, played during the Hyrule: Temple and Underground Maze levels; a different variation in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap also includes a remix of the Japanese battle music, in the form of its mini-boss music.

<img class=”alignleft size-wcsmall wp-image-1055” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Zelda_ii_the_adventure_of_link_FDS-250x282.jpg” alt=”Adventure of Link FDS” />The Adventure of Link was originally released on the Famicom Disk System before its worldwide release. Like its predecessor, the FDS version appears to be an earlier version of the game, with a few obvious differences.

Upon its release in North America, The Adventure of Link became one of the most popular NES games of 1988, with many retailers reporting that the game was selling out that year. The game ultimately sold 4.38 million copies worldwide, making it the fifth best selling NES game, behind the Super Mario Bros. series and the first Legend of Zelda game.

<img class=”alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1054” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/1745-250x250.jpg” alt=”Adventure of Link GBA” />In 2003, Nintendo released a bundle for the GameCube which included Collector’s Edition, a disc which featured, amongst other games, The Adventure of Link. A port for the Game Boy Advance for the “Classic NES Series” was also released.

The Adventure of Link has also been released for download on the Wii’s Virtual Console. The game became was released as one of the games eligible for free download over the Virtual Console as part of the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program, a service available to players who bought a 3DS before its price dropped in 2011.


<img class=”alignleft wp-image-767 size-wcsmall” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Inside-A-House-250x234.png” alt=”Inside-A-House” width=”250” height=”234” />The Adventure of Link bears little resemblance to the first game, or any other game since released in the series. Rather than the top-down view of the previous title, The Adventure of Link primarily features side-scrolling areas within a larger world map. The game also incorporates a strategic combat system and more RPG elements, including an experience points system, magic spells, and more interaction with non-player characters. Link also has lives and can pick up additional ones; no other game in the series to date includes this feature.Link gains Experience points to upgrade his attack, magic, and life by defeating enemies, each of which awards him a certain amount of EXP. He can raise each of these attributes to a maximum of eight levels. Raising a life level will decrease the damage Link receives when hit; raising a magic level will decrease the magic points cost of spells; and raising an attack level will strengthen his offensive power. Link can also acquire up to four Heart Containers and up to four Magic Containers that permanently increase his life points and magic points. Most other games in Zelda series only allow Link to increase his strength through new weapons, items, and Heart Containers. Certain enemies drain Link’s experience when they attack, though he will never lose a level once raised.

<img class=”alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-763” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/076-250x219.png” alt=”076” />The Adventure of Link plays out in a two-mode dynamic. The Over-world, which is where the majority of the action occurs in the Zelda series, is still from a top-down perspective, but it now serves primarily as a hub to the other areas. Whenever Link enters an area, whether it be a town, cave, or palace, the game switches to a side-scrolling view. This mode is where most of the action takes place, and it is the only mode in which Link can take damage and be killed.

Link also enters this mode when attacked by wandering monsters. Whenever the player traverses the various environments of Hyrule, such as fields, forests, and swamps, black enemy silhouettes appear and pursue him. Of the three random creatures that appear, there are three types, which correspond to the relative difficulty of the monsters in the battle mode: a small, weak blob denoting easy enemies, a large, strong biped denoting harder enemies, and a Fairy, which will put Link on a single screen with a free Fairy to refill his health. This separate method of traveling and entering combat is one of many aspects adapted from the role-playing genre.

The Adventure of Link makes use of relatively simple controls and mechanics for Link’s battles. Armed with a sword and shield, Link must alternate between standing and crouching positions in order to attack enemies and defend himself, and Link also has the ability to jump, which can be used for attacking tall or airborne enemies and for evasion. Eventually, he can also learn the Downthrust and Jump Thrust midair techniques.

In place of actively used items, The Adventure of Link features spells for Link to use during action scenes. This is the first time magic was used in the series. Each spell is learned from a wise man, each one in a different town. Link often has to complete side quests, such as retrieving lost items, before they will teach him their spells. Some spells are necessary for advancing beyond certain points in the game; both the Jump and Fairy spells allow Link to reach the top of ledges that are otherwise too high. Magic spells consume magic power. How much power is drained depends on Link’s current magic level. Four Magic Jars can be found hidden throughout the game; these jars expand Link’s magic meter by one square.

Despite featuring many radical changes from the previous Zelda title, the game also offered canonical elements to be part of the series’ standards. It contributed largely to the overall storyline and gameplay of the series. For instance, The Adventure of Link introduced the ability of Ganon to be revived, return after defeat and death, the Triforce of Courage and the first appearance of Dark Link.

The introduction of several new enemies return in later games, such as the Iron Knuckle and Volvagia, and the ability to learn new moves, though still limited to only two.

Development of the world of Hyrule became significantly larger. The over-world of no other Zelda title can be considered this large, with this many towns and this many different environments.

The Adventure of Link also introduced the core concept of side-quests, the need to do tasks outside the main mission Quest like having to save a trophy or finding medicine for a sick child. It is also the first Zelda title where villages and towns appear.

Trivia and Facts

The Adventure of Link marks one of the few times where Link speaks in a canon game, by saying, “I found a mirror under the table” while in Saria Town.The Adventure of Link is the only Zelda game where bosses do not drop Heart Containers upon being defeated. It is also the only game where Link does not receive key quest items for completing dungeons, as he instead goes through the dungeons in order to place his key quest items within them.

The Sages in Ocarina of Time are named after the towns in this game, although in Zelda chronology however, the towns were named after the Sages. These towns are Rauru, Ruto, Saria, Mido, Nabooru, and Darunia. However, Mido is not a sage.

It’s possible to get past locked doors without keys by using the fairy spell and flying through the keyhole.

Timeline Information

Although the second game to be released in the Legend of Zelda franchise, it was confirmed by Nintendo that The Adventure of Link took place in the Downfall Timeline after the events of Ocarina of Time, A Link to the Past and, of course, The Legend of Zelda. The game is a direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda and continues the story of the hero, Link, after his defeat of Ganon.

After the last king’s death and the attempt of the Prince of Hyrule to assemble the complete Triforce, Hyrule was lead into the Era of Decline. The Prince of Darkness Ganon was revived, which led to him invading the land of Hyrule and stealing the Triforce of Power. He was stopped and killed by a hero named Link, then only a boy. Two parts of the Triforce were now reunited, having also recovered the Triforce of Wisdom from across Hyrule, but still the third piece was missing.A long time ago the Prince of Hyrule had tried to obtain the Triforce, but Princess Zelda refused to tell him the location of it. In order to extract the information from her, he brought in a Magician to interrogate her. Unable to find out any information, the wizard cast a sleeping spell on her, which also resulted in his own death. The prince, being unable to reverse the spell, had his sister placed in the castle tower, in the hope that she would one day be awakened. He decreed that all females born to the royal family from that point on would be named Zelda, in remembrance of this tragedy. This would become the origin of the “Legend of Zelda”.

<img class=”alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-765” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Sleeping-Zelda-250x234.png” alt=”Sleeping-Zelda” />Link, now a sixteen year-old boy, notices a strange mark on the back of his left hand, resembling the crest of Hyrule. He seeks out Impa, who responds by taking Link to the North Castle, where a door has been magically sealed for generations.Impa places Link’s hand on the door, opening it, revealing a sleeping maiden. Impa reveals that the maiden is Zelda, but not the Zelda that Link knows from his previous adventures. This Zelda was a princess of Hyrule rom long ago, and the origin of the “Legend of Zelda.”

Zelda’s brother had tried to force the location of the Triforce of Courage from her, after learning that their recently deceased father had secretly told Zelda, but not him. She refused to tell the Prince what her father had told her, and the Prince sought the power of a Magician to put Zelda into a deep sleep, which also caused the wizard to die soon after.

Impa tells Link that only by reuniting the Triforce of Courage with its counterparts will he be able to awaken Zelda from her slumber. She imparts Link with six crystals that serve as keys to open the seal on the Great Palace. She also gives Link ancient writings in a language that, despite never seeing it before, can decipher them to reveal that he must place the crystals within the six palaces across Hyrule, which will open the way to the Great Palace where the enchanted Princess Zelda sleeps.

Meanwhile, the armies of darkness — loyal to Ganon - begin to attack the land of Hyrule again. Believing that they could revive Ganon by pouring Link’s blood over his ashes, they begin to spread across the land, seeking Link out.

<img class=”alignleft size-wcsmall wp-image-758” src=”http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/162-250x219.png” alt=”162” />On his adventure across Western and Eastern Hyrule, Link meets a variety of different people, all with their own tales or stories to tell. He also helps out people with mini-quests that further his adventure, like finding medicine for a child in need.

After restoring the six Crystals, Link finds and enter the Great Palace. Fighting his way through the palace, Link confronts a flying creature called the Thunderbird, before having to face a shadow of himself - Dark Link. Defeating the doppelgänger, Link claims the Triforce of Courage from within the palace, and uses it to awaken Zelda, who embraces him warmly.

Having saved the long-slumbered princess and recovered the final piece of the Triforce, Link had set Hyrule once again on the path of righteousness and peace. However, little is known about the events after the awakening of Princess Zelda I and the Hero that saved not only the princess, but the land of Hyrule.