Video Game Thoughts: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was a 1987 action-adventure game by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System. While I rented the original Legend of Zelda, I had never even heard of a sequel until over a decade later. Zelda II was radically different from all the rest of the Zelda games, so I had no inclination to play it. Last year, however, I earned a free eShop game from the Nintendo Club. None of the games were appealing to me except Zelda II. I wasn’t that excited to play such an old game, so it just sat there on my Wii U until I was bored enough of my other games.

I forgot how simple these old games were. The title screen looked okay, but after creating my profile, I was surprised to not see any story. The main character, Link, just appeared in what looked like a temple with a woman sleeping on a stone bed. Through some outside reading, I found out the woman was Zelda. She was in a magical sleep. It was up to Link to collect all the items necessary to wake her. The lack of story didn’t bother me too much. I play games for the gameplay.

The gameplay started out really fun. It was a tough game, but I had the Wii U’s save feature. I could save the game at any point and instantly restart. I used this whenever I played badly to restart a short segment until I got it down perfectly. I could keep Link from ever dying. I struggled early on to figure out what to do, but I eventually found out where I needed to go. I finished the first palace or temple, got some new items, and gained a few levels.

The leveling system was really cool. No other Zelda games have had this. Link gained experience points for defeating enemies. After enough points were gained, he leveled up and could improve his magic total, life total, or attack power. They were all useful, but my favorite was life total since I always had trouble surviving. When I was having some trouble in one area, I just kept killing random monsters until Link gained a few levels. I liked that I could do some training to get Link strong enough if I wasn’t playing well enough. Unfortunately, this fun didn’t last.

Zelda II was just too hard of a game. I had the special save feature and had gained extra levels, but it was still too hard. I guess it wasn’t hard to keep reloading a save file, but it was definitely too tedious. I spent a whole day playing and only had made it through two palaces or temples. At this point, I knew I was good enough to finish the game, but I just wasn’t having fun. I didn’t like having to repeat the same room over and over until I cleared it without losing too much life. In past years, I would have forced myself to finish it, but I am different now. I’ve decided with the unimportant things like video games, if I’m not having fun, I’m not going to engage in it anymore.

I didn’t finish the game. It may be the only game I haven’t finished because I’m always very careful about which games I play. This was a free game though. I probably wouldn’t have paid money for it. I at least gave it a shot. I am at the age where I don’t feel I have to do everything. It’s okay to say no to some things. I liked the basic premise of Zelda II’s gameplay. I’d be interested in a newer Zelda game that copied its design, but they would have to really tone down the difficulty. Make it as difficult as Super Mario Bros. 3. That game is hard but fun the whole time.

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