Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

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Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Zelda II The Adventure of Link (NA)
North American box art
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Famicom Disk System platform icon Nintendo Entertainment System platform icon Virtual Console (Wii) platform icon Virtual Console (3DS) platform icon Virtual Console (Wii U) platform icon
Genre(s) Action, Adventure

03ESRB E  02PEGI 7  01CERO A  01ACB G

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Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (THE LEGEND OF ZELDA 2 リンクの冒険, The Legend of Zelda 2 Rinku no Bōken) is a video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System that was released a year after The Legend of Zelda.

While the original game used a bird's eye view perspective, The Adventure of Link goes in a dramatic new gameplay direction that basically is a sidescrolling RPG/action adventure video game. Despite this, the game's map takes on a bird's-eye-view perspective, though the dungeons, boss battles and towns take a sidescrolling perspective.


Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is no longer restricted to one perspective as it was in the original game. When traveling from one place to another, the player will be provided with a bird's eye view of Link and Hyrule. During action, town and dungeon sequences, it will switch to a 2D sidescrolling viewpoint. On the main map, the view will change upon touching an enemy, town, or dungeon entrance. There are several new items and magic abilities available as well as returning favorites. One of this sequel's most notable inclusion is the Hammer, which would appear in subsequent Zelda titles.

In Zelda II Link has a magic meter that depletes when using magic. There are eight unique spells in the game, each one giving the player different abilities. The magic spells include Shield, which supplies Link with higher defense; Jump, which allows Link to jump higher; Fire, which causes Link to project fireballs from his sword; Spell, which will put a deadly spell on an enemy; Life, which grants Link three extra hearts; Fairy, which transforms Link into a fairy and grants him access to the power of flight; Reflect, which can reflect projectiles and enemy attacks; and Thunder, which attacks all enemies on the screen.


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Link returns to Hyrule to search for the Triforce and to awaken Zelda from an endless sleep. Embark on a quest to find the Triforce of Courage and save Hyrule from ruin. Learn magic spells, talk to people in towns to get clues, collect items to increase your power, and explore six palaces where the underlings of the evil Ganon await you. This sequel to the Adventure classic uses a side-scrolling visual engine unique to the series for more technical combat, and features more in-depth world roaming as Link encounters townsfolk while on his quest.


This game was first released on the Family Computer Disk System in Japan and eighteen months later on the Nintendo Entertainment System for the North American release.

Fifteen years after the Nintendo Entertainment System release in honour of the fifteenth anniversary, The Adventure of Link was released onto the GameCube as a part of The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition. Then, it was released on the Classic NES Series a year later under the title of Classic NES Series: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

In 2007, there was a Virtual Console release for the game for the Wii for five hundred Wii Points. Four years later, Nintendo released the game as an ambassador game for the Nintendo 3DS on September 1, 2011 as a thanks to the people who have purchased the 3DS for two-hundred fifty dollars after the price drop for the 3DS.


The game was initially successful, but its popularity dwindled quickly. Nevertheless, many elements and weapons from this game went on to appear in most Zelda titles following it. Link would be portrayed in his Zelda II form in Captain N: The Game Master.

There are many contributors to its lack of popularity. The game's overworld is for traveling only. Battles occur in underworlds after semi-random encounters. The overworld also lacks detail, making it difficult to navigate. The citizens of each town only provide tips, not actual assistance.

The level-up system requires experience, which can be gained via defeating enemies. Not all enemies earn Link experience, and some even take away experience. A game over will result in experience points being reset to zero, making grinding difficult. A game over will also restart Link at the palace where Zelda rests, forcing Link to travel for miles to return to where he was before (although losing a life will respawn Link where he just was).

Despite Link having several lives before a game over, only a very small amount of extra lives can be found throughout the game.

Much of Link's future moveset is derived from this game, including the downward strike.

This is one of the 12 games featured in NES Remix 2.


  • A notable mistranslation in this game is one character who claims his name is "Error". This is a mistranslation from the original "Errol", which in Japanese is pronounced identically to "Error". This was not fixed in subsequent ports.
    • However, there is another character named "Bagu" (Japanese for "bug"). This might make "Error" intentional (as in an error and a bug in the game).
  • The game won 2 awards in the 1988 Nintendo Power Awards: Best Character (Link), and Best Game Overall. It also won Best Character (Link) again in the 1989 Nintendo Power Awards.
  • Zelda II was featured on the cover of the January/February issue of Nintendo Power magazine in 1989.
  • In the original release, the death animation features a strobe effect popular in Japan at the time. Due to the rise of concern relating such effects to photosensitive epileptic seizures, the Virtual Console re-release replaces this feature with a simple red background.

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