When you ask fans what their favorite Zelda game is, or even what the most influential title was, you’ll probably get a lot of “Ocarina of Time”, “The Wind Waker”, or “Twilight Princess”, but rarely will you hear about Zelda’s black sheep: Zelda II.
Why is this? The difficulty? The huge differences with the rest of the titles? I’m not entirely sure, but a Joystiq article seeks to talk about some of the things The Adventure of Link did well, and why it ranks number one on the author’s favorite Zelda titles. Hit the jump for more!
I feel that Zelda II is under-rated and cast aside far too often in Zelda discussions. It’s just that other NES title, you know, the one that’s different. And I understand that many people don’t like Zelda II when comparing to other Nintendo masterpieces and even in timeline discourse Zelda II has always had a concrete spot right behind The Legend of Zelda, without a single popular theory stating otherwise.
But there has always been a place in my heart containers for The Adventure of Link, and it appears that Richard Mitchell of Joystiq shares a similar fondness.
As he explains in the article, the 8-bit title decided to move towards the RPG route, with only dungeons, caves, forests, and random encounters being where the action starts. No longer was the open-world constant threat of enemies a game mechanic.
Akin to its predecessor, Zelda II gives almost no instruction in-game, and hints are sometimes obscure.
Example: “‘Goriya of Tantari stole our trophy.’ Who’s Goriya? Where is Tantari? Why is a trophy important?”
There is of course, the most important aspect of the NES title: combat. Though Skyward Sword touts an impressive combat system paired with the Wii Motion Plus, Zelda II’s fighting mechanics were very impressive and made playing both difficult and fun.
Along with some childhood nostalgia, more ways Zelda II is an excellent game are featured in the original Joystiq article. I highly encourage you read the short piece; you might just form a new love for the classic!