I was recently playing through Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (as I am known to do sometimes), and was quickly reminded of how useful the Fairy Spell is to gameplay. With the power to increase mobility and skip passed doors, the Fairy Spell is one of many awesome spells present in Zelda II. With some unlocking combat abilities and others changing how Link moves throughout dungeons, these spells were great gameplay additions that have never again been revisited. The results were satisfying back then, but do such spells have a place in modern Zelda games?

In Zelda II, Link learned eight different spells over the course of his journey. Each spell offered something unique when cast; the shield spell increased Link’s defenses, the fire spell threw fire balls from his sword, and the spell spell (yes, that’s its name) transformed enemies into weak, little blobs. With powers such as these, the player was allowed to feel like a strong magic-caster in addition to a skilled swordsman. Also, the magic system that Zelda II implemented to limit spell usage was extremely interesting. It was obviously influential toward the magic meters seen in later Zelda games, but it allowed for a degree of strategy and forethought that I argue is not present with magic use in more recent games.

Remnants of Zelda II‘s spells can be seen in later games. Items like Nayru’s Love are obviously reminiscent of spells from the past and Majora’s Mask‘s transformations fall in line with the Fairy Spell, but other more recent Zelda games have not really carried over the ideas seen in Zelda II. As well, with jars of magic available almost everywhere in newer titles, the strategic magic system that encourages careful planning has been completely abandoned. Perhaps such a spell system would be too complicated for today’s Zelda players; perhaps the types of gameplay these spells provide no longer fit with today’s Zelda formula.

I leave you to decide: should the Zelda series revisit the spell system from Zelda II? Are there any specific Zelda II spells you’d like to see return? Does anybody other than me want to see the Fairy Spell again? Join the Daily Debate!

Sorted Under: Uncategorized