Journey back with me to 2005: an odd year to talk about Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, for sure. That was, however, when 10-year-old me first became acquainted with the game. I remember standing in a rural Southern U.S. Walmart, transfixed by the bright blue of the brand-new Game Boy Advance SP that was soon to be mine. That day I also got to pick out a clearance-priced game. My choice? The Adventure of Link, my first handheld game. It was also my very first interaction with the Zelda series.
It will be a surprise to no one that I did not beat this game as a kid. I would spend hours at a time leveling up Link’s stats, but I ultimately didn’t have the patience to follow through to the end. While at the time I gave up on beating the game outright, I wasn’t drawn away from The Adventure of Link towards the flashier, newer games of the 2000s right away. I printed off a walkthrough guide that explained each temple and major step toward completion, and I read it front to back avariciously. Even though my younger self never stepped into the final boss room to face off against Link’s dark double, I read through the battle’s breakdown countless times. I remained intrigued for years by how grown-up and beyond my reach beating the game seemed.
Fast-forward to 2019 when the game became available to play on Switch Online’s digital NES library. At a difficult time in my life, I returned to The Adventure of Link to conquer an old abandoned quest. Of course, I had the help of the Switch’s rewind and save point tools, I shamelessly admit, but I beat the game at last nonetheless. Whether during my first days playing The Adventure of Link, while hearing the background track for the Temple Stage while playing Super Smash Bros. series games, or while returning to The Legend of Zelda‘s sequel in recent years, I have always felt a deep nostalgia when I hear “Palace Theme.” It represents hours uncounted of exploring each palace. I listened to it with a feeling of vindication after successfully passing each tricky mini boss and magical puzzle or frustration when a palace’s setup made no sense. “Palace Theme” taps into the desire in me to face up to challenges and feel the electricity of trying new things.
Speaking of electricity, GaMetal (AKA Jonny Atma) has recently uploaded an amazing metal cover of “Palace Theme” (often interchangeably titled “Temple Theme”). Atma’s cover blends keyboard, acoustic guitar, bass, electric guitar, and drums into a lively and energizing remix of the track as part of his May Madness 2022 remix event happening right now on the GaMetal YouTube channel. This isn’t even Atma’s first remix of “Palace Theme” either — the artist has been playing around with the track since around the time I first picked up the game, and has now covered it four times during his career (you can see the other Zelda covers he has currently available here).
What I really love about Atma’s cover is its complexity and original flavor. He also puts a lot of effort and character into his video, embodying different personas when playing various instruments onscreen.
What do you think of this metal cover of The Adventure of Link‘s “Palace Theme?” Let us know down below!
Location: Athens, Georgia, USA
Favorite Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Date Joined: March 2022
“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”