Some games try to do new things. These experimental and different games allow the industry to move forward. Still, it is essential to remember that just because the games are different, they are not necessarily good. The Legend of Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link is just one of those experiments that unfortunately did not go well.
Let’s be honest; the game had a complicated task: to be better than the original Zelda. Nowadays, that doesn’t seem so difficult, but in the ’80s, it was an almost impossible task. The first TLOZ was perfect by the standards of the time. And unfortunately, The Adventure of Link failed to deliver. The game isn’t bad, but it’s just too different.
Personally, it’s one of my least favorite games in the series. The way it navigates the world, its mechanics, and even the story it tries to tell are different from my taste. This discussion about whether the game is good or bad has been going on for years among TLOZ fans. The reality is that The Adventure of Link causes divisions in the community.
I only played it three times: once on the NES, once on the Gameboy, and once on the Nintendo 3DS. Suppose you want to experience a very different game within the Zelda saga. In that case, The Adventure of Link may be your best option. But if you want to experience a family adventure, there are other better options for you. At the end of the day, it’s your decision.
The Gameplay of The Adventure of Link
One of the first things you will notice about The Adventure of Link is that its gameplay is entirely different from the other games in the saga. Not only in terms of exploration but also in terms of combat, the way you use items, and even how you buy new things and get money. The game is totally different from most Zelda games you’ve tried. If I had to describe the gameplay of The Adventure of Link, it is more similar to Castlevania and Final Fantasy than other games in the franchise.
First of all, Link now gains experience and levels up. This is the only game in the entire series where this happens. To gain experience, you have to defeat enemies, but it’s done differently. First, the combat scenes happen sideways instead of in a vertical view. This makes the game feel more like a traditional action game. On top of that, Link can jump freely. This freedom of movement allows the combat to be radically different, being more technical to a certain extent.
Likewise, Link has a Magic bar that measures his skill level in using magic. To some extent, It’s complicated and feels strange. This view of combat is mainly found when exploring dungeons, fighting enemies, and entering towns. This causes the game to feel completely different, and the scenarios have a better characterization in terms of design. Many of the dungeons have environmental hazards. This makes exploring each one to feel like a radically different experience each time.
Link’s use of magic is likewise quite a different one. Link can turn into different magical beings, and he can use his weapons with magic to do more damage. This adds an even greater layer of depth to most confrontations, especially those where Link has to fight the final bosses of each dungeon.
To get items, you have to buy them from the store in each town, and to get the money, you have to sell other items or monster parts. The game’s economy is entirely different from what you would expect from a Zelda game because money isn’t just lying around. You have to get it.
Finally, Link controls weirdly. He’s a bit too heavy, and you can tell that his moves were programmed to use that weight. For example, you can cause more damage if you drop from high up. He is also slower when trying to move around. This causes Link’s jumping to have strategic options in terms of the damage he can inflict. Still, advancing through the levels, you must make very accurate jumps, or Link can fall into the void and die.
The Story of The Legend of Zelda The Adventure of Link
The game’s story begins a couple of years after the original. Link has just turned 16 and discovers a strange mark on his left hand. Upon seeing the mark, Impa, Zelda’s royal advisor, decides to tell him the story about the king of Hyrule. The kingdom of Hyrule decided to hide the Triforce of Courage deep in a palace to avoid it from falling into evil hands.
After the king’s death, the only person who knew the palace’s location was Princess Zelda. The heir of a neighboring kingdom tried to discover the location by putting a curse on Princess Zelda. However, instead of killing her, he ended up leaving Princess Zelda in a deep sleep due to the presence of the Wisdom Triforce.
So Link’s new mission is to obtain the Triforce of Courage to awaken Princess Zelda. At the same time, Link has to prevent the supporters of Ganondorf, the lord of evil, from reviving him. This is because they spread throughout the kingdom of Hyrule to hunt Link. The reason behind this is that they think that by managing to put the ashes of Ganondorf in Link’s blood, they can revive him.
To obtain the Triforce of Courage, Link has to pass the tests of the six divine crystals found in each of the six main towns of Hyrule. In each temple, Link will find a challenge he needs to overcome to improve his sword skills and gain new magic. He will also obtain new items and help each one of the regions with a unique problem. It is the only way Link can prove he is truly the hero of Hyrule. Also, by getting the Triforce of Courage, Link will also wake princess Zelda up. In that way, he will also be saving her from her slumber.
The Characters of TLOZ The Adventure of Link
The Adventure of Link is the second game in the entire franchise. This means two things: the story it wants to tell is really simple and doesn’t need many characters. Something special about the first two Zelda games is that there aren’t many characters, and the characters with names are even fewer. In the case of the Adventure of link, there are only four critical characters for the plot.
- Link: This is the main character of the game. This is the same Link from the first game. He is only 16 years old but has already saved Hyrule once. One day he discovered a strange mark on the palm of his hand, which was the sign of the Triforce of Courage. His new mission is to collect the triforce pieces to awaken Princess Zelda.
- Zelda: In this game, there are two Zelda princesses. The first one is the same one you rescue in the first game. Link has to find the pieces of the Triforce of Courage to wake her up and prevent Ganondorf’s minions from finding her first.
- Impa: She is the royal secretary and Princess Zelda’s nanny. She is the one who tells Link the story about Princess Zelda, and she is also the one who tells him how to find the pieces of the Triforce of Courage. She becomes Link’s guide throughout his adventure.
- Dark Link: Spoiler alert. Actually, more than a character, he is an enemy. He represents the negative side of Link. Link’s mission is to defeat him to collect the last pieces of the triforce.
The Palaces of TLOZ The Adventure of Link
Another thing that sets TLOZ the Adventure of Link apart is how the game is structured. You can visit any of the palaces at any time during your adventure. In that sense, it is similar to TLOZ Breath of the Wild and the first Zelda because it does not have an established order to defeat the bosses. Finally, another difference is that, as such, they don’t have many thematic differences. The palaces have difficulty levels but don’t present environmental challenges based on elements. For example, there is no such thing as a shadow temple or a water temple. Instead, all the palaces have elements and puzzles mixed in.
This palace is located in the northern region of Hyrule, right next to the desert. It could be considered as the desert temple in other Zeldas. It is the smallest and easiest palace since it does not need so many keys to open its doors. You don’t need to learn any spell to overcome it.
This is one of the most complicated palaces in the game. You must take an underwater passage in a cavern south of the king’s tomb to reach it. Besides that, you need to learn the fairy spell to be able to enter the palace. The enemies inside the dungeon are among the most complicated in the game, and its water theme makes it one of the most challenging palaces to beat.
Palace on the Sea
This is one of the most elaborate palaces. Its theme is illusions and mirrors. In order to reach the palace, you must walk on water with the help of boots. Besides, the palace is one of the game’s largest dungeons, even with false walls and infinite falls. Link has to be careful because the enemies also have attacks based on illusion magic.
Maze Island Palace
This palace is one of the easiest, but to access it, you must learn the Reflect magic and the Jump Thrust magic in the mountain city. Besides that, you also have to overcome the labyrinth that allows you to find it. It really is one of the easiest palaces to navigate to some extent. Still, its enemies are relatively complex. You can only defeat the enemies inside this palace by returning their spells with your reflect magic, so you will need many magic potions.
Three Eye Rock Palace
To access the palace, Link has to use the flute in front of the three-eye rock. In addition, he will need to have the magic key to the city of Kasuto because inside the palace, he will not find any key to open doors. It is a complicated palace because it has false floors and invisible enemies. This should be the last palace that Link visits before the last dungeon of the game.
It is located in the west of Hyrule, near the swamp. The theme of the palace is swamp and mud. The primary way to beat this palace is quickly finding the power gloves. Using the power gloves allows you to make your way through the palace by destroying all the rocks you encounter. It is a relatively tricky palace, but you still don’t need magic to complete it.
This is the biggest palace in the whole game. It has a lot of traps, invisible walls, self-destructing bridges, lava lakes, and false floors. It is one of the most complicated palaces in this game and in the entire Zelda story. With that in mind, you must be very careful as it also has no save points inside the palace. One wrong step can mean starting over from scratch.
The Enemies of TLOZ The Adventure of Link
As in other Zelda games, in The Adventure of Link, there are a lot of enemies in the game. However, the ways to defeat them are pretty similar to each other due to how the game is structured in two dimensions with a side view. Therefore, we show you some of the most lethal enemies in the game.
One of the most curious things about this enemy is that he has a horse’s head. According to the game’s story, this is because he was the ancient horse of the king of Hyrule, who was in charge of protecting the first palace of the game. He is one of the easiest enemies since he only uses a sledgehammer attack, so he is straightforward to eliminate. But he can take down up to two of Link’s hearts if he attacks you. When you defeat him, he gives you 50 experience points. Although unnecessary, you can use the magic shield to reduce the damage.
This is the former head of the king’s personal guard of Hyrule and is in charge of protecting the triforce. He attacks link by throwing fireballs and attacking with his sword. It is best to hit him in the head with the sword three times to defeat him. He drops 100 experience points. You don’t need any item to defeat him, but using the shield magic can be a strategic advantage.
He was one of the best knights of the king of Hyrule. His primary attacking method is using his spear while galloping on his horse. To defeat him, you have to jump over him before he hits link with high speed and use the Down Thrust spell to deal general damage. Once you have eliminated enough health points, he will start throwing lightning bolts at you with his sword. Therefore it is best to return them with reflection.
This is the ghost of the old court magician. Despite his scary appearance, he is one of the easiest enemies in the game. To defeat him you only have to activate the reflect spell so that all his attacks are automatically returned. However, this is a slow process, so if you want to finish him off more efficiently, it is better to hit him quickly with the lightning spell.
It is a magical beast with a pointed helmet and a wrecking ball as its primary weapon. Although it seems weak because it has no armor other than its helmet, it is difficult to attack since Link has to avoid being touched by the wrecking ball. To generate enough damage, it is best to use the jump spell and hit him with the sword in the body.
It is a fire dragon that rises from the depths of a lava pit to shoot links with his fire breath. The strategy to defeat it is to hit it from behind to be able to generate enough damage and then jump over it without much trouble. However, it is dangerous because if you miscalculate the jump, you can fall into the lava pits. Defeating him gives 700 experience points.
This is the penultimate boss of the game. It can fly, and attacks link from above the ceiling. Link must dodge its attacks, counterattack them with fireballs, and use thunder magic. Sword attacks are equally efficient. Be very careful because if you take too much life, you will have problems with the game’s final boss because they are back-to-back battles.
He is the final boss of the game. To defeat him, Link has to attack him every time he jumps. You can also use magic to defeat him. It is Link’s shadow, so the best thing you can do is to eliminate them with fire or electricity because they are attacks that generate light damage.
The Items of TLOZ The Adventure of Link
You find it deep in the Death Mountain west of Hyrule. Its primary use is to destroy rocks while getting power gloves and cutting trees on the world map. It is not an attack item.
This is an item that allows you to reveal hidden paths. It is necessary to finish the game. It is the only item that allows you to make your way to the end of the Three-Eye Rock and find the palace without much trouble. It is not an attack item.
This is the item found in the depths of the Island Palace. Its primary use is crossing bodies of water such as lakes and rivers. However, you can only use it if you are near a dock.
The Boots can be found in the Maze Island Palace. They allow Link to walk over certain bodies of water in the overworld. Is not an attack item, but it is necessary to finish the game.
Magic Attacks of TLOZ The Adventure of Link
The Shield magic is an ability that increases Link’s defensive abilities, reducing the damage he takes by half. Link’s tunic turns red to show that it is in effect. It uses one magic bar, and the effects are active until Links deactivates it.
The Fairy magic is a unique ability that temporarily turns Link into a Fairy. Link cannot attack enemies in his fairy form, leaving him defenseless against enemy attacks. The ability allows him to reach high places and cross dangerous pits of water or lava.
The main advantage of this magic is that it allows Link to shoot fireballs from the tip of his sword and does not require much magic. In that sense, it is one of Link’s most potent abilities at the general level.
Alternatives For TLOZ The Adventure Of Link
If you like the adventurous spirit and want to enjoy some of the saga’s roots, the best thing to do is to play Link to the past. The game mixes the vertical view of the first TLOZ with the expansive world feeling of The Adventure of Link. Likewise, its magic system is another of the points it inherits from The Adventure of Link.
If you want a modern alternative to Zelda stories, A link between worlds is one of the best options. It has the adventurous spirit of the original Zelda and a magic system very similar to The adventure of link. However, this game’s key point is its modern physics and mechanics. It also has one of the more gorgeous graphics and art designs. It is undoubtedly the best alternative to playing a zelda with a classic spirit.
This is the last game of the saga. If you are looking for a world full of possibilities and with the air of mystery that The adventure of link offers, this may be the best alternative. It is an option that allows you to appreciate the world of TLOZ from another perspective. Besides that, it has one of the best graphics in the entire history of the saga, with an enchanting story and incredible music. It is an immersive experience that should be lived at least once in a lifetime.
Question: Do I Need to Play the First Zelda to Understand this Game?
Answer: No. Although it is a sequel, the story is entirely independent, and you don’t need to play any other game to understand it. However, you can play the first one just to catch some of the references regarding some locations in the game, like Death Mountain or Rock-Glasses.
Question: Is This Link the Same One From the First Zelda?
Answer: Yes. They are the same Link. The first game happens when Link is only 15 years old, and the second game happens when he is 16 years old. There is one year of difference between both games.
Question: In Which Timeline Does this Game Take Place?
Answer: In the fallen hero timeline. Is the last game of said timeline. Before this game happens, the event of the original The Legend of Zelda. This link is also the direct descendant of the link from the legend of zelda, a link between worlds.
Final Thoughts on The Adventure of Link
The adventure of Link is not one of my favorite games. Maybe I haven’t played it enough to appreciate it. Still, the only reality I can say about the game is that it is incredibly different. It has influenced the rest of the series too much. Everything it offers has been taken from other Zelda games and refined in some way or another. Perhaps it’s because it’s so different from the rest of the games that so many people have it among their favorites. At the end of the day, the only way you can find out if you like it or not is by giving it a chance. I would say play it at least once in your life to see if you love it or hate it.