Release Date: December, 1988
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Genre: Action RPG
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link takes place several years after the events of The Legend of Zelda. The adventure begins when princess Zelda falls victim to a sleeping curse created by the evil Ganon.* Link learns from Impa, Zelda’s nurse, that the spell can only be broken with the Triforce of Courage which is sealed behind a magical barrier in the great palace. In order to lower the barrier, Link must place gems in statues hidden in the depths of eight palaces scattered throughout the land. Only then can he rescue Zelda and rid the world of the shadow of Ganon.
The world of Zelda II is explored through a top down map, but the game will transition to a side view when Link enters combat, towns, and other locations. Side scrolling areas often feature platforming and enemies that can be defeated with Link’s sword or spells. Towns allow players to learn new abilities, heal up, and gather clues, while the palaces are monster filled labyrinths with a boss waiting at the end. Link will gain experience from defeating enemies and will be able to increase his maximum life, damage, and max magic once a certain threshold has been achieved. He can also learn spells that allow him to heal wounds, transform into a fairy, and more.
* This is the story as it appears on the intro screen to Zelda II. The backstory in the instruction manual varies somewhat from the one on the intro screen and has more detail.
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