Zelda II: You Hate It, You Love It

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Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is one of the most loved (and hated) games of all time. When I was growing up, I had this game on the GameCube, through The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition disk. I always thought that it was difficult, but I never really hated it. So I wondered why people were saying things like: “It was a bad game.” “The gameplay was bad.” “The mechanics were stupid.” So I thought and researched about this and found some answers.

1) Gameplay

This was the second entry in the Zelda series, and it was very different from its predecessor. Unlike any other Zelda game, *cough*Breath of the Wild*cough*, there is a jump command. Rather than the traditional top-down view or third-person perspective, we are given the only side-scroller in Zelda history *cough*theCD-igames*cough*. Additionally, Link does not have his trusty hammerspace and only has a sword, shield, and a list of spells at his disposal. Enemies in the game cannot be defeated by just blindly attacking. While people see this negatively, I see some good in it. This new gameplay style is very dynamic and organized. It teaches the player patience and resourcefulness with the new controls and options available. I won’t say the gameplay is not frustrating though, since enemies spawn on the map every few steps.

2) Numbers

I call them numbers, because that’s what they are, specifically the magic and EXP systems in the game. The health system in the game is measured by bars representing numbers, but it’s not too far off from hearts. The magic system has made its way into the 3D Zelda games, but the way that they are used is different. In this particular Zelda game, Link has multiple spells at his disposal that he can use by consuming magic, each spell costing a different amount of magic points. These magic points can be restored with jars that are obtained after defeating a certain number of enemies. Jars can also be found in the overworld, along with kind townsfolk who can recover them for you. The game throws enemies at you like crazy, so you’ll be using magic spells like SHIELD and LIFE often. This, of course, can be frustrating, but I feel like the magic function in the game is a lot more fun than it seems. It gives a more medieval-wizard aspect to Link that we don’t usually see from the tall elf. This leads me to my final topic.

3) Style

The game is set in a medieval era, instead of the lively Zelda fantasy world we are used to. The enemies have weird names and look like they came from a storybook. Also, the map looks like Dungeons and Dragons (right?). People hate on this and say that this game is hardly a Zelda game based on all these reasons. But people forget what this is. This was the second Zelda game. The first Zelda game did not look like this at all, but that’s because this game is the game that better paints the picture of the original. That is one of the main purposes of a sequel, no? The game may be difficult and the gameplay may be stupid, but you’re talking to the father of fathers. This game does not nearly compare to the newer Zelda games just because of that; it’s old. Look at the game more closely, this game inspired the newer ones, right? All in all, just because a game is different than its brethren, does not mean that it is bad. Try it please, you will regret it.

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