I was never able to beat Zelda II as a kid. I wasn’t good enough. I’ve known the first half of the game pretty well for a long time. The furthest I had ever gotten before today was the second to the last palace. I never knew that fairies went through locked Doors so I never tried it. After learning that the temple wasn’t so hard.
So finally I was able to make the difficult and infuriating trek to the final dungeon. Which ended up being surprisingly easy. Once you get the hang of killing ghosts, the rest is not falling in the holes. When I saw the final dungeon I got so excited I stopped and took a picture of it. I had never seen it before, and it was quite a site.
Getting past the palace on the other hand is not a simple task. It is sadistically designed and is a maze. You travel a long way just to find a dead end with almost no hope of making it back to the right path. Luckily I’m patient and I mapped out the way as I went so that I could find all the dead ends. After that it was just a matter of checking every way. Which was easy enough albeit a bit tedious. I was exhausted by the time I got to the bird. That’s how they get you. After fighting your way to the boss, your mind and fingers are defeated. After getting to the boss 3 or 4 times, I killed him(or her, etc).
But Link’s Shadow took me, I had so little life that I couldn’t fight on. My fingers ached and I wanted to stop but I had waited 20 years for this fight, I needed to hit him at least once before I went to bed. I persevered. And it turns out, I beat him. with half my life left and enough magic to use life if I needed to, he died. I took him down when I thought I had only a small hope of even hitting him, based on my first attempt.
I couldn’t believe it. I had beaten the game. My favorite game. It’s complete. I’m going to replay it today to see if I can finish the game in a single sitting. I’m so excited!
You are Link and Princess Zelda is asleep but you probably don’t know why because you were too busy humming along with the opening theme instead of reading the story and now you have to rescue her. Your objective is to return the crystals to the six palaces in order to bring together the three pieces of the Triforce and awaken Zelda.
The year is 1988 (or the early 90s for me) and you are making your second journey into Hyrule only it is not the Hyrule you remember. The first thing you notice is that your perspective has changed. In addition you can jump now and crouch. You find that if you stay on the roads you won’t need to fight as much. The roads lead you to towns and you can interact with all sorts of townsfolk. In fact, you need to. You will be required to talk to townsfolk to get clues on where to go next and to learn new spells. Yeah, there is magic and you have levels too.
Spoilers – You go through the cavern to the east of where you started and find yourself outside near the first Palace. If you are inquisitive you will undoubtedly head south along the water before going into the Palace and find yourself jumping from rocks to rocks dodging bubbles that are rising at you. You find a large heart that extends your life bar. When you finish there you enter the Palace. It’s something completely different to what you faced before. For one thing, there are elevators. There are skeletons, floating skulls and knights. You run around to find keys and open doors on your way to the boss battle. Some of what you see has some familiarity but you’ve never seen it like this before.
Zelda II is my favorite game. I have many fond memories of playing it. And many others of watching my brother play it. I love everything about it: the music, the magic, the RPG elements, the towns, the people – everything.
The year is 1988. This is a game unlike any you will play for the next 20 years. Enjoy it. Your name is Link and this is your adventure.