Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

aka: Zelda II: A Aventura de Link, Zelda II: Link no Bōken
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Description official descriptions

Link has just turned sixteen, and discovers a strange birthmark on his hand. With the help of Impa, Zelda's nursemaid, Link learns that this mark is the key to unlock a secret room where Princess Zelda lies sleeping. When young, Princess Zelda was given knowledge of the Triforce of power which was used to rule the kingdom of Hyrule, but when a magician unsuccessfully tried to find out about the Triforce from Zelda, he put her into an eternal sleep. In his grief, the prince placed Zelda in this room hoping she may wake some day. He ordered all female children in the royal household to be named Zelda from this point on, so the tragedy would not be forgotten. Now, to bring Princess Zelda back, Link must locate all the pieces of the Triforce which have been hidden throughout the land.

Each piece of the Triforce is in a temple guarded by a powerful monster which must be defeated. At the same time, Ganon's underlings are still around and gaining in strength and number. It is said Ganon could be brought back to life by sprinkling the blood of the one who defeated him on the ashes - which was Link himself.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is an action role-playing game, and a sequel to The Legend Of Zelda. The gameplay alternates between a top-down view (when traveling the land) and side-scrolling perspectives (when fighting, in a temple, or town). In the top-down view, Link cannot do much except for walking: in the side-scrolling action view, however, he can fight, cast spells, collect items and talk to people.

When Link encounters an enemy in the wilderness, or enters a location which contains enemies, he can fight them with his sword. If Link is at full health, his sword can be thrown, but when he is hurt, he can only fight in melee. Link has a shield which protects him against some of the enemies' attacks if they strike the shield. Touching an enemy or getting hit by their attacks decreases Link's health. If he runs out of health, he loses a life. If he loses all his lives, it's Game Over. Link can replenish his health completely by encountering a fairy in the wilderness, or by using the services of a healer in a town.

Link also has a "magic" meter. He can cast spells (as long as he has learned them) if he has some magic power left. Spells cost a various amount of magic power. They have various effects: they cure Link, allow him to jump very high, shoot fireballs etc. The magic power meter can be refilled by collecting blue and red jars sometimes left behind by enemies.

When Link slays an enemy, it might leave behind an item, or give Link some experience. When Link gains enough experience, he gains a level, which allows him to buy weapon power, maximum magic, or maximum health upgrades for his experience points. The player can also decide not to buy anything and stockpile his experience points for later use.

There are some items to be found that are necessary to get past certain points in the game. The Adventure of Link features a battery backup so games can be saved without needing a password system.


  • リンクの冒険 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (NES version)

10 People

Executive Producer
Sound Composer



Average score: 77% (based on 51 ratings)


Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 178 ratings with 11 reviews)

The game that should never have come out.

The Good
I was trying so hard to find anything good to say about this game...I re-played it many times trying to find something good but I'm sorry there isn't anything I liked about this game. Other than the cool looking gold box the game came in, this game stinks compared to the first Zelda.

The Bad
First off the music and sound effects drove me nuts. It was like someone took the Mike Tyson's Punch Out sounds effects and put them (like that 'boingy' sword sound) all over the game. Second, the character control for Link was like a throwing around a big sack of potatoes. I just didn't feel like you were in control of Link when he would just float around in the air when you jumped sideways. Then third, there was too much reading! "Go to this house and blabhlablablahblahblah", I go there and get more "blahblahblah" from Old Hag #6. I wish I could of just stabbed these blabber mouths like I used to do to the Old Man in the first Zelda game! Ugh. Playing Zelda II again so recently gave me flashbacks of the anger and disappointment I felt when I first got this game when it came out. I remember seeing this game on the Nintendo poster they gave out when you bought a system and was wondering where the game was while standing in line to buy first classic Zelda game. I really doubt the microchips in the game were that hard to make to delay this game a year! I think Nintendo made that rumor up due to the first Zelda game being so good and wanting to milk the sales. They didn't want people to get confused into buying Zelda II so soon and then loose their sales on both games.

The Bottom Line
The first one was so awesome but this one.. It's just feels like someone took that overhead RPG layout of Final Fantasy and added it to the winning side scrolling action of Super Mario Bros. into one big adventure game. With Zelda II you could just say it is plagued just like movie sequels. First one was great but second one. .ehh.. pass if you can...

NES · by skl (1066) · 2008

Definitely the most challenging Zelda

The Good
Very, very challenging game. The side-scrolling parts make things much more difficult, especially later in the game; although, by dungeon #2, things have gotten pretty hard. This made for a very enjoyable game, especially when overcoming obstacles and accomplishing various objectives (getting items, raising levels, finishing underworld dungeons).

The Bad
Some parts of the game were just TOO difficult (i.e., Death Mountain -- getting the hammer...took me at least a week). The final dungeon (end of the game) is also very hard. By the time you get to the Thunderbird, you'll be lucky to have any life and magic left. Good luck beating him. I was never able to finish this game on the NES. It took me about 15 years from the time I bought it until the time I used cheat codes on a NES emulator to finish it. Using the original NES controller was almost impossible for this game. The NES Max helped a lot. The music is this game was also a little sub-par. Zelda 1's music was better, I thought.

The Bottom Line
A great sequel for Zelda 1. Play that game first (play it to death, since that is one of the greatest video games of all time), then get a hold of this. A step-up in challenge and graphics. Classic game.

NES · by J O (8) · 2004

Clearly a separate WIP title with Zelda IP added in late development

The Good
Ever play Cadash? That's a great game. This is a passable Cadash that predates it by about a year, on an 8-bit system!

The gameplay, as previously mentioned, is sidescrolling, with an overland map interlude for getting from place to place. There isn't much else good to be said about this game, though. It is primitive at best, and is stuck somewhere between Phantasy Star and Cadash, without the horsepower in the NES to pull it off properly.

This kind of side scrolling RPG would become very common in the future. What Zelda 2 has going for it is that it is innovative, it's too bad Nintendo didn't release it with its original characters instead of adding a "touch of Zelda" when the real Zelda 2, which I'm convinced was scrapped, didn't work out.

The Bad
Remember Mario 2? Remember the story of how they took a game that was not Mario and overlaid a bunch of Mario sprites to make a funky game that didn't feel right?

I suspect that isn't the only time Nintendo made that mistake. They did it with Zelda, too.

What you have is a game that was clearly not designed as a Zelda title with Zelda sprites and the first 5 seconds of the overland theme grafted on to make it appear "Zeldaish."

The Zelda overland theme, the really cool one that sticks in your head, plays for about 5 seconds and then immediately and rather crudely dissolves into cheesy uninspired 8-bit kazoo box music. That progression in the music describes the rest of the game. 5 seconds of Zelda and 15 hours of some other game that the box lied about. As you go, it just becomes wildly less and less like Zelda until you start wondering how Link got so tall.

Give me a map, or a compass, or rupees or ANYTHING else from the original game and this criticism becomes invalid, but it isn't there. There's no "nightmare key," no master sword, no heart meter. You can't make a "departure" sequel and ditch nearly everything that made the flavour of the original.

This was the 80's, back when they were plastering Erno Rubik's name on every dumb puzzle they could find, yet none of them were "the cube." This kind of "Brand leveraging" proved to be very damaging to the companies that did it, and so you don't see nearly as much of it any more. Nintendo learned and now jealously guards its brands.

The Bottom Line
Zelda sprites added to a perfectly good RPG to increase sales.

You can play the original Zelda and it's all there, in crude form. Everything that would become the rest of the series.

This game doesn't represent a "departure" as so many apologists will tell you. It's a completely different game. It's very difficult, and by today's standard's not terribly innovative, but okay to play if you like a sidescrolling RPG like Cadash. It's amazing they pulled this off on the 8-bit NES.

So when you hear this game get badmouthed, it's mostly because of people who expected a Zelda title and didn't get one. It's Super Mario Bros. 2 all over again. The good news is that there is a title.

Remember, it predates Cadash by a year, is playing on 8-bit hardware, and is a perfectly good RPG.

(Just watch out for the guy who tells you to get the candle at the palace by going "West." The palace is to the NNE.)

Production standards have improved since these days...

(Reviewer played this off the Zelda Collector's Edition GC disc. There may have been a map showing exactly where the candle palace is in the original.)

NES · by Zaghadka (62) · 2006

[ View all 11 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
So this is the black sheep?.. Unicorn Lynx (180491) May 30th, 2012
Only one who like this more than the first? Simoneer (29) Jun 15th, 2010



Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was the only other Nintendo-licensed NES title to have the honor of being a gold cartridge besides the original Legend of Zelda.


Inside a house within one of the towns is an NPC who simply says "I AM ERROR" when talked to. While many gamers at first found this to be a mistake in the code, there is another NPC later in the game that tells you Error knows a secret, proving that Error is his name and not an error.

It is possible that Error’s name was originally "Errol" (like the Australian-American actor Errol Flynn), but due to the letters "R" and "L" being allophones in Japanese, the programmers mistyped the name as "Error" in translating the game to English.


As of 2005 Zelda II is the only game in the series to use a standard jump button that doesn't require the use of a power-up, or running off the side of a ledge to clear a gap.

Town names

Many of the villages share their names with characters from Ocarina of Time (Ruto, Rauru, Mido and Saria, etc.)

Interestingly enough, Ocarina of Time is considered to be the first Zelda game continuity-wise, so it's possible the villages are named in their honour, at least in the case of the Sages (Rauru, etc.).


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #72 (Best 100 Games of All Time)

Information also contributed by CaptainCanuck and Mark Ennis

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

Nintendo 3DS added by ResidentHazard. Wii U added by Michael Cassidy. Nintendo Switch added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. Wii, Game Boy Advance added by gamewarrior.

Additional contributors: Satoshi Kunsai, Jeanne, Guy Chapman, NH, Alaka, monkeyislandgirl, Pseudo_Intellectual, LepricahnsGold, Perfil Falso, Patrick Bregger, Thomas Thompson.

Game added September 28th, 2002. Last modified September 8th, 2023.