By Christian Warrior
Every Zelda site I go to, whether big or small, always talks about how the second Zelda game was the worst of all times. I truely beg to differ on that issue. That has to be my most favorite game ever. Heck, I actually have setimental feelings about the thing! For my childhood, me and my buddy would try to beat the thing, but we never really got the chance because my little brothers kept erasing the file. But my point here is that the Adventure of Link was not as bad as most people find it to have been, and in this editorial I hope to show why.
First off, the major thing that people seem to hate is that it was a side scrolling game. True, this is definitly a variation from the first game, but I don't think it's anything to get riled up about. The idea of side scrolling is to prevent you from trying to just dodge your enemies and actually fight them. If you look at the first, third, fourth, and fifth games you don't actually have to do this. If fact if you want to you can go around them, look around at the next area, come back, go around once more, get what you need, and never have to fight anything! Where's the challenge in that? Take this for instance: in the first palace of Adventure of Link, you get the candle by going into that little room on one of the lower levels of the place, but an enemy is in your way. Now, trust me, I've tried several times, but the only way to get around this guy is to kill it. And don't think that it's impossible, I've done it several times without losing any life, and that was when I wasn't even in kindergarten! So don't think that just because the game side scrolls that it's too hard to beat, Miyamoto may have just been giving all us fans more of a challenge. Because if you have to beat up everything that comes in your path, then the fighting skills you aqcuire become much more enhanced, and you get ready to fight the boss, which you can't manuever around, side scrolling or top view. If you go around all your opponents in a top view game, then you get to where you can't escape a boss then things are going to get messy people! In a word, discipline, that's all there is too it. Good solid discipline to make ya tough.
Okay, that takes care of side scrolling, which eliminates the main reason people seem to diss the mother of all games. Now, let's see, what else do they hate here? Ah, yes, the emotion in it. I've heard that the Legend of Zelda made for a scary mood, like you weren't supposed to be there, which I agree with, don't get me wrong here folks it's not as if I'm anti- first game here, but I just happen to think that the Adventure of Link did the same and then some. First off, you had to read the manual. If you don't do that, then you won't even understand what's going on. Now think about the story presented here. What you've got yourself is some major revolations going on. It's a few years after Link destroyed Ganon, Hyrule is being rebuilt, slowly but surely, the moblins still terrorize the country trying to get the blood of Link to revive Ganon with, (which is frightening enough) and then suddenly Link gets a strange mark on his hand. He shows it to Impa, and then she shows Link the Door that does not open. Inside is princess Zelda. Now, there has been some confusion on the issue of who this is. Several people have said that this is just the same princess from the last game. If you ask me I think it's the Zelda from either Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time. It was obviously after the ending of one of the games that the wizard put her to sleep. Possibly this was in Link to the Past or some time after that since Link had the whole Triforce (I'm not too big on figuring out the actual story line). This woman has been asleep for what could have been hundreds of years and now you, Link, the one chosen to save her, must go and find the Triforce of Courage to awaken her (I have a few theories on why this is, but they're all stupid and have no evidence to back them up with, so I won't even mention them). This must have been the most recent adventure, if Link's Awakening was after Link to the Past (again, I'm not big on story line debates). So this will be to bring back who may have been the best of all the Zeldas. This is truely where the Legend of Zelda comes in.
I've heard on many different occasions that people have always debated on whether or not Link's Adventure is an RPG. In my own personal opinion, I really do think it's an RPG. Here, let me give you some evidence on that one. You have control over a lot more stuff than you normally would in other games, and you have to choose each step carefully. First you have the spells. I have seen more spells in this game than in any other. Shield, Jump, Life, Fairy, Fire, Reflection, Spell (another item I do think is odd), and Thunder. Each of these spells has a number next to it, telling you how much of your magic meter will be taken away when you cast it. But each spell only lasts for the screen you have it on, and once you leave that screen the spell goes off, so you have to make your decisions wisely (something I had trouble with in pre-school). Then there is that item that has only showed up in Link's Adventure so far. The points. I think that this is where the real RPG element comes in. On the upper right corner of the screen, you see a score talley that looks like this: 0000/0050, but that's only when you first start out. Every time the left side of the score talley matches the right side, a screen comes up. Here you will be given more power on you life (you take more hits), magic (spells don't cost as much), or your sword (takes less hits to kill enemies), whatever's next is what you get an upgrade on. But when you do get to upgrade, you also have the option of canceling it and waiting for the next one. As you go through the game, it can get all the way up to 0000/9000. Now, for an 8-bit system game, you must admit, Link's Adventure has a lot of Role Playing elements that were ahead of its own time.
Now, there were several aspects of this game that you don't see in other ones. Take for instance the boss's life meter. In Link's adventure, you will see how much life you opponect has left before you kill him. I sure didn't see this in Ocarina of Time! At least with this game you can tell how long it's going to take. On Ocarina of Time you don't have a clue until you actually do beat the bad boy/girl. I believe that Link's Adventure may be the only Zelda game to incorperate this, but I could be wrong. Sorry, this wasn't meant to be a perfect editorial.
Do you remember in Link to the Past when you had full life that your sword would shoot out that twirling blast of energy? Well, it worked that way in Link's Adventure as well. In fact, this was the first game of the series to do that (if I'm wrong then sorry). When you used the sword, a small pentagon-like shape would go on ahead of you for about two seconds. And the sound it made was so mysterious, it was a kind of shimmering. Now just imagine what it would have been like if Ocarina of Time if they had added that little feature! You could have seen all sorts of cool stuff going around from the sword.
Speaking of the sword, there were also some quite nice techniques involved with it. You could gain the ability to stab down and up. This was so much fun to do because you could bounce on top of your enemy and they would freeze when you did it. And if it was someone who had a hard head or helmet, then you'd hear a type of scraping sound and would bounce off the baddie.
The combat was very different in this game as well. The thing that seemed to show up here that you don't see in most other games is the equal fighting. What I mean by that is that most enemies will have the same weapons as you. For instance in dungeons you will see those guys in armour running around (I forget what they're called) and they'll have a sword and shield. You can try to get past the shield and be on the offensive, or you can be on the defensive end and block his sword with your shield. Then if they happen to be blue then they will shoot out a pentagon like you would from your sword. The only difference here is that you can only do that when you have full life, and they can do that at anytime. But it's only harmfull if you're far away from them, when you get close up then it isn't any different than fighting a normal one. One enemy I do know the name of, the Stalfos, was also like this. As I recall during the first castle they were only bones, shield and a sword. The trick is to wait for them to stab at you, block it with the shield, then duck down and stab underneath the shield, which they don't move. When you progress in the game, the Stalfos have helmets and gain the ability to jump and down stab at you. If they do that, you can upstab at them. It's so cool!
You know, it's funny, when I started this editorial, I had to go on memory from when I was a kid, because around 1991, the game was lost when my NES broke down. I've tried to find a replacement for it since then, but no one I look to has it. But then a few days ago, my father was out in one of his fields along with my little brothers, and after they lifted up an old refrigderator in the dump, there was the game! When I found out about how they came across it, I remembered how it was lost. When the NES broke down, my father thought it best to throw away all the games. I didn't really want to go along with this, but with my pop it wasn't wise to object, espescially in the afternoon after a days work. But oddly enough, the game had been underneath the frigde the whole time (eight years!) and was protected fromt the elements. Finding an old NES system well preserved from having not been used for years, I plugged in the game. Fuzz. Blowed on it for ten minutes, then I got something. Problem was if you left a screen through the left side, then it froze on you. So with the miracle of alchohol and wate-uh... I mean Nintedo's wonderful cleaning fluid, I was able to restore the timeless classic that is the Adventures of Link. The most amazing thing is that now I can sail through all the castles because for some reason the game glitched on me and I started out to have the first two spells (shield and jump) and the Master Key! So now I'm just going from place to place, first getting the castle's artifact and then beating the boss. This isn't exactly cheating, because I come across all the keys during the journey, I just don't get them because even though I'm opening the corresponding door, on the status screen they don't go away, so I don't collect them.
One last thing before I finish this up. I have noticed that my past editorial(s) have caused people to get mad on certain websites. Please keep in mind that I am excersizing my right to freedom of speech, that I'm stating my own opinion, -blah blah blah- don't get mad. I never said that you should change your mind about the game, I only wrote this in defense of Link's Adventure. It seems that most people often speak out that it was a bad game, and those that have never played it take this into meaning that they shouldn't waste their time playing it. Well, this is an editorial for those who have never played Link's Adventure, and I tell you, play it. I'm not saying that you'll like it, it depends on the kind of person you are. A good way to phrase is this: You have your preferences, and I have mine. Hey, not everybody going to like the same game! Why do you think people play Final Fanasty? (If you happen to be a FF7 fan, then get off this site! :-) Because they like a RPG style game, just not one of the Zelda series. So don't diss someone for not liking the same games as you. In the future, keep in mind that we can't all like the same things, but we can find what we have in common and bond on that. Whoa, sorry, went from Zelda fan to philosipher a bit there. But in any case, viel gluck mit deine Tage!