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Thirty Years of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

After Ganon was destroyed we open on a cliff’s edge overlooking the surrounding seas and treacherous forests of Hyrule. Our sword thrust into the rock with the wonders of the space cosmos back-lighting it. Finally, the music, not of triumph, but of sheer curiosity beckons us to venture once more! Well thats at least how younger me remembers it while watching my sisters play it. In reality it is now a cluster of 8-bit colors that mildly represents all that which I described and the music…nah that part is still awesome.

Yes, this month marks the 30th anniversary of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and yes, 30 years is a bit too late for a relevant review and yet, we can’t not mention the best game in the series. While some are anxiously awaiting the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the rest of us are still reveling in the massive differences between the original Legend of Zelda and its controversial sequel. Zelda II was released barely a year after its predecessor, and its switch from a top down view to both top down and side scrolling made the nostalgia veins start pumping. This pumping quickly escalated into fury as I remember just how difficult this game could be.

I have to commend its difficulty however, it was this game that introduced me to my very first “rage quit”. After my sister angrily threw the controller and swearing that the game must be glitching because the game “wouldn’t load” the monsters in the caves, I casually picked it up and let the power of TriForce flow through me. I learned my way around those invisible bastards. Now, of course, I realize that really was just how the game was made but as a kid I felt triumphant in taking down dungeon after dungeon. All the way up to fighting Dark Link, whose shield never seemed to drop as if to mock my own playing style.

If I had the opportunity to speak to my five-IMPA 2year-old self, I’d first explain why his sisters always laugh when he volunteers to give the game cartridge a blow job, and then I’d tell him that this game will live up to the legend. It’s fun still to this day and while it’s story is limited to the outdated use of vague caption boxes, the game lives on in the adventure we imagine.

The age old debate of Princess Peach vs Princess Zelda as the ideal girl has strong arguments on both sides. For me personally, I was always partial to the much more mature Maiden Impa. That lady was loyal, brave, didn’t nag you to save her or go on quest, and probably had a rockin’ body under that robe.

What about you reader? Have you played Zelda II: The Adventure of Link? Let us know in the comments below!

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