Things you may not know about Zelda II The Adventure of Link (Facts and Secrets)

Zelda II The Adventure of Link will always hold a special place in my heart as it was my first Zelda game, however, you could say it’s not the most beloved of Zelda titles in the franchise. Today Zelda II is the focus of this facts and secrets series, and we’re going to have look at some not-well-known hidden facts for Zelda II The Adventure of Link.

Many games in the Zelda franchise have gone onto be defining games of a generation, system sellers and genre defining entries. Zelda II wasn’t one of these titles, rather an experiment following on from the original Legend of Zelda on the NES. Nintendo flipped the model on it’s head and replaced the top-down exploration and combat with the now infamous side scrolling action platformer x RPG that became Zelda II.

Lets dive into the facts and secrets about Zelda II.

Familiar laugh

On the gameover screen Ganon is heard laughing, however, that laugh may seem familiar. The sound effect for Ganon’s laugh actually comes from Punch Out for the NES. It’s a modified version of Soda Popinski’s laugh after he wins.

Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy Easter Eggs

In the Japanese version of the game the grave in Saria Town says “The hero Loto rests here”. Loto is a reference to the hero in Dragon Quest. Square Enix famously returned the favour in Final Fantasy with a grave reading “Here lies Link” in the town of Elfheim. The american release didn’t have this in there and it was changed to “Here lies Erdrick”. However, for ports of the game later to the Game Boy Advance Sqauer Enix put the reference back in.

Delay

Zelda II Was released in america in October 1988. However, the game was supposed to release in February 1988. The delay was due to chip shortages. This was references in the July edition of Nintendo Fun Club, the magazine that came before Nintendo Power. “All the fun of The Legend of Zelda continues in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, right? Right! But when? As soon as we can get more computer chips! There has been a shortage. But we have used the waiting time well by making Zelda II: The Adventure of Link an even more exacting, more challenging game… coming this fall!”

Error and Bugs

There’s a well known NPC in a Ruto Town who introduces himself as “I am Error”. There’s a similar NPC in Saria Town called Bagu, which is the Japanese word for “bug”. This is likely a nod from the developers about finding errors and bugs in the code.

New ideas

Zelda II introduced a number of ideas into the franchise, although many of them haven’t continued in future Zelda game. The lives system was added, I would imagine because of the 2D side scrolling nature of the game. Zelda II also doesn’t have The Legend of Zelda in the title, the full title is simple Zelda II The Adventure of Link. That maybe because The Legend of Zelda The Adventure of Link is a bit of a mouthfull.

Town names

The names of the towns in the game will be familiar to long-time Zelda fans. That’s because they are the names of the Sages in Ocarina of Time for the N64 – Rauru, Ruto, Saria, Mido, Nabooru, and Darunia. There is one exception; Mido who may have been planned as a Sage but got cut from the final game. Zelda II town names led to the Sage names in Ocarina, however, in the timeline it’s the other way around… Ocarina of Time chronologiclly coming first, which led to the people of Zelda II’s Hyrule naming the towns after the Sages.

This was also picked out by the community

@cliffjumper1984
Town names are OoT sages

No Kondo

Koji Kondo, famous Nintendo composer, scored many Legend of Zelda games, however, he didn’t compose Zelda II. Akito Nakatsuka who scored Ice Climber, did the composing work on Zelda II.

No Keys Required

It’s possible to get through locked doors with magic, rather than keys. Link does need the fairy transformation spell first, but once you get that you can fly through keyholes as a fairy. This is a good technique if dungeons start to get a little frustrating, or you want to speedrun the game.

Game changes

There were loads of changes from the original Japanese release to the North American release. For example, many of the bosses were changed in the dungeons and their order. Helmethead was the boss of the 5th dungeon in Japan, but 2nd in North America. A new boss was introduced in the 5th dungeon called Gooma, who was VERY tough with his mace.

Fast speedrun

Zelda II is good game to speedrun. The Any% speedrun of the game can be completed in 14mins and 22sec and the current record holder at the time of making this is called do00d. That’s an incredible time, and significantly shorter than the days it takes me!

Mini Map

The bottom left hand corner of the overworld features a miniaturised version of the map from The Legend of Zelda, which reveals the entire first game takes place in one small part of the map for the 2nd.

This was also picked out by the community, thanks Martin!

@MartKart8
The area below Death Mountain is the same Area in the original area of The Legend of Zelda, the layout is the same, the forest, grave site and shape of the lake, just smaller, from Martin.

Battle music

The Famicom Disk System release uses different battle music than the cartridge release on the NES. We don’t know why this change took place. However, the song was eventually remixed and used as the mini-boss theme in Minish Cap.

Link speaks!

Link is famous for being mute, however, in Zelda II The Adventure of Link, our hero speaks. He says “I found a mirror under the table” in one town. This isn’t the case in the Japanese version of the game though, it says Link found a mirror rather than him saying it.

Flashing

When Zelda II was released on the Virtual Console the flashing colours that played during the death animation were removed and replaced with a solid red background. This is because the flashing colours can have serious health implications for those sensitive to flashing colours, so a safer solid colour was implemented.

Let’s check out some community facts about Zelda II.

@GameEssays
The master key works on all dungeons. So you can technically just get the item in each dungeon without finishing it all the way up to where you get the master key and then go back through and beat all the bosses without needing to find anymore keys.

@ChristophKammerl
There is a really good remake by hoverbat

@cliffjumper1984
The jumping crouching attack does wonders

@Andrew_and_Amelia
Fun fact: The Adventure of Link is actually one of the few, if not the only Legend of Zelda game so stupidly difficult I’ve given up every time I’ve ever tried it lol

@flinkgod64
Did you know the adventure of link is a zelda game!?

@johanandersson8646
It’s the only Zelda game I haven’t finished…

@Gabeora
It’s really underrated and actually a great game

Let me know in the comments what you think about these Zelda II facts and secrets.

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