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Title: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (3rd Review)
Rom Player: NESticle
Reviewer: Hellespont

Synopsis: This game was one of my favorite titles of all time on the NES, basically because of the difficulty. I slogged my way through Ghosts 'n Goblins, but I got a much bigger rush when I beat this one.

You play Link, the character from the original Zelda game, only this time you are in a side-scrolling game with heavy emphasis on combat. It is not so easy to fight enemies when there are only two directions to run in.

The game consists of collecting special items and stones from the several different castles in the game, insuring the enduring (heh) death of Ganon. While you roam the fields of the main map, the view is top-down, like the original. As you are traveling, monster icons will appear, and running into these will cause battles.

Inside a cave, a palace, town or any combat situation is where the action starts. Link moves pretty solidly and has excellent defense (for a sidescroller, would that Sir Arthur had a shield), but he faces some difficult foes. Boomerangs and axe-wielding alligators to mounted knights, there's always a new foe around the corner.

The bosses in this game are very well-drawn and cunningly programmed. Shadow-Link at the end of the game is a particularly vicious and dominating presence as a boss.

A wonderful addition is the spell system. Each town has a wise man, and if you find him (or complete a certain quest) you obtain a new spell. There are also swordsmen in two locations who teach you new attacks, which are the only way to defeat certain enemies.

Experience is another new addition, allowing for increased attack, magic, and life as you destroy more enemies. This enables you to really be ready for the final battle, and prepare at your own pace.

The bottom line is that this game has excellent graphics, outstanding gameplay and very real staying power. The music is some of the most memorable and recognizable in my gaming career. All in all it's a very worthwhile experience, and Zelda purists should regard it as an entirely different game, because that's what it is.

Best Cheats: A good trick is to sneak back onto a path when enemies appear in the world map, they cannot appear there.

Another is once you have water-walking ability, head southwest to a little island. There is a full heart hidden there.

Always, always, ALWAYS cast "shield" in a boss situation, it makes a big difference. Make sure it doesn't affect how many times you can cast "life", though.

Game Play: 8
Graphics: 9
Music/Sound: 10
Originality: 8
Overall Rating: 10


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