Sunday, February 19, 2012

Game 2: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES) - Only One Remains

Ganon seems to come back eventually in the sequel, so what's the big deal?
After many more Game Over screens I've managed to push my way to the end. Only the Great Palace remains, if only I could get there.

I'm still at odds with the game, and how it fits with other CRPGs. I've already mentioned the pure action, but fighting really has become more about abusing the AI than skillfully out maneuvering the enemies or strategizing to exploit their weakness. Even with leveling up, the difficulty isn't minimized nearly as much as other CRPGs. I believe I'll need to grind to max level in order to have a chance at completing the game. Accurate jumping and slashing are much more valuable than building up levels, but those are two things I lack with any reliability.

Maybe the key thing missing here though is there's no way to prepare for the adventure. There's no stocking up on healing potions, magic potions, or attack items. No variety in equipment and items means a lack of options, and without options the experience will mostly remain the same between players. Having a difference between each play means we can personalize the game, managing the difficulty by over preparing or add to it by trying to accomplish our goals with the bare minimum.
When the jump button doesn't register Link often falls into pits
The difficulty has ramped up a couple of times already. First after taking the raft to the other continent where new enemies are immune to sword strikes, and only vulnerable to fire magic. Second was after removing the guardian with the Flute, which opened an area with floating eyes and many open pits that mean instant death. I fully expect another increase in the Great Palace; the instructions make mention that Link can continue directly from the start of the Great Palace even when a game over screen is reached.

Once again we're faced with game logic that doesn't quite match what I'd expect. There are times that enemies back away from Link and end up off screen... untouchable. Also, I had read the instructions before playing, and noticed the hammer cuts down trees. Honestly, I'd forgotten about that until remembering there was a town hidden in a forest, but how does a hammer cut down a tree? After getting this hammer of tree cutting, I need to find the only raft in existence in one of the castles... but I can cut down trees...
Enemies have a special ability to phase out at the edge of the screen
So, to recap, getting through the fourth palace involved navigating a maze island, and fighting a Wizzrobe using the reflect spell to enchant the shield to shoot back his magic. In the next is the flute, and a boss that swings a ball and chain with very odd hit detection. I believe there's one more heart container that I haven't found yet, but I'm going to go for the end after leveling up a bit. I'll play today to finish it up and hopefully start Ultima: Exodus on Tuesday. Wish me luck.


  1. How does a hammer cut down trees? You hit the tree with it really hard. The tree explodes into splinters and falls over. Done.