Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link (GBA)

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Why would you pay $9.99 to get Zelda II on the GBA when you could be paying $9.99 for one month of the WWE Network?

It’s in the Zelda series, and Link is there, and he has an adventure. The end.

You’re off to a running start with Princess Zelda napping in the background. Link must retrieve a piece of the Triforce in order to wake her up, by uniting all pieces of the Triforce. Remember: these games took place a long time ago, a real long time ago, way before Levi Hutchins invented alarm clocks. They had to do some complicated Rube Goldberg Machine stuff in order to wake up, made even more complicated by the fact that Goldberg hadn’t debuted yet.

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As evidenced in the picture, this conspiracy involves your state troopers and your local Police Department. Image of Goldberg from wwe.com

Hmmmm… Goldberg… Zelda 2 came in a gold cartridge… the opening notes for the music when you enter a village sound like notes from the song “Goldfinger”… the Triforce is golden… the final castle has a golden hue to it… all of the pieces fit Robin! Ganon plans to steal the Triforce from Fort Knox!

Speaking of Bat-Logic

I just want to point out that I cheated a little and used an online strategy guide. In my defense, there is no way that some of these puzzles could have been solved without one, unless there was something in the instruction manual (which I don’t have). Seriously- to get to a vital town you need to hack a forest to bits. Except in this game, the only hackable trees are the ones in that small area surrounding the hidden village, and at no point are you told or even given a hint that you even can hack trees, let alone that particular grouping.

Same goes for a monster sitting in the middle of the road. If this weren’t a carbon copy of waking Snorlax, complete with Pokeflute, I’d have had no idea about what I needed to do. I guess eventually I’d figure it out, by standing there and mashing buttons after obtaining the flute.

I Need Guidance, Great One

As I was reviewing the palace 6 section of the guide, I noticed that it was saying the

knights on horseback you face there are repeats of an earlier boss. I didn’t remember it, but attributed that to the 2 year gap between now and when I last put the game down. Turns out that I didn’t remember it because it was the boss of palace 3, the only boss that I skipped, probably because I wandered into the palace, grabbed the raft, then left thinking I could skip the boss. Or died and was curious about where the raft would take me and forgot all about beating the boss. If you get to palace 7 and the shield refuses to lower, then check how many crystals you have left (the blue circle icon on the start menu, you lose one after beating a palace).

My point is- make sure you get the required item from the palace AND defeat the boss. I don’t know what happens if you skip the item and beat the boss, but having to restart the game is not a risk worth taking.

You are also best served by using the guide to locate vital items like the 4 magic containers and the 4 heart containers. And level all the way up as soon as you can. It helps. You max out at level 8, by the way. Leveling up after that just gives you an extra life. There are also extra lives to be found throughout the overworld, but they can only be grabbed once. Come to think of it… while writing this I just solved a 2 year old mystery. I grabbed one of the extra lives and had no idea I had done so, because it was absolutely useless to me.

Also, be skeptical of any boss strategies the guides give you. For example, the one I used

said that the final battle (spoiler alert: it was against The Enemy Within) could easily be won by standing in a corner. I had no health and no magic left, but I thought it’d be a piece of cake since all I had to do was stand in the corner. The first thing the opponent did was jump up and stab me from above. So much for the guide’s credibility. Plus if you stay crouched in the corner, eventually that boss will just stand in the middle of the screen and do nothing for long periods.

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I considered making like this blog’s venerable creator and posting a sexy pic of The Enemy Within (lots of them out there), but when I realized he was only 16 discretion and fear of the SVU prevailed. But I reached an epiphany- in this game, this so-called Enemy Within is in fact a Gengar. Pictured here is Morty’s Gengar. Image from Bulbapedia

Fortunately for the final palace, which I found rather difficult to get to, unlike with the other palaces once you enter it if you run out of lives you can just select “continue” and you will start out at the entrance to it. Be advised: any of the red magic potions you pickup will still be gone after you lose all your lives and hit “continue”. They only come back if you restart the game. Luckily the fairy stays. Since I found a way to budget lives and magic, you should be able to too. I say this with full confidence in the certainty that I am terrible at video games. Another convenience is that when you beat the first of the two bosses at the final palace it stays dead even if you run out of lives. I know because when The Enemy Within killed me it was my last life. It took the last health of my last life.

Problems

Everything mentioned above as such, of course.

The version I played fixed the following issue: on the NES release, the only way to save is to lose all of your lives. On the Game Boy Advance version you just pause the game on the overworld and press up plus either a or b. Or just buy the Famicom Disk version.

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Ready for round two?

I won’t mention the lack of a second quest. I mean, there is one, but unlike the first Zelda game everything this time around is exactly the same as it was before. The only difference is you start with all of the spells and fully levelled up. You will still have to hunt for the 4 magic extenders and 4 life extenders. So aside from that it’s pretty much what happens in Super Mario 64 once you get all the stars- no new quests, but you can play the old ones over again with a fancy skill you didn’t have the first go-around.

I guess I ended up mentioning the lack of a second quest anyway, but I don’t see that as a

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So tiny that Zelda 1 felt compelled to buy a Ferrari and spend all of its spare time at the gym. Original image from VGMaps.

problem since the game’s big enough for just one playthrough to feel sufficient (I think, my playthrough took 2 years… technically, 22 years given that I first played the game in the 90s), leading into another nitpicking- the entirety of the map for the first game, that you spend hours wandering through, is scaled down and displayed as a few tiles towards the bottom of Zelda 2’s expansive overworld. Part of me likes the reference, but part of me thinks that sort of trivializes everything from the first game. That adventure seems so small now. No… the adventure is big, it’s the overworld that got small.

But in-universe, in Zelda 2, how did Link so easily work his Peter Pan/Legolas-lovechild-twink self through the Zelda 1 overworld when in Zelda 1 you couldn’t go beyond that area? Hyrulean magic and technology were not up to the task of building a path! Either that or one of the cave shopkeepers or palaces was blocking the route, and Hyrulean officials decided to exercise their eminent domain powers to seize those areas and open them up for public travel.

You might expect me to rip on the change in format from the first and third game (and the Game Boy games) like everyone else does. Battles fought in a sidescroller style, leveling up, stuff like that. Nope. I had no problem with this.

“I had no problem with this.” – Mr. Flagg

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Chrono Trigger

I’m so happy to do my first SNES piece on an immortal classic like this. I mean how many games can boast the kind of appeal that requires Square Enix to port it to 5 other systems excluding the original. That’s the magic of Chrono Trigger. In 1995 Square really hit the mark again with another game that could endure the decades. And the acclaim keeps coming back again and again.
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Now this game is like a cocktail of an eclectic nerd. How do you make it? Well, you take one part Final Fantasy, one part Doctor Who, and sprinkle it all over with the art styles of Secrets Of Mana. So what you get is Battles and time travels, specifically between 1000 AD, 600 AD, 2300 AD, 65,000,000 BC and 12,000 BC. Love the contrast of scenery? You bet your sweet ass you do. I mean who doesn’t like Time Travel to correct your mistakes and save your planet from a parasitic creature that will cause an apocalypse 999 years after your time? (oops, spoiler. XD)

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But that’s exactly what you do to prevent your future from Turning out like the one depicted above. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here. The game starts in 1000 AD with 3 friends in the fictional Kingdom of Guardia. Chrono and his friend Marle watch as their friend Lucca and her father test a new teleportation machine at the Millennial Fair in Guardia. (and not the kind with a bunch of whiney crybabies asking for a safe space or shit like that.)

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Marle who happens to be the Kingdom’s Princess Nadia Volunteers to be teleported but her pendant interferes with the device and instead of teleporting her to another place it transports her 400 years into the past. Chrono and Lucca recreate the portal and follow her to save her. After bringing her back from their misadventure in 600 AD though the new Chancellor orders that Chrono is to be arrested for Kidnapping and sentences him to death. After a hasty prison break though Chrono and his two friends slip through another time portal to the year 2300 AD. There they meet survivors of an Advanced Civilization that was wiped out in the year 1999 by a monster and resolve to stop the future destruction of their world.

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Now they must travel through time changing key events, righting wrongs, searching for 3 sages, and just trying to make the world a better place. Do they have what it takes to stop the monster?

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So first off I love how this game is a Timey Wimey kind of story as David Tennant would put it. There are few games about time travel and even fewer good games about time travel. This is one of the good ones. The different views of the world in different time periods are interesting to me. Also, the references to the Grandfather Paradox and other time travel tropes are fun for the expert Sci-Fi fan. Admittedly there are some environmentalist undertones but who cares, fix the past to fix the future is something we all want to do.

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The battle system in this game is an adaption of the Active Time Battle System from Final Fantasy IV. It is known as Active Time Battle 2.0, each character takes action in battle when the action bar next to the character’s name fills up. The speed at which it is replenished is determined by the Speed Stat of that character. Also instead of Random Encounter Battles you instead walk up to an enemy in the field and a battle instantly begins with that enemy without switching screens. As with most JRPGs though your party is always a limited number of characters, in this case, a team of 3. But it all still makes for interesting battles. 🙂

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And of course, you have the mandatory ugly ass bosses. Seriously, I need to replay this again and bash that rapist bat face in. 😀

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And of course the anti-climatic yet arrogant culprit behind the world’s woes. 😀

All in all, it really is the masterpiece I make it out to be and many other gamers agree. Now the original port was for the SNES so you can always choose to emulate it but if you wanna be super nice to Square Enix and all of the developers you can but one of the other ports. there are remakes for PlaystationNintendo DS, i-mode (dunno what that is), iOS, and Android. Download it, play it, love it.

Happy Gaming!!! 🙂