Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link can be quite a difficult and challenging game which requires some practice to get used to. In order to beat it, you are going to need to develop some skills and strategies. For those who are having problems with the game, you may find some of these tips helpful:
One of the most important aspects to this game is leveling up. As you play the game, no doubt your levels will still go up along the way, however if you focus on this right from the very start and spend time building up Link, you’ll have a much easier time. Otherwise, you will find yourself needing many hits to defeat enemies, and you’ll watch Link’s life and magic disappear at an alarming rate. Yes, leveling up takes a bit of patience, but it is well worth the time spent. At the start of the game, the number of points required to reach the next level are relatively low. You should take the time to kill some of the easier enemies around the start of the game. However, as you progress, it’s not really worth killing enemies that only give a few points. You could do it, but it would take an awfully long time to make the level points increase. Tackle enemies that you can handle relatively easily, but aim for ones that give more points away. A good idea is to spend time leveling up right near a town. That way, when your life and magic are low, go into the town and visit the two ladies who restore these. Then you can go back out and keep fighting and building up Link without losing any lives.
Don’t Kill the Boss!
When you defeat a boss, you will always gain the number of points required to make it to the next level, no matter where you are at. When you are in the first few palaces, your levels are still going to be quite low, and it’s not worth using this advantage just to gain a few hundred points that can be gained easily from enemies. What am I saying? Don’t kill the boss right away! You can still progress through most of the game by going into each palace and simply getting the item inside. Eventually, you will need to kill all of the palace bosses in order to get into the Great Palace. Once all of your levels reach 8, from then on, each time you get 9000 points you get an extra life. So I recommend building up your levels to 8, and then when you are ready to tackle the Great Palace, go back and kill any bosses you have left so that you’ll gain some extra lives, and then go and tackle the Great Palace. (Once you’ve killed a boss, you can’t do it again, so if you get some extra lives but still don’t make it, you might want to reset the game without saving so you can try again.)
Link dolls that give extra lives can only be used once, so if you find one early on, just take a note of where it is and come back and use it when you really need to at the end of the game.
Get Magic when you enter Palaces
Each time you enter a palace, you are going to need all the life and magic you can get. At the entrance to each palace is a statue of a knight. If you strike this with your sword, most of the time a red jar will appear. You can use this to restore all your magic. And if your life is low and you have the Life spell, you can then cast this spell to restore your life. You can also leave the palace, and go back in and the red jar will re-appear. You can do this as many times as you need to until all of your life and magic are full. Then go and tackle the palace. But beware! From time to time, instead of the red jar, a red Iron Knuckle will come out. If this happens, just leave the palace and try again.
Kill Bots to get Magic
This is a kind of tedious trick, but it can save a lot of frustration when you’ve gone far in the game and may be killed. For each sixth Bot (blue jumping blob) you kill, a blue jar will appear. Unlike most enemies, Bots will always appear on a screen, even if you’ve just killed one. So if you enter a room or hidden battle scene and see a Bot or a few, kill them, then leave the screen and come back. Continue killing Bots until you have built up your magic. Again, if you have the Life spell, you can also use this, and use the Bots to restore both your entire life and magic meters. Like I said, it is tedious, but life and magic really are precious and hard to come by.
Jump for your Life
Sometimes, it is not always worth fighting every single enemy. If you get the chance, you should try and jump over them. Once you have the downthrust, this can be quite easy. Just jump over the enemy while pointing your sword down, and you will either hit it, or just bounce off. Link won’t get hurt.
The Shield will Save your Life
Learn to use your shield well. You’ll need to be really good at standing up and ducking down in order to fend off attacks. In some cases, especially with the Goriya’s boomerangs, you should also be good at quickly turning around for a second to ward off attacks coming from behind.
Beating Iron Knuckles
Iron Knuckles are going to be one of the most common enemies you will encounter in the palaces, so you will need to get used to fighting them. The easiest way to kill them is to jump up and stab at their heads. With jumping, you will hopefully jump over their sword most of the time, and up high he usually doesn’t have his shield to block you with. This also works with some other enemies that use a similar fighting style.
If You’re Struggling to get the Hammer
One of the earliest challenges in the game is getting the hammer from the caves south of Saria town. You will encounter the axe-wielding Dairas, who are quite tough. At this time in the game, Link will not have the downthrust, so it is quite difficult to defeat a Daira. It’s probably best to equip the jump spell and jump over them wherever you can. Use any Bots you see to restore your magic as you go.
Stick to the Path
Try and stick to the path wherever you can, and if you have to go off the path, try and dodge the monsters that appear. There’s no point losing life on extra battle scenes. As you get further on in the game, there are plenty of hidden battle scenes as it is. If you have to get hit by one, get hit by the little blob monsters, not the big one.
If You Have to Leave the Path
If you are in a difficult area, and have to go off the path, this may help you a little. If you’ve been on the path for a while, the monsters will appear the instant you leave it. But if you’ve just gone back into this overworld screen, the monsters won’t appear right away. So say you are about to leave the path to enter a difficult area. Go off the path to make the monsters appear, and then immediately go back on the path. You want a monster to hit you here, as you won’t go into a battle scene, just a “Link on the path” scene. Leave this scene, and as soon as you’re back on the map screen, leave the path and head in the direction you need to go. Link will get a bit of a head start before the monsters appear, and often this can be just enough for him to make it to his destination, or back onto another path, before they hit him.
Make a Map
In some of the palaces, especially the Great Palace, it might be a good idea to make a map of some kind as you go along, that way you won’t get lost and confused as easily.
Don’t Give Up!
Whatever you do, please don’t give up if this game seems too hard. It really does get easier the more you play!