If you ask me, The Legend of Zelda is a stone-cold classic, and fully deserves its own playthrough thread. But the second-largest game in the ambassador giveaway also has its own share of fans. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, despite being the black sheep of the series, has gotten pretty popular over the past few years and its gameplay has generally held up pretty well.
The title is notorious for its difficulty, but personally, I feel that the game is rather fair until the very final areas. While you lose your "unspent" EXP with a game over (and are returned to the starting location), you keep your levels, items, spells, and progress otherwise. And even then, you could always grind a bit to face Zelda II's challenges with greater ease.
So join us, won't you? I'd suggest finishing Zelda 1 first if you've started that, or you can do what I'm doing and run through both games more or less simultaneously--they're different enough that you shouldn't get Zelda fatigue. The appeal of Zelda II is in its challenging combat mixed with rewarding exploration, and it's not nearly as obtuse as some people feel the first title is. Instead, the additional challenge is placed on battling the enemies and surviving long enough to finish each dungeon.
A few hints before you go:
-To start, you'll notice all the caves are rather dark (until you get a special item). You don't have to go through any before you get that item except one in the northeast, above the town of Rauru. But be sure to stop by the town before you head through there, though.
-Make sure you spend your EXP on level-ups when you're getting close to a game over. It stinks losing your last life and subsequently your "loose" EXP. Level-ups, on the other hand, are permanent.
-"LIFE" level-ups increase your defense (not really your life). "MAGIC" level-ups decrease the amount of magic you spend per spell ("16" is one "block" of magic). "SWORD" level-ups increase your attack, and are probably the most valuable.
-Beating a dungeon and putting the crystal in the statue makes your EXP shoot up to the next level, regardless of where it currently is. With clever timing and strategy, you can get a ton of free EXP this way. If you want to wait, you can always jump over the statue area and come back when you want a bigger EXP boost (like if you're getting the last couple levels).
-You can choose to "cancel" level-ups if you're holding out for a different stat, so they don't have to be linear. For instance, if you get 50 EXP and want to save it for the FIGHT level-up at 200 EXP, just hit select to cancel out of the level-up window and bank the excess EXP.
-Some "tiles" on the world map lead to secret areas. Walk all over, especially on tiles that stick out or look suspicious.
On this past playthrough I got the Hammer before Dungeon 2, but I did game over quite a few times in the process. (And after a few game overs, I also resorted to using a map of the Death Mountain Trail rather than figuring it out myself this time around just to get me through the game quicker since I had already figured it out once on my own.)
Are you doing the trick of skipping the pedestal at the end?
That's what I'm doing. I feel kinda dirty for doing it, but the game is a bitch so my guilt isn't that strong.
Attack-4 Magic-5 Life-6
Just got the hammer and my second heart container. I have one life left and about 700 exp (gunning for 2000) so I'm going to grind the earlier dungeons like a coward. This is ridiculous. I should be able to press on without fear, but there you go.
Nah, I'm too scared to do that, don't want to die and have to go all the way back again or whatever would happen if I did this. I just did a bit of grinding in the swamp, it's a good place to get 50 XP per battle with minimal chance of getting hit.
I just thought of a good trick for the second playthrough. Since you get extra lives when you level up after getting max experience, you can just skip placing all the stones until right before you go to the last dungeon. That way, you'll have 6 extra lives for a total of 9 when you enter it. Just don't save the game because then, you'll revert back to 3 lives. I'm assuming this will work, I haven't tried it myself.
@sirmastersephiroth I imagine that would work. I had 9 lives when I headed off to the final palace on my second 3DS playthrough.
Although really, the first half of the game is incredibly easy on the second playthrough. Once you're fully leveled up, the orange/red Ironknuckles, Dairas (the alligator guys in Death Mountain), and any other tough enemies go down in like one hit. I think I died once in the first half, and that was only due to getting cheaply knocked into a pit. Even the bosses only take around two.
I actually feel like the game has gotten a tad bit easier now that I both A. have the heal spell and B. grinding my levels up a bit. I did Death Mountain without too much trouble and finally got the gloves. Running around the graveyard now, have to get to some island or something, of course no one is giving me any hints as to how. I know about the secret going south of the sole grave but you get down there and it's like... WAY too freaking high to jump up. I guess I need some new item or spell or something?