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Zelda and Link’s dlc costumes

The negative perception of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and the revision of history towards its popularity

When Zelda II: The Adventure of Link came out, it was never hated or disliked and was actually really popular. Its one of the best games on the NES.

The negativity toward Zelda 2 is a more recent trend and a revision of history, as the media (and players) spin its label as the “black sheep” in a negative light. The Zelda series now contains games like Four Sword Adventures, Spirit Tracks, and Skyward Sword. Compared to those games, it doesn’t seem like the black sheep anymore, and seemed like a natural progression of a new series at the time. When EGM did an preview of OoT 1998 and mentioned Zelda 2 as the black sheep, it wasn’t meant that it was a bad game, but it was different. 

Miyamoto doesn’t consider Zelda 2 a bad game (this is a spin in the headlines by media - Kotaku), he wished they could have done more and is specifically talking about the Japanese version that was limited by the Famicom Disk System’s hardware and constant loading that took away from quickly switching between maps. The NES version is much more polished.


Miyamoto: “I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever made a bad game, per se, but a game I think we could have done more with was Zelda II: The Adventure of Link,”

"When we’re designing games, we have our plan for what we’re going to design but in our process it evolves and grows from there," Miyamoto said. "In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, unfortunately all we ended up creating was what we had originally planned on paper.”

"I think specifically in the case of Zelda II we had a challenge just in terms of what the hardware was capable of doing,”

Players who grew up with The Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass, Twilight Princess, (or even Ocarina of Time) are exposed to a different kind of Zelda than the earlier games. So without being around during Zelda 2’s time the negative perception of Zelda 2 persists.

Zelda 2 won overall game of the year in Nintendo Power voted by readers over the original Legend of Zelda, and was often ranked above The Legend of Zelda in the Top 30 list voted by readers.

The amount of coverage the game received in Nintendo Fun Club newsletter and multiple issues of Nintendo Power leading up to its release, and the popularity and demand for it when it came out is very similar to the anticipation both Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess received later on (but on a smaller scale for its time). http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost…&postcount=307

It sold nearly as much as A Link to the Past and was rereleased with Zelda 1, Metroid, and Punch-Out!!.http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost…&postcount=176

From the interview below, Miyamoto had always intended to return to the style of the first Zelda game for the Super Nintendo (Since Nintendo sat on the Super Nintendo hardware for years, its likely that they waited until more powerful hardware to do a proper sequel and accomplished all they could with that style on the NES/FDS. Miyamoto wanted to make sequels for Mario and Zelda right away and thought it would be fun to switch between maps and it was developed by a different team with Miyamoto directing.)


Horii: I heard that Zelda 3′s going to be for the Super Nintendo. Have you already started working on it?

Miyamoto: Yes, we’re making progress, little by little.

Horii: What’s it going to be like?

Miyamoto: Basically, I intend to make a return to Zelda 1‘s style. This is something I’ve had in mind since even before we began making Adventure of Link.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link’s influence on the Zelda series

The Zelda series actually references Zelda 2 a lot, and it is dependent on people who worked on the series and their interests.

Ocarina of Time was heavily inspired by Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
- Koizumi (and Shimizu) really liked Zelda 2 and had a desire to create a Zelda with sword fighting. This led to the 1 on 1 battles with Z targeting where you fight opponents one at a time like a sword fighting stage production.
- Adult Link originated from Zelda 2, and was the first and only appearence of this version of Link until Ocarina of Time. Koizumi designed his character model.
- Zelda 64’s original demo featured a low polygonal model of Link based on Zelda 2’s artwork
- Originally Miyamoto wanted Zelda 64 to be 1st person due to the limitations of the N64 hardware, and suggested to Koizumi that the camera could shift to a side perspective when encountering an enemy so you could see Link’s character model.
- They took the names of the towns from Zelda 2 and gave them to important characters in Ocarina of Time so that it would look like stories were passed through Hyrule’s history and the towns were named after the characters from Ocarina of Time
- The Triforce symbol of 3 golden triangles originally appeared in Zelda 2 
- The Trifroce crest on the back of Link’s hand originally appeared in Zelda 2 as a curse on Hyrule for a hero appeared, as well as Link obtaining the Triforce of Courage.
- Volvagia, the fire dragon in Death Mountain, is a returning boss from Zelda 2 where his name was originally translated as “Barba” (or “Valga”). (OoT also had bosses from Zelda 1 in the form of Queen Gohma and King Dodongo).
- The Forest Temple contains an elevator leading to the boss that is very similar to the ones in Zelda 2’s dungeons
- Stalchild enemies won’t appear while walking on the dirt road in Hyrule Field
- Iron Knuckles resembled the ones in Zelda 2 originally, but were changed to be axe wielders and were no less formidable.
- Without using Z-targeting you can slash standing up, holding R makes Link crouch and block with his shield, and holding R and pressing B let’s Link strike kneeling down like in Zelda 2.
- The Water Temple has a miniboss battle Shadow Link, the final boss of Zelda 2, in the form of a Dark Link as reflection instead of a shadow. Originally Miyamoto said he wouldn’t be making an appearance when asked about Shadow Link, so they must have had time to implement him in.

Koizumi was experimenting with Miyamoto on a version of Zelda 2 for the Super Nintendo using polygons until development of N64 software started up.

A Link to the Past features a young version of Link while the artwork of the game was given more realistic proportions of Zelda 2 to appeal to western audiences - Hyrule Historia. (Zelda 2 was very popular and ALttP followed on it)

The Minish Cap reuses the battle/cave theme from the Japanese version of Zelda 2 for a miniboss battle.
TMC - http://youtu.be/YN-4Qg3N-A8
Zelda 2 - http://youtu.be/70z3PO7LBbo

The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess use a downthrust special move in the parry abilities that originated as a hidden skill in Zelda 2.

Adult Link is 16 in Twilight Princess according to Aonuma because the advertisements for Zelda 2 said Link was 16.

The Goddess Statue in Skyward Sword isn’t new to the series mythos. There was already a goddess statue in Zelda 2 (the “Trophy”) that fits in.

Super Smash Bros. Melee contains a single player stage “Undeground Maze” based on Zelda 2, with a multiplayer stage based on Zelda 2 with an arrangment of the palace theme. Super Smash Bros. Brawl added an arrangement of the Great Palace theme. Link’s moveset includes and upthrust and downward thrust.

2013’s Zelda: A Link Between Worlds contain battles with other players in the form of Shadow Link (the boss of Zelda 2) with the background music being an arrangement of the palace theme from Zelda 2.

So Zelda II is actually referenced, and heavily influenced the rest of the series. With some of the key people that worked on early Zelda games not working on the series now, like Koizumi working at EAD Tokyo (Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario 3D Land), the direction is going to be different, this is why the Zelda series became different from what it was and they’re only now realizing this and getting back to the basics with A Link Between Worlds.

The Legend of Zelda’s relationship with the RPG genre

Even if Zelda isn’t a real RPG, it was always competing with RPGs in Japan. Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy were extremely popular. Besides maybe some Japan-only Nintendo games I can’t think of and Fire Emblem, Zelda was Nintendo’s offering in the huge RPG market.

This is shown in the rivalry between Dragon Quest, Zelda, and Final Fantasy. The Japanese version of Zelda II contains a grave marked “Here lies Loto”, the hero of Dragon Quest. Final Fantasy 1 contains a grave marked “Here lies Link” (it was changed to “Erdrick” in the U.S. version to reference Dragon Warrior). The game designers were trying to out do each other.

At its core, Zelda was originally “Mario Adventure”, designed as an arcade game about going through different levels of dungeons. An overworld was added as it evolved into The Legend of Zelda.

There’s this interview from 1989 between Shigeru Miyamoto and Yuji Horii (Dragon Quest) while A Link to the Past and Dragon Quest IV were in development . Miyamoto talks about Zelda as a “Action Adventure” game with the creator of Japan’s most popular RPG series.


Horii: I heard that Zelda 3′s going to be for the Super Nintendo. Have you already started working on it?

Miyamoto: Yes, we’re making progress, little by little.

Horii: What’s it going to be like?

Miyamoto: Basically, I intend to make a return to Zelda 1‘s style. This is something I’ve had in mind since even before we began making Adventure of Link.

Horii: That’s awesome.

Miyamoto: Ever since I started making the first game in the series, I’ve been saying that the 3rd Zelda will feature a party, one that consists of the protagonist, who’s a mix between an elf and a fighter, a magic user, and a girl. The fairy that appeared in Adventure of Link was actually a party member designed for Zelda 3. A girl who looked a little like a fairy and whose role consisted of reconnaissance. Like the characters in action games that don’t engage enemies in combat but rather go and scout out the surroundings and return to you safely. It’s also fun when an action adventure game lets you choose who to send out. That’s the sort of thing I’m thinking I’d like to put in Zelda 3.

I’ve never been too particular about the story in the games I’ve made in conjunction with (Earthbound creator) Shigesato Itoi. The stories of Mario and Zelda titles have always been supplemental to the actual gameplay. Action games only have stories attached to make the experience more interesting. Itoi is the one that writes the story, and I just help out a bit.

Miyamoto doesn’t actually like RPGs and was reluctant on Mother (Earthbound Zero), because RPGs rely on stats to make the player stronger, while in action games like Super Mario Bros. player’s get stronger by getting better at playing the game. With Zelda, the players grow stronger with Link as they progress through the game picking up heart containers, upgrading the sword, and finding treasures while their skill level increases from playing the game.

In EGM’s coverage of RPGs around 1997-98, Ocarina of Time was included because while it wasn’t a real RPG, it helped fill in the RPG gap of the N64’s library. Basically, Zelda overlaps into the RPG audience or genre.

The Japanese boxart for Majora’s Mask actually says “3D Action/Adventure RPG”. (I’m guessing the Japanese word in between 3D and RPG is either action or adventure).


Link’s Awakening Arrange Collection


They finally put Sheik in an action game.

Nice job citing the influnece of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link on Ocarina of Time. (are my neogaf posts that bring attention to this getting noticed?)

Zelda II: The Adventure of LINK (1987,1988) FDS, NES

Zelda II: The Adventure of LINK (1987,1988) FDS, NES

Optional Zelda interview reading materials

Various sources of info for my previous post


I’ve read just about every Nintendo/Miyamoto/Zelda related interview and used to collect them.http://www.angelfire.com/games5/makz…nterviews.html

Iwata Ask’s the original Ocarina of Time team (Koizumi) 

How Majora’s Mask started - http://www.glitterberri.com/ocarina-…-majoras-mask/

Ocarina of Time staff interviews 1998 http://www.glitterberri.com/ocarina-…01-interviews/

Miyamoto getting involved with Twilight Princess and his blunt criticism of the staff http://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interv…t_princess/0/6

Miyamoto on what defines Zelda http://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interv…t_princess/0/5

Aonuma’s background http://cube.gamespy.com/gamecube/the…/520166p1.html

Aonuma’s GDC speech - Mentioning how difficult NES Zelda was http://www.ign.com/articles/2004/03/…f-zelda?page=2

Miyamoto’s GDC speech on (Zelda 64’s) Ocarina of Time’s development http://www.ign.com/articles/1999/03/…keynote-speech