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Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Released in December 1988, The Adventure of Link follows Link on a side-scrolling quest through Hyrule to place six crystals back in their palaces, and eventually wake the sleeping princess Zelda. Highly criticized as being too different from the first Zelda, The Adventure of Link introduced some elements that would be seen in many later Zelda games such as towns and magic, but other things never seen again such as experience points and 1 ups.

 

Run (Single Segment): 1:10:36 by Jon Fessenden

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I based this run on Chip Vogel's run and made it before Kristian Emanuelsen's run. Unfortunately this is a low-tech recording, I used the original NES and a VCR. The tape sat around for awhile but I finally transferred the video to my computer, hopefully the quality is acceptable. The screen is a bit spotty for the first 12 minutes of so, but after that the image is consistently good.

Chip's run was great, but watching it I thought I could made some improvements. I skip getting the spell "Life", I only get one heart container, I have some different leveling strategies, and I'm a more efficient fighter in general.

Notes on the Speed Run
I almost aborted the run after having an enemy encounter in Parapa desert after L1, not only did I get hit there but I stupidly ran into the Lowder in the next cave. Then I unnecessarily restored my life in Ruto, I should have just waited for the level-up. Bad start. On my way to Bagu's I hit three enemies, which isn't good, but since two were fairies I didn't waste too much time.

Death Mountain went well. I was more aggressive to make up for the bad start, the way I sprinted through the cave with the Mite right before the Hammer was very risky.

L2 was good, I especially like killing the Red Ironknuckle before the Glove, casting "Fairy" before the EXP registers, then upping a magic level to replenish my MP.

The Island Palace was nearly perfect. Of course I miss the long jump in this level - I always miss that jump! I miss it twice in L6 too. Annoying.

On my second trip through L4 I'm lucky to get a red potion instead of a P-bag from the Red Ironknuckle, allowing me to skip a room and save a good bit of time.

L6 was very challenging, I was very lucky to survive. Missing the long jump twice sucked. The room with the big lava pit and skulls flying around was very scary, getting hit by a skull would cause me to lose enough magic so that I couldn't cast "Fairy", basically ending the run. I dispatched of the mounted Blue Ironknuckles very nicely, if not I wouldn't have made it.

My trip through the Valley of Death was very good - except getting hit by a Moa at the very end. This was nearly catastrophic, because I lost energy AND had to cast "Fairy" so I wouldn't fall in the pit. Usually I use "Fairy" to get past the first Firebird in the Great Palace, but instead I had to fight him. Getting past the Dreadhawks without suffering damage was a miracle. The Blue one in particular threw a sword that I thought would kill me, I didn't know to duck or stand to defend it. Maybe I chose correctly, but really I think I just froze up and lucked out. I prefer fighting the Thunderbird without using jump, I feel more in control of Link that way. I decided to level-up on life after beating Thunderbird on the off chance Shadow Link would hit me. I guess I added a couple extra seconds to the run, but if I were to die on the last boss after declining to replenish my life I would have gone insane.

If I were to think about how this run could have been faster, there are only a couple of improvements that come to mind. The trip from Parapa desert to Saria could have been quicker, the 3 missed jumps in L3 and L6 could have been made, but other than that its good. Surviving L6, the bridges around Old Kasuto, the Valley of Death, and the Great Palace is insanely hard with 5 heart containers and no "Life" spell, so the fact that I made it up to that point in a reasonable time is good enough for me.

Up+A warping run (Single Segment, Death Abuse): 0:59:43 by Kristian 'Arctic_Eagle' Emanuelsen

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This game is just so freakin' awesome! The 2D-fighting engine in this game is just too masterful, the sidescroller is just so sensitive with so many different speeds to attack at, the AI is brilliant etc. Mixed in with some clever RPG and adventuregame elements, man... Now, what can I say about this run? It's obviously one of many fun ways to play Zelda II, starting off from a new file, totally underpowered, smashing most in your way at top speed, hahaha! Okay, okay, about this run:

I do this run without the shield-spell, life-spell, candle, magickey etc. saving time, but making the whole thing rather difficult. I do some superb fighting in Death Mountain without the candle, but have too many random enemy encounters in general, am unlucky with magicpotion-droppings in the 1st, 4th (I lose lots of time here) and 6th palace. Good fighting in general, but some "awful" parts, e.g. after rescuing the child, on the overworld map on my way to Darunia. I even took a few steps in the wrong direction inside The Great Palace. But that actually helped me decide not to do the death-abuse at the bridge, but instead just go for it against The Thunderbird and Dark Link.

Thanks to:

Rodrigo Lopes for an awesome time of 1:01:19 (TG) to compete with. I won't be surprised if you beat this run in the near future. I hope you don't disagree with Twin Galaxies allowing my jump in Darunia. I personally pointed that jump out to them when submitting my 1:00:07.

Also thanks to the goodlooking Zelda II TAS at 48:15 by Rising Tempest and Inzult, which gave me a few ideas.

And last, but not least, the SDA-crew for downloading, transferring, uploading, and all that other important stuff that makes this run possible for others to enjoy.

Up+A warping run (Single Segment, EU, Death Abuse): 1:05:00 by Kristian 'Arctic_Eagle' Emanuelsen

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Zelda II is my favorite NES-game and because of nostalgia it's also my all-time favorite game. This game had everything I wanted from a videogame at the time of release. I hadn't played The Legend of Zelda (which is also a great game and a difficult one, but very different and not as technical), which was probably an advantage. Zelda II gets a lot of unfair stick. Those who haven't played The Great Palace with the revolutionary AI of the Dreadhawks there shouldn't criticise the game IMHO. But I am the first to admit that a speed run of this game contains too much fairy-casting through locked doors. Though a speed run without it would be even longer and this speed run is over 1 hour long...

The Zelda II European Version is modified, meaning that movement on the overworld-map is 5/6 speed compared to the American Version, but the sidescroller-scenes are almost as fast.

This run is exactly as minimalistic as my previous run: I skip the spells: Shield, Life, Fire and Spell. I skip the items: Candle, Cross and Magickey. And I skip three Life-containers (it's possible to skip four).

Speedrunning Zelda II takes a long time and can be quite frustrating. I'm not sure this run is better fighting-wise than my previous 1:06:17 run, but it's certainly more clever and faster. By changing around on my route and level-up system I decrease the luck needed when it comes to magic-potion/experience-bag droppings.

For those who aren't as familiar with the game as me, I will try to explain how the magic-potion/experience-bag dropping system works: After killing 5 'big enemies' you will have a 50/50 chance of either a magic-potion (refills your magic) or an experience-bag (200 experience points) at the drop of the next 'big enemy' killed. (Bosses, Blue Ironknuckle and Red Lizalfos don't count). E.g.: I kill 5 Orange Moas ('big enemy') at the entrance of Maze Island Palace (4th) to set me up for a magic-potion (refilling my magic to cast Fairy-spells through locked doors, saving time skipping keys) inside the palace at the first Red Ironknuckle. It will save me two lives and a lot of time. Fingers crossed for not getting an experience-bag there...

I get maximum luck on magic-potion/experience-bag droppings in my run:

A magic-potion in Parapa-Palace (saves one life - 1 extra Fairy-spell needed).

An experience-bag in Midero-Palace (1 of 2 needed to level-up).

An experience-bag in the Island-Palace (needed to save time, not killing an extra Blue Ironknuckle for level-up).

A magic-potion in Maze Island Palace (needed to save two lives and a lot of time: 2 extra Fairy-spells needed).

A magic-potion in Three Eye Palace (saves one life: 1 extra Fairy-spell needed).

Here's my thoughts on how the key areas of the game were done in the run:

Really hope you enjoy this run!
New Game+, Up+A warping run (Single Segment, Death Abuse): 0:41:10 by Kristian 'Arctic_Eagle' Emanuelsen

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This game is just so freakin' awesome! The 2D-fighting engine in this game is just too masterful. Mixed in with some clever RPG and adventuregame elements, man... Now, what can I say about this run? It's obviously one of many fun ways to play Zelda II, starting off from a completed file, totally overpowered, smashing everything in your way, hahaha! Man... okay, okay, about this run: Death Mountain not the fastest, but I make up for it with no random enemy encounters on my way there. A few minor problems here and there. I die once unwanted in The Great Palace. Sub 41 minutes is very doable.

Thanks to:

Tommy "tmont" Montgomery for his Zelda II NG+ run at SDA which I learned from and enjoyed. Well played, hope you'll watch my run one day, a comeback to the crazy world of speedrunning would be highly appreciated.

The SDA-crew for downloading, transferring, uploading, and all that other important stuff that makes this run possible for others to enjoy.

New Game+, Up+A warping run (Single Segment, EU, Death Abuse): 0:44:52 by Kristian 'Arctic_Eagle' Emanuelsen

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NG+ is an amusing way to speedrun Zelda II IMHO. The strength-advantage gives you the opportunity to defeat some of the bosses, e.g. Gooma, with more daring fighting-strategies. And most importantly, you don't have the frustrating NG-Death Mountain problem of a 35 %? chance of getting through with the hammer, even though you fight perfectly (gathering enough experience to level up attack to 4).

I consider this run to be even more lucky than my NG-run, as I have very few random-encounters. The run through Death Mountain isn't optimal, but I'm happy with everything else in this run (as far as I remember). I hope you find this run entertaining!

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