December 6, 2011

Sweet’N Low – The Adventure of Link

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 1:50 pm

sweet n low zelda 2 the adventure of link
Faithful Sugarfiends have likely noticed the slack in activities of late. In truth, I have a to-do list that spirals out the door, and hardly an ounce of interest in tackling any of it. In particular, there are some 3DS games we should be talking about this month, but countering my productivity is the fact that I can avoid a full 3DS game by using the handheld to play Zelda 2.

But it hasn’t been the short nostalgia kick I was looking for – in fact I enjoy the game more now, as if I had to go and age for twenty more years to really “get it”. That said, the experience is proving merciless – I’ve died so many times that I wake up hearing Ganon laugh at me. And yet, with every death comes some small increment of progress – I grab the candle to light the way through caves but die, only to return and score another stat increase before dying, only to again return and discover that after dispatching some troublesome knights, that horse-headed boss wasn’t nearly so hard as everything guarding him within the first palace.

There are no helpful arrows pointing out that I should discover a trophy within a cave to earn the high-jump – everything I earn is a reward for perseverance, and convinces that lost feeling of really having suffered in order to gain, which seems to make even the smallest moments more memorable as Link proudly hoists swag over his head.

The frustrating and at times incomprehensible game from my childhood is now the shining star that tests the player in equal measure with Link, convincing the elements of his adventure in a way largely taken for granted within Skyward Sword.

Rather than slip into an essay on the subject however, I’d prefer to put the call out to you and ask if you’ve ever had a similar experience with a game.

So you know, have at it below.


  1. Cool. So, The Adventures of Link was Dark (Demon’s) Souls before Dark (Demon’s) Souls was  Dark (Demon’s) Souls? Guess I’ll have to fire up my old NES and actually play some Zelda 2!

    Comment by Ujn Hunter — December 6, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

  2. I’m wondering now if I’m not in the minority on this. Like, I had a respect for the game, and a comprehension of it. But I know damn well I didn’t appreciate it like I do now, I’d just sorta take stabs at it and turn back to ninja turtles and such.

    Comment by Jamie Love — December 6, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

  3. Sadly when I bought The Adventures of Link it was in a Kmart blowout sale after the SNES had already taken over my TV time and never really gave it much of a play back in the day. That being said… I never really played the original Zelda much either… my uncle owned it but I didn’t know how to “save” my progress and just kept wandering around the same screens never getting anywhere. It wasn’t until the SNES Link to the Past that I really played much Zelda.

    Comment by Ujn Hunter — December 7, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  4. I tried playing this recently and didn’t like it.

    Comment by Mister Raroo — December 8, 2011 @ 4:58 am

  5. Anything in particular?

    Comment by Jamie Love — December 8, 2011 @ 5:34 am

  6. I played this game more out of having not much else to play — it was one of the first I received (along with Simon’s Quest) when I finally got my own NES.

    Rather than shamelessly plug a podcast I did SOMEWHAT recently on the subject, I will say that there’s really so much to love and so much to hate about this game in equal measure.  I believe it was AVGN’s review that mentioned you’re treated to a couple of fairly easy levels — although I had a hard time with the second palace my first time through recently — and then are made to suffer through Death Mountain, where the difficulty suddenly ramps WAY up.  Survive, and do a little level grinding, and the rest of your journey is pretty easy… until you get to the final palace.  MURR.  (Heck, you can lose all of your lives just GETTING there, but fortunately you start over from the beginning of the palace when you run out of lives, unlike other parts of the game.)

    I’m mostly interested now in the differences between it and the Famicom Disk System version.  It’s not a different game, but it’s certainly not the same game… if that makes any sense.  I mean, it’s largely the same game, but there was some really obvious re-balancing and the removal or change-out of some bosses that makes the overall strategy different.
    There’s also a lot to be said about how much more constrictive it feels to move through most of the game as a sidescroller when the first game (and all of the subsequent 2D ones) adopted an overhead view; you just literally can’t move in as many dimensions, and puzzle-solving is replaced with sheer brute force and determination.  Oh, and healthy dose of ballsiness, because sometimes the only way to progress is to take a leap of faith that would otherwise have killed you.

    It also introduced a lot of concepts to the series: magic and the sense of existing in an inhabited world being chief among them.  (You know, as opposed to a world where everyone lives almost literally under rocks and trees.)

    Comment by Sean "TheOrange" Corse — December 13, 2011 @ 12:44 am

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