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Zelda II The Adventure of Link - NES - Angry Video Game Nerd - Episode 93

The Nerd: So many bad games to talk shit about. One of them I get a lot of requests for is Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. (music abruptly stops accompanied by a record scratch) Really? That's a bad game? I thought it was pretty good. I mean look at it, it's gold. But it's a mixed opinion kind of thing, some people love it, some people hate it.

The Nerd: With the first Zelda, I think everyone agrees it's a masterpiece. Sure, maybe there's some weird stuff in it. I don't know why one of the labyrinths is shaped like a swastika or why the enemy names are so random, What do you call that? A rabbit's head? (buzzer) Wrong, a Pols Voice. What's that? A mummy? (buzzer) Gibdo. What's that? A ghost? (buzzer) Ghini. What's that? Well, it's kinda like.... like.... (ding-ding-ding-ding!) What? It's called a Like Like? Yeah, I'm not making this up. This is all coming straight from the manual. What do you call that? A snake? (buzzer) Wrong, it's called Rope. Yeah, really. If you can't tell the difference between a snake and a rope, you're in trouble. What's that? A bat? (buzzer) No, it's Keese. What do you call the keys then? Bats? What's that? A knight? (buzzer) A Darknut. Well then, what's that? Uh, a... a geiger counselman? (buzzer) Oh, a rock. What's that? A spider? (buzzer) A Tektite. Now what the fuck is a Tektite? Is that even a real word? Let me look it up. (finding Tektite in the dictionary) Yeah, it is. Tektite: Any of several kinds of small glassy bodies, in various forms, occurring in Australia and elsewhere, now believed to have been produced by the impact of meteorites on the earth's surface. Yeah, or a spider.

The Nerd: Well, fuck, Let's move on to Zelda II. It's been a while since I played this. Is it good? Is it bad? Let's get to the bottom of it and see how well it holds up today.

The Nerd: Well, the overhead world does kinda suck. Everything looks like a block, Link is so miniscule and looks like a little gnarled green turd. But also he manages to be larger than the houses. How does that explain when he walks into the town? Does he shrink in size? Well, then again, how did Link always carry so many items with him? It's not important, it's a fantasy world where nothing makes sense.

The Nerd: The most common generic criticism I've heard is that the game is a sidescroller, for the most part. And none of the other Zelda games were like that. Well, think back to when it first came out. There were only two Zelda games. One was a overhead view (first Zelda game) and the other was a sidescroller, mostly (second Zelda game). So there was no real standard yet.

The Nerd: The annoying part is that you can't fight anything on the overhead view.

(weird 8-bit whoosh sound effect)

The Nerd: These generic cookie cutter enemies pop out of nowhere and if they touch you, it brings you to a short battle screen. This is a good chance to rack up on experience points. But most of the time, you're just trying to get from one place to the next, and you have to keep stopping to fight these bastards.

The Nerd: The enemies you fight and layout depend on where you got caught. If you got caught on a grassy field or in the middle of the woods, it's always different. You might get swarmed with enemies, or you might have it so easy, there's no point at all. Like here, all I gotta do is dodge these fuzzy fuckbutts and leave.

The Nerd: It's get old quick but if you think about it, it's not as bad as Final Fantasy VI, that is III, on Super Nintendo. Here, you can't even see what hits you.

(zooms in and 16-bit whoosh sound effect)

The Nerd: That as random as you can get. But hey, that was a great game. I know a lot of RPGs like that, but I guess that's not what most gamers expected from a Zelda game.

The Nerd: There's no Ganon either, or at least not until you die. Well, this is the only direct sequel to the original game. Zelda's in a sleeping spell, and Ganon's been killed and turned into red ash. Now supposedly the other villains are trying to resurrect him by using the blood of Link, simllar to the Hammer Dracula films were they always mixed somebody's blood into Dracula's ashes. So it's kinda disappointing that the only time you see Ganon, is when the game's over. Not to mention, what's that look like? Could he possibly be holding his sword in a more suggestive position?

The Nerd: The object of the game is to go into towns, learn magic spells, and go to palaces. In each palace, you find a new item and defeat a boss. I've heard some rumor that if you defeat the boss before getting the item, the palace will turn to rock and you won't be able to get the item. But as far as I'm concered, that's not true at all. The palace only turns to rock after you've completed everything. One thing I can say is that this game is hard as shit! I think we can all agree with that. That doesn't mean the game's bad, challenge is a good thing, but challenge should be given to the player in increments meaning a game should gradually get harder as it progresses, and that's where Zelda II dropped the ball.

(Ganon laughs during Game Over)

The Nerd: The first 2 levels are pretty easy, but then, it hits you with Death Mountain. Holy fuck. It's the most difficult part of the game and there's no fucking around. You gotta go right through it early on. These red lizard dudes are on super steroids. Even if you manage to jump over them, they throw their axe. Ah, shit!

(Link walks into caves over and over, then walks from another caves again)

The Nerd: Where the hell am I going?

(The Nerd thinks, points directions and scratches his head)

The Nerd: Oh, god damn!

(Link hits a red lizard dude with sword)

The Nerd: Shouldn't they have put this part at the end of the game? I mean, what could be more dangerous than Death Mountain? They got it all mixed up. That's not to say the later stages aren't hard but by then, you've gained more health, your sword's stronger, and you have all kinds of helpful magic spells to get you through. But here, you're like a 4-year old trying to fight Hulk Hogan. So, before you can even try to face Death Mountain, you have to go mess about, fight random enemies, get experience points, and power up all your shit. You gotta get the P-bags. What are P-bags anyway? Piss bags? That's right, Link's collects bags of piss. And even when you're all powered up, you're lucky if you make it through Death Mountain. And the fun doesn't stop there. You get the hammer, break the block, and look for the secret grave that leads to Level 3. Just to get punished some more.

(Link dies)

The Nerd: Agh, you piece of dog shit!

(Ganon laughs at the Game Over screen again, then the Nerd imitates his laugh)

The Nerd: Fuck you!

The Nerd: Back at the beginning. Oh, that's nice. Now I gotta walk all the way back to the palace. In every other Zelda game, if you die in one of the palaces or labyrinths or dungeons or whatever, it will start you at the entrance. But here, they decided, "Fuck you!". You die, you go all the way back to square one. Assholes.

The Nerd: Of course, I have to mention the towns. It's so peaceful. Yeah, you need a break from all that madness. But the townspeople aren't really that helpful. "Hello!"? Why even include a character in the game that has nothing to say? Most famous is this guy: "I am Error". Well, maybe that's just his name, that's all. Maybe it's pronounced Error (E-roar). In each town, there's a woman that restores your health. She invites Link inside and you never see what's happening in there. Is she giving him a potion? Is she performing a magic spell? No, we all know what's really happening. Link is like, you know, getting a little of the ol' in-out in-out. I mean, this isn't little boy Link anymore, he's grown up now. He learns all these special moves like the down thrust, the up thrust, and there, he learns the cunt thrust. Yeah, that should be the name of a band. But really, Link deserves to get some because of all this hell he goes through. He's not gonna get any from Zelda. Well, then again, she's in a sleeping spell. What was Link doing there in the first place? Oh no, Link's a poon hound.

The Nerd: Another thing that's fun about the towns is that you can jump on the roof. Yeah, that's fun. Watch this, I'm gonna turn into a fairy.

(Link falls)

The Nerd: Wait? That's not supposed to happen. Maybe I shouldn't have done that. 

(Link appears in the middle of the ocean, unable to move)

The Nerd: What the hell? 

(The Glitch Gremlin pops up.)

Glitch Gremlin: Hmm... Glitches! You like 'em?

The Nerd: Noooo! Let's see what happens if I go up here and turn into a fairy.

(Link falls again, then Link is stuck under the floor)

The Nerd: I fell through the floor?

(The Glitch Gremlin pops up again and dances)

Glitch Gremlin:  I fell through the floor, through the floor, through the floor, through the floor, through the floor!

The Nerd: I don't wanna go through the floor! But then again, what do you expect if you turn into a fairy when you're high? High up or high on drugs, either way, you'll see glitches.

(Link stabs a skull many times)

The Nerd: Do these skulls ever die?

(The Nerd taps the NES controller, looking stressed)

The Nerd: You'll kill your thumbs faster than you'll kill this thing!

(The Nerd peeks his eyes again and again, Link stabs the skull many times again, The Nerd pushes the A button repeatedly 8 times and bangs the controller. The skull finally dies.)

The Nerd: Oh, thank god. Tell me this, why does Link get hurt by bubbles? What kind of pussy is he? You gotta fight some wizard but he's impossible, unless you get a magic reflect spell from some guy in a town, but before he'll give you the spell, you have to rescue some little kid. Look at that. I don't know why, but I find that very funny. I mean, that's great. Somebody should make a T-shirt of that. It's like every time Link finds something he has to hold it up. Imagine having him as a friend.

The Nerd: Hey Link, have you seen the uhh...remote control for the TV?

(Zelda sound effect plays)

The Nerd: Oh cool, you found it. Okay. Yeah, you could put that down.

The Nerd: Some of the items are disappointing. The candle for instance, it automatically lights up the dark areas in the caves. But wasn't it more fun when the candle used to shoot fire? Right in the old man's face!

(Link kills an Old Man using a candle in the first Zelda game)

The Nerd: The flute doesn't do the same thing either. Here, you use it to get past this huge spider and open Level 6. But how are you supposed to guess that? In the first game, it was for transportation. 

(Link transports from the first Zelda game to the second Zelda game, then he kills the Link in the second game!)

The Nerd: What the fuck?!

The Nerd: Oh, and I hate these horseheads. The way they move up and down, it reminds me of the Medusas in the Castlevania games. Yeah. Anything with a pattern like that. These games gave me so much stress as a kid I developed a psychological complex. Whenever I see wavy lines, I get fucking pissed. Sometimes I try to cheat. I turn into a fairy and fly around. I know it's really stupid. But if you're gonna cheat, you might as well be a fairy while you're at it. It doesn't work that great anyway, you never have enough magic to do it, and there's a wall. Damn! You fight the dragon, go through a cave, and knock down some trees with a hammer to find a hidden town. In this town, you get a spell, try using the spell and the only thing you'll find is that it changes some of the enemies. But unlike the rest of the spells in the game, this one has a secondary function. There's a certain spot that seems like a dead end. You use the spell here, and it makes a temple come out of the ground! How are you supposed to know all that unless you read Nintendo Power? The towns people don't help that much. They might as well just say "Get the Power, Nintendo Power!". Yeah, it's classic hidden cryptic Nintendo horseshit.

The Nerd: I always hated this part too. These guys peek their heads out over the fence like Tim the Toolman's neighbor and throw rocks. That's child stuff. I mean come on, throwing rocks? Once you make it to the last level, you can actually restart there if you die. So, finally the game gives us a little mercy. But if you don't have any extra lives, it doesn't matter. You gotta save up all your free guys. Yeah, all of those little mini Links you find throughout the game? Save those fuckers up, you'll need every one of them. Then you fight the Thunderbird, and finally Dark Link, sometimes referred to as Shadow Link. This is the final boss in the game, and hard as fuck. He mimics your every move and will kick your ass. Come on, come on, come on, ugggh! Come on, oooohh! Fuck! Ugggh! Hmmm!

(Dark Link kills Link)

The Nerd: Well, it's impossible, I'd have better luck trying to fight my own shadow.

(The Nerd hits his Star Wars poster by using his hands)

The Nerd: You motherfucker, come on! Ugggh! God damn!

The Nerd: You can't beat your own shadow, and that's what this game is. It's your dark alter-ego that knows more about you than you know yourself. I don't know how you could win, unless you're really hardcore. Some gamers are so hardcore with the first game, they've actually made it to Ganon without the sword. That's insane. But people like a good challenge.

(The Nerd sets up the Power Glove)

The Nerd: You want a good challenge? Try beating Zelda II with the Power Glove. Yeah. That's a laugh.

(Zelda II final boss starts up using the Power Glove. As he says the next lines below, the hand movements he makes accidentally cause Link to block Dark Link's attacks, and then cause Link to attack the boss while his guard is down, damaging him. The Nerd doesn't notice this.)

The Nerd: In conclusion, it's still a great game. But many consider it the black sheep of the Zelda franchise. And understandably, it's very different from the first game but obviously Nintendo didn't want to just rehash the same game over again so they tried something new. Some people were confused and admittedly it had some mixed results.

(Dark Link dies and Link gets the final Triforce while the Nerd uses the Power Glove)

The Nerd: But it had a legacy of its own. It was the first Zelda game that had towns to visit and to have a magic meter and many games copied its style such as Battle of Olympus and even Rambo. Bottom line, it's a good game, but a very frustrating one, I'll never beat it as long as I live. Nope.

(The Nerd turns off TV, walks away, but then runs back to the TV to turn it back on. The ending message appears on the TV saying "You saved Hyrule and you are a real hero!" Then, he looks at the Power Glove in shock and disbelief. Then the curtain lowers and then Zelda and Link supposedly kiss with the curtain covering it up and the words "The End" appear.)