It's Dangerous to Go Alone: The History of 'The Legend of Zelda'

Following the huge success of "The Legend of Zelda," Miyamoto and his team got right back to work on a sequel. The result, released in 1987 and titled "Zelda II: The Adventure of Link," was known as "the weird one" of the "Zelda" franchise, at least until "Majora's Mask" came around in 2001.

Fans were surprised by how different "The Adventure of Link" was from the beloved "Legend of Zelda." The new game used a side-scrolling perspective within levels instead of the top-down angle of its predecessor, and added a leveling system, wherein players accrued experience points from battles — which they could use to upgrade Link's attack, magic and health stats. What's more, "The Adventure of Link" was very, very hard, which, coming from the same era as "Super Mario Bros." and "Contra," is saying quite a lot.

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Despite being the black sheep of the "Zelda" family, "The Adventure of Link" still introduced a number of concepts that would become staples of the series, such as a "Dark Link," a magic meter and the use of spells, and an artifact known as the Triforce of Courage, which became a sign of Link's heroic destiny.

Today, you can still purchase "Zelda II: The Adventure of Link" through the Nintendo Virtual Console (a part of the Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo eShop) for the Wii, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

Jill Scharr is a creative writer and narrative designer in the videogame industry. She's currently Project Lead Writer at the games studio Harebrained Schemes, and has also worked at Bungie. Prior to that she worked as a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide, covering video games, online security, 3D printing and tech innovation among many subjects. 

  • Warsaw don't include little articles about Wind Waker, Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword? Though they are not as impactful as the others I still believe them to be worth at least a short article each.
  • spookyman
    Hmm a half finished article. Sounds like CNN reporting to me.
  • knowom
    The adventure of Link was actually my favorite Zelda game was a bit like Nintendo's version of a Konami Castlevania game or a bit like Metroid with a rpg theme as opposed to sci-fi.
  • tomate2
    Long live Nintendo 64!
  • Spanky Deluxe
    It feels like half the article is missing.
  • tobalaz
    A Link to the Past was my all time favorite Zelda.
    I've played LttP through so many times as a kid I've got every boss and item location still burned into my memory!
    Good times.
    Zelda never really felt the same again after that.