I’ll say it plain. Zelda II: Adventure of Link deserves a remake.
I know we’re talking about the most divisive game in the Zelda universe. I know there are plenty of haters that will poop on this opinion. That’s fine. But I think there are plenty of folks that would like to see it happen. If you’re one, go ahead and sign my petition.
And yeah, I know there is virtually no chance that Nintendo will drop what they’re doing (Breath of the Wild 2) to devote their resources to my (our humble request). They’ve got their hands full as-is. And it’s likely they have already anticipated a growing demand for more remakes, more remakes. But they are innovators and spend 90% of their time moving forward, rather than looking back.
And I certainly know that Zelda II has its issues. It is far from perfect. I know I am Error. So are you. It’s cryptic (like Zelda I) and the story is convoluted. It’s difficult. It is very unlike the other Zelda games. It’s totally unique! It is even more different than the other weird ones (Majora’s Mask esp.) There’s magic and experience points. And let’s not forget the moblin in the room: It’s mostly a side-scrolling platformer! Gasp!
I know all that stuff.
Shigeruy Miyamoto has gone on record, and haters have clung to his words as validation that their hatred is justified. It is not. What Miyamoto has said (and Polygon got it right) is that they “could have done more.”
To quote Miyamoto in the linked Polygon article, “I think specifically in the case of Zelda 2 we had a challenge just in terms of what the hardware was capable of doing…” Referring to the capabilities of the Famicom Disk System, which required long load times between the overworld and side-view scenes. The most obvious issue there was in the overworld’s random encounters. It was annoying.
“If that had been faster, we could have done more with how we used the sidescrolling vs. the overhead [view] and kind of the interchange between the two. But, because of the limitations on how quickly those scenes changed, we weren’t able to.”
Well guess what, Shigeru Miyamoto? Your technology limitations are gone. The Switch can do just about anything you can dream up, and this Ghetto Gamer is ready.
Don’t forget! For a lot of gamers, Zelda II was a really, really early gaming experience. I was a kid when it came out. And Zelda II was the hottest new game when the NES came into my life. I played Zelda II before I played the original. When I went back to the original, I was like, “what is this primitive little game?” Zelda II felt more robust, because unlike so many gamers today I didn’t start with Ocarina or Link to the Past or Wind Waker. To me, Zelda II was the original. And I’m still waiting for a proper follow-up.
Because Zelda II remains the black sheep of the franchise, an entire generation of gamers will never give it a fair chance. It’s a great game in its own right, forget that it doesn’t match the traditional Zelda formula. It’s unique. It’s fantastic. And remade with modern technology, it’s the kind of game the market needs.
So let’s get this done. Let’s see if we can fix some of the damage edgy YouTubers and bloggers have done to this pristine franchise. Let Wand of Gamelon and Faces of Evil be the only unloved outliers in the Zelda canon. (Yeah, canon!) Stick it to the haters. And let’s all be Error.