A Zelda fan took to Reddit overnight to gush about their latest playthrough of Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link. Despite the game’s age and obvious technical limitations, the post explains how this player has gained a new appreciation for the game years later and how they see the seeds of what was to come in Breath of the Wild.
User Davoid1 posted on the main Zelda Subreddit about how much they’ve been enjoying playing Zelda 2 ahead of the release of Tears of the Kingdom. In their post, they explain how the mechanics are recognizable in modern games today and see the fun that came with some of the more challenging design choices in Zelda 1 that players now adore.
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Replaying Zelda 2 After Breath of the Wild Highlights the Evolution of the Series up to Tears of the Kingdom
With Tears of the Kingdom out in under a week, many fans are replaying older titles to get back into the Zelda groove. There’s nothing quite like this franchise, but it took a while for the developers to find their footing. Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link is a very different sort of Zelda game. Even so, Davoid1’s post shows that there’s something about nostalgia that can make a game so much more impactful.
Zelda 2’s difficulty is something that put a lot of players off when it was first released. However, coming back to it as an adult with a better understanding of the mechanics, and at a time when Dark Souls exists, the game can be seen in a new light.
Giving it a solid go though, I am actually enjoying it quite a bit, it gives me dark souls vibes with the option to risk all your exp on saving up for leveling stats you prefer (the tiered leveling system is a bit wonky, though) , the strategic elements of managing magic (shield now for cheap or spend more on a life cast later?) and how it can be nerve wracking to venture further from towns into the unknown (again, dark souls).
Looking at the core gameplay as Davoid1 does, it’s easy to understand how to play Zelda 2 now. But coming at it off the back of Zelda 1, it must have felt like a complete change of direction. Towards the end of the post, a paragraph points out something very interesting about how the franchise has been developed over time.
I actually think the in-game hints, as opaque as they are, are the first steps towards the modern Zelda sensibilities of player direction. I am torn on the segmented way the game is structured, as it serves to really help direct the player, but I would have loved to see a more open approach to just letting you wander into areas that will utterly decimate you like Zelda 1 is ok with.
Breath of the Wild takes elements of both the points Davoid1 makes here, the challenging but fair combat and open world design, and puts them front and center. The game still receives high praise for this, and Tears of the Kingdom looks to take it all to a new level. While replaying Breath of the Wild before its sequel is released is certainly a sensible thing to do, it looks like going back through the Zelda catalog and playing old favorites can still help fans get their hoit of nostalgia and learn something new about the games they love .