Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is an action role-playing video game with platforming elements. The second installment in the The Legend of Zelda series, it was developed and published by Nintendo for the Family Computer Disk System on January 14, 1987, less than a year after the original The Legend of Zelda was released and seven months before North America saw the release of the first Zelda title. The game was released in North America and the PAL region for the Nintendo Entertainment System in late 1988, almost two years after its initial release in Japan.
The Adventure of Link is a direct sequel to the original The Legend of Zelda, again involving the protagonist, Link, on a quest to save Princess Zelda, who has fallen under a sleeping spell. The Adventure of Link‘s emphasis on side-scrolling and role-playing elements, however, was a significant departure from its predecessor. As of 2016, the game remains the only technical sequel to the original title, as all other entries in the series either are prequels or take place in an alternative reality, according to the official Zelda timeline.
The game was a critical and financial success, and introduced elements such as Link’s “magic meter” and the Dark Link character that would become commonplace in future Zelda games, although the role-playing elements, such as experience points, and the platform-style side-scrolling and limited lives have not been used since in canonical games. The next installment in the Legend of Zelda series was The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Interesting Stuff about Development:
Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of the original The Legend of Zelda, intended to make Zelda II: The Adventure of Link fundamentally different from its predecessor. A different team was assembled to develop the game. However, Miyamoto (who was credited under the pseudonym “Miyahon”) was the producer, and Takashi Tezuka returned to write the story and script.Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was directed by Tadashi Sugiyama (credited as “Sugiyan”), for whom it was the first project at Nintendo. The game’s music was composed by Akito Nakatsuka (credited as “Tsukasan”).