The Anatomy of Zelda II: VII. Combat

We explored Zelda II‘s RPG lineage, but the game properly falls under the category of “action RPG.” Unlike just about other title I can think of that people cram under that term, though, Zelda II really and truly deserves the name. Its structure is straight-up classic RPG, full of fetch quests for NPCs, dungeons to […]

The Anatomy of Zelda II - VI. Pixie Dust

With the Hammer in hand, the road to the third palace is anything but straightforward. On the other hand, neither is it overwhelming. The Hammer effectively makes you lord and master of the western half of Zelda II‘s overworld; you can travel anywhere you like on the western continent with ease. However, reaching the next […]

Anatomy of Zelda II - V. Homecoming

After completing the Swamp Palace, or else just swiping the Glove and streaking past while flipping the finger to the palace’s true objective of returning the crystal to the statue at the end, you embark on what easily stands as one of Adventure of Link‘s strongest sequences: Death Mountain. The Death Mountain portion of the […]

The Anatomy of Zelda II - IV. Swamped

Beyond the big jump that leads to the world beyond Link’s starting area, you’ll find another self-contained region housing another of the game’s palace dungeons. This area is largely submerged by swamps and overgrown by forests; the former are annoying to traverse as Link moves at half-speed on an overworld swamp tile, while random battles […]

The Anatomy of Zelda II - III. Link’s (Dragon) Quest

I forgot to mention it before, but in this series (as in all these Anatomy articles) the overwhelming majority of images you see here have been provided courtesy of Because Rey is rad. The more I play of Zelda II, the more I’m struck by the realization that Nintendo must have been heavily influenced […]

The Anatomy of Zelda II – II. Parapa

Say, did you know that the name of the palace around which this update revolves — Parapa — is one letter removed from the name of a popular PlayStation character? Yep. Glad we could get that out of the way. Despite what I wrote in the previous update about the opening screen of Zelda II […]

The Anatomy of Zelda II - I. Genre Shift

Welcome to the beginning of the latest chapter of Anatomy of a Game. You can read more musings on The Legend of Zelda‘s design at the Anatomy of a Game landing page, and thoughts on the NES Castlevania trilogy are also available for digestion both online and in a self-published book. And now, let’s dissect The […]

Nobody loves Grant Danasty

Looks like Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate: Superfluous Colons reviews have gone live across the Internet. A quick survey of scores shows surprisingly positive results. I won’t be reading any of them just yet — I’m finishing the game and posting a review to 1UP as a sort of send-off. After all, I got […]