Zelda II: The Adventure of Link/Differences from Zelda I

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link bears little resemblance to the first game. It features side-scrolling areas within a larger world map rather than the top-down view of the previous title. The game incorporates a strategic combat system and more RPG elements, including an experience points (EXP) system, magic spells, and more interaction with non-player characters (NPCs). Link has extra lives, a feature which is not included in any other The Legend of Zelda game.

The game's emphasis on side-scrolling and RPG-style elements was a significant departure from its predecessor, and has given it a reputation as the "black sheep" of The Legend of Zelda series. Despite never being as popular as its predecessor, it was still one of the most successful NES games of all time and introduced elements that would become commonplace in future Zelda games. In its time it was voted "Best Overall Game" in the Nintendo Power Awards '88, was ranked in Nintendo Power's Top 5 games from their January/February 1989 through July/August 1990 issues, and stayed consistently in their Top 30 (later Top 20) NES Titles from the game's introduction in the September/October 1988 issue until the NES Top 20 was phased out in January 1995. In 1992, a sequel, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, was released for the Super Nintendo.

The game involves the protagonist Link on a quest to save Princess Zelda, who has fallen under a sleeping spell.