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Zelda II - Amida's Curse

Hack of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link


One day Link finds a portal to a strange land. Curious he starts exploring the magical world of Amida. Little does he know, that he’s on a brand new adventure that will take him to places he couldn’t have imagined. Amida has a deep emotional link to our hero. Can Link unravel the secrets of Amida and return to his own world?

Zelda II – Amida’s Curse is a brand new Zelda II adventure. The game has been build up from the ground. With a new world, new graphics and an original soundtrack by bentglasstube. The focus of Amida’s Curse lies on exploration above combat. Gameplay has been altered to make this, above all, a fun gaming experience. So, difficulty is lower than the original Zelda II, there are no cheap deaths and grinding isn’t necessary.

This has been a passion project spanning over 18 months of development time. A huge thanks to all people involved in making Zelda II – Amida’s Curse truly shine! You will find much more info in the ReadMe!

Now, go explore! A whole new world is waiting for you!


  • 9 new temples to explore (vs 7 in vanilla Zelda II).
  • 11 new towns to visit (vs 8 in vanilla Zelda II).
  • New soundtrack.
  • Brand new overworld.
  • New story.
  • New graphics.
  • Animated tiles on the overworld.
  • Balanced difficulty, no cheap deaths.
  • No random encounters on the overworld.
  • Loads of gameplay tweaks (building on Zelda II Redux).
  • Lives you find are permanent.
  • No grinding necessary.
  • Enemy rebalancing, no more huge HP pools.
  • Press A as a Fairy to instantly return to your normal form.
  • Temple stones give fixed EXP.
  • Fairy can’t fly through doors.
  • Save anywhere by pressing up and A on the start menu. Be aware though, that you’ll be warped back to the starting point of the game. So, only use this option when you want to stop playing.
  • And so much more…

Watch the release trailer here:

Find the original soundtrack here:

Or listen on Spotify here:

Download the NES Boxart (by Fishwerks) here:

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Zelda II - The Adventure of Link (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: Nintendo Entertainment System (v. 20210216-231042)
  • File SHA-1: 353489A57F24A429572E76BD455BC51D821F7036
  • File CRC32: E3C788B0
  • ROM SHA-1: 11333ADB723A5975E0ECCA3AEE8F4747AA8D2D26
  • ROM CRC32: BA322865




ContributorType of contributionListed credit
Ok Impala!ProductionDesign, Graphics, Story, Hacking
bentglasstubeMusicOriginal Soundtrack, Hacking and ASM
TraxHackingHacking and ASM
ShadowOne333HackingZelda 2 Redux

User Review Information

The first genuinely great Zelda II hack has arrived!

Reviewed By: Will Mistretta on 04 Dec 2021

I’ve long wanted to showcase a quality ROM hack of one of my favorite NES classics, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Problem was, I couldn’t find one. Now, unlike some, I’ve never considered the regular game to be overly challenging or unfair. That said, it teeters right on the edge at times, and most hackers are all too eager to nudge it off into the abyss of obnoxiousness. After years of being let down by grueling Kaizo style gauntlets clearly geared toward expert speedrunners, I had almost given up. Enter Ok Impala!, who just earlier this Fall partnered with bentglasstube, Trax, and ShadowOne333 to bring us Zelda II: Amida’s Curse. What a breath of fresh air this one is! It’s less difficult than before, yet not to the degree that veterans will be bored. More importantly, it switches up the world and level design just enough to provide a new perspective on what can be accomplished within the confines of the familiar Zelda II engine.

You may be wondering who Amida is. Well, it’s a matter of where, not who. Amida is the strange world Link finds himself trapped in when he passes through an unexplained one-way portal. That’s the extent of the storyline: Explore Amida to find a way back to Hyrule. Hey, it beats another princess to save.

Given how unlikely it is that you’re reading this without knowing what Zelda II is and how it plays, you’ll forgive me if I cut to the chase. What makes Amida’s Curse such an interesting hack is its emphasis on thoughtful exploration over endless combat. It wastes no time differentiating itself with the removal of the vanilla game’s random overworld encounters. You have all the time in the world to poke around the wilds of Amida without fear of unwanted interruption.

This same approach carries over to the dungeons (or temples, as they’re called here), which have fewer monsters and a correspondingly greater focus on ferreting out hidden paths. These passages are usually hinted at in some way, either via oddities in the architecture or clues from NPCs. Later temples in particular have an entirely different feel than their base game counterparts. Think extended brain teasers as opposed to simple tests of survival. Some of the tricks they employ can throw you for a loop in the nicest way. A boss might appear at an unexpected place or time to effectively ambush you, for example.

Major changes to the baseline mechanics are few, but impactful. The extra life dolls Link acquires are now added to his starting pool of lives on every subsequent continue, turning them from one of the least essential prizes to one of the most. Further, the range of his sword beam has been doubled, although it can still only be fired off when at full health and is as useless as ever against larger foes. Oh, and the Fairy spell can now be canceled with a tap of the jump button. No more flying up to an item you can’t grab in fairy form!

I also have to mention the pleasing facelift Amida’s Curse benefits from. Link and many of his antagonists are sporting excellent revamped sprites and the overworld now includes animated water and swamp tiles. As great as these additions look, it’s the soundtrack by bentglasstube that steals the show. The adventurous tone that characterized Akito Nakatsuka’s Zelda II score gives way to one of brooding mystery, neatly mirroring the game’s overall shift from action to exploration.

In terms of negatives, Zelda II was already a significantly less freeform experience than its predecessor, and Amida’s Curse leans even harder into linearity. There’s relatively little wiggle room to complete dungeons or obtain critical items and powers out of their intended order. The quest is so enthralling that you likely won’t be put off by how strictly regimented it is the first time around. It doesn’t exactly bode well for the hack’s replay value, though.

Curse’s second problem (if you can call it that) is its lack of any truly new gameplay elements. The absolute best NES fan works all go the extra mile by including things like unique player abilities or enemies with no equivalents in the source material. This is what sets my current Holy Trinity of NES Hacks (Castlevania: The Holy Relics, Metroid: Rogue Dawn, and Super Mario Bros. 3Mix) apart from the crowd. You won’t find anything comparable to that here. Link, his gear, his spells, and his opponents are all fundamentally their old familiar selves, albeit gussied up and rearranged in novel fashion.

Make no mistake, however: Amida’s Curse is far and away the finest Zelda II ROM hack I’ve come across as of this writing. Its unparalleled inventiveness, attention to detail, and willingness to embrace a design philosophy other than “more of the same, but harder” put it in a class by itself. If you have any love for the original—hell, even if you’ve only wanted to love it—you’re in for a rare treat. May there be more like it.

Version 1.7 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
One the best hacks out there!kaine2302 Jan 20221.8Yes
If you love Zelda II, you will love this.Verygreedy30 Dec 20211.8Yes
Wonderful to play. Just a pleasure to playRayofJay29 Dec 20211.8Yes
Good hack so far, but...maybe false advertising?Blazing23 Dec 20211.7Yes
Absolutely wonderful game. Probably the bestSun08 Jan 20221.7Yes
The first genuinely great Zelda II hack has arrived!Will Mistretta04 Dec 20211.7Yes
A Brand New Zelda 2 Experience Worth PlayingMattKimura18 Nov 20211.6Yes
As a huge Z2 fan, I loved it!riverman_paul18 Nov 20211.6Yes
Awesome!blinkthief18 Nov 20211.6Yes
Another exceptional Zelda2 complete hack~lexluthermiester15 Nov 20211.6Yes
The best Zelda-II hack I've played!!8.bit.fan15 Nov 20211.6Yes
The only Zelda II game that nails exploration!lilo-san13 Nov 20211.2Yes
Fun and Creative HackreMACKARio11 Nov 20211.2Yes
Feels like what Nintendo might have done for a direct sequelKevvyLava07 Nov 20211.4Yes
The Sequel's Sequel!jm10288706 Nov 20211.4Yes
One of the best Zelda 2 hacksLigeia05 Nov 20211.4Yes
Nails the feeling of explorationdeforres05 Nov 20211.4Yes
A fun experience for those who like Zelda 2Metal Man 900003 Nov 20211.3Yes
The passion in this passion project really shows! (SPOILERS)MetalSmasher8601 Nov 20211.2Yes
Zelda 2 Diehard Fans Will Not be Disappointedpkhilson31 Oct 20211.2Yes
Highly recommendedFox Cunning30 Oct 20211.2Yes
Enjoyable hack that captures the essence of Z2walranium29 Oct 20211.2Yes
Anti-grinding, anti-combat, anti-funHaniel29 Oct 20211.2No
Good hackYoshiWhite6228 Oct 20211.2Yes
RefreshingMiralupa28 Oct 20211.2Yes
Simply put... Amazinghdofu27 Oct 20211.0Yes