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Legend of Zelda Winter Solstice

Hack of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Description:

“THE MEMORY OF GANON FADES. BUT, ON THE LONGEST,DARKEST DAY,THE WINTER SOLSTICE, HE IS ABLE TO ONCE MORE TAKE PHYSICAL FORM AND COVER THE LAND IN TERROR AND ANGUISH. OUR HERO MUST DESTROY THE DARKNESS, SAVE ZELDA, AND SEAL OFF EVIL WITH THE HELP OF THE TRIFORCE IN ANOTHER ADVENTURESOME QUEST….1987 NINTENDO”

What’s new

  • palaces
  • maps
  • gfx
  • music
  • bigger areas
  • dialogue
  • puzzles
  • story

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Zelda II - The Adventure of Link (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: Nintendo Entertainment System (v. 20180803-121122)
  • File SHA-1: 353489A57F24A429572E76BD455BC51D821F7036
  • File CRC32: E3C788B0
  • ROM SHA-1: 11333ADB723A5975E0ECCA3AEE8F4747AA8D2D26
  • ROM CRC32: BA322865

Links:

Screenshots:


Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
itemdropDesignDesign
CF207HackingPrimary hacking and ASM work
BentGlassTubeMusicMusic

User Review Information

Such Potential Marred By Bad Design Choices

Reviewed By: SapphireDrew on 26 Mar 2020

Having beaten this hack, I have to admit that it has potential, but sadly, that potential is ruined by the fact that for every thing this hack does right, it does that many more things wrong. Throughout my live streams of this hack, I found myself constantly saying iterations of, “Was that really necessary?” and “Oh, c’mon!” as I found myself confronted with a variety of bad design choices including, but not limited to: Unbalanced and punishing Overworld enemies that have much higher health and yield half or less of their normal XP values (these battle scenes were so unrewarding that I found myself fleeing instead of fighting because they were more trouble than they were worth), Mario Maker-esque trolls and unfair deaths (such as a runaway Daira in a beginning cave that body slams you out of nowhere into an instant death pit mid-jump, a Mu you can’t really see in the dark that trips you into lava, along with the repeated use of overall generally frustrating enemy placements near said death pits), several cases of enemy / hazard spam, numerous one-way passages that send you back to the beginning (although I can’t really hold a grudge against that given Zelda 1 has done this often in the 2nd Quest), clues that were either too vague or misleading, a HorseHead in Palace 1 that’s been so buffed (and now has a Blue Iron Knuckle as a bodyguard) that the World Record strat is to SKIP it entirely until much later into the game (likewise with the two containers found in the Lost Woods that most likely shouldn’t be near the beginning of the game), needless restrictions on an already challenging Thunderbird fight (more on that later), and just generally not fun level designs for the most part. A lot of this I feel could’ve been offset by treating the player more fairly and giving the player a higher number of starting lives, perhaps 5, to minimize the repetition that results from the inevitably high number of Game Overs players will get (unless they cheat and use Save States).

Despite its flaws, the world map is fun and rewarding to explore if you have the patience to deal with the above stated issues. Various unlockable shortcuts make returning to a part of the Overworld you got Game Over in less painful. You can continue in a Palace if you get Game Over.

Eastern Hyrule is where the designer seems to warms up and the Palace designs start to become fun and engaging, along with having more vivid themes, with my personal favorite being Palace 5 - the Sand / Seashell Palace. Honestly I wish every palace in this hack could’ve been as rewarding as Palace 5 (although I feel the Barba fight might be near impossible without “jackhammering”, plus the boss key has the potential to fall into the “quicksand” and screwing the player if they broke the collapsible ground near the center). Palace 6 was good too despite making me rage in the moment from being sent back to the beginning one time too many. The Carock fight in said Palace is much more interactive and fun than his vanilla Z2 counterpart. The Great Palace was actually relaxing and perhaps the easiest palace to navigate despite its scope, with my only complaints being the Thunderbird fight given the addition of both instant death pits and the inability to cast any spell OTHER than Thunder (no shield, no reflect, no life), and the lackluster music that replaced the Great Palace’s theme.

Speaking of music, I can’t write this review without praising how amazing the new Shadow Link battle theme is.

While this last part is mostly just a nitpick, I’m also really disappointed by the fact that despite the story claiming that Ganon “has taken physical form once more”, Ganon is no where to be found in this hack except the Game Over screen which hasn’t been edited at all (Return of Ganon? You just said he’s already back…). You hear an ominous Ganon laugh several times in Great Palace, hoping for a new boss fight instead of just Shadow Link, but alas, Ganon is nowhere to be found. Where is this physical form we were promised? This just defeated the entire lore and point of the hack. Link braves the elements and more to fight a threat that never existed…

To conclude, I hope some day that this hack will get some much needed polish. Until then, I cannot recommend it.

Version 1.1 Recommended - No

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
Great Love Letter to Zelda 2EnchantressOfNumbers24 Feb 20201.1Yes
The best Zelda 2 hackScorpion__Max24 Feb 20201.1Yes
A frustrating waste of timegamedominator0621 Feb 20201.1No
Such Potential Marred By Bad Design ChoicesSapphireDrew26 Mar 20201.1No
Overratedazeryn18 Feb 20201.1No
Was skeptical, but impressedKevvyLava21 Feb 20201.1Yes
A great hackAntii8508 Feb 20201.1Yes
Excellent and beautifulriiyak06 Feb 20201.1Yes
Very cool mod that really goes the extra mile!lexluthermiester06 Feb 20201.1Yes