Zelda II: Adventure of Link

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link arrives in the Nintendo eShop today — no longer exclusive to the Ambassador Program. Now’s your chance to play one of the oddest games in the series.

Trust me, Zelda II is tough. My experience with it dates back to childhood, when I swore to beat it after the Nintendo Entertainment System wiped my save file and my sisters “forgot” what happened at the end. (Dear sisters: Bite me.) This is a quest that will probably continue until my death.

But The Adventure of Link is one of my favorites, and I’ve played it on the NES, Game Boy Advance, and now the 3DS. (It’s available on the GameCube and Virtual Console, too.) Yet no matter what system I play it on, the controls remain as stubborn and unintuitive as ever, particularly when it comes to saving your game. Unless you record your progress when you die, saving midgame on the 3DS is a six-step process. Seriously, check the virtual manual.

Below is a look at how some of the weirdest parts of Zelda II compare to other games in the series.

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