I missed the whole zelda craze in the late 1980s. My mother won't get me the Zelda games because she thought they were evil. Not sure why, but she wouldn't let us get the first Zelda. That being the case, never got Zelda II either.
Then in 1992, when Link to the Past came out, apparently my mom forgot it was evil and got the game for my brother's Christmas present. Naturally, I played that game to death and have beaten it countless times. Also beat Link's Awakening and Ocarina of time both when they came out.
So in 1999 I decided to go thru the original LoZ, the game I missed all those years ago. Beat both quests that year and have played thru the game several times since then.
I got Zelda II at Funco land the same year (1999), wrote an article for a retrogaming site (nintendoland.com) defending the game, but only got thru the first palace then. The difficulty really got to me on that one, and then there's always the fear of losing the data (something we don't have to worry abou with the Wii). That would suck to make it to TBird and then lose your data without beating him!!
I always wanted to play Zelda II, so I went thru the game on emulator in November 2007, using save states, etc. Liked it so much went thru it a second time on emulator in January this year. But I knew save states are kinda cheap, and I wanted to do the full enchilada. I didn't think I could really do it that well because I thought Zelda 2 was so hard, and only the save states got me thru. (Beat the original Ninja Gaiden with save states -- but that's a game I don't want to try beating without -- that game's freaking impossible).
So I decided I wanted the experience -- I bought Zelda II for the Virtual Console back when it came out, but just like when I bought the original NES cartridge in 1999 didn't get very far in it. This time, I went thru the entire game.
Let me tell you, playing with save states drastically alters the way you play. When I was playing live, without save states, you get a lot more careful, and not only that, because the way Zelda II is set up, you level then you kill off your men so you can save and then start whatever palace you're on with a fresh 3 men. Also you end up using the red magic jars at the start of the four palaces a lot more as well.
But today, I'm proud to say, I beat Zelda II on the Wii. Fire Road (the way to the Great Palace) took me a while to get past (because those bastard blue eye guys would knock me off into the lava), but I got to the great palace. I got to Thunder bird with two guys after picking up the xtra man in the gp, died against him the first two times, then messed up with my magic the third time so i didn't have enough to active the thunder spell.
Second time was a charm though. Got to Thunderbird with two of my three men left, died because I didn't have enough magic or health for that matter. Then with only one man left I beat Thunderbird, defeated dark link, and finished the game for the first time today (not counting the two times on emulator). My total life count was 30, but I guess that's not too bad for a first time. About five or six of those was on the last palace just getting there.
I'm so pumped to at long last say I've beaten Zelda II. To tell the truth, I think I like it better then LoZ, only because they've remade that in every subsequent installment since then.
Another thing about save states -- sure the game is hard, but using save states I thought it was lot harder than it was. Sure, Zelda II is no cakewalk, but the game is certainly beatable.
The original message was too long, had to post in two parts. this is the remainder of the original post:
I really wish I had gotten both games when they first came out. Lot of fun.
Next stop -- beating Legend of Zelda II - Rinku No Bouken on the Famicom Disc System! Emulator of course, but they say there are quite a few differences between the fds and the NES version, especially leveling up.
Also, my mom's a really good person. One of the people I admire most in my life. Guess everyone can be a little off track sometimes, but she was just doing what she thought was best.