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    Game Challenges FAQ by Aspie Giraffe

    Version: 5.01 | Updated: 03/01/08 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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    -------------------The Adventure of--------------------
    LL         LII           INN  NNNNNN   NNKK  KKKKKK  KK
    ------------------GAME CHALLENGES FAQ------------------
    ----------------------VERSION 5.01---------------------
    FAQ Written By:
    `   |_|_
    `   /0  \   
    `  `~-_ o\    Aspie
    `      \ o\     Giraffe
    `       \o \____
    `       | o o o \_/
    `       |o_o_o_o|
    `       | |    | \
    `       \ \    \  \
    Zelda 2 and it's instructions manual are property of
    Nintendo, (c) 1988, all rights reserved.
    This FAQ is property of Aspie Giraffe, Copyright 2/11/02, all rights reserved. 
    Any relation to guide books or other websites dedicated to Zelda 2 are 
    purely coincential, for this FAQ was put together by experience of playing 
    the game without any form of manual or other FAQs. Feel free to distribute 
    this FAQ or link this FAQ to your website. Just be sure to give the proper 
    credit where it's due.
    I have removed my e-mail info, because I don't have time to answer questions
    about video games anymore. You may best consult another FAQ if you have
    questions regarding Zelda 2.
    Last Updated: 3/2/08
    UPDATES (Version 5.01)
    No significant changes to this FAQ, other than changing my contributor
    info. The rest of the FAQ remains as-is.
    UPDATES (Version 5.0)
    My Zelda 2 Challenges FAQ gets more hits than any other FAQ 
    I've written. I've grown tired of kids flooding my inbox 
    with stupid comments, such as 'why can't I do this?' or 
    'this challenge is IMPOSSIBLE!' etc. To put it simply, I'm 
    grown up, out of college, and making a living. I have better
    things to do. In fact, I haven't written a FAQ in 3 years. 
    No disrespect to the hard core NES gamers out there or to 
    newbies alike. I just don't have the patience or time to 
    sort out e-mails anymore. 
    So for that reason, ***I have removed my e-mail info.***
    You can still find my e-mail by selecting my name on the
    GameFAQs site, but I can assure you I have filters in place.
    I literally don't have ANY time dedicated to video gaming
    anymore. At the most, I will be finishing a couple incomplete
    FAQs before the year is over, and then I'm pretty much done
    with FAQ writing for a long while.
    To make a long story short, if you truly have a problem with 
    the more basic functions of Zelda 2, I recommend consulting 
    another FAQ.
    The biggest update was to clean up the mess on the
    challenges section. It should be much more presentable now.
    Most older update additions that were related to changes
    that I've deleted have been removed, with exception of 
    references to other users or FAQs.
    UPDATES (Version 4.0)
    Finally, there is an alternative Death Mountain path for the 
    Time Trial FAQ, as well as the theory that Zelda 2 can be beat 
    in under 90 minutes (not just 120).
    UPDATES (Version 3.0)
    Another large overhaul on this FAQ. This time, I have added
    more depth to the Attack Level challenge, by listing total
    hits to kill each monster by Attack Level.
    I have also figured out how to earn more exp in Death
    Mountain by taking a more dangerous route. In the long run,
    it resulted in faster level-up.
    More spelling corrections and errors corrected. 
    UPDATES (Version 2.0)
    WALKTHOUGH ADDITION -- As promised, a Walkthough has been
    added to the Game Challenges FAQ. However, rather than
    the flawless low-stats strategy (which it more difficult
    than my skills can handle), I have decided to do a Time
    Trial FAQ. I have read on message boards that some are
    having a difficult time trying to beat Zelda 2 in under 2
    hours. I have made a walkthrough that does just that.
    SPELLING CORRECTIONS -- This has to be my sloppiest FAQ to
    date. Now that I am older and wiser, I have gone back to
    correct the spelling and punctuation errors. I have also
    removed some of the clutter that really made this FAQ
    really lousy.
    Thus concludes the update section.
    (And I do mean that)
    I hope to overhaul the Time Trial FAQ. But when will my
    busy life allow it? I'd rather add a link to a better
    Time Trial FAQ, but one hasn't been written yet.
    I can't emphasize just how deeply I enjoy playing Zelda
    2: The Adventure of Link. I've played it over and over
    repeatedly since the late 80's. Disappointed that there
    was no second quest, I opted to create my own replay
    value. To do this, I tried beating it in other ways:
    Low-Level Life. Low-Level Magic. Low-Level Attack. 
    Skipping items. Time trials. A combination of all
    of the above. Doing these things, I realized just how
    much replay value I discovered on my own. 18 years
    later, the black sheep of the Zelda series has
    emerged as my #1 favorite NES game. Hey, I am an Aspie;
    it's better to be different than predictable.
    This FAQ was designed to give a general basis on the
    different challenges that you can present yourself if
    you feel beating Zelda 2 has become too easy. Trust me,
    it's never easy the first dozen times playing the
    normal way.
    So as you may of guessed, this is NOT for the novice
    Zelda 2 gamer. The assumption is that you have digested
    every move, every strategy, every aspect, and every
    secret of Zelda 2. It took me 16 years to master the
    challenges I'm listing, and even two years after that,
    I still have problems with Time Trials. Though I do 
    have a few general strategies for each, I would suggest 
    consulting other FAQs and start practicing.
    Now before I start, there are now several formats
    of Zelda 2 available. But if you want the easiest time
    with the Challenges, I recommend an NES copy. The NES
    has a user-friendly controller, and you also get the
    benefit of a large picture tube image and no lag time.
    You can also do Game Boy Advance, but I have real
    difficulties timing my jumps on such a small screen.
    (what can I say? I'm used to the old-school.) Likewise, 
    I DON'T recommend emulators of ANY kind. I've noticed 
    an apparent lag time on some emulators, and Link also 
    does some weird things if you press both Left and 
    Right at the same time. Awkward controls will only 
    hinder your performance, and the NES is the least 
    awkward of them all.
    CHALLENGES (Listed from Least to Most Difficult, based
    on my own experience.)
    --------------CHALLENGE I: LEVEL 1 LIFE-----------------
    -----------Not For the Weak At Heart (GROAN)------------
    The lower Link's life level, the more damage he will take. 
    A novice gamer will opt to raise Life first (as it is the 
    easiest to build) and abuse the SHIELD & LIFE spells at 
    every possible opportunity. 
    Actually, doing this will help the novice gamer in the
    long run. When first starting out, you'll have 
    difficulties figuring out Link's mechanics and how he 
    performs his actions (this alone is a challenge in
    itself.) In addition, every monster has their own
    strengths and weaknesses. So building life and SHIELDing
    is an excellent way to practice against each type of
    STRATEGY: It's very difficult to avoid damage in Zelda
    2, but here's a general strategy to scrape by in the
    Level 1 Life challenge:
    ****1.) Take as few hits as possible. As mentioned, every
    `       monster has a pattern and strategy to defeat them.
    `       Many existing FAQs already have strategies for
    `       monsters and bosses.
    ****2.) Abuse the SHIELD spell. It will half all damage
    `       delivered to you. Not sure about your skills or
    `       the monsters that lie ahead? Throw up SHIELD and
    `       give yourself some breathing room.
    ****3.) Level-Up ATTACK. The fewer hits you deal to 
    `       monsters, the less time you deal with them, and 
    `       the less time they have to deal damage to you. 
    LINK'S WORDS: This section is done in the first person
    by Link himself. He has prevented the resurrection of
    Ganon many times, and in his own words, he will describe
    the challenges he faced with his various handicaps.
    Also, he's done it all. He knows all the secrets, all
    the items, etc. If he seems to be skipping the locations
    of many items that you already know about, it's assumed
    he's already picked them up on the way.
    I will spend extra time building my ATTACK skill. The 
    Skulls in the 1st Palace gives an early head-start on 
    that. When my ATTACK is at Level 4 and my 'Next' is 2,000, 
    I'm ready to fight Horsehead. This way, after the 1st
    Palace, my stats are 5 - 1 - 1. Between Palace 1 and 
    Death Mountain, I will level MAGIC to 3 with the various
    encounters and Point Bags along the way. My stats are
    now 5 - 3 - 1. 
    This for me is sufficient enough to last me until the
    2nd Palace, which by then, I've already leveled, or 
    am about to level, my ATTACK to 6.
    After my ATTACK is at 6, I get my 'Next' to that massive
    number for Level 7 ATTACK, and finish the 2nd Palace. My 
    stats are now 7 - 3 - 1. 
    See my strategy? I build my ATTACK power early, so that
    I can make short work out of every monster that crosses
    my path. 
    In the 3rd Palace, EXP becomes less important, because 
    I only need to skip my MAGIC level-up. So now, I 
    can avoid fighting monsters that are not in my way. 
    When I finish the 3rd Palace, I get the option of 
    maxing ATTACK, or distributing all, or part, of your 
    8,000 exp to my lagging MAGIC level. That said, 
    I level MAGIC 2 TIMES, which will leave me at 7 - 5 - 1 
    with 6,100 EXP left heading into the eastern continent.
    When I'm ready for the 4th Palace, I will only go there 
    to get the BOOTS, level ATTACK to 8, then go straight 
    to the 5th Palace. There's a ton of EXP to be found in 
    the 5th Palace, and it won't take too long to max my
    Magic. By the time, or after I defeat Gooma, my stats
    are maxed for this challenge at 8 - 8 - 1.
    From there, I go back and finish the 4th Palace and blow
    through the rest of the game, all the while abusing my 
    SHIELD spell and not fighing monsters I don't have to. 
    Those who do will have the unfortunate experience of 
    tasting my overly-powered sword. At this point of my
    heroic career of defeating bad buys, taking hits doesn't 
    happen except by accident. And half the battle in all my
    adventures is not getting hit.
    So how low can you go? Can you do it with Level 1 Life?
    Can you do it without SHIELD or LIFE? How about with
    fewer life containers? If you don't take hits at all, 
    then the sky's the limit. 
    To conclude, here is the old damage chart from my
    previous update. This tells you how much damage Link 
    will take when touched by monsters or projectiles at a
    Level 1 Life (It is listed in BARS, not in POINTS.) 
    Each bar of Life is equal to 16 points.)
    Area Legend
    W = Western Overworld
    E = Eastern Overworld
    C = Caves
    P = Palaces
    G = Great Palace
                     |    | Damage|Effect |
                     |    |   if  | From  |
    Monster          |Area|Touched|Touch  |
    Ache             | C  |  1/2  | None  |
    Ache             |Town| 1 1/2 | None  |
    Acheman          |W/C | 1 1/2 | None  |
    Bago-Bago        | W  |   1   |-10 exp|
                     | E  | 1 1/2 | None  |
    Bot (Red)        | W  |  1/2  | None  |
    Bot (Blue)       | W  |  1/2  | None  |
                     | P  |   1   | None  |
                     | G  |   3   | None  |
    Daira (Orange)   | C  | 1 1/2 | None  |
    Daira (Red)      | C  | 1 1/2 | None  |
    Deeler (Red/Blue)|W/E |  1/2  | None  |
    Dreadhawk (Red)  | G  | 4 1/2 | None  |
    Fire Dragon      | E  |   3   | None  |
    Geldarm          | W  |   1   | None  |
    Ghost Wizard     | P  |   3   | None  |
    Giant Bot        | G  |   3   | None  |
    Giant Skull      | G  |   3   |-Magic |
    Goriya (Orange)  | W  |   1   | None  |
    Goriya (Red)     | C  |   1   | None  |
    Goriya (Blue)    | C  |   1   | None  |
    Hammer Bro       | P  | 1 1/2 | None  |
    Hawk Knight (Red)| G  |   7   | None  |
    HawkKnight (Blue)| G  |   7   | None  |
    Iron Knuckle (Or)| P  | 1 1/2 | None  |
    Iron Knuckle (Rd)| P  |   3   | None  |
    Iron Knuckle (Bl)| P  |   3   | None  |
    Killer Bee       | E  |   1   | None  |
    Leever           | E  | 4 1/2 | None  |
    Lizard Man (Or)  | E  |   3   | None  |
    Lizard Man (Red) | E  | 4 1/2 | None  |
    Lizard Man (Blue)| E  | 4 1/2 | None  |
    Lowder           | C  |  1/2  | None  |
    MegMat           | W  |   1   | None  |
    Mini Horsehead   | P  |  1/2  |-10 exp|
    Moa (Red)        | W  | 1 1/2 |-20 exp|
    Moa (Shelled)    | E  | 4 1/2 | None  |
    Moa (Town)       | E  |   3   | None  |
    Moa (Blue)       | E  |   3   |-20 exp|
    Moa (Palace)     | P  |   3   |-10 exp|
    Moblin (Or Chrge)| W  |  1/2  |-10 exp|
    Moblin (Or Throw)| W  |  1/2  | None  |
    Moblin (Red)     | W  |   1   | None  |
    Moblin (Blue)    | W  |   1   | None  |
    Moby             | W  |  1/2  |-10 exp|
    Myu              |C/P |   1   | None  |
    Myu (GreatPalace)| G  |   3   | None  |
    Octorok (Red)    | W  |   1   | None  |
    Octorok (Blue)   | E  |   1   | None  |
    Rope (Blue)      | P  |   1   | None  |
    Rope (Red)       | G  | 4 1/2 | None  |
    Scorpion         | E  | 4 1/2 | None  |
    Skull            | P  |  1/2  |-Magic |
    Stalfos (RedSkel)| P  |   1   | None  |
    Stalfos (BlSkel) | P  |   1   | None  |
    Stalfos (RedKni) | P  |   3   | None  |
    Stalfos (BlKni)  | P  | 1 1/2 | None  |
    Statue Head 1    | P  |  1/2  |-10 exp|
    Statue Head 1(Or)| G  |   3   |-10 exp|
    Statue Head 2    | P  |  1/2  |-10 exp|
    Stone Warrior    | P  |   3   | None  |
    Tektite          | E  | 1 1/2 | None  |
    Wizzrobe         | P  |   3   | None  |
    Here's the boss chart:
                        |      | Damage|
                        |      |   if  |
    Boss Monster        |Palace|Touched|
    Horse Head          |   1  | 1 1/2 |
    Helmet Head         |   2  | 1 1/2 |
    Mounted Ironknuckle | 3, 6 |   3   |
    Carock              |   4  |   3   |
    Gooma               |   5  |   7   |
    Barba               |   6  |   7   |
    Thunderbird         |   7  |   0*  |
    Evil Link           |   7  | 4 1/2 |
    *Thunderbird only damages w/ fire. His body doesn't
    seem to damage Link upon physical contact.
    Now, here's the projectile damage chart.
    Projectile       |Monster/Boss     |Damage |Shield?|
    Axe              |Red Daria        |   3   |  No   |
    Ball 'N Chain    |GOOMA            |   7   |  NO*  |
    Blue Projectile  |Tektite          |   3   |  Yes  |
                     |Statue Head 1, 2 |  1/2  |  Yes  |
                     |HELMET HEAD      |   3   |  Yes  |
    Boomerang        |Goriya All Types | 1 1/2 |  Yes  |
    Boulder Rock     |Octorok          |   1   |  Yes  |
                     |Killer Bee       |   1   |  Yes  |
                     |Bago-Bago        |   1   |  Yes  |
    Fire             |Scorpion         |   3   |  No   |
                     |Palace Moa       |   3   |  No   |
                     |Wizzrobe         |   3   |  No   |
                     |Gr. Palace Rope  |   1   |  No   |
                     |Dreakhawk        | 4 1/2 |  No   |
                     |BARBA            |   7   |  No   |
                     |THUNDERBIRD      |   7   |  No   |
    Hammer           |Hammer Bro       | 1 1/2 |  No   |
    Mace             |Blue Lizardman   | 4 1/2 |  No   |
                     |Stone Warrior    |   3   |  No   |
    Magic            |Ghost Wizard     |   3   |  Yes# |
                     |CAROCK           |   3   |  Yes# |
    Sword Projectile |Blue Ironknuckle |   3   |  Yes  |
                     |MOUNTED IRONKNUCK|   3   |  Yes  |
                     |Red HawkKnight   |   3   |  Yes  |
                     |Blue HawkKnight  |   3   |  Yes  |
    *The Ball 'N Chain is the only weapon that can't be
    deflected with the shield, even with a Reflect spell.
    All other 'No' projectiles can be deflected with a
    Reflect spell.
    #Magic can be reflected back to the attacker with a
    Reflect spell.
    --------------CHALLENGE II : LEVEL 1 MAGIC-------------
    ------------*Fizzle* (A Wizardry reference)------------
    Magic plays an important role in many parts of Zelda 2. 
    There are certain areas where spellcasting becomes 
    essential to continuing on your quest. So an inept
    spellcasting Link will end up taking extra time to 
    In addition, the spells you relied on so heavily to 
    complete the Level 1 LIFE Challenge become less used
    in order to conserve Magic. In fact, before you even
    consider this challenge, I would suggest playing the
    Level 1 LIFE challenge until you can beat it without
    Magic, except for those few cases where you have no
    Though spells give you a set number of Magic Points
    required for casting, I've opted to list the MP use in
    BARS. Like with LIFE, each bar is the equivilent to 16
    Magic      |Description               |  MP Use
    Shield     |half-damage to Link       |     2
    Jump       |double jumping height     |     3
    Life       |+3 Bars of Life to Link   |Close to 5
    Fairy      |Link turns into fairy     |     5
    Fire       |Link's Sword shoots fire  |   7 1/2
    Reflect    |Shield deflects projectile|   7 1/2
    Spell      |Monsters become Bots      |   7 1/2
    Thunder    |Kill all monsters         |   7 1/2
    In one case, you may choose to skip an unnecessary spell
    altogether. For example, FIRE is useless, because you 
    don't have 7 and 1/2 bars of Magic until near the end. 
    If you find monsters that only die by fire, then your 
    best choice is to run!
    Speaking of needed spells, I've chronologically ordered,
    by area, when spells become a necessity. 
    1.) Cave south of Ruto. You need the JUMP spell. You
    can replenish your Magic in Saria.
    2.) FAIRY spell to get to the 3rd Palace. The entrance
    statue provides a red container. If it's an Ironknuckle,
    kill it for the EXP, exit, enter, and retry until you
    fill your magic.
    3.) REFLECT for Carrock...wait, you'll only have 7
    Bars of Magic, and you need 7 and 1/2. Get the Boots,
    skip the Boss, and come back when you have all 8 Bars
    of Magic. I usually save him for my 6th boss.
    4.) Two rooms into the 5th Palace, you'll have to FAIRY
    to scale the wall. But you'll have ample opportunities
    to refill your Magic here.
    5.) SPELL for the Magic Key. This is the only use for
    the SPELL spell, and shouldn't be used again. Use the
    old man to refill thereafter.
    6.) Two FAIRY spells in the 6th Palace. This may require
    sacrificing a life to do.
    7.) THUNDER for Thunderhawk. A hidden magic container
    to the left of the boss room provides the necessary
    Strategies: Because you need all your magic, SKULLS JUST 
    BECAME YOUR WORST ENEMY! They need but drain a little 
    more than half a bar and you can no longer cast half 
    your arsonal of magic. So if you intend to use them for 
    EXP hoarding, just be a little more careful than usual.
    If you absolutely need extra Magic in a pinch, you can
    either fight monsters until they drop Magic Containers,
    or you can sacrifice a life, if assuming you have one
    to sacrifice. Killing Link replenishes his Magic bar.
    LINK'S WORDS: ATTACK is still not off-limits, so
    I will spend extra time building my ATTACK skill. The 
    Skulls in the 1st Palace gives an early head-start on 
    that. Even though they're my worst enemy, I've grown 
    used to not using SHIELD so early in the game. When my 
    ATTACK is at Level 4 and my 'Next' is 2,000, I'm ready 
    to fight Horsehead. When my EXP bar gets to 2,000 after
    placing the crystal, I Level LIFE 3 TIMES. This will
    leave me with 800 EXP, and I will make it to Death
    Mountain with stats of 4 - 1 - 4. 
    By the time I'm half-way down Death Mountain, I'm close
    to my 2,000 Exp mark again, which then ATTACK gets leveled. 
    Even if I get battered around a bit, there's still 
    three red Magic Containers lying around (two in Death 
    Mountain, one in the Hammer Cave.) So if I need a LIFE 
    spell, I wait until I get to one of the Magic containers...
    but seriously, I should've used SHIELD when I had the 
    By the time I get the Hammer, the FAIRY spell, and my
    downstab, and everything else in-between, I should be 
    reaching pretty close to Level 6 ATTACK by the time I 
    get to the 2nd Palace.
    After my ATTACK is at 6, I get my 'Next' to that massive
    number for Level 7 ATTACK, and I can skip unnecessary
    monsters and finish the 2nd Palace. My stats are now 
    7 - 1 - 4
    See my strategy? I build my ATTACK power early, so that
    I can make short work out of every monster that crosses
    my path. 
    In the 3rd Palace, EXP becomes less important, because 
    I only need to skip my LIFE level-up. So now, I 
    can continue to avoid fighting monsters that are not 
    in my way. When I finish the 3rd Palace, I get the 
    option of maxing ATTACK, or distributing all, or part, 
    of my 8,000 exp to my mediocre LIFE level. It might 
    be needed if I'm having SHIELD withdrawal symptoms. But 
    in most cases, I drop ALL the EXP to my LIFE level. This 
    will give me the stats of 7 - 1 - 7 with 3,200 EXP 
    I can max out my LIFE by getting two of the point bags 
    on the Eastern Continent (the one south of the docking 
    area, and the one in the cave.) One forest encounter 
    later, LIFE is maxed out.
    When I'm ready for the 4th Palace, I will only go there 
    to get the BOOTS, then go straight to the 5th Palace. 
    Carrock is too powerful for me, as I don't have enough
    Magic to defeat him. (REFLECT cost 7 and 1/2 bars to
    cast at Level 1 MAGIC.) 
    The 5th Palace has LOADS of EXP. I should be able to
    max out my Attack, even before I reach Gooma.
    With my stats maxed at 8 - 1 - 8, I do all the stuff I
    need to do after the 5th Palace (Magic Key, final Magic 
    Container, 6th Palace, etc.) and then I will have to
    backtrack to the 4th Palace with a full 8 Bars of Magic
    (which can be a pain sometimes) to fight Carrock. Thanks 
    to the Magic Key, it's a quick and painless route to
    the Boss. 
    From there, it's on the way to the Final Palace with
    little Magic to save me. I know of the red magic 
    containers on the way to, and inside, the Final Palace
    (including the one near Thunderhawk,) so between my
    sword of kill-everything and my beefy life bar, I get
    there with no problem. Thunderhawk, on the other hand...
    I found him very difficult without any Magic other than
    THUNDER for my aid. My JUMP is small, my SHIELD is 
    missing, and without my REFLECT, I've noticed that 
    fireballs that touch my shield also damage me. (with
    REFLECT, some fireballs that touch my shield go through
    me and don't do damage. A curious phenomenom...) But 
    with nifty maneuvering and a quick sword, I still managed 
    to beat him. As always, my evil shadow didn't put up much
    of a fight. Perhaps he should invest in some armor 
    shin pads.
    -------------CHALLENGE III: LEVEL 1 ATTACK-------------
    --------------I Shalt Smite Thee Later???--------------
    Ever wondered if quantity was better than quality? I can
    tell you it's not. Even when the veteran Zelda 2 gamer
    goes out-of-practice for six or more months, this 
    challenge becomes difficult. 
    Your sword is weak throughout the game. Monsters take 
    forever to kill. More time to make a mistake. More time 
    for the monsters to deal damage. A Time Trial's worst
    nightmare. Why won't they just DIE!???
    I remember wearing out many B-Buttons doing this. The
    fear of wearing out buttons is also the reason why I
    opted to save my Level 1 Attack challenges for my NES
    copy. NES controllers are cheaper to replace than Wii
    controllers or Game Boy Advances. 
    But I degress.
    LINK'S WORDS: Though I'm hindered with a weak attack,
    I still valiantly fight everything from the start, to 
    the end of the 1st Palace. I concentrate on leveling 
    my LIFE, as it's the easiest to build. When my 'Next' 
    reaches 800, I'm ready for Horsehead. After placing
    the crystal, instead of Leveling LIFE, I then choose
    to bring MAGIC up by 1 level, leaving me with 700 EXP.
    At the end of the 1st Palace, my stats are 1 - 2 - 4.
    I easily level my LIFE to 5 before Death Mountain. But
    for safety's-sake, I will also add one more level to
    MAGIC through random battles.
    Man, I've done a LOT of fighting with this low Attack
    skill. But I still bite the bullet and kill everything
    I face. SHIELD and LIFE allows for more mistakes. 
    ***Even my Projectile allows for the safe disposal of
    lesser enemies!*** Who would've thought that little
    dinky thing could be useful after all? ...After Death 
    Mountain, the Hammer, Fairy spell & Downstab, etc.,
    my stats are 1 - 3 - 6 entering the 2nd Palace.
    I once again make an effort to defeat all monsters, and
    I should be able to level LIFE once more to make my stats
    1 - 3 - 7. When I've skipped my MAGIC level-up and my
    'Next' reads 4,000, I'm ready for Helmet Head. This is
    where the low attack really starts to show it's ugly
    rear. I always have SHIELD and LIFE ready, while as JUMP
    allows for downstabbing power as well. 
    After more Jump-Slash mayhem, I place the 2nd Crystal, and
    my LIFE is now maxed out.
    See my strategy? With LIFE maxed out, I can now take
    a serious beating. EXP becomes unimportant. I need only
    to skip my Magic level-up, and my 'Next' becomes 9,000!
    I can now skip monsters that are not in my way, and
    it makes getting through the Palaces easier. You'll need
    that saved time for the bosses.
    In the 3rd Palace, I merely skip my Level-Ups until my
    'Next' is 9,000, and now I don't need to fight as much
    anymore. I can even skip keys with the FAIRY spell if
    I want to get the Palace Item and get to the boss
    more quickly. 
    The Mounted Ironknuckle will take a lot of hits to 
    dismount, and even more to defeat. I've been aggressive
    before, but now I must refrain and take my time. Too easy
    to make a mistake. Instead, I SHIELD and wait for the 
    charge, downstabbing as he swoops by, and repeat this
    tedious task of denting his helmet with my corrodded
    sword until he dismounts. After that, he becomes like 
    any other Ironknuckle. Jump-Slash always seems to work 
    well, but I always thought these guys were more 
    proficient with shields...Oh well. 
    3rd Crystal's placed, and my EXP is 9,000. I don't 
    mess around here, as it ALL gets dumped into my lagging
    MAGIC level. I can level MAGIC 4 TIMES and have 1,300
    EXP remaining. My stats are now 1 - 7 - 8.
    The 4th Palace & Carrock is gonna be my easiest trip.
    REFLECT cost very little at Level 7, and Carrock
    croaks just as quickly. The boss will provide enough
    EXP to skip my low ATTACK level, so fighting 
    unnecessary monsters is fully essential. After
    the 4th Palace, my Challenge stats are maxed at
    1 - 8 - 8.
    From here, it's all about the bosses. There's no point
    in dealing with the lesser minions of Ganon. There are
    bigger fish to fry.
    Gooma (5th Palace boss) is extremely tricky. It takes
    72 hits to kill him. Hitting his belly while avoiding
    his Ball & Chain is extremely difficult. I don't want
    to mess up a jump while avoiding his weapon, as I 
    may sometimes bounce off his head. So I just use the
    same timing pattern I've used to defeat him before,
    only I stab him a LOT more than usual.
    After collecting everything between the 5th and 6th
    Palaces, I have to face Barba and two more Mounted
    Ironknuckles. I've dealt with the Ironknuckles before,
    so their slow and agonizing defeat is second nature.
    the fight with Barba tends to Drag-On (I'm a hero,
    not a comedian!) Oh, he's not difficult to defeat,
    but still, 96 strikes later, I'm thankful it's
    finally over.
    The trek to the Final Palace all revolves around
    running away! Everything takes in the uppers of 16 or
    more hits. All fights between random battles and
    Thunderbird are more than unnecessary. The real
    challenge is the Thunderbird himself. So I ready all
    my spells (SHIELD, JUMP, REFLECT, and THUNDER when
    he's on the screen,) and chip away. His fireballs
    drop randomly and are very difficult to dodge, 
    especially when he reaches the half way point. If I
    can strike Thunderbird 96 times while only taking 5
    or fewer hits myself, then I can pat myself on the
    back and know that I still got it in me.
    And wouldn't you know it, my corrodded sword of 
    no-damage still defeats Dark Link in just 8 hits! 
    To conclude, I've left the old damage chart from my
    previous update. It might prove useful in letting you
    know just how much B-Button mashing you'll end up doing
    If you opt for lower ATTACK level challenges.
    Area: Where you can find these monsters:
    ------C: In Caves
    ------W: Western Continent
    ------E: Eastern Continent
    ------T: In Towns
    ------P: Palace
    ------G: Great Palace
    Lvl 1: Hits to kill monster with a level 1 attack.
    Lvl 2: Hits to kill monster with a level 2 attack.
    Lvl 3: Hits to kill monster with a level 3 attack.
    Lvl 4: Hits to kill monster with a level 4 attack.
    Lvl 5: Hits to kill monster with a level 5 attack.
    Lvl 6: Hits to kill monster with a level 6 attack.
    Lvl 7: Hits to kill monster with a level 7 attack.
    Lvl 8: Hits to kill monster with a level 8 attack.
    Pro: Is the monster susceptable to the projectile? (Y for Yes, N for No)
    Power: Special powers of the monster:
    -------EXP: steals experience on contact
    -------MAG: steals magic on contact
    -------IMM: sword immunity.
    -------WPN1: uses a non-throwing weapon that can be blocked with the shield.
    |            (mostly swords and spears)
    -------WPN2: uses a non-throwing weapon that can only be blocked with 
    |            (axes, maces)
    -------WPN3: uses a non-throwing weapon that can't be blocked by any means.
    -------PRJ1: fires projectiles that can be blocked by the shield.
    |           (includes swords, boomerangs, rocks, etc.)
    -------PRJ2: fires projectiles that can only be blocked with REFLECT.
    |           (includes axes, maces, fire, etc.)
    -------N/A: Not Applicable
    About 90% of the little enemies are susceptable to the projectile
    attack, and will occassionally leave a blue magic container or a
    50 Point Bag. Most can be disposed of quickly.
    UPDATE: The orange Moblin that charges does occassionally drop a blue
    magic container or 50-Point bag, even though it doesn't provide exp
    otherwise. I have moved it to the Little Monsters section.
                      |    |Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|   |         |
    Monster           |Area| l | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |Pro|  Power  |
    Ache              | C  | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |   N/A   |
    Ache              | T  | 2*| 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |   N/A   |
    Acheman           |W/C | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |PRJ2     |
    Bago-Bago         | W  | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |PRJ1,EXP |
                      | E  | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |PRJ1,EXP |
    Bot (Red)         | W  | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |   N/A   |
    Bot (Blue)        | W  | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |   N/A   |
                      | P  | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |   N/A   |
                      | G  |24 |16 |12 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | Y |   N/A   |
    Deeler (Red/Blue) | W  |2/2|1/2|1/1|1/1|1/1|1/1|1/1|1/1| Y |   N/A   |
                      | E  | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |   N/A   |
    Geldarm           | W  | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |   N/A   |
    Goriya (Orange)   | W  | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | N |  PRJ1   |
    Goriya (Red)      | C  | 7 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | N |  PRJ1   |
    Leever            | E  | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | Y |   N/A   |
    Lowder            | C  | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |   N/A   |
    MegMat            | W  | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |   N/A   |
    Moa (Red)         | W  | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |   EXP   |
    Moa (Shelled)     | E  | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | Y |   EXP   |
    Moa (Town)^       | T  |24 |16 |12 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | Y |   EXP   |
    Moa (Blue)^       | E  |24 |16 |12 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | Y |   EXP   |
    Moblin (Or Chrge) | W  | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |WPN1, EXP|
    Moblin (Or Throw) | W  | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |  PRJ1   |
    Moblin (Red)      | W  | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |  WPN1   |
    Moblin (Blue)     | W  | 9 | 6 | 5 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | Y |WPN1,PRJ1|
    Moby              | W  | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |   EXP   |
    Myu               |C/P | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |   N/A   |
    Myu (GreatPalace)!| G  |12 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | Y |   N/A   |
    Octorok (Red)    !| W  | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |  PRJ1   |
    Octorok (Blue)    | E  | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |  PRJ1   |
    Rope (Blue)       | P  | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |  PRJ1   |
    Rope (Red)        | G  | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |  PRJ2   |
    Statue Head 1     | P  |28 |19 |14 |10 | 7 | 5 | 4 | 3 | Y |   EXP   |
    Statue Head 1(Or) | G  |48 |32 |24 |16 |11 | 8 | 6 | 4 | Y |   EXP   |
    * Some Aches in towns will be almost as strong
      as a skull. Better off avoiding them than
    ! You CAN damage a Myu without the downstab! Perform a
      Jump-Slash attack as you would an Ironknuckle, but hold
      DOWN + B Button just before you land next to him.
    ^ These monsters are invisible without the cross.
    Most can deliver a pounding, take a beating, and most are immune
    to the projectile. They will also occassionally leave a red magic
    jar or a 200 point bag.
    UPDATE: The palace Moa has been moved to the Large Monster family,
    as it can drop a red container or 200-Point Bag.
                      |    |Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|   |         |
    Monster           |Area| l | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |Pro|  Power  |
    Daira (Orange)    | C  | 9 | 6 | 5 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | N |  WPN2   |
    Daira (Red)       | C  |12 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | N |  PRJ2   |
    Fire Dragon#      | E  |24 |16 |12 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | N |PRJ1, IMM|
    Ghost Wizard@     | P  | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | N |PRJ1, IMM|
    Goriya (Blue)     | C  | 9 | 6 | 5 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | N |  PRJ1   |
    Hammer Bro        | P  | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | N |  PRJ2   |
    HawkKnight  (Red) | G  |24 |16 |12 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | N |  PRJ1   |
    HawkKnight (Blue) | G  |48 |32 |24 |16 |11 | 8 | 6 | 4 | N |  PRJ1   |
    Iron Knuckle (Or) | P  | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | N |  WPN1   |
    Iron Knuckle (Rd) | P  |12 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | N |  WPN1   |
    Iron Knuckle (Bl) | P  |28 |19 |14 |10 | 7 | 5 | 4 | 3 | N |  PRJ1   |
    Killer Bee        | E  | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |  PRJ2   |
    Lizard Man (Or)   | E  |16 |11 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | N |  WPN1   |
    Lizard Man (Red)  | E  |24 |16 |12 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | N |  WPN2   |
    Lizard Man (Blue) | E  |28 |19 |14 |10 | 7 | 5 | 4 | 3 | N |  PRJ2   |
    Moa (Palace)      | P  | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | Y |PRJ2, EXP|
    Scorpion          | E  |16 |11 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | N |  PRJ2   |
    Stalfos (RedSkel) | P  | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | N |  WPN1   |
    Stalfos (BlSkel)  | P  | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | N |  WPN1   |
    Stalfos (RedKni)  | P  |12 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | N |  WPN1   |
    Stalfos (BlKni)   | P  |16 |11 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | N |  WPN1   |
    Stone Warrior     | P  |16 |11 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | N |  PRJ2   |
    Tektite#          | E  |12 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 1 | N |PRJ1, IMM|
    # You need Fire spell to damage these monsters
    @ Can only be killed with a Reflect spell.
    I call them Evil monsters because they do not give up point bags or
    magic containers at all.
                      |    |Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|   |         |
    Monster           |Area| l | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |Pro|  Power  |
    Dreadhawk (Red)   | G  |72 |48 |36 |24 |16 |12 | 8 | 6 | N |  PRJ2   |
    Giant Bot%        | G  | 5 | 3 | 3 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | N |   N/A   |
    Giant Skull       | G  |130|85 |64 |43 |29 |22 |14 |11 | N |   MAJ   |
    Mini Horsehead    | P  | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |   EXP   |
    Skull             | P  |125|84 |63 |42 |28 |22 |14 |11 | Y |   MAJ   |
    Statue Head 2     | P  | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | Y |PRJ1, EXP|
    Wizzrobe          | P  |16 |11 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | N |  PRJ2   |
    % The Giant Bot splits into many little bots
      that are almost as powerful as skulls.
    Be assurred, your projectile is ineffective against any of the
                        |      |Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|Lvl|   |     |
    Boss Monster        |Palace| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |Pro|Power|
    Horse Head          |   1  | 16|11 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 2 | N |WPN3 |
    Helmet Head         |   2  | 24|16 |12 | 8 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2 | N |PRJ1 |
    Mounted Ironknuckle | 3, 6 | 38|28 |22 |12 |11 | 8 | 6 | 4 | N |PRJ1 |
    Carock@             |   4  | 8 | 8 | 8 | 8 | 8 | 8 | 8 | 8 | N |PRJ1 |
    Gooma               |   5  | 72|42 |35 |24 |16 |12 | 8 | 6 | N |WPN3 |
    Barba               |   6  | 96|72 |48 |32 |22 |16 |12 | 8 | N |PRJ2 |
    Thunderbird         |   7  | 96|72 |48 |32 |22 |16 |12 | 8 | N |PRJ2 |
    Dark Link           |   7  | 8 | 8 | 8 | 8 | 8 | 8 | 8 | 8 | N |WPN1 |
    @ Can only be killed with a Reflect spell.
    -------------I Should've Brought A Backpack------------
    After practice, this challenge isn't as difficult as the
    Level 1 Challenges, but should still not be attempted
    unless you've memorized every aspect of Zelda 2. 
    Some items are completely unessential to finishing the
    game, but skipping them will make life more difficult.
    Let's take a look at the Spell List:
    SHIELD: Halfs damage delivered to link. Not needed to
            complete the game.
    JUMP: Needed for the cave south of Ruto.
    LIFE: Increases Link's life by 3 bars. Not necessary.
    FAIRY: Used on several occassions. Unless cheating with
           the game genie, it is very much needed.
    FIRE: Used to kill 2 sword-proof enemies. Not needed.
    REFLECT: Used to kill Caraok, the 4th boss. You tell me
             if it's needed...
    SPELL: You need Spell to get the Magic Key. But you
           don't really need the Magic Key for the 6th
           palace; a few Fairy spells will cure that.
    THUNDER: Needed to make the Thunderbird vulnerable.
    That said, there are only 4 spells you really need: Jump,
    Fairy, Reflect, and Thunder.
    Next up is the item list. There are three items that are
    not essential towards completing Zelda 2, but skipping
    any of those three will make the game much more difficult.
    CANDLE: Without light, you'll have to rely on watching the
    floor for possible footing. As for monsters that float
    around or hang on the ceiling, you'll have to rely on
    memory as to where they are, and where they'll land. 
    STRATEGY: When you strike a creature, they will flash 
    and reveal where they are. If you can land a continuous 
    volley of blows, especially for those tougher monsters 
    like Darias and Lizardmen, you can essentially fight them
    in the dark and know just when to dodge to their attacks.
    Your projectile is especially useful for revealing smaller
    GLITCH: The orange-colored versions of the large monsters
    (Darias, Goriyas, and Lizardmen) are still bright-as-day,
    even in the dark. Also, without the Candle, the path to
    the Final Palace is also pitch black, defeating any use
    the Cross may of had. Speaking of...
    CROSS: You need this to reveal invisible moas that appear
    in Old Kasuto and the path to the Final Palace. Without
    that seeing eye, getting through is near-impossible.
    STRATEGY: If you're about to enter the path to the Final
    Palace, and you end up in a random or forced battle, just
    cast a FAIRY spell and exit. You can't be knocked around
    while in fairy-mode. So even though you may still take
    a hit or two, you can get to the Final Palace safely. If
    you run out of Magic, sacrifice a life to refill your
    bar, and FAIRY some more. In addition, you don't REALLY
    need the Cross to get the THUNDER spell, as you're only
    dealing with, at most, two invisible moas coming and 
    MAGIC KEY: Possibly the least-essential of all. The 6th
    Palace has more locked doors then it has keys, then you
    don't ever see a locked door again.
    STRATEGY: These extra doors can be bypassed with a FAIRY 
    spell. Like with the Cross strategy, if you need more
    Magic, you can kill off Link and refill his Magic bar.
    ATTACK SKILLS: Finally, there is downstab and upstab.
    The downstab is essential everywhere you go, and there
    is a point in the Final Palace where you have to use
    downstab. However, the UPSTAB can be skipped, as it's
    only useful in getting a key in the 4th Palace.
    Nothing a FAIRY spell can't cure.
    So with all that said, this challenge is about winning:
      -- With only the Jump, Fairy, Reflect, and Thunder spells
      -- Without the Candle, Cross, and Magic Key
      -- Without the Upstab.
    ----------CHALLENGE V: DUEL LEVEL 1 QUESTING-----------
    -------------What Have I Got Myself Into?--------------
    This is where the real challenge begins: Duel-Level 1
    Questing. Regardless of which one you do, each will be
    extremely difficult, even if you are a veteran master
    of the game. 
    I've opted to remove any in-depth info on beating the
    Duel Level 1 Challenges. Basically, all I'd be doing is
    combining the hints and strategies of the individual
    Level 1 Challenges, and that would only waste space. So
    if you need info on the Duel Level 1 Challenges, just
    consult both individual Level 1 Challenges for the one
    you plan to do, and practice practice practice.
    I've ranked the Duel Challenges easiest to most 
    LEVEL 1 ATTACK & LIFE -- At first I felt this was very
    difficult. However, after doing the other Duel Challenges,
    I felt this was the easiest, as I never realized just
    how much I was abusing my Magic. Since you're able to 
    level Magic, you don't have to back-track to defeat
    Carrock. The SHIELD spell essentially doubles your Life
    bar, so Level 1 LIFE seems more like a Level 4 LIFE.
    If you've mastered the aspects of Zelda 2, getting hit 
    shouldn't happen very often. So the best way to handle 
    this one, is to treat it like a Level 1 ATTACK quest, 
    but don't get hit often, and abuse your MAGIC much more
    than usual. Treat your MAGIC like a credit card in a
    shopping mall! The difference between This Duel
    Challange and the Level 1 ATTACK challenge, is the 
    difference of taking fewer hits. 
    LEVEL 1 MAGIC & LIFE -- In a way, this one is almost
    on-par with the Duel ATTACK/LIFE challenge. You can
    max your ATTACK after the 3rd Palace, and the faster
    you kill your foes, the less time they have to defeat 
    you. However, you still have to back-track to the 4th 
    Palace, because you need REFLECT for Carrock, and 
    REFLECT requires 7 and 1/2 bars of Magic to cast at 
    Level 1. In addition, you have no extra Magic to help 
    you against Thunderbird (including the REFLECT glitch
    which I love to abuse.) Just zap with THUNDER, and be
    a very good dodger.
    LEVEL 1 ATTACK & MAGIC -- By far, this is the most
    difficult Duel-Challenge. Yes, LIFE gets maxed out, and
    as early as the end of the 2nd Palace. However, in the
    18 years I've played Zelda 2, I have always relied 
    heavily on either ATTACK, or MAGIC. Usually when one
    falters, the other saves the day. But without both,
    even I have real difficulties. Everything takes
    forever to kill. I can't rely on Magic when I make
    mistakes. I can't rely on Magic to defeat bosses or
    to SHIELD or LIFE as often as I want to. Even
    back-tracking to Carrock can cost me a life or two if
    I'm not especially careful. Thunderbird always throws
    me fits. But hey, at least Dark Link is still the 
    easiest final boss in gaming history.
    General Strategies: First and foremost, DON'T try ANY
    of the Duel-Challenges until you can comfortably beat
    all the Single Level 1 Challenges without getting a
    Game Over. Only try these if you seek a more difficult
    EXP is almost worthless. Acquire EXP until you max 
    your one stat to Level 8, and from there, skip ALL
    unnecessary battles. Stick only to getting the items,
    killing the Boss, and moving on. 
    Other than that, you can consult the Single Level 1
    Challenges for the ones you want to combine, and then
    practice practice practice. There isn't anything here
    that I can type that can make you better without
    -------------CHALLENGE VI: THE TIME TRIAL--------------
    Originally, I intended to tweak the Time Trial FAQ,
    including making more efficient use of the EXP you receive,
    as well as hints to avoiding forced battles. However, 
    reality snagged my life, and that was that.
    I have decided to keep the old Time Trial Walkthrough. 
    However, I'm my own critic, and I'm not satisfied with 
    what I've written, nor do I have the time to describe 
    the latest short-cuts I've done to finish faster (I can 
    now do a Time Trial in under 80 minutes. The old 
    walkthrough is for 90 minutes.) 
    One of those changes, I wanted to describe how I avoid
    random encounters. But this is impossible to write into
    text. When you've played the game for 18 years, dodging 
    encounters becomes second nature. But even split-second 
    changes in movement completely changes how or when 
    monsters appear and move for the rest of the game.
    If anything, I encourage other young FAQ writers to read
    my Time Trial, and write one of their own, perfecting
    further what I've done already. When I've seen a posted
    Time Trial FAQ that I like, I'll contact you, and with
    permission, I'd be more than happy to replace the CHALLENGE 
    VI section with a link to your FAQ.
    So what I've done is kept my original walkthrough, errors
    and all, but tweaked a few sections that were nothing
    more than filler. (including a nifty JUMPing maneuver.
    It was sad to see it go.)
    -----TIME'S A WASTIN'!-----
    The little errands and action sequences can add time to
    your game without realizing it. Getting spells you don't 
    really need increases your time. Finding every little key
    in every Palace increases your time. Fighting monsters
    increases your time. It's all about effeciency.
    Random encounters that take you to action scenes can also add
    time to your adventure. (on average, it takes about 6 seconds
    to leave an action scene that resulted from a monster encounter).
    Taking too long to fight some of the stronger monsters will
    hinder your speedy adventure. 
    The whole point is to show that it does not take long to beat
    Zelda 2, even if it means skipping items and places to get
    it done.
    ----------FIRST, STRATEGIES YOU MUST KNOW----------
    To beat Zelda 2 quickly, you must master destroying the enemies
    that block your path. Brian Sulpher (briansulpher@hotmai.com)
    has given me permission to use some of his strategies for
    battling some of the tougher monsters and bosses of this game,
    as he has described these strategies better than I could. Also
    mixed in the bunch are some of my own personal strategies that
    have helped me slaughter my enemies in seconds.
    ----------LITTLE ENEMIES----------
    These include Aches, Bits and Bots, Moblins, Goriyas, Bagu-Bagus,
    Magmats, etc. Most of these monsters are easy to defeat and don't
    require a strategy. Just kill them quickly and be on your way. When
    you acquire downstab, destroying the little enemy becomes
    second nature.
    ----------STRONGER ENEMIES----------
    Here are some strategies that you must master when fighting the
    stronger enemies (listed in alphabetical order).
    BIRDMAN (Blue and Red Types)
    Strategy By: Brian Sulpher
    Try to stab them when they come close, and an Upward Thrust as
    they leap overhead can finish them off, but I suggest running away
    if it is a possibility.
    CRAZYLAZ NOTES: When they are on the ground, they act like
    ironknuckles, so treat them as such. But don't get too aggressive
    as they can jump without warning.
    CYCLOPS (Hammer Brother)
    Strategy By: Brian Sulpher
    Wait for the opening in the arcing hammers, and then charge in to stab
    the enemy unmercifully.
    (from this point on, I refer to them as Hammer Brothers).
    DARIA (Orange and Red Types)
    Strategy By: Brian Sulpher
    To deal with the Orange Dairas, charge right at them, hit your
    sword stroke, and keep walking forward to slash it each time
    it comes into your sword range (you might get hit once, but it
    works quite well).  The red Dairas can be fought more
    conservatively, so wait till it throws a hatchet, jump forward over
    it, and stab the Daira till it starts to chuck another hatchet (just
    repeat the pattern).
    CRAZYLAZ NOTES: For Orange Darias, I treat them like Scalfos,
    stabbing them at the feet (a crouching slash is faster than the
    standing slash). For Red Darias, a liberal aggressive fighter can
    get 3 jump-or-crouching slashes in-between hatchet throws.
    Strategy By: Crazylaz
    In this walkthrough, I skipped the FIRE spell to shave 1 minute
    off my overall time. If you find these monsters, RUN from them!
    It saves time this way.
    Strategy By: Crazylaz
    We're playing for shortest time, and waiting around for these
    creatures to appear out of nowhere takes too long. Attack when
    they are in the way if you think you can kill them, but don't
    doddle. Just go on your way.
    Strategy By: Crazylaz
    Once again, we're going for the best time. Wait for a break in
    the fire throwing, then jump-downstab through the opening and
    continue on your way.
    IRONKNUCKLE (Pink, Red, and Blue-types)
    Strategy By: Brian Sulpher
    If you jump at an Ironknuckle and time your sword swing as you
    descend so it will hit the upper body as the Ironknuckle starts
    to defend against Link landing (in a crouch).  Much easier to do
    on Orange and Red Ironknuckles as they do hot have throwing knives
    like their Blue brethren.
    CRAZYLAZ NOTES: Amen to that. A hyper-aggressive jump-attacker
    can take down a Blue Ironknuckle before he can go knife-crazy. But
    it takes a lot of practice.
    LIZARDMAN (Pink, Red, and Blue-types)
    Strategy By: Brian Sulpher
    These are like the overworld child of a Daira and an Ironknuckle,
    and they do come in the same three colours as Ironknuckles.
    Orange attack with a spear, red with a handheld mace, and blue
    with throwing maces.  They have shields, but they are poor on
    defense, so rush them to finish them off quickly.
    CRAZYLAZ NOTES: Their poor defense also makes them susceptable
    to the downstab. Crouch-stab to lower their shield, then quickly
    jump towards them and apply the downstab. If you're lucky, they
    will die quickly.
    Strategy By: Crazylaz
    You should encounter only one or two while on your quest. Avoid
    all together, as we are going for best time.
    TYPE 1 AND 2 SCALFOS (Blue and Red Types)
    Strategy By: Brian Sulpher
    These animated skeletons have a shield and sword to fight
    you with, but they are too frail to be able to move their
    shield.  The white skeletons can only walk and stab, but
    the red and blue (stronger than red) can walk, stab, and
    Downward Thrust as well.  Stick their bony legs with the
    sharp end of your sword till the bones return to the dust
    they once were.
    CRAZYLAZ NOTES: The red of both types cannot downstab, the
    blue ones can.
    Strategy By: Brian Sulpher
    These blue coloured baddies throw maces that fly back and
    forth across the screen.  jump the maces and stab away for
    the victory.
    CRAZYLAZ NOTES: I assume he is referring to downstabbing.
    Makes short work of them, that's for sure!
    Strategy By: Brian Sulpher
    These white-cloaked magician appear out of thin air, and
    throw an energy wave at you.  The only way to kill them is
    to use your Reflect spell so the energy waves get sent
    back to kill them.
    Strategy By: Brian Sulpher
    You need to be able to gauge your jump accurately, as you will
    be hopping at Horsehead, strike him as you come towards him, and
    once landing, move out of the range of his club. I feel this
    strategy has too much risk involved in using it, but it does
    work well if you can control Link well.
    PELIVOR'S NOTES: Yes, it is very risky. but you will reap the
    rewards on your overall time.
    Strategy By: Brian Sulpher
    Knock his first head off with a jumping slash, do the same for
    his second head, and then use the Downward Thrust to bounce on
    the Bosses head.  You will quickly make Helmethead submit.
    Strategy By: Crazylaz
    Move to about three-quarters to the right of the screen (almost
    under the piller-type background). When the Riding Ironknuckle
    charges, get a quick downstab in. He should stop about three-
    quarters to the left side of the screen. Now that he is exposed,
    Downstab the living heck out of him for a quick and easy
    dismount. Follow Brian Sulpher's Ironknuckle strategy thereafter.
    Strategy By: Brian Sulpher
    With the Reflect spell cast upon yourself, you will be able to
    "reflect" the energy waves of Carock back at him (this is how
    you hit and hurt the otherwise invincible foe).  As soon as the
    fight is joined, walk into one of the corners of the screen (either
    side will do nicely), face towards the opposite side of the room,
    and crouch.  Then all you have to do is continue to hold DOWN until
    the boss eventually wipes himself out with his own energy waves.
    He may appear on top of you, but if he does so, just go back into
    the closest corner, and resume your crouch till Carock has met his
    demise.  Definitely one of the easier Bosses in the game,  possibly
    THE easiest as he only requires ONE spell, and for you to hold
    DOWN the whole time!
    CRAZYLAZ NOTES: Unfortunately, the time to kill Carock varies, as
    his pattern is random. Carock could commit suicide in as little as 9
    seconds, to as long as 30 seconds. Not much you can do about this.
    Strategy by: Brian Sulpher
    Gooma will enter from the right in a slow, methodical fashion.
    Approach slowly, wait for him to start whirling his Mace, wait for
    one second of the weapon rotation (this is the hardest part), jump
    his strike, and then land a blow on Gooma's lower body (head shots
    will not help as they do NO damage).  Then you need to repeat the
    pattern until he is finished (that is easier said than done).  Just
    be ready on that Life spell as he can put a huge hurt on you in such
    a short amount of time!  Gooma ranks up there with the Riding Blue
    Ironknuckle for overall difficulty of the Bosses.
    CRAZYLAZ NOTES: I recommend using the JUMP spell so that you have
    more room for error when timing your jumps. You can hit Gooma's
    body even when he is twirling his ball 'n chain, but if you stab
    him any closer than the tip of your sword, you will take damage.
    I also recommend crouch-stabbing, as it is faster than slashing
    while standing.
    Strategy By: Crazylaz
    You don't need spells to defeat Barba, although they do help.
    Regardless of where Barba sticks his head out of the lava, you
    want to be positioned on the center of the middle-right platform
    facing the middle lavapit. When Barba emerges:
    FROM THE LEFT PIT: Just before Barba opens his mouth, get a walking
    start and jump to the left, over the lavapit (at the same time,
    you should be albe to dodge his fireballs). You have enough time to
    get two or three quick hits in before he disappears again.
    NOTE: After Barba submerges, ALWAYS reposition yourself on the
    same middle-right platform!
    FROM THE MIDDLE PIT: As soon as Barbe reemerges, you can get two
    or three quick upstabs. Back off to the other edge, jump over
    his fireballs, then get two more upstabs followed by another
    slash as Barba submerges.
    FROM THE RIGHT PIT: Same strategy as the middle pit, but there
    is more risk of missing the upstab and falling into the lavapit.
    Repeat said patterns until Barba bites the dust.
    OTHER NOTES: With the JUMP spell, you could also attempt down-
    stabbing, but it is extremely high-risk and not recommended.
    Strategy By: Brian Sulpher
    As he floats into the screen, he will be red, and you will be
    unable to damage the behemoth.  As soon as he is on the screen, cast
    the spell Thunder to cause a flash of light to make Thunderbird reveal
    it's weakness (his face!).  Now all you have to do is jump up and stab
    away at his face while he continues to rain fiery death upon you (he
    speeds up every time that you hit him), and once he has gone down,
    you have done it!
    Strategy By: Brian Sulpher
    As soon as the battle is joined, run to the left side of the screen,
    turn around, and then just stand there swinging your sword rapidly.
    Now Dark Link will try to stab you in your chest (since he is
    defending your swings at him), and after a bit of this, he will
    usually try to jump in to attack you.  Unfortunately for him, since
    you are still swinging, you will hit him to knock him backwards!
    Now he will come back again and again to commit the same mistake again
    and again!  The one thing that he can do to counter this is to Downward
    Thrust into you, but he rarely gets close enough to do so.
    Have you master every single strategy listed here? Then you are
    ready to move on.
    Thanks again for Brian Sulpher for the use of his monster
    strategies. Credit given where credit was due, as promised.
    ---------------OTHER NOTES---------------
    Where you move on the overworld does affect where monsters 
    will show up, and which direction they will move in. I cannot 
    tell you how to avoid most action sequences, but with practice, 
    you will find out most yourself. I have listed the ones that I 
    know for sure in the walkthrough.
    Basically, if you repeat the same actions the same way you
    did in previous games, you'll get the same results. Case
    and point: If you head straight right at the beginning of
    the game without stopping, you'll almost-always spawn two 
    slimes and a fairy, none of which will touch you. Try it for
    NOTE: I used an original NES cartridge version of "Zelda 2: The
    Adventure of Link" to conduct this theory and walkthrough. If you
    are using an emulator, your time results will vary, as some are
    slower or faster than the original cartridge.
    Before actually going through the game as fast as possible, I
    conducted a theory as to how fast Zelda 2 could possibly be
    finished, by timing each part of the game as I traveled along.
    Here were the time theories in mind:
    Start of game to the end of 1st Palace: 6 mins, 19 secs
      NOTES: Skipped SHIELD spell and 1st Life containers.
    End of 1st Palace to Start of 2nd Palace: 20 mins, 27 secs
      NOTES: Got 1st and 2nd Magic containers, 2nd life container,
    JUMP and LIFE spells, the HAMMER, as well as the FAIRY spell
    and an Extra Life
    2nd Palace: 6 mins, 3 secs
      NOTES: Substituted 2 keys for FAIRY spells. Shaved time
    End of 2nd Palace to End of 3rd Palace: 7 mins, 39 secs
      NOTES: All stops done beforehand. Went straight to 3rd Palace.
    End of 3rd Palace to Start of Palace 4: 7 mins, 57 secs
      NOTES: Got REFLECT spell and 3rd Magic container.
    Palace 4: 8 mins, 4 secs
      NOTES: Substituted 2 keys for FAIRY spells. Died once, exited
    Palace after acquiring MAGIC BOOTS to replenish Magic.
    End of 4th Palace to End of Palace 5: 10 mins, 7 secs
      NOTES: Substituted 2 Keys for FAIRY spells. Spent extra time
    raising levels long neglected. Got 3rd Life Container and Extra
    End of 5th Palace to Start of 6th Palace: 7 mins, 50 secs
      NOTES: Got SPELL spell, 4th Magic and Life containers, got
    MAGIC KEY, got THUNDER spell (Not recommended before the Cross).
    6th Palace: 7 mins, 32 secs
      NOTES: Did not take shortcut. (explained later)
    End of 6th Palace to Start of 7th Palace: 10 mins, 12 secs
      NOTES: Spent extra time to raise levels in forest.
    Great Palace: 7 mins, 32 secs
      NOTES: None. Little to do during the goal at hand.
    Theoretical Time: 1 Hour, 39 Minutes, 38 Seconds
    I had 27 unintentional action sequences along the way. It
    takes, on average, 6 seconds to leave an action sequence without
    fighting monsters. So that said, if assuming I could avoid all
    unintentional action sequences, then:
    6 secs x 27 = 162 seconds, = 3 minutes, 2 seconds shaved off
    the journey.
    Theoritical Time: 1 Hour, 36 Minutes, 36 Seconds
    Other factors to take into consideration is the effeciency of
    leveling up, which I failed to do during this first trial run.
    I have reason to believe I can beat this time if I knew what
    to level-up first.
    This walkthrough was created for elite masters of Zelda 2. You will
    not see any real details during this walkthrough. I have already
    discussed the strategies and skills you will need to master before
    even thinking about tackling the game start to finish in such a
    short amount of time. You will not get a good time if you are
    using a slow emulator or by reading this walkthrough step-by-step.
    In addition, I wouldn't recommend any other format or port of
    Zelda 2 at that matter. I always got the best results with
    an NES cartridge.
    WITHOUT HESITATION -- I use this term alot, as it will help you
    avoid most random encounters. When I mean without hesitation, it
    means not ever letting go of the directional pad for any purpose.
    A split second hesitation will completely change the way monsters
    appear and move. Trust my directions, and ignore how the monsters
    are moving. This is the key to reducing the number of unnecessary
    action sequences that you face.
    Also note that some cartridges and emulators may vary when it comes
    to where random monsters show up when moving on the overview map.
    From this point on, WITHOUT HESITATION will be abbreviated W/O HES.
    Watch Time: 0:00:00
    From the start, follow the road east, then northeast and go
    for the lone patch of forest. Enter it, kill the Aches, and take
    the 50 points (a quick and easy way to raise your life level to 2).
    From here, follow the road east until you get to Rauru.
    Get the SHIELD spell while you are here at Rauru. This will add
    1 minute minimum to your quest.
      NOTE: I did the stupid thing and skipped the SHIELD spell. This
    is not recommended if you take a lot of hits.
    When you exit the town, go to the cave in the northeast. Because
    monsters appear close to you in forests, chances are you won't
    be able to avoid an action sequence.
    Go left through the cave, and destroy the Lowder on the way.
      NOTE: Unless stated otherwise, you kill only the monsters that
    block your path. Finding monsters to kill will slow down your
    As you exit, W/O HES, go 4 north, go as far east as you can, then
    straight north to the 1st Palace. The monsters start so far apart
    that if they get in the way, you should be able to dodge them.
      NOTE: I skipped the 1st Heart Container, because it adds 2 minutes
    to your quest. If you need the extra Life points, use the SHIELD
    spell to half the damage you take.
    Watch Time: 0:02:08
    I list the rooms by letters, starting from A and working my way
    up to Z, if necessary, to note where you need to go. % marks the
    starting point. Rooms marked with a # are rooms that are not
    necessary to complete the Palace.
    NOTE: Regardless of how you level your stats, your goal is to
    have a Level 3 Attack at the end of the 1st Palace. A high attack
    means fewer hits to kill monsters, thus shaving your game time
    considerably. If you got lucky and the monsters dropped point bags,
    it is possible to leave the 1st Palace with a Level 3 Attack, Level
    2 Magic, and Level 3 Life. Level in this order:
    Life (if exp allows)
    Magic (if exp allows)
    A. Go left. Kill mini-horseheads in narrow coridoors, and jump
    over the others. Slashing adds a 1/4 second to your time.
    B. Go left, ignore the Bits, go all the way left to get the key.
    Kill the red scalfo on the way back to the right. Head right until
    room C.
    C. Go right, jump over mini-horseheads, slashing only if you face
    one in a narrow coridoor. You can avoid the skull all-together if
    you just keep going right.
    D. Go right. Kill both red scalfos.
    E. Avoid the skull, and kill the bit and red scalfo. Go up the
    F. Go right, kill the two mini-horseheads. Grab the key on the way.
    G. Go right, kill the bit and mini-horseheads, and destroy the
    hammer brother at the dead end and get the key. Backtrack to room H.
    H. Go left and avoid all skulls. If they get in the way. Slash once,
    and proceed. (they cannot hurt you if they are stopped).
    I. Kill the two bits, and proceed left. Get the point bag along the
    way, and jump over the two bits on the other side and continue left
    to Room J.
    J. Kill the Hammer Brother and the Ironknuckle. Get the Candle and
    Go back to the direction you came, killing all bits and avoiding
    all skulls. Take the elevator in Room E down to Room K.
    K. Proceed right. Kill the Ironknuckle and both Red Scalfos.
    L. Proceed right. Kill the Hammer Brother and the Ironknuckle.
    M. Horsehead Boss. It took me 13 seconds to kill Horsehead.
    Place crystal in the stone, and raise attack level to 3.
    Watch Time: 0:08:27
    When you exit the 1st Palace, W/O HES, hug the northern coast
    heading west until you are directly north of the cave, then head
    South. The monsters here start so spread out that you should be
    able to dodge them if they get in the way of your path.
    When you get to the other end of the cave, W/O HES move 8 west,
    onto the road, then head south until you are 1 space north of
    Rauru, then head west, regardless of where the monsters appear.
    Sometimes, you'll avoid action sequences, sometimes not. Head to the
    cave with the 1st Magic Container. Kill all monsters in the cave on
    the way.
    Upon exiting the cave, W/O HES, move 10 north, 2 east, and straight
    north (85% chance of avoiding action sequence). When you reach the
    road, go east until you are directly south of the trophy cave, and
    go straight north to enter the cave. Again, kill all monsters in
    your path, and snag the trophy.
    When you exit the cave, go 8 south, and due west following the road
    to Ruto. If you get caught up in an action sequence, you're on the
    road anyway, and that only takes a sec to exit.
    Your only goal in Ruto is to get the JUMP spell. This should only
    take you a minute. Now that you have your JUMP spell, head south or
    Ruto to get to a cave.
    Watch Time: 0:11:36
    Head right in the cave, and kill all monsters. Octoroks, Aches,
    Lowders, and Goriyas stand in the way. You will need the JUMP
    spell to make the jump at the end of the cave. If you didn't
    earn enough exp to raise your Magic level to 2, you will have
    by the end of this cave. You will notice that your level 3
    attack destroys smaller monsters with a single hit, allowing
    you to kill at full jumping stride. (no time lost).
    If you need healing at this point, get the fairy in the lone
    forest square 2 south and 4 east from the cave.
    From here, W/O HES, Go all the way west, 1 south, 1 west, all
    the way south, and then due east. If you get an action sequence
    or two, it's not a problem because you want to have your Magic
    Level at 3 before the start of Death Mountain (or just on the
    verge of getting to Level 3).
    Look for Bagu in the forest in the north (you know where it is).
    From Bagu's place, head 1 east, 3 south, and follow the road
    west until you get to the bridge with the action sequence. This
    is a bit tricky because Bagu-Bagus can steal your exp. Upon
    leaving the bridge, go 4 south and 4 east in the lone forest
    square. Kill any magmats and snag the 100 point bag. Upon exiting,
    go straight west to get back on the road and go to Saria to the
    If you think you'll need it, take the time to get the LIFE spell,
    as this takes only about 30 seconds. After that, head left, talk
    the guard to make the bridge, and head towards Death Mountain.
    Watch Time: 0:15:31
    3:18  947 (1 P-Bag) 747
    3:17  907 (2 P-Bags) 650
    Your levels goal is to have your Attack Level at 4, and you should
    get enough exp from here to Palace 2 to be half-way to Attack level
    5. At this point, I have neglected the Life Level, leaving Link a
    lamb to the slaughter. That is why you have the SHIELD spell. Life
    levels are easy to level-up. Keeping Link weak allows you to
    concentrate all exp on the harder-to-level-up Attack and Magic
    The correct path is easy. take the eastern caves when you have
    more than one choice. The rest of the way is one path. You will
    face a variety of monsters: Aches, bits, Goriyas, and Darias.
    (refer to strategies for killing them). Kill everything in you
    UPDATE: I have discovered a new, more exp-bound path that takes
    no longer than the path I've listed. But it is recommended only
    for expert gamers, because it is easy to get killed on a Level 3
    life. By taking it, you face more Dairas, have a higher chance
    of getting some Point Bags, and even have the chance to reach
    an Attack Level of 4 before hitting the Hammer Cave! On average,
    I've earned 95 more exp when I take the expert route.
    In the long run, a lucky gamer who gets tons of Point Bags can
    get their Attack Level to 6 by the end of the 2nd Palace, but
    this is very rare.
    Go to the left cave from the start. At the next two-cave choice,
    go east, ignoring the elevator within. Then go to the cave to the
    south, take the elevator and go right, then take the east cave.
    The rest is a one-way path. Good luck, fellow gamers.
    Watch Time: 0:18:48
    A. Kill the Darias and Red Aches. Proceed right.
    B. Proceed right and destroy the magmats and Daria. Go down the
    C. Proceed right. Destroy the Red Daria on the way.
    D. Jump each lava pit. You may not be able to kill the myu, but
    you can either jump over it or wait for it to get out of the way.
    Continue to proceed right.
    E. Two Darias block you from getting your Hammer. Kill them, and
    get your cracking tool.
    C. Backtrack to C and proceed left past the elavator. Kill the
    Red Daria you missed, and then backtrack out of the cave.
    Watch Time: 0:21:10
    Crack the rock next to the Hammer Cave, step on it, and get the
    2nd Magic Container. Exit due left, and head to the cave to the
    east. You will most likely get an Action Sequence, but you
    probably need the experience at this point. The cave to the east
    is straight-forward; just jump over the lava pits and kill the
    Octoroks. At the end of cave, follow the road north. The cave
    at the end of road takes you a few steps from a bridge. Upon
    entering the bridge, proceed right. Kill everything in your path.
    At the end of the bridge, your next errand is to get the medicine.
    Follow the road east, then north. Follow the mountainline until
    you get to the roadblock north. Break it, and head west (at this
    point, don't worry about action sequences). Keep going west past
    the road, and head north to the swamp with the roadblocked cave.
    Break the rock and enter.
    Proceed right. Kill anything that gets in your way. The next
    screen holds 3 Darias. Kill'em all! The medicine is at the end
    of the tunnel.
    After you exit the cave, W/O HES, go 2 south then 1 west, and
    get the extra life. Then W/O HES, go south out of the swamp, and
    proceed east on the road and go to Mito. Your only goals are to
    get the Downstab and the FAIRY spell (should take about 1 minute,
    30 seconds). Also take the time to recover life and magic if
    We missed the 1st Life Container, so to make up for it, we will
    go after Life Container #2. Go west, crack the rock again, then
    go north. To the east is another blocked cave. (again, don't
    worry about action sequences). Break the rock and enter.
    This is a straight-forward cave. Kill everything and proceed
    right until you get the Life Container. Then exit. Easy as that.
    Go west, bordering the swampline until you run out of grasslands.
    Then walk in the swamp and work your way west to the 2nd Palace.
    Once again, if you get action sequences, no prob; you need the
    exp anyway.
    After many time trials, my exp total before the 2nd Palace varied
    between 850 and 1200. Your total all varies depending on how many
    point bags monsters dropped for you.
    Watch Time: 0:28:13
    -- EDCBA---
    -- IJK###--
    A. Go left on the first floor. Kill the blue scalfo.
    B. Proceed left. Kill the flying ropes and bits. Use a FAIRY
    spell to pass through the lock.
    C. Proceed left again. Get the key and kill bits that get in your
    way. Downstabs are quick and efficient.
    D. Proceed left, yet again. Kill ironknuckles and ignore skulls.
    E. The head statue has a magic container. Get it to refill your
    magic. Two skulls block the elavator. Hit them once to stun them,
    (the can't harm you if they are stunned) and go down the elevator.
    F. Go left. Kill both monsters on the way.
    G. No choice but to go left. Get the point bag if the boulders
    don't fall on top of it. If the boulders pile up before you can
    get by, you'll have no choice but to exit the screen and try again.
    H. Kill the red ironknuckes first (sometimes, there will only be
    one, but most of time, there are two). Afterward, use the FAIRY
    spell to get through the lock and acquire the Handy Glove.
    Backtrack to Room F and get the Point Bag in Room G if you didn't
    the first time.
    F. Go down the elevator.
    I. Proceed right and kill the ironknuckles. You can't reach the
    moa dropping fire on you so don't bother trying to kill it.
    J. The head statues fire ball projectiles at you, and the blue
    scalfos go after you as well. Kill the scalfos, and do the best
    you can to dodge the projectiles. It takes practice, but it can
    be done.
    K. Get to the elevator and go down. Ignore the skulls.
    L. Go right and kill the Hammer Brother. Hidden in the blocks is
    a red magic container. Find it to refill your magic. Dig yourself
    out and continue to go right.
    M. With the downstab you acquired, you can get the point bag a lot
    easier. Go right afterward and kill the red ironknuckle. At this
    point, you should have raised your attack level to 5.
    N. Kill the blue scalfo. Cast the FAIRY spell to pass through the
    lock. Dodge the ironknuckles. When you exit the room, backtrack
    and destroy the ironknuckles. If they don't do something stupid
    (like giving you a red magic container) you should have enough
    exp to raise your Life level to 4. If not, don't worry about it,
    because the boss should give enough exp to do so.
    O. HelmetHead's Room. A player who's mastered the downstab and
    has a Level 5 Attack and dispatch this boss in 6 seconds. Place
    crystal in statue, and raise Magic level to 4.
    Watch Time: 0:33:32
    Upon exiting the 2nd Palace. W/O HES, move 1 south, all the way
    east, 1 south, and east until you can move onto grasslands (lucky
    adventurers will get only one action sequence along the way).
    Head for the road, and follow it south, and destroy the roadblock.
    Move due east until you are directly north of King's Tomb. Go due
    south, through King's Tomb, and continue south until you find the
    hidden tunnel.
    Kill the lowders before casting your FAIRY spell and proceeding
    right. Keep going right and kill all monsters in your path.
    Upon exiting the cave, W/O HES, move 4 east, 5 north, 1 west,
    1 north, 4 west, and south to the 3rd Palace.
    Watch Time: 0:34:59
    Your levels goal is to raise magic and life level to 5 and to
    be ready to level up magic to 6.
    %. Make up to 5 attempts on the statue. Kill 2 ironknuckles,
    and use red magic containers to refill your magic. Exit and
    reenter the Palace after each attempt. After your 5th, continue on,
    as time's a 'wastin.
    A. Your first encounter with Stone Warriors and Type 2 Scalfos.
    (at a meager Level 4 Life, they pack a punch!). Kill them and
    move on.
    B. Straight-forward path. Downstab mini-horseheads and myus, as
    this is the quickest method.
    C. Another straight-forward path. Ignore the moa and blocks falling
    from up top.
    D. Kill all myus and the Stone Warrior. Also take the time to grab
    the key and Point Bag.
    E. Kill the two red ironknuckles trapped within' the blocks; you
    need the experience. An expert jumper can jump over the long hole
    without the need of a JUMP spell (if you miss, use a JUMP spell).
    F. Kill the red ironknuckle and get the key. (you should have
    enough exp to Raise Life level to 5). Backtrack.
    E. Go down below and kill the scalfo. Go down the elevator.
    G. Proceed right. Kill any flying statues and bits that get in
    your way.
    H. Keep going right. Kill bits and the red ironknuckle along the
    way. Jump over lava pits, and also get the key in the process.
    I. Kill the ironknuckles. First encounter with the blue ironknuckle.
    Kill him quickly! Get the RAFT. Backtrack to Room F.
    F. Proceed left, killing any flying statues and bits that get in
    your way.
    J. Kill the ironknuckle. Go down the elavator.
    K. Use a FAIRY spell to get through the keyhole. Proceed right,
    and don't bother to backtrack. (or you will get a mace in the
    L. Kill all ironknuckles and get the point bag. Hope they don't
    drop a red magic container. Yes, it's time-consuming, but you
    want enough experience so that defeating the Mounted Ironknuckle
    will level your Magic up to 5. (and you've probably needed it up
    to this point).
    M. Mounted Ironknuckle's Room. Watch how fast your Level 5 Attack
    wastes this opponent! (if you follow the strategy mentioned in the
    strategy section, Mounted Ironknuckle will fall in 15 seconds).
    Place crystal in statue, but skip your next Life level up (you want
    to go for Level 6 Magic instead).
    Watch Time: 0:41:04
    Backtrack to the graveyard (kill all monsters in your path).
    Go straight north to King's Tomb, then north to the road. If you
    were fast enough, you'll avoid action sequences. Use the Raft to
    cross the sea to the east.
    Watch Time: 0:41:45
    Upon crossing the sea, W/O HES, move 1 east, 1 south, 1 east, 1
    south, 1 east, and straight south to the lone forest patch. Get
    the Point Bag, but don't wait around fighting the Type 2 Moas.
    Leave the screen, and Go due east until you reach the road around
    Nabooku. Head for the cave up north (skip Nabooku. You don't need
    FIRE spell to complete the game, and skipping it shaves 1 minute,
    17 seconds from your quest).
    The cave is straight-forward. Proceed right, and kill the Red
    Aches. You'll have to jump over the Fire Dragon as you don't
    have the FIRE spell needed to defeat it. (use Downstab to jump
    over it).
    At this point, you'll get so many action sequences that there
    is no point dodging them. Just go east, and avoid grasslands
    (as they only hold swordproof monsters). Cross the bridge in
    the east. On the island, follow the road south, all the way
    east, then north to the dead end near the 4th Palace. You'll
    find the hidden cave where you have to kill a Lizardman and
    save a child. Do so, then backtrack off the Island. Proceed
    west, going by way of forest. After several action sequences
    (avoid all monsters), you'll get to a desert. Take the path
    to Daurnia (two action scenes. Fight your way through the
    first, FAIRY the second).
    Your only goals in Daurnia is to get the Upstab and the
    REFLECT spell. Do so, get your magic refilled, and leave.
    Head back to the Island. All action scenes done by way of
    desert and of forest. You'll lose time, but it's safer than
    dealing with swordproof monsters that you can't dodge easily.
    On the island, all I know is the longest path around holds the
    fewest action scenes, and takes the least amount of time. You
    should also get the 3rd Magic Container while here. The one
    action scene doesn't have much in the way of monsters that you
    can kill, so just jump over or dodge them and continue on your
    way. You will eventually get to the 4th Palace.
    Watch Time: 0:48:57
    Defeating The 4th Palace in the most efficient fashion will require
    exiting the Palace a few times. DO NOT waste your time killing
    wizzrobes! Just do what you need to do and get outta here.
    Your only levels goal is to get your Life Level to 6.
    A. Proceed left. Use a FAIRY spell to get through the keyhole.
    J. Use a JUMP spell and the Upstab to get the Key. Kill the red
    ironknuckle to the left, and use the key to unlock the door.
    Backtrack to the start of the Palace (you'll need to cast FAIRY
    again) and exit.
    %. Keep making attempts at the statue until you get a red magic
    container (kill any red ironknuckles). When you've refilled your
    magic, continue on.
    A. Proceed right this time. Don't bother wasting your magic
    killing the wizzrobes; your only goal is to beat this Palace.
    B. Jump over the Scalfos for now. You'll get them on the way
    back. Go down the elavator.
    C. Proceed right. Kill the scalfo.
    D. Jump into the pit.
    E. Proceed right. Kill the stone warrior.
    F. Kill the scalfos and the blue ironknuckle. Cast a FAIRY spell
    to get the Boots. Backtrack to Room E and fall down the pit again.
    G. Go left. Nothing else to it.
    H. Use a FAIRY spell to get through the keyhole, and take the
    elevator back to Room B.
    B. Kill the scalfos and get the Point Bag if you haven't already.
    A. Go back up the elevator and exit the Palace.
    %. Reenter the Palace again! (keep trying for red magic containers
    until you refill your magic. Kill Red Ironknuckles), and continue
    on your way.
    A. Proceed left. Use a FAIRY spell to get through the keyhole.
    J. Go left all the way. Kill the red ironknuckle and the stone
    K. Kill the two stone warriors and get the Point Bags and Key,
    but ONLY if you haven't Raised your Life Level to 6. If not,
    just grab the key and go. Backtrack to Room J and take the
    elevator down.
    L. Proceed left. Nothing else to do.
    M. One way again. Get to the elevator and go down. Killing the
    myus is not necessary, as you will not get enough exp between now
    and the crystal for it to matter.
    N. Use a FAIRY spell to get through the keyhole and go right.
    Don't backtrack to kill monsters.
    O. Kill the two red ironknuckles and continue right.
    P. Carock's Room. You should have enough magic for a single
    REFLECT spell. Cast and kill away. (your time may vary, but for
    me, it took Carock 17 seconds to commit suicide). Place crystal
    in statue, and skip your Level-Up (next goal is Level 6 Attack).
    Watch Time: 0:55:25
    You can use the boots to take the river off the island. Upon
    leaving the island, head south into the ocean, as there are no
    monsters in the ocean. (get the extra life in the desert if you
    need it).
    Your only errands before the 5th Palace is getting the 3rd Life
    Container in the ocean. I'll leave it up to you to find it.
    After getting the 3rd Life Container, look for the 500 Point
    Bag in the desert south of the 5th Palace. This will raise your
    Attack Level to 6. Go back to the Ocean and head for the Palace.
    Watch Time: 0:56:46
    Your levels goal is to up your Life Level to 7 and your Magic
    Level to 7. Ignore all the wizzrobe-type monsters that shoot
    fire at you; they take too long to kill. However, if you are
    quick with your downstab, your attack level is high enough if
    you want to kill a few skulls. (but don't kill every last one
    of 'em. You'll just be wasting time).
    A. Proceed right. Kill the monsters.
    B. Go right. You'll need FAIRY to get up the ledge.
    After leaving Room B, backtrack and get the Key.
    C. Cross the bridge. The flying statue heads won't touch you if
    you walk across W/O HES or jumping. Get the Point Bag on the way,
    but be prepared to jump over the statue heads after.
    D. Kill the red ironknuckles and head right towards the elevator.
    E. Go left. You will encounter wizzrobe-type monsters that shoot
    fire at you. Skip them all unless they get in your way. We're going
    for shortest time, and it takes too long to defeat them.
    F. Get the key. It may take awhile, but aggressive players will
    try to get the key while the blocks are falling. Proceed left
    G. Kill the ironknuckles. Go left and down the elevator.
    H. Proceed left. Ignore all monsters.
    I. Go left and down the elevator. Ignore all monsters.
    J. Go left to get the Point Bag and to kill a Hammer Brother. Cast
    a JUMP spell and kill the red ironknuckle to the right and get the
    key. Proceed right thereafter.
    K. Just go right. Ignore all monsters.
    L. Kill the blue ironknuckle. Proceed right, through the
    illusionary wall.
    M. Ignore all monsters. Go down the elevator.
    N. Go left. Ignore all monsters.
    O. Kill the two ironknuckles. Get the Flute.
    Backtrack to Room I. Use a FAIRY spell to get through the keyhole
    to the left.
    P. Use a JUMP spell and kill the Hammer Brother above. Hit the
    statue for a red magic container. Go left past the elevator to
    kill a red ironknuckle and grab a Point Bag. Take the elevator
    At this point, you should have enough exp to have got your Life
    Level to 7, or at least enough exp to earn it after killing
    Q. Cast a FAIRY spell and proceed right. You'll take damage as
    you pass the ironknuckles, but there is nothing you can do about
    R. Gooma's Room. It takes me about 30 seconds to destroy Gooma.
    (Raise Life Level to 7 if you haven't yet). Place crystal in
    stone, and Raise your Magic Level to 7.
    Watch Time: 1:03:33
    You know where the River Devil is. Proceed west, and then go
    south when you reach Nabooku. Down south is the River Devil.
    Play him a song, and then continue south on your journey.
    You have three unavoidable action sequences. Kill the two
    lizardmen on the way and do your best to dodge the boulders
    hurled at you from above.
    Take the forest route to get to the cave to New Kasuto. Welcome
    all action sequences; Orange Lizardmen rack in 300 exp per action
    sequence. Get to the cave to New Kasuto. It is straight-forward.
    Dodge the monsters you can't kill, and kill the lizardmen in the
    second screen.
    Cut down the forest outside the cave with your Hammer until you
    find New Kasuto. Your jobs here are to get SPELL, the final
    Magic Container, and the Magic Key.
    Backtrack to the other side of the cave. Run around the forest
    and look for the action scene that holds a 500 point bag. Then
    fight in the forest until you up your Life Level to 8. Next, head
    for the desert shore southeast until you find the 4th Life
    UPDATE: It is not a necessity to max out your Life level. You can
    save time just by going to the 6th Palace and not bother with the
    Life level. It saves time in the long run, but the new time is not
    included in the FAQ.
    You are now ready for the 6th Palace. Use the Flute at the center
    of 3rd Eye Rock, and the 6th Palace should appear.
    Watch Time: 1:12:05
    ' Pit Loop
    Take the elevator straight down to A.
    A. Kill all monsters, including the Wizzrobes if they get in your
    B. Kill the blue ironknuckle and fall down the pit.
    C. Kill the two blue Ironknuckles and snag the Point Bag. Fall
    down to Room D.
    D. Get the Point Bag. Fall back to Room B.
    B. Hit the statue. If it's an ironknuckle, kill it. Proceed right
    and kill the blue ironknuckle and continue on.
    E. Use a REFLECT spell and kill the wizzrobes. Proceed right,
    dodging the shots the statues spit at you.
    F. Kill the blue ironknuckle, get the point bag, and kill the
    stone warrior. Proceed right.
    G. Use a REFLECT spell to kill the wizzrobes. The invisible pit
    is jumpable if you know where it is, but I recommend a JUMP
    spell for cautionary measures. Proceed right.
    H. Mounted Ironknuckle. Shouldn't take long to kill it. Get
    the Cross.
    Backtrack to the invisible pit and fall.
    I. Go right and kill the red ironknuckle, as well as grabbing
    the point bag. Cast a JUMP spell and destroy the 3 bottom and
    3 top blocks. Jump to the top of the screen and exit due right.
    This will take you out of the Palace.
    Use the flute again and reenter.
    %. Keep trying the statue until you get 2 red magic containers.
    (the first to cast 2 LIFE spells, the second to refill your
    magic). Kill any red ironknuckles that appear. Keep exiting
    and reentering until you can furfill this. Again, go straight
    down the elevator to Room A.
    A. Ignore the wizzrobes this time. Proceed right, killing only
    the stone warrior.
    B. Kill the blue ironknuckle and fall down the pit again.
    C. Kill the two blue ironknuckles before falling down again.
    J. This time, you want to go right, rather than falling. Kill
    the blue ironknuckle and proceed right.
    K. The flying statues will be a neusence. Proceed right with
    caution. Kill the myus if you wish.
    L. Ignore the wizzrobes and kill the red ironknuckle. Proceed
    M. You'll need a FAIRY spell to cross the lava pit. Continue
    to go right while dodging skulls.
    N. Proceed right. You should have enough exp at this point, so
    it is not necessary to kill the scalfo. Keep going right.
    O. Mounted Ironknuckle. Defeat him, and continue right.
    P. Don't waste your time with the extra life if you don't need
    it. Just fall into the pit.
    Q. Use a FAIRY spell and enter the path to the right.
    R. Barba's Room. Time varies big time when fighting this boss.
    (from 13 seconds to as much as 1 minute!) If you killed everything
    you were supposed to kill, Barba should give you enough exp to
    raise your Attack Level to 7. Place crystal in stone, and raise
    Magic Level to 8.
    Watch Time: 1:20:56
    It is not necessary to max out your attack level. Level 7 is
    sufficent enough. time to make our final runs and head for the
    Great Palace.
    Go west and cross the bridge (use a FAIRY spell). Enter Old Kasuto.
    Enter the first building and get the THUNDER spell. Then exit the
    Cross the bridge again (use FAIRY). Go north and cross another
    bridge (FAIRY). Go west through the graveyard, then head south.
    Get through the unavoidable action sequence on the single road.
    After that, go 2 south and 3 east for a red magic container.
    Then follow the path west, then north, and through the caves.
    The path is straight-forward. Exit all action sequences, and
    dodge all monsters that don't get in your way. Our only goal
    is to get to The Great Palace.
    Watch Time: 1:25:28
    Unlike other FAQs, I have mapped out the Great Palace. But
    there is only one true path to Thunderbird, while as the
    other routes require an extremely difficult jumping maneuver
    which even I have problems performing. It requires using
    the JUMP spell and Downstab to bounce off a skull and get
    up that extra block of wall that your Jump can't quite reach.
    I have removed this trick, because none of the other 3
    routes result in a faster time.
    A: Common route related to all 4 routes
    B: Thunderbird
    C: Dark Link (Final Boss)
    1: Route 1 (the fastest route)
    2: Route 2.
    3: Route 3.
    4: Route 4.
    !: Pit to the other room marked !
    |: Connects the ! and @ Pit.
    &: Connects two rooms by elevator.
    @: Pit to the room marked }.
    Regardless of what route you take, each will eventually take you
    to the room marked }. It should be noted, that IF YOU DO NOT take
    Route 1, you will end up on the upper half of Room, which is not
    where you want to be.
    By taking the correct route, the time to Thunderbird is
    4 minutes, 24 seconds.
    I'll leave it up to you to figure out this level. Exp doesn't
    matter, so avoid all monsters that don't stand in your way.
    Thunderbird and Dark Link took me a combined 1 minute,
    9 seconds to defeat. Combined, the Great Palace takes 5 Minutes,
    32 Seconds to beat.
    I stopped the watch as soon as the screen flashed after defeating
    Dark Link.
    TOTAL WATCH TIME: 1:30:00
    CONGRATULATIONS! You beat Zelda 2 in 90 minutes!
    My answer is YES! It certainly can! Take a look at what I got
    and could've skipped during my Time Trial:
    ----SHIELD Spell (1 minute)
    ----2nd and 3rd Heart Containers (1 minute, 30 seconds all
    |      together.
    ----LIFE Spell (45 seconds)
    ----The Cross (Cuts 6th Palace time in half! 4 minutes, 20 seconds
    |      saved!)
    -------If you doubt getting to the Great Palace without the Cross,
    |        refer to my UPDATE on the Fewest Items challenge.
    Skip all these, and you save 8 minutes, 51 Seconds
    TOTAL WATCH TIME: 1:30:00
    Saved Time:       0:08:51
    POSSIBLE GAME TIME: 1:21:09!!!
    Even though it is possible to beat Zelda 2 in under 90 minutes,
    I don't even recommend it to Expert gamers. I skip quite a bit
    as it is just to comfortably get under 2 hours; but all it
    would take is skipping a few monsters and items, so under 80
    minutes is a definite possibility.
    Before I filtered my e-mails, I heard the fastest possible time
    was pretty close to 45 minutes. But when I did the second quest
    with the things I already picked up, it took me about 57 minutes.
    * Time only counts if you beat the game. You can lose lives, as
    this will add time to your adventure. So if you get the big
    GAME OVER, you mine as well start over.
    If you need to see my other FAQs, then click on my name 
    (which I guess is a new GameFAQs feature on FAQ pages,)
    and my FAQs should pop up.
    Unlike my other FAQs, I have MANY people to thank
    this dedication to: All my friends (you know who
    you are) for helping me assemble the monster lists,
    and they thank Nintendo Power and the Instructions
    Manual for helping them so that they could help me.
    With that said, I should thank Nintendo Power and
    the instructions manual as well. LOL.
    Aside from that, I thank the usual suspects: Nintendo
    for making awesome RPGs, GameFaqs for they're website,
    Earthshaker for the inspiration, and The Red Barn
    Restaurant, for making killer milk shakes!
    Thank you again, Brian Sulpher, for the use of your monster
    strategies. Credit given where credit was due, as promised.
    This FAQ is property of Aspie Giraffe, Copyright 2/11/02, all rights reserved. 
    Any relation to guide books or other websites dedicated to Zelda 2 are 
    purely coincential, for this FAQ was put together by experience of playing 
    the game without any form of manual or other FAQs. Feel free to distribute 
    this FAQ or link this FAQ to your website. Just be sure to give the proper 
    credit where it's due.
    Last Updated: 3/2/08
    ***I have removed my e-mail info. I no longer have time
    to help anyone who needs help with video gaming.***

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