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------------------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.

UPDATES COMING IN THE DISTANT FUTURE, IF AT ALL                   
(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.

-------------------------------------------------------

THE CHALLENGES SECTION...WHAT'S THE POINT?

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
monster. 

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 
complete.

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
choice.

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
points.

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
refill.

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 
chance.

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 
remaining.

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.

HOW TO READ THE ATTACK CHARTS:

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 
REFLECT.
|            (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

LITTLE MONSTERS

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
  fighting.
! 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.

LARGE MONSTERS

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.

EVIL MONSTERS

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.

BOSSES

Be assurred, your projectile is ineffective against any of the
bosses.

                    |      |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.

-------CHALLENGE IV: FEWEST ITEMS/SPELLS/SKILLS--------
-------------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
creatures.
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.
However...
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 
going. 

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 
difficult:

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
challenge.

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
practicing.
-----

-------------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.

FIRE DRAGONS and TEKTITES
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.

FIRE DROPPER (I call them FIRE WIZZROBES)
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.

FIRE HAWK
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.

SCORPION
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.

STONE WARRIOR
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!

WIZZROBE
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.

BOSS STRATEGIES

HORSEHEAD
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.

HELMETHEAD
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.

RIDING IRONKNUCKLE
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.

CAROCK
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.

GOOMA
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.

BARBA
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.

THUNDERBIRD
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!

DARK LINK
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
yourself.

THE BEST POSSIBLE TIME "IN THEORY"

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
considerably.

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
Life.

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.

---THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE WALKTHROUGH---

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.

-----THE TIME TRIAL WALKTHROUGH-----

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
adventure.

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.

THE 1ST PALACE
Watch Time: 0:02:08

Minimap:
---------
--%--FG--
-BACDE---
--JIHKLM-
---------

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:

Attack
Attack
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
elevator.

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
exit.

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.

STUFF TO DO
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.

MORE STUFF TO DO
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
south.

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.

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
levels.

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
path.

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.

YOU NEED THIS HAMMER
Watch Time: 0:18:48

Minimap:
------
-AB#--
-#CDE-
------

A. Kill the Darias and Red Aches. Proceed right.

B. Proceed right and destroy the magmats and Daria. Go down the
elavator.

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.

THE LAST THINGS TO DO BEFORE 2ND PALACE
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
needed.

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.

THE 2ND PALACE
Watch Time: 0:28:13

Minimap:
-----------
-------%---
-- EDCBA---
-HGF--##---
-- IJK###--
-----LMNO--
-----------

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.

PATH TO 3RD PALACE
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.

THE 3RD PALACE
Watch Time: 0:34:59

Minimap:
----------
-%--------
-ABCDEF---
---#JGHI--
----KLM---
----------

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
face).

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).

BACKTRACK TO DOCK
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.

ERRANDS BEFORE 4TH PALACE
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.

THE 4TH PALACE
Watch Time: 0:48:57

Minimap:
----------
----%-----
--KJAB----
--ML#CD#--
--NOP#FG--
----#IH#--
----------

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
warrior.

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).

ERRANDS BEFORE 5TH PALACE
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.

THE 5TH PALACE
Watch Time: 0:56:46

Minimap:
---$-------
---ABCD----
--QRGFE#---
--PIH###---
-##JKLM#---
--##-ON----

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
afterward.

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
up.

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
Gooma.

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
that.

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.

ERRANDS BEFORE 6TH PALACE
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
Container.

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.

THE 6TH PALACE
Watch Time: 1:12:05

' Pit Loop

Minimap:
-------------
---%---------
--##'--------
---ABEFGH----
----C-#I-----
----JKLMNOP--
----D--#-QR--
----'--###---
-------------

Take the elevator straight down to A.

A. Kill all monsters, including the Wizzrobes if they get in your
way.

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
right.

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.

FINAL ERRANDS
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
town.

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.

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.

Minimap:
---------------
----%----------
---AA##--------
--2A11---------
--22!111-------
--44|--1-------
--4-|--1-------
--44|-311------
---&|-3311-----
---&|--3311----
---&|---3-1----
---&|---3@1----
---4!222-|1----
-------22}1#---
---------AA##--
----------ABC--
---------------

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!

CAN ZELDA 2 BE DONE IN UNDER 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.

THE SECOND TIME AROUND

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.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME E-MAILS ABOUT YOUR BEST TIMES!!! 

OTHER FAQS WRITTEN BY ASPIE GIRAFFE

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.

THE SPECIAL THANKS SECTION:

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.

DISCLAIMER NOTICE

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.***