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by TheRewster

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Guide and Walkthrough by TheRewster

Version: 1.01 | Updated: 09/15/2018
Highest Rated Guide

Great Palace

This is it, the grand finale! The nice thing about the Great Palace is that from now on, if you run out of lives and get a game over inside the Great Palace, you'll be taken back to the palace entrance instead of all the way back to the North Castle! Granted, though, the Great Palace is absolutely massive (it's so big that the palace by itself is considered a kind of "disc 2" for the game as a whole) so if you've made it far within the palace, starting over from the entrance will nevertheless be a stiff penalty. Still, it's better than the alternative! Also, by now you should have maxed out your levels, so you won't be needing to fight enemies in here for EXP. This place is home to the most powerful foes in the game, so only fight if you have to--otherwise, just keep moving. (Also of note is that the strong enemies here don't drop 200-EXP Treasure Bags or Red Magic Jars--only the minor enemies drop 50-EXP Treasure Bags and Blue Magic Jars.) It also doesn't help that this place is huge and has a lot of rooms that look identical. Keep your wits about you and follow this guide closely.

There are two routes through the Great Palace. Most players will want to take the most direct route, from the start to the final boss. However, you'll miss out on some minor items along the way like a few Red Magic Jars and even a Fairy. There is of course no bonus from grabbing every item, but if you're a completionist, I've included the longer route as well.

With all that aside, you should have the following before entering the Great Palace:

  • Attack: Level 8
  • Magic: Level 8
  • Life: Level 8
  • 8 blocks in Magic Meter
  • 8 blocks in Life Meter
  • Magic spells:
    • Shield
    • Jump
    • Life
    • Fairy
    • Fire
    • Reflect
    • Spell
    • Thunder
  • Inventory items:
    • Candle
    • Handy Glove
    • Raft
    • Boots
    • Flute
    • Cross
    • Hammer
    • Magical Key

Entry

As you arrive, go forward to find a magical barrier. Assuming you've inserted all six crystals in the stone statues at the palaces scattered throughout Hyrule, the barrier will lift, allowing you entry. (Alas, there is no statue here to give you a Magic Jar!) Take the elevator down and go left. You'll meet the first new enemy of the Great Palace: a Fokkeru. This red bird soldier will hurl fireballs at you--it's similar to a Guma, except stronger and with fire instead of chain hammers. Also note that the flames stay on the floor for a while and will sometimes even travel along the floor. It will take many hits to take down a Fokkeru, even with maximum Attack power--and likewise it will cause a lot of damage even if your Life is at Level 8. Continue left to the next room.

Take the upper route here, and be sure to jump over the false floor that's right after the pillar below you. (All rooms that look like this will have a false floor at this location--see the screenshot below.) Underneath you are some Bots, but be aware that Bots in the Great Palace are stronger than elsewhere in the game. At the end of this room is an elevator you should ride down.

Now go right. You'll pass through an empty room with a bridge over lava. The room after that looks empty too, but there is a Fokkeru at the end waiting to shower you with fire. Defeat it, then move to the elevator it's guarding and take it down to the next level.

In this room, you'll be met by Ras, but these ones are gold instead of the usual blue. They still behave the same way though. Bust through the breakable blocks while defeating incoming Ras with Downthrust. In the next room, you'll be introduced to a powerful new enemy called a Red Fokka. This is an armored bird that behaves just like a Blue Iron Knuckle by throwing its swords at you--but in addition, it also jumps. A lot. Cast Shield and either dodge past it or defeat it. Take down a Bot up ahead, then Downthrust through the blocks and ride the next elevator down one floor.

On this next floor, it might look like there's nothing but solid wall on either side of you, but that's not the case. Hug the left wall to find you can walk through it (it's a few spaces above the bottom of the screen--I've colored in the false wall for you in the screenshot below). Walk left to find an empty room with a Fokka statue on a high ledge. Cast Jump and then jump up and stab it--you'll get a Red Magic Jar! Sometimes it will spawn a Red Fokka instead, so if that happens, return to the elevator and try again. Now take the elevator down the rest of the way, two more floors.

At this point, the route splits. If you just want the direct route to the final boss, skip to the next section heading. If you're a completionist and want to completely empty the Great Palace of its items and see everything, then the following section is for you. (I personally recommend taking the most direct route to the ending, but I make the next section in case anyone's interested in exploring this palace fully.)

Detour for Completion

From the elevator, go left past another Fokkeru to the next room. You'll meet Anerus, but unlike their counterparts in other palaces, this version is red and spits fireballs instead of rocks--you can only block those if you cast Reflect. Don't worry about Reflect in this room; instead just defeat each Aneru as you come to them, taking the upper route. Watch out, for just as before there is an invisible hole after the pillar below you that you'll need to jump. Take the next elevator down.

You'll find a couple Bots in a structure of breakable blocks. Before you start destroying the blocks, however, what you'll want to do is create some "steps" as you go inside the structure (defeating the Bots as you go) and then position yourself on the right end of the structure four blocks from the floor. A Blue Fokka will come into view then, rapidly jumping and throwing swords at you. If you're standing on a structure four blocks tall, you're in the best possible place to fight this thing. (See the screenshot below.) Crouch, as this will enable you to both block its highest sword throws as well as strike its head when it gets close to you. Stay here, crouching and slashing as the Blue Fokka jumps near, and soon it'll be destroyed. Break through the next structure of breakable blocks and continue right. Quickly get across the collapsing bridge, jumping over or defeating the Myus, then beware of Bots as you jump the upcoming lava pit. Ride the elevator down at the end.

Don't be fooled by the curtains as you arrive in the next room. There is no boss here, only a couple Bubbles and a Fokkeru. The next room is very similar to the one from the previous floor, with a collapsing bridge (featuring Bubbles instead of Myus) and afterward Bots on a ledge over a pit of lava. Take this next elevator down too, and on the next floor, you can walk left through another false wall to a Fokka statue you can strike with the Jump spell to receive a Red Magic Jar. Now ride the elevator down to the bottom.

Keep moving in this room to evade both the Ras and the Myus. Cast Shield and maybe Jump in the next room as you'll see a Red Fokka on the ledge above you, along with a couple Bots. Unfortunately for you, there's a false floor above there, allowing the enemies to drop to your level. Move right quickly, and use Jump Thrust to break through the blocks and continue right. You'll fall through a second false floor into a hole to the next floor down. Once you land, move left through this empty room. Up next is another empty room, but it's filled with nothing but lava. Cast Fairy to make it across. (If you don't have enough magic, then you'll have no choice but to sacrifice a life in order to refill your magic meter.)

In the next room, destroy a Myu as you make your way through a breakable block structure, but as before, make sure you can stand four blocks tall on the end. This time you'll have to drop off to scroll the Blue Fokka onto the screen, then double back, cast Jump, and leap up to your spot and take out the Blue Fokka there. Once it's down, continue left through another block structure with a Myu in it, and ride the next elevator up.

Beware of Ras in this room, as well as the two Bots at the beginning when you hop over a lava pit. Quickly cross the collapsing bridge, jumping over any Ras who get in your way, then proceed to the next room. You'll cross a series of bridges over lava as you're accosted by a Red Fokka. Get past the creature, and you'll notice the next room looks exactly the same, i.e. a bridge over lava. But as you reach the third open area in this room, a gigantic Bot will drop onto you from the ceiling! This is a Boss Bot. Simply hit it once (use Jump Thrust right as it's falling on you), and it will split into five Bots with extremely high HP. Destroy them if you want, but it's best just to ignore them and keep moving.

The next room contains nothing but Ras flying at you, and in the room after that are Anerus guarding breakable block structures that have one Bubble trapped within each. Fight or avoid the enemies, but note that this first cluster of blocks contains a Red Magic Jar for the taking. When you're done here, take the elevator up one floor. Once again, you can walk through the false wall on your left, and this time you'll find a Fairy to rejuvenate your life! Return to the elevator and take it up one more level. Dodge past the Red Fokka who harasses you here and continue left into a room with Ras and Myus. Take the next elevator up one floor, and walk through the false wall on the left to find another Fokka statue. Cast Jump to reach it, and slash it for a Red Magic Jar. Return to the elevator and take it the rest of the way up.

Take out the Fokkeru in your way and keep going right (there's a false floor along the upper route, but it doesn't matter if you fall in or not). In the next room, traverse the collapsing bridges over lava, and at the end execute a Downthrust to take out the Aneru below. Ride the elevator up and go left, fighting or evading Bubbles as you go. The next room is an interesting one, featuring Anerus spitting fire at you from within breakable block structures. This is a good place to cast Reflect so you can deal with their incoming fire while breaking through the structure and taking out the enemies. There are two such structures here, containing three Anerus each. Afterward, take the elevator up.

Go right along the upper path, jumping over an invisible gap a couple spaces left of the pillar below you. You'll be harassed in here by waves of Ras, so avoid them as they come toward you. The next series of rooms are ones you've visited earlier when you first arrived at the Great Palace, though there will be a Fokkeru waiting for you by the elevator at the end if you haven't defeated it yet. Take the elevator down, go right, and break through the blocks while fighting off waves of incoming Ras. In the next room is a Red Fokka (unless you've already beaten it) followed by a Bot and breakable blocks through which you should Downthrust on your way to the next elevator. Now ride this elevator all the way down three floors to the bottom, back to the place where the routes initially diverged. Now after that lengthy detour, you're back on the main route!

Direct Route

From the elevator, go right past another Fokkeru to the next room. Waves of Ras will assault you. You'll also meet Anerus, but unlike their counterparts in other palaces, this version is red and spits fireballs instead of rocks--you can only block those if you cast Reflect. Don't worry about Reflect in this room; instead just defeat each Aneru as you come to them. At the end is a Fokka statue on a high ledge; cast Jump to reach it and hopefully gain a Red Magic Jar for your trouble. Take the elevator down.

You'll find a couple Bots in a structure of breakable blocks. Before you start destroying the blocks, however, what you'll want to do is create some "steps" as you go inside the structure (defeating the Bots as you go) and then position yourself on the right end of the structure four blocks from the floor. A Blue Fokka will come into view then, rapidly jumping and throwing swords at you. If you're standing on a structure four blocks tall, you're in the best possible place to fight this thing. (See the screenshot below.) Crouch, as this will enable you to both block its highest sword throws as well as strike its head when it gets close to you. Stay here, crouching and slashing as the Blue Fokka jumps near, and soon it'll be destroyed. Break through the next structure of breakable blocks and continue right.

Wait for the Aneru to spit a fireball, then quickly get across the collapsing bridge, jumping over or defeating the Aneru. Beware of the Bubble as you jump the upcoming lava pit. Ride the elevator down at the end.

Don't be fooled by the curtains as you arrive in the next room. There is no boss here, only a Giant Bubble and a Fokkeru. The former is nothing more than a larger version of a Bubble. But unlike Bubbles (which give 50 EXP in regular palaces and 20 EXP in the Great Palace), this enemy gives no EXP at all when defeated--not that you need it anyway. Get past both foes and on to the next room. Cast Shield once you arrive because you'll quickly be set upon by a powerful Blue Fokka, but unlike previous rooms, there is no high vantage point for you here! Take it out as best you can, then get past the Giant Bubble as you climb the steps and Downthrust your way through the breakable blocks to the elevator beyond.

Ride the elevator down one level and walk through the false wall to your left. Cast Jump and strike the Fokka statue for a Red Magic Jar, then return and take the elevator down one more floor. Go left and wait for the Bots to fall into the lava before hopping over the lava pits yourself. At the end in the next room, Doll #6 is waiting for you! Now backtrack past the lava pits and ignore the elevator, continuing right. Climb up the steps and then carefully Downthrust through the higher breakable blocks down to the Fairy waiting for you below--but don't Downthrust any farther or you'll wind up in the lava! Now return to the elevator and take it down the rest of the way to the next floor.

Go left from the elevator, past a Bot and a Fokkeru, to the next room. Fight past the Ras here in cramped conditions, then under two of the breakable blocks is a false floor (specifically the fifth and sixth blocks from the left--see the screenshot below). Drop down the invisible hole and head right.

Another Boss Bot will drop from above in this room, so Jump Thrust it and move on. In the next room is a collapsing bridge over lava, with Bubbles underneath and some Myus on top of the bridge. For a brief detour for a Fairy, read on. (If you want to get to the finale already, simply skip to the next paragraph.) Quickly run across the collapsing bridge, ignoring the enemies, and on to the next room. This is a dangerous room filled with Fire Bago-Bagos. They're just like regular Bago-Bagos, except this version breathes fire! Don't worry about casting Reflect--just move on to the next room as quickly as possible, taking out any Bago-Bagos that get in your path. The next room has ledges made of breakable blocks that you should keep intact. Defeat or avoid the two Giant Bubbles in here, then jump on the breakable blocks at the end and use them to reach a high ledge. At the end of this corridor is a Fairy! Now backtrack through this room, as well as the room with Fire Bago-Bagos, back to the room with the collapsing bridge.

Run along the collapsing bridge, looking for a tiny gap below in the middle of the lava. Drop into this gap to make it safely to the floor below.

Go left to find a trio of breakable block structures. Inside the first (at Link's height) is a Red Magic Jar. Better, there is another Red Magic Jar inside the third structure at the end of the room as well! This way you should be able to fully restore both your life and magic meters. (If either of these blocks spawns a Red Fokka, run right to the next room and return). Make sure you're fully healed before continuing on because to the right are none other than the final bosses of the game!

Boss Battle: Thunderbird

As you reach the center of the room, a majestic red flying creature enters, dropping fireballs toward the floor. In this form, the boss is invincible, so cast Thunder once it enters--the boss will turn blue and now be vulnerable to your attacks! Next cast Shield, Jump, and Reflect. If you came in with a full magic meter (and with those two Red Magic Jars just outside this room, you should have), you'll have just enough for all these spells. Jump up and strike Thunderbird's head with your sword, the only place on its body where the thing is vulnerable. Your Reflect spell will catch most of the fireballs it spews, while Shield will help with whatever damage you do take--thankfully Thunderbird's body won't damage you, only its fireballs. Note that the more damage Thunderbird takes, the greater the barrage of fireballs it will throw down upon you. Keep up your attacks, and Thunderbird will go down eventually. You'll gain 1000 EXP from defeating this boss.

But you're not done yet! Take the Key that drops from the ceiling and continue right. At the end of this room, you'll find a sage holding the Triforce of Courage. Before he grants it to you, you must pass one final test.

Final Boss: Shadow Link

The room changes color, and Link's own shadow emerges to do battle with you! This is just an old-fashioned sword battle, man to man. You'll likely have no magic left over from the Thunderbird battle, but if you do lose a life and have to try again, you'll definitely want to cast Shield, as well as have Life available. None of your offensive magic--Fire, Spell, or Thunder--has any effect on Shadow Link. Also note that no matter your levels, Shadow Link will always take eight hits to defeat, and likewise will take away a full unit of health from you if he hits you (or half a unit if you have Shield active).

By far the best method to beat Shadow Link is to retreat to the far left edge of the screen, then turn around and crouch. Slash at Shadow Link whenever he comes near--he'll rarely be able to defend against this, allowing you to inflict easy damage on him. He may get in a hit or two on you in this position, but it will be rare. This is actually a very easy (and almost anticlimactic) way to defeat the final boss. The more traditional and less cheap way involves going toe to toe with him, striking when his guard is down, sometimes using jump attacks if you prefer (though these will be far less effective on Shadow Link than they were against Iron Knuckles and Gerus). Unfortunately, fighting him this way is nearly impossible as Shadow Link guards with nearly frame-perfect precision. You might get a lucky hit in every now and again, but he'll almost certainly whittle your life away before you can get in enough hits to subdue him. But if you have lives to spare and are up for the ultimate challenge, give it a shot! Otherwise, use the tried and true method of crouching in the left corner and stabbing. Regardless of how you fight, after landing eight successful blows, Shadow Link will be vanquished and the Triforce of Courage will be yours!

Congratulations on completing Zelda II - The Adventure of Link! With this being one of the hardest games in the Zelda series as well as being one of the toughest NES titles, this is no mean feat. Enjoy the ending, and then once you're back on the title screen, press Start to go to the file menu. Link will have a Triforce icon next to him, indicating you've completed the game. Also, clearing this game with a triple zero (000) next to your file is one of the great challenges of this game (as you can neither run out of lives nor even save your game).

At any rate, unlike the original Legend of Zelda, there is no second quest per se. If you start up your save file, though, you'll be able to play the whole game over again in a kind of new game plus. Your levels, spells, and sword techniques carry over, making the early parts of the game very easy indeed, but your lives, keys, crystals (for obvious reasons), inventory items, and Magic and Heart Containers do not carry over.

If there is any further information you need to know about this game, please check the appendix.