Zelda II: The Adventure of Link – All Key Items

Zelda II gameplay

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link – All Key Items

After completely redefining the parameters of what would be possible on the NES with the original Legend of Zelda, the core creative team of Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka would return to work on a sequel. Rather than repeat the success of the original, though, the duo would envision further evolving the series through a direct follow-up that changes the perspective and much, much more. Releasing in 1987 for the Famicom (and then in 1988 for the NES), Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is about as atypical of a Zelda game as they come. And, in addition to its new side-scrolling perspective, looking at the Zelda II key items shows just how different it is from the original Legend of Zelda.

Link, now 16, learns of Princess Zelda’s ancestor (the original Princess Zelda in this branch of the Zelda timeline) and sets off to break the curse keeping her in an eternal slumber. Zelda II borrows heavily from the burgeoning JRPG genre to feature new mechanics like gaining experience and leveling up, talking with NPCs, and completing side quests. Aside from those additions, the core gameplay loop is similar to that of the original Legend of Zelda, albeit taking place in a side-scrolling perspective and featuring combat that is substantially more challenging than the series’ first game. Thankfully, several of Link’s more iconic recurring items show up in Zelda II to pad out the hero’s arsenal and give him a fighting chance.


Magical Sword

Zelda II key itemsThe sole weapon that players get to use in Zelda II is the Magical Sword, which is the very same sword that players acquire as the ultimate weapon in the original Legend of Zelda. Unlike most other games in the series, players cannot upgrade the Magic Sword in a traditional sense, instead gaining experience from defeating enemies and leveling up to become more powerful and make the sword more effective. Just like in The Legend of Zelda, the Magical Sword shoots a beam when Link is at full health.


Players will acquire the Boots as the key item within the Maze Island Palace dungeon. These magical footwear grant Link the ability to walk over bodies of water in the Eastern Hyrule region. They are a necessary item to travel across the sea east of Nabooru and reach the Palace on the Sea dungeon.


The Candle is the first piece of equipment that Link will obtain in Zelda II and is the key item within Parapa Palace. Similar to its use in the original Legend of Zelda, players can use the Candle to illuminate dark areas and spot any hazards.


Link acquires the Cross as one of the final pieces of equipment in the game. The key item within the Three-Ete Rock Palace, players must defeat Rebonack before obtaining the Cross. The item’s sole purpose is to reveal the invisible Moa enemies blocking Link’s ability to safely traverse through the Kasuto and Valley of Death areas.


Link obtains the Flute after traveling through the secret passage within the Palace of the Sea. He can then use the Flute to scare the River Devil blocking the path to the Three-Eye Rock Palace.


The Hammer is one of the few pieces of equipment that Link will find in the overworld rather than within a dungeon. Located in the depths of Death Mountain, the Hammer allows Link to smash boulders. Destroying boulders using the Hammer will often open up new pathways for Link to explore. Link can also use the Hammer to clear Forests, which is necessary for discovering the Town of Kasuto.

Handy Glove

Though it may look like the Gauntlet from other Zelda titles, Zelda II‘s Handy Glove behaves a bit differently. After acquiring this item within Midoro Palace, Link can use it to smash previously unbreakable blocks within other dungeons/Palaces. Additionally, the Handy Glove increases the effectiveness of the two Thrust attacks players can learn, allowing Link to reach more previously inaccessible areas.

Magic Key

The Magic Key is a necessary item for completing the Three-Eye Rock Palace thanks to its lack of Small Keys. With the Magic Key in tow, Link can unlock any door within a Palace. Players will find this valuable and necessary item within the Town of Kasuto.


Link acquires the Raft after his first fight with the Blue Iron Knuckle. With the Raft in his possession, Link can now travel across the sea separating Eastern and Western Hyrule.



Rather than summon a Fairy to restore health, the Fairy spell actually transforms Link into a Fairy himself. In Fairy form, Link can fly over obstacles and through the keyholes of locked doors. Players will acquire the Fairy spell in exchange for obtaining the Water of Life and healing the sick child in the Town of Mido.


The Fire spell allows Link to shoot fireballs from the Magical Sword. This ability is necessary for harming Tektites and Basilisks, as these creatures are invulnerable to all other attacks. Before players can learn the spell, though, they must acquire 5 Magic Containers and complete a side quest. Link will learn the spell after acquiring the Water side quest item and bringing it to the Thirsty Lady in Nabooru.


Link learns the Jump spell after acquiring the Trophy item and returning it to Ruto. With the Jump Spell handy, Link is able to double the height of his vertical leap. And, with the height of his jump increased, Link can now access previously unreachable ledges and more easily cross gaps.


As the name implies, the Life spell restores some of Link’s health — three Heart Containers, to be precise. Players will learn the spell after recovering the Mirror side quest item in the Water Town of Saria and then returning it to its owner.


The Reflect spell is the only means players have toward upgrading their Shield in Zelda II. After learning the spell, Link can successfully block Wizards’ magic attacks and other previously unblockable projectiles. Once the player has acquired 6 Magic Containers, Link can learn the spell by rescuing the Kidnapped Child from Maze Island and returning to the Wise Man in the Town of Darunia.


Players will learn the Shield spell early on in Zelda II in the Town of Rauru. Once Link learns the spell from the Wise Man’s Daughter, the player can cast Shield to halve the amount of damage Link receives from enemy attacks.


Link can use the confusingly named Spell spell to transform most enemy types into the comparatively harmles Bot enemies. Additionally, players can cast Spell to reveal a secret within the Town of Kasuto. With 7 Magic Containers in his possession, Link can learn the spell by finding the Wise Man hiding in his fireplace in the Town of Kasuto.


Once players acquire the maximum 8 Magic Containers, they can return to the Wise Man in Kasuto to learn Zelda II‘s most powerful magic spell — Thunder. Casting Thunder will instantly clear the screen of all but the toughest enemies and is a necessary component for defeating the Thunderbird boss.


Downward Thrust

Link can learn the Downward Thrust attack from the Hylian Knight within the Church in the Harbor Town of Mido. After learning this move, players can press down on the D-Pad after jumping to have Link execute a downward stab. Combining this move with the Handy Glove can open up new passageways for Link to explore.

Jump Thrust

Similar to the Downward Thrust, the Jump Thrust grants Link the ability to attack in an upward motion. And, along with the Handy Glove, Link can smash blocks on the ceiling to reach previously inaccessible areas after obtaining the Jump Thrust. Players will learn this attack from the Knight in Darunia.

Side Quest Items

Kidnapped Child

Once Link reaches the Town of Darunia, a mother will ask Link for help with rescuing her child. She tells Link that her child is being held on Maze Island, and venturing there to rescue him will ultimately result in Link learning the Reflect spell after he returns the Kidnapped Child.


Once Link reaches Saria, a female NPC will inform him that she has lost her Mirror. Recovering the Mirror and returning it to her will result in Link learning the Life spell.


In order to learn the Jump Spell from the Wise Man in the Town of Ruto, Link must first venture into the Tantari Desert and retrieve the town’s prize Trophy.


After arriving in Nabooru, a Thirsty Lady will request Link to fetch her some Water. Heading to a nearby fountain, players can easily retrieve some Water and then return to Nabooru. As thanks for bringing her Water, Link will learn the Fire spell.

Water of Life

A sick child in the Town of Mido needs Water of Life in order to recover. Taking on the task, Link will need to head to the Moruge Swamp and retrieve the Water of Life. Bringing it back to the Sick Girl’s Mother will grant him audience with the Wise Man that teaches the Fairy spell.


Heart Container

Players can acquire a total of four additional Heart Containers in Zelda II to reach the maximum total of 8. Unlike in other Zelda games, players won’t always receive a Heart Container as a reward for clearing a dungeon. Instead, NPCs in the game’s various towns will give Link clues as to the Heart Containers’ locations.
Otherwise known as a 1-Up Doll, Link will occasionally come across these dolls bearing his resemblance during his time in Hyrule. Collecting one will grant Link one extra life. Note that these do not respawn and are finite item pickups.

Magic Container

Similar to the game’s Heart Containers, Link can obtain 4 additional Magic Containers to reach the maximum 8. Collecting a certain amount of Magic Containers is necessary before Link is able to learn some spells and are mostly hidden around the overworld.

Magic Jar

Link can acquire Magic Jars for every six enemies he defeats. As their name implies, these jars will replenish Link’s Magic Containers. Blue Magic Jars will refill one Magic Container and Red Magic Jars will completely restore Link’s Magic Containers.

Point Bag

Point Bags, or Treasure Bags, contain large sums of Experience Points for Link to collect. Slashing one of these bags with the Magic Sword results in the player immediately earning 50, 100, 200, or 500 Experience Points. In addition to dropping from enemies, players can find plenty Point Bags hidden throughout Hyrule.

Small Key

With the once exception of Three-Eye Rock Palace, Link will find Small Keys within Zelda II‘s dungeons/Palaces and be able to use them to unlock doors. Though Link can hang onto Small Keys and use them in dungeons/Palaces other than where he obtains them, they are severely limited and valuable. In locations where there are no Small Keys (such as Three-Eye Rock Palace), Link needs to instead use the Magic Key.
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