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Submission #7039: Arc & Inzult's NES Zelda II: The Adventure of Link "100%" in 1:02:40.84

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Zelda II - The Adventure of Link (U).nes
Branch: 100%
Emulator: BizHawk 2.6.1
Movie length: 1:02:40.84
FrameCount: 226022
Re-record count: 33983
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: Arc & Inzult
Submitter: Arc
Submitted at: 2021-03-05 04:43:17
Text last edited at: 2021-03-31 16:46:01
Text last edited by: Zinfidel
Download: Download (69335 bytes)
Status: published
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How to Conquer the World and Find Dolls of Yourself in 62 Minutes

By Arc — 6214 words — 25-minute read

This movie is a 100% completion of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. The definition of 100% completion does not rely on previous RTA speedrun categories. The movie was made with entertainment in mind for TASVideos. It was also made with internal consistency in mind, and so the definition of 100% completion for this game is the following: all meaningful actions or items that can be objectively measured and maximized. Using this definition, the following things are included: all palaces, bosses, experience level-ups, inventory items, spells, quest items, heart containers, magic containers, sword techniques, keys, and Link dolls. P-Bags, jars, fairies, and 1UPs (from 9000 XP) are the most notable exclusions, and the reason is the same for all of them: there is a theoretically infinite amount of them, and it is impossible to get 100% of infinity.

Why it matters: The purpose of this movie is to be a comfortable journey through all of Hyrule. It faces all of the challenges that the Zelda II world offers. The goal of 100% completion inherently has compelling differences from the other two published ‘long’ Zelda II branches, but it is especially notable that the planning for the 100% movie is completely different. A major emphasis of the other two long branches is having enough magic to use Fairy. In this movie, magic is less of a concern. Instead, the focus is on obtaining experience and finding the best routes. In my opinion, the most impressive aspect of the movie is that it obtains levels 8-8-8 without any grinding or detours.

The big picture: Like the other two long Zelda II branches, this movie forgoes using the hyperspeed and scroll-lock glitches because they corrupt the gameplay in a way that makes it both inauthentic and unwatchable. Those glitches are used in the five-minute warp glitch movie for people who want to see the game played with absolutely no restrictions. But there are no other restrictions other than 100% completion of the game, entailing that wrong-warps that save time are allowed. A "warp" (or "wrong warp") in Zelda II is when a screen exit takes Link somewhere other than where that exit is supposed to lead to. There are three types of wrong warps: the healer glitch, the encounter glitch, and the fairy glitch. I use all three types in this movie. The warpless branch is the only branch that doesn’t use warps, and that is the justification for why the warpless movie has its own branch.

Go deeper: Let’s go through each aspect of the 100% completion in the order that it happens in the movie.

Link Doll (1 of 6): Each Link Doll gives Link a 1UP. Link’s lives are reset after each restart, but the Link Dolls are gone permanently after being picked up. The first major goal of the movie is to get the Hammer from Death Mountain. The fastest way is to use the healer glitch in Rauru to wrong-warp to the graveyard so that Link can take the backdoor route to Death Mountain. The first Link Doll is southwest of the graveyard. Since the Link Doll is closer to the bridge than to the Island Palace entrance, getting it now is faster.

Attack-2: Link needs 200 XP to get Attack-2. It increases the damage Link does from 2 to 3 HP. It is extremely important not to level up Magic or Life at all early in the movie. The game allows the player to cancel weaker level-ups and continue focusing on a single type of level. Attack levels require the most XP to level up. Leveling up Magic or Life would raise the minimum XP needed to reach the canceling threshold. It’s necessary to kill the red daira at the elevator in Death Mountain because he would otherwise block the way when coming back from the Hammer.

Hammer (Inventory 1 of 8): The Hammer breaks rocks and chops down trees. The red daira’s axe hit is timed to trigger the death animation the next frame after Link touches the Hammer. The timing of the death has to be on the good side of the death cycle. The death screen has a 21-frame rule, meaning that the screen that flashes red and blue after dying lasts for a multiple of 21 frames. Thus, by dying before the next death cycle comes up, I save 21 frames.

Magic Container (1 of 4): Magic Containers increase Link’s maximum MP by 16. He starts with four (64 MP) and can reach a maximum of eight (128 MP). Link needs to use the Hammer to break the rock covering the entrance to the Magic Container. After grabbing it, I restart.

Trophy (Quest 1 of 6): The Trophy is in a cave in the Tantari Desert. If Link talks to a woman in Ruto, she explains that a goriya stole the trophy. Link jumps over the goriya and grabs the Trophy. It's faster to restart than to walk to Ruto. Link needs to return the Trophy to the woman.

Jump (Spell 1 of 8): Jump allows Link to jump very high. Link returns the Trophy to the woman in Ruto. She shows her gratitude by inviting Link into the house to meet her uncle, who will teach Link the Jump spell. After Link learns Jump from the wise man, I immediately restart again.

Bagu’s Note (Quest 2 of 6): After Link shows Bagu’s Note to the River Man in Saria, Link can cross the bridge and enter Death Mountain. I won’t use the note since I took the backdoor route to Death Mountain already. But it is a quest item, and so I have to get it. The warpless movie shows the normal route through Death Mountain.

Mirror (Quest 3 of 6): A woman in town lost the Mirror. Link finds it under a table in a small house. When he returns the Mirror to her, she invites Link inside to meet a wise man.

Life (Spell 2 of 8): The Saria wise man teaches Link the Life spell, which restores HP. It is never used in the movie. If Link takes damage it’s because I’m intentionally trying to kill him.

Link Doll (2 of 6): North of Saria is Moruge Swamp. Normally Link walks one tile every 16th frame. In swampland, Link moves at half speed—one tile every 32nd frame. Near the entrance to the cave, there’s a tile with a Link Doll. Fortunately this screen has solid ground instead of swamp.

Water of Life (Quest 4 of 6): In the harbor town of Mido, a woman asks Link to help her sick daughter. The Water of Life is deep in the swamp cave, guarded by a pack of dairas. I restart after picking it up.

Downstab (Technique 1 of 2): Link uses Jump to access the church in Mido. There is a knight inside who teaches Link Downstab, which is an extremely useful and overpowered technique that Link will use throughout the game.

Fairy (Spell 3 of 8): Link gives the Water of Life to the woman, and she rewards him with an invitation to meet another wise man. He teaches Link Fairy, the most useful spell in the game. Link will abuse it to wrong warp, go through locked doors, avoid delays when picking up items, and get instant maximum speed.

Parapa Palace (1 of 7)

Key (1 of 31): Link goes all the way down the left path. Link grabs the key but also hits the block above it to give him momentum back to the right, saving a bit of time. The block doesn’t break because Link doesn’t have the Power Glove yet. I use the key soon afterward to advance down the right path.

Candle (Inventory 2 of 8): The Candle lights up caves. It’s behind a locked door. It’s the only time in the run that I use Fairy to go through a door, because I’m not going to backtrack. Therefore, I will have an extra key for the rest of the run, and it is beneficial in Palace 4. I take a death here as well, but it’s difficult to make Link die because the enemies are so weak. I delayed getting a Heart Container to make it easier for Link to die. Dying takes Link back to the entrance of the screen and saves time.

Key (2 of 31): After going right and up to get this key, Link is supposed to take it all the way back to where the Candle is. It’s a big waste of time. This key will be the extra key throughout the run.

Key (3 of 31): The next screen right also has a key. I damaged Link along the way so that the Gooma would kill him as soon as possible after grabbing the key. Again, it was difficult because the enemies are so weak. Taking damage in Fairy form is ideal because it doesn’t slow Link down, but it takes 27 frames to activate Fairy in the menu.

Attack-3: Link needs 500 XP to get Attack-3. It increases the damage Link does from 3 to 4 HP. As long as Link gets the 200 XP bag drop, XP planning is pretty simple for this palace.

Horsehead (Boss 1 of 8): At level 3, Horsehead takes 8 hits to kill. Horsehead is vulnerable only to attacks on its head. An interesting fact is that because of the way I level up throughout the game, all 8 bosses will take exactly 8 hits to kill.

Key (4 of 31): Every boss except Dark Link drops a key, even if there’s no locked door. Link can’t scroll the screen until after picking up the key. Link wants to be as high and as far to the right as possible when he grabs the key as it drops from the ceiling.

Attack-4: Link needs 1000 XP to get Attack-4. It increases the damage Link does from 4 to 6 HP. After getting Attack-3, I need to get enough XP to cancel Life and Magic. As long as they are both at level 1, I need only 100 XP. The last two enemies in Parapa are an orange ironknuckle (50 XP) and Horsehead (50 XP). And so after getting 100 XP and canceling Magic-2, the gem statue fills Link’s XP to the next level, which is Attack-4 at 1000 XP. The gem statue level-ups all need to be maximally efficient in order to reach 8-8-8.

Heart Container (1 of 4): Heart Containers increase Link’s maximum HP by 16. He starts with four (64 HP) and can reach a maximum of eight (128 HP). This Heart Container is south of Parapa. It’s natural to question why I didn’t use Fairy to gain immediate maximum speed to the right, since Link otherwise starts with no speed on this screen. But the Fairy form moves downward much slower than normal Link. The downward acceleration before grabbing the Heart Container leads to a grab that is 4 frames faster overall than using Fairy.

Magic Container (2 of 4): This Magic Container takes Link up to 96 MP. It’s in the cave south of the North Castle. It is available at any time. But it is faster to wait until after getting Fairy so that Link gets the instant max speed. I also chose to wait until after getting the Candle so that the cave would be lit up.

Midoro Palace (2 of 7)

Key (5 of 31): The screen that has this key is identical to the first key in Parapa. Again Link hits the block to get rightward momentum.

Key (6 of 31): This key is on the screen with two goomas. It was tricky to figure out the ideal way to make sure that Link dies right after getting the key. I have to balance taking damage with the need to kill most of the enemies in this palace. The enemies are still weak. I took damage while waiting for the small P-Bag to drop, and then the first gooma was the best option for the rest of the damage. The death saves enough time to make the damage worthwhile.

Key (7 of 31): This key is on the screen with lava and bots. I collect another small P-Bag almost at the same time. It is difficult to get enough XP in this palace.

Power Glove (Inventory 3 of 8): The Power Glove allows Link to break blocks. It is essential even in the most minimalist run. I took damage from the red ironknuckle here but also killed it without losing time because I needed to turn into a Fairy anyway to pick up the Power Glove. I didn’t kill Link here because he can die only twice and I’m going to have him die on a different screen later.

Key (8 of 31): This key grab is identical to the one at the gooma in Parapa. Link dies almost immediately after getting the key.

Helmethead (Boss 2 of 8): At level 4, Helmethead takes 8 hits to kill. Helmethead is vulnerable only to attacks on its head. It is similar to Horsehead.

Attack-5: Link needs 2000 XP to get Attack-5. It increases the damage Link does from 6 to 9 HP. It was very difficult to get enough XP in this palace. I needed to kill almost every enemy and get a bunch of P-Bag drops. Initially I thought that I would have to get the bait P-Bag on the collapsing bridge, but in the end it was unnecessary.

Key (9 of 31): This key is the boss key for Helmethead.

Attack-6: Link needs 3000 XP to get Attack-6. It increases the damage Link does from 9 to 12 HP. In this palace I needed to get Link to 2000 XP for Attack-5 and then get an extra 100 XP to cancel Magic-2. After killing Helmethead Link has 110 XP. Originally, I restarted after the gem statue filled up the XP. But then I realized that even though the overworld monsters in the swamp are unimaginably brutal, it is still clearly faster overall (about 3.5 seconds with all time accounted for) to walk directly to the Island Palace in this branch. The RNG during the walk from Midoro to the Island was horrible because of the encounter timer, which spawned two sets of enemies that can’t be manipulated. But there are a few timesavers in the Island Palace that result directly from not completely resetting everything.

Island Palace (3 of 7)

Magic-2: Link would need 5000 XP in this palace to get Attack-7. There are not enough enemies to get that much XP. It is safe to start leveling up magic as long as I can still get enough XP to hit the last cancel before the gem statue. Magic-2 doesn’t reduce the cost of Fairy, but it does refill the magic that Link used on Fairy to reach the Island.

Magic-3: Link needs 300 XP to get Magic-3. It reduces the cost of Fairy from 80 to 60 MP and reduces the cost of Jump from 40 to 32 MP. (Link has 96 MP at this point.)

Key (10 of 31): This key requires using downstab through three columns of blocks. Link does so very quickly.

Key (11 of 31): There is an unusual screen that takes Link outside. A red ironknuckle is guarding this key.

Magic-4: Link needs 700 XP to get Magic-4. It is useful to have it before the Maze Palace because it reduces the cost of Reflect from 80 to 48 MP.

Raft (Inventory 4 of 8): The Raft allows Link to travel to East Hyrule. Although it would be theoretically useful to have the blue ironknuckle kill Link, I have no more extra lives, and I need the XP anyway. The time difference between dying and not dying is properly factored-in to the decision not to reset after Midoro Swamp.

Key (12 of 31): This key is on the lava pit screen near a red ironknuckle. It is more fun to knock the red ironknuckle into the lava on the first pass through this screen and then kill him on the way back.

Key (13 of 31): This key is buried beneath six layers of blocks. This type of screen has not been seen in the previous Zelda II movies. Clearly this key was much more troublesome to get than most of the others. Link digs through the blocks in a way that lets him access the key quickly but also gives him a staircase to get back out.

Rebonack (Boss 3 of 8): At Attack-6, Rebonack takes 8 hits to kill. It takes 4 hits to make him dismount and 4 more hits to kill the ironknuckle. It gives 301 XP instead of 300.

Key (14 of 31): This key is the boss key for Rebonack.

Attack-7: Link needs 5000 XP to get Attack-7. It increases the damage Link does from 12 to 18 HP. After reaching Magic-4, Link needed an additional 1200 XP so that I could cancel Magic-5. Again the extra 10 XP saves 1 frame of incrementation after the gem statue starts filling up the XP on the way to 5000. I unintentionally had to play through this palace a few extra times as I realized more efficient ways to get enough XP, but the positive of that time spent is that I can now say for certain that the way that I did it is the best way. The red jar pickup earlier prevented a long wait for magic to refill. After the XP finishes filling and I level up, I restart.

Heart Container (2 of 4): Even at 96 HP, blue ironknuckles can still kill Link in two hits. My timing indicated that it’s about one second faster to restart after getting the Heart Container rather than walk out of the cave.

Kidnapped Child (Quest 5 of 6): Link is in East Hyrule now. He has to go to Maze Island, then all the way west to Darunia, then all the way back east to the Maze Palace. An orange geru guards the child. I don’t use Fairy to grab the child because I’m saving the magic for the next item.

Link Doll (3 of 6): This doll is near the coastline. Using Fairy creates immediate max speed and avoids having Link hold the item over his head for two seconds after grabbing it.

Upstab (Technique 2 of 2): I use the Darunia Superjump to gain access to the roof. With the Jump spell and precise positioning, Link avoids walking along all the rooftops. Inside the house, a knight teaches Link upstab. Although not as game-altering as downstab, there are a few places in the movie where it is useful.

Reflect (Spell 4 of 8): A woman in Darunia thanks Link for saving her child. She invites him inside to meet a wise man. The Reflect spell strengthens Link’s shield. Its most important use is to reflect Carock’s magic, since Carock cannot take damage any other way.

Magic Container (3 of 4): Link is warping through the maze at this point. This Magic Container takes Link up to 112 MP. Link had only 4 MP remaining when he picked it up though, and so he can’t use Fairy for a fast pickup.

Maze Palace (4 of 7)

Key (15 of 31): Before getting to this key, Link goes through a locked door thanks to the spare key from Parapa. This key is the ‘upstab key,’ although it’s possible to break the block with a high attack as well. It requires Jump to get up to the ledge. The trickiest part is the bubble enemy, which is in the way as Link tries to jump back down.

Key (16 of 31): This key is buried beneath six layers of blocks. It is physically identical to the screen from the Island Palace that had key 13, but it has different enemies and a P-Bag. The P-Bag is not needed, fortunately.

Key (17 of 31): Link walks over a large lava pit to get to this key. Then he jumps in the lava to kill himself and get back to the screen entrance quicker.

Carock (Boss 4 of 8): At any attack level, Carock takes 8 hits to kill, because the only way to kill him is to reflect his own magic back at him. His movement pattern is entirely predetermined by the frame on which Link enters the screen. He’s not reacting to Link’s movements. Like Rebonack, he gives 301 XP instead of 300.

Key (18 of 31): This key is the boss key for Carock.

Attack-8: Link needs 8000 XP to get Attack-8. It increases the damage Link does from 18 to 24 HP. All Link needed to do was get to 1200 XP so that I could cancel Magic-5. Then the gem statue takes Link all the way up to 8000. Since I’m not done with this palace, I don’t have to wait for it to fill up. It fills while I re-enter the palace and take the right path this time.

Key (19 of 31): Link walks over a large lava pit to get to this key. It’s the same type of screen as key 17. Link dies in the lava again. More interesting is how Link got to this screen. I used a Fairy warp that has not been featured in any previous TASes to skip a whole screen and save about 11 seconds.

Boots (Inventory 5 of 8): The Boots allow Link to walk on water, and he needs to do so to reach the Sea Palace. Link needs the experience from the blue ironknuckle, and so he can’t die here, but I can use Fairy to avoid the item grab pose.

Key (20 of 31): Link walks over a large lava pit again to get to this key. It’s the same type of screen as keys 17 and 19. Link dies in the lava again. Link was able to die three times in this palace because the Link Doll gave him an extra life.

Magic-5: Link needs 1200 XP to get Magic-5. There is just enough XP available, and Link finally accepts the upgrade. It reduces the cost of Fairy from 60 to 40, and so now Link can use Fairy twice without getting a magic refill.

Key (21 of 31): This key is another one buried six blocks deep. But since Link doesn’t need to get out of the blocks this time, he can drill straight down to it. I restart immediately after he grabs the key.

Shield (Spell 5 of 8): The Shield spell increases Link’s defense. It’s like the Red Mail in other Zelda games. A woman in Rauru invites Link inside to meet her father, who is a wise man. The obvious question is why didn’t I get Shield at the very beginning before doing the healer glitch, since I was in Rauru. The non-obvious answer is that it takes the healer lady a long time to get into proper position after getting Shield, and so it is actually a few frames faster to restart after getting Shield than to walk all the way out of the basement. Since Shield is a useless spell, and it takes up the menu slot between Jump and Fairy until I get Reflect, I save 4 frames by waiting to get it after the Maze Palace. This restart will be the last one of the movie.

Sea Palace (5 of 7)

Key (22 of 31): Here is one of the most interesting screens in the movie. There is a wall so high that Link can’t jump up even with the Jump spell. He is supposed to use Fairy and then come back into the room to grab the key. But with ideal timing, Link can damage boost using the bubble, land on the ledge, and pick up the key immediately.

Key (23 of 31): This key is at the top of the falling block screen. It is obviously one of the most difficult screens to deal with because of the block RNG. Link first needs blocks to fall in a way that he can jump on them to grab the key, and then he needs the blocks to stay out of his way when he tries to exit left. I wanted to kill one of the magos on the previous screen, but the RNG didn’t work out. This timing resulted in a good block pattern, and any other block pattern I tried was taking way too much time.

Key (24 of 31): This key is on a high platform guarded by a red ironknuckle. It requires Jump. The ironknuckle also happens to be the sixth large enemy, and so it conveniently drops a 200 XP bag.

Magic-6: Link needs 2200 XP to get Magic-6. It should be clear by this point that Link needs a lot of experience in this palace since he has been killing almost every mago. Magos give 200 XP each but they’re a difficult enemy to deal with because their spawn patterns are RNG, they disappear quickly, and it takes two hits to kill them despite being at Attack-8. I needed to get the magic level-up before the next screen (the Flute) because leveling up refills Link’s magic.

Flute (Inventory 6 of 8): The Flute is necessary to pass the River Devil blocking the path to Southeast Hyrule, which is the final area of the game. Although Link needs a lot of XP in this palace, there is enough so that he doesn’t need to kill the blue ironknuckle. Instead, the blue ironknuckle can kill Link immediately after grabbing the Flute in Fairy form.

Key (25 of 31): This key is hidden in a corner way off the normal path. It adds about a minute to the movie, but at least there are some enemies along the way to give XP. Link bounces off the wall when he stabs the key to get rightward momentum.

Key (26 of 31): This key is on a screen like the first key in Parapa. But there are three different types of ironknuckles on this screen, and all of them need to be killed to get enough XP for the next level up.

Gooma (Boss 5 of 8): At Attack-8, Gooma takes 8 hits to kill. This fight differs significantly from the any% movie, where it takes 36 hits to kill him. He has a helmet that protects his head from downstabs. He also wields a large ball-and-chain flail that moves clockwise around his body before he attacks with it. Link needs to avoid the flail, but Gooma dies quickly. He gives 500 XP.

Key (27 of 31): This key is the boss key for Gooma.

Magic-7: Link needs 3500 XP to get Magic-7. Therefore Link needs 5750 total XP from enemies in this palace. This amount is much higher than in any other palace. The magos contributed about half of it. Fortunately Link got 5760 XP.

Heart Container (3 of 4): There is a hidden island in the sea that has this Heart Container. Moving through water is slow. Fairy helps speed this screen up.

Magic-8: Link needs 6000 XP to get Magic-7. With the extra 60 XP after getting Magic-7, Link has enough to cancel Life-2, leaving Magic-8 as the next level for the gem statue to fill. Since I’m not restarting anymore, I don’t have to wait for the XP to fill. It takes so long to fill that Link is able to pick up the Heart Container before the level-up.

Water (Quest 6 of 6): Nabooru is indisputably the least important town in Hyrule. A woman in town is thirsty. Link gets some water for her from the fountain. “You have water. Come to my house.” Ok.

Fire (Spell 6 of 8): There is a wise man inside the thirsty woman’s house. He teaches Link Fire, which allows Link to attack armored enemies that can’t be damaged by the sword. Link will never use it.

Link Doll (4 of 6): This doll is in the swamp in Southeast Hyrule. It’s a large swamp, and avoiding random encounters in this area is a bit tricky to manipulate. The monsters want to chase Link.

Magic Container (4 of 4): Link has found the hidden town of Kasuto (New Kasuto). There is a woman in town who explicitly asks Link, “Do you have 7 Magic Containers?” If the answer is yes, then Link can go inside her house and get the final Magic Container, taking his MP up to 128. With that much MP, Link can use Fairy three times without a magic refill.

Spell (Spell 7 of 8): Spell is a spell that spells. Actually it has a specific use that Link will utilize very soon. There is a house with an open door in town. Link enters it and then goes inside the chimney. The wise man refers to Spell as the “magic word,” hinting at its function.

Magical Key (Inventory 7 of 8): At the end of the town, there is an empty area. If Link casts Spell, a tower rises out of the ground. Interestingly, the tower is on a cycle, similar to the death cycle. There is an optimal frame on which to cast Spell to minimize the time that the tower animation takes. Inside is the Magical Key, which is essentially a permanent key that unlocks all doors, like it was in The Legend of Zelda. It is useful because there are no keys in the Rock Palace except for the boss keys.

Heart Container (4 of 4): This Heart Container is near the coast east of the Rock Palace. It is a single screen with no enemies.

Rock Palace (6 of 7)

Rebonack II (Miniboss 1 of 2): This palace is the only one that has minibosses. It is not entirely identical to the Rebonack fight in the Island Palace because there is a small platform with a statue on the right edge of the screen. It gets in the way of Link’s attempts to jump. But Rebonack II still dies pretty quickly (4 hits), and Link steals his horse.

Key (28 of 31): This key is the boss key for Rebonack II.

Cross (Inventory 8 of 8): The Cross allows Link to see invisible moas. They can be a very dangerous enemy when Link can’t see them. They appear in graveyard areas and the Valley of Death. I don’t use Fairy when picking up the Cross because I need the MP later. Note that on the way to the Cross and back, there is a screen with two bubbles that is notoriously laggy. I was able to manipulate the bubbles a little bit to reduce some of the lag frames.

Rebonack III (Miniboss 2 of 2): This screen doesn’t have the platform in the way, and so it’s more similar to the first Rebonack fight. But, again, it takes only 4 hits this time. Much more interesting is how Link got to this screen. Link was able to walk on the ceiling and then use Fairy warps three times in a row to skip three full screens! It is a huge timesaver. And then on the screen after that, there is a paltamu that just happens to be the sixth large enemy, and so it drops a red jar that fully recovers Link’s MP.

Key (29 of 31): This key is the boss key for Rebonack III.

Link Doll (5 of 6): This doll is the first one inside a palace. It is in the far right corner of the screen after Rebonack III. It’s guarded by a blue ironknuckle and two bubbles. The ironknuckle has to die to avoid lag frames. Link avoids damage from the bubbles. A good question is why Link does not use Fairy for this part. Although it would reduce the pickup time, Fairy is again much slower when it comes to downward movement, because Fairy moves at a constant 24 speed. It’s a big leap down when coming back from the doll, and jumping is much faster. Link also needs the ability to stab the bridge to boost him into proper X-position for the next screen.

Volvagia (Boss 6 of 8): It’s the most interesting boss fight in the game. Unfortunately it doesn’t last long. At Attack-8, Volvagia takes 8 hits to kill. It’s more entertaining when Link is at a weaker attack level because he has to do more downstabs on Volvagia’s head (see GIF).

Key (30 of 31): This key is the boss key for Volvagia.

Life-2, Life-3, Life-4, Life-5, Life-6, Life-7: These level-ups all happen at the same time because Link gets 9000 XP from the gem statue. Link canceled Life-2 earlier, but Attack and Magic are already maxed out. When Link reaches 9000 XP and accepts the level-up, he gets a 1UP instead of going to level 9. But Link can also use that 9000 XP to go back to the level-up he canceled earlier. Another interesting aspect is leveling up from excess XP takes only 142 frames instead of the usual 184. Therefore, it is best to get as many of them as possible at once. The entirety of the Life level-up chain takes only 9400 XP, and so Link needs only 400 more to get to Life-8.

Thunder (Spell 8 of 8): Old Kasuto is the size of a normal town, but it is totally abandoned except for a wise man hiding in the basement. The wise man will teach Link the spell only if Link has all 8 Magic Containers. Thunder is necessary to defeat Thunderbird. It costs 64 MP at Magic-8.

Life-8: I made a stylistic choice to get to levels 8-8-8 before entering the Great Palace. Two blue lizardmen in the Valley of Death are each worth 200 XP, and that is enough for the final level-up. But there is enough XP to get the level-up in the Great Palace, as well.

Great Palace (7 of 7)

Link Doll (6 of 6): The route through the Great Palace is the same as previous movies until the “wall” screen. Link unveils a surprising Fairy warp that takes him one screen to the right. He then walks back left to the elevator and goes up to get the Link Doll. It is worthwhile to use Fairy here to avoid the grab animation even though Link will have to pick up a blue magic jar drop (16 MP) so that he still has enough MP for Thunder.

Thunderbird (Boss 7 of 8): This fight is a technical marvel. Link can keep himself in the air indefinitely. The longer version in the warpless movie is more impressive. At Attack-8, Thunderbird takes 8 hits to kill. It is invincible until Link casts Thunder.

Key (31 of 31): This key is the boss key for Thunderbird. There is no door to open. The key unlocks the screen.

Dark Link (Boss 8 of 8): At any attack level, Dark Link takes 8 hits to kill. Compared to other Dark Link fights I’ve done, this one went pretty well. On the third hit he wanted to jump away, but eventually I found a way to make him stop. The most notable hit is the eighth (final) hit, which is done in a different way than in previous movies.

Triforce of Courage (1 of 1)

Of note: This movie is a showcase of the total accumulated knowledge from myself, previous TASes, and the Zelda II community. Thus, I feel that Inzult should get co-authorship credit. I would like to acknowledge dood for his RTA speedrun in the “100% All Keys 1CC” category. Although our movies cannot be directly compared because some of the rules are different, it is the most similar RTA speedrun, and it is very well done (45 seconds ahead of second place). Thanks to RNB for excellent maps. Additionally I would like to credit the members of the TASVideos community who have been pushing for a 100% Zelda II movie. I enjoyed making it.


Samsara: Judging.

Samsara: I've replaced the file with Zinfidel's sync fix. The run is unchanged except for a single added frame to account for the lag frame that appeared during the FM2>BK2 conversion.

This is a brilliantly executed run, in terms of the original goal choice, the overall planning, and the final execution to make it come together as it did. Everything was calculated to the point where it was so smooth that I kept forgetting that I was watching a 100% run. As many others have stated, one of the highlights of the execution is maxing out levels not just without grinding, but without even slowing down. Going in, I wasn't quite convinced that maxing out levels was the right choice for the run (it's the only thing I wouldn't have included had I a say in the creation of the run), but seeing it done here was more than enough to convince me otherwise.

I had a brief thought about content overlap in branches and whether or not this could or should obsolete one of the other runs, but I think the routes diverge more than enough to warrant having all four published. In theory, this is the most similar to the branchless run, using warps and sequence breaks to change up the routing, but it's nearly twice as long with the extra 100% additions and the re-routing necessary to take everything. One could argue that it should obsolete warpless, only being about 17 minutes longer and packing everything into the game, but that's a dicey obsoletion due to the entirely different goals of each movie. This one using warps and warpless also using warps (haha, just kidding, that's a little joke from me, your buddy Samsara) is a bit of a conflict of interest here. There'd be logic in a 100% warpless movie obsoleting the warpless movie, but I also don't think a warpless 100% would have even been an acceptable goal to begin with due to the arbitrary nature of it. Therefore, I'm accepting this to Moons as a new branch, likely the last one for Zelda 2 for now. All in all, excellent work.

Zinfidel has claimed this for publication.

Zinfidel: Processing...


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