Hack Showcase: Legend of Zelda 2 Redux (NES)

Hack Showcases and RPG Hack Showcases are a series where I show off various game and rpg hacks. I try to stick with hacks that improve gameplay or add quality of life features, completely or partially change the plot and characters, along with additional content, dialogue, graphical and sound improvements. Non-rpgs I try to give a full run to, or at least enough for a solid review. Rpgs I will stick with titles that have enough changes in the beginning to show off, and when I can, show parts later in the games where more differences appear. There may be spoilers in the reviews and videos. Some of these I may stream fully in the future or play on my own. Reviews are open to later revisions due to bug and content updates or me playing them and finding anything new I wish to bring up.

Zelda 2 Redux by ShadowOne333 aims to make a number of improvements to Zelda 2 for the NES, known as the black sheep of the Zelda family due to it’s higher difficulty, change from overhead to side-scrolling format and more. A lot of quality of life improvements were added too, along with optional patches to change your gaming experience to the definitive version of Zelda 2. I had finished this myself a couple years ago, after never finishing it as a kid for various reasons. Discovering this made me smile and I wanted to see what this hack was all about! ShadowOne333 is also the brains behind other Zelda redux patches for Link’s Awakening DX for Gameboy and Link to the Past for SNES. This hack was finally released after a long time in October 2020, with an update in December 2020 to bring this hack to version 2.3.

The changelog for this hack is extensive! And there’s a large assortment of optional patches to improve upon the Redux experience more!

  • Changes to the Life Meter HUD: Should have hearts now instead of the old bars it had for a life meter
  • Reworked HUD to be more in-line with other Zelda titles. It also looks much better to the eye now and is more streamlined
  • Added 1/4 heart gauge by IcePenguin. Now the life meter is reduced by 1/4 parts instead of the original sliding bar, effectively letting you know exactly how much health (no longer will the meter show no life with Link still alive)
  • Reworked title screen. Now the Sword in it is the same as the one in the original US boxart, and also the scrolling text of the title screen has been entirely rewritten to be more in-line with the canon story of Zelda II
  • Manual Save Feature: You can now save the game by Pausing and then pressing Up+A on the Pause screen (both in side-scroll pause and overworld pause!)
  • Manual saves no longer count towards the Death counter in the Selection screen! Now only Game Overs should increment that counter
  • Implemented @njosro’s Restart in Current Palace patch (as a bonus) 😛
  • Link now has a Blue and Red tunic! Upon using the Shield spell with a Defense level between 1-4, you’ll get the Blue tunic. Once you get up to level 5-8 of Defense, you will get the Red tunic Continue reading