Zelda II leads four to VC

Link's follow-up fantasy adventure game is joined on the Wii's downloadable game service by a ToeJam & Earl sequel, Milon's Secret Castle, and Dead Moon.

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As promised, Nintendo is adding Zelda II: The Adventure of Link to its roster of downloadable retro games on the Wii's Virtual Console today. The action adventure sequel is one of four new games being released today, including ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron, Milon's Secret Castle, and Dead Moon.

Originally released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988, Zelda II was a significant departure from the original game, replacing the overhead action with side-scrolling combat and giving Link a number of spells to cast to help him on his quest. The series would return to its original formula with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on the Super Nintendo, leaving the side-scrolling action adventure approach behind in the process. Zelda II is available for 500 Wii points ($5).

The 1993 Sega Genesis title ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron was another side-scrolling sequel to an overhead action game, and it too was an isolated experiment for the series. While the series would return to its roots with ToeJam & Earl III: Mission to Earth for the Xbox, it was only after a nine-year sojourn and the characters' utter absence from the 32-bit generation of consoles. Panic on Funkotron sells for 800 Wii points ($8)

A pair of more obscure titles is joining the two odd-man-out installments of those franchises on the Virtual Console's new release list. Hudson's 1988 action platformer Milon's Secret Castle asks players to free an imprisoned princess and reacquire stolen instruments with the help of a magic bubble. Finally, Natsume's 1992 release Dead Moon offers another TurboGrafx-16 shooter to Wii owners. This side-scroller features multiple weapon power-ups, six levels of play, and parallax scrolling backgrounds (parallax scrolling is a technique that moves different layers of the environment across the screen at different speeds, creating the illusion of depth). Milon's Secret Castle sells for 500 Wii points ($5), while Dead Moon fetches 600 ($6).

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