I grew up with it - without a guide or Game FAQs (in 1991, I did not know the Internet existed, let alone had it). Was flummoxed on the last dungeons for about half a year, but after I found them... well, let's just say I played that game so many times that when I took it up again on the Collector's Edition after about five years of not playing it, I remembered where most things were, including little treasure-caves.
However, last week, I started up Second Quest for old time's sake and.... guh! I was thinking "Was Second Quest THIS had when I was a kid? I don't remember Second Quest being this hard!" *All* the dungeons save the first are hidden, the dungeon maps are totall different, and there are things in the second dungeon that didn't show up in the first game until the 5th dungeon and that darn old man at the waterfall won't give me the white sword! I do remember beating Second Quest multiple times as a kid, though... I just don't remember as much from it as I did from First Quest.
Oh, and see my friend's comment about Lynels down in my signiture. Lynels - overworld enemies you meet in LoZ around Death Mountain. His commentary is spot-on, it is.