Most people aren't willing to farm for lives. If you're willing to farm, you'll find that the game is fairly easy.
I usually lost lives to cheap deaths involving pits. Because of that, just getting to the great palace was a pain.
I think most people think it's hard because they don't take time to hone their skills by farming for exp.
I have to agree there. But you can skip this relatively easily. You just beat the first few palaces and do not place the crystal in them. And come back later when you need a high level of points to upgrade yourself. Why do this? Because using the stone gives you as many points as you need to the next upgrade. Best use them for thousands of points or just a few hundred. There is a second option though. That is play palaces 1-6 nornally and just jump over the stone part after the boss and once you have 8/8/8 then re do all the palaces and place in all the stones. Why? Because every time you reach the point upgrade in an area you already have 8 in, the game gives you an extra life. Add in the 4 (I think?) lives you can find in the game (3 in the over world and one in Palace 6, you should be pretty well set up for your assault on palace 7. Also if you lose all your lives choose to continue when in Palace 7 you'l restart at the begin of Palace 7 and not in Hyrule Palace as usual. This is a good thing as you can use most of your lives to get to Palace 7 then just suicide inside the Palace and restart there (only if you choose continue.) Of cause this ruins any 0 runs. A 0 (zero) run is beating a game in one run without continuing. The zero is there because on the player select screen is shows how many times you've lost all your lives or saved and reset the game. If you beat the game and start again you start it again with all your levels intact from the old game plus there is a little triforce picture next to your name on the player select screen. So having the triforce there as well as the zero there is something to aim for. Well it's just like the 3 heart challenges, an artificial way to increase the difficulty of the game.
You found that game easy?? Well I now feel like a wimp for giving up on it so many times.
I just got into gaming a few years ago, so I never really got to play that many NES games. But I do realize games were a lot harder back then, I think it was a way of making them last longer. Zelda 2 isn't as hard as most, as you have already said. But it is arguably the hardest Zelda game, just compare it to the rest of the series. I found all the 3D games save for MM easy, especially TP (I'm a master at the game, Btw)
As why most people find it hard, I think it is because it is completely different from the rest of the Zelda games. The combat, navigation and view point of the game (Side Scrolling) not to mention those annoying Darknuts, they were impossible to hit. So for people like me: who had only played Mario for the NES, we weren't prepared for the change in difficulty. I know when I first played it I couldn't get to level 1. But I'm a bad example because I have a harder time with the 2D games.
I hope that made sense and I was wondering, is it easier/better to play on the NES compared to a computer? (I have it on the Computer)
Zelda 2 is not super easy though. It does take a little while to get used to the controls in you're not used to 2D games and also learning to use the shield well (and reflect at times) then you're good to go. I'd say the learning curve for new gamers not used to 2D games is a little high because of this.
I've beaten the game on emulator with keyboard and back in the day on controller. I think both are the same difficulty to beat the game with. I feel playing via keyboard only gets hard on the N64 onwards cimply because there is so many buttons to press and they are not neatly placed on a keyboard as they are on a controller. So it's very doable via keyboard.
Also the ironknuckles (not Darknuts, that's Zelda 1) just take practice to beat. What is a real pain in the *** are the Fokkas. Yes that is an real appropriate name for them. They are in Palace 7 only. Beating them in an fair fight is either impossible or too damaging to you. So I either let them jump over me and run or if I have to beat them I use the breakable blocks to me advantage. I break a block with the sword just as high as it jumps, so it head just pops over but it can't jump over. And Link just sits on that block and when the Fokka jumps up you stab it. A few times and it dies. The pain free way to beat it.
I've experienced several hang-ups in recent times due to the difficulty of games such as Skyward Sword, but that's okay; everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. I can't really comment on AoL, however, but the numbers don't lie. You (the original poster) must be a special case in the gaming sphere to have mastered such a grueling game. Hats off to you.
Thank you. I think it's more what you're used to. We all find different types of games hard. Quite a few of us from the old days of gaming find some of the newer 3D games hard. And the reverse is true for the newer gamers. I can't talk too much about Skyward Sword as I've not played it. I own it (bought from ebay recently) but am yet to play it. I'm finishing Zelda WW GC for the first time, first.
An example of this? Horseback Archery in Ocarina. Damn that was hard getting both items from that. Also a few of the heart pieces in MM were hard to get. The Goron one at the end of the game when you hand over all your masks, seriously I spend literally a whole day trying to get that the first time. I found those really hard.
Zelda II is difficult. I think it mostly comes from the extremely low difficulty of games nowadays, people just aren't used to games like that.
It is also drastically different from practically every other Zelda game. The side scrolling makes it harder to get accurate hits on enemies, so they hit most people more often than they get hit. Combine the hit sensitivity with the life system, and I think that is the primary reason most people find Zelda II so hard.
There's also the addition of a level system, a first for the Zelda series. If you're the type of person that gets hit a lot, chances are you won't be leveling up very fast, so you may be at risk of having next to no experience once the Great Palace comes around (if you can even make it that far). The level system was a neat idea, but it definitely made the game a little bit harder.
You need to know where the best place to level up is. There are easier and much harder places to do it. One of my favourite is inside Palace 1. I just grind my life to say 2 and my attack to 3-4 and leave magic at one. Go get the shield spell. Then in Palace 1 where use the 2nd down elevator, it's the screen before the the one with the blobs, the disappearing bridge and 50 point bag. Well the screen before that has ghosts in it. 50 points a pop. You can just redo that screen over and over. You don't even have to leave the screen (better if you don't so you can keep the shield spell on you). You can do this with sword level 1 but it's not time efficient as ghosts at sword level 1 take near 100 hits to beat. And when that gets boring there is always death mountain runs for points or Palace 5 runs later on for points.
I've never actually reached Palace 7 at less than 8/8/8. Well I did once but that was when I tried one of the harder challenges. And yes that was really hard. But a standard 8/8/8 game, I never found it an issue to get the 8/8/8. Most of the time cause I liked Palace 5 a lot I'd grind it a little to get the few left over points I needed. In saying that I don't think this game is really that grindy. Games like World of Warcraft, or other level RPGs are way more grindy. The only really grindy part is if you want to max out your stats really early on in the game.
On a different but related note. One of my favourite things to do in the game was dark death mountain runs. I used to grind a little, then go get the shield/life/jump spells and the heart containers and magic bottles available to me and then go get the hammer before getting the candle in Palace 1. I'd not even enter Palace 1. Why do this? For fun, and also then I can get downstab before doing Palace 1. And killing the first Palace boss with jump and downstabbing his head over and over like a pogo stick is fun. You can do the same with the 2nd boss with a high weapon level. If your weapon level is too low you'll be hit by the helmets that fly around before the boss dies.
I will say Thunderbird is really hard even for me. With the right spells (Thunder then shield, jump and reflect) it's about a 50/50 shot to beat it. Need a few lives to get it done mostly. And before you ask I tried many combinations of spells and I simply could not beat it with using life instead of reflect. Not enough magic available to use both.