Link: The Faces of Evil
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|Link: The Faces of Evil|
|Release date|| October 10, 1993|
Link: The Faces of Evil is a video game developed by Animation Magic and released for the Philips CD-i in 1993.  It was developed in tandem with, and released on the same day as Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, and followed up a year later by Zelda's Adventure. A product of a compromise between Nintendo and Philips due to their failure to release a CD-based addon to the SNES, The Faces of Evil, alongside the other two, are the only Legend of Zelda games developed by a non-Nintendo company and released on a non-Nintendo system. Due to the poor quality of the games, including ineptly animated full motion video cutscenes, many fans do not consider these to be "true" Zelda games, [according to whom?] and Nintendo does not recognize them as canon to the Zelda series.
In the now-peaceful land of Hyrule, Link is feeling increasingly useless and bored with no adventures to go on. Suddenly, a wizard named Gwonam arrives on the balcony of Hyrule Castle, informing the King that Ganon and his minions have seized the island of Koridai, and that only Link can defeat him. After being refused a kiss from Princess Zelda, Link goes with Gwonam on his magic carpet to Koridai. He explains to him about the "Faces of Evil", giant stone structures in the shape of heads, each of which is controlled by a minion of Ganon and in whose likenesses the faces themselves are made. Link must conquer each of them before fighting Ganon himself, who has his own face of evil.
While adventuring through Koridai and fighting monsters, Link learns from Gwonam that Zelda has been captured by Ganon since he left the castle, and is imprisoned in his lair. As Link continues his adventure, he fights and defeats each of the masters of the Faces of Evil: Goronu, the Necromancer; Harlequin, the Gambler; Militron, the Berserker; Glutko, the Cyclops; and Lupay, the Hypnotist. He also retrieves the Book of Koridai, which is the only thing that can defeat Ganon, after defeating Glutko. After all other obstacles have been cleared, Link goes to Ganon's lair, where he confronts the villain and defeats him by throwing the Book of Koridai at him and magically imprisoning him in it. Ganon drops the key to Zelda's prison chamber, where she is sleeping. Link rings a giant gong and wakes Zelda up, exclaiming that he just saved her, though she does not believe him. Gwonam then returns and takes the two back to Hyrule Castle on his carpet.
The Faces of Evil is played using the side-scrolling view introduced in The Adventure of Link. Levels are accessed from a world map, with more areas becoming available as the player progresses through the game. Each level has two Triforce symbols that serve as exits, one at the beginning and one at the end. In addition to simply reaching the second Triforce in each stage, some levels also have special items and power-ups in them that are necessary to progress through later areas, as well as several NPC characters who provide Link with essential equipment and information, often requiring a specific item found somewhere else in the game to do so. The player also collects "rubies" dropped by defeated enemies, which are used to buy lamp oil, rope and bombs from Morshu's store in Goronu. For a variety of reasons, it is generally accepted that this game does not play as tightly as Zelda II.  These range from the quality of the CD-i controller, to the speed of the gameplay and the jerkiness of the character animations. The button mappings have been criticized as being illogical, for example having to crouch to open the inventory screen. Most infamous among fans was the ease the player has in killing Ganon, the final boss, with only one hit with the Book of Koridai, making him the easiest incarnation of Ganon in any Zelda game. The game shares many of its items and enemies with its counterpart, Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon. 
Like the other two CD-i Zelda games, this game is not considered canon as Nintendo had no involvement in its production,  and they do not recognize it as a "true" Zelda game, nor do most fans.  This game, along with the other CD-i releases are often called the "unholy Triforce"  by fans. The game did not sell well and is very obscure,  and critical reception was not good either, with key complaints regarding the confusing and unresponsive controls, dull and repetitive gameplay, and the poor animation and voice acting during the game's cutscenes.