Not a clone, but in the same genre. No turn-based battles, and most likely a top-down perspective.
I'll cite Goof Troop, since it's one of the prizes:
Instead of using a sword or other direct weapons, you pick up, catch, and throw barrels, bombs, and rocks and kick blocks. Sounds simple, but it makes the game feel entirely distinct from Zelda.
Make a game where the character is a boat. Make one with weapons that follow the laws of physics. Make one that requires the use of Algebra. Make one with characters that can turn into animals. Make one about a cake delivery company. Make a game set on Mars. Make one about cubicle warfare!
Yeah what i'm saying is there are loads of different types of games that can fall into the Action adventure genre. You'll have to be more specific i think.
I'm thinking something like Metroid could be considered an Action adventure. What about Cave story? It's a pretty loose term in my mind and I wouldn't want to start something that a judge will judge to not fall into that genre.
Lets not forget Zelda 2 had mostly 2D areas.
I'm kinda torn about the deadline.
On the one hand, keeping a tight deadline would work better to hold everyone's focus, and drive people to wrap things up more quickly...
But then, I always seem to end up at the deadline just short of what I was planning, and could see extra time being useful.
Maybe see where we are when the deadline gets closer? You could always extend it by a smaller amount, like a week.
What is this tiny publicity that is swaying your decision, here?