When Nintendo first published The Legend of Zelda: A Link’s Awakening on the Gameboy, I was quickly enthralled in the little game, that turned out to be a gem. So years later, when it was revealed that Nintendo would be working with Capcom to release three Zelda games, that were interconnected, for the Gameboy Color, I was pumped up. Sadly, the three games turned into two instead, but with them being connected via the use of a password that was given after completing one, the experience was still fantastic.
What I dug most about The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, as each title was called, was that the story was altered a little bit, depending which one you played first, and it was up to the player to determine which one they’d try out first. I can’t recall which order I played them when I was younger, but with Nintendo having recently re-released them on the 3DS’ Virtual Console, I was more than happy to give them another go.
Despite them being GBC games, they both have aged well (no pun intended), as the characters are still memorable, and each game is still pretty challenging. For Oracle of Seasons, Link has been transported to Holodrum and meets a dancer named Din, who is quickly taken by a dark being named Onox. After coming into contact with the Maku Tree, Link must set off to recover the eight Essences to restore order. Of course the big hook of the game is using a rod that lets Link change the seasons to spring, summer, fall and winter, in order to solve puzzles and advance. The changing of the seasons brings about different characters, obstacles and the like, while putting a heavy emphasis on action-oriented gameplay.
Meanwhile, Oracle of Ages sees Link transported to the forest land of Labyrnna, where he hears Impa screaming after being attacked by monsters. Impa tells Link he needs his help to find a singer, who happens to be Nayru. However, Impa turns out to be a sorceress named Vera who has now found Nayru and is quick to abduct her while disrupting the flow of time in the land. As one would imagine with the game’s title, Link will be able to control time and travel between the past and the present. Unlike Oracle of Seasons however, Oracle of Ages has a bigger focus on puzzle solving.
It’s actually quite great that each title has its own sort of twist on gameplay and while they may look the same at first glance, do play differently and give the player a unique experience. I also love the fact that characters make mention of others from the other game, so even while playing through one of them, you get the sense of the existence of the other. In fact, you can exchange passwords with characters of the other game to get items and such.
Regardless of how you decide to tackle the two games, Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons are both amazing games that fans of the franchise will have to experience, if they hadn’t before.
Final Score (Oracle of Seasons): 5 out of 5
Final Score: (Oracle of Ages): 5 out of 5