The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
From Gamehiker Wiki
|The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages|
|System||Game Boy Color, 3DS Virtual Console|
|Release Date|| Game Boy Color|
JP February 27, 2001
US May 14, 2001
EU October 5, 2001
3DS Virtual Console
JP February 27, 2013
US/EU May 30, 2013
The Oracle games started off when Flagship's head coerced Nintendo into allowing them to create six handheld Zelda games. The original idea was two would be remakes of earlier games, starting with a new version of the original The Legend of Zelda (the other would presumably be Zelda II: The Adventure of Link). However, they had problems bringing Zelda to the Game Boy Color due to the difficulties sprouting from the different screen sizes, and they also modified the map beyond recognition to make it easier for the newer generation of players.
At Shigeru Miyamoto's suggestion, the plan was converted into a "Triforce Trilogy" of connected games, which became referred to in English as Mystical Seed of Power, Wisdom and Courage. The first game would be action-oriented, the second would involve color-based puzzles, while the final game would involve the mechanic of solving puzzles at different times of day. One of the titles would still be based on The Legend of Zelda. Once they decided to connect the games through a password system, it proved to be complicated enough that it was decided that one of the games should be cancelled. Mystical Seed of Courage was cancelled, while the other two games became Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, although they still incorporated some homages to The Legend of Zelda.
Link is called by the Triforce to the temple in which it is held. After touching the Triforce, Link is transported to a forest. Hearing a woman scream, Link finds a woman surrounded by monsters. Link saves the woman and she introduces herself as Impa. Impa asks Link to help her find a singer in the forest. Soon, they find Nayru singing to the animals of the wood. A shadow emerges from Impa and reveals herself as Veran. Veran possess Naryu and, using Naryu's abilities as Oracle of Ages, disrupts the time flow.
Impa gives Link a sword and sends him to he Maku Tree in Labrynna City. The Maku Tree has disappeared in the present due to Veran's interference, so Link travels to the past to save it. When Link visits the restored Maku Tree in the present, he is told he must gather the eight Essences of Time.
Oracle of Ages plays much like Link's Awakening, the only previous Zelda handheld game. It uses the same two button control system and features the same balance of exploration, puzzle-solving, and action. One minor addition in both of the Oracle games is the addition of collectible rings, which can be equipped to enable a variety of different effects.
The central item of Oracle of Ages is the Harp of Ages. Using the Harp of Ages, the player can travel through time. By traveling between the past and present, Link can solve puzzles. For example, by pushing a rock in the river in the past, the river will change it's course.
Another unique feature is the connectivity the game shares with Oracle of Seasons. At the end of the game, the player is given a password that allows them to play an alternate version of Oracle of Seasons in which the game is changed slightly to act as a sequel to Oracle of Ages. A password from a completed Oracle of Seasons does the same for Oracle of Ages, and one game must be played in sequel version in order to reach the games' true final act. Passwords can also be used to obtatin upgraded items and to transfer rings from one game to another.
- The Oracle games have had an uncertain timeline placement until the release of the Hyrule Historia. On the official timeline, the Oracle games take place between A Link to the Past and Link's Awakening, and all three games follow the same Link and Zelda. The timeline also shows that Seasons canonically is the first Oracle game. These games all take place on the branch of the Zelda timeline in which Link failed to defeat Ganon at the end of Ocarina of Time. There are several possible continuity errors associated with this, as Zelda seems to be meeting Link for the first time, there is no explanation for this Impa's absence from A Link to the Past (aside from possibly already investigating the other lands), and both Link and Zelda have younger-looking designs than those used in A Link to the Past and Link's Awakening.
- This game takes place at a time when Ganon is already deceased and the Triforce also appears to be in Hyrulean possession (although the status of the Triforce is not clearly possessed). This could follow the endings of either Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and A Link to the Past, and the latter choice turned out to be canon.
- Twinrova specifically appears and plays a vital role in the revival of Ganon. This connects with Ocarina of Time, where they were introduced as Ganondorf's surrogate mothers. It is uncertain but clearly possible that these two are the same witches. The only point of possible doubt is their apparent death during Ocarina, which seems to have still occurred in this branch of the timeline.
- Link starts both games with a Triforce mark in his hand, which is shown to be the mark of the hero. This specifically acts as a callback to Zelda II. In light of the timeline placement, the Triforce mark may be due to the Link having used the Triforce in A Link to the Past.
- These games also features new versions of various characters from both Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Although this would be a recurring feature in future games, these were the first games to reuse characters without an in-game explanation.
- The ending of the linked Oracle of Ages/Seasons game foreshadows Link's Awakening as Link is seen leaving on a ship while what appears to be a storm is seen in the distance.
The Oracle games marked the beginning of Flagship and Capcom's role in making Zelda games. They continued with several more contributions in the following years, some of which incorporated nods to the Oracle games, until they ended with The Minish Cap in 2004.
- In 2013, it was released for download through the 3DS's eShop as part of the 3DS Virtual Console, being released simultaneously as Seasons.
|Titles in the Zelda Series|
|The Legend of Zelda - The Adventure of Link - A Link to the Past - Link's Awakening - Ocarina of Time (3D)|
Majora's Mask (3D) - Oracle of Ages/Seasons - Four Swords (Anniversary Edition) - The Wind Waker
Four Swords Adventures - The Minish Cap - Twilight Princess - Phantom Hourglass - Spirit Tracks
Skyward Sword - A Link Between Worlds - Tri Force Heroes - Breath of the Wild
Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland - Tingle's Love Balloon Trip - Tingle's Balloon Fight DS - Link's Crossbow Training