Hello everyone, this week’s retro corner is The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. Although there are dozens of entries in the Legend of Zelda franchise, this was my first foray into this game series. It got me hooked in the top down nature used for many of these titles. This game was originally released on the Nintendo Gameboy Colour back in 2001. It was made available again on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Store as of 2013.
The game begins with Link being directed by the Tri-Force to help a land besieged by the ruthless General Onox. Once he’s arrived there, he meets up with a travelling troupe. There, after dancing with the main dancer Din, Onox strikes and kidnaps Din. During this whole ordeal, it is revealed that Din is the Oracle of Seasons, and as such, her kidnapping causes the seasons of the land to become erratic. It then falls on Link to save Din and restore the seasons to their natural order. Whilst many may have been disappointed at the lack of Zelda actually being in the game, or not being set in Hyrule so early in the Zelda franchise, I thought it was an amazing game that not only played well, but looked beautiful at the same time.
Another major point to discuss is that the game that released parallel to this game, Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, can actually be used with the link cable system to get a different ending. Whilst the normal ending does solve the issue of defeating Onox, saving Din and fixing the natural order of the seasons, it leaves room for more. Though, if you have both games and obtain codes given to you by NPC’s across both games, you actually unlock a 2nd, true ending where Twinrova and Ganon are encountered. This method of gaining a new, true ending by playing both games that were released at the same time is something that I personally cannot remember being done before. As well, I’d be hard pressed to come up with a recent game that had the same mechanic put into it.
One last point that I want to address is that this game was very well received among critics and fans, generally receiving upwards of 9/10’s across most major game reviewers of the time. It was even rated in the top 5 games of all time by Nintendo Power. Interestingly enough, even though both games generally had the same review scores across all reviewers, Oracle of Seasons tended to get very slightly higher reviews due to the changing of the seasons making the game more colourful.
Whilst this game does have a virtual store version that remains faithful to the original version, I continue to hope that we’ll get a proper up-to-date re-master of this game, as it excels in every department.