The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons

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US cover.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons is a Metroidvania video game developed by Capcom and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Color on 2001-02-27. The game is part of the Zelda series and was co-released with The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages. The two games can be linked together to share items between the two and it also unlocks additional content, including a new shared ending. The game uses the engine from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.

In the game, the Triforce sends Link to the land of Holodrum where he meets a dancer named Din who is kidnapped by the evil General Onox because she's secretly the Oracle of Seasons. Once Onox seals Din into a crystal, the seasons start changing erratically and Link must rescue her to restore their balance. He learns from the Maku Tree that he must first collect eight essences of nature to confront Onox, and, along the way, he makes friends with the people of Holodrum and the people living in the underground, the Subrosia.

Personal

After being disappointed with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, I stopped playing Zelda titles for awhile. I knew that the Oracles games were based on the engine of Link's Awakening, and didn't receive much love from the fans, so I didn't give them much thought. However, knowing that these were probably the last 2D Zelda games that would ever be made, I decided to give them a try, and started with this one. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the game was actually very well made. I finished the game's main story on 2022-09-07, but I did have to consult a guide a couple times when I was stuck.

So far, I haven't done anything with the linked game capabilities. I suspect I will finish Oracle of Ages first, then play their linked content.

I don't own the game, but I own the The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Season / Oracle of Ages - Official Strategy Guide.

Review

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7 7 6 6 8

Best Version: Game Boy Color

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The developers were able to retain the cute charm of Link's Awakening (by borrowing much of the art and sound), but still having an original story with a lot of new characters.
  • The pixel art is top notch, as usual, and makes good use of the platform's limited color. I love the animation associated with the Roc's Cape.
  • The game's music, though largely borrowed from Link's Awakening contains a lot of new wonderful tracks.
  • There are many devious puzzles to solve, especially in the dungeons. Some of them had me scratching my head for awhile.
  • Altering the game map by changing the seasons was a fun new mechanic, and the magnet gloves are an enjoyable new item.
  • There are plenty of minigames which help keep the game play fresh. Chasing the Subrosia was fun, and and I love the final look back it makes. I also like bumping into Maple to collect items, boxing, and discovering all the different hidden items around the maps.
  • The mine cart and switches in the dungeons is a fun mechanic.
  • Giving a different flute for each animal helper, and adjusting the map accordingly, adds some nice variety to the game.
  • I like how the Maku tree grows bigger as you collect essences.
  • I find this game to be underrated in the franchise. Certainly better than some of the 3D monstrosities.
  • I like the ring mechanic: minor upgrades that will only help you in specific areas.

Bad

  • Just like with Link's Awakening, I wish more items, like the bracelet and shield, were always on. Having to switch so frequently is annoying.
  • Replacing the pegasus boots, ocarina, bait, and candle with seeds doesn't make any sense.
  • Although I like the mine carts, they're overused. I would have preferred a new mechanic in each dungeon, even if they had to reuse one from an earlier game in the series.
  • Onox's castle is a very unimpressive final dungeon.
  • I don't like how the game mixes underworld and over world monsters. Like-likes don't belong on the over world, and peahats don't belong in dungeons.
  • I don't like that you can't swim under bridges.
  • The rings that let you turn yourself into monsters are lame because you can't use any of their abilities.
  • Too many of the game's treasure chests are rings and seeds. Each time I got one, it felt like a letdown.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Media

Box Art

The Japanese and US boxes are very similar, just with different lettering. They depict Link holding the Rod of Seasons with silhouettes of Onox and Din in the background.

Documentation

Maps

Videos

Longplay.

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
Japanese ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 〜大地の章〜 Zeruda no Densetsu Fushigi no Ko no Mi 〜Daichinosho〜 The Legend of Zelda: The Fruit of the Mysterious Tree -Chapter of the Earth-

Representation

Bechdel test?FailThere are several women, but they never talk to each other.
Strong female character?FailNone of the women are strong.
Strong non-white character?FailNone of the characters have an clear race.
Queer character?FailThere are no queer characters.

Links

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