Video Game: The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games aka: The Legend Of Zelda Oracle Of Seasons
I'm sorry I made you worry...But I saw it. A world filled with sorrow and despair...withering away!
— Princess Zelda
The seventh and eighth games in The Legend of Zelda series were developed by Capcom and released at the same time on the Game Boy Color in 2001. Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages are the first portable Zelda games since Link's Awakening, and use similar graphics and gameplay styles.Their most notable feature is the "Linked Game" system, which means that after you finish one game you can link your saved file to the other game and continue your adventure as a sequel. Other new elements include collectable rings with special abilities that can also be traded between the games.Each Oracle game starts with Link being called to a new world by the Triforce. In Seasons he is called to the world of Holodrum and meets a mysterious dancer called Din, who turns out to be the Oracle of Seasons. Resident villain and Black Knight Onox captures her and sends the Temple Of Seasons underground, throwing the world's seasons into disarray. To save the world, Link must collect the Essences of Nature hidden across Holodrum, use their power to confront Onox and rescue Din. To aid his quest, Link is given the Rod of Seasons, which he can use to manipulate the seasons and open up new ways forward: for example, overgrown vines blocking a tunnel in Spring will have wilted in Winter. Most of the bosses and much of the landscape are lifted from the the original game.In Ages, Link has been sent to the world of Labrynna. He meets a mysterious singer called Nayru, who turns out to be the time-travelling Oracle of Ages. Resident villain and sorceress Veran possesses Nayru's body and uses her power to travel centuries into the past, where she intends to manipulate the royal family into creating an Evil Tower of Ominousness. To save Labrynna from Veran's machinations, Link must collect the Essences of Time hidden across the world by using the Harp of Ages to travel between the past and present ages.Capcom would later assist in Four Swords and The Minish Cap.
These games provide examples of:
Almighty Idiot: Because Twinrova sacrificed herself (since Link had pretty much killed her anyway) instead of Zelda, Ganon Came Back Wrong and was resurrected as only a bloodthirsty killing machine.
As You Know: Used at the beginning of Oracle of Seasons.
Bad Future: Inverted in Ages — the present's generally bright and cheery while the past is screwed up.
Played straight with Symmetry Village.
Bag of Spilling: You lose most of your stuff in the transition from one game to the next, being left with only four heart containers and a wooden sword. You can pick up your old rings once you reach town, however.
Bishōnen: Ralph has some female NPCs in Ages commenting on his appearance.
Bizarre Seasons: Occurs in Seasons. The seasons are all a jumbled mess because of the Oracle being imprisoned and the Temple of Seasons being sunk below the earth.
Bonus Feature Failure: The Bombchus are only acquired as a bonus after starting a New Game Plus, are not particularly useful at any point in the game, and are not normally dropped by defeated enemies, making them difficult to stock up on.
Bragging Rights Reward: Some of the rings. One is awarded by using a Hero's Secret. Another two can be bought from stores that are only available by playing the game on a GBA. Another ring is given as a reward for beating Ganon in a linked game. There's also the rings you get for killing 1000 enemies and breaking 100 signs. The first ring you get would even count as one.
Clown Car Grave: Each game has at least one undead themed dungeon, where this trope is played straight. Though strangely, undead enemies are seen at a lot of other locations where there aren't any graves at all.
Continuity Nod: Seasons has a ton of references to the first game, which makes sense, considering that these games began development as remakes of the NES games. Most notably, the first level has a similar layout to the first level of the original game, and the same boss is also featured.
The other bosses from the original are also in Seasons. Dodongo returns to his role as the second boss; Gohma (actually the last level boss to appear in the original, first showing up as the boss of the sixth dungeon) is up fourth; Digdogger is again the fifth boss; Manhandla, the third boss of the original game, guards the sixth dungeon; and a three-headed Gleeok (like the others, a recurring boss in the first game, ranging in head count from two in its initial appearance as the fourth dungeon's boss to four as the eighth dungeon's boss) guards the seventh dungeon.
Most of the other games in the series are referenced, as well. Subrosia bears more than a passing resemblance to the Dark World of A Link to the Past, and Link's Awakening is also heavily borrowed from (somewhat inevitable, as the Oracle games are built on the same engine as Link's Awakening).
After killing the Twinrova sisters in Ocarina of Time, they say that they'll come back to haunt Link. They probably don't realize it's a different Link, nonetheless, in the Linked Game, you see what they meant.
Distressed Damsel: The Oracles. More egregiously with Din; Onox sends a little tornado to carry her away and she's not seen again until Link goes and rescues her. Less so with Nayru, because Veran possessed her, and presumably she didn't have the strength or the time (likely both) to resist, and she's freed approximately once you're about two thirds through the game. And Princess Zelda in a linked game.
A less literal example is Seasons, where the Rod of Seasons changes the seasons but you remain in the same world. The effects are the same though, the environment changes to open/close new paths depending on the season, like snow piling up or lakebeds drying up. A bit more straightforward with Subrosia, the land that holds the Temple of Seasons and a few key items and events.
Dummied Out: A bit of a meta case; an entire game was dummied out. The Oracle titles were originally supposed to be a trilogy, with a third title based around color-changing puzzles. Making three linked games quickly became too much to handle for the development team though, so they cut it down to two. Remaining evidence in the game code is limited to just the existence of Farore, and Koume and Kotake claiming Ganon's resurrection was initiated due to three bad emotions when only two plot events occurred to cause them (they worked around it by having Zelda's kidnapping cause the third). This situation is given a Shout Out in Minish Cap, in which all three Oracle girls appear in cameos, but you can only have houses in Hyrule Castle Town built for two of them to live in.
It's also worth noting that, in Minish Cap, giving Farore, the one whose game was Dummied Out, a house, you get a better charm.
Giving her a house means the charm has the effects of both Din and Nayru's charms, but not as potent.
Another reason why the third Oracle game was cancelled was revealed in an interview with Electronic Gaming Monthly (check the August 2000 issue). The developers realized that with three games, making a continuous story through three games that could be played in any order was a tall task indeed, and they also didn't know what order people would play them in (whether it was 1-2-3, or 1-3-2, or whatever).
Using permutations, there would be a grand total of 6 ways to play all three games in sequence.
Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: A red Dodongo named Dmitri that you can ride to swim through fast currents. He can also eat enemies in one gulp. And you can pick him up and throw him to hurt enemies. Also, he's the hardest friend to get a flute for in Seasons (in Ages, you just buy the flute at the store).
Fission Mailed: In Seasons, if you talk to the sign shop owner in Subrosia after destroying 100 signs, the startup screen will appear as if the game had been reset. However, you'll return back to the shop after a moment and get a ring commemorating your hatred of signs.
Flat Character: Onox is... some evil general who wants to throw the seasons into chaos and... that's just about all you see of him until you fight him. Veran at least shows up a little more.
Flipping Helpless: The boss of the fourth dungeon in Oracle of Ages, beaten by flipping it with the Switch Hook.
Four Seasons Level: A core game mechanic of Seasons. Swing the Rod of Seasons, the seasons change and new paths open. Spring blooms the Rock Flowers, Summer drains water and raises vines, Fall covers holes with leaves, and Winter freezes water and trees lose their leaves, allowing Link to pass through.
Fun With Palindromes: Oracle of Ages features Symmetry City, whose survival depends on the total equality between the two sides. The name of the artifact that mantains the balance? Tuni nut!
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Link isn't actually present in the scene where Veran mentions what her weakness is. All he knew was that she "desired" them, according to Ambi, which could have meant anything.
Global Currency Exception: Subrosia in Seasons uses chunks of ore as currency, not rupees. You can even buy rupees with ores!
God Save Us from the Queen: A subverted example. Queen Ambi in Ages is actually a very kind and good woman; the reason why things get bad is because her naivety allows Veran (in Nayru's body) to manipulate her with ease. Then, later on, it's because Veran possesses her.
GrandfatherGrandmother Paradox: Ralph confronts Veran, possessing his ancestor Queen Ambi, in Ages.
Ralph: "Fine! If I slay you, I vanish! Maybe it is terrifying... But if I must, I must. To do nothing and live just isn't me."
Hijacked by Ganon: Actually, it was hijacked by Koume and Kotake, his surrogate parents from Ocarina of Time. Ganon is the Final Boss, but he's not directly involved with the plot other than the fact that the plot was to revive him.
Hollywood Magnetism: The magnet gloves. All objects which you can attract towards you/pull yourself towards are not only magnets, but monopolar magnets (the gloves switch between a north and south magnetic charge so you can push and pull). Nothing else is affected by them.
Ironically, her true form is a turtle, which can turn into a bee and a spider...even she remarks she is reluctant to use it, because it is so hideous, and may have something to do with her vanity in retrospect...
Human Sacrifice: Twinrova tries to sacrifice Zelda to light the Flame of Despair in order to raise Ganon from the dead.
And when you foil their plan, they perform a self-sacrifice, but it messes up the ritual.
Human Shield: Onox uses the crystalized Din as one in Seasons. Striking it will hurt Link, and he needs to use the Rod of Seasons to move it away from Onox.
Veran's possession ability might be a variant; as she laughingly points out to Ralph in multiple cut-scenes, trying to strike her will only hurt her victim.
Captain: You call yourselves pirates? Shameful fools! Getting sick the moment you set sail? It's... Oooh... Uhnn... It's no use! Put 'er ashore!
Idiot Ball: Twinrova fight Link to the death when he interrupts their resurrection ritual and end up having to sacrifice themselves to bring back Ganon, and an incomplete one at that. Koume and Kotake can only be harmed by each other's magic. Why on Earth would they fight him together? Instead of providing Link with the necessary ammunition to take them both down, there's no apparent reason why one couldn't have remained behind to complete the ritual while the other trapped Link in a Hopeless Boss Fight.
There was evidence to support this before the book's release, including Link's very specific hairstyle in the four games, as well as the boat Link departs on after this series' True Ending looking strikingly similar to the one that gets struck by lightning in Link's Awakening. Additionally, Link's Awakening alluded to Link having many adventures after slaying Ganon before his ship sank, so these games cover two of them.
Many characters (and sprites) from these games also appear in Link's Awakening, and that makes perfect sense. The Wind Fish, and Link, are dreaming.
Jump Physics: Subtly improved from Link's Awakening, as jumping during the top-down portions of the game (i.e. almost all of the game) moves you through Z-levels (as in, actual altitude) instead of faking it by putting you in the "jump" state while artificially moving you through Y-levels. This also explains why attacking in the air doesn't hit enemies on the ground, but instead hits the ones that are in the air (meaning they can hit flaming bats if they're low enough, or the jumping Stalfos mid-jump).
Lethal Joke Item: The Fool's Ore which the two Subrosians give you after they steal your Roc's Feather is, for the most part, a useless piece of junk that does nothing. However, if you dig up a Fire Pokey, you can one shot it with the Fool's Ore (it takes several hits from the sword to do the same thing). Unfortunately, Fire Pokeys are the only enemy you can use it on since you leave it behind when you get the Roc's Feather back.
Lethal Lava Land: Subrosia has tons of lava (Seeing how's it underground and a giant temple just fell in), with the occasional eruption for you to dodge, but it's really more of a subversion: there are few enemies, and the inhabitants are friendly.
The Man Behind the Man: At first, Onox and Veran would appear to be the Big Bads of Seasons and Ages respectively, doing what they're doing because, well, they're insane and just like being evil. But later on, it turns out that all along, both of them were actually working at the command of Koume and Kotake, and their actions actually had a deeper purpose: to light some magical flames as part of a ritual to resurrect Ganon, the primary antagonist of the Zelda series.
Meanwhile, in the Future: The story progression of Ages can be monitored by the progress of the Final Dungeon, regardless of what era you're in.
Missing Secret: If you play Ages first there's one square on the map that you'll never be able to explore.
A much more literal example in Ages, is getting to the second dungeon. After going through the Fairies' Woods to reach it, there is a rock in the way. Okay, equip the Power Bracelet, and move it, except this makes the WHOLE FREAKING DUNGEON COLLAPSE...and you have to use time travel to get in at that point...
Nostalgia Level: The aforementioned references to the first game often involve similarities between dungeons. In particular, the first dungeon of Seasons has a similar layout to the first dungeon of the original Legend of Zelda, with the same boss.
One Game for the Price of Two: Both averted and played straight: the games by themselves are completely different (items, dungeons, bosses and so on), but if you want to complete the storyline you need to play a Linked Game requiring both games.
And a linked game is a sort of New Game Plus. You start off with one more heart container than normal and can access more things than a fresh game.
San Dimas Time: In Ages, Veran goes back in time to alter things in her favor. Some of the effects are instantaneous, while others, like the construction of the Tower, are incremental based on your progress through the game.
Save this Person, Save the World: Play straight with Din in Seasons, but averted with Nayru in Ages. Link actually manages to save Nayru and get her back to the present shortly after the sixth dungeon, but Veran is able to possess Queen Ambi and as she's still in the past can use Ambi's influence to complete her scheme even without Nayru.
Shaped Like Itself: All of the game's dungeon layouts are based on their names (e.g. the Wing Dungeon's rooms form a bird, Sword-and-Shield is shaped like...well, guess). This is not entirely clear in the beginning, as it is only obvious after revealing the whole map of each dungeon.
Shout Out: Many, many to the original Legend of Zelda in Seasons. Even most of the bosses in Seasons are re-worked versions of the original Zelda bosses.
One of the Mini-Bosses in a linked Ages game is a shout out to the original Donkey Kong arcade.
And Onox's Scaled Up form has a marked resemblance to Sigma's final form in the original Mega Man X.
Sequel Hook: An unlinked game has plenty of hooks leading into the linked game's story.
Sequence Breaking: It is possible in Seasons to do the 5th dungeon before the 4th one if you know how to get Autumn.
It is possible to skip the Subrosian Dance to get the Level 1 Boomerang, by using a bomb to activate the switch in the winter tower.
Also in Seasons, you can obtain the next level sword without doing the Chain of Deals. All the quest does is give you a hint to get the sword. Which is, en route to the sixth dungeon, is to head west through the woods while getting warmer. Meaning start at winter, then head left, turn it to fall, then spring and finally summer to get the sword.
Side Quest: A bunch are unlocked after you beat the first game and can only be completed with passwords that you use in the second.
That One Sidequest: The Hero's Cave in a linked game. In an unlinked game, it's just a short dungeon in Seasons that you go through to first get your sword, and it doesn't even exist in Ages, but in the linked games, it's 21 rooms long in Seasons and 15 in Ages and in both cases you need to have the equipment from the 7th dungeon in order to clear it.
The second-to-last puzzle in Seasons is hair-pullingly hard, because you need to perform a very precise boomerang throw to hit a switch. And the boomerang is FAST, which mean you need a hell lot of reflexes to pull it off. However, you can circumvent that puzzle by using Pegasus seeds to control the return path of the boomerang in such a way that it goes through the blocks and hits the switch on the way back. Bombchus work too.
The Subrosians in Seasons are fond of this. You have to stalk Rosa to find the portals into Subrosia to begin with, and later on the Strange Brothers steal your Roc's Feather and you have to follow them to recover it. You can do this again to get different rewards.
Super Drowning Skills: Played straight in both games until you get the Flippers. In Ages it continues to be played straight even after getting them, because another item that you acquire much later in the game is required for swimming in "deep water" (such as in the sea).
Swirly Energy Thingy: In Ages, these are the warps between the eras of Labrynna. In Seasons, these are the warps between Holodrum and Subrosia.
Taken for Granite: Happens to some creatures and people in Ages due to the time distortion. Also, the 8th boss in Seasons is basically a giant Medusa head (no, not that one), so expect to see petrifying attacks.
Tennis Boss: It's a Zelda game, so naturally each game has one miniboss in which you must deflect its blasts before you can injure it. The one in Seasons is an homage to Aghanim as well as Ganon's "Technique of Darkness".
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: In rare instances, you can run into Maple on particularly watery maps. If all of her items sink underwater during the collision, she'll treat you to some alternate dialogue.
Try and use the Cane of Somaria in patches minigame, try it.
The Mentor: The Maku Tree in both games. After completing each dungeon, they are able to sense that you've just collected another Essence, and are able to give you a hint about where to go to find the next one (the Seasons Maku Tree dreams about them, and the Ages Maku Tree "hears" them.)
The Three Faces of Eve: The three Oracles (shown in the trope page image) are Din, an outgoing dancer (seductress); Nayru, a gentle singer (wife); and Farore, a helpful intellectual (child). Unfortunately, the game which was supposed to feature Farore was canceled. Incidentally, the Oracles share their names with a trio of goddesses in the series mythology (Din, the goddess of power; Nayru, the goddess of wisdom, and Farore, the goddess of courage).
Time Paradox: Ages again, of the Ontological variety... just where did that Bomb Flower on Rolling Ridge come from, anyway?
Or the Goron Vase, come to think of it?
Time Travel: Ages again: Boy plays a harp and goes back and forth in time.
Underwater Boss Battle: The sixth and seventh dungeons in Ages—the boss of the sixth moves back and forth between the surface and underwater, while the seventh is underwater for the entire battle.
Weather Control Machine: Onox uses Din's powers to mess up the seasons. Later on, Link gets a rod that can do so whenever he's on a tree stump.
Wise Tree: The Maku Trees, moreso in Oracle of Seasons. The one in Ages can be a bit more... childish.
Worthless Yellow Rocks: Valuable items like Pieces of Heart and Gasha Seeds are sold in junk stores in Subrosia. Another Subrosian is seen throwing such items into lava in order to cause a volcano to erupt.
Sadly, they cannot be caught out of the air.
Yin Yang Clash: One miniboss in Ages wields a supposedly unbreakable sword, and a supposedly unbreakable shield. You can only defeat him by tricking him into hitting the one with the other, breaking both.
alternative title(s): The Legend Of Zelda Oracle Of Ages; The Legend Of Zelda Oracle Of Seasons; Oracle Of Ages; Oracle Of Seasons; The Legend Of Zelda Oracle Of Seasons; The Legend Of Zelda Oracle Games; The Legend Of Zelda Oracle Of Ages; Oracle Of Seasons