Video Game: The Legend of Zelda Oracle games
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.
game starts with Link being called to a new world by the Triforce. In Seasons
he is called to the world of Holodrum, where he witnesses a dancer called Din get kidnapped by the Black Knight
Onox, who then sinks the Temple of Seasons into the earth, throwing the seasons of the world into chaos. In Ages
Link is sent to Labrynna, where the singer Nayru is possessed by the Evil Sorceress
Veran, who uses her powers to travel back in time and manipulate the queen of Labrynna in that time into building an Evil Tower of Ominousness
. Link discovers that Din is the Oracle of Seasons and Nayru the Oracle of Ages, and uncovers hints that their capture and the plans of Onox and Veran are just separate parts of a larger, more sinister plot.
To aid him in his quest, Link receives a signature item in each game. In Seasons
he receives the Rod of Seasons, which cycles the seasons through spring, summer, autumn and winter when swung, changing the landscape drastically and allowing him to travel through the land differently. In Ages
he receives the Harp of Ages, which allows him to travel back and forth through time, changing the past to change the future and bringing items from one time period into the other. Other new gameplay features include magic rings Link can wear for various benefits, and the ability to call on one of three animal companions to navigate unfriendly terrain and fight enemies. Each game also has slightly different items for Link to use - in Ages
the Power Bracelet upgrades into the Power Glove, while in Seasons
Link instead trades in the Roc's Feather for the Roc's Cape.
The true story of the two games is revealed via a "linked game" — the player finishes one game, they receive a password they can input when they begin a new game in the other game. This password triggers new plot developments and storylines to be introduced, revealing it was more than just one evil plan set in motion and to truly save the day Link must go to the other land to save them there.
Capcom would later assist in Four Swords
and The Minish Cap
These games provide examples of:
- Aborted Arc: Ambi's arc if one completes Seasons first - if you complete Ages first and link to Seasons, then it receives closure. The lover who departed her? Yeah... that's the pirate captain you help in Seasons.
- 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.
- Anti-Frustration Features: Regrowing bushes will appear whenever you have to throw bombs or seeds.
- The Artifact: As the Trivia page goes into detail on, the two games were originally a trilogy, one of which would have a theme of color, and another of which was a remake of the original NES Legend of Zelda. This still shows up in some ways:
- Oracle of Seasons, the first dungeon looks like the first dungeon of Legend of Zelda, and several bosses in Seasons are taken from Legend of Zelda.
- Oracle of Ages, the past is much more drab and washed-out of color than the present, and several dungeon puzzles involve color (such as rotating blocks with three colors, tiles that change color when Link walks on or jumps over them, etc).
- 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.
- Beneath the Earth: Subrosia in Oracle of Seasons.
- Big Bad: If you look at the games seperately and ignore the linked game, Onox in Seasons and Veran in Ages. Together, however, the Big Bad is Twinrova, with Ganon as the Bigger Bad.
- The Big Guy/Cute Bruiser: Ricky. Which animal companion is your favorite or most useful comes down to subjective preferences. But objectively, the kangaroo qualifies as the strongest and fastest of the three and can hop over single holes and jump up cliffs with ease.
- 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+, 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.
- Book Ends: In Oracle of Ages, the main treasure of the first dungeon is the Power Bracelet, and the main treasure of the last dungeon is the Power Glove. (Both dungeons are even located in the same areas of the Overworld: one in the present, and one in the past.)
- Boxing Kangaroo: Ricky.
- 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.
- Played with the bonus-items you get when you're playing a Linked Game. They're Bragging Rights Rewards in the first game you play, but since you're able to get them in the middle of a Linked Game, they can get a lot of usage.
- Broken Bridge:
- In Seasons, a literal one that gets fixed by parking a ship in the gap.
- There are several which in both games which seems to be the standard for handheld Zeldas. There is always a rock, pit, river, and very large pit that require the power bracelets, Roc's feather, flippers, and hookshot equivalent that open up new areas.
- Brutal Bonus Level: A linked game has the Hero's Cave, which needs the treasures up to the 7th dungeon to complete. Prepare yourself for some of the most hair-pullingly frustrating puzzles a 2D Zelda game has ever pitted you against.
- Chain of Deals: In both games, the end reward is the next level sword. Yet, in Seasons, you can get the sword without even starting the chain, as the end result isn't the sword itself, but rather a hint.
- Even if it isn't necessary to obtain the sword, it is still highly recommended in Seasons to complete the chain up until you give the Mushroom to the Witch in Sunken City so that she can then sell magic potions for you.
- Civilized Animal: The animal companions in the two games.
- Cloud Cuckoo Land: Subrosia.
- 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.
- Dark forces working to revive the recently defeated Ganon? Now where have I heard that one before?
- In Seasons, there's a windmill where a chiptune version of The Song of Storms plays. There's even an NPC with a wind-up phonograph nearby!
- Dark World: Subrosia subverts this; despite being made of lava and and having erupting volcanos it's actually a rather pleasant place with few enemies and mostly easygoing inhabitants.
- Deep Sleep: The Maku Tree in Seasons does almost nothing besides sleeping.
- Degraded Boss: A cross-game example: The boss of the Face Shrine (the sixth of eight main dungeons) in Link's Awakening makes a return as the mini-boss of the second dungeon in Seasons. He appears again later without the ability to put holes in the floor, degrading him further.
- Demonic Possession: Twice in Ages; in both cases it's a good thing you have the mystery seeds (from the second dungeon), the seed shooter (from the third dungeon), and the switch hook (from the fourth dungeon).
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
- In Seasons, it's possible to sequence break to the area of the eighth dungeon using Pegasus seeds and the Roc's feather. However, the trigger required in order to enter the dungeon is missing if you don't have the other seven essences. On top of that, there are two bushes right outside the area that holds the dungeon that always give Pegasus seeds to allow you to go back to the area where you broke sequence.
- In some games it's possible to do dungeons out of order. The Maku Tree has alternate dialogue if you do this.
- 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.
- Dig Attack: The miniboss of the Moonlit Grotto in Oracle of Ages is a mole with a drill nose that attacks from underneath (and is invincible while doing so). You defeat it by digging up its Worm Sign with the shovel and hitting it as it flops around.
- 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.
- The Dragon: Both Onox and Veran to Twinrova (and Ganon).
- Onox takes it literally in the final battle since he is a wyvern.
- Dual-World Gameplay: Oracle of Ages has time portals connecting the past and future. A few of them are conveniently opened at the start of the game when Nayru's time powers are used, and the Harp of Ages lets Link open them on his own. Once Link learns more songs, he can travel Back To The Future from the past, and by the end of the game he can jump back and forth anywhere he wants.
- 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.
- 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.
- The 3DS Virtual Console releases treat the games as if they are played on a Game Boy Color, meaning the Advance Shops are inaccessible and there are two rings that you can't get (unless you bring them over from the original cartridges or cheat the password system into giving them to you, that is). Likewise, the "Blue" section of Vasu's shop is inactive because the 3DS doesn't use link-cables.
- Empty Room Psych: The rooms for linked secrets have no one in them until it's time to receive or give a secret to someone that iwll appear there..
- 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).
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Black Tower in Ages, and Ancient Ruins in Seasons.
- Final Exam Boss: Three times in Ages. Two of those times are related to the Demonic Possession gear mentioned above, while the other one is... a giant statue.
- 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.
- 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.
- Giant Hands of Doom: Ramrock, the boss of the eighth dungeon in Ages.
- 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.
Grandfather Grandmother 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."
- Ghost Pirate: The skeleton pirates. Amusingly, they almost count as a Wacky Wayside Tribe, at least in Seasons.
- Grave Clouds: The cemeteries in both Seasons and Ages are perpetually dark and dreary.
- Grimy Water: The sea in Ages, until you complete a quest to cleanse it of the filth.
- Guide Dang It: You can actually determine which animal partner you receive by acquiring the flute in one of two ways, or not acquiring it at all. There are no hints at all to this.
- In Seasons, you are very likely to forget that autumn also fills in certain holes with leaves. You need to do this once in order to get to the 8th dungeon. This even threw off the official guidebook, which advised you that you needed to try and jump the gap with the Roc's Cape, a virtually impossible feat.
- In Oracle of Ages there is a ring located behind a bombable wall at Rolling Ridge. Bombable walls normally have cracks present to alert the player to their presence, but there are no cracks at this spot nor is there anything else in the game to indicate it's presence (aside from the sound you hear if you happen to bang against it with your sword). In addition, there are two other rings that can only be acquired via mini-games, but in both cases the ring rewards are randomized with more common rings that are not exclusive to the mini-game. Meaning even if the player masters the mini-game they likely won't realize they can win an exclusive ring if they keep winning unless they look it up or get lucky and win them early on.
- The Hero's Cave in Ages has a puzzle room where the player must step on all the blue tiles to turn them red in a continuous, uninterrupted path. However, there will always be one blue tile left. Are you doing something wrong? No, this is by design — you're meant to use the Cane of Somaria to cover up the blue tile with a red block, and that makes the chest appear. There are no hints you're meant to do this, and the solution sounds more like a fan rumor than an actual developer intent.
- Hailfire Peaks: The Sword-and-Shield dungeon in Seasons. The floor shaped like a shield is ice-themed, while the floor shaped like a sword is fire-themed.
- The High Queen: Queen Ambi, although her possession by Veran twists this.
- Hijacked by Ganon: The second example within the series (the first being Link to the Past), but actually not performed by the Trope Namer. The hijacking is actually done 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. Almost 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). However, they also affect Iron Mask and Darknut enemies, due to their metal mask and armor.
- Hot Witch: Veran, the villainess of Ages. Just see here. She does have a bit of a Vain Sorceress vibe to her, though.
- 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.
- Hypocritical Humor: The Pirate Captain.
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!
- Interquel: Set in between A Link to the Past and Link's Awakening, according to Hyrule Historia.
- 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.
- Infinity+1 Sword:
- Two of them, the Master Sword and the Biggoron Sword. There are also tons of items and bonuses that you can only get by playing a linked game.
- The Red Ring, awarded in Oracle of Seasons by defeating four golden enemies, doubles your sword damage without any drawbacks. You can obtain by the seventh dungeon, but seeing it can carry over to the linked game...
- Interface Spoiler: If an item has a "L1" next to its icon in the menu, you'll pick up an upgraded version of it somewhere later in the game.
- Interspecies Romance:
- The Maku Tree has romantic designs on Link in Ages, which is more of an interKINGDOM romance.
- Debatably, Queen Ambi (human) and Cap'n (undead). This is only revealed during a linked game in Seasons, so it's possible that Cap'n was alive around the time Ambi was alive as well.
- In Seasons, Link woos and dates Subrosian pop star Rosa so he can borrow her magical key to unlock a few doors.
- In the Hood: All Subrosians wear hoods that leave nothing of their faces visible except their large, white eyes.
- ISO-Standard Urban Groceries: In the ending for the linked game, the MacGuffin Girl from Ages is seen with this.
- Jerkass: Some of the Tokay. Upon finding you passed out, they decide to loot your body of your possessions. Then, seeing you wake up, they decide to run away instead of giving it back upon being found out and making up an excuse. One of them in particular stands out, as he calls your stuff his, and requires you to get other things in order to get your stuff back, despite Link seeing him take them.
- 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).
- Last Minute Baby Naming: Bipin and Blossom, in both games, have trouble naming their son. So they decide to let you, a complete stranger, pick for them.
- 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.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: The son of Bipin the Gasha Seed farmer, can grow up to have a completely different job than his father depending on certain player choices. While Bipin's son growing up to be either a warrior or a musician has varying degrees of contrast to his father, it is if he grows up to be a complete "slacker" that he contrasts the most with his hardworking father.
- Lost Forever: Both games contain an "Advance" shop that can only be accessed when playing on a Game Boy Advance. In the Virtual Console release of the games for the 3DS, the shop cannot be accessed and the items inside cannot be obtained. Said items are merely an easily supply to Gasha Seeds and a ring that's a Bragging Rights Reward, but players seeking to acquire everything will find themselves a couple rings short simply due to developer oversight.
- If you play Ages first in a linked game, there's one square on that game's map (an island in the ocean) that you'll never be able to explore.
- Magic Wand: The Rod of Seasons. Though you need to use it physically to beat Onox.
- Magnetic Weapons: Link's magnetic gloves in Seasons. In order to defeat the dungeon boss, he has to crush it by directing a giant spiked ball with them.
- Mama Bears: Seeing Twinrova sacrifice herself for the sake of bringing Ganon Back from the Dead just goes to show how much Koume and Kotake cared for Ganon(dorf).
- 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.
- Mook Bouncer:
- Wallmasters, as in other games in the series. Though this time, they are much easier to dodge than in A Link to the Past.
- For the first time, Floormasters count as this trope as they emerge from the floor to grab you and throw you back to the beginning of the dungeon.
- In Oracle of Ages, as you escape Veran's Tower, a Wallmaster will grab you and throw you into the room for the final battle against Veran.
- Also Din and Nayru although a less blatant case.
- Mythology Gag: In Oracle of Ages, there's a bush in the past and a bush in the future that you can burn which reveals an Old Man in a cave. One says "Thank you for paying to fix my door." the other one says "It's a secret to everybody." and they take and give you rupees respectively, just like in the original Legend of Zelda.
- Narrative Shapeshifting: This appears to be the case when Link is telling the Funny Joke to the depressed boy, as Link's body contorts in ways never before seen from our favorite Heroic Mime.
- Nerf: The jumping distance when using the Roc's Feather was shortened compared to the jumping distance in Link's Awakening.
- This is however inverted in Seasons when you pick up Roc's Cape which is a L2 Roc's Feather.
- New Game+: Beat a linked series and you get a code that lets you do your next playthrough (ideally by switching the order of the games as there are secrets exclusive to both orders) starting with 4 hearts and all your rings, plus a special ring acknowledging you defeated Ganon. The story does start over, though.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In Ages, the only reason Veran is able to possess Naryu is because Link disrupts the barrier separating the two in a But Thou Must moment.
- 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+. You start off with one more heart container than normal and can access more things than a fresh game.
- One-Winged Angel: The final bosses of both games. Veran has three.
- Optional Party Member: The animal friends Link encounters. As a rule, one of them will always become Link's permanent partner. The other two will leave never to return. Getting the animal partner you want to befriend for good though in each respective game, can be a chore.
- Petting Zoo People: The Tokay, anthropomorphic lizards with a penchant for theft.
- Playable Epilogue: A non-linked game has this, allowing you to continue to play in the peaceful world- this has to be done to facilitate the password-unlocked sidequests.
- Player-Guided Missile: Oracle of Seasons is is the only Zelda game whose Magic Boomerang can be directly controlled in-flight.
- Post-Kiss Catatonia: Link goes into one of these after receiving a Smooch of Victory from Princess Zelda in the combined ending. The Maku Tree in ''Ages'' will tear upon seeing this, given her crush on Link.
- Sequel Difficulty Spike: Both games are significantly more challenging than Link's Awakening, with Seasons being tougher in terms of action and Ages in terms of puzzles.
- Puzzle Boss: Smog from Ages.
- Randomly Drops: Most of the rings are obtained randomly from Gasha Nuts, minigames, or Maple. Also, Maple and a Gasha nut randomly drop a Heart Piece in both games.
- Rule of Funny: Skeleton pirates that get seasick due to losing their touch from staying beached so long. Including the captain.
- Saharan Shipwreck
- 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.
- Shadow Walker: The boss of the Moonlit Grotto teleports around its arena, appearing directly behind the player in a puddle of shadow, disappearing if you turn to face it. How fortunate that the dungeon's item allows you to bounce seeds off walls.
- 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. This is probaly the only Shout-Out example from Ages.
- And Onox's Scaled Up form has a marked resemblance to Sigma's final form in the original Mega Man X, given that Capcom helped make the two games.
- More of Capcom's traces are in the 4th dungeon of Seasons, as there is an underground platforming section where you cross a chasm by jumping across blocks that appear and disappear in a preset sequence, a very common obstacle in the Mega Man series.
- Blue Stalfos, the 8th mini-boss in Ages casts a curse that turns Link into a baby for a short time if he gets hit.
- Meedlock, the 8th boss in Seasons, is one to Castlevania, by being a giant Medusa Head.
- Sequel Hook: An unlinked game has plenty of hooks leading into the linked game's story.
- At the very end of the linked game, you see that Link is heading off in a boat to sea, which doesn't end well for our hero...
- 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.
- Again in Seasons, it's possible to get past certain areas that normally require Roc's cape by using Pegasus seeds and the Roc's feather together, as it extends your jump ability from one tile to three. Provided you get the timing just right, that is.
- Ricky's ability to climb up cliffs allows you to get to places much easier than either Dimitri or Moosh, barring locations you need them to access. For example, in Ages you can reach Patch's home to repair the Noble Sword by using Ricky to hop up a ledge and play the Tune of Time. Without Ricky you're taking a much long around around that involves switching back and forth between time periods. The ledge you jump to with him cannot be accessed in the present in any other way and there's nothing else up there, so this seems to have been done on purpose.
- 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.
- "Simon Says" Mini-Game: The Subrosian dance in Seasons and the Goron Dance in Ages.
- Slasher Smile/Psychotic Smirk: The villains in the page's image.
- Smooch of Victory: Defeating the linked games gets Link a kiss from Princess Zelda.
- Snot Bubble: The Maku Tree in Seasons always has one of these, despite being, well, a tree. Popping it with your sword is the only way to get him to wake up and engage in conversation.
- Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Bipin and Blossom's son grows from a baby to a child during the course of the first game you play, then into a teenager during a linked game. If you choose the Farmer path, he actually looks older than his dad!
- Stable Time Loop: A ton of these can be observed in Ages, since there's a lot of time traveling.
- Stealth-Based Mission: Ambi's Castle in Ages.
- 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.
- Sunken City: Which, incidentally, did not become sunken until after Onox sunk the Temple of Seasons. Its name before being sunken, if it had one, is never revealed.
- 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.
- Take Our Word for It: Since Link can't speak, the animation for the Funny Joke is best described as interpretive dance.
- 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".
- Terminator Twosome: In Ages, Veran and Link. Threesome, if you count Ralph.
- 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.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: Ages happily juggles several balls at once. The game mostly goes with the idea of San Dimas time — as Link proceeds through the game, work on the Black Tower in the past continues, and it grows taller in the present in time with it's construction in the past. However, it's not consistent. To list some of the problems that arise:
- The third dungeon, Moonlit Grotto, is entered in the present, and takes the form of a cave with a face. In the past this same cave is sealed because it is missing an eye, which is what opens it later. A Tokay near the cave in the present says that in the past a "Tokay with no tail" (what they call Link) opened the cave, something which Link hasn't done yet and will not until the end of the game. At this point Link doesn't even know enough (the Tokay's remark not withstanding) to know that opening the cave in the past is something he will have to eventually do.
- There are several Stable Time Loops. For once such instance, the Goron vase Link gets from a Goron in the present is the same vase Link must now go and give to the Goron's ancestor, who says he will pass it down through the family.
- Even with the same event, the game fails to be consistent. The Gorons of Rolling Ridge in the present give Link a Bomb Flower in thanks for defeating the Great Moblin, after which the Maku Tree tells Link that his name has suddenly appeared in legends as a Goron hero who saved their Elder centuries ago. However, before you defeat the Great Moblin, the Gorons mention that long ago a young boy brought Bomb Flowers to Rolling Ridge and they're now the Goron staple crop.
- 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.
- Useless Superpowers: In both games, there are only four areas where you need an animal companion to progress, one for each of them and a fourth that changes layout to fit the companion you've been determined to keep. Otherwise, you can get all items without them. Additionally, Seasons has the Roc's Cape and Ages has the Mermaid Suit, allowing Link to jump further and swim in the ocean, respectively. This makes Moosh's hovering obsolete in Seasons and Dimitri's swimming obsolete in Ages, because any area they can reach in those games, Link will eventually be able to get to on his own. Thus, the only companion with powers worth using is Ricky, who can jump up cliffs to reach areas you'd otherwise have to take the long way to.
- Valley Girl: Rosa from Seasons.
- Verbal Tic: The Tokay in the Japanese version have a Pokémon Speak tic of using "toka" at odd moments. This was removed in the dub since Western audiences don't find that quite as endearing.
- Videogame Cruelty Punishment:
- The cuccos will still hunt you down in hordes if you provoke them.
- You can blow up the Moblin King's Sunken City house in Seasons with a bomb or ember seed, but do it three times and he catches you, resulting in a Nonstandard Game Over.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential Seasons lets you throw a pirate's skull around in the desert, and he naturally complains about getting sand in his mouth or water up his nose if you throw him on the ground or in a puddle.
- Ages features somebody in a toilet like in Majora's Mask. Naturally... you can throw things into the toilet and get responses. Which include a bomb.
- Villain 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.
- Voodoo Shark: The eighth dungeon in Ages is in the past, located in the part of the world that in the present is the Yoll Graveyard. So why can't Link just go to the graveyard, play the Harp of Ages and warp to the dungeon entrance instantly? Because if you attempt to warp in the Graveyard, "a mysterious force" stops the Harp's magic from working and Link remains in the present. This is in so you don't just skip right to the dungeon entrance as just described and must do the sidequest to get in there another way, but this "mysterious force" raises a lot of questions. There's a couple of hints it's Veran, since the Black Tower is another small spot where you can't time warp, and the point where you would be going for the 8th dungeon is right after the Black Tower is completed and Veran's power intensifies, but even if you try to warp before that point, you get the same message.
- Weaksauce Weakness: The Pols Voices? You don't need bombs if you got a flute or a Harp!
- 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.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Or Water, rather. Moosh refuses to go into Sunken City for this reason (Ricky refuses as well, but apparently it smells like medicine and he can't stand that).
- Wise Tree: The Maku Trees, more so in Oracle of Seasons. The one in Ages can be a bit more... childish.
- Womb Level: The aptly named dungeon "Jabu-Jabu's Belly" has Link dive into the mouth of a giant fish.
- 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.