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On the Cutting Room Floor – The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (Episode 6)

03 Jun

On the Cutting Room Floor Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Seasons

Mmmm Zelda: Oracle… I think I’ll like Ages more than Seasons….

Episode 6 of On the Cutting Room Floor (Games I’m Longing to Play) is The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, a cult-classic, critically acclaimed retro Zelda duo for the Game Boy Color.

If you know me, you know that there are TONS AND TONS of videogames I’ve never played. Sadly, although I consider myself to be a “hardcore” gamer, I really am not compared to most “gamers”. The reason for that is because, unlike other more productive people, I can never seem to find the time to play games. Period.

In fact, my most played system as of late has been my Nintendo 3DS, and that’s simply because it is the easiest system to play when I’m sitting on the throne…. And cause I’m a hardcore Nintendo fanboy to boot.

So I thought it would be fun to go through some of the games I’d LOVE to play and still plan on playing someday, but never have up to this point and why I want to play them. Maybe I’ll get to them at some point, and hopefully soon; but maybe not. We’ll see. Enjoy.

EPISODE #6 – The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages
Released: 2001
System: Game Boy Color
Re-Released: Never
Genre: Isometric Action Adventure
Developed By: Flagship (Capcom 2nd-Party Subsidiary)
Publisher: Nintendo
Is There A Digital Version?: No (Not yet)

Zelda Oracle of Ages and Seasons Sealed

Blue Zelda Oracles of Ages, Red Zelda Oracles of Seasons cover artwork.

What originally began as a port of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and later the original Legend of Zelda to the then-new Game Boy Color (released in 2001) would evolve into two separate Game Boy Color Zelda titles, both of which were highly critically acclaimed.

Capcom begun having a good working relationship with Nintendo due to a little game called Resident Evil 0. Originally in development for release on the Nintendo 64DD, it would be delayed for years and skip the N64 entirely, eventually hitting the GameCube in 2002.

Through that relationship of bringing a rival AAA series to a Nintendo system, Capcom had the bright idea of bringing a new or ported Zelda title over to the Game Boy Color. They put second party subsidiary Flagship on porting duties. Flagship had worked with Nintendo on developing an improved Nintendo 64 port of Resident Evil 2, released on that system in 1999.

Zelda Mystical Seed of Courage Logo (Cancelled)

Zelda: Mystical Seed of Courage was a cancelled part of the Triforce series. It would’ve been a Zelda 1 remake.

Thus Capcom tapped them to work with Nintendo on putting out a big AAA project for the Game Boy Color, which started out as a Zelda port. After considering porting the beloved A Link to the Past, the project would’ve been complex and was scaled back to be the original Zelda instead. Which they would completely remake to be an improved version.

Here’s a video of Zelda: Oracle of Ages in action.

At this point Nintendo stepped in and talked with Capcom on developing a unique Zelda series to be killer-apps for the Game Boy Color. This is when they had the really awesome idea to develop THREE unique and yet intersecting Zelda titles, one based on each piece of the Triforce… These would be The Legend of Zelda Power, The Legend of Zelda Wisdom and The Legend of Zelda Courage, one of which would be a remake of the original Zelda, the other two being unique titles.

Here is a video of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons in action.

Later these games were given actual names, turning into The Legend of Zelda: Mystical Seed of Power, The Legend of Zelda: Mystical Seed of Wisdom, and The Legend of Zelda: Mystical Seed of Courage. Eventually, the interconnected nature of all three games proved too complicated, and Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, who had come up with the Triforce idea, decided to scale it down to two games instead of three. Thus, Mystical Seed of Power became Oracle of Seasons and Mystical Seed of Wisdom became Oracle of Ages. The remake of the original Legend of Zelda, Mystical Seed of Courage, was ultimately cancelled (FOR SHAME!). Although Flagship would go on to update and re-release The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past/Four Swords for Game Boy Advance, which was likely birthed from the cancelled remains of Mystical Seed of Courage.

The Triforce (Zelda)

…. Awesome artwork for the mythical Triforce relic in Zelda mythology. Each piece of the triangle represents Power, Wisdom or Courage.

By this point years and years had delayed the project ad infinitum, and just when the two titles were about to hit, the Game Boy Advance was rearing its pretty new head. The team decided to delay one last time to incorporate special features into the games if played on a Game Boy Advance system, and the two titles, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, were finally released on May 14 2001, just two months before the June 11th release of the Game Boy Advance.

The games were HUGE hits, both critically, commercially and in the eyes of players, creating a huge cult-following and going on to sell over 4 million copies EACH (for a total of over 8 million), making them some of the best-selling Game Boy Color titles ever. Surely making all that trouble and long-delays from 1995 to 2001 worth it, eh.

Oracles of Ages Wallpaper

Awesome Zelda: Oracles of Ages Wallpaper!

As previously stated, both of the game’s are entirely unique, featuring different characters, different storylines, different gameplay hooks, different worlds to explore, puzzles to solve, dungeons to conquer, weapons and items to acquire and bosses to defeat. They also link together. Play and beat one game and you’ll get a password that expands the other game and changes it in different ways, completing both gives you a special item. Both games feature multiple endings and an ending that can only be obtained by linking both games together (via password or Game Link Cable). All in all, these two titles were among the most sweeping and epic ever released for the Game Boy systems.

Additionally, each game in the duo offers unique gameplay that is focused on a different type of Zelda player and each game is self-contained (meaning you’ll get a full experience whether you play both games or not. Playing both is not required to complete the game, only expand them). Oracle of Ages is more focused on the puzzle-solving aspect of Zelda, while Oracle of Seasons is more focused on action gameplay.

Zelda Oracle of Seasons Wallpaper

Awesome The Legend of Zelda: Oracles of Seasons wallpaper!

This means that whatever type of player you are, you are sure to get a ton of enjoyment out of the Zelda Oracle series, and you can choose which type of Zelda gameplay most interests you.

Of course, if you buy both games and play them together, you’re experience will be greatly expanded on. :)

Zelda Oracle of Ages Seasons Movie Scene

Link riding his horse Epona in a cutscene from Zelda Oracle of Seasons.

As stated, each game has a unique hook, thus the different names. In Oracle of Ages, Time plays a big role in the game, with the player traveling to the past or future to solve puzzles. In Oracle of Seasons, the player has the ability to change the season from Fall to Winter, Summer or Spring, and that hook is used in solving puzzles.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons Screenshot

A gameplay screenshot of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons.

It’s worth nothing that Flagship went on to develop the first multiplayer Zelda called “The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords”, which was bundled with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past in a Game Boy Advance cart released in late 2002 and an another all-new Zelda title called “The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap”, released for the Game Boy Advance in early 2005.

I am a proud owner of complete, boxed versions of BOTH The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, and they are definitely prides of my collection. However I’ve never really played either game. (Don’t ask).

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages Screenshot

A gameplay screenshot from Zelda: Oracle of Ages.

I actually tried on a few occasions to play them, and for some odd reason I just couldn’t get into the games. Which is weird because I am a HUGE fan of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Given that Oracle of Ages and Seasons have yet to be re-released for the 3DS eShop, I plan on playing through them (and recording it!) very soon, before they get digitally re-released.

They assuredly WILL be re-released on the 3DS eShop’s Game Boy Color Virtual Console at some point, as the game’s are among the most highly requested eShop titles and Nintendo knows they are beloved games with a big cult-following.

Sexy Girl Triforce Tattoo

A sexy girl named Jaqqis made even sexier thanks to this amazing Triforce tattoo on her back!

Previous Episodes of “On the Cutting Room Floor”:
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 5 – Otogi: Myth of Demons
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 4 – Drill Dozer
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 3 – Psychonauts
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 2 – Silent Hill 3
* Episode 1 – On the Cutting Room Floor: Games I’ve Yet to Play – EarthBoundPrevious Episodes of “On the Cutting Room Floor”:
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 4 – Drill Dozer
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 3 – Psychonauts
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 2 – Silent Hill 3
* Episode 1 – On the Cutting Room Floor: Games I’ve Yet to Play – EarthBound

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