• The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons


  • Action-Adventure


  • Flagship


  • Nintendo

Release Date:

  • May 14, 2001


  • Game Boy Color

Box Art Credit:

  • Wikipedia

Systems Used:

  • Game Boy Color, then Game Boy Advance SP


  • Co-developed by Capcom as well.

On Wikipedia:

You know a game is very good or very bad when it invokes so much memories in you. Well, I've had some less-good games with strong memories (more on that later), but Oracle of Seasons is one of those good ones. Now this Zelda quest on the Game Boy Color was co-developed by Capcom (more accurately, their studio Flagship), but that doesn't matter, it's still awesome.

It's unlikely that you'd be interested in my now-mostly-defunct blog called Brazos Buildings & Businesses unless you have a love of searching out all you could about the retail establishments of a rather dull college town, but there was something posted fairly early on about the electronics department at the local Wal-Mart, and the beaten-up display Game Boy Color that didn't work right. Well, one day in spring 2001, I was with my dad and sister, and stopped to try it out. Well, to make a long story short, while I did explore it and was fascinated by this The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening style epic (they did recycle assets, no doubt), my stop at the electronics department didn't please my dad, who believed I had run off from him, not the other way around (it was a relatively small, non-Super Wal-Mart. I knew the layout for years, still do despite the fact that it's been completely remodeled and rearranged since) and could find my way home. Well, I really got it when we got home, though unlike my stinging rear, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons would make the lasting impression, and while it was my brother who purchased OOS for his Game Boy system, it was me who purchased the Player's Guide, still a masterfully written piece of work with colorful maps, clear appendices where the Pieces of Hearts, items (between the two games, lots of them), and rings (exclusive to the Oracle series) were. The Prima guides never (and still don't) stack up.

The story in Oracle of Seasons is that Link (who may or may not be the same Link from the then-modern Ocarina of Time, though is now canonized to take place after A Link to the Past) is transported by the Triforce to a new land, the land of Holodrum, where he meets Din the dancer (not the goddess, but rather secretly an seasons-controlling oracle). Soon after, he finds himself alone in a winter landscape with only Impa (not the badass woman warrior from Ocarina of Time, here, she's a plump matron) sending him off on his quest. Onox, a new foe, has captured Din in a crystal with his stronghold north of town, and you have to rescue her after beating some eight dungeons (standard, I know).

It's autumn in Holodrum.

Unlike the rather disappointing DS quests, the dungeons are great. While the boss music for the dungeons is a bit cheesy, it isn't a dealbreaker. The first one is Gnarled Root Dungeon, an homage (in more ways than one) to the first dungeon in the original The Legend of Zelda (which makes sense, seeing as how early in the development process one of the three games, which became two, was supposed to be a remake of the NES classic), though it includes new features not seen in Link's Awakening, like mine cart tracks. The second, Snake's Remains (yes, that's the name of the dungeon) is after you collect the Rod of Seasons, and gain the power of Winter in the underworld of Subrosia (yes, it's that kind of game). Then you meet (and jump in the pouch) of a kangaroo with boxing gloves and gain the power of Summer (you need a tree stump to change the seasons). The third is Poison Moth's Lair, which contains one of the most challenging puzzles of the game (Oracle of Seasons isn't big on puzzles, it's more on action), then defeat a bomb-throwing Moblin, collect the power of Spring, and it's off to the fourth dungeon, Dancing Dragon Dungeon, which ironically has no dragons (though it does have some more minecart puzzles, some rockin' music, and disappearing platforms). Then, after getting the last season, Autumn, it's off to the Unicorn's Cave (a dungeon that makes use of the new Magnetic Gloves), then Ancient Ruins (a five-level dungeon that involves one-way turnstiles), Explorer's Crypt (one where you get the "Roc's Cape" but otherwise forgettable), and then Sword & Shield Maze (a fire 'n' ice dungeon).

You win? No, this is before you even press START.

While 2001 was certainly a memorable year for me and OOS, so if you're a certain person reading this right now, I still do remember the "Look at the cute Subrosians" gaffe, and the rest of you don't have to know about it. I still do strongly associate the music with that summer at my grandfather's house, either hanging out with my sister in the pool house, in the pool, or even milling around when my grandfather was celebrating his 70th birthday, with lots of people I didn't know but also lots of food, including one of those 4-foot Subway sandwiches, which I know for a fact are difficult to make, to put it lightly. Despite all that, it wasn't until summer 2004 when I completed Oracle of Seasons for myself rather than watching others play while I pored over the Player's Guide. It was also in Florida like 2001 except this time at Panama City Beach, in a summer so great and Nintendo-filled it was the inspiration for the semi-defunct blog I had (briefly a full website) called "Blue Skies & Nintendo". More on that another time. Anyway, there I discovered that the Magunesu are probably the most annoying enemies in the game. Despite their cuddly appearance, they are irritating, as they constantly shoot fireballs, switch magnetic polarity so they always fly away from your new Magnetic Gloves, so you have to attract them, swat at them with your sword (they take several hits to kill), and then do all that before they fly away again (this was the screenshot I wanted to get). I also found, beating Onox on the couch where I was vacationing (a small cottage in a naval base off of Panama City Beach, the bay was outside but not very beachy) took a bit of practice, but once you got down the hopping on the claw coming down and jumping to hit the gem on the forehead, he went down smoother than a glass of cold lemonade.

There's options to play this before or after Oracle of Ages (beating one game gives you a code for the other, with some storyline changes--and beating the "second quest" unlocks a new boss for both games, a code for re-playing the first game so you could get the bonuses for the other game (I think?), and eventually that way you could get all 64 rings, which I'll explain next time.

August 08 2015