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I guess I just like liking things


After expanding Zelda’s game world into 3D with the N64 era games, going back to the classic overhead view was a bit jarring. However, we’re at the Game Boy Color era games with the first of the two Oracle games, Oracle of Seasons. Nintendo seemed to share the idea about the old view feeling constricting, as they handed off development to Capcom.

Oracle of Seasons has a fairly interesting story. Link meets up with a dancer and her troupe, Din. She is kidnapped by Onox who then sinks the temple of seasons throwing the entire world into weather related chaos. Unless you play the game linked with Oracle of Ages, Gannon doesn’t even make an appearance. The password and linked game system is the sort of diabolical marketing technique that kids whining about day one DLCs can’t even fathom. Ensuring you had to buy both, almost three, games to get the entire story.

There’s a lot of things in Oracle of Seasons that don’t line up with the rest of the series. There’s an animal companion you can choose from, that you can call on at any time. You only use them to solve a puzzle in the game early on, but each has a distinct personality. There’s also a whole parallel world, standing in for the Dark World, called Subrosia. The main world isn’t actually Hyrule either, instead it’s Holodrum. You can see that the twists opened up by Majora’s Mask allowed Capcom to experiment much more with the basic Zelda materials than even Nintendo would. Some of these experiments are more successful than others, but it does make the game stand out when compared to Nintendo’s offerings.

All that experimentation sort of leaves this in an odd spot for canon. It is mentioned that it’s in the same timeline as a Link to the Past and Link’s Awakening, but beyond that there isn’t much on where this lines up. The lack of Gannon and Zelda beyond some bonus material created for people who bought both games, also leaves this a bit in the lurch for the timeline. (There was also a third game that was planned but not released.) The cannon for the whole series is pretty loose overall, but the whole Joseph Campbell meets reincarnation framework is what fuels the narratives. That’s absent here, and what is there is only added once you’ve linked it with Oracle of Ages. So I’ll have more info on that portion after I finish the next game.

All in all if you have a 3DS, grab this on the virtual shop. It isn’t even close to the best game in the series, but there’s a lot of interesting ideas about the various series mainstays. This game took a lot of work to get into, but once you get deeper into the story it plays out much better. I’ll be back next month (really this month because of Labor Day) for the other half of this series with Oracle of Ages.

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