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The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 時空の章

Developer: Flagship Publisher: Nintendo
27 February 2001
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages [ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 時空の章] - cover art
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3.73 / 5.0
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416 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#682 All-time
#30 for 2001
Link is transported to a forest in the land of Labrynna, where he hears screaming. In a clearing, Link finds Impa, surrounded by monsters, but the monsters flee when they see Link. Impa then asks Link to help her find a singer in the forest.
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2001 Flagship Nintendo  
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Another very solid Zelda game. Great powerups although the game is held back by the limited GBC input scheme. The overworld wasn't terribly interesting with some zones being pretty generic, but it was easy to navigate. Most of the dungeons were really good, although Jabu Jabu's Belly was very frustrating.

Maku Tree was pretty cute. We don't usually think of trees as adorable but Oracle of Ages expands our imaginations.
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DoubleCakes 2021-12-29T03:45:48Z
2021-12-29T03:45:48Z
3.5
2
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Oracle of Ages was the puzzle-focused better half of the Oracle duology. Compared to Seasons, Flagship developed a much more charming and sophisticated style that frequently harked back to LttP. Experimentation abounds in boss fights and progression methods between dungeons, but their 'innovations' here feel a bit derivative, and one wonders if the 2D Zelda formula has its limits.
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Blah_Blee 2021-08-15T22:42:37Z
2021-08-15T22:42:37Z
6 /10
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Ages is the second part of the Oracle games and its a much different experience. Its a lot more focused on story and puzzle and has a different mechanic. If Seasons can be compared to Link's Awakening 1.5, than this can be referred to as Link to the Past 1.5. You essentially get the power to travel to the past and must use that power to solve puzzles and stop an evil villain from taking control of the World and creating evil.

Actually the story in this is also pretty generic, I enjoyed it a slight bit more than Season's story, maybe because Season hardly had much story, but at the same time the villain in this is a generic bad guy who just wants to control the World and cause chaos. The Overworld in this game is pretty small, it almost feels like its half the size of Seasons but at the same time you get 2 since you have a separate Overworld for the past with slight variances. The game for the most part is fairly linear, with not too much to do in the Overworld and also not much to explore, there are only 16 heart pieces in this as well, plus there aren't many side quests. Now the dungeons in this are a lot more puzzle oriented and feel closer to the classic Zelda. But at the same time, there are some annoying ones. Several dungeons required you to do odd platforming with the pegasus boots and there was an obnoxious water dungeon that was similar to Ocarina of Time where you changed the water level. I feel some of the puzzles in this were just a tad cryptic and many weren't in particularly as well-designed as ones from Link to the Past or Link's Awakening.

Still its a fairly short game and most dungeons in this outside 1 or 2 can be beaten fairly quick. The final boss in this isn't quite as hard as Seasons but still is annoying since he has 3 phases. Now the weird thing about these 2 Oracle games is that you can link them through passwords and so if you've beaten one you can use the password at the start of your game in the other to transfer your file and unlock additional content. The main things being you can transfer your rings over but in Ages it actually gives you an event where you save Zelda from some generic bad guy and then of course it unlocks the true ending and final boss.

Now the idea of a linked game is kind of cool since it rewards you for playing both and you can use passwords given to you by various NPCs in one game to earn items and hearts in the other game. But for the most part it adds story that feels unnecessary. I felt like including Zelda and Ganon in this just felt forced on and didn't add much to the story. We've already had so many games with these characters and I would have been fine if the games ventured off on a side story for Link. But its almost like they wanted to throw the fans a bone and say look this is Zelda it has Ganon and Zelda and they are part of the story. The story for the Oracle games weren't the best but they weren't really bad either, but they both stood alone as side stories. But the linked game just forces more convolution and unnecessary elements into the lore. Also as much as I like Ganon, his appearance in this and fight weren't done that well. He basically gets resurrected by the twin witches from Ocarina of Time and then you fight a giant Ganon in his twin form. The fight just goes on way too long and since these games don't have fairies you get one shot. The only way to damage Ganon is to charge your sword and his attacks in this are annoying since they track you and inflict a lot of damage. It just feels like a really lazy fight that was made overly difficult and feels like it was tagged on to try to make the game seem like it connects with the main storyline of the rest of the games. Its easily way worse than the 2 final bosses of Seasons and Ages.

So overall Ages is probably only a bit worse than Seasons. Some puzzles and design choices are annoying and frustrating and it does have a bit more backtracking and the map is pretty small. Plus the time travel in these games just felt like it was getting overdone by this point and I feel like it wasn't as cool as the changing seasons. The story in this wasn't anything special too, and linked game, while an interesting concept in theory, really didn't add much and felt like it bloated the game. Ages is still worth playing with Seasons but I feel Ages just hasn't aged as well as Seasons and its one of those games that really is worth playing once only.
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jweber14 2018-02-17T09:52:24Z
2018-02-17T09:52:24Z
3.5
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Oracle of Ages is part of a set of two games released in 2001 for the Game Boy Color. These two Zelda titles were developed by Capcom instead of Nintendo's normal Zelda team. This shows, as the more finicky puzzle design and focus on throwing in lots of powerful enemies differ wildly from what one expects to see in the Zelda series. As a result, the Oracle games feel fairly distinct from other Zelda games, which isn't a bad thing, but it still feels like something is missing. I guess I just like Zelda games to focus more on exploration than combat, but that's an entirely subjective matter. I respect what Capcom was going for with the Oracle games. They wanted to make two Zelda games with a similar vibe but enough differences to feel distinct from one another. I think they succeeded for the most part, but with the benefit of hindsight, Oracle of Ages doesn't hold up as well as its brother.

The primary difference between the two games, aside from the aesthetic of time travel vs. changing of the seasons is that Ages focuses more on the plot and villain (Veran, who has a pretty cool design, mind) while Seasons really focuses on the gameplay. This makes a whole lot of sense when you consider that the two N64 Zelda games were about time travel. Ages wants to be a game that fans of the 3D games will enjoy while Seasons is aimed at lovers of classic Zelda. What holds Ages back in that respect is that the plot's a generic Saturday morning cartoon story: bad guy possesses the girl, you separate the girl from the bad guy, you kill the bad guy. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's hard to get excited about the new characters and their extended story scenes when you know how it's going to end from the very beginning.

Perhaps more problematic is the fact that Link's quest to get eight Macguffins feels unrelated to the rest of the story. In the end, the Macguffins are used to show which door of the Black Tower is not an illusion. It's necessary to finish the game, but it's a major letdown that the entire length of the game was spent essentially solving the equivalent of a single puzzle in a dungeon. This is entirely transparent: Capcom made up a flimsy excuse for Link to have to travel to eight dungeons. See, it worked in The Legend of Zelda because assembling the Triforce was needed to hurt Ganon. It worked in Link to the Past because the seven maidens were characters you might have cared about saving. The Macguffins in this game are just "essences of time" that magically make a door reveal itself. There is no connection between those two things, and it ruins the illusion of narrative that the game tries to set up. I normally don't nitpick about story in games like this because it's usually not my biggest concern, but I feel like this one is especially hacked together and dumb.

For the most part, the gameplay holds up. The usual Zelda trappings are there, and they work as well as in any of the other games. The seeds with different effects are a great upgrade from Link's Awakening's magic powder. While the Mermaid Suit is hard to control, I like the idea of Link having more freedom in water sections. The Roc's Feather is always always always a welcome addition, though it's a lot better in Seasons and Minish Cap than in this game. I did not like how the animal buddies were so underused in Ages, but they were a cool idea nonetheless. To top it off, the Cane of Somaria (which creates a block) returns in this game, which is probably only second to the Roc's Feather as my favorite Zelda item. All of the items are used well throughout the game's eight dungeons and overworld. If it weren't for bad design decisions in other aspects, I'd say the gameplay is just right.

But of course, there are some really questionable design decisions, and they all basically boil down to tedium. The game has two very painful fetch-quest missions. One involves gathering all of your items on the Tokay Island early in the game. I like segments where the hero loses his equipment and has to gather it back, but I didn't care for having to trade one for another over and over to enter different parts of the island. This added a lot of padding to that section of the game that felt hugely artificial. Later in the game, the player has to solve an elaborate fetch quest chain in the Goron village, which is surprisingly labyrinthine in its design. I seriously burnt about a week getting through this place on my most recent playthrough, mostly because I got tired of backtracking across the mountains. The seventh dungeon, Jabu Jabu's Belly, is atrociously designed in a similar manner. Link has to adjust the water level of the dungeon and traverse sections in different depths. This wouldn't be so bad if the dungeon felt streamlined, but I found myself changing the water setting over and over again, which requires backtracking to a very far corner of the place. It is needlessly complicated and frustrating, and it's probably the worst water-related dungeon in the entire Zelda series. This is a quite a feat, by the way.

The most tedious aspect of the game is the time travel, though. Warping between the two eras is basically like warping between the Light and Dark world of Link to the Past since the game only rarely allows you to change something in the past that affects the future. This saps away most of the fun involved in a game about time travel. Almost all of the puzzles involving jumping through time are just used to help you get to parts of the map you couldn't reach before. I was left wanting more, and was even more disappointed that the final dungeon and boss had nothing to do with time travel either.

Oracle of Ages is fun in most of the same ways that Link's Awakening is, but I still think Link's Awakening is a more tightly constructed game. All of the sections in that game felt like they had a purpose, while Ages feels like it has dungeons and stuff just because it has to. It's worth a playthrough or several, but it's lacking a cohesive sense of design that would make me put it above most of the other Zelda games. If you're looking for a Zelda game about time travel, Majora's Mask is the one for you, not this. Of course, Oracle of Seasons is quite a bit more fun and you'll probably want to play the two games together, so if you plan on doing that, Ages is a must-play. Still, I have to recommend playing with a guide in the tedious sections I outlined above just to save yourself a lot of unneeded frustration.
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jsh357 2016-04-06T03:58:00Z
2016-04-06T03:58:00Z
2.0
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Selvmoord The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages 2024-04-17T08:26:44Z
GBC • US
2024-04-17T08:26:44Z
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polland ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 時空の章 2024-04-15T11:00:39Z
2024-04-15T11:00:39Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
zazztheboy ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 時空の章 2024-04-06T16:20:09Z
2024-04-06T16:20:09Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SergLeDerg ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 時空の章 2024-04-04T05:12:15Z
2024-04-04T05:12:15Z
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JellyfishLauncher ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 時空の章 2024-04-02T21:05:27Z
2024-04-02T21:05:27Z
4.0
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FirstMate ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 時空の章 2024-03-29T19:57:05Z
2024-03-29T19:57:05Z
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jesseleefoster ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 時空の章 2024-03-25T23:26:36Z
2024-03-25T23:26:36Z
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pi21x21 ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 時空の章 2024-03-23T04:52:13Z
2024-03-23T04:52:13Z
3.5
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Smooth1e ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 時空の章 2024-03-15T18:22:11Z
2024-03-15T18:22:11Z
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Phamtomas ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 時空の章 2024-03-15T07:17:25Z
2024-03-15T07:17:25Z
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eliottstaten ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 時空の章 2024-03-15T05:25:06Z
2024-03-15T05:25:06Z
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Thndrstrike ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎの木の実 時空の章 2024-03-04T10:43:08Z
2024-03-04T10:43:08Z
3.0
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  • Previous comments (5) Loading...
  • Zorgly 2020-10-19 06:01:44.396976+00
    I can't name a gameboy colour game I like more than this.
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  • TheLowe4 2021-09-24 18:29:22.076228+00
    these bosses are cheeks
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  • Prio 2022-11-10 18:02:34.507512+00
    amazing dungeons but the minigames and bosses are bad
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  • darth_tyrannus_rex 2023-02-01 23:45:17.857165+00
    A masterclass in 2D Zelda Dungeons, but I prefer Seasons overall due to the atmosphere. This feels like a massive puzzle game which is very cool but can feel somewhat one-note compared to the more action-packed Seasons.
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  • thm_yrk12 2023-04-10 07:19:18.632428+00
    love the guy holding up the middle finger on the cover
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  • Myriadis 2023-11-01 14:52:22.64845+00
    A massive improvement over Links Awakening in every way
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  • zazztheboy 2024-04-04 17:43:09.615337+00
    echoing what everyone else said re: great dungeons boring overworld and insanely stupid story, but i do really love how they took the "puzzle oriented Zelda game" angle and committed to the bit immensely with almost every major required quest being some big stupid puzzle to supplement the dungeons too. the tokay island sucks balls objectively but it's really fun to figure it out
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