In 2001, Zelda games could not get any better. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask had arrived the year prior, a beautifully melancholic follow-up to Ocarina of Time — the series’ stunning 3D debut, which was also immediately recognized as one of the best games ever made. Nintendo had once again blazed a new trail with its acclaimed fantasy adventure series. The future of games was here, and there was no looking back.
Except, there was. That year, Nintendo’s wildly popular Game Boy Color would get a pair of new Zelda games, riding the wave started by their Nintendo 64 predecessors. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons were dubbed “an adventure too big for just one game,” and, surprising everyone, they delivered on that promise.
Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons were novel for several reasons, the biggest being that they were the first games in the franchise not made by Nintendo. Developed by Capcom (which would also go on to make the wonderful Minish Cap), the twin Oracle games took after prior Game Boy entry Link’s Awakening, with identical art assets and controls — except, with color. While the games were visually similar to what Zelda fans had seen before on Game Boy, they were jam-packed with new ideas once players dived in.
Both games start the same way: Link, summoned by the Triforce to a remote temple, is magically whisked away to a new land. Which land depends on the game: Oracle of Seasons takes place in Holodrum, and Oracle of Ages in Labrynna. Each game centers around the eponymous Oracles, Nayru in Ages and Din in Seasons, who are then kidnapped by their respective game’s villain, plunging their land into chaos.
From there, the games diverge wildly. Seasons takeRead more on polygon.com