** Dedicated to my wonderful Fiancee, Gabrielle. A lover of the Zelda series and supporter of my work.
Released May 14’th, 2001 – The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons
Brought to the North American market simultaneously are The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons for the GameBoy Color system. Also known as the Oracle Series.
Known as the “Oracle” series. The two games are direct sequels to “A Link to the Past” and a prequel to “Links Awakening”. With the former being released for the Super Nintendo and the latter, the GameBoy. Featuring the same Link in what’s known as the “Downfall split” Both, however, feature their own unique stories. In Oracle of Ages, for example, Link must find and harness the “Harp of Ages” to prevent the destruction of Labrynna. In “Oracle of Seasons”, our hero Link is tasked with finding and using the power of the “Rod of Seasons” to rule the “Essences of Nature” and save Holodrum.
Development of the Oracle Series
The two games planned were a part of a re-invigoration of the Zelda franchise. Brought to life by Capcom’s Yoshiki Okamoto. Okamoto wanted to remake the original NES games for the GameBoy color audience. However, the games went through a turbulent development process. The staff charged with making the games wanted to get to work on a whole new Zelda story. This led to the creation of what is known as the “Triforce” series. Which would be three whole new games named after a piece of the Tri-Force.
The Chapter of Power had a season theme, featuring the Rod of Seasons. The Chapter of Wisdom featured an item called the Magic Paintbrush as well as The Chapter of Courage which had a time theme. Moreover, each of these games would feature a new character or “Oracle”. The chapter of “Courage”, however, was canceled. Leading to the creation of the Oracle series.
Amazingly, each game sold over four million copies worldwide. Additionally, the Oracle series received masterpiece scores on IGN and a 9.2 on GameSpot. Helping to establish strong sales amongst GameBoy players worldwide.
A much more nuanced version of the story of the development of the games and all of their features is available in the fantastic book, Hyrule Historia. Available at the link.
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