Released in 2001 for the Game Boy Color, "The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages" and "The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons" made their way into the video game world as the seventh and eighth games in the "Zelda" series. However, the games do not need to be played in any particular order. A set of passwords is made throughout the game as the main character (traditionally named “Link”) makes choices of donating money, naming someone’s child, and obtaining legendary items. The passwords also keep track of how much money Link has when finishing the first game and the number of deaths acquired throughout the entire quest.
While the two games are similar in art style, basic story, and gameplay, they differ quite a lot in all other areas. "Ages" is mainly focused on presenting puzzles to the player which get increasingly more difficult as the game goes on, while "Seasons" is more concerned with giving the player more combat-based scenarios. The storyline of "Ages" tells of Link finding himself in the land of Labrynna and meeting the Oracle of Ages, named Nayru, and using her Harp of Ages to travel through past and present to stop the ghastly sorceress Veran from destroying Nayru and all balance in the country. "Seasons" shows Link’s adventures in Holodrum as he helps the Oracle of Seasons, Din, by using her Rod of Seasons to change the appearance of the land between Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer before the mighty General Onox can rid Din of her powers and bring chaos to the region. With his trusty sword and shield, Link travels the lands of Labrynna and Holodrum to collect Essences of Time and Nature to foil the plans of Veran and Onox.
Throughout the game, Link travels to dungeons and collects new items to aid him on his quest. From magnetic gloves to a mermaid suit, his arsenal holds it all. In addition, one of the main features of the game is ring collections. Throughout the worlds, rings of all kinds can be found giving Link powers from extra defense to turning himself into an 8-bit version of himself from the original "The Legend of Zelda." These are always a fun way to keep mystery and suspense in the game, as taking the rings to Vasu the ring jeweler to get them appraised always leaves the player in suspense of what powers the rings may hold.
The password system is a brilliant idea as finishing one game will allow the player to get a head start in the next with a sword and shield already in Link’s arsenal, rings already in his ring box, and rupees in his wallet. Playing the games back-to-back like this also unlocks a secret ending where Link must save Princess Zelda and fight the evil sorceress Twinrova and his reincarnated true enemy Ganon. The original final bosses are creative and fun, but this extra fight is truly an experience with several game mechanics suddenly being flipped as Link fights heavily unprepared against his largest foe.
Both "Ages" and "Seasons" have great plots, challenges, and gameplay for any adventuring videogamer. With secrets in "Seasons" only unlockable by playing "Ages" first, and secrets in "Ages" only unlockable by playing "Seasons" first, these games provide hours of fun without getting frustrating or boring at any point. The adventure continues with these two legendary games.