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Oracle of Ages

Mystical Seed of Power: Overview

Legend of Zelda games have always been a trend-setting favorite on Nintendo's systems, starting way back with the first game on the NES in the mid 80s. The series expanded on every Nintendo system since then, from the Game Boy to the Super NES, ending up on the N64 in 1998. The series is about to continue, thanks to Nintendo, Capcom and Flagship in Japan -- Legend of Zelda: The Mystical Seed of Power is the second Zelda game for the Game Boy Color, and it won't be the last. There are two collaborative titles planned in this story arc, and they work together between the two games to create one amazing adventure. The two chapters of this arc are called Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages. Together, the series is comes under the uniting theme of The Mystical Seed of Power.

  • Brand new story in the Legend of Zelda universe
  • Battery Save
  • New Game Link System
  • Only for Game Boy Color
This two-cartridge series of Zelda adventures is Nintendo's latest effort to expand the gaming universe and create an experience like none ever seen before. To that end, the company has teamed with Flagship (a development team created by Capcom) to create two parallel quests in separate but mysteriously linked lands. Each game can be played separately, and gamers can play either journey through to the end without ever seeing the other path. However, when gamers take on both adventures together, the quests reveal bizarre parallels between them, whose mysterious riddles can only be solved by linking the two games together.

Both adventures will use similar graphic styles, but the plots and quests will be quite different. Oracle of Ages shows a very different quest from Oracle of Seasons. The two adventures seem to take place in separate lands, but Nintendo is linking the two adventures together with a unified and parallel central plot. Characters in one adventure will make cameos in the other, or will appear in other bizarre and perhaps dreamlike manners. Which is the real adventure and which is the dream? Or is either a dream? The secrets lie with the last footstep of your journey.

This is The Mystical Seed of Power's key innovation -- you'll be able to start playing the series from either game of the series without getting lost in the different storylines. In addition, the two games will be linked in such a way that a result of a certain action in one story will have an effect on another story. Here's exactly how the Chapter Link System, which will connect the parallel adventures together, works in the twin Zelda games:

  • Characters introduced in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask will return in both versions of the game. Oracle of Seasons features Gorons, Malon, Talon and Ingo. Oracle of Ages includes King Zora, Stray Fairies and Tingle.
  • The two editions of the game will exchange information via a password.
  • Whatever name you input in the first title will carry over to the second.
  • In the Zelda series, you always started with 3 hearts, when you play the second title, you will start with 4.
  • Completing both of the games will result in fighting the "real" boss in the second title.
  • You can get another password in the second game and take it back to the first, which brings up an event. If cleared, you can get a new item. Presumably, this means you can then take the item back to the second game.
  • Certain events will occur only if you have played the other game.
  • Characters that appeared in the first game will "guest star" in the other game.
  • The items you are equipped with at the start of the game will be different.
Note that "First" and "Second" simply refer to the order in which you played the two titles, not one or the other. You can play either game in any order, or can decide to only play through one of the games and not the other. Using the Chapter Link, when you accomplish certain tasks in one game, you're awarded a password. Entering this password in another cartridge will tell the game that you have completed a task, and this password will key specific changes in the game you've applied it to. Like all Zelda games, these titles will still have battery save -- the password system is just to apply to elements in the gameplay. As far as gameplay, there's plenty of amazing additions to separate this game from the last Game Boy Color Zelda, Link's Awakening. The new item, the Rod of the Four Seasons will be required to solve certain riddles that appear in the new Zelda games. For example, the winter snow covers a secret entrance to a dungeon, and you'll need to change the seasons to uncover it.

Two characters that will help Link on his quest are introduced. The first is a kangaroo named Ricky. When Link climbs into Ricky's pouch, he will be able to jump and using a pair of boxing gloves, be able to punch out enemies. Much like Yoshi in Super Mario World, Rikki comes in handy when Link can't overcome an obstacle with his own power. The other character is Maple. She suddenly appears flying on a broomstick and crashes into Link, bringing about various events in the storyline. Other animals can help you during the quest as well -- there's a fish that you can ride in the water, as well as a bear with a mean whirlwind attack.

From what we could tell during our limited play time with the game, the fact that Nintendo outsourced the development of the game to Capcom doesn't seem to have hurt it one bit -- unless you were expecting something completely different from previous Zelda games. The game plays exactly like Link's Awakening -- but the addition of new puzzle elements, such as the use of the kangaroo or the "Link System", should be able to add enough new stuff to make the game stand on its own.

There's a reason why the game had the tentative title "The Mystical Seed of Power." In the game, you can weild a slingshot which gives you the ability to fire different type of acorns, each with different powers. For example, you can shoot a "fire" acorn which ignites torches, and an "ouch" acorn that's tons more powerful than the standard acorn.

Originally, this series was planned as a three-game set. However, one of the chapters was cut due to difficulties in linking the stories and coding together in a workable unit and still providing ample gameplay for those with only one of the games. Nintendo is fully confident that the Game Link system will still be a complete and unique experience, and delayed the Zelda project entirely to get the games working well together and presumedly to add features, plots, and characters of the lost chapter somewhere in the final two editions. The two chapters will be released simultaneously in Japan in February, with a release date in the US falling in May 2001.

Story courtesy of IGNPocket
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