A few days back, Xbox added some 1,400 retro gaming titles to its gaming ecosystem, and we were thrilled with the fact that the gaming giants finally started to pay attention to the retro gaming community. However, Nintendo has been doing the same thing ever since its Nintendo Switch Online subscription launched, with the company delivering its oldies-but-goldies to Switch gamers for more than two years now.
The latest additions to the Switch Online subscription service now include two massive Zelda hits: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages.
As reported by Kotaku, the arrival of these unique gaming experiences was highly anticipated by the Switch gaming community and Zelda fans ever since Nintendo announced it was introducing the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games to its subscription service back in February this year. This is fantastic news for the fans of the aforementioned handhelds and their games libraries, considering that Nintendo’s new offering was a bit barebone when it launched, especially when it comes to Game Boy titles.
What’s interesting about these titles is the fact that they actually interact with one another, and depending on how you play, one can be a sequel to the other and vice-versa, which truly makes Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages unique in the whole Zelda series. The two titles launched side-by-side in 2001, and by completing one of the titles, the players would receive a password, which would then unlock a different version of the other and expand it to play like a sequel, with an entirely new ending that links their plots together into a coherent story.
That gameplay mechanic applied to both titles, regardless of the order in which gamers played them; you could start one, continue with the other, and then restart the whole experience by starting the latter first, effectively transforming the former into a sequel. It’s a bit obvious that Flagship—Capcom’s subsidiary credited with the development of the beloved Zelda titles—drew their inspiration from the paired Pokemon releases, with each game having its own adventure that would circle back and tie to the other game in the pair.
It’s an unfortunate fate of the Oracle games that they’re the least-played titles in the Zelda gaming series, as they’re often overshadowed by more popular releases such as Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time. However, considering the popularity of Nintendo’s latest gaming platform, paired with the overwhelming popularity of the Zelda franchise brought about by Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, we’d say that these classics are ripe for rediscovery.
This is particularly true for anyone who enjoyed the last two Zelda games; while the Oracle games were developed by Capcom’s subsidiary, with their own respective directors, both had Hidemaro Fujibayashi as one of the sub-directors contributing to various aspects of the game. For those that aren’t in the know, Hidemaro Fujibayashi directed both Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, and we’ll use his involvement in the development of the Oracle games as a measure of their quality—because they are that good!