Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons / Oracle of Ages (2001)

Author: Akira Himekawa | Illustrator: Akira Himekawa | Page Count: 194 + 196

"Use your left hand!  Your left!"

Each of the two Game Boy Colour games that were released simultaneously back in 2001 got its own manga adaptation.  The games were connected but also cleverly designed to be enjoyed independently in whichever order the player chose.  You could say the same of the books but it makes slightly more sense to read Seasons before you read Ages; I’ll explain why later.

Oracle of Seasons begins in Hylia.  Link balks at the suggestion that he should practice his sword skills more fervently.  He doesn’t yet understand why Hyrule needs knights willing to lay their life on the line to protect its citizens, but the power of the Triforce will soon change all that…

The main problem I had with Seasons was the exaggerated comedy typical of manga aimed at a younger audience.  I’m aware that the books are targeting a young audience but the previous volumes, Ocarina of Time (2000) and Majora’s Mask (2001), avoided that kind of cliché for the most part.  Having it so prevalent in this volume was unexpected and lessened my enjoyment of the story.

Oracle of Ages is superior to Seasons in every way.  It’s less comical and thematically more satisfying.  There’s also more action but not at the expense of story or character development.  It’s as if the events in Seasons have helped Link grow less foolish, to gain confidence and have faith in his decision making.
The story puts him in a race against time to stop an evil from destroying the present by meddling in the past.  It takes place in a different land than Seasons but the structure is similar in that none of the dungeons from the game are featured and his new-found companions come to his aid when needed.

3 seed abilities out of 5

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