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A unique pair of Zelda games just arrived on Switch Online

Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages interact, so either can be the other’s sequel

Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

As foretold when Nintendo Switch Online’s Game Boy collection was launched back in February, the subscription service has just added the handheld console’s matched pair of Zelda games from 2001: The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons.

Uniquely in the Zelda series, the two games launched side-by-side and interact with each other. Complete one, and you can use a password to unlock a different version of the other, expanded to play like a sequel, with a new ending linking their plots — whichever order you played them in.

Originally, developer Flagship — a Capcom subsidiary that went on to make the much-loved Game Boy Advance Zelda game The Minish Cap — had planned for a trilogy of games that linked in this way, but that proved to be too much work. Unlike the paired Pokémon releases that doubtless inspired them, each Oracle game is its own completely distinct adventure, albeit heavily based on the framework of the Game Boy classic Link’s Awakening.

Oracle of Ages takes Link to the world of Labrynna, where he acquires the Harp of Ages, which allows him to travel through time. In Oracle of Seasons, the hero in green travels to Holodrum, where he can use the Rod of Seasons to move between summer, fall, winter, and spring. It’s also worth noting that the Oracle games’ version of Link is canonically the third best hang of all the Links.

The Oracle games are among the least played of the Zelda series, and 22 years after their original release, they’re ripe for rediscovery. The Game Boy collection is part of Nintendo Switch Online’s base tier, and available to every subscriber.

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