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ThornBrain
Jan 25, 2011


Go here for later LPs: Link's Awakening DX




Nintendo and Capcom try out Pokemon's duo-game strategy with the Legend of Zelda: Oracle series for the GameBoy Color: two games with 80% of the content unless you play both. Does it work out? Well...
The games are alright on their own. If you were a fan of Link's Awakening, it's largely the same with some creative gameplay quirks and twists. Ages also focuses more on puzzles and its story, while Seasons is a straightforward action game built around a remake/remix of the original NES Zelda.
However there's nothing that the format brings to the table that couldn't have been in one single great game. The games, already limited by being on the GBC, can be thin and don't particularly invite multiple playthroughs if you're not already a fan of the 2D Zeldas. Seeing as I wasn't until the DS came around, we're in for something alright.


Regardless of which game you're playing, your little hero is warped by the Triforce to a distant land to save it from mounting evil: Ages drops you in Labrynna, where you must save the titular Oracle of Ages, Nayru, from the body-snatching sorceress Veran. Seasons tosses you into Holodrum, where the Oracle of Seasons, Din, is captured by the nearly-nonexistent General Onox. Completing either game gives you a code to link the next game, which will continue the story and reveal who's really behind Veran and Onox's rise to power. You won't be surprised.


This is a standard, non-completionist run of both games. I do get every heart piece, but not every ring, and I don't go back and get the linked game secrets. However, to at least make this somewhat unique, this LP is slightly narrative in that it follows the exploits of McFly through Oracle of Ages, then continues into Seasons with a linked game. As such you'll have to wait until Ages is finished before I do Seasons.
Joining me is old LPing hero meccaprime, who also tackled these games many years back and was for some reason happy to hop out of LP retirement to talk about them again. If you wished I did more with the linked games and secrets, check out his LP - he did much more with them there.
These LPs were made especially for my Patreon patrons and were shown to them in full from February 2018 through June 2018 before being made public.
And apologies for any audio crackling. I played these emulated; the game music did not appreciate that.

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By meccaprime


ThornBrain fucked around with this message at Sep 11, 2018 around 18:15

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Commander Keene
Dec 21, 2016

This avatar helped buy Lowtax a new back.


Ah, Oracle of Ages. I never owned Seasons as a kid, so I never got to do the link shenanigans.

SorataYuy
Jul 17, 2014

That... didn't even make sense.

I've only ever seen these done on streams, never played myself. So this gets to be a magical journey of discovery for me.

Kerning Chameleon
Apr 8, 2015



Seasons/Ages are easily my most played Zeldas, and definitely my number 3 favorite (behind Awakening and Majora's Mask). And yeah, Seasons>Ages is my preferred order, the story just seems to flow better (mostly because Seasons has almost no self-contained plot beyond the opening). Definitely looking forward to this.

WilliamAnderson
Feb 13, 2010

We Can Do It!




MeccaPrime and ThornBrain? Oh man! This should be good to watch.

Carbon dioxide
Oct 9, 2012
I'm the stupidest cunt on these entire forums


Ah, some fun classic Zeldas. I'll enjoy this letsplay.

Did you know that in this game, your swords last forever?

MeccaPrime
May 11, 2010



I made a thing to get this party started.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!


Wow, Ralph is even worse when not in sprite form.

General Revil
Sep 29, 2014


I'm near the start of Ages (third game) in a Seasons, Ages, Ages, Seasons run through. I've been meaning to get back to it for the past three years. This might be the motivation I need.

Speaking of which, any chance of some bonus episodes at the end to show off the extras that are exclusive to running in the other order?

Ciaphas
Nov 20, 2005

> propitiate the dread god arengee




Pillbug

Ratoslov posted:

Wow, Ralph is even worse when not in sprite form.

i know it's zelda series and all but i have questions for that boy re: his fashion sense

Kerning Chameleon
Apr 8, 2015



Ciaphas posted:

i know it's zelda series and all but i have questions for that boy re: his fashion sense

Green nail polish is a fine accent decision.

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

I call the darkness unto me from deepest depths of Earth and sea. From ancient evils unawoken, break the one that can't be broken. To blackest night, I pledge my soul and crush my heart to burning coal. To summon forth a deathly power, to see my hated foe devoured.


Hey I like this game! I will be watching this!

Ralph and Rosa for Hyr2le Warriors!

I'm reminded of a quote from a podcast I listen to: The first rule of Time Travel: Don't think about Time Travel.

Senerio fucked around with this message at May 17, 2018 around 13:44

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

I've found reality to
be highly over-rated!


The passage to the past Mako tree being a mini puzzle tutorial area with no handholding is great game design for sure. When I was playing Ages as my first 2D Zelda* around age 7 (okay probably closer to 12 but that would be really embarrassing), it still stumped me. I could NOT figure out what to do with the very first room in it, you know, where you just have to push a block up one square. Why?
- why would just PUSHING a block do anything? You'd need a button or killing all enemies (never mind that the latter also makes zero sense) for a door to open!
- I did eventually try pushing it, but from the side. Nothing happened, so I immediately assumed "guess I need an item to move this" and hosed off to look for it.

I also couldn't figure out how to save (I borrowed the game off a friend, so no manual) and eventually quit in exasperated frustration. I then replayed the beginning a day later after experimenting on how to save first (pushing Start + Select at the same time is honestly super not intuitive), and to the game's credit, in the present version of the mini-dungeon, there's a solid rock in the middle of the tiles showing that yes, this is how things have to be. I think that finally did the trick and I pushed it from below, solving the puzzle that kept me from continuing.


*I did play LttP, but not super deeply. Years after eventually finishing Ages (making a lot more embarrassing mistakes along the way), I did get around to finish LttP on the GBA. Got super stumped again by the first puzzle in Turtle Rock, which is again just "use block with thing". It's always the most simple things...

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I just *LOVE* spoonheads

Oh, neat. Oracle of Ages is the only 2D Zelda game I've ever played, and boy did I waste a lot of hours on it as a kid. Never did beat it, though, not because of puzzles but because I kept getting my rear end kicked in the final dungeon.

Bruceski
Aug 21, 2007

The tools of a hero mean nothing without a solid core.


Senerio posted:

I'm reminded of a quote from a podcast I listen to: The first rule of Time Travel: Don't think about Time Travel.

MeccaPrime
May 11, 2010



Ratoslov posted:

Wow, Ralph is even worse when not in sprite form.

you misspelled the word "better"

Ciaphas
Nov 20, 2005

> propitiate the dread god arengee




Pillbug

MeccaPrime posted:

you misspelled the word "better"

i mean i'm ok with the color scheme and even the green nails but explain those awful blooming ankle... things on his pants

Bruceski
Aug 21, 2007

The tools of a hero mean nothing without a solid core.


Ciaphas posted:

i mean i'm ok with the color scheme and even the green nails but explain those awful blooming ankle... things on his pants

The bell bottoms? They're quite stylish, he's simply from a different time.

Johnny Joestar
Oct 21, 2010

Don't shoot him?

...
...
...
...




the oracle zelda games don't get talked about much but they really were some incredibly solid entries in the series. i was more of a seasons kid so i don't remember much about ages, so i'm looking forward to both playthroughs to remember most of what i've missed in either case.

Bruceski
Aug 21, 2007

The tools of a hero mean nothing without a solid core.


Turns out these have been sitting on my 3DS virtual console since *checks savestate date* 2013. So I'll give them another go.

BlazeEmblem
Jun 8, 2013

Uh oh. Do I use Ariadne thread or Goho-M?

I played through these games a few times when I was a kid, so I am glad to see you doing them. I'm glad you are doing Ages first, since doing Seasons first gives a weaker story overall.

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


Both games were great, but I liked Ages a bit more. There were more meaningful differences between the ages than the seasons.

ThornBrain
Jan 25, 2011




Nothing like having your first dungeon in a graveyard.

(Updating early due to a CPU failure, and I'm hoping but uncertain if everything will be fixed on Sunday.)

Johnny Joestar
Oct 21, 2010

Don't shoot him?

...
...
...
...




i always kind of enjoyed the weird, abstract essences you get from the dungeons in both games. they were, of course, useless macguffins that did nothing other than be flavored for the game they're in, but i guess in a way the flavor helped give a bit more character to why you're doing what you're doing.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018



I loved these games, always good to see another LP of them. They're not very innovative in the context of the rest of the series, but they didn't need to be, they're solid games and anyone who likes Zelda (and especially Link's Awakening) will like them. It strikes me as a very Capcom style of game design, rather like so many Megaman games blatantly being "new levels, new weapons, excuse plot. Have fun!".

I always prefer to do Seasons first also, though some of that is map OCD, because in a non-linked Ages run there is a single map square you can never reveal, and that bugs the hell out of me. I can't remember if I've actually done them in the other order...

One thing I will say is that trying to get 100% rings is a huge pain and I don't blame you one bit for not trying to do it (I did do it once and never will again). I think I'd actually have minded it less if they were completely random (which could at least have made for some variance in replaying the game), but instead there are some really weird ones you only get from doing a particular obscure sidequest, or win from a minigame (but naturally you can't tell if you got the exclusive one or not without going back to the ring shop), and so on. And then there are the ones from things like Gasha Nuts, there are actually different rarity groups depending on the location you plant the seed and that gets really annoying to manage. (On top of this there's the fact that most of the rings are either incredibly situational, or useless, or outclassed by some fairly straightforward effects on rings that are easier to obtain...) Though I guess one perk is that you can use "secrets" to carry them to new files, once you have them, you don't need to do it in a single playthrough and you can use them as a sort of new-game-plus thing.

Bruceski
Aug 21, 2007

The tools of a hero mean nothing without a solid core.


Explopyro posted:

I loved these games, always good to see another LP of them. They're not very innovative in the context of the rest of the series, but they didn't need to be, they're solid games and anyone who likes Zelda (and especially Link's Awakening) will like them. It strikes me as a very Capcom style of game design, rather like so many Megaman games blatantly being "new levels, new weapons, excuse plot. Have fun!".

Depends how you define innovation, really. They have interesting variations on old tools, and they make use of those differences between the games.

Johnny Joestar
Oct 21, 2010

Don't shoot him?

...
...
...
...




the gasha seeds and rings added a neat layer to it all that really hooked me in when i was a kid for some reason, even if a lot of the rings/rewards were goofy and/or highly situational at best. it was fun to hear maple coming and to get ready for another round of frantic item gathering.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018



Bruceski posted:

Depends how you define innovation, really. They have interesting variations on old tools, and they make use of those differences between the games.

Yeah, that's true. Good point. They did a really good job of iterating on and playing with old themes, I think. It's the broad strokes that they seem the most clearly derivative, and even there they manage to make some interesting changes that change the feel and how it plays.

That, and I'm not going to complain about getting more of a good formula. There's a reason we have sayings about not fixing things that aren't broken.

Bruceski
Aug 21, 2007

The tools of a hero mean nothing without a solid core.


I think "iteration" is the word we were both looking for. They didn't reinvent things like a lot of Zelda games that come out (though for many big platform changes there's a Majora's Mask or something), but they did a great job of building on what was there instead of just a rehash.

MarquiseMindfang
Jan 6, 2013


Johnny Joestar posted:

it was fun to hear maple coming and to get ready for another round of frantic item gathering.

Unless you were on a map with a lot of water...

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

I call the darkness unto me from deepest depths of Earth and sea. From ancient evils unawoken, break the one that can't be broken. To blackest night, I pledge my soul and crush my heart to burning coal. To summon forth a deathly power, to see my hated foe devoured.


Or a building in the center to block that Ring or Heart Piece so she can get it first.

Bruceski
Aug 21, 2007

The tools of a hero mean nothing without a solid core.


Senerio posted:

Or a building in the center to block that Ring or Heart Piece so she can get it first.

I just saw a heart piece fall into a hole.

General Revil
Sep 29, 2014


Explopyro posted:

One thing I will say is that trying to get 100% rings is a huge pain and I don't blame you one bit for not trying to do it (I did do it once and never will again).

That's what I'm doing on my run through, but getting 100% rings requires you to play each game two times (in one of two possible orders). Fortunately, if you grind Gassha trees in one game, you don't have to do it in any of the others because you can just trade rings. Still, I think you can get all but three of the rings with just a regular 2-game linked game.


Explopyro posted:

I always prefer to do Seasons first also, though some of that is map OCD, because in a non-linked Ages run there is a single map square you can never reveal, and that bugs the hell out of me. I can't remember if I've actually done them in the other order...

I did Seasons first, but there's an argument to do Ages first because there are two imperfections, the missing map square on a normal run of Ages and a missing heart on the first game you play. If you do Ages, Seasons, Seasons, Ages, then all the imperfections are on your first save file.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018



General Revil posted:

That's what I'm doing on my run through, but getting 100% rings requires you to play each game two times (in one of two possible orders). Fortunately, if you grind Gassha trees in one game, you don't have to do it in any of the others because you can just trade rings. Still, I think you can get all but three of the rings with just a regular 2-game linked game.


I did Seasons first, but there's an argument to do Ages first because there are two imperfections, the missing map square on a normal run of Ages and a missing heart on the first game you play. If you do Ages, Seasons, Seasons, Ages, then all the imperfections are on your first save file.

Yeah, that sounds right. It's been a while, I certainly don't remember all the details! I looked up a guide out of curiosity and it's apparently 4 rings that require the second two playthroughs: the ring you get for using Hero Secret, the ring from the upgraded Hero's Cave, and two rings from secrets. And strictly speaking you can transfer the Hero Secret one back as soon as you start the third file, but the other three won't come until most of the way through the second linked game.

Your order's definitely better if you're going to do four playthroughs for ring completion, but otherwise I'd maintain Seasons first is still preferable (though honestly some of that might also be just because I enjoy Ages more and prefer to end on a high note).

C-Euro
Mar 20, 2010



Soiled Meat

Oh my God they're called Gasha seeds because the trees spit out gatcha capsules gently caress

How did I not know the term "gatcha" when I was a kid?

Bruceski
Aug 21, 2007

The tools of a hero mean nothing without a solid core.


C-Euro posted:

Oh my God they're called Gasha seeds because the trees spit out gatcha capsules gently caress

How did I not know the term "gatcha" when I was a kid?

I never learned the term until mobile games. I thought it was this bit of esoteric knowledge until I told someone and they were all "yeah everyone knows what gatcha is. Where have you been?"

In unrelated news, I forgot how quickly these games play (and how much free time I had on my hands). Both Ages and Seasons cleared in a couple of days.

BlazeEmblem
Jun 8, 2013

Uh oh. Do I use Ariadne thread or Goho-M?

C-Euro posted:

Oh my God they're called Gasha seeds because the trees spit out gatcha capsules gently caress

How did I not know the term "gatcha" when I was a kid?

Because gachapon machines are seen primarily in Japan, and the word is Japanese ? I wouldn't have known the word when I was a kid.

General Revil
Sep 29, 2014


BlazeEmblem posted:

Because gachapon machines are seen primarily in Japan, and the word is Japanese ? I wouldn't have known the word when I was a kid.

I remember row of those gacha machines at the exit of practically every supermarket (late 90s, early 2000s, southern California). They were 25-50 cent machines, and gave you a little capsule with a cheap toy in it. Although I never knew they were Gatcha machines until I found out about Gatcha from mobile games.

BlazeEmblem
Jun 8, 2013

Uh oh. Do I use Ariadne thread or Goho-M?

General Revil posted:

I remember row of those gacha machines at the exit of practically every supermarket (late 90s, early 2000s, southern California). They were 25-50 cent machines, and gave you a little capsule with a cheap toy in it. Although I never knew they were Gatcha machines until I found out about Gatcha from mobile games.

I have one at my neighborhood grocery store, but the Wikipedia page makes a distinction between the two:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gashapon

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Bruceski
Aug 21, 2007

The tools of a hero mean nothing without a solid core.


General Revil posted:

I remember row of those gacha machines at the exit of practically every supermarket (late 90s, early 2000s, southern California). They were 25-50 cent machines, and gave you a little capsule with a cheap toy in it. Although I never knew they were Gatcha machines until I found out about Gatcha from mobile games.

We didn't call them gacha, is the thing. We called them capsule machines.

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