Saturday, January 9, 2016

Completing Oracle of Ages & Seasons on the 3DS

In June 2013 I was replaying Oracle of Ages & Seasons, after they were released on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console (see this post). To make things more interesting, I used the same Hero's Secret to start a "New Game+" both in Ages and Seasons to play both games simultaneously. And I had a special goal: collect all 64 Magic Rings from scratch again, which I hadn't done since the GBC. I completed both starter savegames in 2013, but I saved the Linked Games for a later date. And this date happened to be now. I started before New Year's Eve and completed everything today, which certainly was a nice start for this year of gaming. This year the Oracle games will also celebrate their 15th Anniversary, where they currently mark the midway point of the series.

Well, by now I have four savegames, two in each game, one for every possible linking scenario, all with full 16 Heart Containers, all upgrades and all 64 Magic Rings. Only seven rings remained to be collected from the Linked Games, which were the following:

  • Power Ring L-3 (found in Holodrum's expended Hero's Cave)
  • Armor Ring L-3 (found in Labrynna's Hero's Cave)
  • Heart Ring L-1 (Temple Secret)
  • Swimmer's Ring (Diver Secret)
  • Snowshoe Ring (Mamamu Secret)
  • Blue Joy Ring (gotten from Zelda)
  • Spin Ring (Plen Secret)

I was a little worried about the Swimmer's Ring, because I remembered that the diving minigame felt like that you actually need the Swimmer's Ring to beat it. You have to go through an underwater tunnel maze and reach a star within 30 seconds, but it's a really close thing. I got it at exactly 30 seconds on my third try and the trick was not stopping for the fish to kill them, but swimming right through them. You might even get some boosts from being hurt.

The only other interesting rings were the ones from both Hero's Caves. Especially the one in Ages I haven't played in many years and I remember that on the GBC this dungeon really made me rage. Particularly this evil room:

If you screw up in here (and it's very easy to screw up), you will have to start over, which is a nightmare. The following room works with the same principle of starting over and there you have to jump around corners, which also is hard to pull off. Luckily on the 3DS restore points make rooms like these a lot more tolerable, so I didn't destroy any furniture this time around.

I also got the 100th Ring, the Slayer's Ring and the Rupee Ring in all four savegames. Well, for your collections you only need them once, but for the sake of completion you can still get these achievements in all games, which requires you to appraise 100 rings, kill 1000 monsters and collect 10,000 Rupees every time. And this can take a little while, though it's not too bad...

The Musician

Another interesting point were the choices to make: what animal buddies do I want and what outcome shall the Bipin and Blossom's son have? For the AgesSeasons route I wanted Ricky as the animal, I named the kid "Error" and I wanted him to be a Hero. For the SeasonsAges route I chose Dimitri as the partner, named the kid "Bagu" and wanted him to be a musician.

This was around the seventh time that I played through the games and never before I had a musician. During my three original playthroughs on the GBC I happened to get a Slacker first, then an Arborist and finally a Hero. Now, 15 years later, I finally got a musician for the first time, so say "hi" to Bagu:

However, it was quite the struggle to get him. The information on ZeldaWiki is all but correct, which gave me some trouble. I tried the following combinations:

  • 10 Rupees → Sing → Quiet & Egg
  • 10 Rupees → Sing → Weird & Chicken
  • 10 Rupees → Sing → Weird & Egg

And only the last one worked! The other two gave me an annoying Slacker, how I hate this kid... I actually had to replay the first two dungeons of Ages three times over to achieve my goal.

One of the times I was even super lucky with everything else going on. Maple dropped her Piece of Heart right in front of me at our first meeting after Level 1, I also got three rings from her and a potion. Plus, I scored the Light Ring L-2 on my first time in the Shooting Gallery, which the last time took me forever to get. Crazy RNG.

You can imagine that I wasn't exactly happy about giving all this up, just because the kid didn't grew up the right way again... But it was worth it, because I feel like the musician is the most useful outcome. You can listen to a song that you normally don't have free access to and it fully heals you like a fairy. Other outcomes only get you a Gasha Seed or 100 to 200 Rupees at best.

Actually with the musician you can make another choice with the song. He either plays the melody from when you saved one of the Oracles ("courage") or Zelda's theme in the game ("love"), so there's a total of five different outcomes for the kid. If I ever will replay the Oracle games ever again, I will go for the musician again and Zelda's song, together with Moosh as the animal buddy, because I never used him again after getting him in my very first playthrough.

In case you wonder, creating the Hero didn't give me any trouble. The decisions I made were "10 Rupees → Play → Quiet & Girlfriend".

That's essentially it for now... replaying the Oracles really made me want to play Link's Awakening again. In comparison I especially disliked how they have scrolling in the dungeons, since it slows down the gameplay quite a lot. I feel like the majority of the rooms could have been compressed and displayed without any scrolling, it's only really the (excellent) floor tile puzzle rooms that need the bigger size.

But following the ending of the linked Oracle games I decided to replay Link's Awakening next... see you on Koholinth!


Linkfan99 said...

How do you plan on getting the 2 GBA rings?

TourianTourist said...

Already did. When I started the games, I generated a Hero's Secret and the necessary Ring Secret for the two GBA rings. See my previous posts or my Ring Guides on for more info.

Lankelink said...

Thanks for the musician choice combination, I will try it in my next playthrough

TourianTourist said...

You're welcome!