Link returned to the Game Boy Color in 2001's The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. Produced by Nintendo and Capcom, the game follows Link as he has been magically transported to a vast world called Holodrum, where a power-hungry general named Onox has summoned a mighty storm and kidnapped the Oracle of Seasons -- a beautiful dancer named Din. Onox used Din's power to hurl the forces of nature into chaos, so it's up to Link to restore peace to the land. By collecting eight Essences of Nature, Link can strengthen the Maku Tree and return the seasons to a balanced state. This game and its companion, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, form one large story arc that can only be experienced by beating both games with the aid of a special password. Here's how it works: players choose one of the games to complete, and then the game gives a password. Enter this password in the other game and a new game will be created that integrates plot points from the previous one. Complete this game to access the final challenge. Note that this password does not carry over items and health levels. It only signifies that you've completed a specific objective.

This incarnation of Link plays much like his previous appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX. Holodrum is much larger than Koholint, however, so Link will have to explore a lot of terrain and figure out trickier puzzles. Items and weapons can be assigned to your choice of A and B buttons while the Select button brings up the world map and the control pad moves Link around. The overall goal is to complete each of the eight dungeons to restore the seasons to the correct balance. Here's how the seasons gimmick works: each section of Holodrum is locked into an eternal season. For example, one piece of the world is covered in snow, while another has blistering heat. In order to reach some areas Link will have to reach the top of a cliff, but the climb is too high. However, if it were winter a snow pile would form that Link could easily climb as a stepping stone. If only it were winter! Luckily Link can control the seasons. Thanks to the Rod of Seasons Link can force the seasons to change and cycle through winter, spring, summer, and fall. Be mindful that a season will reset once Link leaves the area. As more and more of the dungeons are completed, the season will begin to stabalize.

Following up on the "gotta catch 'em all" game craze, this title includes a number of special rings for Link to collect. While wearing a ring Link receives a special power or bonus. There are rings for any number of things, such as more energy, less damage, swimming faster, and so on. Rings are also capable of being swapped back and forth between this game and Oracle of Ages with another special password. There are a grand total of 64 rings to collect.

Along with its companion game, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons is a stand-out game for the Game Boy Color. It's still relatively new and should be easily available in the stores and online auctions. Despite it's GBC designation, if you play this game on a Game Boy Advance you'll get a special surprise: the Advance Shop opens and sells powerful new items. Don't let the portable nature fool you; this game is a game for all seasons.

Playing the game

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