This game is really something else. It actually surpasses Link's Awakening in a lot of ways and never ceases to be thrilling. That said, it's extremely difficult. I'd go so far as to call it the hardest game in the entire Zelda series. It's difficult and puzzle-centric, while the twin game, Oracle of Seasons, is easier and action-centric. That right there might tell you all you need to know about which of these games is for you. ProTip: Finishing one of the two gives you a password that you can use to start the other game at like a third of max health. If you're planning to play both, I highly advise playing Seasons first so you can take the power boost into the more difficult Ages.
"Ya don't throw pebbles at a guy with a machine gun!"
R.I.P. The Rowdy One
The sun rises on Hyrule as Link returns from the battle of Koholint. ...assuming that happened. Or maybe this is after Majora's Mask, assuming THAT happened. Ah hell, there's no making sense of the continuity in this series. This might well be a sequel to Nintendogs for all we know.
Where Link's Awakening had older Link, this one has the kid version from Majora's Mask. Well, answers that question.
This game uses the full power of the Game Boy Color. It's no Game Boy Advance game, but it's impressive-looking nonetheless.
Our hero visits the resting place of the Triforce. Who is our hero, you ask?
...Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean!
"Who?" says most of the audience.
In any case, Dean is wandering around in the woods when he stumbles upon something you don't see every day: A frightened lass with blue skin. I think. That or she's supposed to be pale and ghostly.
Apparently Link introduced himself. I don't know, because he's mute. I wish I could be mute and have people totally understand everything I say.
There's a good chance a fair amount of the people reading this also wish I were mute.
A hot lady is singing to a bunch of animals. The hot lady in question? Nayru. You might recognize that name as belonging to one of the three goddesses in Ocarina of Time. In this game, she's the Oracle of Ages.
More like Adorable of Ages, am I right?
Nayru apologizes for voting for John Edwards instead of Howard Dean. "Edwards is just soooo cute," she says. "GOD...that...dimple!"
Unfortunately, thee proceedings are interrupted when a shadowy nightmare appears. No word on whether or not all of the forest creatures then danced for joy at the coming of their savior.
This is Veran, the villain of the game and a big-breasted witch in the game artwork. She's here for one reason and one reason alone:
...she wants Nayru's body.
Veran then possesses Nayru, sending her former foe back in time to wreak havoc. Wait a minute... isn't this the plot of Terminator Genisys?
The havoc-wreaking causes people in the present to turn to stone. Basically, I've gotta travel through time, and put right what once went wrong. My only guide on my journey is Al, a hologram from 1999.
Nayru's boyfriend is super-upset at this turn of events. Of course he is! NOW who is he going to have sex with? A seventeen year old boy has NEEDS, by Jove!
I get equipped with... a wooden practice sword. You'd think these games could start me off with something, I don't know, metal. Instead they give me this, and we know how well a wooden sword worked out for that dude on Game of Thrones.
Here's the main city of the game. Our central hub zone. To the young people in attendance: It's the Orgrimmar or Stormwind of this game.
Vasu reminds me of Waluigi. In other news, Waluigi is the stupidest name. Wario works because it has the M flipped to denote opposite-ness. "Waluigi"? That's just a lame Wario pun that shouldn't have even made it to beta testing.
Maku...no relation to famed actor Mako, of Conan the Destroyer fame. ...I've got nothing. I played this a while ago so I'm kinda winging it.
Yeah, I'm sure she's "taking" Nayru as we speak. Assuming she's done possessing her and committing unspeakable atrocities and stuff. Oh, let me introduce you guys. This sexy tree here is The Great Maku Tree, and it's here to give Link insight. It's sorta like the Great Deku Tree, only a lot less interesting. Oh well.
The tree is sad because the villains are taking a hacksaw to it in the past. The worst part is that they're going "HOOOOOOOOOO!" and swinging 2x4s around while they do it.
Just like that, the tree vanishes before our eyes. Whoa. Ziggy says there's an 80% chance that I'm here to save this tree.
Nayru's "boyfriend" (hah, she's not fooling anyone) points out the obvious.
Next thing we know, Link gets warped back in time to stop Veran. The first thing he sees is the Black Tower, now under construction. I bet the completed version ends up being a dungeon in the present. Not sure exactly how much time passes between the Past and the Present worlds in this game, but either way you warp between them. It's a little bit like A Link To The Past, only with time separating the two worlds instead of dimensional space.
The Shovel is the first tool I get, and it allows me to dig to the first heart piece of the game. The first of many that are all sorely-needed.
The Mako Tree Sprout is but a wee baby in the past. And it's getting assaulted by moblins!
Link whoops up, and now the tree wants him as a boy-toy. First we have Veran-on-Nayru, now we have man-on-tree? RICK SANTORUM WAS RIGHT! IT'S A SLIPPERY SLOPE TO RUIN!
Back in the present, the tree is restored. Link runs like hell.
In Lynna village, some people ask Link to name their kid. I go with a strong kid name: Clark.
Speaking of names, here's Young Peregrin Took.
In other news... damn it! Veran is already in Nayru's pants!
No expense is spared, as I buy a shield. Boy, this game takes a long time to get to the first dungeon.
In order to access dungeons, you first need to find the key. Just like Link's Awakening (for the most part).
The first dungeon is under the graveyard, so it makes sense that it's full of ghosts. This giant ghost is merely the mini-boss; every dungeon in Ages has a mini-boss as well as a boss. The mini-bosses alone are as tough as standard Zelda series bosses, and the boss-bosses are even harder than that.
First dungeon treasure. I was expecting Roc's Feather, but I'll take this. It's actually preferable, given how common rocks and other lift-able things are.
The diabolical Pumpkin Head is the first boss. Victory is a matter of knocking his head off and throwing it at him with the bracelet. I like how the fight arenas are quite large in this game, rather than restricted to one screen ala Link's Awakening.
Here's the first Essence of Time... out of eight. Yargh. This is going to take a while. Finding all of these will repair the timeline, or something along those lines. I don't know tech stuff.
A bunch of weird red clouds with wings buzz around our hero. He swats them away as best he can. Get outta here!
Outside, I nab the first item of the Trading Sidequest. Yep, this game has one. I really appreciate the way the visuals are old-school, yet the names and items are N64-era. It's a very pleasant meeting of styles.
The nefarious Tingle is visible on a nearby cliff. That's right, TINGLE HAS ARRIVED. More on this later.