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Item - The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons

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(First printing)
(Second printing)
(Second printing)
(Second printing)
(Second printing)

Combined Summary

Series: Game Boy — no. 2
Author: Wessel, Craig
Date: 2001 (First printing)
ISBN: 0439367093 / 9780439367097
Length: 96 pages (plus 8-page color insert)
Number of Endings: 2
User Summary: Link must rescue Din, the Oracle of Seasons, from Onox, General of Darkness, in order to restore normal seasons to the land of Holodrum.
Demian's Thoughts:

This is something of an improvement over the previous volume, though it shares most of its flaws. The biggest difference here is that the adventure is longer; following the correct path means encountering just about everything there is to see in the book, which is different from the previous volume, where it would take multiple short attempts to find every major event. I find the "single long path" approach more satisfying, but that doesn't mean it completely works here. The bland writing of the last book continues here, making this feel more like a walkthrough of the game than anything else. There's a lot of "Link walked north, fought the monsters and pushed a block to open the door" going on. Once again, a game system could have made this considerably more exciting; as it is, most of the choices involve where to go next or whether to fight or run when a particular monster shows up. In most cases, the wrong choice either leads indirectly to the book's one bad ending or reroutes the reader back to the correct choice, so it's all kind of pointless. The book also feels strangely abbreviated because it is simply too short to cover the whole video game that it adapts. The first couple of dungeons are covered in a fair amount of detail, but then the whole middle of the game is skimmed over in two pages. After this, the reader gets to explore two more dungeons (and can choose which order to do so in, though it makes no difference), confronts the boss, and ends on a cliffhanger for the next volume. Along the way, things are occasionally made slightly confusing by references back to earlier events that took place during the skimmed over portion of the adventure. The Legend of Zelda deserved a better (and longer) adaptation than this, but I did find completing it to be somewhat satisfying, even if it didn't actually involve any particular challenge. If you're a die-hard Nintendo fan, this might be worth a look, but if you're only in it for the gamebook stuff, look elsewhere... there's just not enough substance here to make it worth the money.

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Fireguard's Thoughts:

This is the most boring book I've ever read, game or otherwise.

The book tries to be exactly like the game it's based on, and I mean exactly. Every little thing that takes one second to resolve in the actual game is described. Cutting down bushes to move forward. Rolling blocks and moving from room to room. If that's what you're after why would you be reading the book instead? Cheaper than the game, sure, but also harder to find and vastly less fulfilling. It gives some hints for solving puzzles, but I can't imagine anyone who would rather read a gamebook than a walkthrough to find those.

More reviews by Fireguard

Users Who Own This Item: Alatar001, bookwormjeff, Cyan, Demian, egokun, Himynameistony, katzcollection, kinderstef, mlvoss, Mr ?, nelsondesign, ntar, plowboy, Pseudo_Intellectual, RonaldFrobnitz, Ryuran333, strawberry_brite, twar, waktool (US 1st; US 3rd)
Users Who Want This Item: exaquint, NEMO
Users with Extra Copies: twar - 2 copies. One in Near Mint condition, One in Good condition with just a crease on front cover.

Known Editions

First printing
Second printing

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