'What? What it something I said?' I asked him.
'So do you want Oracle of Ages or Oracle of Seasons?' He asked me.
'Either will do, just please!!' I begged.
He smiled again, and pulled something out of a brown paper bag. I knew what it was before he even finished taking it out. It was Oracle of Ages.
'Thank you SOOOO much, dad!' I said, hugging him.
I ran upstairs to grab my Gameboy, and my journey in Labrynna begun. I breezed through the majority of the game, being hindered only by Jabu-Jabu's Belly and the Ancient Tomb. I eventually reached Veran, and realized that she wasn't all she was made up to be. After her (final) demise, I watched the credits. At the end of it all, I got the Holodrum Secret.
'Wait, does that mean...' I thought for a minute, and eventually realized that the two games could be linked. What a cool idea, I thought. But that meant Dad would have to buy Oracle os Seasons if I wanted to see the real ending. I thought he wouldn't mind, so I went to ask him.
'When I see one going cheap, I'll snap it up for you. Money's a little tight at the moment, sport.' He explained.
'It's okay, I'll wait.' I told him, when I reality I couldn't. So to pass time, I decided to play Oracle of Ages until I'd gotten everything that I could legitly get.
After a few weeks, I'd done just that.
I knew that if Oracle of Seasons didn't arrive soon, I'd have to find something else to pass the time. Luckily, a few days later, it arrived. After constantly thanking my dad, I ran upstairs and put it into my Gameboy, replacing Ages with Seasons. I noticed just how similar the two games were just by watching the cinematic intro. The first thing that caught my eye, however, was that there was already a file on there. It was called 'Chris'. I decided to leave the file there, as respect to the original owner, and start afresh.
I found Seasons to be easier than Ages, and got through it faster than expected. Even Onox's Dark Dragon form was simple enough. After the credits, I expected the Labrynna Secret, but all I got was coding where the password should have been. A glitch, I thought. The game reset itself, and I went back to the menu screen.
But there was a problem.
My file wouldn't load properly, because all I got was Koume's face staring at the screen. I then realised that I had lost all my progress. I cursed, and decided to check the ‘Chris’ file. It seemed normal enough to me, just a completed file with all that could be obtained at that point. Just like my file. What a coincidence, I thought. Then I remembered the whole reason I got this game, the link function.
I decided to try Ages to Seasons first, and so I erased my corrupt file and started a new one, with the secret entered.
I immediately noticed a new intro scene. Characters like Impa, Bippin and Blossom recognized me from Labrynna, there were secrets to enter into my Ages file so I could get new items like Bombchus and Biggoron’s Sword and a guest appearance by Zelda herself. The story was the same, with slight differences, and I eventually defeated Onox for a second time. I then got the penultimate ending with the fight against Koume and Kotake/Twinrova occurring before fighting Ganon himself. Victory achieved, I watched the ending and got a password, Hero’s Secret. I wrote this down, and set about completing Ages with Chris’ file from Seasons. I expected the same kind of thing, which was exactly what I got.
Then I realised a change.
Instead of calling me Chris, the characters would call me ‘The Imposter’. I thought this was part of the Seasons linked game storyline, and continued as normal.
That was, until I reached the last Essence of Time.
As I entered the Ancient Tomb, I entered a cutscene with Koume and Kotake at the Room of Rites’ altar. The following text ensued:
‘Do you think he knows that we know?’
‘No, he doesn’t and won't.’
‘No, he wont, because he’ll experience the same pain Chris felt.’
‘Yes, the imposter thinks this is all a game. Things will turn out horribly for him, and then it will be a game no more.’
The cutscene ended suddenly. I had a feeling that the Gerudo witches were talking about me, and wondered what they meant by ‘The same pain Chris felt.’ I knew that this wasn’t a part of the storyline, but couldn’t quite figure out what was happening. After all, my original file on Ages had been fine. Was it the result of linking? I wasn’t sure, and carried on like it was nothing.
I got the last Essence, and proceeded to challenge Veran. It seemed that she knew about ‘The same pain Chris felt’, because she told me that her death would change nothing, and that I would still be unable to stop Twinrova from completing their plan. I beat her final form, and was immediately teleported to the Room of Rites’ basement. Koume and Kotake were flying in front of me.
‘We have no need of Princess Zelda anyway,’ they said. ‘we have you. You will be the sacrifice. Witness the Flames of the Dark Rites burn. The Flame of Sorrow, lit by the Sorceress of Shadows, Veran. The Flame of Destruction, lit by the General of Darkness, Onox. The Flame of Despair, lit by Chris.’
What do they mean?, I thought.
‘Oh, you don’t know about Chris, do you? His demise lit the Flame of Despair. We fought him, and he fought well, but we were too much for him. His avatar destroyed, we proceeded to destroy his mind. Thus the final Flame of the Dark Rites was lit. Now, we have our sacrifice. Ganon will return, through your REAL body. Prepare for your doom.’
My head spinning, Koume and Kotake became one, and Twinrova attacked. Then it hit me. I wasn’t fighting for Labrynna or Holodrum anymore.
I was fighting for my life.
Even though I had fought her before, Twinrova had some new tricks up her sleeve. She could summon Dark Links, much like Veran, and a crystal with a Link clone inside. Hitting it damaged me, like hitting Din in her crystal form when Onox summons it.
I tried to avoid damage whenever possible, and wore the Heart Ring L-2 to keep alive. I had a Magic Potion at the ready, but wasn’t sure it would work. Twinrova taunted me throughout the battle too, saying how I was fighting in vain and that the summoning of The Evil King cannot be stopped.
I dealt several blows in a row, paralyzing her, and shot out a Mystery Seed. It was the finishing blow.
Twinrova did the same death animation as usual, but her text had changed.
‘So you bested me, but you only withheld the summoning. Watch your back, because we’ll be watching you.’
She started exploding.
The stairway appeared, and I proceeded to walk up it into the Room of Rites. After the battle with Ganon, the Flames are usually diminished.
They burned vigorously.
I couldn’t leave through the door, and the stairway closed behind me. Falling down the hole still did damage, and as I tried it a second time I noticed something.
Every time I took damage, there was faint laughter in the background, similar to an old woman’s laugh. I guessed it was Koume and Kotake.
Haunting me from the grave.
Resetting the game and reloading the file spawned me in the same location, with one less row of hearts. My Heart Ring L-2 wasn’t working either. I knew what was happening. They wanted me to kill Link.
I knew what I had to do.
I turned the game off and took it out of the Gameboy. I then proceeded to put it back in its box and put it in my cupboard. There it lay for around three days before my dad asked how my games were coming along. I told him that they were going just fine.
The next day I went into my local supermarket, with both games in hand. After Ages, Seasons had begun playing up. It referenced an imposter seen in Labrynna, and I still heard Koume and Kotake laugh when I took damage in-game. I realised then that I’d have to dispose of BOTH games to rid myself of this horror, because even starting a new file didn’t stop it. Anyway, the clerk in the store asked why I was selling the games, and I told him that I’d beat them fully and planned to start again, but they started playing up so I decided to sell them to buy new ones. He asked if I wanted to swap my ones for some new ones, but I knew Koume and Kotake would continue haunting me from those games. I told him no thanks, because I saw some cheaper elsewhere so I’d buy them there. He didn’t mind, and took the games to test. They played fine, and he paid me £20 for each.
I went home, and felt better, knowing that those Gerudo witches couldn’t hurt me now. I enjoyed the rest of my day, and went to bed, ready to start gaming afresh.
Oh, how naïve I was.
I dreamed that I was Link, and I was on my way to save Zelda from Ganon. I’d had this dream before, but thing felt different this time. Everything looked, well, gloomier. The wildlife, the people, even the sky, looked gloomy. I eventually arrived at Ganon’s Castle, and the door was open. Before I entered though, I heard laughing.
In an elderly woman’s tone.
I went in, and inside the castle looked exactly like the Room of Rites. In the second room there were several statues all staring in different directions. There were four doors to go through. Just like in-game, the direction the statues didn’t look I would go through. The next room repeated this process. This happened about ten times before I finally reached a different room.
I knew what was coming.
I saw Koume and Kotake in the room of the Flames of the Dark Rites. They were in front of the table. Someone was lying on it, but I couldn’t see them. The following conversation took place:
‘So, imposter, you really think you’ve stopped us?’
‘You were the true sacrifice, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use another host for Ganon.’
‘Yes, watch the destructive capabilities of a demon in your world.
‘Watch as human lives feel despair, sorrow and destruction all at once.’
‘You’re helpless to stop us from THIS attempt, imposter.’
Everything went black.
I woke up, feeling worried. I knew that they were probably serious, and worried what they were capable of. I shrugged it off, and went downstairs to start my day. I got my breakfast and sat down in front of the T.V. to watch the news.
About five minutes in, a story caught my eye
’10-year-old boy kills parents with fork.’
It sounded interesting, so I listened to this story. What I heard made me have this feeling of dread the more I heard.
A 10-year-old boy was insane, and screamed demonic phrases at his parents before stabbing them both in the heart with a serving fork. He then proceeded to wreck his home before attacking people on the street outside his house. Police were forced to shoot-to-kill to prevent further loss of life. At the same moment that his heart gave out, witness claimed they heard laughter, very faint. They all agreed that it sounded like an elderly woman.
This was already enough for me to confirm Twinrova had succeeded in their sacrifice, but what the boy said while in his fit of rage sealed the deal.
‘I am Ganon! Destroy all! KILL ALL!’
The media blamed the games for his parents’ death and his behavior, but I knew it wasn’t the games. Twinrova had succeeded in summoning Ganon into the real world. He could have caused mass destruction and death, if the TRUE sacrifice’s body was used.
But it wasn’t.
I was the true sacrifice, but I had fought back and won. Twinrova were forced to use another body. Just like in-game, when Link beats Twinrova before Zelda was ready to be sacrificed, they were forced to use another body. Namely, their own.
I’m not sure how many times they can sacrifice someone to summon Ganon, but rest assured he won’t be his true, cunning self.
I was the true sacrifice. Without my body, they can only cause minor damage here in the real world.
When I grew out of Zelda, Koume and Kotake stopped appearing in my dreams. They had done several times after the incident with the 10-year-old, taunting me how he screamed in pain when Ganon possessed him. But because they weren’t appearing to me anymore doesn’t mean they’re done.
People still play Oracle of Ages and Seasons, so there’s a small chance that they could try again. No one believes my story, though.
So I advise you to play those games at your own risk.
Because you too could end up with the mind of the King of Evil inside of you.