The Legend Of Zelda: Majoras Mask was released in 2000, it was the second game in the series to be released on the Nintendo 64 and it was a direct sequel to the excellent Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
I will be discussing the original game in this review although I will talk about the Nintendo 3DS remake at the end of the review to note any major changes and improvements.
Months after defeating Ganondorf and saving the Kingdom of Hyrule our hero Link travels by horseback across Hyrule to find his long lost companion Navi his trusted fairy partner who left him at the end of Ocarina of Time.
In a forest two michevous Fairies Tatl and Tael knock Link off of his horse Epona leaving him unconcious, not long after the Skull Kid comes to link and steals the Ocarina of time, Link wakes up and chases the Skull Kid into a dark cave where he is turned into a Deku Scrub.
Link ends up in a land called Temina, Termina is within an alternative reality to Hyrule and therefore characters from Ocarina of time are here with different characteristics and motives. Eventually Links meets the Happy Mask Salesman who explains that if Link can get his Ocarina Back he can return to his human form, Link has three days to do this before the moon crashes into the clock tower destroying everything and everyone that resides in Termina. But getting the Ocarina back is only the beginning of this as just like its predecessor Link will need to commit to a lot of time travel to end up victorious.
In Majoras Mask you need to use your trusty Ocarina to either restart, slowdown or speed up a three day cycle which you will need repeat various times throughout the game. While this can get annoying it is easy to get the hang of my advice is to restart the cycle after every major task you complete for example (Dungeons, Defeating the aliens at the farm, or helping Anju and Kafei)
What I really hate about this is that even though you can store rupees in the bank all of your other smaller items such as bombs, arrows, big barrels, deku nuts, deku sticks etc are completely wiped out every time you start a new cycle and while it is easy enough to replace these items by slashing bushes and throwing rocks it is still very time consuming and considering that the task you may have planned needs to be finished within a three day cycle this can be very frustrating at times.
This reset also happens to dungeons which I was unfortunate to realise when I ran out of time during a difficult boss battle in the stone temple, because I ran out of time, I had to recollect all of my items, and do the temple from the beginning beating every enemy, solving every puzzle and finding every key just to have a shot at beating the boss again.
There are a lot of collectable masks in the game and while a lot of them are not necessary all of them have a unique purpose.
The Deku Mask, the Goron Mask and the Zora Mask are all necessary to beat the game, each of these masks fully transform Link into different creatures.
The Deku Mask allows Link to fly, bounce on water and burrow into flowers before being propelled into the air.
The Goron Mask gives Link increased strength and the ability to curl into a ball to smash down large barriers
And the Zora Mask helps link to swim really fast and swim under water, he can even throw Zora boomerangs underwater.
There are 21 additional Masks you can collect in the game by far the most useful of all of these is the bunny hood which helps Link to run faster.
Other masks worth noting are the great fairy mask that can draw missing fairies close to Link, The pirates hat that can be used to command Stalfos, the Gibdo Mask that can be used to communicate with Gibdo without them eating your face and the giants mask that changes Links height to be much larger helping him to defeat one of the dungeon bosses in the game.
Majoras Mask is extremely Dark for a Zelda game and its one of the best parts of the game in my opinion. I wont list all of the dark moments here but I will briefly cover what I consider the darkest.
The Alien invasion on Romani Ranch is one of the most fun side quests in the game but if you fail up to fend off the alien creatures they actually abduct the young girl Romani and her cows, they also wipe her memory before returning her to earth.
In Ikana Canyon a little girl does not want anyone coming near her house screaming that her father “Is not one of you” after some puzzle solving Link can enter the house where he finds out that this poor girls father has been turned into a Gibdo.
The Final Day of Majoras Mask is depressing, half of clock town has ran away and those who remain are waiting for eventual death in the next 24 hours, even the music is depressing and creepy which does not give the player much hope that they will survive.
For how dark Majoras Mask is it still has a lot of charm, comedy and creativity when it comes to its side content, I love the side quests in this game and even though some require redoing particular parts of dungeons and some can take an entire cycle to complete on their own, I kept going back to them because I wanted to see a happy ending for every character in the game and it was the dark nature of the game that helped push me to finish the side quests.
Majoras Mask has a great soundtrack, its not my favourite in the series but it does have some stand out moments, the best and most creepiest is the music that plays during the final six hours of a cycle, the music actually gets darker everyday of the cycle which is really cool.
The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask is a game that I have always been unsure of as to whether I really enjoy it or not. The plot and some of the side quests are some of my favourites in the series but the repeating nature of the cycles and having to re-do segments of the game multiple times can get extremely tedious and annoying.
I love how dark the game is and the masks are a really creative way to switch up the gameplay. The game has a unique personality and packs with emotion from the moment it starts until its closing credits.
I have no issues with the controls of the game and the new ocarina songs are really useful and all have a purpose. In reality I like a lot more things about this game than I dislike about it. It can be annoying and at times I would even argue that it can be unfair but this is a really good Zelda game, its not one that I often look forward to playing but I do enjoy it 7.9/10
In 2015 the game was remade for the Nintendo 3DS and while the majority of the game remained the same some major items such as the Stone Mask have been moved for convenience to the player, You can now fast forward time by every hour instead of every half of a day, you can add reminders that will remind you that time to commit to a particular task is drawing near, the game adds much easier permanent save locations that the player can use at their own will and some new areas such fishing holes have been added.
With these changes the remake is by far the superior version of the game and deserves a higher rating 8.2/10
I hope you enjoyed this review of The Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask and Majoras Mask 3D
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