Majora’s Masks is usually thought-about one of many black sheep of the Legend of Zelda video games. On this sport, initially launched for the Nintendo 64 in 2000, Hyperlink isn’t set out on a quest in Hyrule to save lots of Princess Zelda. As a substitute, it’s a model new expertise for our hero.
Many individuals are postpone from enjoying Majora’s Masks as a result of three day “time restrict,” however there’s loads to like that makes it probably the greatest Zelda titles of all time. Listed here are 10 explanation why Majora’s Masks remains to be price enjoying 20 years later.
Majora’s Masks goes past the everyday Zelda method of “Hyperlink saves Zelda and Hyrule from Ganon.”
As a substitute, it’s a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time through which our hero is on a private journey to seek out his previous accomplice, Navi. As he rides his horse Epona by way of a mysterious forest, he’s attacked by a Cranium Child carrying a masks.
After a chase, Hyperlink falls by way of a darkish tunnel that transports him to the land of Termina, the place the Cranium Child curses him by turning him right into a Deku Scrub. The Cranium Child has summoned the moon to fall onto Termina in precisely three days, so Hyperlink begins a brand new quest to cease this from occurring.
On the journey to save lots of Termina, you possibly can study a lot concerning the land, its residents, and the Cranium Child himself. The story is way more developed than any Zelda sport that got here earlier than it.
Majora’s Masks has the most effective aspect quests of any Zelda sport. Not one of the others even come shut.
Due to the sport’s three day cycle, the world adjustments throughout every of the times, so there’s a lot to find as time goes on. They make the world really feel so alive. Among the aspect quests span over the course of multiple in-game day, which results in advanced missions and story strains.
The Bomber’s Pocket book in Majora’s Masks 3D on the 3DS makes it a lot simpler to maintain observe of and pursue the sport’s aspect quests.
Who might overlook one of the crucial well-known Zelda aspect quests of all: reuniting Anju and Kafei, lovers who had been engaged however had been separated attributable to Majora’s curse.
This multi-step quest entails cautious planning and studying about every of the characters to reunite them and maintain their marriage ceremony in secret.
The characters in Majora’s Masks goes hand in hand with the aspect quests. Despite the fact that lots of the character fashions had been reused from Ocarina of Time’s property, they tended to have larger depth within the sequel.
These characters typically felt extra actual and had extra objective. Practically each character had a quest related to them, so that you discovered all about how every one was personally affected by Majora. You genuinely wished to save lots of these characters from their inevitable doom in three day’s time.
Even a few of the races, such because the Zoras and Gorons, had been repurposed in Majora’s Masks, and their respective properties had been very totally different as a substitute of rehashed from what they had been in Ocarina of Time.
The characters on this sport had been so fleshed out that some denied that the moon was falling regardless of the proof proper in entrance of them. I believe that was a bit extra life like than we realized on the time…
To at the present time, I preserve that Majora’s Masks is the darkest of all Zelda video games. Despite the fact that Twilight Princess is sort of actually darkish and has the creepy features of the Twilight Realm, it doesn’t come near the tone and environment of Majora’s Masks.
The three day cycle actually set the tone of the sport. Many individuals didn’t like this time restrict because it typically felt such as you needed to rush to get issues performed earlier than you needed to reset again to the primary day.
Nevertheless, this provides to the sense of panic and inevitable doom that the world tries to construct. Because the clock ticks on that third day as you rush to finish a quest or dungeon earlier than time runs out, you’re feeling the worry and anxiousness that the characters can be experiencing as their destiny attracts close to.
Watching Clock City filter utterly by the ultimate day is extremely spooky because it’s a stark distinction of what it was supposed to be: a crowded carnival celebration.
There are such a lot of refined and not-so-subtle darkish features of the sport: carrying the faces of lifeless characters as masks, encountering characters who’ve been disfigured or reworked, and even saving a ranch from an alien invasion.
Despite the fact that Majora’s Masks took property from Ocarina of Time, it nonetheless stands by itself with regards to the artwork type. Nintendo didn’t have to reinvent the wheel right here, but they nonetheless improved how the sport appeared.
Lots of the character fashions had been certainly reused, however this added to the thriller of the world: had been these truly the identical characters we met in Ocarina of Time. Is Termina truly actual, or is all of it in Hyperlink’s head? The theories run wild right here.
Some components of Termina had many washed-out colours that mirrored the distress and doom, however characters and vital areas typically popped with vivid colours like purples and greens. One instance is the intense purple toxic water within the swamp.
The sport nonetheless appears to be like stunning at this time, particularly with the up to date graphics within the 3DS model.
We will’t discuss Majora’s Masks with out speaking about its essential gimmick: discovering and utilizing masks all through the course of the sport. They didn’t exchange Hyperlink’s toolbox of things however as a substitute added to it.
Not all of them had been necessary, and a few had been solely used as soon as. However it’s price pursuing each masks within the sport as a result of in case you change all of them on the finish, you get one thing particular that will help you within the ultimate battle.
The three essential masks allowed Hyperlink to remodel into three races: Deku Scrub, Goron, or Zora.
Of the opposite 20 masks, many improved the gameplay, akin to utilizing the Nice Fairy’s Masks to attract dungeon fairies nearer to you or the Bunny Hood to run quicker.
Others had been simply downright enjoyable to make use of, even when it was only for a single aspect quest or as a reward for serving to a personality.
For a sport that reused a lot of Ocarina of Time’s property, it shares virtually not one of the similar music. And though the previous had an unbelievable soundtrack, Majora’s Masks’s is one way or the other even higher.
Simply hearken to a few of the sport’s songs, akin to Astral Observatory, Deku Palace, Milk Bar, and Stone Tower Temple, and the way they match the tone of their respective areas completely.
The music in Clock City adjustments every day and evening over the three day cycle, steadily turning into quicker and extra panicked because the moon attracts nearer.
Among the music from Ocarina of Time is referenced, such because the Goron Racetrack, which sounds much like the Lon Lon Ranch Horse Race within the former sport.
Even the overworld theme of Termina Subject is totally different from that of Hyrule Subject, which reminds you that you just’re on a brand new journey in a very unfamiliar world.
Talking of the overworld, Termina improves upon Ocarina of Time’s Hyrule tremendously. At first, the sport limits you to Clock City for the primary three day cycle, acquainting you with the gameplay and what is going to ultimately function a type of hub world for the remainder of your journey.
When you purchase your sword and ocarina, the remainder of the world begins to open up. You’ll be able to depart Clock City to go to Termina Subject and begin exploring.
Not each space of the sport is accessible at this level; you’ll want some extra gadgets earlier than you possibly can attain all the different locations. However this retains you from getting misplaced or overwhelmed, particularly with a lot to do in a 3 day cycle.
All 4 essential areas of the sport are distinctive not solely from one another but additionally from Ocarina of Time—you encounter a toxic swamp, a snowy mountain, a bay-side seashore, and a cursed canyon.
Every have their very own issues that should be solved, and as soon as they’re, these areas rework and supply new issues to find.
One of many greatest criticisms of Majora’s Masks is that there are solely 4 essential dungeons. Nevertheless, there’s a big case of high quality over amount on this sport.
Despite the fact that there are solely 4, they’re designed extremely properly and have enjoyable, memorable boss fights.
The dungeons additionally really feel extra significant to finish since you aren’t doing it simply to get an merchandise wanted to progress within the sport. In every space, you study concerning the struggles of the characters who dwell there and how one can carry their curse by defeating the dungeon boss.
After a dungeon is accomplished, you possibly can see the world restored to its former glory (even when solely momentary till you return in time to day one). Every dungeon additionally has optionally available fairies to gather that may earn you upgrades and rewards.
One of the best dungeon of all 4 is unquestionably the ultimate one, Stone Tower Temple. From the gimmick of flipping it upside-down to the giant-sized boss on the finish, it’s an extremely memorable expertise.
Finish of sport spoilers forward for individuals who haven’t completed Majora’s Masks!
Majora’s Masks’s ultimate sequence is without doubt one of the strangest but most superb endings of any Zelda sport.
After ending the 4 dungeons and liberating the giants, it’s time to face the Cranium Child. Nevertheless, Majora’s Masks abandons his physique and flies up into the mouth of the falling moon.
Hyperlink follows it up and finds himself in an eerily quiet and peaceable subject with a big tree within the heart. 4 youngsters carrying the boss masks are enjoying across the tree, whereas one little one carrying Majora’s Masks sits alone.
You will have two choices: play video games with the youngsters by exchanging your masks, or discuss with the lone little one to go straight to the ultimate boss. By enjoying all the video games and exchanging each single masks, you’ll obtain a particular merchandise referred to as the Fierce Deity Masks, which transforms Hyperlink right into a powerhouse for the ultimate battle.
In any other case, enjoying with the lone little one beneath the tree begins the battle with Majora’s Masks, which has a number of weird and tough phases to the combat. As soon as defeated, peace is lastly restored to Termina, and the credit present the carnival and everybody’s lives returning to regular.
All photographs courtesy of Zelda Wiki.