Video Game Retrospective – Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

Taking another crack at a Zelda game is both an absolute joy and a trial in frustration. On the one hand, playing through a near perfect franchise with more creativity and innovation is incredibly rewarding. It can also be a pain being unable to remember puzzles, side-quests, and enemy patterns that were solved in the past, as the game continues to engage and taunt you whenever possible. A game that has had the pleasure of challenging me at every turn is Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3DS.

Making the Familiar Unfamiliar

When most people hear Legend of Zelda, they think of a few things: the guy in green (Link, not Zelda), the princess (actually Zelda), Ganon/Ganondorf (the big baddie), dungeons, puzzles, magic, and great story. While Majora’s Mask is the fifth canonical entry in the series, it is by far one of the most unique. One can say its reuse of the famous Ocarina of Time engine, graphics, and enemies can be considered a shortcut, but I argue that the time saved one those elements allowed the development team to create one heck of an emotional story. There’s 4 main dungeons (6 in total, as opposed to Ocarina of Time’s 10+), there’s a 3-day timer to stop the end of the world, and there are transformations that take the place of most of the major weapons, and a major focus on sidequests. You can run through the game pretty quickly by just going through the four dungeons to the final boss, but the true ending lies in the world of Termina.

Link: Hero Of The People

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Termina is filled with despair, as if Termina wasn’t explicit enough. As the world watches a giant moon closing in on the land, many of the citizens of the land are trying to make their final restitutions. For the three days that Link is in Termina, he has to save the lives of these strangers. But how do you help a whole world? Fortunately, as a sequel to Ocarina of Time, Link still has the titular instrument that allows him to travel through time. Before the moon strikes the world in 3 days, Link can travel back to the first days. All of the problems Link solved are recorded in a notebook and he is rewarded with a mask to commemorate the event. By collecting all the masks, Link finds the truth behind the evil mask.

The World of Despair Paints a Colorful Portrait

The world is definitely discouraging, but there are beautiful stories everywhere. Link doesn’t speak, but his actions give life to every character he encounters. The masks, the characters, the art; the game, especially the remastered 3DS version, successfully translate official artwork to gameplay.

 

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While I can’t give away too much, I absolutely adore this game. For all of its emotion, innovation, and cast, the game remains one of my favorites in not only the Legend of Zelda series, but of all time. For that, here is a few pieces of artwork inspired by the game.

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The game is available on the Nintendo 3DS, but the original version was rereleased on the Nintendo Gamecube and the Wii’s virtual console. If you’ve loved every moment of Majora’s Mask troubling and inspiring story, let us know your experiences with the game in the comments below, or via our Facebook and Twitter pages!

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