James Zelda Journey #6: Majora’s Mask

History

Majora’s Mask was originally released on the Nintendo 64 in April of 2000. Just a year and a half after Ocarina of Time. It featured the same gameplay and mechanics but followed a different story. I first played Majora’s Mask on the Gamecube as a part of the Legend of Zelda Collector’s Edition Bundle. It was the exact same game as on the N64, just ported to a different console. I played through most of the game as a kid and got stuck on the Final Dungeon. Revisiting the game in college, I ran out of time fighting the boss in the Third Dungeon and rage quit. Now, a few years later, I’ve finished the game for the first time.

Spoiler Alert

This post contains Spoilers for the The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, and also Spoilers for various other Zelda games. You have been warned!

Expectations

I replayed this game directly after replaying Ocarina of Time. I expected it to be not too hard, but not exactly easy either. I thought I’d have a slight advantage having played many Zelda games and having recently played Ocarina of Time.

Story

The story of Majora’s Mask picks up immediately after the conclusion of Ocarina of Time. Navi the fairy leaves Link, and he heads off into the woods in search of a new friend. He meets a Skull Kid wearing a strange mask, and Link gets turned into a Deku Scrub. He stumbles on the town of Termina, a parallel world to Hyrule with many familiar faces. He meets the Happy Mask Salesman, who tells Link that a very powerful mask has been stolen from him, but if he returns it, he can turn Link back to normal. He turns Link back into a human kid, and Link goes to the clocktower to confront Skull Kid. Skull Kid makes the moon crash into the clocktower, and Link plays the Song of Time to go back in time to two days earlier. With this extra time, Link goes to the regions surrounding Termina, picks up a ton of masks and frees the four spirits to help fight the Skull Kid. The Spirits and Link are successful, and Majora’s Mask comes to a close.

How I Did

I did fine in the first three dungeons but the boss in the last dungeon kicked my butt, repeatedly. I had so much trouble with the fourth dungeon boss, that I had to leave the dungeon, go back in time, find more hearts and magic, and replay the entire dungeon. Obviously that put a damper on things for me, but I’m still glad that I played it.

Pros & Cons

Pro: Familiar gameplay and controls

Pro: Incredibly catchy music and interesting story

Con: The three day cycle makes completing side quests very difficult

Con: After 20 years, the game feels clunky

Would I Play it Again?

I’d probably be hesitant to play the N64 port on gamecube again, but I wouldn’t be opposed to trying it on 3DS or Switch.

How it compares to the rest of the series

As far as 3D Zelda games, I’d put this one right below Ocarina of Time. Basically identical controls and gameplay with different stories make them easy to compare. However, I don’t think that the N64 port aged very well. It was incredible in 2000, but in 2019 it feels clunky. Of the 6 games that I’ve played so far in this journey, I’d put it close to the middle.

Next Game

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

This is another one that I’ll be playing on my 3DS, and unlike the others, I’ve never played this one at all!

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