Monday, 27 July 2015

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: "This wasn't what I meant by 'when the moon goes down'"

With the sucsess of Ocarina of Time, its no surprise that Nintendo wanted a second game on the N64, now to use the expansion pack accessory for the system. With the use of Ocarina of Time's engine, what many regard to be one of the creepiest games ever made came to be. Time to look at the game that makes children scared of faces on the moon, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Like with Ocarina of Time, while I will be taking screenshots from both games, I've used the recent 3DS remake as the base of this review. Also, this WILL contain spoilers for Ocarina of Time as well as Majora's Mask.

Once again, let's start with the plot. After stopping Gannondorf and his "super mode" Gannon as Adult Link, Princess Zelda sends link back to when he was a child, where the partner of the game Navi (who I ignored as nothing I say hasn't already been said). Link decides to try and find Navi (at least, that's what most people believe, I'm not 100% certain if it has been confirmed) and ends up being robbed by the new enemy of the game, Skull Kid, wearing what would later be revealed as Majora's Mask. Link follows the Skull Kid and ends up in the Land of Termina, a land that may as well be ruled by Princess Hilda. You see, Skull Kid decided he wanted to be an a@@&()! and chose to crash the moon into the town, killing everyone on the night of their festival. As such, it is up to you to use the Ocarina of Time to save the town by clearing four dungeons in three days, which roughly equals to just under an hour in real life time.
I swear there's a reason why he's nicknamed "Mr Smiles"

Now anyone would look at that and go "That's impossible", and you're half right. For you see, there is a time travel mechanic. If you're familiar with the film Groundhog Day, you'll know this mechanic. You see, every time you play the song of time, you can travel back to the start of the three day cycle, in exchange for all the rupees, bombs, arrows and similar objects you're holding at that point.
However, anything you do in terms of dungeons and side-quests also get wiped out as well. You keep items like Heart containers, pieces of heart, key items like your bow and the masks, however nothing else (unless you create a temporal collapse by storing your rupees in the bank). With the exception of the time travel mechanic, Link can still do everything he could in Ocarina of Time, both as a child and as an adult and more thanks to the masks. Some masks like the Blast Mask and the Great Fairy Mask help your human form... others....
"Time to make him swim with da fishes"

For those who aren't aware, there are four special "Transformation Masks" that give Link even more abilities in exchange for others. There's the Deku Mask that turns Link into a Deku Scrub, making him lighter, shoot... magic snot bubbles (its what they are), and do a spin attack with a lot more range. Goron Link gets stronger, slower and can roll, making him a lot faster, Zora Link allows Link to swim like a dolphin along with giving him twin boomerangs, and of course, the 100% award for getting all the masks, Fierce Deity Link, which can only be used for bosses, but makes them a complete joke, this includes the Final Boss.
Oh if only, but alas, this is a fake. Found here:

The main pull of this game is the Side quests, because there's A LOT of them and its what you're going to be spending most of your time doing. To complete the game, you only have to complete each side quest (and branching paths in the case of some) once. It's up to you if you decide to do as many as you can in your final three day cycle before taking on the final boss, in order to make sure everyone's problems are fixed because, again, all side quests reset at the restart of a cycle. However I do encourage anyone who plays this to do as many of the side quests as you can, not for the reward, but for the characters themselves. One problem I have with Ocarina of Time that I didn't mention last week is that Link in that game is basically a plank of wood in terms of emotions, this continues with basically all the characters in OoT. In Majora's Mask though, every character, with the exception of Link as he is still a plank of wood, feels alive. You genuinely feel for these characters, which is something that even games nowadays fail to do, even to the point that many don't even try, which is a shame.
Behold, the face that gave many a child nightmares long before Fazbear Pizzaria

One final part on the gameplay is the difficulty spike. While for me, it wasn't that bad (in comparison to other games I've covered here), it doesn't mean it wasn't a problem. While it wasn't to the degree of draining me, such as Delta Tower/ Temple/ whatever its called, Great Bay and Ikkana Valley's dungeons, while using interesting mechanics, led to many a time I was lost. The bosses on the other hand, I don't know what to say other then "were people really having that much of a problem with them?" WHY IS THERE A WEAK SPOT EYE IN GYORGE (yes that's his name)'S MOUTH? WHY IS THERE ONE ON GOHT'S BACK? It makes no sense, and I struggle to come up with a reason why they didn't make something that works better while still conveying the idea of "HIT THIS THING THERE!"
Yet they somehow managed to make it even creepier..

While I enjoy the soundtrack a lot more then Ocarina of Time, one thing that can either work well or work against Majora's Mask is the fact that it is running off of Ocarina's engine, and as such, uses almost all of the assets from Ocarina of Time. You may like this if you believe the theory that Link's Dead in this game, or it may take you out of the experience, its up to you.
"Here I am, I am lost in your head, and I'll always will be. Creeping in my soul"

If you're going to play this game, be warned, its slow to start. If you can survive the first three day cycle, then you'll find a lot of enjoyment in this game, its just that first cycle and the lack of direction due to the amount of side quests that could make your experience with Majora's Mask a bad one. The next post, unless another spontaneous First Impressions comes up, I'm leaving up to you, the reader. Friday is going to be Adventure Time, however on Wednesday, if anyone wants, I'm willing to cover the other reason why many regard this game as one of the creepiest games ever made, the creepypasta "Ben Drowned". Follow the link to this strawpoll to decide, and while you're at it, this one: is still open so feel free to add to it as well. I'll see you next time with the results.

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