Majora's Mask, what an interesting entry in the Legend of Zelda Series. Originally planned for the failed N64 Disk Drive (DD for short.), Majora's Mask was the successor to the highly-acclaimed Ocarina of Time. So, easy to say, Majora's Mask had some pretty big shoes to fill. Okay, now with the background knowledge done, let's start the review! (SPOILERS AHEAD!)
The story immediately picks up where Ocarina left off, fitting seeing it's a direct sequel. We first see Link in a forest, presumably the Lost Woods, where he is ambushed by two fairies, Tatl and Tael. The faries knock off Link his horse, Epona, when the villain, Skull Kid, is introduced to us. Skull Kid, as it would imply, isn't the very "EVIL!" type of villain, more of a prankster than anything. Moving along, Skull Kid then takes Link's ocarina, as then Link begins to wake up. The two then give chase, leading further in the woods. Link jumps off some platforms, then fall in what is only known as a hole going downward, it's not explained much. Once you finally touch ground, you are greeted by a floating Skull Kid,
that then transforms you into a Deku Scrub, and a pretty sad looking one, in truth. The Skull Kid then makes a hasty retreat away, where the faries, Tatl and Tael, are separated. After a bit of following you around, the fairy Tael decides to join your party to stop the Skull Kid.You're then taken to a clockwork, where you meet the ever-mysterious, Happy Mask Salesman. His appearance and body movement are all very jarring, even to the point of creepiness. After his introduction, he asks of us to get the mask the Skull Kid was wearing, but he needs it to be done in the next 3 days (72 hours). You agree, and then exit to Clock Town. Clock Town, is very different from your usual town. Actually, that's what I'd use to describe Majora's Mask right now (compared to Ocarina), different. The town is full of life and people seem to be moving at a pace, they all have something to do. You then come to realize that Skull Kid is atop the Clock Tower, which you don't have access to until midnight on the 3rd day, the day of the carnival. So knowing this, you busy yourself with all you can find, like the Deku Playground and Playing tag with the Bomber Gang, all to pass the time. And once 12 A.M. finally strikes on the 3rd, you can enter the top of the Clock Tower to confront Skull Kid, but only if you've done all the prerequisites to enter. Atop the tower, you see Skull Kid floating atop channeling a moon to come crashing down on the tower. You must stop him! With it being your only ranged tool at your disposal, you shoot a bubble at the Skull Kid, causing him to drop your ocarina. You grab it, triggering a flashback with Zelda, which makes you remember the Song of Time. Seeing to be your only option, you play the song, in which you are taken back to the first day... But how?
Thoughts so far: Good start, may be confusing or 1st time players, but it does create a sense of worry near the end of the 3rd day. A sense, that, makes you feel powerless.
Score for this part: 8.5/10
As many know, the main story isn't very long, only 4 temples, with each a prerequisite "Mini-Temple". But each one brings something quite unique.
Southern Swamp: Compared to the Deku Tree, this is a very difficult dungeon. The Deku Palace is set up like the Mini-Dungeon when you get to Zelda in Ocarina. Once finished with that, you go to the Temple, Woodfall Temple. Woodfall, in my opinion, overused the Deku flower in this temple. It's used in nearly all of the rooms! And, I have to mention the added stray fairies aspect of temples.
They're sometimes tedious to find, but they are extra for people who want the awesome upgrades. You then get to the boss, Odolwa. His chanting makes this fight very unique, and a little funny at times. Once you defeat him, you get the mask on his face, when you are taken up to this surreal cutscene where you are taught the oath to order by one of the Guardians of Termina. Rest assured, the guardian looks very weird.
Snowhead: I really liked this place. It's where you got your sword upgrade, it's where you got the Goron Mask... So, all in all, a very good start to a great zone. The prerequisite for this temple is actually pretty short. Unfreeze the old goron, learn part of the Goron Lullaby, go to the crying baby, play the song to him, learn the full song, done. Now you can go to the temple.
The temple of Snowhead, kind of annoying, to be honest. whether it was falling down that bridge trying to Goron roll, or just plain falling to the bottom, I can say I quit on it a few times. But for your patience, you are rewarded one of the best boss fights ever, Goht.
No, that is not a misspell, that is it's genuine name. Joking aside, this was very fun and innovative boss fight. It felt like a race and a fight at the same time, seeing your rolling the whole way to catch up and kill him. Once killed, you get the mask and are taken to another surreal cutscene with another guardian.
Great Bay: This is actually where my own personal experiences end, so I shall now take a more objective standpoint based on what I've seen in playthroughs of the game. I might do an update post where I tell you what I personally think of the rest of the game, but until then... Great Bay, everyone!Great Bay, unlike Woodfall and Snowhead, the prerequisite dungeon is actually very long, sometimes taking the whole 3 days. In the dungeon, you collect 7 Zora eggs belonging to Lulu. But the hitch to this is, you have to use your bottles to carry them, so hope you got all the bottles you can get before starting this dungeon! Luckily, the dungeon is split into two parts, the Gerudo Fortress & Pinnacle Rock. Oh, and forgot to mention, you get the Zora mask here. Now you know. Moving along, once you've gathered all the Zora eggs in the lab, they form the song, New Wave Bossa Nova. Now you have access to what is agreed as the temple worse than the Water Temple in Ocarina of Time, Great Bay Temple. From what I can tell, the annoyance comes from a lot of backtracking, but I could be wrong there, so correct me if you know better. Once you finish the dungeon, you get to fight Gyorg, and again, not a typo. The fight is more on the mediocre side of things, but once you defeat him, collect the mask and move on to the next temple!
Ikana Canyon: So you've done it. You've collected most of everything in the game, you have all the transformation masks, and now it's time for your final test of skill, excluding the final boss part. We'll get to that later. Ikana Canyon, in truth is very barren, making it kind off-putting, bordering creepy. Here, you find a Music Box House. You try to go in, but a little girl won't let you in, so you have to trick her by placing explosives... because that's safe.
Once you gain access, you enter the basement to see a locked closet, containing something of nightmarish proportions, a Gibdo? Not quite, you later find out this is the little girl's father, almost transformed to a Gibdo. But for now, you use the Song of Healing and turn him back to normal. I have to say, this is a very strong point in Majora's Mask, the emotion you feel for these people. You hate to see them in pain, so try to help and heal people's souls/lives as much as you humanly can. Byoutiful...
Moving on, you now go to the prerequisite dungeon...S! Yep, there's two dungeons this time! First, the Well, where you have to give Gibdos random items to make them get out of the way, so you can get to the Big Poe, so you can get the oh-so shiny, Mirror Shield! Once you've claimed your prize, you move on to Ikana Castle, where you go though the castle to fight the now Skeleton King of Ikana, who hasn't realised the war of Ikana has ended.
Once defeated, he teaches you the well remembered, Elegy of Emptiness. Not for how it sounds, but for what it does, which is create statues of all 4 of your accessible forms, including Link. The Link Statue has gathered up some attention for it's jarring look, spawning the creepypasta, Ben Drowned. Once you have acquired the song, you can finally go to the temple, if you haven't already ran the clock out. This temple, from what I can tell is very interesting, but difficult if you want full completion of the dungeon.
The interesting thing in this temple, though, is once you get the light arrows and shoot them at that eye, in all caps, THE WHOLE TEMPLE GETS FLIPPED UPSIDE DOWN. That was something I'd never expect, and it was a nice idea.
But you finally get to the boss room, and you meet the boss of the temple, Twinmold. The boss fight is very lackluster because the boss is way too easy with the Giant's Mask, which you have to use! But, defeat the boss and collect the final mask.
Thoughts so far: While not the main focus of the game, I can surely say the these temples were mostly solid.
Score for this part: 7.875/10
Now we get into the big part of Majora's Mask, the sidequests! While usually never the main agenda in a video game, Majora's Mask had a lot of focus put into the what most games would ignore for the most part. But Majora's Mask is not most games, that's for sure.
Shooting Games: I HATE THESE! It's abysmal to aim at the octorocks or targets and it just gets me out of the mood to play this game at all! >:(
Overworld: Cleverly hidden, but mostly a "Kill random enemy. Get loot." kind of sidequest. :/
Skulltula: No fun if you don't have the required items. :/
Bomber's Notebook: All the sidequests in the notebook are very fun & unique. One being the "Alien Farm
Defense" with Romani. :D
Stray Faries: Tough to get in temples, but the payoff is amazing. :)
Minigames: Sometimes monotonous, like the Shooting Gallery, but sometimes fun, like the Goron Race. :S
Anju & Kafei: I thought this deserved it's own spot in sidequesting. It's emotional and just a perfect example of what Majora's Mask has to offer. :D
Thoughts so far: It's a toss up. Sometimes I may love the sidequest, but some can be the Shooting Gallery and make me lose all interest in the game.
Score for this: 7.5/10
Every Zelda game has the big final boss, so the question is: Is Majora's Mask's final boss live up to Zelda final boss' so far?
So to get to the final boss, you have to do the same thing you did on that very first day, wait until the clock strikes 12 A.M. . I like this fact, it's shows your character has grown stronger in this journey and now you are finally able to face Skull Kid and show him what you're now made of.
Atop the pillar again, you play the song the guardians taught you, the Oath to Order. The giants then come to hold up the moon to stop the collision, and the Skull Kid, as far as you know, passes out, revealing the true villain, Majora's Mask itself. Skull Kid was only simply a vessel to it, and now it has no more use for him, and the mask retreats to the moon itself to push the disaster forwards. The giants now can barely hold the moon up, so now you must give chase and stop Majora.
Now your inside the Moon, which is shockingly more peaceful looking than you might expect. You move onward toward to the tree, where you find five children, oddly similar looking to the Happy Mask Salesman. The four children with the masks you've collected are all "Mini-Dungeons" to collect the final piece of heart. Once you've finished that, you get to fight Majora. As a side note, if you've done every sidequest giving a mask, you're rewarded by Majora with the Fierce Diety Mask.
Moving along, time for the fight with Majora, which is three phases. First phase you have to hit the weak spot with you light arrows, then once defeated, Majora grows limbs and is now, Majora's Incarnation! A rather easy and silly fight, but some may call it Majora's plain insanity, which is likely. Then once that's defeated you get the final fearsome form, Majora's Wrath!
This is easily hardest of the three fights, probably the hardest fight in the game. But muster your courage and defeat Majora once and for all. Congratulations! You've beat the game! But this isn't even a walkthrough... Anyways, you wake up next to Skull Kid and Epona, where he mentions you smell like the fairy kid in the woods, because you are that fairy kid. And now that the Happy Mask Salesman finally has his mask back, he makes his departure into... Well, no one knows. Truly, an enigma of a character, he is. But, with that the carnival begins, and the credits roll satisfyingly!
Thoughts so far: That boss fight lived up to it's expectations, weird as the fight may have been with Chicken Incarnate. The ending credits music was also nice as well.
Score for this: 8.25/10
Impact & Final Score
Here are my final thoughts: Majora's Mask wasn't a traditional 3D Zelda experience, but, in all honesty, that doesn't mean the game is bad. In some rights, it excels in some areas, but by the same token, fails. The emotional sidequests shows something Majora's Mask excelled in, character. You felt these character's problems and fixed them to as much as you could. And when the credits rolled, all your hard work was shown as a satisfying reward for your efforts.
But you could also say that the focus might've been misplaced, seeing as you would naturally focus on the Main Story. That's why it's called THE MAIN STORY. But the way Majora's Mask approached sidequesting as the main focus was, honestly, a double edged sword. On one side, it was a nice change of pace, seeing the Main Story taking the backseat for a change. But, if you put your focus into something, you best make sure that it's top notch, and most of all, fun. And I'm not sure if Majora's Mask quite did it for me. Those shooting minigames just made me angry, because it didn't feel fair. And fairness is very important if something is to be fun. Difficulty is good, but too much makes you want to RAGEQUIT the entire game. And in all honesty, I think that's what I did.
But for all it's flawed sidequests, I can appreciate what Majora's Mask brought to the table, making my final score...
"An experience you must at least see played out. An adventure you can't miss if you want to put your mettle to the test."
Steel, The Mark of Insanity 08:28, July 26, 2014 (UTC)