Platform Played On: 3DS
Release Date: February 13, 2015
Oh those glorious Nintendo 64 days are the highlight of my entire childhood! So much greatness and two freaking amazing Zelda games in one generation… what more could I ask for? I will come out and say Ocarina of Time is my favourite Zelda title (and all-time favourite video game ever) but Majora’s Mask has a very special place in my gamer heart too! And yeah, I know. I see the endless debates on the interwebz about which Zelda is the “best”. Your opinion totally matters, and by all means share it, but stop wasting time enforcing it on others. And that’s all I have to say about that, eh.
Anyway, I was super excited when the 3D remaster of Majora’s Mask was released on the 3DS a few years back! I was even more excited when I won the online checkout race and managed to snag the limited edition bundle that came with the Skull Kid figure. Take that, greedy resellers! My review of Majora’s Mask 3D was the second review I posted on my old website, back in late 2015. This is mostly the re-posting of that so please note that my review writing style has evolved a lot since then (I ramble on A LOT more these days). Now I’ll throw the words back to past me for a bit.
How Far I Got
I have collected all of the heart pieces, all of the items, all the masks, and Majora’s moon has been termina-ated. I’m pretty sure I also helped everyone in Termina who had a side quest. I did play a bit of the new fishing mini game but only caught a few of the rare fish before calling it a game.
Gameplay: You’d think that a game that essentially forces you to repeat the same 3 days over and over again would be tedious. Fortunately, it is quite the opposite and the mechanic creates some very interesting and emotional side quests. Each time you go back in time you get to keep most of the important items you’ve collected, which can create shortcuts so you aren’t backtracking too much. I zoomed through the game’s four main dungeons rather quickly since I (surprisingly) remembered most of the puzzles from when I beat this game back in the Nintendo 64 days. I can see how new players would feel a lot of pressure to get through the dungeons before everything gets reset in a flaming ball of total destruction at the end of Day 3 (Pro Tip: Play the Song of Time before that happens).
Graphics: This game has some of the best graphics I have seen on the 3DS. The developers have done an amazing job remastering the land of Termina. To truly appreciate how far graphics have come over the years, I fired up my old Nintendo 64 copy of the game and compared the two versions. I’ll just say I honestly don’t remember the N64 version of the game being that blurry when I played it as a kid. Most of the character models are “borrowed” from Ocarina of Time, but there are several quirky characters that are new to Majora’s Mask. The returning characters don’t seem to remember who they were in Ocarina of Time, having whole new lives in Termina. I didn’t have a problem with this since I enjoyed seeing those familiar faces from my all-time favourite game! The environments are also spectacular. The mountain area has some chilling winter effects, and the view of the moon from the Great Bay area is oddly relaxing. The game is clearly divided into 4 differently themed areas. To be honest the world felt a little small to me this time around. I blame this on the fact that modern day open world games have really raised the bar for exploration these days.
Sound: The soundtrack is still a treat to listen to. Clock Town has a nice upbeat track that speeds up as the big ugly thing in the sky comes closer. The track that plays in Clock Town’s final hours perfectly captures the fear and urgency of the situation. The haunting melody that plays in the Stone Tower Temple still sends shivers down my spine. Each outside area has a similar pre-dungeon clearing track, but tweaked a bit to fit the theme of the zone. I thought this was a nice touch and tied the whole world together nicely. Of course Link still makes his trademark sounds and transforming into different forms sure sounds painful for the poor guy! The Ocarina of Time instrument also makes a return in this game. There are a few familiar songs from its predecessor title (Song of Time, Epona’s song, etc.) and a few unique ones as well. Each one of Link’s mask transformations also has their own instrument. Rocking out on the Zora guitar was one of my favourite ones.
My Overall Biased Opinion: I have fond childhood memories of the original version of this game so of course I’m going to love the remastered version. There are several quality of life enhancements (The Bomber’s Notebook improvements to side quest tracking, for example) and the polished graphics really give this title a breath of new life. The doomsday timer part of the game is still a bit of a pain to me, but overall I think it’s implemented in a very workable way.
SPOILERS AHEAD!!! You have been warned.
This section of my video game reviews is a way for me to remember my journey through a game. Major spoilers will be present here so please avoid this unless you’ve already played the game, or don’t have any plans to. Feel free to share any experiences you’ve had with this game in the comments area thingy below.
My Game Summary
Present me fully back. Since I didn’t do game summaries for my older reviews, I’m writing this presently. Let’s see how good my memory and Googling skillz are!
Opening: The game starts with Young Link riding Young Epona through the woods. Suddenly, a creepy masked Skull Kid and his two fairy buddies knock Link off Epona. While Link’s out cold, the Skull Kid steals the Ocarina of Time. When Link wakes up and chases down Skull Kid, the possessed imp turns Link into a Deku Scrub before taking off (he also said he “dealt” with Epona). One of the Skull Kid’s fairies, Tatl (the other one is named Tael… get it??), gets left behind and reluctantly becomes Link’s buddy.
Clock Town: The path eventually leads Link to the Clock Tower basement where he is greeted by the also creepy Happy Mask Salesman. Link is told that Skull Kid stole Majora’s Mask from the salesman and he wants it back in 3 days. The Mask Salesman promises to turn Link back into a human if he gets the mask back in time. Link has to explore town in Deku form to figure things out.
Eventually, with the help of a Great Fairy (giving Deku Link the ability to shoot bubble things), and the dude in the observatory (the telescope shows that Skull Kid is at the top of the clock tower), Link confronts Skull Kid near the end of Day 3 (just before the big moon is about to destroy everything). Skull Kid refuses to hand over the mask during the encounter, and Tael shouts something about bringing four entities here from “swamp, mountain, ocean, canyon.” Skull Kid slaps Tael and says we can’t stop him, and then the moon seems to start falling faster… yikes!
Once you shoot Skull Kid with a bubble, he drops the Ocarina. As soon as Link grabs it, a vision from Princess Zelda shows him how to play the Song of Time. Once you play the song, Link falls back in time to the start of Day 1 with the Happy Mask Salesman. This time, the salesman teaches Link the Song of Healing. This turns Link back into a human and gives him the power to turn into a Deku Scrub by using the mask that was created from the healing process. Now it’s time to bring those four giant things to Clock Town so the moon doesn’t destroy everything, eh!
Woodfall Temple: Swamp things first! Link discovers that the swamp area is poisoned and the source of the corruption seems to be coming from the Woodfall Temple. To get there, Link has to first save a monkey from captivity in the Deku Scrub Palace. The Temple is cleared by pwning the jumpy warrior boss Odolwa (I love the noises he makes!!). Link frees the first giant from captivity, learns the mystical song Oath to Order to summon the giants when needed, and clears the poison from the swamp. Yay!
Snowhead Temple: Snowhead Mountain is cursed by severely colder than usual weather, and a Goron hero who tried to fight his way to the temple to fix the issue has died. When Link plays the Song of Healing for him, he gets the Goron Mask that lets him turn into a Goron. Traveling to Goron City next, there’s a Goron child who won’t stop crying very loudly (Ow! My ears.). You have to track down the Goron elder who teaches you Goron Lullaby on your sweet Goron drum set. Playing the song puts the kid to sleep, and it’s also needed to put a giant invisible Goron who’s blowing wind near the temple to sleep too (Don’t ask!). Once the temple’s goat-like boss Goht is downed in a cool racing fight, Snowhead thaws and another giant is awakened. Pop quiz: How many times did I type Goron in this paragraph? 😛
Great Bay Temple: Link is able to get Epona from Romani Ranch after Snowhead is done, and he needs the horse to get to the Great Bay area. The ocean is apparently all messed up because of something going on in the temple. Link finds a dying Zora floating in the water and pushes him ashore. Playing the Song of Healing for him gets Link the Zora transformation mask (my favourite!). Before passing on, the Zora tells Link he was trying to recover Zora eggs that were stolen by Gerudo pirates (yarr). Link has to get all the eggs back by infiltrating the pirate fortress. Once that’s done, the eggs hatch and form a string of notes, teaching Link the song New Wave Bossa Nova on his badass Zora dead fish guitar. Playing the song summons a giant turtle that takes Link to the temple. Once the sharky boss Gyorg is destroyed, the ocean is restored and the third giant is available for summoning.
Stone Tower Temple: Freaky area, this one! Link needs to win Garo’s Mask from the Gormon Bros. racetrack before he can enter Ikana Canyon. Once inside, you discover this area is plagued by lots of undead creatures. Link needs to play the Song of Healing for an unfortunate Gibdo-fied man (mummy like creature) to get the Gibdo mask, allowing Link to chat with Redeads (and not get screamed to death). Eventually, Link makes his way through an ancient castle and pwns their undead king to learn Elegy of Emptiness. This allows Link to copy each of his forms, leaving a hella creepy statue of it to keep switches pressed down and stuff. Using this grants Link access to the temple. Once the giant worm boss Twinmold is downed (Link has a mask that turns him into a giant for this fight and that’s so awesome), the undead curse is lifted and that’s 4/4 giants available to stop the moon now! Woot.
Final Day, Finally: And now this endless 3 day cycle can be stopped! Back at the Skull Kid encounter on top of the clock tower in the last moments of the Final Day, playing Oath to Order makes all 4 weird-looking giants walk on over and hold up the moon, stopping it from destroying everything. Majora’s Mask discards its Skull Kid puppet and warps to the moon to make it consume everything instead. Link of course follows! Inside the moon looks like an oddly peaceful field on a bright sunny day, with a big tree in the middle. I… um, yeah. Anyway, at the base of the tree are some kids, and talking with them warps Link to the final battle with the mask. Once it’s destroyed (in like 10 seconds with Fierce Deity’s Mask), a new day dawns and everyone lives happily ever after. Skull Kid is not evil anymore, and the Happy Mask Salesman takes the no longer possessed (hopefully) Majora’s Mask.
Favourite Story Moment
When you finally get to call the four giants to the Clock Tower to stop the moon. It’s a bit of a relief to finally see the moon held back from destroying the land.
Fierce Deity’s Mask. This mask combined with a healthy dose of Chateau Romani milk made for a fun but quick final battle with Majora’s Mask.
Favorite “Oh S@#%” Moment
There is a sense of urgency throughout the entire game with that big monstrous moon inching its way closer to Termina. Nothing quite captures that feeling better than looking up in the sky with just a few hours left on Day 3.
The Great Bay area. Swimming through the open ocean as Zora Link was one of my favourite ways to just spend time. Zora Link’s controls in tight areas is another story however… Honorable mention goes to the Stone Tower Temple. One of my all-time favourite music tracks plays there.
Believe it or not, Tatl, Link’s new fairy partner. In Ocarina of Time I found Navi to be quite annoying (Hey! Hey! Listen!) but I found Tatl to be entertaining. She has more of a sarcastic personality and made me laugh a few time during the game. That and she seems to let Link figure things out on his own most of the time.
Most Tedious Gameplay Moment
The postman and his little mini game that requires you to hit A in exactly 10 seconds. I needed the Bunnyhood mask to get passed this part (with it on you can see a time counter on screen). Patience is not one of my strengths.
Wackiest Side Quest
Saving Romani Ranch from an alien invasion… just wow. Weird!
Total Play Time: 35 hours 3 minutes
Bottles Collected: 7/7
Heart Pieces Collected: 52/52
Masks Collected: 24/24
⚡Thanks for reading!⚡