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The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask I started re-playing Majora's Mask recently (on the VC). I had 100%’d this game back when it released on N64, but this is the first time I play it in 480p (since I gave up playing it on the GCN collector's edition due to the sound glitches and such).
Holy crap, this game is still so amazing. One of the best things about the game is becoming intimately familiar with the daily lives of every Termina citizen. By repeating the same three days over and over... the whole game is structured around a living world where everything always happens according to a set schedule. Yet your actions can alter the fates of people's lives you touch, only to have it washed away every time you leap back in time.
I think from a game design perspective it must be very challenging. The whole game has to be designed around this concept from the very start.
And of course, the whole game is focused on death and doom. And creepy masks. My fiance has enjoyed all the Zelda games we have played together except for this one, just because of the creepiness factor.
Last night I was a bit frustrated because I messed up on the last part of the Kafei side quest. But it's not too bad starting over, since you can skip half day intervals.
-How does Majora’s Mask rank on your list of Zelda games? -Is it surprising that few games have pulled off a similar gameplay concept to such a successful degree? Chrono Trigger and Radiant Historia are two time travel games that pop into mind that are kind of similar but are still quite different if you know what I mean.
-Majora's Mask is a 9.0 on my list of ratings. -It scores 5th -I enjoy it 4th most
I'm surprised we don't see a lot of games like this, yes. The game is so dense that they've put so much detail and interest into this one area, and you're able to explore it over and over again. The repeated runs probably increase your appreciation of it, too. Kinda like an ant farm.
Compare this to other big games where you walk far distances; you probably don't get to stop and smell the roses as much. Twilight Princess comes immediately to my mind. Not at all vibrant. I hate the commoners. And walking is a bitch.
Chrono Trigger is my favorite game (scores highest, too). But yeah, that does work a little different as you mentioned..
Do you think we'll see more games like this personally? Maybe there ARE other smaller games out there that do this but we don't know about them?
Majora's Mask is my favorite 3D Zelda game, and my second-favorite entry in the series as a whole. (just after Link's Awakening) I loved it. I think I enjoyed it more than even Ocarina of Time. It's a true masterpiece, IMHO.
The time-traveling aspect is really unique. There's no other game quite like it. Most time-traveling games have you jumping from time era to time era - this game only had you going back and forth over the course of what would be a long weekend. Because of this, the entire game and it's characters are much more intimate to the player. As many have said before, you really get to know the citizens of Clock Town, the land of Termina and it's impending peril. No other game I can think of takes such a "granular" look into the lives of NPCs and their day-to-day activities. It's no wonder there's no other game quite like this - I imagine it would be quite difficult to design. But man, Nintendo pulled it off so well, it seems like they did it effortlessly. Pretty amazing.
I love the tone and atmosphere of the game. Eerie. Very eerie. Perfect to be playing around Halloween.
I would love to see more games like this, but I just don't see it happening. It's already been a little over 10 years since its release and every Zelda game since has followed the more traditional route introduced in Ocarina of Time. Sure, there are some other cool changes sprinkled throughout the newer Zelda games (including the portable versions), but really nothing as significant as the 3-day cycle of Majora's Mask, IMO. Who knows what new kind of gameplay mechanic Skyward Sword will introduce but definitely not anything like Majora.
I wonder why Nintendo introduced such a unique gameplay mechanic, executed it really well, then abandoned it forever...
And personally, I can't really think of other games that utilized the concept at such a refined level.
I might be officially retired from Majora's Mask, unless I can find someone to climb Stone Tower for me upon every play through. As much as I love MM, that is one of my least favorite sections in any game, ever. Having to play that song over and over again while changing masks in between just isn't any fun at all to me.
That being said, the game is pretty ingeniously designed, and really fun if you can get into it. While it's not exactly what I look for in a Zelda game, it holds up extremely well.
I've said it before, but I wish Majora's Mask just became its own franchise, where you follow Majora's Mask through different types of societies and see how it turns their worlds upside down. How would Majora's Mask wreak havoc on a farming society, or a society heavily based on money, or a society that's very industrial? I thought that the whole time mechanic was too deep not to get explored further. I think the entire premise of the game could truly flourish, and doesn't need to be anchored by the Zelda franchise. It would've been really interesting to see them do more with that premise.
I played it for the first time last year, and really liked it. I appreciated how different it is from the "Zelda norm". That said, I didn't complete a lot of the side quests, so I didn't get the full NPC development in a few cases.
I wish I could like this game as much as some of you. I tried playing thru the game on several different occasions throughout the years.
Having to play thru the same day over and over again, just plain bores me. I was able to make it to the 2nd temple, but thats about it.
I guess if I really wanted to finish the game, I could find a guide online, so I don't have to replay the same day over and over again, but I am not the type to use a guide, unless its an absolute must.
With that said, Majora's Mask is my least favorite Zelda game.
I wonder how you feel about Ocarina of Time. You seemingly are stuck in the same day for ever
As for Majora's Mask, it's my favorite 3D Zelda. I enjoyed the hell out of it, still do even. It's the type of Zelda game I wish were made more often. The one that isn't conventional, doesn't follow the path laid out in front of it, and explores the World around itself. I would, probably, not enjoy another game like it, though.
I really enjoyed how the entire game kept up the sense of danger. It's a major problem I have with the series, and gaming in general, because...well look at it from Ocarina of Time. You are told this Ganondorf dude is just evil incarnate. So you go out and collect these stones. Then you get the Sword to stop him and BOOM the shit hits the fan! Oh God, it's 7 years later and all these horrific things have happened! You step out of the Temple of Time and...nothing. Nothing ever happens. I believe the only bad thing that happens the entire time you are an adult is that the well in Kakariko explodes because of Bongo Bongo escaping. That's it. There is no sense of danger.
Flash forward, literally, to Majora's Mask. This masked imp takes your horse, turns you into this weak bush, and then you are left trying to get your shit back and turn back to normal. Oh, by the way, there's this giant moon overhead that is going to crash into the city and vaporize all life. But it keeps going. Everyone in this city is aware of this moon and as each day passes they ever drop into total sadness, go completely mad, or just accept their fate as is. THEN it goes further. It constantly drops the moon on you, lower and lower it goes, each hour in the game's world is constantly thrown back in your face. 72 hours, 48 hours, DAWN OF THE FINAL DAY! You know it's going to get worse and you are left trying to fix it. Over and over you keep going back, trying to get the World back together, piecing lives back together, solving problems like re-uniting lovers even when the entire World is at stake. Everything keeps compounding back to the main villain, to the end, to your death...
It's a very haunting game. It even embraces it. The color scheme is wacky, characters aren't their usual "Oh, heard something bad happened in the castle" while still juggling balls like nothing is going on. There isn't some dude in the background trying to destroy everyone while no-one is aware. Everyone knows. You know, they know, and it just keeps going until you finally solve it. Everyone is aware of what is going on around them. Reliving the same 3 days isn't a constraint, in my mind, it's brilliance. You need to get into the Inn to start up the Anju/Kafei story so you take the room. But then the Goron who actually requested the room is left outside in the rain. You see a thief attack an old lady but don't help, well now you don't get an item until the day the World ends. So on and so forth. The NPCs are living, breathing creatures. Certainly not the greatest, some are pretty forgettable, but they aren't static. They keep on going, even if the World doesn't.
The Song of Healing is an amazing song, too. So many powerful scenes with it. Ikana Canyon/Castle is probably one of the best areas in the entire history of the series. That place just kicked the crap out of your senses. You had cursed warriors, a father turned into a mummy while his daughter was trapped in the house with him (along with other mummies circling the house)...my God this game is awesome.
Majora's Mask is the 2nd best 3D Zelda game ever made and the third best overall in the franchise IMO (ALTTP>OOT>MM). Not only was it a great Zelda game, but its unique gameplay has elevated it even higher among Zelda fans if various forums around the web are to be believed. To this day, it still is my most played Zelda game to date. While I think that ALTTP and OOT are overall better games, I think MM has aged better than either one of them. MM wins the best Link character design ever category in the Fierce Diety mask, best side quest ever in Kafei's Mask, and best dungeon ever in a 3D Zelda game to date in the Stone Tower temple. Here's hoping that OOT 3D will be some day followed by MM 3D.
I've never played it, although I did watch my younger brother play through the Major(a)ity of it, just like all Zeldas before we got Twilight Princess, which was the first console Zelda I actually got to play for myself.
I'm really hoping they make a 3DS remake of Majora's Mask like they're doing with Ocarina of Time.