The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

released on Apr 27, 2000

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, it utilizes the same engine and visual style as its predecessor. The game retains the traditional elements of Zelda games as well as those introduced in Ocarina of Time, such as active blocking with a shield, various throwing items, and the usage of melodies played on the ocarina to solve puzzles. Compared to the previous Zelda games, this installment is more oriented towards interaction with NPCs and has a larger variety of items, optional quests, and mini-games. It also includes a time system that spans three days, and this cycle must be reset periodically to progress through the game.

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The timeloop mechanism definitely sets this game apart from the rest of the series and it will alienate a lot of people, but there is a sense of sadness, of despair, of unavoidable tragedy in this game that only Breath of the Wild managed to somehow come close to. It's the dark half of Ocarina of Time, it's another direct sequel to a Zelda game that comes after a beloved one and polarized players. I love it with all my heart, but I understand if you don't.

Eu considero o majoras mask melhor do que o ocarina of time, por motivos de opinião propia mesmo, mas mesmo assim eu curto tudo nesse jogo, trilha sonora, jogabilidade e até mesmo a ambientação do jogo é incrivel

The Fierce Deity may be evil, but he’s cool so it’s okay
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is a singular game if there ever was one for reasons most likely already are aware of: rather than merely try to follow in the footsteps of its elder sibling, the game went in a largely new direction. The basic mechanics are mostly lifted from Ocarina of Time, including the movement, physics, swordplay, Ocarina playing, and a lot of items, but those are all layered on top of the new three day system. Every real-world minute is one in-game hour, and once three in-game days have passed, the moon will crash into the land of Termina, killing all of its inhabitants. As Link, the only way to stop it is to rewind time using the Ocarina of Time, seeking out the power to stop the calamity as he hops backwards every 72 hours.
One of the other main new mechanics of Majora’s Mask are Link’s transformation masks, which allow him to take on the form of some of the Zelda series’ other races. In essence each is mostly just a combination of different items from Ocarina of Time, but with the added twist of unique movement mechanics. I don’t have a lot to say about them other than that they are super fun to use—the expanded movement can make other games in the series feel primitive by comparison.
As is the case for every Zelda game, Majora’s Mask contains several dungeons for Link to venture through. While there are only four main dungeons present in Majora’s Mask, they are all well-designed and provoke quite a bit of thought. Each forces the player to consider the overall layout of the temple as they progress, which is something I absolutely love. The difficulty curve also feels very appropriate, which is a nice change of pace when compared to many other Zelda games. The bosses are mostly nothing to write home about, but I do find the boss of the second dungeon to be pretty fun.
Majora’s Mask is also somewhat different from the rest of the Zelda franchise thanks to its emphasis on side content. Aside from Breath of the Wild, most Zelda games have a fairly strict main path to follow (not counting sequence-breaking), with a small amount of side content thrown in for those who want to explore off the beaten path. Though Majora’s Mask still has a linear main quest, it has without a doubt the largest amount of side content in the franchise. There are all sorts of different quests and puzzles to be found, and unlike in other games, many of these reward Link with a fairly useful item: a collectible mask. Each mask has a different function, and while some are fairly useless, collecting them is still worthwhile for the benefits they provide during the game’s final battle. Even beyond that, working through the side content of Majora’s Mask is just enjoyable. The world may be coming to a fiery end, but there’s still time to make people happy.
Majora’s Mask is a fairly eclectic game with its story and characters too. The plot is not too complicated, as can be said for most Zelda games. Link arrives in the strange land of Termina, transformed into a Deku Scrub by Skull Kid (who wears the titular mask). After managing to secure the help of a fairy, Tael, and reverting back to his original form, Link is ordered to retrieve Majora’s Mask from the Skull Kid by the Happy Mask Salesman, preventing Termina’s destruction in the process. Though the story isn’t overly complex, it manages to hit some very strong emotional beats that few Zelda games (and games period) can match.
The emotional strength of Majora’s Mask is further bolstered by the game’s excellent side characters. By learning a bit about them and helping to solve their problems, the player gets to see the wide spectrum of people living in Termina. The game does an excellent job at utilizing the fact that the end of the world is imminent, exploring the wide range of reactions people have: some are depressed, others resigned, and others still in denial. Every character has a schedule they follow for the three day cycle, making each feel far more alive than NPCs present in other Zelda games (and again, in most games). Moreover, since the player has to interact with a lot of side characters to get every mask, there is a much better chance that one will get invested in the various happenings of Termina.
Though the 3DS remaster is largely an improvement visually, the original Majora’s Mask still looks charming. The contrast between light and dark areas is used to great effect, and in general the models look pretty good for an N64 game. I also noticed this time around that a lot of the new animations are quite a bit better than those present in Ocarina of Time.
The other pillar of N64 Zelda presentation is the music, and Majora’s Mask does not falter in the slightest. I will add here (as I did with Ocarina of Time) that the sample quality could definitely have been better, but the quality of the compositions is so great that it’s not much of an issue for me. The soundtrack is filled with memorable songs, each perfectly fitting the game’s foreboding atmosphere. I think I may very slightly prefer Ocarina of Time’s soundtrack, but Majora’s Mask’s music is absolutely incredible, and is without a doubt still one of the best game soundtracks ever composed.
As I said in the beginning, with Majora’s Mask the Zelda team did the impossible—they made a sequel to Ocarina of Time, and it was fantastic. On the whole I do think Ocarina of Time is a little bit better, but that’s like comparing one five star meal to another. What is most impressive about Majora’s Mask is that it fully carves out its own identity despite how heavily it borrows from its predecessor, remaining to this day one of the most unique games Nintendo has ever released. I absolutely recommend it to anyone who enjoys adventure games in the slightest, and honestly I don’t believe the version played matters much. The N64 version does have somewhat superior gameplay, but I would not say the changes are extremely noticeable unless you are a diehard fan of the game. If you somehow have never played Majora’s Mask and are reading this review, please do.
Score: 90/100


Copy paste my Ocarina review. Never finished but it had an impact on me regardless.

ocarina of time 2... with extra moon!