“You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?”
Two years after the 1998 release of the popular Legend of Zelda title Ocarina of Time, we meet Link again in a strange land known as Termina in Majora’s Mask.
We are introduced to the inseparable duo, Link and Epona, in the lost woods. It is here that we meet the true villain of the game, Skull Kid. Or so we think. The real threat is Majora’s Mask itself, which was stolen from the Happy Mask Salesman by Skull Kid and his two fairy friends. When you come in contact with the Happy Mask Salesman for the first time (roughly 15 minutes into the game), he asks you to find the mask and return it to him. But here’s the catch: you only have three days to bring it to him. What’s going to happen on the third day, you ask? The moon will fall, and the world will end. Yes, that’s right. The too-small-to-actually-destroy-more-than-a-town moon that’s staring down on you right now. With a face. That’s creepy. So, you only have three days to complete all of your tasks. But lucky for you, you can go right back to day one whenever you want! Just make sure you finish whatever you were doing before then… or else.
Majora’s Mask brings us to four different lands that are very unique to the game itself, but re-introduces some of the characters we have all come to know. We’ve got Koume and Kotake, the bosses from the Spirit Temple in Ocarina of Time, who have a much more friendly composure in this game. The Goron tribe makes an appearance in the chilling snowpeak mountains, and the Zora’s and pirates show up in the Great Bay. And of course, we can’t forget characters such as Epona, Romani, Gorman, Guru-Guru, and the Happy Mask Salesman himself. However, the game introduces some new characters as well, like the people of Ikana Valley, the Deku Tribe, and the four Guardians that are trapped within each temple. The Zelda series never fails to create freakish or bizarre looking characters.
But, what really makes this game stand out from the rest is its side quests. In order to complete the game the easiest way possible (in my opinion), you must collect all twenty masks. In doing this, you will receive the Fierce Deity mask before facing the final boss, which ultimately makes him 100 times easier to beat. Whether you want to take the easy road or not, I recommend collecting all of the masks because doing the side quests make the game a lot more enjoyable then just going from temple to temple. (I will admit, I’ve been guilty of doing that before.) But, if you do decide to play that way, I recommend that you at least attempt to complete the Anju and Kafei quest, because it is one of the most intricate quests of any Zelda game I have played, and it is truly is rewarding bringing a couple back together before the world ends.
Overall, playing this game is a lot of fun and completely worth all of the stress and frustration ensued by time constraints. As creepy and weird as it is, you will find yourself not able to put the controller down. Majora’s Mask is easily one of my favorite games in the Legend of Zelda series, so if you haven’t already played it, what better time to start than over Christmas break. That’s what I’m doing. Happy Holidays everyone!