The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is the sixth installment in the series series which released on the Nintendo 64. It was radically different from Ocarina of Time and a system favorite for many. Like most Zelda games it sold like wild fire hitting 314,000 in just the first week of release in Japan. Unlike Ocarina of Time, it required the N64 Expansion Pak. It was released in 1998 and contained 4 MB of RDRAM bumping up the total system memory to a staggering 8MB. It’s amazing we now have home consoles that come with 8192MB of RAM.
Majora’s Mask begins after Link has defeated Ganondorf in what was one of the most epic last battles in a game. In Majora’s Mask players are sent back in time. Link starts his journey with his trusted horse and companion Epona. Gamers have to look for a lost friend in possible danger. Not far in to his journey, Link is attacked and knocked off his horse by a strange masked character known as the Skull Kid. The Skull Kid is accompanied by two fairies known as Tatl and Tael. In short order, this troublemaker not only steals Link’s Ocarina but then also runs off with his horse. Link did manage to grab a hold of Epona but is quickly thrown off and continues the chase on foot. He is eventually lead to a large tree where he accidentally falls into a large hole.
Things only get worse for Link here. At the bottom, the Skull Kid continues to rustle Link’s jimmies by turning him into a Deku Scrub through powers of his mask. Skull Kid runs off but in haste left Tael which recruits Link to help navigate the labyrinth of caves and find Tatl. Players eventually make their way through and come across the Happy Mask Salesman. This is another character that can give you the willies.
The Happy Mask Salesman has the ability to return Link back to his usual form. The catch is he requests something in return which is Majora’s Mask. Gamers eventually exit the caves and arrive at Clock Town. The town is bustling with excitement in preparation for a festival called the Carnival of Time. It is quickly learned by Link that certain doom is upon them. Looking up to the sky reveals the creepiest moon that has ever graced a video game. With each passing minute, it grows closer to Termina threatening to crush its very existence.
In 3 days time all will be lost. Once Link locates Skull Kid and retrieves the Ocarina, it can help him if he plays the Song of Time. To overcome the evil and save the town and all that live within it, Link is instructed he is to travel to all four regions of Termina and rescue those in need. These outside regions included mountains, swamps and even the ocean where Link would utilizes the Zora Mask to enable special swimming abilities. Masks of course are big part of the game adding a new dynamic to the series but players still get to use traditional Zelda items such as bombs, arrows and music as they did in Ocarina of Time.
Majora’s Mask certainly took a different route from the usual Zelda formula. It was far more dark and the story was vastly different from what gamers were expecting. With that, you had players that absolutely loved these changes and others that preferred the more traditional presentation and story. It lacked the bright colors and setting in Ocarina of Time. However, everything from the towns to the character models were greatly improved thanks to the higher polygon count made possible by the increased system memory.
A remake for the Nintendo Wii U has been teased and rumored. Many gamers haven’t had a chance to play it and I would personally love to play through this adventure again remastered for HD.