The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Review
Nine years later, Majora's Mask creeps out of the darkness and onto the Virtual Console.
Termina is a highly engrossing world that has ample back history sewn into it. Not as expansive as Hyrule, it is a demonstrably quality over quantity game. Every part of the land has a real purpose that is only revealed over time. Designed like a compass, each polarity has its own unique land, race and dungeon, all overflowing with gorgeous detail and unique characters.
This also hints at one of Majora’s shortcomings. Comparing this to Ocarina’s ample supply of dungeons, Majora’s mask offers only four, each much larger than any seen in any Zelda and all with much more character. The time taken to access these dungeons requires much more exploration and adventure than before. Events and tasks are set up along paths to make you earn your way into these dungeons. Of course, like most recent Zelda’s, your abilities will eventually gain you the power of transportation, which comes in handy when you’re in a race against the clock which you will be.
The three-day countdown is a constant element. It’s not something that can be stopped or fought with but it adds another level of depth to the game. All NPC characters live their lives in clock work, tons of events can happen during precise minutes all over Termina, there’s no way you’ll catch them all in one 72 in-game hour experience. The way you play will change events through the three days, but if you make a fatal mistake you can always rewind time back to day 1 and start with a clean slate. The downside to this is you’ll loose all recyclable items including rupees behind. It’s a minor gripe that just takes some getting used to.
The game plays a lot like Ocarina of time, but runs on a slightly improved engine. Z targeting makes a welcome return and the swordplay is almost identical. One of the major introductions to Majora’s Mask is the use of masks that allow Link to transform into a Deku, Goron or Zoro. Each race has it’s own skills that change gameplay in serious ways. Deku Link might be weedy, but Goron Link can barrel roll his way around Termina and Zoro Link can swim at a much faster pace than normal Link. Each with different own strengths and weaknesses, characters and events will play out difficulty depending on which disguise you wear. There are many more masks that won’t alter Link’s form but they will give him minor abilities for unlocking hidden heart pieces and items. Whilst they only have minor purposes, they can be hilarious to use and there’s a good reward for collecting all of them.