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The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Nintendo 64)

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Description

After having fulfilled Princess Zelda's request and saved the land of Hyrule from a grave danger, Link departs on his horse Epona. In the Lost Woods he is ambushed by Skull Kid, an imp who dons a mysterious mask, accompanied by the fairies Tael and Tatl. Skull Kid turns Link into a small plant-like creature known as Deku Scrub and takes away his horse and his magical ocarina. Shortly afterwards Tatl joins Link and agrees to help him revert to his native form. A meeting with a wandering mask salesman reveals that the Skull Kid is wearing Majora's Mask, an ancient item used in hexing rituals, which calls forth a menacing moon hovering over the land of Termina. Link has exactly three days to find a way to prevent this from happening.

Majora's Mask is a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time. It utilizes the same engine and visual style, and virtually identical interface. The game retains the traditional elements of Zelda games (dungeon exploration, sword fighting, bows, bombs, heart containers, etc.) as well as those introduced in its immediate predecessor, 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.

Also unique to this entry is its time system. The game has an internal clock, with one hour roughly corresponding to one real-life minute. If the player hasn't completed all the objectives within three in-game days, the moon falls on Termina, annihilating everyone and ending the game. However, the player can return to the first day at any time by playing a song on the ocarina, saving all quest-related progress and inventory but losing other items such as ammunition or money (unless stored in a bank). It is also possible to learn melodies that slow the time passage significantly, or advance the clock instantly to the next day. Some events happen only at specific times, and many characters follow their own schedules throughout the three days. Owl statues scattered across the land provide quick-save points and serve as teleporters between areas when discovered.

Collection and usage of masks play an important role in the game. Most of the twenty-four masks that can be found in the game are optional, and usually serve to solve side quests or enhance Link's abilities, allowing him, for example, to run faster or to become invisible. Transformation masks can be used to turn Link into a Deku Scrub, a Goron, or a Zora. Each of these forms has access to unique abilities, many of which are essential to the completion of the game. Among other skills, Deku Link can shoot bubbles from his mouth and float between flowers; Goron Link can operate heavy switches and walk through lava without taking damage, and weigh down heavy switches; Zora Link can swim fast and generate force fields.

Screenshots

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Nintendo 64 One of the disturbing "Mask putting on scenes"
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Nintendo 64 Link atop his trusty steed.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Nintendo 64 The intro screen.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Nintendo 64 Ugogh hoghu uhghohg oguhgh!

Alternate Titles

  • "ゼルダの伝説 ムジュラの仮面" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Zelda no Densetsu: Majora no Kamen" -- Japanese title
  • "Zelda: Majora's Mask" -- In-game title
  • "Zelda Gaiden" -- Early working title
  • "The Legend of Zelda: Mask of Majora" -- Working title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Even Zelda can be transcended אולג 小奥 (171325) 4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars
The pinnacle of pure gaming immersion CrackTheSky (36) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
An innovative and wholly clever yet cumbersome Zelda game. Rensch (203) 4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars
My final review on this game Pixelspeech (955) 3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars
Not quite as fluent or progressive as Ocarina of Time but still enjoyable. AkibaTechno (228) 3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars
An innovative "Zelda" game gamewarrior (5065) 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars

The Press Says

Da Gameboyz Jul 07, 2004 10 out of 10 100
Just Adventure Mar 28, 2003 A 100
Total! (Germany) Nov, 2000 1 out of 6 100
Meristation Nov 16, 2000 9.5 out of 10 95
RPGFan Jun 22, 2002 91 out of 100 91
GamePro (US) Nov 24, 2000 4.5 out of 5 90
Nintendo Difference Nov 17, 2011 18 out of 20 90
Game Critics Nov 28, 2000 9 out of 10 90
GameSpot Oct 25, 2000 8.4 out of 10 84
G4 Tech: Tech TV Nov 25, 2000 8.3 out of 10 83

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Genre Correction 2 אולג 小奥 (171325)
Jul 08, 2013

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The N64 version of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Development

As with Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask was meant to be released for the 64DD add-on, but eventually got crammed into cartridge format.

Ganondorf

Both this game and The Minish Cap are the only Zelda games in which Ganon/Ganondorf doesn't appear, not counting Link's Awakening in which the shape-shifting final boss assumes his form briefly.

Music

The song Ballad of the Wind Fish previously appeared in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.

References

Several persons, items and music from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time return in this game, in either the same or a different role.

References to the game

In the MTV animated series Undergrads, the game's black countdown screen (which greets you at the beginning of each dawn, provided you're not in a dungeon) was parodied with the words "72 HOURS UNTIL THE END OF FRESHMEN YEAR" in the season finale.

Tingle

This game marks the first appearance of Tingle, the strange man who thinks he is a fairy.

Awards

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • February 2006 (Issue #200) - #155 out of 200 of the "Greatest Games of Their Time"
  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #68 in the Top 100 Games of All Time poll
Information also contributed by Big John WV, gamewarrior, Mark Ennis, Tiago Jacques and Zovni

Related Web Sites

Kartanym (10776) added The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Nintendo 64) on Mar 29, 2001
Other platforms contributed by Robond (1388)