Two days ago (on Monday) I did as planned, played Majora’s Mask and actually finished the game.
I tried to help Kafei retrieve the Sun’s Mask but I failed. I did not feel like retrying the whole thing so I headed straight for the Skull Kid and Majora.
The final boss battle was weird, like so many parts of the game has been weird. And I mean weird in a good way. I really like Majora’s Mask, and I think I’d place it among my favorite Zelda games.1 I do however think part of the reason I enjoyed is as much is because it’s different from previous Zelda games, and because I’ve played so many of those. I wouldn’t recommend Majora’s Mask to someone who’s looking to play his/her first Zelda game.
As a side-note, I really couldn’t bring myself to just try the Anju/Kafei side quest and then do the final boss, I also had to help Romani and Cremia. I just love those character’s so much and the battle against the ”question marks”/”aliens” with Romani is so much quirky fun.
That’s a shame since I was so into the game a while ago and I really felt connected to the game world. So this needs to end.
The idea of the perfect day is dead, at least for now. Next time I’ll have an hour for leisure time I’ll play the game again and focus on reuniting Anju and Kafei. After I attempt that, whether I succeed or not, I’ll go for The Skull Kid.
This post contains spoilers for the game Zelda: Majora’s Mask (3D) and the movie Groundhog Day. If you haven’t played the game or watched the movie, you really should.
In Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays an a**hole tv weather man stuck in a time-loop, forced to repeat the same day over and over again. He eventually breaks free, basically by realizing that since he repeats the same day time and time again, and thus has the ability to know everything there is to know about anyone in the small town in which is he is forced to roam, he has the ability to learn all that’s needed for him to help everyone have an as good day as possible. In the end he tries to create ”the perfect day”.
In Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D (and the old N64 version) Link is forced to relive the same three days over and over again. As I play the game I help a lot of people with different things and I am rewarded in various ways, mostly with ”pieces of hearts” or masks. (Most of the helping of these people is done in ”side quests”. Not essential to the completion of the game.) The people I help are happy but once time resets their perils are back. I don’t need to help them again since I’ve already got what I need, but as I immerse myself in the game I have a hard time not feeling sorry for them as their problems come back.
As I think I’m getting closer to the end of the game I’ve gotten the idea to try and create a ”Perfect Day”, or more like three perfect days, for the inhabitants of Thermina. It will likely not change anything about the ending of the game but I will feel accomplished and happy if I managed to do it. The idea is to help as many people as possible with whatever I’ve helped them with in past run-throughs, before I finally head into the Clock Tower and whack Skull Kid.1 I know I will not be able to help every single person in the game in need of help, in a single run-through of the three days. I’ll have to make some prioritization.2
I’m currently in the middle of a trial run for this. In previous rounds I have finished all four temples so technically I could head for Skull Kid right now and finish the game. Still, I’d like to help some more people first and hopefully add them to my list of participants in the ”Perfect Round”. This round I’m trying to help the star-crossed lovers Anju and Kafei by retrieving the Sun Mask that the thief stole from Kafei. This is a quest that I have not completed before.
For this round I’ve made the following list of things to do and people to help. (Checkmarks indicate what’s already done this far in this round, around midday of the first day.)
People to help
Anju and Kafei
Save Romani from the cow-sucking space aliens.
Protect Cremia(?), Romani’s sister, on her route to Clocktown.
Complete the full trading of Business Scrubs’ trading lots.
Protect the old lady carrying bombs through North Clock Town at night.
Help the girl whose dad’s been turned into a Gibdo by removing the spell from him.
Things to do
Finish Woodfall Temple, thereby helping the Deku and the Monkeys. ✓
Finish Snowhead Temple. thereby helping the Goron.
I think facing Skull Kid is the way I’ll take the game to an end, but I don’t know for sure. ↩
Perhaps a more skilled player than me could actually help every single person in need of help in one run-through. Perhaps not. ↩
This is not to be considered a walkthrough of Majora’s Mask 3D. There are plenty of other great resources for that online. Instead it’s a ”journal” of sort for me while I play through the game. I wanted to document it for myself and figured, ”why not put it on the blog? It helps keep the lights on here”.
This was a pure ”collection run”. I didn’t make any attempt at anything that furthered my main objective in the game. Instead I started by going to the Swamp Shooting Gallery and winning first price; a Big Quiver.
I then spent my time searching for some pieces of hearts. I found one on top of a tree just outside the Swamp Shooting Gallery area. I then headed north of Clocktown and found a hole in the ground. Inside it I faced two Dodongos and after beating them I was rewarded with another (my seventh) heart-piece.
Once night fell I found Kamaro, the ghost dancer north of Clocktown and had him teach me his dance and giving me his mask. I then used the mask to teach the Rosa Sisters from the Gorman Troupe his dance and was rewarded with yet another piece of heart.
During the first night I also headed to North Clocktown and helped the old lady who sells bombs to fend off a thief. This resulted in me acquiring the Blast Mask.
Later I once again went to the Astral Observatory and found a Moon Tear that I traded with the Deku Scrub infront of the clocktower for a Land title deed which I then used during the second night inside the Stock Pot Inn. I mysterious hand reaches out of the bottom of the bathroom asking for paper. I handed it the Title deed and was given yet another piece of heart in return.
During the second night I also listened to Guru-Guru’s confession at the Laundry Pool and was rewarded with the Bremen Mask. During the last day of this run I then headed to Romani Ranch and used the Bremen Mask to help Grog’s cuccoos grow. For this he gave me the Bunny Hood Mask which I’ve used a lot since then as it enables me to run faster.
Lastly I headed back to Woodfall Temple and killed the boss again so so I could retry following the butler in the Deku Shrine. With the help of the Bunny Hood Mask, this was no problem at all. Once I came to the finish line he gave me the Mask of Scent.
Finally I went to the Tourist Center to enter my pictograph of the Deku King in the contest but was told the competition was over, once again. The boat hag offered me another competition instead; target-shooting. I won that competition and was given a Bottle as a reward.
Last week Nintendo released ”The Legend of Zelda – Majora’s Mask 3D”, a remake of the Nintendo 64-game ”Majora’s Mask” for the Nintendo 3DS. Some time ago1 I bought the N64-version and I still haven’t played it through to the end. It seems my current lifestyle just doesn’t allow me to occupy the tv for hours on end. It does however allow me to play short bursts of handheld games here and there. So when I heard about the 3DS-remake I went giddy with anticipation.
I’ve now played Majora’s Mask 3D for a couple of hours and I’ve got some early opinions about it. If you’ve never played it, neither for the N64 nor the 3DS, you can still read most of this post without having anything important spoiled.
The look and feel
The story and gameplay of these old N64 Zelda games remain very engaging to this day, but the look of them does not transcend time as well as one would want. The 3DS version fixes most of this. Where a lot of details in the original (rocks, patches of grass etc.) looks like a single boxy polygon, the 3DS version really gives you a whole lot more depth to the experience. Details are sharp and the world seems a whole lot more realistic and believable, without losing any of its wonderful fantasy setting.
Playing the game
Majora’s Mask is a great game! Wether you play it on an N64 or the 3DS it is a really fun experience. The story is compelling, the puzzles just hard enough to make you slightly frustrated at times, the characters are well known to you if you, like me, has spent way too much time playing The Ocarina of Time.
Everything about the controls that was good about the original is equally good on the 3DS and some things feel better.
The concept of time is very important in Majora’s Mask. This is just as true in the 3DS version. The way time is used in the game led to a very odd and confusing saving mechanism in the original version. This has been smoothed out a lot in the 3DS remake. This does not make the 3DS-version ”dumbed down”, it just makes it less confusing.
Want to know more? See the following footnotes for details that might contain spoilers.2
Do I think you should by it?
Of course that depends on so many things about you that I know nothing about. But if you are like me, a grown-up geek with a well-paying job and disposable income, a love of Zelda-games and some time to kill, the answer is YES GOD DAMNIT, YES!!!!!
But I don’t own a 3DS
I bought my 3DS for The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Even if that had been the only game I played on it, it would totally have been worth its price. I’m sure the same is true for Majora’s Mask3.
So how far have I’ve come
I’ve just finished the first real dungeon. On my never-finished run on the N64 I made it through three out of four dungeons, so I have a pretty good idea about what to do next. I’ll likely blog a lot more about the game as I make my way forward.
Turns out it was quite a long time ago. I thought it was in the recent year but when I looked up the old blog post I realized it was in 2013. More than a year and a half ago! ↩
In the original version there are two ways to save:
1. You play the ”Song of Time” and return to the dawn of the first day. You’ll lose you’re inventory and the state of the land will return to the way it was at the beginning of the game. Collected masks and treasures will remain in your possession.
2. You find an owl status and tell it to save and quit. When you start playing again you will be back at that very place, that very time. However if you quit the game now, everything since the last time you played ”Song of Time” will be discarded, unless you once again quit by talking to an owl statue.
This is needlessly complicated for something that should just work. In the 3DS version you can still reset the time by playing ”Song of Time”. However when you encounter an owl statue you can save, but without being forced to quit the game. There are also more saving points placed here and there in the game. These are not owl statues so you can’t ”soar” to them, but they are fully functioning save points. ↩
Again, if you have disposable income. Don’t buy things you can’t really afford! ↩