"I haven't played this game in 2 years. I still remember it vividly, its *that* good."

It was a cold Christmas morning when I unwrapped the packaging for The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. I plugged it into my console, fired up the baby, and fell into a coma. Christmas dinner wouldn't stir me, relatives bearing gifts just distracted me from my true calling: living that game. From the moment where it started, I knew I would enjoy this. Link was back, and the graphics were smoother, everything faster, and this was a whole new world just waiting to be explored. Ooo...yeah. =D

Its been said that this game is nowhere near as excellent as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and whilst I probably agree, I just don't think we should care that much. Sure, Ocarina of Time is better because it made a much bigger impact on us than Majora's Mask ever could. The leap from the previous Zelda game was so huge when Ocarina of Time was released, that Majora's Mask would have to shove you inside the game, make you wet when it rained, etc. just to be as good as the previous leap. Personally, I think Majora's Mask is a far better game, but we were all so used to this new way of playing Zelda games, that this game didn't impress as much as Ocarina did.

Gameplay
Its the classic Zelda format in Ocarina of Time, brought over now to a new game. This game is as easy to control as the last one was, perhaps even more so. You can attack with your sword with B, interact with the environment with A, and you can assign items to the 3 lower C-buttons for ease of use. Although Navi had left your side at the end of Ocarina of Time, a new fairy has come along to help you use Ocarina of Time's most innovative feature, the Z-Targeting System™. Obviously, you activate it with Z. By pressing (and perhaps holding down) Z, you can focus on any nearby enemies or objects, for easy aiming when interacting with them. You can use it to talk to people far away, aim arrows at flying bats, throw a boomerang at a faraway switch, and dozens more uses.

You start this game in a different form, as a Deku Sprout, a weird little plant creature with a huge snout and scary, red, glowing eyes. In this form you have different abilities to normal Link, some which give you advantages over Link, and others which disadvantage you. As a Deku Sprout, you can shoot bubbles and you can also use a spinning attack. Once you have escaped from your Deku-like prison, you can use a mask that is created to transform into a Deku Sprout at will. Later in the game, you also find masks to become a Goron, a huge rock-like creature, or a Zora, kind of like an amphibious human.

On the subject of masks, there are 24 in this game, all with different uses, such as making you faster, or giving you the ability to dance, which is always fun, believe me. You will find them over the course of traveling around the world of Termina, braving the dangers of four dungeons, in the hope of waking up giants, the only creatures who can save the world.

You destroy monsters in many ways, the most of common of which is just a good old slashing from your sword, and you can gain items from the common enemy, such as rupees (the currency of Termina and Hyrule), bombs, arrows, magic potions, etc. You can also take them out with magic, or many items that you acquire in dungeons or on mini-quests.
10 out of 10

Story
Of course! I've done so much of this review without mentioning why the giants can save the world. As you start off in the game, Link is traveling through the forests of Hyrule on his trusty horse, Epona. Hes in search of a new friend (fairy), now that Navi has left him, his mission to save Hyrule over. A skull kid comes along and steals Epona and his Ocarina, taking off with them. Link puts up a fight, grabbing onto the side of the horse, but soon falling off. This is where you come into the game. You chase Epona, and soon fall down a hole. You find yourself in front of the skull kid, wearing a weird mask. He turns you into a Deku Sprout, and runs off with Epona, laughing. As he leaves though, one of his fairies is left behind, named Tatl. She is forced to join up with you, in hope of finding her brother, Tael.

You come out of the underground, to find yourself in a town. As you look up, you see the moon here is huge, and has a weird face on it. It appears that the moon is slowly falling towards the ground, and will crush the town, called Clock Town, the main town of an alternate reality, named Termina. You soon find a way to get rid of your Deku form, and you confront Skull Kid on top of the windmill 3 days later. By this time, the moon is about to fall onto the world, and Skull Kid is using the power of his mask to pull it ever closer. You gain your Ocarina back with some quick thinking on Tatl's part, and you play the only song you remember, the Song of Time, taught to you by Princess Zelda years ago. The Goddess of Time hears you playing it, and returns you to three days before. You soon find out that you must awaken giants, the only people who can rescue the planet. So, go, young Link, save the planet, once again!
9 out of 10 (Not quite as good as Ocarina of Time...)

Graphics
Wow. They put in the expansion pack for a reason here. Its essentially the same graphics as Ocarina of Time, but brushed up. The main interface has a tiny section at the top where you can see your life meter, current items assigned, etc, as the majority of the screen is the world of Termina. In Majora's Mask, there are no longer any premade backgrounds to make up house interiors, everything inside houses are fully 3D, made from polygons.
9 out of 10

Audio/Music
Many of the tunes in Majora's Mask are the same as Ocarina of Time, or remixed versions of earlier Zeldas. Not that thats a bad thing of course; Koji Kondo is a musical genius, who captures the spirit of the area well when writing music.
Some slight speech in this game, and all the sounds of environment interaction sound realistic. You can almost smell the chickens (Cuccos).
10 out of 10

Replay Value
Unfortunately, this is where the game falls short. Although there is a lot to do in this game (and believe me, there is a damn lot to do in this game), there is no real reason to replay it. So much in fact, that I sold this game once I had completed it fully. While you are playing this game, you will enjoy it, however. =)

Pros
+ Its Ocarina of Time, but better, with a new story! Woo!
+ Its interesting how during the three days everyone has exact routes that you can time things by.

Cons
- Non-existent replay value.
- Not quite as innovative as Ocarina of Time.

Overall Score is 9 out of 10.
Have a made you want to buy this game? Good. My work here is done. If I haven't, I'll give you a Mars Bar...go on. You'll thank me when you're 80 and you feel your life is complete...


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/27/03, Updated 04/27/03


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