Review by Xman490

"Game of the Decade"

As you can see from the Game of the Decade (2000-2009) contest on this site, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is a great game, and it deserves to be Ocarina of Time's sequel.

Link (or whoever you name him) is a young boy from Hyrule in, as one could guess, search for Navi, the fairy who helped him throughout his quest to save Hyrule from the evil king Ganondorf. He enters the forest and is attacked by a Skull Kid wearing Majora's Mask. The Skull Kid steals his ocarina and his horse and turns Link into a deku scrub (a small, wooden creature). With the power of the Mask, the Skull Kid causes the Moon to crash into Termina (the entire area Link can explore) within three days. When that happens, it essentially means "Game Over", deleting all progress Link has achieved.

As the game progresses, Link meets many, MANY people with different roles in his quest. They provide him with heart pieces (collect four to increase his maximum health), masks (most of which are just used for reactions from people and vocal monsters), and items (like larger containers for collectible items). Most of these people are worried about the falling Moon or troubled by other things, so they must be helped out before they hand over goodies.

Some people add to or explain the main plot involving the Mask, the Skull Kid, and the Four Giants. Link must awaken the giants in the four corners of the world (South, North, West, East, in that order) by defeating monstrous bosses. The giants, at the end, help Link to defeat Majora's Mask.

Link's gameplay is largely unchanged from his adventure in Hyrule. On his adventure, he finds weapons, masks, and other items that he can use against enemies or to help people. Four of the masks transform him into a deku scrub, a goron (rock man), a zora (fish man), and a "fierce deity" with sword beams. He obtains some of the masks by playing The Song of Healing, one of the songs he can play on his ocarina, to himself or other tortured beings. Other songs help him out in other ways, such as a way to travel, summon his horse, and, most importantly, manipulate time (which can be used to save and return to the first day's first moment).

The controls go as such: the A button has him do an action specific to what form he is in, the B button makes him do another action like swing his sword depending on what form he is in, C buttons are used for items, the upper C button is to listen to what Tatl, Link's fairy ally, has to say about a perplexing situation, the control stick moves him, and the Z button centers the camera directly behind Link or fixes the camera and his attention on an enemy or strange obstacle. When using the ocarina, the C buttons and A button play different notes of music.

In most regions, low-quality orchestrated music plays in the background. It may not sound like a recently published game, but the tunes are memorable and enhance the feel of the region Link is at.

Because this game is on the Nintendo 64, the graphics are conjoined polygons that form 3D models. Even with these graphics, the game successfully portrays huge mountains, bodies of water, and buildings. Each of the four sections of Termina has a different theme, from a swamp to a snowy mountain to a bay to a canyon.

The game takes less than ten hours with no attention paid to sidequests (helping people in trouble), depending on how quickly you solve puzzles. Including sidequests, it takes tens of hours.

The first hour or half-hour is definitely not the most fun, as your first three days at the central town are as a deku scrub. The time aspect can be irritating unless you slow and speed up time. Some people have specific hours in which they can present their problems and be helped. The controls can take a while to get used to if you haven't played Ocarina of Time or this game before.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has a compelling story, many interesting characters (though they are copied models from Ocarina of Time), and a strong sense of adventure. All sorts of options present themselves to you as you play and receive items/weapons. The game plays very well and can be replayed several times, though bosses can be re-fought (unlike in Ocarina of Time).

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/04/11

Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Collector's Edition) (US, 10/25/00)

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