Review by mmLink24
"A beautiful, fresh, Zelda Game"
The Legend of Zelda is a very famous title. Like Final Fantasy, if you haven't heard of Zelda, you haven't been living on this planet. The Legend of Zelda stars a young child by the name of Link. The Legend of Zelda has a brilliant history, but the Zelda games I've played all revolved around defeating Ganon, and saving the world. In Majora's Mask, Ganon takes a break, and a new villain pops up. The moon threatens to crush the world of Termina in only three days while the skull kid is causing havoc around town. So who is the real villain?
Sure enough, when I first bought this game, I was wondering: How does this moon system work? Anyone can tell that the moon poses a constant threat against existence in Termina. In three days, the moon will break the final barrier of pressure, and with the aid of gravity, come destroying all within its path. And there I was slumped. Now isn't three days a bit too fast for anyone's liking? But never fear, Link always has his handy ocarina with him. Link has the ability to go back in time when the moon is about to fall. Saving will be a bit more complex in this Zelda game. To save, you must play a certain song which will teleport you three days back.
So your mission should be quite clear by now: To save Termina, just like Link has saved Hyrule in the past. Or is it the real mission? Many secrets lie in this game, and only a play through will answer your questions.
At first I was totally confused when I read the instruction book. I didn't understand the three day concept, and going back in time. But, it is actually quite simple. You only need to play about 20 minutes to get the hang of the game. There is also another thing to note. The masks. Throughout his journey, Link will gain a whole collection of masks, all serving different purposes. But, there are the transformation masks. This transforms Link's body whenever he dons them. The first time you put the mask on, there will be an exciting movie about 3 seconds long showing Link's reaction to the presence of the mask. However, it lessons in excitement after a while, and may even create tediousness. However, that can be avoided by pressing ''A'', or ''B'' when the movie is running.
The masks really add to the game. By using masks, Link can impersonate a popular Zora, a rolling Goron, and many more. With the mask's addition, the number of items can be reduced because the use of the item can be transferred into one of the transformation mask's abilities. This is a relieving feature considering the past Zelda games had +10 items to use, but only three C buttons to execute them. While donning a certain mask, certain people in Clocktown will say certain things. This creates a world of curiosity, and fun.
The controls in a Zelda game are like none other. Majora's Mask brings back the Z-targeting technique made so brilliantly in Ocarina of Time, and with the addition of masks, we could say everything was perfect. Termina is big world, and Clocktown is a complex city hosting people with schedules of their own. Sometimes you may feel that traversing Termina is too slow. Worry not, certain features and masks will come along, clearing up almost all tediousness that once existed. The three C-buttons near the top of the controller are for your three items/masks to fill in. The controls in Majora's Mask are so great, yet so simple as well.
The last feature which has made this game so unique and fresh are the people. First, there is the two fairies, tatl, and teal. These aren't like any fairy, and they're definitely not like Navi, from Ocarina of Time. These two fairies have a personality, especially tatl. And, the other characters of the game also have great personalities of their own. The people of Clocktown has a life. They have a schedule, a goal, and they have feelings. And because they have all these things, you will have a convenient little booklet to keep track of all the citizens of Clocktown. But, not only does the booklet keep track of the citizens, it also records the deeds you have served for them. Even if you never liked helping people in real life, you will be surprised at how it feels to perform some deeds for others. In Majora's Mask, you will get the opportunity to eavesdrop on other conversations. Sometimes these conversations get very funny, and other times they are touching. In the past, the Non-playable characters were...just..there. Sometimes they helped you, but most of the time they were just like any other feature there was in the game. Sometimes, a non-playable character was only as significant as a tree. But here, the non-playable characters come to life; they have problems, and they need your help. Link becomes more of a hero when he not only saves Termina from the moon, but also helps the people.
Majora's Mask is very similar to the world we live in now. Time runs, people have a schedule, and only certain things happen at certain times. When does the thief come to town? When does that shop open again? Everything is very realistic, and events are no longer based upon night and day.
When you go back in time, you will lose things like, money, bombs, arrows, and anything that can be recovered again. At first, I was disappointed to hear this. But, Majora's Mask has a solution for everything. There is a bank. In this bank, you can deposit as much money as you wish to, and it will never be lost. And if you are low on something, there will be owl statues all around the place. Surrounding the owl statues are arrows, bombs, and any other supply you need.
The side quests have been really bumped up in this game. Now, there are many, many, side quest for you to try, including the extremely fun Goron races. You will never be bored. If you re-enter a dungeon you had already beaten, you can fight the boss again by going to a little portal which teleports you directly to the boss. This game is known for its side quests because the people of Clocktown need your help. Many side quests also take place outside of Clocktown. There are a whole collection of swords which you can obtain by upgrade. Now, there is an increased number of bottles as well, to serve your needs. This game is fun, and you will never get bored of it.
The story may seem quite simple at first, with your only goal to stop the moon. But, at the end, you will find it's more than just saving Termina. There is a lot a emotion at the end which I will not spoil for you. What else has Link come the Termina to do? That question will surely be answered if you play the game.
Graphics and Sound= 9.6
The graphics are simply amazing. Of coarse, this is because of the aid of the expansion pak, a necessary feature to play the game. From looking out at the vast ranch, to the endless sea, to the texture, and the sight of everything else, you will be amazed at the effort poured in for the graphics.
The sound and the music is almost equally amazing. Nintendo has composed a lot more music pieces, including the beautiful music of Clocktown. There was no voice acting in the game, but that will suit you fine. The characters will give different grunts, shouts, laughs, and other noises to accompany written speech. Don't worry about those. They were done nicely. However, there is a certain theme you will hear when visiting a new place. That theme is re-used and re-arranged four times. Even Though it does add to the gameplay, and the graphics, making the scenery come alive, they should not have re-used and re-arranged it so many times. But, despite that, the music is wonderful overall, and serves its purpose to add to the experience of the game.
Replay and Playtime= 9.7
There are only four dungeons in Majora's Mask. Some people think that makes the game short, but that is debatable. While it is correct that Majora Mask's four dungeons does not compare to Ocarina of Time's 8, Majora Mask's dungeons are all very long. The first three dungeons in Ocarina of Time are so short I don't even consider them dungeons. Another factor that increases Majora's Mask's playtime are the events that occur before entering a dungeon. It is unlike Ocarina of Time, where all you have to do is enter the dungeon. In Majora's Mask, a dungeon is inaccessible until you have the right mask, or the right song. And in order to lay your hands on the right mask, or right song, you will have to undergo many trials, and sometimes a mini dungeon. So, this game is by no means short. It is, I agree lacking a bit in total play time when compared to Ocarina of Time, but that difference is very little, and totally erased when you consider that Majora's Mask is also a lot harder than Ocarina of Time.
Earlier, it was mentioned that there are numerous side quests in Majora's Mask. You can even re-fight defeated bosses, and play an endless number of mini games. The replay value of this game is not as great as a multi-player game, but within the Zelda series it takes lead.
Final Score= 10
The presentation, gameplay, play time, graphics, and sound all come together to form a perfect 10/10. I have no regrets on spending 100 dollars on the game and expansion pak, and you will not regret it either. This game is not for rental. It is for a buy. Even now I recall the joy of owning the best Zelda Game Ever.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 08/14/03
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