If I Could Turn Back Time… And you thought that you were done with the Song of Time.
With the release of the original Nintendo 3DS came a fantastically overhauled version of The Legend if Zelda: Ocarina of Time. While the remake of game was highly praised, it left many fans wondering if Majora’s Mask was ever going to receive the same treatment. Well, the wait is finally over. The Legend if Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D has finally arrived.
Just as Ocarina of Time 3D celebrated the release of the 3DS, Majora’s mask 3D arrived just in time to help players celebrate the arrival of the New 3DS. Although excitement levels are through the roof, does the 3D remake hold up as well as its predecessor? And, more importantly, does it accurately pay tribute to its Nintendo 64 counterpart?
Graphically, Majora’s Mask 3D blows Majora’s Mask out of the water. While there are still plenty of N64-like polygons, the game is very smooth for the most part, and contains many texture updates. Clipping is also very minimal thanks to the game’s overhaul.
All of the game’s music, voice audio, and sound effects are back in full bloom as well. Rather than stripping the audio and re-doing everything, the game largely seems to tote HD-quality versions of what originally had. A definite plus for nostalgia fans.
As mentioned, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D is essentially an upgraded version of the Nintendo 64 game released in 2000 of the same name (minus the tacked on “3D). The game is set sometime after the events of Ocarina Time, continuing the adventures of “Young” Link. The game begins with Link riding through a heavily-forested area on his trusted horse Epona looking for a “lost friend” (just in case you don’t know who it is, I won’t spoil it for you). Mid-journey, the young Hylian bumps into a nameless Skull Kid and his two Fairy friends. The Skull Kid, wearing Majora’s Mask, begins picking on Link, steals Epona. He then Link into a cave which turns out to be a large crevice leading to an entrance into Termina – an alternate reality Hyrule – and starting yet another adventure.
Without spoiling too much more, Skull Kid brings it upon himself to launch the moon into Termina. Being so far away from Earth, however, means that Termina’s demise will not be instant. Rather, Link is given three days to set things straight.
The “three days” concept is actually not something to solely drive the game’s plot. Surprisingly, the game totes a time mechanic, one which adds a lot more danger to the game. Unfortunately for Link, three days isn’t enough to save Termina; not by a long shot. Fortunately, the Hero of Time lives up to his name. By playing the Song of Time, Link is given endless opportunities to put himself back to the beginning of when he first arrived – the “Dawn of the First Day”. Though quite the relief, time traveling does have its setbacks. For starters, Link loses all expendable items such as Deku Nuts and Arrows, as well as all Rupees not stored in Clock Town’s (the central city of Termina) bank. Many events also reset, and everyone will forget anything having to with Link. After all, he just arrived in Termina… again.
To sum the game up, Majora’s Mask 3D is an action-puzzle game, like all games in its series, and is set an all-too-familiar three-dimensional environment, rather than a top-down or side-scrolling one. Players control Link as he goes through the mysterious and diverse land of Termina in order to find its four dungeons. Once at a dungeon, Link must use both strength and wit in order traverse through these labyrinths, to defeat their respective guardians within. Along the way, Link also comes across many useful tools and weapons in order to discover secrets and continue along his path. It’s a little odd how few dungeons the game has; almost to the point of being off-putting. The size of Termina, and the frequent use of time travel however, the game becomes one of relatively adequate length.
While most are familiar with collecting tools in the Legend of Zelda series such as the Bow or Hookshot, Majora’s Mask places equal emphasis on yet another set if objects to collect; masks. Like Link’s equipment, masks provide Link with a multitude of new abilities that can help him along his way. While they are all unique, there are three that are especially important and definitely the most versatile. The Deku, Goron, and Zora Masks actually allow Link to transform into each respective race, allowing access to each of their unique abilities. It’s also nice, as it feels as though the player has four different characters to play with throughout the duration of the game.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D also contains a surprisingly large number of side-quest. While many townsfolk in LoZ games are filler, every person in Clock Town (and most throughout Termina) are individuals. Individuals with problems. Problems that need solving. By Link. All at once. Needless to say, you can’t do everything in one 3-day chunk. Fortunately, you can time travel. While some sub-quests, labeled “Events”, are long and others short, they are all unique and genuinely engaging. Through Events, players are given the chance to learn about the citizens of Termina and, just as importantly, nab some sweet rewards. Stepping away from gameplay for a moment, Events also tend to show players that, though many may seem fine, everyone has problems. Events, and essentially entire game is about overcoming difficulties, and heavily mirrors the VERY real Five Stages of Grief throughout the game’s progression; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Don’t believe it? Take a deeper look.
*Minor Spoiler Warning*
Many in Clock Town are in Denial, that the moon will fall. Everything will be fine in the end, right? Stop worrying, Link.
Denial can’t last forever. Those in Woodfall’s Deku Palace are Angry. They don’t know what to do, but they’re so angry that they HAVE to take their anger out in someone! Stop trying to convince us otherwise, Link.
Anger eventually gives way to Bargaining. Dealing with perpetual Anger is useless, so Gorons turn to Bargaining. They beg and plea to a dead hero for the salvation of Snowhead. He’ll rescue us, Link! Just pray, we don’t need to take action; our hero will return to save us all.
You can’t Bargain with someone who isn’t there. Being unable to do anything leads to Depression; the stage the Zoras in the Great Bay are currently undergoing. My eggs, my future children, are gone, Link. Why help others smile when I myself am no longer capable?
Depression is the second-to-last step, and leads to Acceptance. Most everyone in Ikana Valley has accepted fate, leaving the land empty. Though mostly dead, this place is finally at peace. This acceptance allows Link to continue without noise from those around him.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D is a pinnacle of gaming. Between puzzles, combat, Events, time management, updated graphics, and iconic music and a deeply important underlying theme, MM3D offers something to nearly every kind of gamer. I highly recommend adding this to your collection, regardless of who you are.
Available on: Nintendo 3DS (Reviewed) ; Publisher: Nintendo ; Developer: Nintendo ; Players: 1; Released: February 13, 2015 ; ESRB: E ; MSRP: $39.99