Posted by Nonused (210 posts) -

Hey, team. This is something I've been wanting to try for a while now, but I haven't really had the time. Now that I have the time, lemme give you the lowdown. I've been getting the urge to go through some games that came out when I was a kid that I never really had the chance to play, whether it be because I was enjoying the bliss of youth or because my parents thought them damned videogames would turn me into an unhinged psychopath. Dodged a bullet there. But they can't stop me now, and I've been digging through videogame history to find some hits that I can enjoy/hate.

I decided to start with Majora's Mask. Maybe that was an odd choice. Based on all the praise Ocarina of Time has gotten, you'd think that I would've went for that. Well, I didn't. You don't know me. Regardless, I played through (what I would assume to be) two-thirds of Majora's and have come to the resounding conclusion that it's...ehhhhhhh.

Maybe I should start with my history with the Legend of Zelda series. I played Twilight Princess back when it came out. That game was super boring, and whoever came up with the idea that switching to wolf form was fun should be dragged into an alley to be verbally assaulted. The graphics were neat and stuff, but wagging that Wiimote® around always made me feel dirty. I thought that Phantom Hourglass game was the bomb, but stopped at the point where some asshole merchant wouldn't give me an integral ship part unless I screamed, "Give it to me!" into the DS microphone. I don't care how badly I need the part, that shit ain't gonna fly on an airplane.

"Yes! I want it so bad!"

So I moved on with my life, avoiding Zelda for about three years or so. Three years without well-to-do grass, half-naked rock men and excitable fairies. I dunno how I lasted so long. I got that itch again recently and decided I'd try the lesser loved Zelda. Not just 'cause I'm outside of the mainstream, man, but also because of how it related to my childhood. There is no way in hell that I could've played Majora's as a kid; it was way too scary for my elementary mind. I was also a pussy. Still am, really.

Entering this game with a more adult perspective has definitely helped absorb all the creepy. Like that mask salesman. Dear God. I'm sorry I didn't get your mask, okay? But it's clear you're not mentally stable enough to handle that kind of responsibility. And, obviously, the moon incites an almost Pavlovian sort of weeping. He certainly provides plenty of reason to rewind that clock. Speaking of which...

I really like the mechanics of Majora...in theory. I love that it tries to make sense of all the different design choices that go into making the game (the owls acting as save points, time rewinding itself to start the adventure over). However, eventually, it runs into the Far Cry 2 issue of becoming more frustrating than practical. Sometimes I wanna be able to quit out of a game without having to worry about finding a goddamn owl statue. Things come up, sometimes I have to turn of the machine. And I sure as hell am not rewinding that clock to save.

Hello, owld friend.

Which brings up the issue I'm sure many have with the game. The retreading of the same ground can be maddening. I wonder if this is a Zelda staple, though. Again, I ain't no vet, so maybe that's some of the appeal. I will say, at least that the environments that you have to spend a lot of time in are worth exploring and have some fantastic art design. Really, the game looks great all around, and I don't mind wandering off to admire the scenery at some points. It's just...don't obscure the progression of the game so much that I have to dig my way out of the crop circles I've found myself in.

Majora's, much like the other two Zelda games I've played, has no problem keeping necessary information away from the player. Not as far as the mechanics go, I mean to get through the game. I don't mind if that's for side stuff, that's fine. You can keep that stuff secret all you want. But for the love of all that Eiji Aounuma holds dear, don't hide the essential path of your goddamn videogame.

I almost stopped after the Goron Elder part. My god, I couldn't figure that out for the life of me. And why should I be able to? Who in their right mind would go around punching giant snowballs (whose destruction requires you to be in Goron form, mind you) in search of an old man who is thought to be at the top of a mountain? I'll answer that question so you don't have to. Not me! Here's the worst part, though. After looking up online what I needed to do to progress, the left side of my brain deflated due to the realization that I had totally wrecked the snowball the elder was in earlier. It's just, his scripting hadn't gone through because the events that triggered said scripting hadn't occurred at that point. I fumed so hard that my roommate had me evicted.

Looking back on Majora's Mask, though, I can't help but give it kudos for trying. It was a daring move on Nintendo's part to put this game out, especially if their target demographic was kids. I'm definitely not gonna forget this game, and I'd imagine that it left an impression on those young'uns of my generation that got to play it. However, it's time for me to part ways with it. Fuck the Goron Elder.

No, wait! I take it back!

What do you think of Majora's Mask, though? Love it? Hate it? Why? Any games from your childhood that you wish you hadn't missed out on?

P.S.: I like when they totally ripped off Dark Souls.

It all makes sense now.

#1 Posted by Video_Game_King (35795 posts) -

@nonused said:

I thought that Phantom Hourglass game was the bomb, but stopped at the point where some asshole merchant wouldn't give me an integral ship part unless I screamed, "Give it to me!" into the the DS microphone.

I know exactly what you're talking about, but I still like to imagine that situation going down exactly like this.

#2 Edited by FierceDeity (358 posts) -

"It's just, his scripting hadn't gone through because the events that triggered said scripting hadn't occurred at that point. I fumed so hard that my roommate had me evicted."

This isn't true - I just replayed Majora's Mask this past month, and I can definitively say that he'll pop out of that snow ball no matter where you are in the scripting. Actually I remember when I first played the game a decade ago I found him before I could get his song (need Goron mask). You probably just didn't find him originally. If you approach close enough to his snow ball you'll actually notice that Tatl will turn green over it, indicating an NPC.

It also wouldn't make any sense for you to be unable to find him early, considering the whole time travelling thing that resets everyone.

#3 Edited by Slag (3897 posts) -

@nonused: If you've only played Majora's Mask, Phantom Hourglass and Twilight Princess.

You haven't really given the Zelda series a fair shake.

Try a Link to the Past I think you might like that one a lot better.

That being said, the Zelda games come from a different school of thought I guess than you are used to. This might be a generational thing as I've heard a lot of younger gamers (well younger than me anyway) say similar things to what you expressed.

Back in the day finding the way forward was an essential part of games and big part fo the fun. Pre-interent people would constantly be swapping tips and tricks to beat games. One thing I appreciate about Japanese games like Dark Souls is they still have this design aesthetic. I personally don't like how hand-holdy games have gotten, it removes a lot of sense of advneture and sense of accomplishment for me

I don't remember what I did at the Goron Elder part I remember never having to use a guide to clear Majora's Mask. Usually the clues are readily discoverable if you are familiar with series tropes.

#4 Posted by Nonused (210 posts) -

@fiercedeity: I'll have you know that my eviction is nothing but the truth.

Really, though, I have no idea then. I just remember punching a snowball earlier in the level and returning a bit afterwards to find the elder within that same snowball. Regardless, I think hiding the man who progresses the game in a snowball (of which there are many) is silly, especially when you're given clues that he's heading for the mountain.

@video_game_king: Y'know what? If Phantom Hourglass had me spitting game into the mic as opposed innuendos, I would have liked that game a lot more.

#5 Posted by FierceDeity (358 posts) -

@nonused said:

@fiercedeity: I'll have you know that my eviction is nothing but the truth.

Really, though, I have no idea then. I just remember punching a snowball earlier in the level and returning a bit afterwards to find the elder within that same snowball. Regardless, I think hiding the man who progresses the game in a snowball (of which there are many) is silly, especially when you're given clues that he's heading for the mountain.

@video_game_king: Y'know what? If Phantom Hourglass had me spitting game into the mic as opposed innuendos, I would have liked that game a lot more.

Oh, right! Actually, if you free him from the snowball and talk to him as normal Link he'll blabber about not believing you're real and walk away pitifully. This may sound silly, but it was actually a bit touching for me to watch that poor, blind old Goron limping away in the freezing cold, If you watch him for long enough, he'll freeze into solid ice, similar to that other Goron. If you leave the area, he'll be in the snow ball again.

#6 Posted by Nonused (210 posts) -

@slag: My friend's going through Link to the Past right now and has nothing but nice things to say. I'll definitely give it a shot.

And, yeah, I get that this game was designed with and around a different school of thought. I kind of got that from Twilight Princess (although, to a much lesser extent). I also really liked the lack of hand holding up 'til that point. Yeah, too much hand holding can be bad, but too little can drive people insane. Well, people like me at least. I'm pretty stupid.

I love Dark Souls, too. But, I feel that it's so far on the other side of the spectrum that you can't really predict what it wants you to do. So you try everything. In Majora's I was constantly thinking, "Surely they don't want me to do that, right?" Whereas, in Dark Souls I'd think, "Oh, of course it's that obtuse! I love you Dark Souls!"

#7 Posted by Nonused (210 posts) -

@fiercedeity: Oh, okay. Thanks for clearing that up! Drove me mad when I thought it was 'cause I hadn't triggered the event.

#8 Edited by Slag (3897 posts) -

@nonused said:

@slag: My friend's going through Link to the Past right now and has nothing but nice things to say. I'll definitely give it a shot.

And, yeah, I get that this game was designed with and around a different school of thought. I kind of got that from Twilight Princess (although, to a much lesser extent). I also really liked the lack of hand holding up 'til that point. Yeah, too much hand holding can be bad, but too little can drive people insane. Well, people like me at least. I'm pretty stupid.

I love Dark Souls, too. But, I feel that it's so far on the other side of the spectrum that you can't really predict what it wants you to do. So you try everything. In Majora's I was constantly thinking, "Surely they don't want me to do that, right?" Whereas, in Dark Souls I'd think, "Oh, of course it's that obtuse! I love you Dark Souls!"

yeah give it chance if you get ahold of copy. If you still don't like Zelda after that, well then you just don't like Zelda.

That's the thing about Dark Souls is that design style used to par for the course especially in the NES era. I'm with Vinny I don't think Dark Souls outside of a boss fight or too is actually that tough.

That experiment with everything mechanic used to be really common. And I think that's a large part of why gamers today find it tough.

The very first Legend of Zelda was heavily that way, especially in the second quest. The gloves came off in the second quest. There was literally no in game clues where some of the dungeons were unlike the first quest. I remember systematically burning every tree in the game looking for the third dungeon I think? But it didn't seem tedious or unfair because that was how things were back then. Nowadays it probably would.

I think everybody is a bit more impatient today in the post gamefaqs etc era, myself included. I don't think you're stupid by any means, I just think it's a lot harder to be patient and persistent in today's gaming environment when puzzle answers are a click away on the net and new games themselves are so easy to obtain. The expectations are different today.

but yeah Majora's Mask is an interesting Zelda, but I don't consider it one of the best for a lot of reasons.

#9 Posted by MormonWarrior (2528 posts) -

I think Majora's Mask would have been better if it wasn't a Zelda game. I'd rather see it revisited in a spiritual successor that doesn't feel so bound to the Zelda design.

Yeah, and Skyward Sword/Twilight Princess are both extremely boring. I've liked pretty much every other game in the series though.