Coming out late in the N64's lifespan meant that many people didn't play Majoras Mask. I think that this is probably the biggest injustice in gaming. While it looks identical to it's predecessor, Majora's Mask is actually a much darker and more interesting game.
The unique time mechanic meant that characters could do more then stand in one position and spout the same lines. It was the first game I ever felt connected to the characters and you could see the results of what would happen if you did nothing and so the stakes are suddenly higher.
I could go on all day but here's the big thing. If you've played any other 3D Zelda game then you know its all based on the same formula that Ocarina laid out. Windwaker & Twilight Princess for all their graphical changes didn't push on the series that much. Majora's Mask looked virtual the same as Ocarina and yet pushed the franchise in a way that no other game has.
Honestly I would like to group this with Majora's Mask as the top place as they are both so brilliant. Fortunately this game does receive the praise it deserves and so I won't say much other than to say that this game defines its genre in such a way that any other game like it is instantly a Zelda clone.
The Master Quest is exactly the same however it has a few more challenges for the Zelda veterans.
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