By The_Nubster 1 Comments
Majora's Mask is many things to many people; in one single forum post, you'll get people calling it a trainwreck, a masterpiece, a cash-grab, lazy, innovative and a shitty rip-off of Groundhog Day. All of these accusations and opinions are firmly grounded and all can be backed up. It re-uses near every asset of Ocarina of Time, it does feature a time loop and it was pumped out in about a year. It does have numerous glitches and flaws, and the time-based system can mean standing around doing nothing for a sidequest until it launches itself, or having to restart the time loop to get a certain item for later on in the sidequest.
Another raging debate with many is whether it is superior to Ocarina of Time. Fond memories are had when remembering Ocarina of Time. It was the launching point of 3D adventure games, doing well what games to this day continue to mess up. It had a superb world with a massive adventure, smooth platforming sections and brilliant puzzles. Ocarina of Time taught an entire generation of gamers what being an adventure game meant, and the release of OCarina of Time 3D proves that it's still cherished and even a working game.
Majora's Mask is none of those things. It wasn't out to change the world or usher in a new generation. It didn't intend to turn the Zelda formula on its head, and it certainly wasn't attempting to tell the epic story of a kingdom. It was a quiet game, an unassuming one. The start wasn't a grand order from the deity of nature, it was a gentle ease into one boy's personal journey. Link was going to find a friend, and things didn't quite go as planned. As he adventures through Termina, he runs into a great many things that he himself does not understand, nor did the younger players of this game.
There are three masks in this game, and each transforms you physically, though two are from living creatures. The zora mask and the goron mask are taken from dying and dead people, respectively, both people who are remembered fondly. The Goron, Darmani, was a renowned warrior and great leader, heir to the throne. When you meet him, he is dead, having fallen to his death trying to rid the Goron home of the winter curse. When you play the Song of Healing, he envisions himself standing in front of a crowd of his people, being cheered on and exalted. With Link's help, he lives out his dying wishes, and becomes a spirit for Link to utilize.
The Zora, Mikau, was a famous guitarist in a band called the Indigo-Gos, and was together with the singer. You find him floating in the water, dying, and you must push him back to shore and put him to rest. When you play for him, he is in the spotlight, alone with his band. He holds his guitar and the hand of his lover, and walks into the distance with her.
Being a child, Link doesn't understand how serious what he's doing is. Not only does this game show the heaviness of death, the regrets and hopes and dreams of those who pass, it showcases the importance of being able to let go. By healing their souls, Link is allowing these characters who are trapped in Termina to move on and be free without pain or sadness. Each time Link puts on one of these masks, he's channeling the spirit of someone he saved and helped move on. Very rarely does a game capture the emotion and feeling of death, but Majora's Mask does it. You witness the pain and suffering these people go through, and then you heal them and allow them to be free.
Anyone who has lost someone dear to them, the ability to relieve a suffering person of their pain, guilt and suffering is something words can't capture.