Majora's Mask is a Zelda classic.
The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask is an Action/Adventure game developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64, and it's the sixth instalment in the Zelda series. Majora's Mask is the follow up to Ocarina Of Time and is actually a direct sequel. While it has never been as successful as Ocarina Of Time, Majora's Mask is still a Zelda big-hitter and is one of the best games in the Zelda catalogue.
The game follows child Link. After saving Hyrule from Ganondorf, Link leaves on a personal journey in search of a dear and invaluable friend. But as he's heading through the Lost Woods he gets attacked by a Skull Kid and his two fairies and has Epona and his ocarina stolen from him. Link gives chase and when he does find Skull Kid again he gets turned into a Deku shrub by Skull Kid who seems to have gained untold of powers from a mysterious mask he's wearing. After Skull Kid flees again, Link gives chase again and comes across the parallel world of Termina, the setting for the game. He also comes across an unusual travelling mask salesman who promises to return Link back to his former self if he gets back his ocarina. In exchange the salesman asks Link if he can find and return a mask the salesman had stolen from him, the mysterious Majora's Mask, the exact mask Skull Kid is wearing. But Link has to do this in only 3 days as the mask salesman says he's leaving Termina in 3 days. And so another adventure begins for Link.
Majora's Mask plays pretty much the same as Ocarina Of Time, but it's also a completely different game. The entire game is set on a 3 day cycle. If the 3 days run out, the moon crashes into Clock Town, the main central town in Termina, thanks to a spell Skull Kid put on it, and the adventure will come to an end. But don't fear because if you play the Song Of Time on your ocarina, Link will be taken back to the dawn of the first day and you start the 3 day cycle from scratch. But be warned, if you're half way through a dungeon and you use the Song Of Time you'll lose all your progress in that dungeon and you'll have to start it again and finish it in one 3 day cycle. But you do keep all major achievements when you use the Song Of Time, so if you find a new weapon or finish a dungeon, don't worry about losing them if you go back to the first day, because you won't.
But forget the 3 day cycle, the biggest difference between Majora's Mask and any other game in the Zelda series is that Masks play a primary role in the adventure. In order to stop the moon from hitting Clock Town you have to awaken the four Giants who reside in Termina's four temples. But it's not as simple as it sounds. There are 24 masks in total in Majora's Mask and these can help you in all sorts of ways, but the main 3 are the Deku mask, the Goron mask and the Zora mask. Depending on which one you wear you'll transform into the set creature. Each form of Link, whether Deku, Goron or Zora, plays the same as human Link, but each has their own 'special' abilities. Deku Link can hop across water, Goron Link can roll around in a ball and possesses super strength, and Zora Link can swim and move around the same as a Zora. Each form of Link works a treat and they really add something new to the whole experience of the game. And transforming is a must in order to solve puzzles in order to reach or finish a dungeon or to simple reach your next location.
Visually, Majora's Mask is a notch above Ocarina Of Time. This is because an Expansion Pak is needed to play Majora's Mask. While the Expansion Pak wasn't popular with owners of N64's, it does enable the games that need them to look and sound slightly better. So expect better graphics, bigger draw distances and slightly better A.I from Majora's Mask compared to Ocarina Of Time.
Sound wise Majora's Mask rivals its predecessor. Again Koji Kondo scores a Zelda game and again he doesn't disappoint. There's a return for the classic Zelda theme and all the new Ocarina melodies sound fantastic, but unfortunately some sounds and ocarina melodies have been recycled from Ocarina Of Time and for me that's a down point. It's not that the game sounds bad, it doesn't, but it could have used a lot more new music, especially for the fact the Majora's Mask is a much darker game compared to Ocarina Of Time and the music doesn't really reflect this. For me, it just sounds too similar to Ocarina Of Time.
Majora's Mask is a fantastic game. It plays virtually the same as Ocarina of Time and the 3 day cycle works a treat and is a fantastic addition. It's certainly a Zelda classic and a true gem of an Adventure game. If you're a Zelda fan it's certainly a must play.
Review by: James Widdowson