It was Valentine’s day and my father was going to see Fifty Shades of Gray with his 23-year-old girlfriend. I had to be out of the house for the night. Fortunately on this same day I bought Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask for 3DS so I took my handheld and sorrowfully wandered the Lost Woods.
Majora’s Mask is the third (fourth if you want to count A Link Between Worlds) HD remake from the Legend of Zelda series, proceeding Ocarina of Time 3D and Windwaker HD.
The loose sequel to Ocarina had gained a cult following due to its dismal storyline and rich world-building. It has seen much anticipation for some sort of remake pretty much since Nintendo revived Super Mario 64 with Super Mario 64 DS.
All was going well for me at first; I was the boy heartthrob and hero of time, Young Link. Getting women would be a piece of cake. I was riding out of Hyrule on my beloved steed Epona—all of us in HD, nothing could junk up my day.
And of course, this game is fifteen years old so I should know that there he-be, that little brat Skull Kid wearing Majora’s mask with his personality disorder and two fairies who have no idea what they’re getting themselves into, just kind of jump me and steal my horse. It’s some bullshit. I still don’t have that horse back.
So at this point I’m still young Link and have to jump across some strategically laid out stumps. I do a few of those famous cool-flips (which set Majora’s Mask as a real cultural back-flip forward from Ocarina of Time) and land into Termina. And then I’m an ugly little Deku Scrub because Skull Kid turned me into one. Fuck that guy.
So this is Majora’s Mask 3DS remake. Instead of being in the conflict-endured land of Hyrule where all the women fawn over the all-charming Ocarina rockstar, wielder of the Master Sword and high-fantasy James Bond—I’m in Termina as a hideous little Deku Scrub with a fairy who doesn’t even want to be my friend and not one beautiful women is in sight to teach me songs to remember them by (o’ where art thou Saria! Grow old with me!).
To anyone unfamiliar with the story, this sketchy-ass Happy Mask Salesman needs Majora’s Mask back but he needs it in three days (fifty-four minutes in real-time) because after then he’s outtie. Also note that the world will be destroyed by a resting pissed face moon in this amount of time as well. The two are unrelated as far as confirmed statements go. The Happy Mask Salesman refused to comment.
I walk out into the beautifully designed Clock Town where any vacationer would love to spend more than three days in. It looks as if Hyrule turned into Portland with massive art installations all up on the walls, concert promos, street performers and a major tourist economy.
Of course, Dawn of the First Day: 72 Hours Remain—I’ve got no time to be waddling about a city which pretty much denies service everywhere for shitty little Deku scrubs. Even the yorkie in South Clock Town attacks me for being ugly.
Eventually you do get past the whole ugly Deku phase and become the boy-heartthrob Young Link and people suddenly want to talk to you. When this happens I suggest exploring the colorful personalities of Clock Town. There be mad sidequests.
One new friend I find is the famous green-jumpsuit clad Tingle who was probably the chief reason Majora’s Mask was ever so popular. He sells maps for a living. I suspect this man-fairy to not be a certified cartographer but 5 rupees for a map is a solid deal.
Compared to the original 2000 release, the gameplay hasn’t changed much. Though there are some rad new features including: a Sheika Stone tunnel which leads to clues, these funny cow bobble heads (which bobble very dynamically whenever the moon impends its doom), a timeline which replaces the old obtrusive semi-circle clock (it counts hours and minutes. Minutes!) and a greatly improved Bomber’s Notebook.
Actually let’s take a minute on the Bomber Gang and their notebook. After joining this club of young boys (albeit some unprogressive bullshit discrimination I face as a shitty little Deku Scrub), they give me this quest log which categorizes all my objectives and another page with individual schedules of each NPC with accompanying pictures. It’s a little carry on Facebook that these innovative youths will share with their grandchildren one day (given I beat this game and save this dumb world which doesn’t even love me).
These kids are pretty clutch despite their slight racism. They act as this Sherlock Holmes network of vagrants who hook you up with sidequest ideas.
Since I’ve first played Majora’s Mask back in year 2000, I’ve learned how to manage stress. Three days translated into fifty-four minutes isn’t so bad and a moon crashing upon the world is manageable. I have also gotten cold. But you know, when the call of duty demands you to be a hideous Deku Scrub you don’t give much back.
But right away I’m prepared with the time-slowing inverted song of time—the Starbucks secret menu of ocarina songs. With time slowed from the beginning (as opposed to learning from friends telling me, the invention of Google, or waiting until Majora 3DS is released 15 years later…), I was able to sort of kick back and enjoy my time in Termina. I also prolonged my suffering when considering my poor, sad Deku form.
At some point in all this I realize Clock Town (despite how hip it is) isn’t the place for a social innovator/ex-hero of time (am I still, though?) like me. I go to the Southern Swamp where ugly things reside, seeking solidarity. I feel completely not at home as the potion hags deny me service and even the Deku aristocracy doesn’t want me in their court. No one wants me.
I walk away from my 3DS for two hours and forty-two minutes and let the moon crash into Clock Town.
Still though, five stars.