A world so familiar, and yet so very different…
Gameplay: 10/10 I’ll start with the dungeons. Although there are few compared to the other Zeldas, they are much longer than the past temples and dungeons, and are unique. The difficulty is hard -- much harder than Ocarina of Time, where it’s easy to breeze through puzzles and defeat monsters. In Majora’s Mask, especially in the Stone Tower Temple, you need to go back and forth (and upside down!) to finally reach the boss. There’s also the time factor, too. You can’t take your time to defeat a boss this around; in Majora’s Mask, you have three days (54 minutes real time) to save Termina from the grinning, red-eyed moon and the Skull Kid wearing the odd Majora’s Mask. Of course, you can always slow down time or just go back to day one if you really need more time. In between dungeons, there are many side quests, like collecting all the heart pieces and collecting all 24 masks. The special masks that you collect really adds to the gameplay. Ever want to see what it was like to be a Zora, or a Goron? Well, now you can be one, and instead of swinging a sword you can punch or roll. The gameplay, in short, is excellent.
With the expansion pack needed to play this game, for it’s time Majora’s Mask looked pretty good. There are better textures, more animation, and more characters and objects appear on screen compared to Ocarina of Time.. However, sometimes it looks like I’m playing Ocarina of Time again without all the updated features, which is why graphics gets a 9/10.
The sound fits this game perfectly: on day one, the music in Clock Town is cheerful and bright -- on the last day, with only a minute or so remaining, it is gloomy and sad. The dungeons’ music are interesting and different, and some of the tunes are very catchy. The other sounds in the game, like the sound of Link running in snow, are very good. Some of the ocarina tunes, like Oath to Order, are really well done. However, the reason why sound is 9/10 is because some of the sounds and tunes are from Ocarina of Time, so some of the soundtrack isn’t that original. Majora’s Mask does have a Termanized version of the over world theme, though, so that’s a plus!
Majora’s Mask value is superb. With so many things to do, and all the detail in this game, I couldn’t give less than a 10/10. There are many events, and how you save Termina is entirely up to you -- try to beat the game in only three days (without going back in time, excluding the first time)? Try to beat Gyorg with normal Link? Or just sit back, relax, and watch the moon fall as the citizens of Termina pass by you, hurrying to leave town (well, that‘s not exactly saving Termina, is it?..)? Or, perhaps you can collect all 24 masks and defeat Majora using a dark mask of your own?
This is probably the darkest Zelda yet (and, as I have said before, weirdest). Instead of your happy folks of Hyrule, you have quite a few weirdoes in Termina. Sakon, the “smiling and prancing thief”, the odd dancing man who talks to the moon, and… Tingle (that’s all that needs to be said about Tingle).
So, is Majora’s Mask worthy of the Zelda title? Why yes, I think so. In fact, I shall go as far to say that it’s the best Zelda game to date. However, I’m not going to babble on why the game is superior -- I am, however, going to recommend you play this game. If you don’t have it for the Nintendo 64 already, or don’t even have a N64, wait until it comes out for the Virtual Console on the Wii and buy it then. You won’t regret it.
Overall Score: 9.8