Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

This is dedicated to a friend of mine who is no longer with me. At least until the end of the summer. :D

This one might be longer than the Zelda64 review. The gameplay is very similar to its predecessor. Control's are identical for the normal Link. As always, some bugs are exploitable. My favorite is being able to ride Epona into Clock Town. No errors that I found on my own though.

The story begins hundreds of years ago. An ancient pagan culture worshiped their gods using masks with special powers. Among the most powerful of these masks was made by a shaman named Majora. (Big surprise there) The rituals these people performed eventually wiped themselves out. The mask made by Majora was the most powerful mask remaining. So it was locked away and forgotten by all but legend.
In another part of the world, four immortal and magical giants created a new land with mountains, swamps, ocean, and rivers. Eventually people began to come to this land and live in it with the giants. Among the first of the people to arrive in this new land was a small skull kid. The giants became friends with the skull kid and would tell him stories of things they had seen. The skull kid would also tell the giants about the forest he was from and the people living there. (This may have been the Lost Woods in Hyrule) As more people came, the giants were worshiped as gods. Feeling that their creations may be in danger, they told the people that they would leave to guard the area around the land they created. The skull kid pleaded with them not to go, but they told him that they had to protect that which they created. The skull kid was sad and began to think that they no longer liked him. So he left the land. The people who remained built a city around the spot where the giants left. That city was named Clock Town.
The next event occurs after Link defeats Ganon in Hyrule and banishes him to the sacred realm. After Zelda takes Link back to his rightful time, he goes on "A journey in search of a beloved and invaluable friend... A friend with whom he parted ways when he finally fulfilled his heroic destiny and took his place among legends..." (I believe this may mean he's looking for Navi since she's not in this game) About the time Link leaves with Epona, the Happy Mask Shop man also leaves on his own journey, For what other than masks? (Do you sense a theme building here? I do) He finds the legendary Majora's Mask and adds it to his collection. The Happy Mask man then passes through the land the giants made all those years ago. About this time, the skull kid decides to come back because he's lonely. The skull kid meets some fairies and becomes friends with them too. The Happy Mask man takes a nap in the field..the skull kid finds him...and......HE STEALS MAJORA'S MASK!! (CONFLICT ALERT) Skull kid begins terrorizing the land hoping to bring the giants out of hiding. What he doesn't realize is that the power of the mask trapped the giants in their places. Enter Link. (and there was great rejoicing) His quest also takes him through this land. While going through the forest, Link is assulted by the skull kid's fairies. Link gets separated from his horse and turned into a Deku Sprout by the skull kid. Game starts here.

And what a game it is ladies and gentlemen. The main emphasis of this game is thus: masks, masks, masks, ocarina, masks, masks, and finally masks. When I first started the game I thought, there's no way there is enough time to beat this game. Thinking back to a commercial I've seen before about there being 24 masks, 72 hours, 1 moon, 1 hope. (something like that) And come the end of the 72 GAME hours (not real hours) I was no closer to the end than I had been when I first had control. It worried me until I learned the song of time (yet again) and traversed back to day one. It was very disorienting and gave me a headache with a strong sense of Deja Vu for a long time. After a few times of doing that, I got used to the idea and learned what I could keep and what I could not. Generally, the things I have to collect (rupees, bombs, arrows) I lost, but the things I only get once (bow, arrow types, bottles and esp masks) I kept. Anyway, There are some majorly involved heart pieces this time. There are now 52 of them because there are only four dungeons! I think the most painful thing for me was that i had lost one somehow when I loaded a game that I didn't save that piece in. I started doing everything again that ends up in a heart piece. Pretty time consuming. I found that it was heart piece number 40 on my list of heart pieces that I was missing. I saved immeadiatly after that.
Enough about my struggles, I want to talk about the highlights of the game. After this you'll probably understand why there are only four dungeons. Through the game, you'll find new masks that give you different abilities ranging from marching to self-exploding. There are also transformation masks that let you become other beings. You get to become a Deku Sprout, a Goron, and a Zora aside from your usual form of Link. There are now six bottles. No magic spells. (Din's fire and such) No longshot. (The normal hookshot is long enough as it is; which is VERY long) There are only 60 gold skultulas that are in two house of 30 each. There are 15 stray fairies in each of the four dungeons. Once you collect those you can go to the fairy fountain and receive upgrades. (Magic meter, double magic meter, double defense, and the fairy sword) You have to buy maps of the different areas now. (slightly more realistic, but infinitely more annoying) Different ocarina songs that allow you to do different things. I found myself playing the old songs in the new game, and the new songs in the old game. %(

One handy thing is that you get a log book telling you what sidequests you've started and which ones you've completed so you don't keep doing them over and over. It let's you keep track of who gave you what as well. Among the most lengthy of side quests is the one to get the couple's mask. It involves about half a dozen people and spans all three days. This quest also contains one of my favorite dialogs in the entire game. This occurs after you tell Anju that you have a reservation for the hotel she works at. To understand this, you must know that Anju isn't one of the brightest pennies in the collection. It goes something like this:

Goron: I have a reservation
Anju: Under what name?
Goron: Link-goro
Anju: ...hmm...That name doesn't seem to be in the book
Goron: Are you sure? It's Link-goro
Anju: Sorry, there's something close to that, but it's not here
Goron: That's disappoiting-goro
I made that reservation a month ago-goro
I'll just have to find somewhere else sleep tonight-goro

Needless to say, replace 'Link' with whatever name you gave as the file name.

Lastly, I'd like to mention the swords. Technically there are now five swords. Kokiri sword, Razor sword, Gilded sword, Fairy sword, and whatever sword that the Fierce Deity Mask gives you.
First off, the Kokiri sword. Basic weapon. Normal Link starts off with this. If you've played the original Zelda64 you know about it, go ahead and skip to the next sword. This is the weakest weapon that you can have. Weaker than arrows, weaker than the hookshot. I'd even wager to say that if you could use the ocarina as a weapon, it would do more damage than this sword does.
Razor sword. Level 2 sword. This is the size of the Kokiri sword with the power of the master sword. A little more than twice as powerful, but keep in mind that it will only last 100 times and will reset to the kokiri sword after those 100 times or you warp back to day one. I wouldn't bother with this sword unless you are going to upgrade to the next sword.
Gilded Sword. Level 3. This is the size of the Master sword with slightly less power than the biggoron sword. This is permanent and will not dull.
Fairy Sword. Level 4. This is a very unique sword. It's two handed, the size of the biggoron sword, noticably more powerful, and it is a C-BUTTON WEAPON! You can have this sword AND you're main sword out at the same time. You can only swing one at a time though so there's not a huge advantage.
Fierce Deity Sword. Level 5. I'm not really sure this is a sword. It shoots lasers like the olden games did. I don't know what they are based off of, be it health or magic. I don't think this sword has a name, but I call it the "Stick of Death" I was able to beat the last boss without getting any closer than 10 feet from it. This is an exceptional weapon that can only be used in boss fights.

This is far from what I want to say about this game, but I can only say so much without giving everything away. I say, play it yourself. Highly recommended.