The original “Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” has become somewhat of a sacred cow over the years, oftentimes being the favorite “Legend of Zelda” game for many fans. Some would even say that the game is perfect. When it was revealed that Nintendo was planning some changes to make the remake more viable for a handheld console and a bit more streamlined for modern gamers, people were a bit worried, myself included. However, these changes are mostly for the better.
For those who don’t know, “Majora’s Mask” is unlike any other “Zelda” game. It takes place in the strange land of Termina, revolving around the city right in the center of it, Clock Town. An imp called Skull Kid, being influenced by the evil powers of the cursed Majora’s Mask, uses his magic to make the moon fall into Clock Town and destroy Termina. The player has to prevent this by collecting the remains of the bosses from the four temples around Termina and freeing the giants trapped within them so they can prevent the moon from crashing down.
One of the main draws of the game that makes it so unique is the time mechanic. The game takes place over a three day cycle, in which at the end of the third day the moon will crash down and you’ll get a game over. You can go back in time to the first day anytime you want, but everything in the game resets aside from important items or masks you’ve obtained. Originally, going back in time was the only way to make a permanent save, meaning that play sessions would have to be pretty lengthy. In “Majora’s Mask 3D” however, there are save points scattered throughout the game that act as permanent saves instead. Fans of the original may be upset that this could make the game easier, but this can also be a very welcoming change as it makes it much more playable as a handheld game and makes things a bit easier on those who may have not liked the original game’s inaccessible save system.
Another small change to the time mechanic is the ability to fast forward to any hour you want. Before you could only fast forward to the beginning of the next day or until night time. This makes sidequests where you have to wait until a certain time to initiate much less tedious since you don’t have to wait around anymore.
The upgraded visuals are very impressive too. Textures of the environment are very detailed and beautiful looking. The insides of houses and stores in Clock Town are now dressed with pictures and posters. New animations have also been implemented as well, and the game is filled with nice attention to detail. The only issue is that some boss arenas are a little too bright, which dampens the atmosphere of the original game during those encounters.
The boss fights are the biggest change. Every boss (aside from the final one) has been remade, making the strategy to beating them slightly different than before. One of the bosses has been completely redone to the point where it’s practically an entirely different boss. Luckily, the changes just make the boss fights more fun and interesting than anything.
Another slight change is the Bomber’s notebook, basically the game’s sidequest log. Sidequests are a major chunk of “Majora’s Mask” that are necessary to complete to get the full game’s experience. The new notebook makes managing these quests a bit less of a hassle.
Overall, “Majora’s Mask 3D” is the definitive version of “Majora’s Mask.” The better controls, camera, and performance, along with the above changes, can all attest to that. It is still just as fantastic as the original game that people fell in love with way back when it first released on the Nintendo 64.