The Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask 3D – remake of a classic
When Nintendo announced that Majora’s Mask was going to be remade for the 3DS, well, there’s only so high a man can jump for joy before he’s in the path of a jet turbine. The original was released back on the N64 and it did everything I like in a sequel – it took everything from the first game, improved it, added more features, upped the challenge and gave it a darker story. It was these things that made Majora’s Mask my favourite Zelda game of all time.
The story begins some time after the events of Ocarina of Time. Link is searching for Navi, his fairy companion. However, he is soon ambushed by the Skull Kid and his two fairy companions, Tatl and Tael. In the process, the Skull Kid steals Link’s Ocarina and his horse, Epona. After chasing after the Skull Kid and falling down a hole, Link finds himself in Termina, a strange parallel world to Hyrule. After being turned into a Deku Scrub against his will and having Tatl accompany him (because Skull Kid left her behind) Link meets the Happy Mask Salesman, who tells Link that the mask was stolen from him and that it has powers of cataclysmic proportions. You agree to get it back in exchange for being turned back to normal sounds easy, right – well it isn’t. As you explore Clock Town you discover that the Skull Kid has been up to no good. He has caused trouble in all the four regions of Termina and, worst of all, he has caused the moon to fall in three days, obliterating everything. When you do confront SK, you can’t do much other than get your Ocarina back, which allows you to remember the Song of Time. This allows you to back in time to the start of the three days, but not before being told by Tael to go to the Swamp, Mountains, Ocean and Canyon to bring back the four who are there. After you have returned to normal, you can travel to the four regions and rescue the four who are trapped in the temples and stop the Skull Kid, retrieve Majora’s Mask and save Termina from total obliteration.
The gameplay is very much the same as Ocarina 3D. Your gear and special items now take residence in the Gear section and items that could be used by Adult Link in OoT can now be used by Young Link – i.e the bow and hookshot. While the controls remain the same for normal Link, a few changes have been made to the Deku,Goron and Zora forms – for instance, Deku and Goron have new running animations, Goron and Zora both now have new attack animations, Deku Link now has a targeting reticule when you use the bubble attack. Goron Link’s rolling move is now easier to control and Zora Link’s swimming has been slowed down to make that easier to control, but activating your electric attack brings you back up to full speed.
Amongst the changes they include are more text boxes to explain certain moments clearly and some have been changed to incorporate the new changes made. Other changes include the fishing ponds which were absent in the original. There have been a few changes to the game worlds, mostly in South Clock Town. It’s been made larger, with a small area behind the tower where the bank now resides after being moved from the West side. The boss fights have also been updated – they have new attack patterns and each has an eye appendage on them which you have to find a way to attack. It’s pretty cool having to fight an old boss but having to beat him in new way – as it turns out, you can teach an old dog new tricks. One of the main features of the game is collecting masks. Some of them were carried over from OoT, such as the Keaton Mask and the Mask of Truth. Some of them now have certain abilities like the Bunny Hood, which increases your speed, or the Gibdo Mask, which lets you talk to Gibdos and makes ReDeads dance. Collecting these allows you to acquire a special mask.
MM 3D is side quest heavy, pretty much throughout. In order to reach the temple, you have to do a few of these. I liked them as it added more to the experience and meant that I couldn’t just go to the next dungeon straight away like in OoT – the process to getting into Great Bay Temple comes to mind and getting the Mirror Shield. You can keep track of your side quests in the Bombers notebook which the Happy Mask Salesman gives you after you return to normal – in the original you had to do the Bombers mini game a second time to get it. They even walk up to you to tell you about rumoured events that are happening throughout the world, which is a really nice thing they added because I never found most of them.
Normally, I don’t bang on much about graphics but MM 3D is just so gorgeous and detailed. Clock Town now has posters all over the walls, the Mayor’s Office now has a model of the town, even the regional map has been updated as little models like the town or the Deku Palace appear on it, which is a nice little touch. There have been a few minor changes to some of the designs – Deku Link looks slightly different from his original model, the Garro’s Mask has been redesigned and Zora Link looks more streamlined.
The music is as good as it was on the original.
Overall, just like the original, this game is fantastic. Just being able to explore Termina again in 3D is enough reason to buy it. With fluent controls, new challenges and truly faithful to the original in every way, this is most certainly the remake that fans have wanted for years and was well worth the wait.#####