"Overall, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is an improvement of its predecessor. However, it doesn't seem to capture the same epic feel as The Ocarina of Time, and, in the end, the first Nintendo 64 Zelda game will be the one you'll always remember."
Yes, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was good. Great, even. Excellent! But now Shigeru-san will try to top himself (is that possible?) with the next installment in the series, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Is it good? Of course. Good as its N64 predecessor? Almost.
The story in Majora's Mask is the most unique in the whole Zelda series. Taking place after OoT with young Link riding Epona through the woods. After an ambush by a mischevious skull kid wearing a mysterious mask, Link's pony and ocarina are stolen from him, and he follows the Skull Kid into a warp into Hyrule's alternate dimension, Termina. Learning that the moon is about to crash into the world, it's up to Link to save the world from its ultimate doom.
The gameplay is exactly like OoT's, and that is a VERY good thing. Link can now use various masks to solve his problems, ranging from a Great Fairy mask even to the final reward, the Fierce Deity mask, which transforms Link into the ultimate hero: Oni Link. The song system with the ocarina has been improved, also, and nothing hurts the gameplay at all. Wonderful. Spectacular!
Speaking of the ocarina, the main gameplay element revolves around it. By playing the Song of Time, Link will travel back in time to the first morning of the three-day series. This saves the game, but Link will lose all his rupees, arrows, and the like. Luckily, the money can be saved in a local bank, but the items will have to be regained. The masks, weapons, heart pieces, key items, songs, etc. will be kept, however. Since Link only has three Termina-days (roughly 30 minutes a day, without time-altering songs) to save the world, he must complete all his objectives with in that span. Sound impossible? Well, that's where the Song of Time comes into play. Link can only really complete one major objective a day, and thus he'll need to warp back often. Using this successfully is absolutely key to the game, and is an interesting concept, if not ingenious.
The graphics are great for the N64 (with the 4MB Expansion Pak), and everything is greatly detailed. The graphics engine is simply the OoT one with minor improvements, which is great. The textures have been improved, and are now more smooth and detailed. Again, excellent.
The sound is also fabulous. The soundtrack isn't as good as The Ocarina of Time's, but the Hyrule theme is back, people! The sound effects are the same, which is good. Also worth noting: Tatl is not NEARLY as annoying as Navi. Bless you, Termina, Land of Sane Fairies.
Overall, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is an improvement of its predecessor. However, it doesn't seem to capture the same epic feel as The Ocarina of Time, and, in the end, the first Nintendo 64 Zelda game will be the one you'll always remember.
Staff review by Zack M (Date unavailable)
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