The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - N64

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Adventure: Graphic
Media: Cartridge Arcade origin:No
Developer: Nintendo Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (GB/US/JP)
Released: 17 Nov 2000 (GB)
2000 (US/JP)
Ratings: 11+, ESRB Everyone
Accessories: Expansion Pak, Rumble Pack

Summary

Some people say there is one reason for the success of Nintendo as the world’s biggest video game company. That reason is Shigeru Miyamoto; creator and director of many Arcade, NES, SNES and Nintendo 64 classics, such as the Mario phenomenon. While perhaps most popularly known for his expertise in the platform genre, he is also responsible for the creation of the Zelda series, a role-playing series. After the release of the original Zelda on the NES, three sequels followed, and proved to be just as successful. After the release of the first 3D version of the game on Nintendo 64, an expansion pack was intended for the ill fated 64DD drive; a piece of hardware never to be released. Instead of cancelling the development, Miyamoto and his team set about converting the title as an outright sequel to The Ocarina of Time, again on Nintendo 64. After almost two years of development, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is ready to be launched to the public on a special, but dying console.

It seems that Miyamoto has a unique way of blending old, 2D Zelda features with the new 3D qualities of late. Those of you with experience of the Zelda predecessors of the series will become instantly familiar with Majora’s Mask. However, Majora’s Mask is not a remake of old gameplay methods, be it 2D or 3D. Perhaps the single most significant change in the series is the introduction of real-time play. The story involves hero, Link, meeting a strange creature, wearing the Mask of Majora. As it turns out, his encounter with this creature is not a good one. Being the mischievous thief he his, he turns Link into a tiny Deku shrub. After meeting the fellow who lost the mask, Link is asked to recover the Mask of Majora in return for him helping Link change back to his original state. After discovering his only hope will be leaving the area in three days, Link must battle against time, should he ever want to see his true face ever again. For the fifth instalment of the series, you literally have 72 hours of real-time play to complete your mission; quite a challenge. Should you fail, you will simply have to play the game again. It may seem a little laborious, but some people would say that a good game is worth playing twice. Others would not.

Many classic touches have remained intact for Majora’s Mask. The lighting of torches, the recently incorporated Z-targeting system, dungeons, they’re all there. A number of significant gameplay innovations have also been incorporated for the giant 256Mbit cartridge. New to the Zelda series is the increased use of masks. Upon finding one of the twenty-four masks available in the game, you must use it, and the abilities that come with it to proceed through the game. Through the life of Majora’s Mask, you will evolve into a Goron, a Zora, and many other unique races throughout the game. Thanks to Nintendo’s 4MB-expansion pack (a requirement for the game), the universe of Zelda never looked so real. If there was ever a reason to buy a Nintendo product, Zelda is that reason. Majora’s Mask should suppress Zelda fans’ anxieties until the launch of Zelda GameCube; an inevitable event. We can hardly wait.