Content of the article: "LoZ: Majora’s Mask on the N64 is without a doubt the hardest game I have ever played: A story 17 years in the making."
I grew up playing the Legend of Zelda games. I beat Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess as a kid. I remember getting the LoZ Collectors Edition for the GameCube and being so psyched to play all the different Zeldas.
I must have been 10 years old in 2003 when I got the collectors edition and tried Majora’s Mask after I beat Ocarina of Time.
I vividly remember being completely and utterly stumped on how this game worked. I remember constantly running out of time and watching the moon crash. As a 10 year old who loved video games, and didn’t get many different games growing up, it was unheard of for me to give up and completely abandon a game I owned. But I did. I gave up on Majora’s Mask wihout ever getting beyond the Deku Swamp area. I loved the story, the characters, the atmosphere but I just couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t have access to the internet back then, no guides to follow, it was beyond the capabilities of 10 year old me.
Fast forward from 2003 to 2018. I start dating my now significant other. She owns an N64 and her favorite game is Ocarina of Time. We play it together and we have a great time, but she’s never played any other Zelda. It’s her birthday, I decide to get her Majora’a Mask from a vintage gaming store, because she only has an N64. I get her the shiny holographic version of Majora’s Mask. She was so excited, and I was excited to play with her and to give it another try after all these years, “I’m an adult now” I think to myself, “how hard could it still be?”
Dude. This fucking game.
I have absolutely no fucking idea how anybody could beat this game in the 90’s without access to the internet. My SO and I tried with all our heart to play this game without resorting to looking it up online. We barely made it to the first temple before we started looking things up here and there, only when we needed to.
I appreciate how different and creative Majora’s Mask is compared to the other LoZ games, but the time mechanic is one of the most difficult game mechanics I have ever experienced. You can get 90% through a temple in Majora’s Mask and then decide you’re done for the night but then have to do all of it over again the next time. You can figure out what you need to do only to realize you were supposed to do it 2 in game days before. This game required so much forethought, planning, and redo's just to progress through each section. Edit: I found it difficult but I still loved it. It’s super unique.
We got to the Great Bay / water area before we got burnt out and stopped playing. Majora’s Mask had stumped me AGAIN. As an adult!!
Fast forward again to 2020, the pandemic hits. My SO and I have nothing to do anymore. We decide we are finally going to beat Majora’s Mask. No excuses, we’ll follow a guide this time if we have to.
It took us from March to now to beat the rest of Majora’s Mask with a guide. And we did it the hard way. Once we neared the ending, we realized that in order to easily beat the final boss we were supposed to have acquired every single mask in the game and the fairy sword. We did not do this. It was too time consuming as it was. And we were not about to go back to every single area and temple and scour for fairies to get every single mask.
This meant we faced Majora with no Fierce Diety mask and no fairy sword. I got like 4 bottles for fairies and infinite mana and that was all I had to beat this 3 stage final boss. It took me maybe like 10 tries before I dealt the final blow to Majora’s Wrath. My SO and I screamed, cried, and cheered. We were finally, finally, finally done with Majora’s Mask. And dammit it was worth it. That ending is so sweet.
We didn’t even do everything the game had to offer, there was still so much stuff that we didn’t do. I honestly can’t believe anybody managed to beat the N64 version without a guide. It honestly seems impossible.
It took me 17 years to beat Majora’s Mask and I loved every second of it :’)
Random highlights from Majora’s Mask that make it the most unique Zelda in my opinion:
the entire sequence where aliens (that are completely unrelated to the rest of the story) abduct cows from the ranch and you have to stop them and if you fail the aliens also abduct the little girl from Romani ranch.
the part where you help a little girl turn the zombie in her closet back into her father by playing music from their house that’s shaped like a phonograph and all of the redeads do a little dance.
the part where you wear a skeleton mask and get to talk to skeletons who are just vibing in a graveyard.
helping a little boy who is actually an adult man so he can marry his lover and when you reunite them they just accept their death because they know the moon is about to crash.
every time you put on one of the main masks and Link screams in complete agony every single time.
This game is so fucking weird I love it.
- Majora’s Mask, Kindergarten, and time-based games
- Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time would have been one of my favorite games of all time if I played it when it came out
- Enough is enough
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