The second Legend of Zelda title released on the Nintendo 64 has received its long-awaited makeover for the Nintendo 3DS. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask was originally released in October of 2000 in North America. It was one of the last big games released for the Nintendo 64 console before the Nintendo Gamecube hit the shelves just over a year later in November of 2001. Many critics praised it as superior over The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which is considered one of the greatest games of all time. After the revamped Ocarina of Time released in July of 2011, fans clamored for Majora’s Mask to follow in the same footprints, and to their joy, Nintendo obliged.
The most noticeable difference is the graphics. While the original title on the Nintendo 64 made use of the system’s expansion pack to deliver graphics superior to its predecessor, players back then would be even more blown away by what they’ve done now. No longer are characters and environments as blocky as the bygone era of the late 1990’s. Edges are smooth and more details have been added into a world that was already overflowing with a lot of subtle characteristics. Even the colors seem more vivid – and there are plenty of them.
Termina, the land in which the game takes place, has 3 days until the moon comes crashing down and destroys everything. With the help of the Ocarina of Time (a gift from Princess Zelda herself), Link must find a way to change the land’s horrible fate. Along the way, several masks will play a large part, endowing Link with different abilities – the most notable three giving him the ability to transform into a Deku Scrub, a Goron, and a Zora.
Players of the Nintendo 64 original will notice several differences besides the graphics, such as the saving method in the game. In the original, one could only save at owl statues, and there were usually one or two to a specific area (one always being close to one of the game’s four temples). Now, there are similar statues with a feather that also allow you to save at other semi-prominent points. Certain events and characters have been moved around, such as the location of the invisible Clock Town guard and how Link can come to acquire a room for rent at the Stock Pot Inn. This keeps the game somewhat fresh for seasoned players.
One change made, to the dismay of veteran players, was the alteration of how Link swims as a Zora. In the Nintendo 64 version, he swam very fast and fluidly, and even had the ability to jump out of the water in a dolphin-like fashion. Now, he seems slower and actually takes the time to paddle his hands and feet in a more human-like manner than like a fish in the original, which is not as exhilarating.
Overall, the game adapts well to the 3DS console, much like Ocarina of Time did. The controls are good, graphics top-notch, and the storyline a tried and tested hit. No fan of The Legend of Zelda will want to miss out on what is still one of the most darkest and most unusual titles in the series reborn on the Nintendo 3DS.