Majora’s Mask come out on Nintendo 64 in the year 2000. I was thirteen. I played it, but I couldn’t get to the first dungeon, it was so difficult. I owned the strategy guide, but this was before YouTube play-throughs of video games, which show you exactly what to do to progress in a game. Strategy guides were sometimes vague in their description of what to do next.
Anyway, it’s 2016 and Majora’s Mask has been re-released on the 3DS. The graphics are quite a bit better than the Nintendo 64 version. I’m about to enter the snow level dungeon, and have done several side quests.
What I’m noticing is that a lot of what happens in the game is optional. This is different from the game’s predecessor, Ocarina of Time, where more of what you do is necessary. For example, you need the blue tunic so you can breathe underwater and beat the Water Temple, which is required to beat the game.
Majora’s Mask has things like a Blast Mask, which is a mask that explodes on your face (inflicting damage) and acts like a bomb. This is nice but the game already has bombs. There’s also the Bremen Mask, which is a mask that enables you to get another mask, the Bunny Hood, which is also an optional item.
A lot of the Pieces of Heart in Majora’s Mask are part of side quests in the game. This is different from Ocarina, in which you stumble upon pieces of heart in grottos, or secret entrances to buildings. Again, this makes Majora’s Mask feel like a game with a lot of story elements being things you can do, but you don’t have to.
It’s reminiscent of a PC RPG (or even an MMO), in that a lot of the story is optional, as are items in the game (e.g. loot). I can’t say it’s better or worse than it’s predecessor. But I’m glad they tried something different. In the year 2000.