The year is 2022. I have a plethora of games to play. I can spend time grinding out League of Legends with my friends, I could play Fortnite and question if that’s even something I should admit on the internet. I could even, if I felt the urge to, play The Last of Us 2 AGAIN. (That game is a total masterpiece, don’t get it twisted) but all I want to do is play Majora’s Mask.
Majora’s Mask is my favourite game. I don’t have a N64, or a Gamecube with the Ocarina of Time/Majora’s Mask/Wind Waker combo, or any sort of Wii based console. I sold my 3DS ages ago and really don’t feel like paying an absurd amount for Nintendo Online to get access to the eventual emulation. I am also typing this very paragraph out on a MacBook Air. I am unequipped to play this game. The one game I want to play, and I cannot play it.
I am a sad man.
I often dream about the opening of the game. The first thing you’re shown is a cloudy and smog covered forest. You hear that curious, yet hopeful string section. Link slowly rides Epona through the forest as the two fairies, Tatl and Tael swoop in and ambush Link, pushing him to the ground. What happens next is usually what causes me to wake up from my dream. The droning horns, the slamming gongs and ringing bells introduce the main antagonist of the plot, The Skull Kid.
I still get freaked out. I recently turned 26, and I still see this guy’s face at the end of my bed. My sleep paralysis demon is the Skull Kid. So few games really instill horror into me the way Majora’s Mask’s intro does. Every time I see the blank stare of the Mask followed by that laugh, I just want to text my mom and ask for a hug. The Skull Kid picks up the Ocarina that has fallen from your belt and realizes that Link really wants it back. So he does what any level headed person would do. He jumps over your head, lands on your horse and rides off. Link then soon finds himself in a strange tree and falls into a portal filled with a light show that would make drug filled planetariums from the 80’s blush. Link comes out on the other end as a little shrub boy known as “Deku Link”. You then meet THE ICONIC HAPPY MASK SALESMAN.
This isn’t supposed to be a plot summary of Majora’s Mask. This is supposed to be a brief summary of why I cherish this game. Let’s get to that.
The introduction to this game is magical. I am obsessed with it. I don’t think there’s a better first section of a game. Well, for me at least. Termina is the stomping grounds this time around. Hyrule takes the backseat for this adventure. But what’s amazing is how the game baits you into thinking it’s much smaller than it actually is. You see, it may not be as vast as Hyrule, however Termina has an absurd amount of quests to do and things to see. Termina also has dozens of extremely memorable inhabitants; Dotour, the mayor who can’t get a word in edgewise. Anju, the inn owner who is in a secret relationship with the timid mayor’s fox mask wearing son, Kafei. The juggling twins, the bomb shop owner, the bomb shop thief, the travelling Deku salesman, Koume and Kotake the witch sisters, Romani and Cremia the rancher sisters who get invaded by space aliens. The list goes on. It’s actually hard to believe just how much is crammed into this world.
One thing I’ve always found interesting is how much the theme of relationships is used in this game. Many characters share familial bonds, or romantic bonds, or even strong friendships, ala the main friendship between Link and Skull Kid. The opening of the game even mentions that this is a story about two friends who lost their bond after the events of Ocarina Of Time. Perhaps the concepts of wearing masks goes beyond just literally wearing a mask, but it dives deeper into the masks we wear in the real world when we are around others. Maybe it is a way of showing how sometimes wearing certain masks can ruin relationships that are important to us. Or maybe it’s just about wearing really dope masks that turn you into a fish man. Who’s to say?
Anyway, it’s very late, and I could talk about this game for hours on end, so for my own sake, I won’t. I will likely continue this thought process at another time. I’ve just been thinking about this game a lot lately, and writing about it is very cathartic for me. I didn’t even really get to talk about the three day cycle, or the use of music, or the incredible boss fights/world design. But I will get there eventually.