|“||If you enjoy action/adventure (with a dash of RPG) this is a videogame you can't afford to miss playing.||„|
|~ Fran Mirabella III, IGN|
The Legend Of Zelda - Majora's Mask is the direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in The Legend of Zelda series. Its resettable time-limit, mass of side-quests, and frequent use of a variety of masks have made the game a very "love it or hate it" experience.
Unlike Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask requires the use of the Expansion Pak, which allows for a larger number of on-screen characters and improved graphics.
Young Link, fresh from his adventure in Ocarina of Time, travels to a far away land in search of his lost friend. Most assume it refers to Navi, but there have been opposing opinions. In some foreign woods, he is ambushed by the Skull kid and two faeries, Tatl and Tael. The Skull Kid steals Epona, Link's Pony, turns Link into a Deku scrub, and runs away. Tatl is left behind too.
Using his newfound Deku abilities, Link manages to escape the cave he was trapped in and into the land of Termina, where he runs into the Happy Mask Salesman in Termina. With his help, he is released from his Deku form, which turns into a mask. Whenever Link puts on these masks, he can change his form and gain their abilities.
But all is not well in Clock Town. An angry, evil-looking Moon resides just above the town's Clock Tower, slowly approaching. It means the end of the world to the people of Termina, and it's coming in a mere three days. Using the Ocarina of Time to travel back in time, Link and Tatl must summon the four giants to stop the moon from crashing into the Earth, while defeating the Skull Kid who has been possessed by Majora's Mask.
The game-play in Majora's Mask expands upon that of Ocarina of Time; while retaining puzzles based on the use of different weapons and music, Majora's Mask also includes masks, character transformations, and the limit of a three-day cycle to add further difficulty and variety to many quests in the game.
Link maintains a repertoire of basic actions including walking, running, somersaulting and limited jumping. As in previous installments of the series, Link uses a variety of weapons to battle enemies and to solve puzzles. The sword is his standard weapon and is the most frequently used weapon in the game. Link has several different sword techniques and several more can be learned throughout the course of play. The shield is used for defending. The bow and arrows are typically used to attack a distant enemy or to activate a switch, although they can also assist in close-range combat. Link can stun enemies with deku nuts, then inflict damage with another weapon. Bombs can be used to damage enemies and clear other obstacles, while the hookshot is capable of latching onto an enemy and pulling it towards Link or for latching onto an object to pull Link himself to it (e.g. Crossing a gap).
Among the masks Link collects, three of them transform him into other forms: a Deku Scrub, a Goron, and a Zora. The Deku Scrub form allows Link to hop across the surface of the water for a few hops, landing on lily pads for safety, and to charge up spitball shots to aim at targets. The Goron form gives Link great physical strength in hand-to-hand fighting and allows him to roll himself up into a boulder shape and move at incredible speed. The Zora form lets Link swim through the water and fire boomerang-like fins at his targets; he can also emit a powerful electrical field in this form. When Link has the Ocarina, activating it while being in these three forms will change the Ocarina into a different instrument: the Deku Scrub plays horns and pipes, the Goron plays drums, and the Zora plays a fishbone guitar. At various points in the game, transforming into these forms and using their specific instruments to play songs Link has learned will be essential in getting past certain areas.
The three-day cycle can be repeated as many times as possible in order to complete the entire game; however, Link will lose certain items he is carrying each time the cycle is repeated by playing the Song of Time. Link can also slow down the passage of time in the three-day cycle as well as jump ahead 12 hours in the cycle (up until the last 12 hours of the third day) by playing altered versions of the Song of Time.
Because of the three-day time system, Majora's Mask is the first game in the Zelda series to have a boss replay feature. After defeating a boss and playing the Song of Time, the player could reenter the dungeon and be invited back to the boss room via a warp pad that lies very close to the dungeon's entrance.