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Dawn of a New Day: Final Thoughts on Majoras Mask


In the past year, I have fallen deeply in love with the Legend of Zelda series. With my first ever play through of a Zelda game, Ocarina of Time, coming to an end in January 2016, naturally I was destined to pop the Majoras Mask cartridge into my 3DS next. Fast forward a year and some frustration later, I'm a bit perplexed by the overall theme and design of this game. If you're here for a game summary, you're in the wrong place! There are tons of existing summaries out there, so go google one real quick and come back! Now- lets dive in.

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Many people regard this as one of (if not the) greatest game to date in the Legend of Zelda franchise. The overall idea of hours upon hours of game play taking place over the same three days is very unique and not seen in any other titles that come to mind. However it also comes with a downfall- the pressure of playing against a timer and repeating tasks multiple times to achieve desired results. 

If you didn't already pick up on it, it took me a year to beat this game. An entire year. It wasn't because I was too busy, but simply because I had to take extended breaks to stay sane. The constant pressure and rushing was a bit overwhelming- especially since I had never played this game before. I'm the type of person that absolutely hates anything that is timed. I like to take things slow, explore every nook and cranny of an area, and really just see everything a game has to offer. This immediately was a problem for me after the first cut scene and I felt like I was under constant pressure to stick to the task during the entire game. I finally decided to sit down this past week and finish it (and boy am I glad I did) since my time will be preoccupied with Breath of the Wild on Friday.

Sorry Majoras Mask fans but I had to point that out. This game is NOT an easy one to play. Now that we have the negative out of the way- lets talk about what I like about this game, and where I would rank it among the other Legend of Zelda titles that I've played.

This game is deep. Don't get me wrong, Ocarina of Time was phenomenal, but it doesn't even touch on the themes present in Majoras Mask. Right from the start of the game, Link is seen going through the forest solemn and down ridden. He is only a child and has already lived as an adult, and saved the world. Only for no one to remember. How ironic for him to meet skull kid, someone who also feels betrayed and alone after being cast out by the giants. Two peas in a pod- right?


Life is hard, we all know that. And it's obvious that life has taken its toll on these two. Fast forward to the end of the game, after defeating Majora, and there was one line in the dialogue between Link and Skull Kid that really struck me. 

"Friends are a nice thing to have"...

Ding ding! This line drives home what I believe is perhaps the biggest theme of this game. Death is scary and inevitable. Over and over again the citizens of clock town are subject to the pending crash of the moon and ultimately the end of their lives. Seeing how they react, is probably going to be one of the most memorable things for this game to me. They can often be seen hovering together, taking comfort in the fact that they have loved ones and friends nearby to help them confront the end.

And that's just it- friends help make bearing the fear of death, this big scary unavoidable thing we all must face (or in this case a big moon with a scary face), more bearable.


Another major theme I see in Majoras Mask is that of how death is handled itself. Lets go back to that last scene with Link and Skull Kid. The Happy Mask Salesman finally has his mask back, and after walking off to leave he turns to say: 

"Whenever there is a meeting, a parting shall follow. But that parting needs not last forever. Whether a parting be forever or merely for a short while... that is up to you". 

Here we are talking about death again, but this time in a different context. The question we are looking at is: in the end, after death, do you really go away forever? Sure- death may be made easier with friends, but in the end some people have to die before others. I interpret the Happy Mask Salesman quote as an answer to that question. Of course a "parting" will someday occur, however by choosing to remember your friend, and by keeping their memory alive, the parting is only for a short while until you meet again. This can also touch back onto the importance of friends theme. Friends keeping your memory alive ensures that you aren't forgotten and truly gone forever.


It's also important to take into account the masks. Each time Link gains a new form, it is when someone has passed on (which is super depressing by the way, is this really a kids game?). By putting on the mask, Link is carrying on the memory of who that person was and letting them live on even after their life has ended

The third and final theme I see in Majoras Mask is; if you do something good, and nobodies knows, does it really matter? This one is a deep moral question. Should you do things if you get nothing out of it? Link relives the same three days over and over again, only to see any work he has done gone at start of the first day. He sees people living in pain, sadness and despair and does everything he can to correct any wrong- all for it to vanish. So why does he do it? Does it really matter?

To further drive this point home Link never even gets a thank you. At the very end of the game, Tatl says to link: "Why don't you just leave and go about your buisness. The rest of us have a carnival to go to". To which Link hops on Epona and zooms off. It is only after Link has gone that Tatl says "... thank you".

So- why does he do it? Why does Link care about clock town, does it really matter? We are going to have to examine the Happy Mask Salesman one last time to answer this question for good. "The masks you have are filled with happiness. This is truly a good happiness". 


So yes- it does matter. Even if no one knows or remembers, Link made a difference in the lives of many. He made them happy, and a happy life is one that is worth living. Not one in fear and anguish, one where you constantly avoid everything due to the fear of the end. 

In a nutshell, this game is about the importance of friends, death and its permanence, and why you should do good deeds.

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So, after all is said and done how would I rank this game? To give it a quote "I've never loved and hated a game simultaneously so much in my life". I hated the rushed feeling, the impending doom (but wait- isn't the game supposed to teach me not to fear the end?! GASP), but man oh man this thing had a ton of layers that I could really just dive into. I love a game that leaves me with the feeling that I've played something that it was worth my time. Majoras Mask was just that. It was hard, but it was certainly worth it and it is probably worth your time too if you haven't played it!

Out of all the Legend of Zelda games I've played, I'd rank Majoras Mask a solid second. Simply due to it's uniqueness and how memorable it will be for me. Even if it did make me want to pull my hair out at times.

1: Link Between Worlds
2: Majoras Mask
3: Ocarina of Time
4: Twilight Princess
5: Wind Waker

That's all I have for now, thanks for stopping by!

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Giving this game a rating was difficult. It's wonderful, and has a lot of deep meaning, however it isn't for everyone. It is a VERY hard game, so hard that some people may never be able to finish it. Due to the difficulty factor and the slight annoyance of redoing the same tasks over and over, Majoras Mask makes out with a 8.0.

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