As most of you know, Nintendo recently celebrated WiiWare’s first anniversary. Now, they’re celebrating 300 Virtual Console games and counting, starting their latest line-up with The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask for the n64. A nice surprise, indeed. About time, too. Europe and Japan had this game on their VCs weeks ago. Lucky them.
There’s lots to say about Majora’s Mask. A lot of fans consider it “the black sheep” of the series. Well, I say that these people have not played and finished Zelda II: The Adventure of Link…as I have. Now, that was some good black sheep there. No joke. Hardest Zelda game ever.
Majora’s Mask holds a special place in my heart. For one, we didn’t have to wait a decade for a new Zelda game to be released back then. I ran to my local game store here in Saudi Arabia, paying around 120$ for that shiny golden import cart. The development team smartly used Ocarina of Time’s game engine to create a completely different experience yet preserving some of OoT’s 3D fundamentals, therefore providing fans with a Zelda game soon after OoT. Storyline-wise, it’s the darkest and weirdest in the series…yet it’s the only one which makes you feel for NPCs due to an extremely deep and interactive side-questing system that involves these very characters during their daily lives. Anju/Kafei, anyone? Speaking of gameplay, this installment comes packed with various transformations (Fierce Deity Link, OMG. Best. Form. Ever.) and a unique yet frustrating save system. Despite having just a couple of dungeons, there’s lots of replay value to be found here.
What makes this download even more special is that you’re getting “the best version”. For the 20 of you who own the GameCube Zelda Collector’s disk, you’ll notice that it’s prone to hangs, crashes, and bugs with the 3D games, particularly Majora’s Mask as the disk itself had a warning of “imperfect emulation”. With the VC version, you’ll be treated with n64’s stability combined with the souped-up hi-res graphics of the GameCube version…perhaps slightly superior in that category too as Ocarina of Time has proven.
The release of Majora’s Mask has renewed my interest in downloading all VC Zelda games. Thus far, I only have A Link to the Past in my Wii. For some strange reason I’d like to re-own all these classics Zeldas despite still holding on to original copies of A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time in addition to the Collector’s GCN Disk and the GBA re-releases of all the 2D installments. Sadly, I have lost my golden Majora’s Mask n64 cart long ago…shouldn’t have lent it to my cousin. Oh well, VC version it is!
Thank you, Mr. Aonuma and company, for this unique ride. I’ve been a fan of you ever since you showed off your directional skills with Majora’s Mask. Looking forward to Spirit Tracks and Zelda Wii!