The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
If Ocarina of Time is an epic, then Majora's Mask can only be described as an epic epic.
This time Link, the Hyrulian Hero, struggles against time to unravel the unsettling mystery of Majora's Mask.
This mind-bending follow-up to Ocarina of Time sparkles with an artistic flair and presents a premise that shatters the foundation upon which most games are built. Perpetually reliving the same three days and three nights, Link is able to explore his world and relate to other characters like never before. Plot is often an afterthought in video games, but it is the driving force in Majora's Mask. The storyline meanders through the game like a living creature, poking around here and there to reveal greater insight into the land of Termina.
Link is a well-armed detective in this mysterious adventure, gaining greater insight into the lives of established characters and meeting fresh faces as well. At first glance Majora's Mask appears to be uncharacteristically dark and brooding, but in fact it is usually the fear of the unknown which creates this uneasy mood. As Link gains knowledge, the world becomes less intimidating.
The mystery begins a mere three months after Link's triumph over Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time. Now downtrodden, Link guides Epona through a sombre fog in search of his faithful fairy friend Navi. To Epona's surprise, two mischievous fairies materialise out of the mist and send Link's steed into a panicked retreat. These two fairies turn out to be siblings, appropriately named Tatl and Tael. As Link falls to the ground and loses consciousness, a disguised Skull Kid emerges from the fog. Both merry and macabre, the masked marauder steals Link's Ocarina and immediately mounts Epona. Link gives chase of course, completely unaware that he is pursuing not a mere Skull Kid, but one possessed by the mystical power of Majora's Mask. At the conclusion of their flight, Link unwittingly follows the Skull Kid through a powerful portal, which leads to a parallel universe.
This new land is called Termina, and although it contains many of the same features and inhabitants as Hyrule, it is a unique world which is only familiar to Link in an unsettling sort of way. It doesn't take Link long to learn that he has arrived in Termina at the most inopportune of times. Not only is there a Skull Kid on the loose driven by the dark power of Majora's Mask, but the very moon itself will plunge through the atmosphere and devastate the land in a mere three days. Link knows that this is no mere coincidence. Before dawn on the fourth day, Link must somehow solve the mystery of Majora's Mask and save Termina from the lunatic mission of its own moon.
Masks play a vital role in Link's Terminian adventure. Early in his quest, Link encounters a travelling salesman from the Happy Mask Shop. It's not immediately clear whether this shady character is aligned with the forces of good or evil, but he claims to be the rightful owner of Majora's Mask. It is this travelling salesman who places a three-day time limit on Link's exploits, coincidentally coinciding with the inflexible schedule of the falling moon. The nomadic representative of the Happy Mask Shop gives Link his first mask, the Deku Mask. While wearing this mask, Link is able to do business with Deku Scrubs who would normally ignore him in human form.
When Link wears the Goron Mask, he inhabits the body of a fallen Goron named Darmani. Goron Link is one of the most unusual Gorons you'll ever see. While disguised as the rock-munching Darmani, Link is equipped with a powerful punch and the ability to roll up into a speeding spiked wheel. When Link picks up the Zora Mask and transforms into a Zora, he instantly gains the ability to speed through the water like a dolphin. Obviously, many of the puzzles in Majora's Mask require Link to use the primary transformation masks listed above. There are over 20 additional masks, though, which can help him other ways. Some masks allow Link to talk with specific characters, while others give Link special powers like the ability to run more quickly. At times, the possibilities seem endless.
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