System: Nintendo 64
Release Dates: April 27, 2000 (Japan), October 26, 2000 (North America), November 17, 2000 (Europe)
Developer: Nintendo’s Entertainment Analysis and Development
Units Sold: 3 million worldwide (estimate)
Re-releases: The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition (Nintendo GameCube), Virtual Console (Nintendo Wii)
In the game, a young Link (the very same from Ocarina of Time) must retrieve a stolen mask that has the power to destroy the land of Termina by possessing the moon to crash down onto the world in three days. Link must travel Termina and conquer four unique dungeons, acquire masks that grant him special powers including the ability to transform into different races (Deku Shrub, Goron, and Zora), and help the locals with their problems. On the final day, Link must face Majora’s Mask in a battle on the moon and save the world from his insane attempt at extermination…
From the official game manual included with the original Nintendo 64 version:
In the land of Hyrule, there echoes a legend. A legend held dearly by the Royal Family that tells of a boy…
A boy who, after battling evil and saving Hyrule, crept away from the land that had made him a legend…
Done with the battles he once waged across time, he embarked on a journey. A secret and personal journey…
A journey in search of a beloved and invaluable friend…
A friend with whom he parted ways when he finally fulfilled his heroic destiny and took his place among legends…
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is a direct sequel to the 1998 Nintendo 64 classic The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Unlike Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask required and was bundled with the Nintendo 64 Expansion Pak accessory, which increased the available system memory, thus allowing for improved graphics, greater draw distances, real-time building rendering, and so on. Majora’s Mask was created using an improved Ocarina of Time game engine within 18 months, making it have the shortest development cycle in Zelda history.
Majora’s Mask was first revealed in Famitsu magazine in May 1999 under the name “Ura Zelda,” which was originally intended to be an expansion of Ocarina of Time for the 64DD in Japan. Nintendo later announced in June of the same year that a game called “Zelda: Gaiden” would be playable as a demo at the Nintendo Spaceworld Exhibition on August 27th, 1999, which was naturally assumed to be the new name for “Ura Zelda.” However, at Spaceworld, series creator Shigeru Miyamoto clarified that “Ura Zelda” and “Zelda: Gaiden” were actually separate titles.
Unfortunately, “Ura Zelda” never made it to the 64DD as originally intended due to its commercial failure (and instead Nintendo gave fans “Ocarina of Time: Master’s Quest” years later on the Collector’s Edition disc for Nintendo GameCube), but “Zelda: Gaiden” went on to become the Majora’s Mask we know today.
In November of ’99, Nintendo announced a Holiday 2000 launch for Zelda: Gaiden. In March of the following year, Nintendo renamed Zelda: Gaiden to Zelda no Densetsu Mujura no Kamen, or The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask outside of Japan. It released on schedule to positive reviews from critics, though mixed reactions from fans.
Majora’s Mask was re-released as a part of The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition for Nintendo GameCube in 2003, which was a promotional disc made by Nintendo that included emulated versions of Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, the original NES Zelda game, and a short demo of The Wind Waker. It was bundled with new purchases of Nintendo GameCube hardware for a short while, and was available as a bonus gift for subscribing to Nintendo Power magazine. The promotions ended in early 2004 and used copies of the game sell for fairly high prices online now.
Majora’s Mask was also re-released on the Wii’s Virtual Console service in Europe and Australia on April 3rd, 2009, in Japan on April 7th, 2009, and in North America on May 18th, 2009 to celebrate the 300th game on Virtual Console.
Guides and Walkthroughs
- Coming soon.
- Coming soon.
Metacritic: 95/100 (Universal Acclaim)
IGN Review: 9.9/10
“…a remarkable sequel that’s just as enjoyable as the original — a feat in of itself. Recommended above all other titles this year as the Nintendo 64 game to own.”
Gamespot Review: 8.3/10
“Majora’s Mask is a great game, but it isn’t for everybody.”
You’re welcome to add your own review in the comments section below.