This Is The End(ing) 6.18.12: Majora’s Mask
Posted by Gavin Napier on 06.19.2012
Gavin Napier wraps up the Zelda series (for now) with a look at Majora’s Mask ending, plus you can help decide which games are covered next in this week’s This Is The End(ing)!
Welcome back to what will be the final installment of the Zelda franchise (for now) on This Is The Ending. It’s been a quick month, and I’m ready to move on to something else. What, though? Well, that’s for you to decide. Get your vote on, and whoever is leading by Saturday afternoon will be the direction the column goes in for the next month or so. Here’s your options:
Player 1, Meet the NPC’s!
First up is superliger, who offered me a well deserved correction.
Excuse me kind sir, not to tell you how to write your column but I do believe theres a story you are forgetting. You know one with a Link to your past SNES days??
You are correct, sir. As mentioned previously, I didn’t own an SNES, and rarely had access to one. It’s the shame of my childhood. I definitely let that one slip my mind, and shame on me for it. Corrections are always welcome in this column, as I’m not too proud to admit that I occasionally make some errors or have lapses in my research.
Team J-Rod took minor offense to me.
“I’m about half convinced that Team J-Rod is a liar.”
No joke, man, I could boot up Zelda II right now and run through it…it’s one of those games that’s become deeply ingrained in my memory banks to where I can recall where all the key items are. About a year ago, I made a run through Death Mountain without the CANDLE, because I wanted to do the castles out of order. Same thing with Friday the 13th for some odd reason…give me 40 minutes and I can beat that game without losing a single counselor or kid on the lake.
I will persist that Zelda I was cryptic. Burning random bushes, bombing non-descript walls, knowing to blow the flute “in a place where fairies don’t live,” walking through walls in the second quest? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the game and have made many a playthrough, but did anyone growing up actually figure out all these secrets without the aid of the Nintendo Fun Club magazine or a friend who had done so??
I was only kidding around, which was meant to be a commentary on just how difficult the game was. I fully understand being able to breeze through things that others find difficult in the video game world, though. To this day, I feel pretty confident in my ability to sit down and blow through the original Bionic Commando after shaking the initial rust off.
As for the crypticness of the original Legend of Zelda, I don’t know if cryptic is the word I would use, but I certainly understand what you’re saying. It took some outside the box thinking to find stuff, and it was definitely new stuff to a lot of gamers. I will say that I found more stuff on the second playthrough of the original than I did on the first, because I understood how to look for things. I also would methodically and meticulously burn every available bush on the screen looking for things. I’m a bit OCD like that. Those habits persist to this day, which can be a bit of a problem when playing massive games such as Mass Effect.
Team J-Rod was responded to by the illustrious Comment Board Poster
Didn’t have access to those things back then. So, yeah, I got through it without any help. It took 7 months of playing it every second I could when not in school and so forth. But it could be done.
He raises a valid point. I personally didn’t really have access to things like Gamepro or Nintendo Power until well into the 90′s. It was just part of life growing up in rural West Virginia. I also would have had my ass summarily beaten if I had tried to call the Nintendo Help Line to get tips on the game, thus jacking up my parents’ phone bill. Therefore, it was only through trial and error could I hack through games like Zelda. Occasionally I could get an assist from a friend that had already played, but they were pretty much in the same boat that I was.
adam kerrick provides some potential future material for the column.
The hardest NES game I can recall playing has to be Solstice. That was damn near impossible to beat imo.
I’ve personally never played Solstice. At least I don’t think I have. If I did, it certainly didn’t stick out in my mind. I have heard from more than one source, though, that it’s exceptionally difficult. If the “Hardest Games Ever” category wins out, then I’ll definitely consider this one for inclusion.
Finally, Guest#0722 and Guest#7663 had a nice little conversation. It was like two gamer nerds meeting in the wild, and 411 Games was there to catch it on film. Or a comment board. You know, whichever. Let’s see what sorts of interactions we were able to catch:
I’m just curious has anybody played The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time Master Quest. It’s on the Game Cube and if I remember correctly the only thing different was the way the dungeons were setup, other than that it was pretty much the same game.
Oh, a civil, logical question. Let’s see how this goes. In its native habitat, the internet commenter can be unnecessarily aggressive, using mockery and sarcasm as tools to dissuade civil interactions with faceless strangers across the data abyss. Let’s see what happens.
To the person asking about the Master Quest. Yes that is correct. After playing both I actually prefer Master Quest. The dungeons seemed to focus more on puzzle solving than combat as there were less enemies. Also I’ve found that the water temple wasn’t as bad on the MQ version. Others may disagree but this is my quick overview from personal experience.
Oh, a rare happening indeed! Not only civil, but a very enlightening and helpful response. We were privileged to witness such a rare occasion on the internet. Join us next week when we observe further behaviors of internet natives, along with a complete lack of large, exposed, native titties.
Yeah, something like that.
This Is The End(ing) 5-4: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Yet another fine Zelda game that I have literally no experience with. My dream one day, when I’m married and financially stable, is to build a man cave room that has virtually every console ever, that way I can play anything I want any time that I want. I can dream, right?
Yeah, something like that.
Until then, I’ll just have to research the bejeezus out of stuff. I’m okay with that. Majora’s Mask was released in North America in October of the year 2000 for the Nintendo 64 system. In the twelve years since, the game has managed to sell over three million copies. Actually, I’m willing to bet that it hasn’t sold a ton of copies over the last 6 or 7 years, so I’d say most of those were sold in the early 2000′s. Just a guess.
The game presented a challenge to the Nintendo developers, because they had to figure out a way to capitalize on the success of Ocarina of Time without directly copying it while avoiding a letdown. That isn’t something easy to do, considering Ocarina of Time holds a legitimate world record for “Best game ever,” right? So the team set to work on figuring out what they could improve what they could tweak, and what needed to stay the same.
The game handles much the same way as Ocarina of Time, which makes sense. It’s running on a slightly upgraded version of the engine that Ocarina of Time was built on. The 3D graphics are still there, and there’s just a little more “oomph” in everything. The result was a graphical and textured look that IGN referred to as “one of the best on the N64.” Graphical improvements are easy, though. Technology is always moving forward in that regards. What about the other stuff?
The game retained a lot of the elements that made Ocarina of Time so successful, such as the dungeon puzzles and musical elements. However, the game introduced two key features – transformations and the “three day cycle.” The masks were a neat little side quest from Ocarina of Time, but they’re central to the theme of Majora’s Mask. There are two dozen masks to collect, all with their own unique effects. The effects range from the Postman’s Hat, which allows Link to look in mailboxes, to the Fierce Diety mask, which turns Link into a raging monstrosity clothed in white and wearing warpaint. For posterity, here’s all the masks:
Is that…a gimp mask?
The three day cycle idea was praised as one of the more innovative ideas in gaming, which is sort of what Nintendo specializes in. Essentially, there’s a three day gap that Link is operating in, and he can return to the first day by playing a song on the Ocarina. Doing so, though, causes any rupees that aren’t in the bank to disappear, as well as minor items and things of that nature. NPC’s generally don’t have a recollection of meeting Link previously, and it’s up to Link to learn their schedules and when he can access them for assistance on his quest. If you’ve never played the game (like me), it may sound confusing at first (I was), but after seeing it in action, it makes a lot of sense and is a lot of fun.
The game was well received, just not as well received as Ocarina of Time. That’s okay, though, because we’ve covered the whole thing where Ocarina of Time just might be the greatest game ever put together by human beings. Sales remained strong, and as of this year’s E3, a true remake of the game is still being considered.
Now we’re at the part where I tell you this column, by nature, involves spoilers. I’m talking about the ending of games. This week’s game is 12 years old, and is from a system that’s a few generations old. If you’re not familiar with The Legend of Zelda, I’m not sure why you’re even reading this column. It’s pretty well established what this column is about by this point, and you’ve been given plenty of opportunities to turn back. If you continue reading and then complain that something has been spoiled for you, I hope you got punched in the face by your dad yesterday for Father’s Day.
Majora’s Mask takes place in Terminus, which is a parallel land to Hyrule, the setting for most other Zelda games. Maybe all of them. I admittedly didn’t look up the setting of every Zelda game before sitting down to type this on Father’s Day while my dad takes a nap. Anyway, it takes place in Terminus, a few months after Ocarina of Time ends. As we begin, Link is searching for a friend, who we assume to be Navi, his fairy. As he makes his way into the Lowt Woods, Skull Kid and his to fairies attack Link and steal his horse, Epona, and the Ocarina of Time. Link follows them into a cave, where he falls into a pit. At the bottom of the pit, he finds himself turned into a Deku Scrub. Tatl the fairy mocks Link because of his new form, but then finds herself separated from Skull Kid and Tael. She then insists that they work together to be reunited with her friends.
Link follows them to the Clock Tower in Termina. He meets the mask salesman, who is willing to help Link once the Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask are recovered from Skull Kid. Link and Tatl move on, and we find Clock Town preparing for the Carnival of Time. In something that seems like it would fit in both Nightmare Before Christmas and Back to the Future, we learn that the moon is going to crash into the city in three days’ time.
Disapproves. Of moons crashing into town. And probably Jack Skellington. Just a guess.
Link confronts Skull Kid and Tael (the other fairy) at midnight of Day 3 on top of the Clock Tower, just before the moon slams into everything. Tael informs Link that he must get four giants from four biomes. Link doesn’t get Majora’s Mask, but is able to swipe the Ocarina of Time. He plays the “Song of Time” (ingenious name), which whips both he and Tatl back to their moment of arrival in Termina.
The mask salesman teaches Link a new song, which will return Link to human form and allows him to keep the Deku Mask. Link informs the salesman that he wasn’t able to get Majora’s Mask back from Skull Kid yet, and the salesman gets upset. He tells Link that the mask contains and evil and apocalyptic power, which was once used by ancient tribes to hex people. The ancient ones began to fear the great power, and sealed the mask “forever” to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. The tribe vanished, and the mask all but disappeared. The Skull Kid was manipulated by Majora’s Mask, and is responsible for the moon that’s about to destroy Termina.
Probably distant cousins.
Link travels to the four areas that contain the giants, and defeats a “boss” which gives him the power of each of the Four Giants. After all four bosses have been defeated, Link summons the Giants, who stop the moon from crashing into Termina. Majora’s Mask then abandons Skull Kid and possesses the moon. This seems like a good time to be friends with Mogo from the Green Lantern Universe. I digress. Link manages to defeat the moon (!?!?) and it returns to its proper location. Which is in the sky, not in the middle of a city. The four giants return to sleep and everyone lives happily ever after.
This is the ending.
Link and Skull Kid settle their differences. The Mask Salesman takes Majora’s Mask, and says that it has been purified of its evil power. Link rides away on his trusty steed, and Termina is able to celebrate the Carnival of Time without fear of being slammed into by a giant possessed moon. After the credits roll, the game shows a screen showing a drawing on a tree stump of Link, Tatl, Tael, Skull Kid, and all four giants. Once again, Link has saved the day with his heroism and time traveling ability.
One last thing…
This week’s inductee to the Another Castle Hall of Shame is Borderlands.
I know a lot of folks that legitimately enjoy Borderlands. It’s gotten a lot of good press. That doesn’t excuse the ending, though. See, in Borderlands, the entire plot device that drives your character, identifies your character, and is the basis for your entire quest through the game is The Vault. You’re told in the beginning that all who try to enter The Vault fail. And so, you set forth to prove them wrong. This is a relatively new game, so if you don’t want it spoiled for you, I’d just skip everything until the end of the column. Here’s what happens:
Nothing. That’s what happens. You don’t get an explanation of the Vault, and when Borderlands was originally made, there wasn’t any intention of a sequel. It was to be a standalone game, which makes the ending even worse. I’m all for cryptic and mildly unsatisfying endings to set up sequels. But as a standalone? For shame. Now, to fill some space to let those that didn’t want to see the ending or read about the ending avoid spoilers, here’s some pictures of Morgan Webb.
And that’s it for me this week. Remember to vote in the poll above if you haven’t already. Look me up on Twitter @GavinNapier411 for direct interaction, and I’ll be back in 7 days for more spoilerrific goodness.
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If a game that everyone thinks is difficult is “easy” for someone, either that person is so naturally gifted that everything is easy to them so they can’t tell the difference, or they spent hundreds of hours practicing which shows that it was in fact not easy, so they are either stupid or lying.
It’s really only in video games that people take this angle. In any other endeavor people that are great at it don’t run around insisting it’s easy, they all instead insist it’s difficult and they say they put in a lot of hard work to master their craft.
As a former semi-pro fighting game and RTS competitor, I can safely say that 90% of the time someone told me something is easy when I competed against them they wound up sucking and not actually being able to do anything. There are a few other guys I competed with that would claim something is easy, but most of them would practice for hours a day so I always considered them full of shit. Most guys just didn’t say anything, or said they had to practice hard to do well.
Also Morgan Webb has nice boobs.
Posted By: Guest#6326 (Guest) on June 19, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Now here’s a game that took me 10 years to beat. Well, not like I tried for ten years. I bought it at launch, but just found it monotonous. So, I loaned it to a friend and didn’t get it back for several years. By then, I kept hearing how good the game was, and that it wasn’t that monotonous once you got into it, so I gave it another shot. Glad I did. It was still a little annoying, but I enjoyed it.
It’s still only the second Legend of Zelda game I’ve beaten, though, after Wind Waker. I know it’s wrong, but every time I play Ocarina, I somehow get bored of it about the time you get into the future. Actually, I think my game’s sitting at the Garudo level if I’d put it back in. Haven’t even started Twilight Princess, yet.
In summation, I guess I like Legend of Zelda, I just don’t have the attention span for it.
Posted By: G-Walla (Guest) on June 21, 2012 at 12:52 AM