***The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask* is the sixth game to be released in the *Legend of Zelda* series, and is the starting point of The Twilight Realm and The Legacy of the Hero timeline branch, otherwise known as the Child Timeline. *Majora’s Mask* is a direct sequel to *Ocarina of Time*, following the events of child Link, after being sent back to his own time by Zelda.**
*Majora’s Mask* was released in April 27, 2000, in Japan and was the second Zelda game on the Nintendo 64. The game is often considered one of the darker entries in the series by fans and critics. *Majora’s Mask* was re-released on the Nintendo GameCube as part of The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition and on Wii Virtual Console. *The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D*, a remaster by Grezzo, which improved the graphics and featured various changes to the game was released almost 15 years later in February 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL systems.
### Development and Release
<img class="alignleft size-wcsmall wp-image-1059" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/swimming-250x188.jpg" alt="Ura Zelda" />After *Ocarina of Time*’s release, Shigeru Miyamoto planned to make an expansion to the game featuring re-made dungeons for the Nintendo 64DD called *Ura Zelda*. Eiji Aonuma couldn’t really get into the idea, as he felt that remaking the “already perfect dungeons” would ruin them. Instead, he started making completely new dungeons in secret and eventually asked Miyamoto if he could create a new game instead. Miyamoto agreed, but the game had to be completed in a single year, as *Ocarina of Time* had been delayed for many years.
The goal to cut development time was to re-purpose most models and the engine from *Ocarina of Time*. Wondering what kind of sequel to make for *Ocarina of Time*, Aonuma asked help from Yoshiaki Koizumi, who was pulled by Miyamoto to work with the game. Koizumi was planning a “cops and robbers” styled board game, where you had to catch a criminal in a week, which in real time actually took an hour. The idea worked really well as Miyamoto had suggested making a compact Zelda game you could play over and over and find new content and depth. Making and remembering a schedule for a full week felt too difficult and time consuming, so the idea was cut to three days.
The idea of using masks came from *Ocarina of Time*, where people would react to different masks worn. The team felt it would be fun if Link could also transform depending on the mask.
In June 1999, Nintendo announced that *Zelda: Gaiden*, roughly translated to Zelda: Side Story, would appear at the Nintendo Space World on August 27 of the same year. It was thought that Gaiden was the new working title for Ura Zelda, until being confirmed by Miyamoto in an interview with Famitsu, that the two games were separate. In March 2000, the title of the game outside of Japan was announced: Majora’s Mask. The game was set to be released in Holiday of 2000 outside of Japan.
*<img class="alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1060" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Memoryexpansionpak_box-250x171.jpg" alt="Expansion Pak" />Majora’s Mask* runs on an upgraded version of the engine used in *Ocarina of Time* and requires the use of the 4 MB Expansion Pak, one of only three games that were released that required to run. This could have been because of the game’s origins on the 64DD, but has not been confirmed.
The use of the Expansion Pak allowed for greater draw distances, more accurate dynamic lighting, more detailed texture mapping and animation, and more characters displayed on-screen. This expanded draw distance allowed the player to see much farther and eliminated the need for the fog effect and “cardboard panorama” seen in *Ocarina of Time*, which were used to obscure distant areas. Building interiors were rendered in real-time, unlike the fixed 3D display featured in *Ocarina of Time*.
The game’s score was composed by Koji Kondo and Toru Minegishi, and used music from *Ocarina of Time* heavily, reworking and tweaking the prequel’s score. Other music featured was an “overworld” theme and new material, such as Clock Town, which evolves over the three days to become ever more ominous and solemn as the moon got closer to impact. The official soundtrack was released in June 2000, and featured over 100 tracks from the game over two CDs.
*Majora’s Mask* released in Japan in April 2000 however, there was a 6 month delay in releasing the title in American markets, releasing in October and a further month delay in releasing in Europe. The reasons for the largest gap between regional releases for a 3D Zelda title was never explained, but may have had to do with the sheer amount of text and bug fixes between versions.
<img class="alignleft size-wcsmall wp-image-1063" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/mminnen-250x188.jpg" alt="Majora's Mask Adventure Set" />Available only in Europe, a limited edition Adventure Set was also released. Limited to 1,000 copies, it included a copy of Majora’s Mask, the original soundtrack, a watch, a shirt, two pins, a poster, a sticker, and a certificate of authenticity.
In American territories, all versions of the game came with gold cartridges, however, only the ones with the Collector’s Edition logo on the box came with a moving hologram effect on the cartridge label, while the ones without the logo came without it.
In Europe, the PAL versions of the game also came with gold cartridges, but were not named Collector’s Editions and lack the hologram effect on the cartridges label. The only PAL Collector’s Edition was released in Australia where it had the logo and the North American cartridge label, although they lack the moving hologram effect.
In November 2014, a 3DS remake of *Majora’s Mask* was released after intense speculation and fan petitions to have the game released after the release of *Ocarina of Time 3D*. Originally discussed by series producer, Eiji Aonuma, he stated that after seeing the response to the release of *Ocarina of Time 3D* that “it wouldn’t be an utter impossibility.”
<img class="alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1062" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/opmoonfalllogo-250x283.png" alt="Operation Moonfall" />Upon hearing this, fans started a petition called “Operation Moonfall”, a homage to “Operation Rainfall”, a fan campaign set up to have Nintendo release three RPG games for the Wii: Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower. The “Operation Moonfall” petition attracted 10,000 signatures in five days, and fans later created a Kickstarter project raising over $15,000, which raised funds for the organisers to send posters to the Nintendo headquarters.
Eiji Aonuma confirmed via Miiverse that *Majora’s Mask 3D* had been in development since 2011, shortly after finishing *Ocarina of Time 3D* and in November 2014, Nintendo confirmed via their Nintendo Direct that *Majora’s Mask 3D* would be scheduled for a spring 2015 release. Released in February 2015 almost simultaneously worldwide, 2.03 million copies were sold only a month later.
In North America and Europe, a limited special edition of the game was released, with the NA version of the game including a copy of the game plus a Skull Kid figurine. The EU version included a copy of the game, a steel-book case, a pin badge, and a double-sided poster. By pre-ordering the game in the English retailer GAME, a Majora’s Mask paperweight was also included. Other retailers through Europe offered a Majora’s Mask necklace and a black sack with the game’s logo on it when pre-ordering the standard edition. When pre-ordering Code Name S.T.E.A.M. on the American retailer GameStop, a Majora’s Mask pin from the European special edition was also included. A set of 24 postcards was also included when pre-ordering the game in Amazon Japan.
<img class="alignleft size-wcsmall wp-image-1061" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/3ds-majora-back-250x244.png" alt="Majora's Mask 3DS XL" />A special edition New Nintendo 3DS XL was also released on launch day of both the game and the new console. It featured a black console with a gold top and bottom with Majora’s Mask and the four transformation masks. In Europe and Japan, it included a digital copy of the game pre-installed into the system, while the North American version did not include the game at all. In Europe, the Skull Kid figurine was also included when buying the console in the official Nintendo UK store.
*Majora’s Mask* controls very similar to *Ocarina of Time*, with movement, jumping and battling along with Z-Targeting. Notable changes include the ability to control the length of Link’s Jumps, Backflips and Side Jumps with the Control Stick, something that always had a fixed length in *Ocarina of Time*. Link, having become older, now has the ability to use the Bow and Hookshot, something which was only possible as adult Link in *Ocarina of Time*.
<img class="alignright wp-image-1069 size-wcsmall" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/masks-250x188.jpg" alt="Majora's Mask Masks" width="250" height="188" />Link also has the ability to equip various masks, some of which are special transformation masks, allowing Link to transform into a Deku Scrub, Goron or Zora. Each form has their own strengths and weaknesses. Deku Link can hop on water, shoot bubbles and use Deku Flowers to fly in the air, but is short and weak to fire. Goron Link has the ability to move heavy objects and roll fast, but can’t climb ledges or swim in water. Zora Link is Link’s most versatile form, being able to swim and dive in water, climb high ledges, use his fins as Boomerangs and use the electrical Zora Barrier, he is weak to fire and ice though.
<img class="alignleft wp-image-1068 size-medium" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Fierce_Deity_Link-204x300.png" alt="Fierce Deity Link" width="204" height="300" />The final transformation mask to be gained in the game is the Fierce Deity’s Mask, and use of this mask is strictly limited to boss battles only. Upon donning this mask, Link grows to nearly two-and-a-half times his normal height, similar to that of Adult Link in *Ocarina of Time*. His clothes turn white and his face appears with a type of war paint on it. The sword that Fierce Deity Link carries is a helix shape that uses magic power to blast fire at enemies.
Other masks provide situational benefits. For example, the Great Fairy’s Mask helps retrieve stray fairies scattered throughout the four temples, the Bunny Hood allows Link to run faster, and the Stone Mask renders Link invisible to most non-playable characters and enemies. Less valuable masks are usually involved only in optional side-quests or specialised situations. Examples include the Postman’s Hat, which grants Link access to items in mailboxes, and Kafei’s Mask, which initiates a game-long side-quest to receive the Couple’s Mask.
*<img class="alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1067" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/hqdefault-250x188.jpg" alt="3 Day Cycle" />Majora’s Mask* makes use of a “three-day-cycle” mechanic. Every cycle lasts 72 in-game hours, in which various events happen depending on the time of day, this includes shops being closed and characters moving to different areas in real time depending on choices made during the current cycle. A cycle can be reset by playing the Song of Time, which also removes all of Link’s temporary items, such as rupees not deposited in the bank. Aside from temporary saves with Owl’s, playing Song of Time is the only way to permanently save the game. Days can also be slowed down and sped up by playing the Song of Time backwards, or by playing each note twice in order.
*Majora’s Mask* is also noted to have a bigger emphasis on side-quests, making use of the three days and the many masks in the game. Most side-quests give more backstory to characters in the game and also reward Link with masks or heart pieces. Side-quests are recorded on the Bomber’s Notebook, an item to keep track of the schedules of people during the three days. The game also includes more mini-games and optional areas, such as two Shooting Galleries, a Deku Scrub Playground and Skulltula Houses.
Musical instruments once again play an important part of the game, with the Ocarina of Time again the central musical instrument in the game, however, with each transformation mask, Link uses a different instrument with the same effect: Deku Link plays a multi-horn instrument called the “Deku Pipes”, Goron Link plays a set of bongo drums tied around his waist, and Zora Link plays a guitar made from a large fish skeleton.
<img class="alignleft size-wcsmall wp-image-1066" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/inverted_sot-250x188.jpg" alt="Inverted Song of Time" />The game reuses three of *Ocarina of Time*’s ocarina songs: the Song of Time, the Song of Storms, for aforementioned weather manipulation; and Epona’s Song, which again summons Link’s horse.
*Majora’s Mask* is set in Termina, a parallel land to Hyrule. According to legend, Termina was split into four areas by four magical giants that live in four regions of the land. At the centre of Termina lies Clock Town, which features a large clock tower that counts down the days before the Carnival of Time — a major festival where the people of Termina pray for good luck and harvests.
Termina Field surrounds Clock Town; with a swamp, mountain range, bay, and canyon lying in each of the four cardinal directions: The Southern Swamp contains the Deku palace and the Woodfall Temple; The Snowhead mountain range, north of Clock Town, is the site of the Goron village; The western area of Termina, the Great Bay, is the site of the Zora and Gerudo civilisations.; and the desolate Ikana Canyon, to the east of Clock Town, is the site of a former kingdom. It is inhabited mainly by the undead, except for a ghost researcher and his daughter.
At the end of the game, Link is transported to the moon, which is portrayed as a green field with a single, large tree in the centre with masked children playing underneath it. These masked children can be used to trade masks with to attain the Fierce Deity’s mask should every mask in the game be collected by this point.
<img class="alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1070" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/majorasmask071-250x188.png" alt="Owl Statue" />Saving in the game is done by two different ways. The first is by using the Song of Time when Link retrieves the Ocarina of Time from the Skull Kid, and can be used to revert the 3-day cycle back to the beginning. The second is by using the quick saves statues known as Owl Statues, which also double as points to which Link can transport to using the Song of Soaring.
In the Japanese version, Owl Statues serve as a destination for the “Song of Soaring” — players cannot use them to quick-save. While the Japanese version has three save file slots, the international release only has two due to the addition of quick-saves. The Japanese version of Collector’s Edition includes two save files and quick-saves, like international releases.
*Majora’s Mask* features the highest amount of Heart Pieces in the series: 52 in total, while *Twilight Princess* is next with 45. Additionally, it features the highest number of empty Bottles, 6 in all. With the exception of *Skyward Sword* and *A Link Between Worlds* which both feature five, all other Zelda games feature four bottles.
*Majora’s Mask* is commonly regarded as one of the darkest entries in the Zelda franchise. The game’s storyline contains much heavier themes than those seen in prior games of the series, with somber melodies and a myriad of tragic situations. Link is faced with the knowledge that the world of Termina will be destroyed within three days, and the only means in which to prevent this from occurring is by playing the Ocarina of Time to restart everything from the dawn of the First Day.
*Majora’s Mask* goes even further by delving into the emotional and psychological state of Termina’s denizens, each of whom responds to the circumstance of their impending doom in an idiosyncratic but realistic manner. Link and Termina’s denizens are continually confronted with elements of death, loss, and abandonment over and over and over again as the three-day cycle repeats continuously.
With the release of *Majora’s Mask 3D*, the game was given a graphical overhaul similar to that seen in *Ocarina of Time 3D*. Most of the game’s textures are significantly more detailed, and many models consist of more polygons than the original. Character designs have been updated to reflect their *Ocarina of Time 3D* counterparts.
<img class="alignleft size-wcsmall wp-image-1065" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/console1-250x206.png" alt="Majora's Mask 3D" />As with *Ocarina of Time 3D*, the item was revamped, with items being assigned to the 3DS X and Y buttons, and extra item slots designated to two panels in the top- and bottom-right corners of the touch screen. The Ocarina of Time is permanently assigned to bottom left corner of the touch screen, while the Pictograph Box is permanently assigned to the top left corner once obtained. Tatl is also now assigned to the right on the Control Pad.
Motion controls can also be optionally used when in first-person view. They allow Link to look around during movement when the L button is held without anything targeted. Unlike the original game, the viewpoint does not reset to a neutral position when the Circle Pad is released or motion control movement is ceased.
When playing on a New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL, or with the Circle Pad Pro, the extra Circle Pad allows full camera control.
Amongst the many improvements to the original game, the Song of Double Time in *Majora’s Mask 3D* allows Link to jump to a specific hour of the current day and Sheikah Stones also make a return from *Ocarina of Time 3D*, which are large Gossip Stones that allow Link to see short gameplay clips called Visions. These Visions can be used to figure out puzzles or where to go next if stuck. In addition to visions, pictures of Piece of Heart and Stray Fairy locations were also added.
A major addition to the revamped games was the addition of two fishing holes, located on the Road to Southern Swamp and the other in the Zora Cape. Each fishing hole contains 12 fish to be caught, with some species only available to catch while certain masks are worn. The Fierce Deity mask can also be worn in the fishing holes.
### Trivia and Facts
After Kafei gives Link the Pendant of Memories, he asks Link to keep it “a secret to everybody”, a reference to the popular quote from *The Legend of Zelda* and subsequent games.
In the Ancient Castle of Ikana, if the players goes to the south-east part of the courtyard there will be a pillar. If the player manages to get on top of it, they will find a paper airplane. The airplane cannot be picked up and has no significance whatsoever.
Each piece of music in the Zora Hall is taken from a previous game in the series. This includes the main hall being the Zora’s Domain’s music from *Ocarina of Time*, Tijo playing part of the cave theme from *A Link to the Past*, Japas playing part of the dungeon theme from *The Legend of Zelda*, and Evan playing the Game Over song from the same game.
There are unused cutscenes that show the Great Fairy forcibly training Link new abilities instead of just magically giving them to him.
*Majora’s Mask* contains a reference to the Star Fox characters. The masks on the second row of the mask screen resemble the same animals that the Star Fox team is based on, including one of their enemies, a former member of their team who betrayed them.
## Timeline Information
*The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask* is the sixth game to be released in the *Legend of Zelda* series, and is the starting point of The Twilight Realm and The Legacy of the Hero timeline branch, otherwise known as the Child Timeline. The game takes place after Link’s successful defeat of Ganondorf in the future, where he is sent back in time by Princess Zelda to recover his sacrificed childhood.
## Majora's Mask Backstory
After Princess Zelda sends Adult Link back in time using the Ocarina of Time to a point in time before Ganondorf invaded the Sacred Realm - as opposed to simply replacing the Master Sword in the Pedestal of Time - Link starts a quest with his horse, Epona, to search for a beloved friend, presumed to be Navi from his previous quest in *Ocarina of Time*.
### Majora's Mask Events
<img class="alignleft wp-image-1076 size-medium" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/zlcfztattbkft-q7h5-300x180.jpg" alt="Skull Kid and Link" width="300" height="180" />Several months have passed on his quest to find his friend, and Link finds himself within a deep forest in the land of Hyrule. Travelling with Epona, Link is ambushed and knocked off his horse by Skull Kid, and his two friends Tatl and Tael, rendering Link unconscious. After hesitating because he thought he recognised Link, Skull Kid then steals Link’s Ocarina of Time. Attempting to play the ocarina, Link awakens and approaches him, lunging at him to retrieve the Ocarina of Time.
Skull Kid dodges Link and mounts Epona and takes off deep into the woods, with Link holding on to his leg before being thrown off, and tries to chase on foot. Link follows Skull Kid and Epona to an entryway leading into a large, hollow tree. Once inside, Link finds himself on the edge of a massive, and is unable to stop in time to prevent himself from falling into it.
At the bottom of the hole, Link is confronted by Skull Kid who gloats that he has “got rid” of Epona. Using the evil powers of the mask he is wearing, Skull Kid transforms Link into a Deku Scrub. As Skull Kid escapes, Tatl and Tael are separated, and reluctantly asks for Link’s help to reunite with her brother and Skull Kid.
Travelling through the deep caves, Link meets the mysterious Happy Mask Salesman, who has the ability to change him back into his original form, though Link needs the Ocarina of Time to do so. In exchange, Link agrees to retrieve the Majora’s Mask Skull Kid had stolen from him.
Exiting the caves after speaking to the Happy Mask Salesman, Link and Tatl find themselves in the middle of Clock Town, the centre of a land called Termina, a parallel world to Hyrule. Arriving amidst the preparations for the Carnival of Time, Link soon learns that there is a catastrophic event in the making: the Moon, now with a horrible, evil face, is looming toward Termina. In three days, the Moon will crash directly into Clock Town, destroying Termina along with it.
<img class="alignright size-full wp-image-1075" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/200px-MM3D_Happy_Mask_Salesman_Artwork.png" alt="Happy Mask Salesman" />After solving a way to get to the top of the Clock Tower by the end of the third day, Link confronts Skull Kid and retrieves the Ocarina of Time from him. On contact with the magical instrument, Link is reminded of a memory with Princess Zelda teaching him the Song of Time, reminding him that the Goddess of Time will aid Link should he ever play it.
Link learns from Tael, Tatl’s brother, that to defeat Majora’s Mask and Skull Kid, he must travel to the four regions of Termina, one on each cardinal point, and rescue the “four who are there.” Left with other explanation or option after Skull Kid swats Tael out of the way, Link plays the Song of Time and is taken back in time to the precise point they entered Termina - the Dawn of the First Day.
Tatl remembers the promise to the Happy Mask Salesman and, upon meeting him, teaches Link the Song of Healing, removing the curse places upon Link in the form of a Deku scrub, and sealing the curse inside the mask. This allows Link to transform into Deku Link at will.
However, upon realising that Link failed to retrieve Majora’s Mask from Skull Kid, the Happy Mask Salesman becomes enraged, and goes into detail about the true nature of Majora’s Mask. The mask was created by a long-extinct tribe for use in hexing rituals, but fearing that someone would misuse the mask, sealed it away.
<img class="alignleft wp-image-1074 size-medium" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/19eyw3hoaani8jpg-300x165.jpg" alt="Majora's Mask Moon" width="300" height="165" />The Happy Mask Salesman eventually recovered the mask but, he too, was ambushed by the mischievous Skull Kid. Holding the mask, Skull Kid only used the mask for small-time mischief before summoning the Moon to destroy Termina. The Happy Mask Salesman, strangely aware of Link’s past acts of heroism, has faith in his ability to recover the mask before he departs after three days.
Once Link has been transformed into his normal self, he sets about following Tael’s instructions of going to the “Swamp. Mountains. Ocean. Canyon” and travels to the Southern Swamp first, where the abilities of the Deku Scrub mask help in aiding a group of monkeys whose brother has been kidnapped by the Deku Royal Family. The monkey has been blamed for the kidnap of the Deku Princess, and Link sets about clearing the monkey’s name and lifting the curse placed on the area by Skull Kid.
Lifting the curse also helps free the region’s Giant, who are the only ones who are able to prevent the Moon from crashing into Termina. The first Giant Link rescues from the curse in the Southern Swamp teaches Link a song called the Oath to Order. This song allows Link to summon the Four Giants before fighting Majora’s Mask, giving him the time to do so.
Link then travels to the other three areas - Snowhead, Great Bay and Ikana Canyon - braving great trials on the way, and fighting his way through each dungeon in the area to defeat the monsters and free the remaining Giants.
Upon ridding the four regions of the curses Skull Kid placed on them, Link learns from the Four Giants that Skull Kid was once their friend, whom they had to leave behind when they left Termina to guard the land from their sleep. Link plays the Oath to Order, and the Four Giants are able to prevent the Moon from crashing into Clock town, while Skull Kid is knocked unconscious.
As Tatl and Tael are reunited, Majora’s Mask reveals that it capable of acting of its own will and power, and forces the Moon ever closer to Termina, with the Four Giants unable to prevent it. Tatl pleads with Link to restore time to the First Day, but realises that the only way to truly free the land of Termina is to destroy the spirit residing within Majora’s Mask.
Chasing after the mask, Link finds himself in a wide, open field populated by children wearing the Boss Remains, the masks of the defeated bosses from each of the four dungeons, as well as one wearing Majora’s Mask. Upon trading all of the masks thats Link has collected through his journey, the children set trials for Link to fight through, after which Link is able to finally confront Majora’s Mask.
<img class="alignright size-wcsmall wp-image-1073" src="http://zelda-timeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Majoras_Wrath_Artwork-250x248.png" alt="Majora's Wrath" />Fighting three different forms of Majora’s Mask, Link is able to defeat it and make the mask powerless, and a brand new days dawns, ending the cycle of fear of the Moon crashing into Termina.
The Four Giants, their job now done, depart once more after making friends again with Skull Kid, realising it was the power of Majora’s Mask that was causing Skull Kid to act evilly. The Happy Mask Salesman is reunited with the now-powerless Majora’s Mask, as the population of Termina celebrate the Carnival of Time. Link leaves Termina behind to carry on his quest for Navi.
### Majora's Mask Legacy
After leaving Termina, Link and Epona find themselves travelling through the Lost Woods in Hyrule, and are seen riding off towards a mysterious light that breaks through the dense forest. A large tree stump is also seen in the Lost Woods, with pictures of Link, Skull Kid, Tatl and Tael and the Four Giants carved into the stump.