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3DS

Excitement for a Gentler Majora’s Mask on 3DS

by Neal Ronaghan - December 11, 2014, 6:01 pm PST
Total comments: 12

Could Majora’s Mask 3D make the divisive Nintendo 64 gem more appealing to everyone?

I've been rooting for a Majora's Mask remake on 3DS since Ocarina of Time came out. My reasoning might be different than a lot of other people's, though because I wouldn't count myself as a fan of Majora's Mask. Sure, I love the music and the concept, but I've never gotten more than two dungeons through the game. I understand why people are so fanatical about it, but it's always been that Zelda game that passed me by. That's most of the reason why I got enamored with the idea of a remake.

When playing Ocarina of Time 3D, I really dug the way they used in-game hints. If you got stumped, you could go and watch a short video that hinted at what you had to do. Those videos wouldn't even unlock until after you beat your head against the wall a little bit. I liked that idea so much because it wasn't intrusive. Outside of maybe an early tutorial saying "go here if you're stumped, Link," it didn't distract from the gameplay. It was the most elegant implementation of Nintendo’s long-dormant Super Guide concept from the Wii years.

Immediately, I wanted that for Majora's Mask. With all of its layers, secrets, and routines, I always felt I had to either play Majora's Mask with a walkthrough or a notepad. That wasn't enjoyable for me, much in the way I deplored Paper Mario: Sticker Star because levels in there required you to have a superhuman knowledge of what stickers to bring with you into levels.

If Aonuma’s comments so far are to be believed, we should be getting some sort of hint system with the Majora’s Mask remake. Adding in something like that would make the game way more appealing to me and likely every other Majora’s Mask unbeliever or naysayer. If done right, a hint system shouldn’t even intrude on longtime Majora lovers who are replaying it.

Of course, Majora’s Mask 3D also positions the Nintendo 64 classic to a whole new audience. Babies born when Majora’s Mask first came out are in high school now (to put it in perspective, I was in middle school when the game hit N64). There’s a new generation of gamers for Majora’s Mask to delight and/or infuriate. I’m excited to see what I think. I’m excited to see what everyone thinks.

Talkback

azekeDecember 11, 2014

Be gentle, Majora! It's my first time...

TrueNerdDecember 11, 2014

I am in the same boat as you Neil. Gotten up to where you get the Goron mask and no further. I love so much of what's going on in Majora. The story, the mood, the art design, the structure of the game, it's all great. But the ticking clock, even with making the cycle three times as long with the inverted song of time, is downright unpleasant. I like to take my time in Zelda. Check everything out. Explore at my leisure. I can't do that in Majora. I've also never gotten a firm grasp on what will reset and what won't when I start the cycle again.

I think having the inverted song of time slow down time to at least 1/4 regular time as opposed to 1/3 regular time would be huge and solve my issues. Maybe also make it easier to jump to specific times in the cycle.

I'd love to play this game all the way through. Hopefully the remake makes that easier to do.

Leo13December 12, 2014

I was in Jr. High when this game came out and to me it was just like Zelda II (a zelda game that looked too weird and crazy for me) so I never touched it. However, now I'd very much like to play it so I fully play on get this on 3DS.

NeoThunderDecember 12, 2014

Final boss was absolute fucking hell. All I ask is they fix that

Triforce HermitDecember 12, 2014

Still have my gold N64 cartridge. Beat the game many times and it is as timeless as Ocarina of Time, if not better. Majora's Mask though is not that hard. If you do the sidequests then it makes it easier.

In the burgeoning sub-genre of Zelda remakes, Majora's Mask looks to expand upon the revisionist approach first given to Wind Waker. Most game publishers, including Nintendo, have mostly focused on remaking games that are almost unanimously considered classics. There's always anxiety about whether they will respect the source material or add anything meaningful to the remake, but the publisher isn't really on the hook to convince people that it's an awesome game. That much is accepted in the first place.


Majora's Mask is the first game I can recall for which the publisher is explicitly trying to improve the original and convert fans who were put off by it. If Nintendo can successfully unite the fanbase on a divisive game like Majora's Mask, my dreams of a Zelda II remake may become reality sooner than we realize.

Ian SaneDecember 12, 2014

Babies born when Majora's Mask came out will get a chance to play it, but won't be exposed to it as it was.  I'd argue they'll be denied the proper experience.

To me accessibility doesn't really matter.  There are all sorts of PC games from the 90s that geeks rave about but are so complex and uninviting that I can't get into them.  Whatever.  Not every game is going to appeal to everyone and those that aim to do that are usually bland and uninteresting.  When I think of the games I enjoyed the most over the years they felt personal, like they were designed specifically for me.  Obviously they weren't, but they just fell into a niche that appealed well to my tastes.  Everyone's favourite games are probably like that.

I like that Majora's Mask doesn't try to please everyone.  Nintendo came up with a cool concept and the design seems like their goal was just to make a great game with that concept.  That sort of design is rare today, not just with Nintendo.  The videogame industry has become very safe.  Majora's Mask would not be made today.  So why would you want a remake of it to make it more accessible and safe?  If you want safe accessible games don't you have like 90% of the games being made today?  Offering Majora's Mask as it was would be a refreshing change from the norm.  Younger generations can see what games were like when they weren't so focus group tested.  Show them that in the N64/PS1 era you could make what would at that time been a big budget game and it could do all sorts of wacky off-beat stuff and still make a profit and it could outright fail and not bankrupt the company making it.

I'm not sure this remake will be accessible as much as it'll be more accessible, though, if you get what I'm saying. It's still going to be weird and challenging to conventions, and it's still going to put some people off.

Yeah, I haven't seen or heard a thing to concern me that Nintendo might go too far with the revision. Maybe we just assume they wouldn't put that much effort into gutting game, but also, they shouldn't.

CericDecember 12, 2014

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

...
my dreams of a Zelda II remake may become reality sooner than we realize.

They did remake it.  It was called Ocarina of Time.  It be nice if they actually did the project they had originally started on the N64 which was to take Zelda II into 3D.

AdrockDecember 12, 2014

I expect the changes to be mainly things like a hint system you can ignore and how the touchscreen makes item use exponentially more user friendly as well as minor touches like coloring the walls to make navigating the Water Temple in Ocarina of Time 3D easier.

Still, one of the changes I was surprised Nintendo didn't make in Ocarina of Time 3D was keeping "yes" the default option to Kaepora Gaebora's "Do you want to hear what I said again?" F that. Fortunately, Nintendo patched "Next Race" as the default after race option (instead of "Watch Replay") in Mario Kart 8 so I'm hoping it's realized how important the default option is in games and makes adjustments accordingly.

TheXenocideDecember 13, 2014

All I want is the ability to skip forward to a particular six our period by playing the song once.

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