1. It's the Right Time to Play It
I played Majora's Mask for the first time when I was about 7, not long after it came out. Our next door neighbour was a Nintendo kid, we (my brother and I) were PlayStation; so we'd regularly go down to his to have a bash at Mario Kart and the like. My memory of Ocarina of Time is much less solid in my mind, having been experienced in that kind of hazy time between the ages 4 and 7 where, looking back, you're not actually sure if you do remember it or not. I got hella deja vu the first time I reached Ganon's Castle as an adult (I mean me as an adult, not as adult Link) and tried to climb the pillar under the boss chamber before I'd started the fight, thinking "No, this is what you do. You climb this, right? Right?!", Link's head futilely rubbing against the ceiling.
|"WHY ARE YOU NOT EXACTLY LIKE MY UNDERDEVELOPED MIND REMEMBERED IT?"|
So yeah, I remember Majora from back then much better than I do it's older brother, and the one thing that stuck in my mind was how fucking freaky it was. That shit was traumatising for a seven-year-old. Some creepy guy in an evil mask destroying the world with a maniacally smiling moon? Every single dungeon being related to death, torture or some kind of suffering? The time left until everyone you know dies an horrible and agonising death displayed on screen constantly? Link audibly screaming in agony every time he has to change his physical form using other evil masks? Who comes up with this stuff for a children's video game?
|Skipping the animation doesn't mean it stops hurting him.|
All of this, the timer, the huge stakes and the brooding atmosphere, lead to an immensely stressful experience unlike any other Zelda game. As a result, I mucked around bouncing onto lily pads and drowning a lot as a Deku but never really progressed much through the game; I didn't enjoy it. Despite feeling much closer and thus more manageable in size than Ocarina, the scope of the game's themes and the constant time-juggling felt like biting off more than I could chew. Having to face the inevitability of mortality through the eyes of a peppy, green-clad mute is too much to ask of a child, especially if you're still mulling around in the formative "Tunnel Tag vs Toilet Tag" years.
|The answer, of course, is Toilet Tag. But you're only back in if you remember to make a "Fwssshhhhhh!" noise.|
This seems to actually have been the experience of a number of people back in the day; the game was simply too mature for the target audience. It was like if Naughty Dog had just kept going exponentially upwards with the dark-grittiness of the Jak and Daxter franchise and straight up made The Last of Us as its third installment (can we stop to appreciate how awesome that would have been?). Which is why now is the perfect time to play it, we're all grown up and ready to appreciate what the game has to offer! And look, it just so happens to have been rereleased on 3DS. Oo, and with a special edition New 3DS XL for anyone who's really keen?
|Who, me? Nooooooo...|
Yes, this was an elaborate way for me to trick you into being gloated at after 3 paragraphs of childhood reminiscence. Consider yourself thoroughly ner-ner-nee-ner-nerred, now go buy Majora's Mask and enjoy the second best Zelda game ever made.
|There's only one what got a Wind Fish.|