(Nintendo, October 20, 2000)

The masks now play a more important role in the adventure!

Opps! I just realized that I haven't named a Zelda game the Game of the Month yet! If anybody considers themselves to an expert on games then they have to know about the Zelda series. So without farther delay here is the rarer N64 Zelda title with a all new strange theme to it: With the death of the N64 approaching at that time, Nintendo actually releases another Zelda sequel to the dying system. Nintendo didn't even release a second Zelda game for the Super Nintendo! How good can Majora's Mask be anyways, especially after the amazing Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time? Not too bad actually, not too bad at all.

"Best before 3 days from now."

First off you NEED a Expansion Pak to play Majora's Mask, so if you know you got one in the N64 Ram pak then you can play the game but if you don't have one then you can't play the game, simple as that. The story line continues three months after the original Ocarina of Time adventure so some things remind the same but it introduces new a 72 hours mode to the series ............. don't finish the game in that time and the whole world is destroyed. Talk about unique, eh?

Link (the hero) moves away from Hyrule and is wandering a strange forest but on his travels he is suddenly knocked out after his horse Epony is spooked by two sneaky fairies. When Link wakes up he watches a strange imp, named Skull kid, with a huge eerie mask on looking and digging through some of his stuff. After a brief fight the Masked kid escapes into a small cave and has Link enters the cave he falls into a odd pit and teleported into an altered universe. To make matters worse, Link is now transformed into an plant scrub creature by the evil masked Skull kid and the altered world he is now in is about to be destroyed by the incoming moon in the sky. Link must now figure out how to stop the moon from destroying the world in just three days before it's too late.

You start your adventure in a huge tower that's part of a four part town named Clock Town which is just under the freaky looking moon itself. You even see some people from the last game like the Chicken Lady (now the owner of a hotel) and the construction workers making their peasant felt in the parallel universe. It's interesting to see the town people's reaction and worry has each day goes by and the moon looms ever so closer. There is a new gauge at the bottom-middle at the screen to measure just how time you have left and only certain objectives can be completed at the right time so you're going to need this new clock. Another new thing about this new Zelda is now there is no way to Save your game from the menu screen like in Ocarina of Time.

To save your game now you have to get back your stolen Ocarina from the Skull kid that was a gift from Princess Zelda, once you play the song of time you'll be taking back to day one and you'll a lot of your items (kind a annoying but that's the only way to save you progress). If you do manage to get the Ocarina back you now have the power to return back to your human form, Link can not only turn himself into a human later in the game but he can also turn himself into a Goron rock creature, a Zora, or even your old tree scrub form too thanks to different masks throughout the game. Each time you put on a special like these you'll see a cool transformation scene.

The graphics are very similar to the last Zelda game on N64 despite the 4 Meg Expansion Pak upgrade. The frame-rate still has its issues and the game can look very blurry at times. However, the game looks even more colourful than Ocarina of Time and the Clock Town is still quite highly detailed. The end boss has to be seen to be believe. One of the most disappointing things about Zelda: Ocarina of Time was that there was no classic music from the original Zelda game but in Majora's Mask the theme music returns plus there is all new sound tracks too mixed in with classic ones as well. "I love the music in the Clock Tower itself!" The music and sound effects are both impressive in Majora's Mask.

"Hurry or Die!"

Bottomline: Although the 72 hour thing can get a little annoying especially when you're deep inside a dungeon and you want to continue exploring but you're almost out of time, there is nothing quite like Majora's Mask and you have to take the good with the bad. Fortunately, the good definitely out weight the bad! It's a darker, sadder, and more stressful (but in a good way) game then the last one and it's another Legend of Zelda so you really can't go wrong here. "Majora’s Mask is a smart purchase for anybody looking for a great adventure!"

*Rumble Pak compatible
*Battery back up game

overall rating: 94/100

Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 player only
Rated (E) for Everyone

graphics: 8/10
sound: 9/10
gameplay: 10/10
replay: 7/10

(Ryan Genno) 2002

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