The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D
|The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D|
North American cover art
|Series||The Legend of Zelda|
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D[a] is an action-adventure game developed by Grezzo and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS handheld game console. The game is an enhanced remake of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, which was originally released for the Nintendo 64 home console in 2000. The game was released worldwide in February 2015, coinciding with the North American and European releases of the New Nintendo 3DS, to mostly positive reviews, with particular praise for its fluid gameplay, enhanced graphics and changes.
Like the original Nintendo 64 version, the game follows Link, who is given only three days to save the land of Termina from being obliterated by the moon, using various abilities obtained by wearing different masks and the Ocarina of Time to reset the three-day cycle. Much like its predecessor, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Majora's Mask 3D is an enhanced remake of the original Majora's Mask, now featuring enhanced stereoscopic 3D graphics, revamped environmental textures, an increase in the frame rate to 30 frames-per-second, a new touchscreen-based user interface, and gyroscopic aiming. If played on a New Nintendo 3DS system or with the Circle Pad Pro accessory, the second analog stick can be used for complete 360-degree camera control.
Unlike its predecessor, there were many large and small-scale changes made in the transition to the Nintendo 3DS. Among the major changes and enhancements was the Song of Double Time, which now allows the player to skip ahead to any hour of the given day as opposed to only six-hour intervals. The Bombers' Notebook was made far more comprehensive, now keeping track of virtually every character involved in any kind of quest as opposed to the more vague hints in the original. The controls for each of Link's three major mask transformations, Deku, Goron, and Zora, have all been changed to some degree in the remake. For instance, Deku Link now needs a running start before he can hop across bodies of water, Goron Link's animations for attacking and uncurling from a ball have been sped up, and Zora Link now swims slower but is easier to control. The save system has also been completely revamped; before, the game can only be saved by creating a temporary suspend point or creating a permanent save by restarting the three-day cycle. Now the player can permanently save by checking in at any of the Owl Statues or Save Statues that inhabit the game world, replacing both saving methods from the original. The Sheikah Stone hint system from Ocarina of Time 3D returns as well, offering hint videos for players who get stuck at a certain point. Finally, a brand new fishing minigame was added that was not in the original.
The game stars Link from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and takes place several months after the conclusion of that game. The game begins with Link riding his faithful horse Epona deep into the woods, in search of his lost friend Navi. After chasing a masked Skull Kid who stole his Ocarina, Link finds himself trapped in the parallel world of Termina, where he discovers that the moon will crash into the surface in three days' time and destroy the world. With the aid of his new fairy friend Tatl, Link must travel across Termina, wake the sleeping Four Giants to stop the moon's descent, and defeat Skull Kid and the mask possessing him. To do this, Link must acquire a series of strange masks to grant himself new abilities and aid the people of Termina, as well as using his ocarina to alter and travel through time and repeat the three-day cycle.
The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma and co-developers Grezzo had started the development of Majora's Mask 3D immediately after the release of Ocarina of Time 3D, in June 2011 after being suggested to do so by Shigeru Miyamoto. The project itself, however, was put under wraps for the greater part of its development, with Aonuma and others involved with its development neither confirming nor denying the existence of the game, but rather, suggesting that a Majora's Mask remake was "not an impossibility", depending on interest and demand. During development, Aonuma played through the original version of Majora's Mask, this time while keeping a list of things which would be adjusted in the remake. This became colloquially known as the "what in the world" list, composed of moments that stuck out to him as unreasonable and alienating for players. After the first draft, the list was passed on to the team at Grezzo, who would regularly update the list with moments from their own experiences with the Nintendo 64 version. He believes the remake feels less unforgiving than the original as a result. Because Aonuma was also working on A Link Between Worlds at the same time as Majora's Mask 3D, he took ideas and themes from that game and incorporated them into the remake, though did not name which ones in particular. Additionally because production took such a long time, with a continuously growing checklist of gameplay updates and revisions, Grezzo was instructed to include support for New Nintendo 3DS models in the latter half of development, such as camera control with the C-Stick.
Following the release of Ocarina of Time 3D, a fan campaign called Operation Moonfall was launched to prompt Nintendo and Grezzo to remake Majora's Mask for the 3DS in the same vein. The campaign name is a reference to a similar fan-based movement, Operation Rainfall, set up to persuade Nintendo of America to release a trio of role-playing video games for the Wii. In response to the feedback, Nintendo of America released a statement: "At the risk of dampening the excitement you feel, I must be clear that no official announcements have been made regarding a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask for the Nintendo 3DS. However, we like hearing what our consumers find important." In an interview with GamesRadar in November 2011, Aonuma acknowledged Operation Moonfall, and told fans that he hoped to respond to their request sometime in the future. At E3 2012, Miyamoto stated that a 3D remake was still under consideration. Once again, shortly after E3 2013, Miyamoto commented that the fans supporting a Majora's Mask 3D remake were "still in his memory".
During the November 2014 Nintendo Direct, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D was announced for the Nintendo 3DS. During the January 2015 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced the release date would be February 13, 2015 for North America and Europe, and February 14, 2015 for Japan and Australia.
A special edition featuring a pin badge, double-sided poster, and steelbook was released in Europe and Australia. Another special edition was available in North America, which includes the game and a Skull Kid figurine. This figurine was also bundled with UK pre-orders for the game and a New 3DS/New 3DS XL from Nintendo's online store.
|Nintendo World Report||8.5/10|
Majora's Mask 3D received "generally positive reviews", according to review aggregator Metacritic. Game Informer complimented the changes, stating "Some changes are small, while others drastically affect the pacing, but every change is worthwhile and well implemented. [...] Purists will decry the changes made to Majora’s Mask no matter how slight they may be, but I am seated firmly in the “change is good” camp," though they are still frustrated by the repetition caused by the time restrictions. Polygon praised many changes and improvements, particularly the game's journal, visuals, and bosses, noting that the remake "refines [the original game's] structure, and does so without compromising the premise."
By the end of February 2015, its release month, 515,000 physical and digital copies were sold in the United States. By the end of March, 730,000 copies had been sold. After five weeks of availability in Japan, over 390,000 copies had been sold. As of March 31, 2015, the game has sold 2.03 million copies worldwide.
- ゼルダの伝説 ムジュラの仮面 3D (Zeruda no Densetsu: Mujura no Kamen 3D) in Japanese
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Eiji Aonuma: I did hear that there's a website here that was launched in North America by some people that are hoping we'll release a 3D version of Majora's Mask. Of course I'm very flattered to hear that so many people are asking for that game, so I hope that at some point in the future hopefully, maybe, we'll be able to do something with it.
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