I had my wisdom teeth removed and my gums were bleeding out when I first fired up Majora’s Mask. I had recently finished Ocarina of Time, loved it, and had no idea what to expect from Majora’s Mask. I was floored by how different the gameplay was, particularly with the masks which added a fresh element to the familiar gameplay. More importantly, though, was how tragic and dark the story was. In short, Majora’s Mask has you reliving the end of the world in three day spurts. You can repeat the cycle infinitely, experiencing the lives of all of Termina’s citizens. In this Kotaku piece I wrote with N., we explored twelve of the things we loved most about the game. I would say this year so far (I know it’s only been a month), it’s been my favorite thing I’ve written and probably one of the most proudest pieces on gaming I’ve explored. To anyone who thinks gaming is just for kids, I would shoot back, you probably don’t play that many games:
Each mask represents a story—a myth of sorts—some tragic, some empowering. The traditional Japanese Noh is the oldest major theater art still being performed to this day, employing the use of masks to represent the metamorphoses of the characters. Empathy and identity intertwine in Majora’s modernization of the ancient form. In Noh, the masks are carved from Japanese cypress and painted using natural pigments on glue and crunched seashell, whereas Zelda uses digital artistry to weave some of the strangest faces in gaming.