“You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?”
Believe it or not, perhaps the most unique game in the history of The Legend of Zelda franchise has today turned 20 years old for those of us in the U.S.
On this date back in 2000, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask released on the Nintendo 64 for those in North America. After launching earlier in the year in Japan, the follow-up to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was far and away one of the most anticipated titles within the calendar year and stood as one of the last tentpole releases on the N64. It would later see a remake arrive on the 3DS, along with a release on the GameCube as part of The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition.
While I don’t remember a lot of specifics when it comes to buying certain games as a child, Majora’s Mask was a purchasing decision that still stands out to me all these years later. As someone who fell in love with Ocarina of Time around the age of four or five, both myself and my father (who also loved OoT) had the release of Majora’s Mask essentially circled on the calendar for months. The day after it released, I remember going to what I believe was Walmart with my family to pick it up only for my dad to be baffled by the fact that we needed to purchase an Expansion Pak to play it. This value proposition was nearly too much for us at the time, but I eventually convinced him to snag both the game and the Expansion.
What’s ironic about this entire situation is that I didn’t even really liked Majora’s Mask all that much when I first got it. Compared to every other Zelda title, it really is quite bizarre and I couldn’t wrap my head around the time looping concept as a kid. Heck, it wouldn’t be until years later with The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D that I would actually see the game through to its end.
Despite all of this, it has become a game over the years that I admire greatly. Not only does the experience hold up twenty years later, but Majora’s Mask itself represents more of what I’d love to see from Nintendo: experimentation. While the newest entry in the Zelda series, Breath of the Wild, bucked many long-term trends in the franchise, I’d love to see Nintendo be more experimental with some of its other beloved properties.
With all of that being said, happy 20th, Majora’s Mask. May your legacy only continue to grow over the next twenty years.