If you know me at all personally, you know I'm a bit of a nerd and my favorite game is Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Few people actually know why this is my favorite game though. So here's a random post just to clear that up for everyone, because I felt like it. So there.
Why I Love Legend of Zelda, Majora's MaskReason 1: The Struggle Against Time
To start off with, Majora's Mask to me has always been a race against the clock. You have three days to stop the moon from crashing into Clock Town and virtually destroying everyone that lives there. There is no guarantee escaping the city will save you, and the world and you know it could be over if you fail the quest. All of this is pushed into action because Skull Kid stole a mask that turned an already impish character into a force of destruction.
After the first play through, it's clear there is no way to do everything possible in one day. That's where some magic and time traveling comes into play to save everyone. You travel back in time over and over, loosing everything but the masks you collect along the way. You can slow down time a little, but if you loose focus or mess up, you have to start over again.
I really connect with this plot because life is always a race against the clock. You can't stop time, can't rewind, and honestly, you never know when that final day will come. There is no magic answer to go back and start again. We're just these citizens of Clock Town, trying to make the most of every moment, and we all deal with that struggle in different ways.
Dealing with Death
With the moon doomed to crash into the earth thanks to Skull Kid's trickery, the characters in this video game are forced to face their demise. What's unique about this is everyone faces it differently. Some focus on love and enjoying their last moments together. Others continue to work, because a task needs to get done and they may as well be the one to do it. Some live in denial, and others seek closure to the past. The characters in this game all have a story, and it's your job to find it.
Reason 3: Collections
As you listen and solve the problems character's face, you are rewarded with masks, which are the only things you can carry with you through time. Some transform you into other forms, others just give you special abilities. Some of the fun of the game is just in building your collection. There is something exciting about having a full inventory. However, that leads us to...
Reason 4: You Can't Take it With You
In Majora's Mask, you spend the entire game collecting masks, and frankly, if you're like me you get quite attached to them. I love running around with the bunny mask, and swimming in the Great Bay area as a Zora consumed endless hours of my childhood. But there is a point in the game where you have to give up all your masks in order to finish the game. To me, this really speaks metaphorically about what we face just living and dying every day.
We all collect masks. We collect possessions or we have careers and other things we acquire in this life. But we all will face a day when we have to give that up and just move on. As fun as it is to run around with the bunny mask, there's a point where you just have to continue with the rest of the game, and that means letting go of those things you collected as you went along. You help people, impact their lives and try to make the world a better place if you can. In the end though, the story will have to come to a close.
Majora's Mask can be frustrating, because you deal with a sense of helplessness. You can't do things quick enough, there are endless puzzles, and a sense of repetition as you live the same day over and over to beat the game. There is a lot of fun in collecting though, and checking off each task in your trusty notebook to help people out. In the end, you must sacrifice what you've collected though to advance to the final round.
The characters, the struggles, and just the overall story have always connected to me. So even years later, it continues to be one of my favorite games.
What about you? What is your favorite game and why?