- Platform: Nintendo 64
- PEGI Rating: Unknown
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
Playing as a Deku Scrub, you will know how Luke, Obi-Wan and Hans Solo felt as they walked into the Mos Eisley bar in Star Wars. Deku Scrubs, it seems, aren't welcomed in the village, and no one pays them any attention. But being a Deku Scrub has its advantages--like being able to shoot nuts out of your wooden nose (not as gross as it sounds), using flower petals to propel yourself into the air, and lots of other neat trickery.
While the landscape looks somewhat familiar, you will notice a gigantic moon that seems to be falling down toward the earth. That's no optical illusion; it really is falling to earth! For that reason, Link is also battling time. Each group of challenges must be executed within a 72-hour window before the moon crashes down, destroying the world of Hyrule (and you thought you had your hands full just duelling with Gannon).
A sophisticated-looking sundial on the base of the screen displays the game's day and the time. The tough part is that a day on the game clock (meaning 24 hours) takes place every 15 minutes in real time. Of course, you are not going to be able to complete the game in under an hour. Link is trapped in a three-day time loop. If the end is near, all Link needs to do is to play the Song of Time and the three-day cycle starts all over again, with Link retaining all of the information and items he's collected. If this is confusing, watch the Harold Ramis movie Groundhog Day and you'll understand.
As you might have guessed, the masks play an essential part in the new gameplay system. Collecting certain masks will give Link special powers and will transform him into a variety of different characters.
Thankfully, the weapon targeting system and battle style is the same as Ocarina of Time (which is to say, perfect). Expert game designer Shigeru Miyamoto has always been fond of creating new gameplay mechanisms in the past, so it's great that the team decided to leave the incredible Z-targeting feature in place.
The new time-based element might seem confusing at first, but it introduces an incredible amount of depth to an already deeply challenging game. It is innovations like this that have kept Nintendo among the world's premier gaming developers for 20 years. Plus, with older innovations (such as the rumble pack) and newer ones (expansion pack galore, baby!) the list of positives just keeps growing.
As one of Nintendo's biggest flagship series', with all the power of the Big-N behind it, the true Zelda fan should have nothing but blue skies to look forward with The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. --Todd Mowatt