Feature

Seven Tips For Returning To (Or Starting Fresh With) Zelda: Majora’s Mask

by Kyle Hilliard on Feb 03, 2015 at 10:00 AM

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask released for the Nintendo 64 in 2000, and next week, it will re-release on 3DS. Despite launching only a few years after Ocarina of Time and sharing many of its gameplay mechanics, Majora’s Mask’s three-day repeating cycle created one of the biggest steps away from the traditional Zelda structure that the series has ever seen.

For this reason, many found the game difficult to approach or finish. The upcoming re-release affords the perfect excuse to revisit the game if it didn’t grab you in 2000, play it again after all these years, or play it for the first time. Regardless of which player you are, these tips will make getting back into the game (or into it for the first time) a breeze.

Always deposit before restarting the cycle
Every time you restart the three-day cycle, you lose your inventory. You keep your masks and items, but any bows, bombs, deku sticks or nuts, bottled items, or rupees you collected will disappear when you start over. There’s no way to save your items, but there is a way to keep your money, and that’s to deposit it in the bank.

The bank’s vault will always retain your finances, and you should take full advantage. In the 3DS remake, the bank is relocated right next to Clock Town’s warp point, which makes it very easy to warp to clock town, deposit your money, and restart the cycle. Depositing enough money will get you a bigger wallet and eventually a heart piece.

Grab a quick 200 rupees every day
Speaking of rupees, there are two quick and easy chests with 100 rupees in them that reset every cycle. It’s a good idea to make them your first stop before heading out into Termina every time you reset. The first is in east Clock Town, and you get to it by roll-jumping over the guarded exit heading out into the canyon and using the targets above Honey & Darling’s Shop as platforms to jump your way to the top of the Town Shooting Gallery. All you have to do is follow the bend and you will find the chest.

The second chest is behind the child who demands a code to get to the observatory. Once you get past him, go left instead of right, watch out for the skulltula in the ceiling, and blow up the wall in the little nook at the end with a bomb. There you will find another chest with 100 rupees.

Start over instead of trying to cram it all in
There are clear moments in Majora’s Mask’s progression where you realize you have the item, mask, or song you need in order to bypass a great deal of work. Once you learn the Goron Lullaby, for example, you can jump right into the Snowhead Temple without having to deal with the frozen Goron grandpa or his crying child. Once you hit these acquisitions, don’t be afraid to go ahead and reset to give yourself a whole bunch of extra time. There’s rarely a need to cram everything into the three days allotted.

Play the song of time backwards
Another good tip for saving time is to play the Song of Time backwards. If you’re heading to a dungeon, looking to do some general exploring, or do a task that doesn’t necessarily happen at a specific moment in the timeline, play the Song of Time backwards to give yourself a whole bunch of extra time.

For more tips head to page two. To see the Majora's Mask remake in action, watch original director Eiji Aonuma play 15 minutes of the the game here, and watch us play the opening hour here.

Get the Bunny Hood as soon as possible
These next two tips require you to complete the game’s second dungeon, the Snowhead Temple, to acquire some of the game’s most useful items, but you can get started early. The Bunny Hood makes Link walk faster, which helps save you time, lets you dodge quickly in combat, and generally speeds everything up. Once I had the ears, I always wore them, unless a puzzle forced me to take them off.

On the night of the first or second day, you will need to talk to Guru-Guru in the laundry pool (the guy with the crank organ) and he will give you the Bremen Mask. You can do this part before completing the Snowhead Temple.

After completing the Snowhead Temple, head to the north part of the Goron village to buy a powder keg for 20 rupees from the giant Goron in the cave. The cave is blocked by a giant piece of ice, so you can use a fire arrow, or fight the boss of the Snowhead temple to bring about spring. Note that he will only sell the keg to a Goron and if it is your first visit to him, you will need to prove you are capable with the powder keg by carrying a live keg to blow up the giant rock perched at the top of the hill in the northwest part of the area that immediately precedes the Goron village.

Once you have the keg, take it to Milk Road (west of Clock Town) and blow up the giant rock. This will let you into Romani Ranch, where you can visit the Cucco Shack, home of Grog with the punk-rock hair. He laments that he won’t be able to see his chicks grow up, but if you put on the Bremen Mask and start marching his chicks around (make sure you get them all), they will suddenly turn into roosters. Once this happens, Grog will give you the Bunny Hood, and you will never, ever want to take it off. Unless you have to.

Update: reader Dr. Grim Reaper points out in the comments that you don't have to blow up the rock to get into Romani Ranch. On the third day, the rock has been destroyed, which means you can stroll right on in before even beating the first dungeon. I double checked to make sure, and Dr. Grim Reaper is absolutely right. All you need before heading in is the Bremen mask. I would highly recommend that you make this a high priority.

Get the Gilded Sword
The Gilded Sword is the strongest sword you can hold in one hand. The strongest sword in the game is the Great Fairy’s Sword (acquired by finding all the fairies in the final dungeon), but that functions as an item and you can’t use your shield – making the Gilded Sword the better weapon.

The get it, you must complete the Snowhead Temple. After completing the temple, reset the game, go back to the temple and fast-forward to the boss to bring about spring as early as possible. Once spring has sprung, visit the Mountain Smithy in the Mountain Village with some rupees and give them your sword. After giving up your sword, go buy a powder keg and blow up the entrance to the Goron Race track. Win the race by going faster than the other Gorons without crashing into stuff, and you’ll earn the gold powder. Once you have the gold powder, head back to the Mountain Smithy, get your updated sword, and give it right back to them along with whatever rupees they need. Come back the next day, and have fun with your permanently upgraded, longer, more powerful sword.

When in doubt play the Song of Healing
The final tip is an easy one. If somebody is requesting or implying that they need a song, but you’re not sure what to play, it’s usually the Song of Healing. It works almost every time.

To see the Majora's Mask remake in action, watch original director Eiji Aonuma play 15 minutes of the the game here, and watch us play the opening hour here.