An Introduction

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Metroid Prime. What do these two games have in common? A fair bit. Both are often cited as the best in their respective series. Both are great Nintendo games. Both deviated from their predecessors in some way.

But, most relevant to this piece, they both were majorly important games in my youth.


Majora's Mask

It was the year 2000. was a young lad of 8 when Majora's Mask released on the N64 in North America. I would get my N64 that year for Christmas. I wouldn't get my copy of Majora's Mask for another 6 years.

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Now, I got my copy because my cousin that lived next door committed suicide and then I got all the N64 stuff that he had. He, once upon a time, had Ocarina of Time, of which I had only played the first dungeon, but I suspected he had traded it in to purchase Majora's Mask, as it wasn't in the N64 stuff. I played bits and pieces of the game for a while until one day I finally got up the resolve to finish the entire game.

It was a grand experience. Most of the themes went right over my head, but I enjoyed the hell out of the game. I had struggled with the entire game. Figuring out how to get to Woodfall was a challenge. It took me several in-game cycles to puzzle out how Snowhead's central pillar worked. Figuring out where the Pirate's Fortress was, navigating the murky waters near Pinnacle Rock, and finally working out how the hell to progress anywhere in Great Bay Temple were all mighty challenges. I resorted to a guide to get through the Gibdo-infested well and Ikana Castle. Stone Tower was mostly straight-forward... until the Light Arrow puzzles were introduced. Then I went back to try to find all the stray fairies in each of the temples. For me, at a relatively young age, this game was not simple. It was a challenge, one that demanded and recieved my utmost patience.

Because I had invested such a large amount of time into the game and also because the game was so difficult and I had (in my mind at the time) figured out the game in my mind all on my own, Majora's Mask was firmly set as one of the few games that I held in such high regard.

Skip ahead several years to the final Nintendo Direct of 2014, when a trailer for Majora's Mask 3D was shown. I made rather ungodly sounds. Finally, my favourite Zelda title was coming to the 3DS.

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Which brings us to today. I've recently wrapped up my Majora's Mask 3D playthrough, with all 24 masks obtained, 16 heart containers obtained, all 60 fairies obtained, and a significant portion of the Bomber's Notebook filled out. What I've experienced this time around was almost the same game, with a few different gameplay choices changed.

Most notable for me was the following:

  1. The Zora swim has changed to a slow/fast swim toggle (hold R to swim fast), with the fast swim using magic and uses the electric barrier from the Zora's block/shield stance.
  2. The change of the location of the Stone Mask. It's no longer hidden in Ikana Canyon, but instead it's been moved to the Pirate's Fortress, which makes more sense (it's primarily used there if you want an easy time through the fortress). This was one of two things I actually had to look up because there's not really any way to figure this out if you follow the route that you took in the original N64 version (Get Epona after Snowhead, briefly go to Ikana to get Stone Mask, do Great Bay stuff)
  3. All of the Temple boss fights have been changed to include an eye that needs to be destroyed in order to beat the boss. In keeping with the plot, this makes more sense seeing as each of the four giants had been afflicted with dark spirits, which the new eye represents. In terms of gameplay, this makes for a slightly easier Gyorg and Twinmold, but massively slows down the pace of the Goht fight, as you have to un-morph out of Goron form to shoot the eye with your bow once Goht trips.

There were other small changers here and there, but these were the only ones that massively stuck out and made any impact on me.

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I picked up on the themes of loss, suffering, and grief this time around, which deepened my respect for the game.

This was a game/remastering that I greatly enjoyed the second time around.


Metroid Prime

My aforementioned cousin also had a Gamecube and Metroid Prime, among other GC titles. I didn't get to play too much of the Gamecube while he was around, but after his passing, every time I was over at my Aunt and Uncle's place, I played their Gamecube and Metroid Prime as often as I could. What came after was 5 long years of me trying to beat the game. The first 4 years I didn't have too many opportunities to play the game, what ended up being roughly 2-ish hours about 3 or 4 times a year. It wasn't until my family wound up getting a Wii (we skipped the Gamecube in our household, or else I would have snagged the Gamecube stuff as well when I got the N64 stuff) that I had more time to play Metroid Prime.

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After we got our Wii, I had a lot more time to actually sit down and play throughMetroid Prime and finish it. By the time this happened, I had just beaten Thardus and had gotten the Spider Ball. I then took the next few weeks to sit down and play the game, and once I had finished it, a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. This game, which had taken me 5 years to beat, which was so influential in my love for other Metroid games (I had already beaten the other Metroid games, save for Echoes and Corruption at the time), was finally over. I could move on with my life. I could finally play Echoes and Corruption.

Which I did, and enjoyed thoroughly, although that's a different conversation entirely.

I managed to pick up a copy of Metroid Prime Trilogy three years ago for a measly $170 CAD at an out-of-town convention, and I briefly played a bit of it once I had gotten back home. I set it aside, as I had other games to play, and I didn't get back to it.

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That was, until Nintendo released Metroid Prime Trilogy as a downloadable title for the Wii U. Now I could just turn on the Wii U and play the game without futzing around with going into the Wii Menu each and every time (like seriously, that takes forever and is such a major turn-off when I want to play any Wii games).

I continued from my original Trilogy save file (I had imported my Wii stuff into my Wii U so I didn't have to re-buy everything all over again), and I zoomed right through the game again. Everything was exactly as I had remembered it. The motion controls were very good, once I had turned the free-aim lock on off and set the sensitivity to high, and I finished the game for the first time ever at 100% (I was at like 70-ish percent my first time through on the Gamcecube). Noticing that Trilogy made note of what difficulties you beat the individual games on, I then tackled Veteran, which I got through rather quickly, then I pushed through Hypermode. I got through that almost as quickly, but with a few more deaths along the way. Turns out that it's really easy to die in Hypermode if you're not paying attention.


What's Next?

Well, I'm still not quite done my games for Four in February. These last two weeks have been so incredibly busy for me, in that I have company over and my work increased my hours so I don't have as much free time as I did in the beginning of the month (I've also been struggling with some personal issues, so there's that as well). In order to make up for it, I'm artificially extending my deadline to March 7th, because I feel that with everything I've lost a week's worth of potential gaming with everything going on.

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So, yes, I've failed technically, but I still owe a write-up. And I've finished a few more games on the side as well, but they're pretty small games/not as important.

I will still write another write-up once I finish Tomb Raider (2013), seeing as that's my last game, and I won't change that up.

I'll see you all next time!