Majora's Mask art

Let’s send a symphony around America, playing the best tracks that Zelda has to offer! Let’s make a sequel to ALttP, revolutionizing the way players progress and obtain items! Let’s remake one of the darkest, most emotional and enthralling installments of the franchise, answering the prayers of Zelda fans everywhere! Which one of these does not sound like the others? If you picked the last one, then you would be correct.

Fans are adamant in their desire for Majora’s Mask to be recreated, and their passion has been acknowledged by various Zelda creators (including Shigeru Miyamoto) on numerous occasions. While Nintendo officials may subtly allude to there being a possibility of a remake, so far there is no official statement regarding the game. But now Wind Waker has been remade, for the Wii U. Ocarina of Time preceded it for the 3DS. Surely, Majora’s Mask is next on the list? Especially since the game took a year and a half to finish for N64 (speed unprecedented by today’s development standards), the same scraps they used from OoT can logically be pulled from OoT3D.

So what’s stopping them?

Sales numbers

Ocarina of Time sold 7.6 million cartridges worldwide for the N64. Majora’s Mask sold essentially half that, reaching 3.36 million. The 3DS iteration of OoT sold 3 million worldwide, forecasting 1.5 million potential sales for MM. It is likely that this number is not high enough to warrant the effort needed to re-release the game. Curiously, a remake of Super Mario Sunshine has yet to be discussed, a GCN game that sold 6.3 million copies. A dark horse of the 3D Mario franchise for the direction it took in its gameplay (sound familiar?), perhaps Nintendo also fears lack of interest if they were to remake that as well. Considering that Nintendo has made a point to re-release as many pivotal games in their library as possible, the current omission of both Sunshine and MM is a bad sign for any fans interested in the games.

Only 1,000 of these were released, resulting in a bundle so rare you can’t even find it on Ebay.

It’s too dark

Majora’s Mask was a love-letter to Nintendo’s more mature audiences, including themes of love, death and destruction that carry the gameplay and narrative from beginning til’ end. Nintendo, in its current age, likes to keep things light. While Twilight Princess had a world submerged in darkness, the citizens never really clued into their mortality. Skyward Sword threw Link and Zelda into perilous situations, but ended adorably with smiles all around.

Majora’s Mask, however, had a couple rushing a wedding so they could be married before being annihilated. It had Talon drugging her younger sister so she would be numb to the immense pain that awaited her when the moon pummeled into Termina. Heck, the entire world was named after “terminal” which, when defined, means: final, ending, ultimate, fatal, mortal, and lethal! For a company that values its younger audience, running the risk of alienating them with these themes might be more trouble than its worth.

Majora's Mask - Moon Consume Everything

Hint: he’s not talking about waffles.

It’s too damn confusing

It’s a new era for Nintendo; one in which they are worried that players might put down their controllers permanently once confused. In an earlier era of the gaming market, there was no choice but to buy another game with Nintendo being perhaps the only key distributor in the industry. But now, Sony, Microsoft, and even tablets threaten their hold of the market share by offering more simple games. To remedy this fear of being too difficult, they have included hints and easy modes in every game that could possibly take more than one try to beat. MM is a game that redefines confusion. Many masks exist in obscure locations, requiring vexing puzzles and tests in order to be unlocked. Not to mention the fairies, the consistent demand to roll back the clock, and the inability to save when you want to. Including a hint system might not even be enough! There’s too much going on, and any explanation system might need an explanation system to explain itself.

MaskofScents1

 Yay! Now what?

Zelda is missing

Nintendo is definitely warming up to its princess. Zelda has been gaining a bigger and bigger role in the games as the series has progressed. In the beginning, she was relegated to a very minor role: finish the game, and you may get a glimpse of her. OoT included her in a dramatic way, giving her importance and strength in a way that delightfully established her character. MM then took it all away, displaying her only in a brief flashback. This strengthened the games plot: you aren’t focused on Zelda anymore, as there is an unrelated force threatening the world with destruction. Nintendo has incorporated Zelda very well in the past few games. She’s become a pirate, aided Link in battle, and has a general presence in the story from start to finish.  By releasing Majora’s Mask, it would be a step in the wrong direction. The younger fan base would be confused and perhaps misinterpret Zelda’s importance to the series. And if Nintendo is eying a release of Zelda starring in her very own video game, her omission from a remake might take the winds out of their sails.

Tetra

So is Majora’s Mask doomed?

After reviewing the facts, it’s a vexing question. Instinctively, one would have to argue, no–Nintendo would never be so dumb as to not release one of the greatest games of its greatest franchises. But after taking everything into consideration, it’s clear that everything MM represents is a gamble and could seriously make the clear waters of the franchise murky if the new audience were to be confused by the game. By allowing it to exist in the background and let individual fans discover it, Nintendo can point to the game as its teenage angsty period without much consequence. But there is hope.

CSI

Oh, that thing? Apparently it can destroy the world or something. 50 rupees and it’s yours!

The fact that Nintendo averages 5 years per new release for the console system means that they will have plenty of time to reconsider whether or not a remake is necessary to whet the appetite of ravenous Zelda fans. And hey, with the easter egg of Majora’s Mask hanging on the wall in A Link Between Worlds, maybe they are one step closer to bringing the dream of many Zelda fans into reality.

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  • Olympion

    “The 3DS iteration of OoT sold 3 million worldwide, forecasting 1.5
    million potential sales for MM. It is likely that this number is not
    high enough to warrant the effort needed to re-release the game.”

    What sense does that make? 1.5 million copies sold is extremely good for a remake (WWHD isn’t even close to that number), and would mean a huge profit. Majora’s Mask 3D would also be an especially cheap remake, since MM reuses a lot of stuff from OoT and OoT3D has already been made. Also, it’s not like it would take up the Zelda team’s valuable time, Grezzo (who did OoT3D) would probably be the ones to handle it. MM3D is a no-brainer, but unfortunately Nintendo’s attitude to Majora’s Mask has for the last few years been a mix of neglect and teasing.

    • Aaron Toch

      I agree that 1.5 million is a good sales # for Ninty, (especially now that they are treading water with the Wii-U and need momentum)… but if OOT whet their appetite at 3m, it would be tough to go lower than that. Maybe. But you bring up a good point.

  • Olympion

    Also, why say this if a Majora’s Mask remake is a no-starter?

    “One of the big things that made
    this remake possible was that there was an outpour of emotions from
    people who said they would like to see this game done. We said we could do it in 3D, so we did. I think certainly if there was a similar output of emotion and clamor from fans for a remake of Majora’s Mask, it wouldn’t be an utter impossibility.” – Eiji Aonuma

  • David Munch

    Personally I think the reason it hasn’t been announced is the forthcoming not-so-Zelda-Zelda-mash-up-whateveritis-game. It will be the franchise through to WiiU Zelda, and then after that, Majoras Mask can be released as an intermediate until a potential WiiU Zelda 2.

  • Jack Nick Olsen

    Probably the fact that they made it and it’s finished and complete and perfect and that remaking it would be an utter waste of time and money and resources and would constitute creative cryostasis and they have other, new games to make.

    • Sam Rosman

      Some could make that point for Ocarina of Time but they still made that. just saying…

  • Olympion

    Just for the record, a Majora’s Mask remake would not get in the way of an original Zelda game. Grezzo (who did OoT 3D), not the main Zelda team, would probably be responsible for this remake as well. In fact, since it would obviously make a profit (even if it sells somewhat less than 1 million copies it would easily make back the costs, since it would be so cheap and easy to make), that profit could be invested in the next new Zelda, which would therefore benefit as well. It’s a win-win!

  • Christopher Chuck Hamilton

    If Zelda ever got her own game, i would bomb Nintendo.

    • Nick

      why?

      • Parker

        Probably because the traditions they’ve broken are one thing… but that’d be going too far. I love Princess Zelda and all, and she’s a boss when she needs to be, but I’m just more comfortable with Link being the hero. Besides, in a game like that, where would that put him? In Zelda’s usual spot? Sounds cliche. At least, that’s what I think.

        • Nick

          interesting. ive had this same conversation with people who dont believe the doctor (doctor who) should be a woman. a lot of people dont seem comfortable with a woman as a protagonist, and that is kind of sad. i feel it would be a refreshing change for the series, but i also think it could be taken or left.

        • KaidaStorm

          Personally, I’d love to see a break-off story, similar to the way MM did it, where we get to see Zelda in her own story as Shiek. One where Link doesn’t even need to be in it to be honest.

          Plus, one of my biggest complaints about the Zelda games is that Zelda, originally, is a poor role model for females. Nintendo has been slowly improving on her and making her a better character, and I like her as Shiek, but the moment she switches back to “Zelda” it’s like she’s a whole new person. The same happened with WW, and almost made me put down the game.

          • KaidaStorm

            Adding to that, the fact that you state Link having to fill “Zelda’s” role if Zelda gets her own story just points to how poorly Zelda is handled sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with having two strong heroes if it’s done right.

  • Saratje

    Standing still instead of making new things is the death of a franchise. Remaking Majora’s mask as an entirely new game will be a bad move, no matter how fun or popular it is. The Zelda franchise has slowed down a bit, Skyward Sword took a while and it was not too different in generic gameplay from Twilight Princess or OOT/MM. With Link Between Worlds somewhat matching a link to the past in style and layout, remaking Majora’s Mask would not be a top priority or a smart marketing move. It’d be spending two years on a game which is already out there, and no matter how fun it is, those years are very much needed to develop a brand new Zelda game, something to show that the franchise is still moving forward instead of sitting down and having nostalgia. Besides that, if a Majora’s Mask remake is made, people may suddenly blame a Link Between Worlds for being a nostalgic piece also, even though it’s not.

    I love Majora’s Mask, maybe more than the other titles, but we’ve re-experienced both art-styles and gameplay a bit often now. Right now that’s fine, it doesn’t disturb, but more of the same will give the whole era after WW suddenly a very negative image of being “more of the same”. Zelda needs something new, a bigger adventure with a different exprience of immersion. Not only to appeal with to the fans, but also to make sure the titles after WW are not viewed as a cluster of nostalgic gameplay.

  • Lotti Sidwell

    Skull Kid is also appearing as an assistant in the new Super Smash Brothers.
    I think it would make more sense to put him in there if the remake is or had just come out!
    I dunno. I just really really really like this game…

  • You all need to calm your boobies. Majora’s Mask is going to be remade. There is nothing holding Majora’s Mask back from being remade except for time itself.

    Nintendo tends to do what they want, and when they want to. Zelda is a huge franchise, they won’t miss an opportunity to make money doing a 3D/HD remake of MM.

    Simply put though they want to wait for the right time, and try not to over saturate the franchise. I’m personally predicting the idea of a MM 3D type game to come after Zelda Wii U is released.

    Basically don’t expect this game until after it’s been released. Give it time, be patient and it will happen. It’s an inevitability.

  • ProfessorAdamski

    Honestly I could take it or leave it

  • KidWiththeBackpack

    I think a MM remake would sell more than half the amount of OoT 3D because it’s much more well known now than it was when it was originally released. Also, they could change the rating to T instead of E to indicate that it’s not aimed at young children. I don’t see why they won’t release it, especially because they can use the same engine as OoT 3D.

  • Nick

    i honestly hate it when people over-dramatize mm as being this extremely dark game. no child, 2 scary 4 u stay away from game this grownup game, 2 dark, 2 spooki.
    also on how confusing it was- i noticed in oot 3d they made a lot of minor changes to the dialogue from the original to hint the player towards things that were confusing and vague in the original, thats most likely what would happen with this game.

    • sebadragonfist

      i think the same, this is a great game, but is over-dramatized

    • KaidaStorm

      I find that argument strange as well, considering I played this as a child and it instantly became my favorite game. I can’t even begin to state how much this game means to me. The thing is, as a child, I didn’t really notice the “dark themes” specifically. It wasn’t until I grew older that I realized certain parts of the story had more depth.

      As for when I was a kid, I was brought into this story more. I felt bad for a lot of the characters and I wanted to do something to help them. I found the game fun, emotional, comical (the monkeys made me laugh), and engaging. Plus! I was cute running around in my little bunny ears…. Okay I went off on a tangent, but the point I was trying to make, is the game might not be as unsuitable for kids as everyone claims.

  • Cuber456

    I think these are garbage reasons to not remake MM. I think the game is more well known now than when it was first released and I think, even if the game only sold 1.5 million copies, it would still be worth it. I mean, considering the development for the original game was 2 years (that is pretty short by today’s standards), I would imagine the development would be even quicker for the remake. That sounds like easy cash to me. The game certainly is the darkest in the series but it also has a good story. I don’t think that the remake should be trashed just for that reason. The way I see it, Nintendo would be reaching out and capturing an older demographic. I mean, let’s be real, Nintendo already has the younger audience with Pokemon X and Y so its not like that, by releasing this game, they are losing ground. They are gaining ground. The fact that Zelda is mostly absent doesn’t mean that the series focus would shift away from Zelda if this game was remade. Honestly, it is a bit refreshing that you aren’t saving Zelda for once considering that, in a majority of the Zelda games, you are always saving her. To go even further, if there is any reason to remake MM, it is because it differs from the main series. But that is just my opinion I suppose. Take it or leave it.

  • Melena

    I have a gut feeling they’ll definitely announce something MM related at E3.

    • KaidaStorm

      I agree, I feel they’re being a little cryptic about things, and are in a way teasing us. It feels like they like our excitement and anticipation for a remake; so they encourage those feelings and it’s almost as if it’s causing word to spread even further. In a way, I think it’s setting up more people to want to purchase a remake if an when it’s released.

  • Zeller

    Now that I have a 3ds, i would DEFINITELY buy the game, idk what’s stopping them i know people who would BUY a 3ds just for that remake

  • Parker

    Those are all definitely fair points. Still, I’d say there’s about a fifty fifty chance they’d remake it… well, maybe forty sixty, nay being the sixty :/

  • Parker

    Also, I don’t think Ravio would ever let you out of ‘his’ shop without forking over at least five hundred rupees for the mask… jus’ sayin!

  • nasanerd09

    I think I’d rather the remakes be few and far in between. I’d rather have a new adventure than a remade old one (I have no problem with remakes themselves though). I think it was good that they remade OoT 3D and WW HD. Both games let the developers take an existing game and adapt it to a new system, which essentially let them work out the bugs of how best to utilize the new system before they went on to making the original games (like ALBW). Remaking MM for the 3DS wouldn’t offer that advantage, and I’d rather see what they come up with for the Wii U Zelda first.

  • King Gibbon

    Have they not thought to why it didn’t sell well? My idea is that only half were sold because you needed an n64 expansion pak to play it. That could be a big factor.

  • Jaime

    I think they should wait, make mm when there’s more time on there hands ya know really get what a remake could be. Like my idea of a game isn’t to change the story line art style theme or whatever it is to make it better deeper visually.
    have the guy who created link make the best game it can ever be with the original ocarina of time story. Why change it when you can just improve it? I think as a zelda fan at the end of it all that’s what we’re asking for!
    A real zelda game, a remake done the right way…

  • Draud

    I´m a bit confused now. I had the idea that the fanbase was not really expecting an HD remake -whether it be for the 3DS or the Wii U- but a complete overhaul of the game that would launch it into new grounds. That would most certainly require a considerable amount of work. I would not buy an HD remake, 3D version of MM. But if the game were to be re-created, not just re-made, I would instantly jump in. What are the general views on this :O?

    • doubleO7

      I’ve not seen many people expecting a total overhaul, maybe afew here and there, but I have seen LOTS of people hoping for a 3DS remake ever since it happened with OoT.

  • Majora’s servant

    With how much they teased about a MM remake this year, I’d be surprised if they DIDN’T remake it.

  • wwwarea

    The darkness of the game (And it wasn’t that dark to me anyway, just more mysterious), and the harder to understand part of the game is what is so great about it, plus other things of course, and it would make something to something it’s not and ruin it if Nintendo feel they have to avoid that. It’s a style of the game like any other Zelda game that so many loved and liked, I hope those are not the reasons why they are taking time. I would be kind of heart broken too, especially since Majora’s Mask is actually my favorite Zelda game I think.

    It would be upsetting to make every Zelda game too close to child less dark instead of the freedom to make it’s own type under E.

    The game for what it is, those things are perfect, not a “bad” thing I think. 🙂

  • Ryan Haynes

    “It had Talon drugging her younger sister…”
    Cremia, her name is Cremia.

  • KaidaStorm

    So what you’re telling me is I just need to play a little jingle and speed up time? Done.

  • KaidaStorm

    While I wouldn’t say this game alienates the younger audience, I will say I don’t think a mature game would be a bad idea for Nintendo, specifically relating to the Wii U. Here’s why, the Wii U has had a low number of sales, with many stating it’s due to the lack of titles. Just to be clear, Lack of Titles doesn’t necessarily mean the number of games is low. The Wii U lacks options, maintaining the specific style they know so well.

    While their younger games can appeal to audiences of all ages, they pass over a lot of older gamer’s attention. Or it’s difficult for an Older gamer to justify purchasing a game that doesn’t specifically speak to their age group. By having a “somewhat” mature game available to users they are increasing their options and possibly pulling in another source of revenue. One of the reason’s I felt the Wii sold highly when it was first released is because it tried to appeal to everyone.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Wii U doesn’t, I just think it could benefit from a moderately (let’s not get crazy) mature game that is exclusive to their system. Give players a reason to buy your console.