This weekend, Nintendo is demoing Majora’s Mask 3D at PAX South in San Antonio, Texas. The demo has three different pre-set scenarios. In this first preview, I’ll be discussing the fight against Odolwa, the boss of Woodfall Temple. Some preview reports have noted that some of the bosses in Majora’s Mask 3D have had their appearance altered — they now have large eyes marking their weak points. However, after completing the demo, it has become clear that the changes to Odolwa are more than cosmetic; the strategy for the fight is completely different.
A brand new boss fight
The changes to the fight against Odolwa are so drastic that the original strategies are almost useless. In the original release of Majora’s Mask in 2000, Odolwa did not have a specific weak point. He was vulnerable to sword strikes anywhere on his body, and Deku Link could damage him by striking from below with the help of a Deku Flower (though the Deku Flower strategy is rarely an effective strategy). However, Odolwa has a large sword and shield; if you try to approach him, he will attack with the sword and knock you back. The most effective strategy is to stun him by firing arrows (which he will often block with the shield) and then strike at his feet with the sword.
In Majora’s Mask 3D, all of this has changed. You can no longer stun Odolwa by firing arrows and you can no longer hurt him by attacking his feet with the sword.
Instead, Odolwa has a single weak point: an eye on the back of his head.
You can defeat him by firing arrows at the eye on the back of his head, but it is difficult. Odolwa blocks the arrows much more than he did before. You can try to run around him to get a good shot, but he often moves to quickly. The only time you have a clear shot at the eye is when Odolwa begins to dance. When that happens, you can land one, maybe two, attacks before the eye is no longer exposed.
With some experimentation, I figured out a more effective strategy: the Deku Flowers. It appears that the game designers wanted to make the Deku Mask useful in the boss fight (similar to how the Goron Mask is used while fighting Goht and the Zora Mask is used while fighting Gyorg).
Additional Deku Flowers have been added around the room, and you can use them to attack Odolwa’s eye from above. While wearing the Deku Mask, you can drop Deku Nuts on Odolwa. A direct hit will stun him. While he is stunned, the eye is vulnerable to sword attacks.
In this regard, the fight has become very similar to the fight against Queen Gohma in Ocarina of Time. The changes to this fight can’t help but make me wonder what other changes may have been made to the other boss fights.
There is still much more to see in the Majora’s Mask 3D demo at PAX South, and we will be examining the changes noted in each throughout this weekend.