The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is an odd game. However, odd isn't always a bad thing, as playing it and then discussing its effect on the player is a rite of passage amongst Zelda fans.
The game itself is a black sheep amongst the franchise (excluding the ill-advised CDI games) and is said to have even been rushed in production. Important and normally reoccurring ‘Zelda’ ideas are missing from this game including Hyrule, the Triforce as a driving influencer of events, and even Zelda herself.
However, this game shows that a change of pace in a long and storied line of games that feature a lot of the same repeated ideas can be, and has been, an incredible thing for gamers.
Through the life lessons and symbolism involved, this game presents itself as a cohesive piece of art that evokes a more emotional response than any of the other ‘Zelda’ games.
5. The Visually Present Sense Of Impending Of Doom
The implications of Link failing in a Legend of Zelda game are similar across the board. If Link fails in any of his adventures, the world would fall in darkness and an evil entity would be the de facto king.
This endgame scenario is daunting, sure, however, Link in every other ‘Zelda’ game is free to do as he pleases with unlimited time and virtually no reference of what happens after Link is defeated. Majora’s Mask does away with the relaxed sense of security other ‘Zelda’ games give.
Once Link enters Termina, a timer ticks away counting down three days’ worth of gameplay and when the clock hits zero, the impossible to miss suicidal moon comes crashing down into Termina, killing all of its inhabitants.
No other ‘Zelda’ game, save Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, even hints at what happens if Link fails. However, in Majora’s Mask, not only is there a constant reminder of what could happen if the player slacks off and lets the timer run out, there’s also an ending apocalyptic cutscene depicting the moon crashing into Termina to drive this point home.