Best Nintendo game of the previous decade!

The time has finally come, folks! The time for me to announce my personal favorite Nintendo game from the last decade. There were some great competitors up for the grand prize, and it wasn’t easy, but there is one game that sticks out in my mind and captured my heart above and beyond the others. Though all of the games that made it to my top ten list truly deserve to be there, this title just wouldn’t belong at any position other than first.

So, here it is…the award goes to…

1. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (Nintendo 64)
This game just barely qualifies for the competition with its 2000 release, but I’m glad it made the cut. There is so much to say about this addition to the Zelda series. First of all, this game required the expansion pack for the N64 because of the detailed graphics, which still look awesome today. When I think of the look of Majora’s Mask, I think of an overall mysterious atmosphere, with tons of beautiful colors in all of the areas the young hero explores. After saving the land of Hyrule and becoming known as the Hero of Time in the previous game, Link travels to the much more mysterious land of Termina, with the central hub of the action taking place in Clock Town.

While MM only has four major dungeons to conquer, it offers many more side quests than its predecessor, Ocarina of Time. One of the most enjoyable side quests is the trading of the land title deeds with the Deku scrubs. Each trade allows Link access to something useful, for example a piece of heart.

Along the journey, Link must collect masks to return to the (very scary) Happy Mask Salesman. Link must collect all masks within the game before he is allowed access to the legendary Majora’s Mask, which was stolen by the Skull Kid. The Happy Mask Salesman informs Link that, when in the wrong hands, Majora’s Mask is capable of great destruction and chaos. Link must return the mask the the salesman before Skull Kid succeeds in destroying the entire land of Termina. Some masks are collected during the main story, and others are more side quest-ish. There are also four transformational masks that change Link into different forms (Deku Scrub, Goron, Zora, and Fierce Deity), that are collected whilest completing dungeons (except for Fierce Deity, which is attained only after having collected all other masks).

Some masks have extensive stories to complete before you earn them. For example, the Couples Mask has certain tasks to complete on each of the three days. 

The game takes place within a recurring three day time cycle. On midnight of the third day, Skull Kid pulls the moon down, crushing all of Termina, if Link is unable to stop him. Obviously, the game is much too extensive to be completed within the first three day cycle, and therefore Link is forced to complete as much as he can (or as much as the player wants to) within three days, and then time must be reset. During a reset, various items and amounts of progress are lost. Side quests, for example, should be started when enough time is allowed to complete them before the cycle needs to be reset. Link does learn an ocarina song that allows him to slow the flow of time, which helps tremendously. The time cycle in this game definitely adds a large amount of difficulty, which is much appreciated considering there are only four major temples.

Another thing I love about the three day time frame is that the game has its own schedule. For example, standing in a certain area of town on the first day at a specific time, you’ll see various characters completing certain routine activities. There are also specific time frames (a couple of specified hours on a certain day) in which you are allowed access to various places, for example the Stock Pot Inn – which has a small window of opportunity in which you can get a room reservation.

All Zelda fans, in my opinion, NEED to play this game through at least once. If the time cycle annoys you, just be patient, it doesn’t take long to learn the Inverted Song of Time, which allows you to slow the time flow. The updated graphics are really impressive for the N64 still to this day. The soundtrack is awesome. The game gives you plenty to do in between completing dungeons-mainly the collecting of the masks, among other things. The time scheduling is probably the most impressive element of this game. I love being able to see the same events happening at the same time upon a reset of the cycle. I also can’t stress highly enough how much FUN this game is to play. In today’s world of video games competing to have the best graphics or the best online modes, it makes a look back at these classic, fun games necessary every once in a while.

Check out some great details of this game on Zelda Universe. You’ll find plot summary, characters, maps, ocarina songs, strategies, cheats and more.

So now it’s your turn. I want to know what you consider the best game from the previous decade. Go!

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