We’re kicking some serious ass in Twilight Princess, and I know exactly why – it’s because I was playing this game less than two years ago. I somehow (surprise, surprise) did not complete that attempt, but for me, two years is recent enough to have a pretty good memory of the layout of the dungeons and the nature of the puzzles for the parts I played. I have to say that one of the great things about Zelda games is that if you don’t play them for a long time, you can forget everything, and the next time you play, it will feel like the first time. It’s especially true if you chronically drink alcohol during the gap between plays. But there is something nice about having a strong foothold in a game and just burning one’s way through like a mighty-ass sage. It’s like one of those New Game + options, only instead of starting the game at level 99 or whatever, you are armed with directions and solutions – and knowing really is like 80% of the battle in a game like this. The other 20% is battle.
Now I’m treading into some kind of sick territory, but I am a collector of games as well as a player, and profess to be a huge ass fan of the Zelda series, so the next things I have to say might sound really wrong, but here goes. I consider all of the console Zeldas official cannon Zeldas (not counting Link’s Crossbow Training). I do not choose to consider the portable Zeldas with this kind of elevated reverence. Link’s Awakening, the Seasons thing, Minish Cap, Hourglass of Whatever, and Train Tracks Choo Choo Yeah That Thing may all be respectable games, but I wouldn’t know, because I’m not a fan of spinoffs. I cannot count on those games to deliver the classic experience of console Zeldas, and could very well be mistaken, but that’s how it is. But as far as the console Zeldas, there is one jewel that was glaringly missing from my collection of games both played and owned, and that was the Mask of Majora. Just never played it or owned it, but is incredibly well spoken of in spite of how fucking weird it comes off. This past weekend, I went out in search of a copy for the Nintendo 64, that I may bask in and consume its glory. It took a while, but we found a copy for $10. However, we also had to buy the 4MB memory expansion jumper pak for the N64 which ended up costing twice as much as the game. It’s true, we could have downloaded it for the Wii’s Virtual Console for half this, but the truth is that we needed something to play on the small TV when mama is using the big one. Oh well, guess we can play the Star Wars Pod Racer as well now.
Majora’s Mask so far, is the most horrible Zelda game I’ve ever played. You spend the first part of the game being cursed in a nightmarish fashion, your shit stolen, your horse taken and then abandoned god knows where, and then you get to spend the next hours being abused by the assholish dipshit people of Termina and dealing with some seriously unsettling psychedelic imagery. You can’t save, and your quest is on a timer. Sure, you get to save once you complete the first series of quests, but if you fail, you will have to start over and go through the whole nightmare again. There is a serious menace permeating the entire atmosphere. It’s uncomfortable, unwelcoming, and probably cultivating a sickening darkness in my four-year old who up until now adored the Zelda games. His fears are my fear, and I am just not down with thrusting this dark, sad game upon him. And let’s cut through some too pointlessly upheld bullshit: Nintendo 64 graphics fucking suck, so it’s enraging that these blocky polyhedrons are creeping me out like they do. What is up with this game?
A question that requires more ponder and play, to be sure. We will not abandon the quest, and my dark fascination with it has done quite the opposite than deter me. The uncanny sinister bad dream Zelda this is, I cannot help but be attracted to its repulsive nature. Let our brave trail blazing in Twilight Princess bolster our courage to resolve the catastrophe of Majora and her fucked up masquerade. Or something.