The weirdest Zelda game, 2000's Nintendo 64 great The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, is finally coming to the 3DS on February 13. Yesterday, I had a chance to play the game for a little bit during a Nintendo event in San Francisco, and I got to see some of the changes featured in the remake.
Now, to be clear, there aren't many huge alterations to the game. It's still the Majora's Mask that fans know and love; you're still going to have to save the world from an impending apocalypse within 72 hours, while having to repeatedly go back in time with key items you obtain before you can finally affect events enough to succeed. But, there are some differences -- all of which are useful or improve the game in small ways. Let's start with the most obvious one.
Note that the Majora's Mask remake doesn't require the new, more powerful 3DS. It will run on existing models. But what I saw yesterday was running on the New 3DS XL.
The revamped graphics really make the game shine on the 3DS hardware, especially given the speedy loading times. Here's a short clip that shows those shinier graphics, if you'd like to take a look:
If you're playing the game on the New 3DS, you'll be able to use that system's new C-stick to look around and take in all the detail, too (without it, presumably, you'd be using the 3DS' gyro sensor or locking Link in place and looking around with the circle pad, as you could in the 3DS's remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time). It's also worth noting that the game now has much of the menu functionality on the lower screen, so pretty much everything you can think of is a tap away:
Better Bomber's Notebook
Majora's Mask is a game about people -- people that you get to know, people that you have to keep track of as they go about a set series of actions across the game's simulated 72 hours. The Bomber's Notebook is essentially a timeline that tracks those characters. It's been beefed up for the 3DS version of Majora's Mask. Now the notebook shows you your current quests, rumours you've heard, and your completed quests. In addition to that, the Bombers gang will now also give you rumours if you talk to them. These are meant to orient you whenever you're unsure of what to do next. And finally, you can now set alarms in the Bomber's Notebook -- so you can always keep track of when certain things happen and get a reminder that, oh yeah, its now that part of day two when character x is supposed to be doing something you want to witness or interact with.
A New Saving System
Before, Majora's Mask had a somewhat clunky saving system that let you save in two different ways -- a single-use quicksave and a more traditional save. In the new version of the game, there is only one way to save: by using owl statues. Better yet, there are more statues around Termina -- so you can save more often.
More Useful Song of Double Time
In the original Majora's Mask, the Song of Double Time let Link shift time forward to either dawn or nightfall. Now the song lets you shift time forward to any hour you'd like. The idea is that this change will make the game better for mobile, on-the-go playthroughs.
If you think you have the time to spare, the 3DS version of Majora's Mask gives you not one, but two fishing holes to cast your reel in. Bombshell! Each fishing hole has ten different types of fish.
These aren't all of the new things you'll find in the Majora's Mask remake. We know, for example, that boss battles have been tweaked somehow, though Nintendo representatives wouldn't tell me any specifics. But, aside from that, the changes listed in this article are the most notable tweaks -- and they're strong enough that Majora's Mask seems worth playing on the 3DS.