YMMV: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Quite a bit of the fanbase seems to think the Happy Mask Salesman's up to something, or is more than he seems...
    • While most agree that Majora is without a doubt one of Link's most despicable and evil opponents, a large amount of the fanbase has Majora seen in a sympathetic light, due to evidence presented in game that it sees itself as a bullied child.
    • The Moon: Some have theorized that it's just as much of a victim as everyone else in the scheme, as seen by its tear and pained expression. Brawl in the Family sums it up pretty well.
    • Some people like TheStrawhatNO! theorize that Link is suffering through some kind of mental issues in this game, likely depression.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: The Trope Namer Tingle first appears in this game, though the hate for him hadn't quite reached the level it did with The Wind Waker. At least his map prices were actually reasonable here, compared to Wind Waker's astronomically high amounts.
  • Anticlimax Boss: The final boss, if the Fierce Deity's Mask is used. Even without the Fierce Deity's Mask, the final boss still isn't that difficult.
  • Best Level Ever:
    • The mission where you have to stop 'Them' from stealing cows is a fan favourite.
    • The Stone Tower Temple, with its unique dungeon flipping gameplay.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The Beaver Brothers that live on top of the waterfall near Zora's Cape. If you go see them, you can play a swimming mini-game for a bottle and a piece of heart. They have no actual bearing on the plot whatsoever, and outside of the completely optional mini-game (which you have to search out yourself), they never show up elsewhere in the game. Keep in mind, THIS is what they look like (and the little brother's eyes and circle on his belly also spin and light up like a Christmas tree).
    • The Aliens. Though they do get foreshadowed before their actual appearance, the fact that there are aliens in a Zelda game who steal cows and apparently lobotomize a young girl is pretty jarring.
    • The hand that lives inside the toilet at the inn. Even in the face of the Aliens and the Beaver Brothers, that's just weird.
  • Bizarro Episode: Not only is it Something Completely Different cranked Up to Eleven, but almost nothing in the game is ever brought up again in the series despite it being the Hero Of Time's second adventure.
  • Broken Base:
    • Ever since a fan-created "trailer" for a proposed Wii U remake made it onto YouTube, fans had started to argue whether Majora's Mask should be remade for the 3DS (to logically follow up on Ocarina of Time 3D) or for the Wii U (for prettier graphics). It died down when the game was announced for the handheld system.
    • The changed boss fights in the 3D remake. Some dislike the changes to the fights for their reliance on obvious weak points and changing the flow of the fights. Others approve of the changed strategy keeping the fights fresh and find them more challenging.
    • The moon's redesign in the 3DS remake, with a facial expression that is much more exaggerated than the N64 original. Does it turn the Nightmare Fuel Up to Eleven, or does it reduce it into Nightmare Retardant Narm?
  • Contested Sequel: To Ocarina of Time, though on its own the game enjoys a devout fanbase. There are fans who love the sequel's emphasis on sidequests, the time limit and the twists on the series' formula. There are fans who prefer Ocarina of Time for its more traditional approach in terms of story and gameplay, as well as its bigger influence and impact on the gaming industry. There are fans who like both games alike, too.
  • Crazy Awesome: The Eldritch Abomination Majora is a Psychopathic Manchild of epic proportions who is nonetheless memorable for precisely that reason. The battle against its second form demonstrates this trait perfectly: it moves and acts like an over the top toddler.
  • Creepy Awesome: The other reason Majora is remembered by the fans is because of how terrifying it is.
  • Disappointing Last Level: Players expecting a large-scale final dungeon will be disappointed, first because the dungeon segments in the Moon are brief and only require some basic skills from the mask transformations (except for the Goron one), and second because they're not even required to reach the Final Boss. In fact, completing them by trading all masks will lead to getting the Fierce Deity's Mask, which will turn the final boss into an Anticlimax Boss.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The Happy Mask Salesman and, similar to Dark Link in the prequel, the Fierce Deity, both characters being the roots of several Epileptic Trees. The latter is seen as one of the most popular incarnations of Link even though he's only an optional powerup for boss levels, thanks to his cool design, overpowered weapon, and mysterious origin. It says something that the fanbase was ecstatic when he was revealed as one of adult Link's palette swaps in the fourth Super Smash Bros. game.
  • Epileptic Trees: This game has been a goldmine of kooky fan theories, mainly because it takes place in a parallel dimension without much history or backstory. Fodder for theorisers include the origins of Majora's Mask (a possible explanation is given in the manga adaptation), the origin of the Fierce Deity Mask, and the history of the Stone Tower and the Ikana kingdom.
  • Game Breaker: A few:
    • The Stone Mask in general makes much of the game's challenge evaporate, as most enemies will ignore Link when he has it on. Fittingly, finding the mask in the first place is a bit of a Guide Dang It but laughably easy once you know where to find it.
    • Fight Majora's Mask, or any other boss in the game, while wearing the Fierce Deity's mask. Also hilariously easy. Mind, doing so requires 100% Completion, so don't expect it to be a Disc One Nuke or anything.
    • Chateau Romani, which gives you infinite magic for the entirety of the current loop after consumption. The only catch is that you can only get one on the night of the first day after doing a few quests. Combine with Zora Mask for infinite electro-barrier, Giant Mask to make the fight against Twinmold a lot easier or Fierce Deity Mask for effortless boss pwnage. It gets even better when you're on the Moon — since there isn't any time there, Chateau Romani lasts for as long as you're up there. So you can go through the whole dungeon with unlimited magic (which makes the boss fight even easier).
    • At the entrance hall of Ikana Castle, there are 4 Redeads that each give up 15-20 rupees and also respawn whenever you reenter the room. They're also one-hit killed by the sunlight once it comes into the room, and just plain trivialized by an item you naturally have at that point — it causes them to dance and completely ignore you, making them easy targets. By abusing the Redeads, you can easily get 500 rupees within a single game hour. Before you get to Ikana, the Dodongos in Termina Field are a good source of Rupees. The two larger ones drop 50 and the smallest one typically drops 15-20. They're only out during the day though.
    • There are 100-Rupee chests around Clock Town that are refilled with every new cycle. One of them is only available on the Third Day, but you can get two of them right away.
    • The Takkuri, a bird that, if defeated, earns you a whopping 200 rupees in one shot, which happens to be just enough for the Chateau Romani (once you unlock it initially). Of course, if the bird lands so much as a hit on you, it can steal one of your key items, so there is a risk involved — unless you use the Stone Mask or Epona while fighting it, as you are invincible on the horse and the bird will ignore you even as you shoot it to death with the mask on.
    • Using the Blast Mask while you raise your shield blocks the explosion damage, which means you have infinite bombs and have no need to collect regular bombs.
    • The Bunny Hood lets you literally run circles around your foes, making you move twice as fast. Combining it with the Great Fairy Sword turns you into a bona-fide Lightning Bruiser.
    • The Great Fairy Sword itself is one, serving as this game's equivalent of the Biggoron Sword, though it's not available till much later in the game and is extremely hard to get.
    • Shooting a Blue Bubble with a Light Arrow will cause it drop a purple rupee (50) every time. Blue Bubbles aren't exactly rare- they appear in massive numbers in east Termina Field and the Ikana region at night and respawn when you walk a short distance away. Combined with the high amounts of magic and arrow refills in Termina Field, you'll never worry about money ever again.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • In Sakon's Hideout, when you're switching places with Kafei in order to grab the Sun Mask, by wearing a mask as Link, switching to Kafei, then swapping the mask Link is wearing with another mask (normally not allowed), Link will automatically put on that mask when you switch back, even if it's a mask that you shouldn't be able to use. The Giant's Mask just freezes the game, but the Fierce Deity's mask...
    • In a bizarre, yet totally legitimate (i.e. not requiring cheat devices) glitch, it is possible to enter Sakon's hideout earlier than you're supposed to, by running at the precise angle toward the crack between the right side of his hidden door and the wall, and rolling the moment before you hit it (or just running into it for several seconds). You have to get the angle and the timing perfectly. Fierce Deity in the overworld for all three days? It can be done.
    • The Blast Mask can be used as a source for infinite bombs by simply raising your shield when the mask is used. The game is programmed to block damage to Link if the source of damage is in his front and his shield is raised. Since the mask's explosion is technically in front of Link, the shield can block it.
    • Despite a "Saving" message appearing when you press start on the title screen after saving at an owl statue, the game doesn't automatically start up your save file, so there's nothing to stop you from saving at the owl statue and copying your save file onto the second slot. This is very helpful if you're playing the Collector's Edition on the Gamecube.
    • If you save one save slot at the Clock Town owl statue, then load the next slot and save while on Epona at the Milk Road owl statue and reload the first slot, you'll reload riding on Epona while in Clock Town.
    • The 3DS remake includes a much easier, more convenient way to use the Fierce Deity's Mask outside of boss battles. Granted, there's not much Fierce Deity Link can do outside of battles (he can't open doors without freezing the game, if he can even open them at all, can't use the Ocarina, and his sword beams don't hurt most enemies), but it's still much easier and can be done at any time instead of the last few hours.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • If you go into the clock tower on night of the last day (required to complete the prologue), Skull Kid demonstrates the power of Majora's Mask by screaming at the top of his lungs, thus bringing the moon down even faster and the battle BGM starts off with a frickin' scare chord. No points for guessing where the two tropes lead. The mask salesman's laugh also qualifies.
    • The laser eye attack by the beamos is a shrill and annoying sound on its own, but with the distortion effect of being underwater, the sound becomes absolutely unnerving. While bad on the 64, the sound is MUCH worse when played on the 3DS.
    • The music for Ikana Canyon. The themes for the other regions were subdued and depressing-sounding anyways, but Ikana Canyon's version manages to make it even worse. Between the eerie noise in the background, the intense, almost pulsating sound used for the melody, the harsh low-pitched piano notes, and the solemn vocals in the later parts of the song, it's incredibly unnerving and really shows just how messed up the Ikana region is. It's even creepier when listened to while wearing headphones.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A soldier in armor who's so lacking in presence you need the Lens of Truth to see him? Sounds a lot like Kellam from Fire Emblem Awakening, but this game predated it by years.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Many are under the impression that the Skull Kid's name is Majora. He's simply the guy who stole the mask from the Happy Mask Salesman.
  • It's the Same, so It Sucks/They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • The whole franchise started to have this double standard problem with this game, but even after so many entries, the case of Majora's Mask is particularly jarring. The "It's the same" problem comes from how the game recycled many graphic assets from Ocarina of Time, which makes it look very similar quite often, and thus alienating some people to overlook the differences in everything else, which in turn make a lot of people who don't overlook them to fall straight into the "They changed it" territory.
    • The 3DS remake is also hit hard by the double standard, but in a different way. On one hand, you have one camp of fans who decry the remake for merely having "better textures" and otherwise not improving the game's graphics at all, which may stem from the beautifully-rendered fan-made Wii U trailer raising fan expectations too high.note  On the other hand, you have another camp of fans who denounce the remake for "losing the dark and creepy atmosphere" by improving the colors and lighting, as well as making the Owl Statue save feature more convenient for players and reworking the Zora swimming mechanics.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Skull Kid. His pranks frequently cross the line between a fun joke and an unfunny one, but he does it because he has hardly any friends, and because the mask he's wearing is gradually taking control of his actions anyway.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • In the context of an approaching deadline, "Dawn of the Xth day. -Y hours remaining-" is quoted by fans.
    • The game was used as the basis of a famous Creepypasta called Ben Drowned.
  • Memetic Sex Goddess: Cremia and her bountiful cleavage are infamous thanks to her "reward" for Link.
  • Moe: Romani, mostly because of her cheerful personality despite her concerns regarding the ghosts that attempt to take away the cows. Her model being based on that of young-age Malon in Ocarina of Time helps as well.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • The Goron elder's son and his crying are an In-Universe example. All the other Gorons in the temple have their hands over their ears, and most when talked to beg you to do something about the Prince's constant crying before they go crazy.
    • The high-pitched screams Majora makes during the boss fight will get grating fast.
  • Narm: Any mask you're currently wearing most likely will carry over into the cut scenes. This can make certain serious scenes unintentionally hilarious because Link is wearing something like the bunny hood during it. Which he most likely will, due to it being very, very useful.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • Throughout most of the nightmarish atmosphere, seeing ReDeads dance is downright hilarious.
    • Majora's Incarnation's movements, mannerisms, and sounds are so utterly bizarre that they can be hilarious.
  • Painful Rhyme: In the song he sings before he dies, Mikau manages to rhyme "eggs" with "says".
  • Player Punch: Take your pick. Nothing like seeing your favorite Ocarina of Time characters crying into their hands as their life is in tatters with the end of the world nigh to make you realize how deeply attached you are to them.
  • Porting Disaster: The emulated version included on the GameCube pack-in disc The Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition suffers from several glitches not present in the N64 version, a few of which can crash the game. In a game with such strict Save Game Limits, this can be a huge problem. Disabling the rumble function somehow reduces the odds of such bugs activating, though.
  • Ron the Death Eater: The Happy Mask Salesman. Many players couldn't accept the idea that somebody as terrifying as him isn't secretly evil, even if being terrifying was likely unintentional.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Resetting time causes you to lose certain items, though Rupees are a less of a problem due to the bank, but it does mean you have get them all over again. This notably includes items for sidequests. Fortunately, this trait is a bit less prominent in the 3DS version due to the quicksave feature being replaced with the ability to make a permanent save.
    • In the 3DS remake, swimming as Zora Link has been made easier but much slower. If you want to move at a somewhat decent speed, you have to use the electric barrier attack to move faster, which constantly drains your magic. In an area like the Great Bay, which has no magic refills, this can mean swimming sloooooowly to reach places you want to go if you don't want to use up all your magic, especially if you didn't obtain the magic bar upgrade. You can sort of dash by pressing pressing the shield button, but you only move in short spurts before slowing down.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Due to the open and easily-resettable nature of the game, players can have more fun messing around than actually trying to save Termina, and there are a lot of ways to mess around in this game:
    • Completing the many, many sidequests and minigames.
    • Following all the characters around just to observe their interactions with others and their lives over the three days.
    • Beating the bosses as many times as wanted, trying to do so in all sorts of interesting ways.
    • The Fishing Hole in the 3DS remake. It's not unheard of for people to spend all three days doing nothing but try to find that one elusive fish and/or catch all the fish.
  • Squick:
    • The end to Anju and Kafei's sidequest is the most touching moment in the game, and definitely the sweetest... or at least it would be, if Tatl didn't have to go and point out that "even though they're lovers, they look just like a mother and child."
    • The mysterious hand that lives inside a toilet at the Stock Pot Inn.
  • That One Attack:
    • King Ikana's head separation attack falls under here. It gives him a period of complete invincibility until it's over, and Link will only be able to target his head, leaving him exposed to the body's sword attacks. The head will then latch onto Link in an unavoidable bite and hold him in place while the body slashes at him. Ikana will use this attack more often as he takes damage, drawing out the fight.
    • Majora's Incarnation's Energy Ball attack in the 3DS remake. The only warning for this attack comes when Majora performs a pose, at which point you have only a split second to react before it pelts you with a barrage of energy bolts which not only shave off a chunk of Link's health, but holds him in place. If you're not careful, this attack will kill you quite quickly.
  • That One Boss: The Great Bay Temple alone has three examples:
    • Gyorg. His big, he's tough, he has attacks that absolutely murder poor Link, and the quickest way to fight him involves getting in the water with him and buzzing him with Zora Link's electro-shields, which consume a finite and difficult to replenish resource in the magic meter and relies on the somewhat-finicky underwater controls. The remake shifts things up, making him easier to hit but also adding a second phase where you're forced to fight him underwater.
    • And for minibosses, there's Wart. Similar to Arrghus in A Link to the Past (which is also known as Wart in the Japanese version), it is a huge eyeball completely enveloped by smaller eyes that must be disposed of before you can damage it. You can use your bow and hope for a lucky shot while it's barrelling toward you at high speed, but you'd better damn well hit it because it's too big to outrun if you miss.
    • The Gekko rematch. Unless the player's reflexes are good enough, it's likely that the instances of being captured by the massive falling bubble (which forms every time Gekko is hurt) will be very frequent. And whenever it happens, Gekko will repeatedly punch Link like a sandbag without the latter's chance to defend.
    • In the 3DS remake, Twinmold is far, far harder than their fight in the original version now doing far more damage, forcing the player to fight the blue Twinmold without the giant's mask while trying to avoid the red one's attacks which is much harder when you're small. The second half requires you wail on the red Twinmold extensively with rather slow attacks in order to stun it. Even if you got the upgrade from Great Bay that halves damage and several heart containers, this fight can eat through your entire life bar if you don't know what you're doing. They're also immune to the Fierce Deity's Mask (though if your aim is good, you can hit the blue one's eyes on its underside with the sword beams), requiring you to fight them the hard way.
  • That One Level:
    • The Stone Tower Temple. You have to shoot a target outside to reverse the gravity in-level.
    • The Great Bay Temple can be considered even harder than Ocarina of Time's Water Temple. While the puzzles aren't as confusing, the currents in the water makes navigating it very frustrating, and both minibosses and the main boss are infamously hard.
    • The Goht-Mask Kid mini-level on the moon. It's an extremely difficult goron-roll track section involving tight, narrow bends, and half of which revolves around a mechanic where you have to ricochet off of chests in extremely precise ways in order to make 90-degree straight turns. You need an extremely steady hand to get it right.
    • The Gyorg-Mask Kid mini-level on the moon in the 3DS version. Instead of being a simple underwater maze, the mini-level has been altered so you have to hit a switch, rush through the pipes, find the barely-visible fish that mark the correct path, and manage to make a perfect dolphin-jump out of the water to reach the next room before the gate closes. Miss the hard-to-make jump? It's all the way back to the beginning for you. One of the Heart Pieces specifically requires going through a wrong path which is marked only by a single pot.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Anju and Kafei. Not only does the quest involve a lot of waiting around and running back and forth to get to specific locations at very narrow periods of time, you have to do it twice to get all the rewards. And it's very easy to mess up a step and have to start over.
    • Some of the minigames can be exceptionally difficult if the player doesn't hone his/her skills. The Deku Playground game, the two Target Shooting galleries, and the various Deku, Goron and Zora racing games are examples of this.
    • Obtaining all the stray fairies, especially in Snowhead Temple and Stone Tower Temple, can be incredibly frustrating. Snowhead Temple has numerous invisible fairies and one that requires you to use Deku Link and float sloooooowly down for about three minutes to reach, and Stone Tower Temple has some that require doing something deep in the temple, inverting it, and then going all the way back through to reach the chest containing the fairy.
  • They Just Didn't Care: The Collector's Edition port. The audio glitches up horribly whenever you travel from one area of Clock Town to another. The game crashes randomly and without warning, wiping off all of your three-day-cycle progress. Even worse, they actually included a start-up screen practically apologizing for any audio discrepancies you can't help but notice.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The majority of the masks in the game suffer from squandered potential, as many of them are good for exactly one little thing and then have no more use except for obtaining the Fierce Deity's Mask. Almost every mask not the transformation masks, Stone Mask, Blast Mask, Great Fairy Mask, Mask of Truth, Bunny Hood, and Fierce Deity's Mask suffer from this.
  • Ugly Cute: The Skull Kid when he's not wearing Majora's Mask. It helps that, as Tatl's flashbacks show, he was quite The Woobie.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Majora's Incarnation. Its squeaky "voice" and weird dances doesn't help for that matter. Majora's Wrath to a lesser extent. The Happy Mask Salesman, too.
    • The Elegy of Emptiness statues. All four of them, but especially Link's.
    • The Great Faeries, just like in the last game.
    • At least one reviewer has noted how the updated graphics in the 3D version somehow make them even creepier.
  • Vindicated by History: The game had some negative reception in its time, being a sequel to an incredibly beloved game. Years later, it's achieved a decent amount of popularity for its incredibly frightening and bleak atmosphere, the dungeon designs being some of the best in the series (although they are pretty damn hard), the huge amount of sidequests, a wide variety of interesting items, and more. All in all, it's a lot more popular than it was originally, to the point Gamefaqs even made it Number 1 on the the 2000-2009 Game of the Decade list. To some, it even surpasses its predecessor and it's routinely discussed as one of the best Zelda games and games in general.
  • What an Idiot:
    • The Deku Scrub salesman in the mountains offers you a trade: you give him your Big Bomb Bag and 200 rupees, and he gives you a Biggest Bomb Bag. Here's the thing, though: He sells only to Gorons. Gorons can't use regular bombs. It's no wonder no one took him up on his offer before you did. Then there's the Deku Scrub Salesman who sets up shop inside of one of the Indigo-gos rooms. And the only ones that can even go in there are the Indigo-gos. That's a five member client base he's selling to. Even worse is that he's set up inside Lulu's room. Lulu being the only female member of the band. Now, Zoras might not see any need for gender privacy, but if they do, he's limited to Lulu and Mikau most of the time. And then there's the one in the southern swamp, who sells magic beans only to Deku Scrubs, who are, like Gorons with bombs, incapable of using them.
    • The Clock Town Banker, for stamping your bank balance on your forehead. As the Versus guide points out, he deserves to be defrauded for that.
    • The player has the option to make Link himself into one. Upon entering Ikana Canyon during the day, the player can see Sakon the thief running around and has the option to talk to him. Despite it being very obvious by this point that Sakon is unscrupulous, untrustworthy, and steals anything he can get his hands on, the game gives the player the choice to agree to loan him Link's sword when Sakon asks for it. Fortunately if the player chooses "Yes", they're spared having the sword stolen by Tatl flying in Sakon's face and scaring him away.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Druggy and nightmarish visuals and cinematography; death and hopelessness permeates every quest and every second of gameplay; has some of the most legitimately frightening moments in Zelda history; and that's just the first hour.
  • Woobie Species: The people of Termina in general, unfortunately. Almost anybody and everybody you might come across during course of the game is a woobie.