Our first topic celebrating 130 years of, quite possibly, THE greatest video game company of all time is our favorite Nintendo game. Nintendo is such an influential part in the world of gaming that I think the majority of gamers simply must have a favorite from their vast gaming library. If you’ve been following along on Virtual Bastion for very long, you might already be aware that the Duck’s Nintendo game of choice, nay, my favorite game of all time, is The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. But rather than go on and on about all the game’s virtues that, frankly, any fan would and has already talked in depth about, I wanted to talk about my personal experience with the game and what it means to me.
The Nintendo 64 started out as a family console that we bought for Christmas. I got Pokemon Stadium, my dad got Banjo-Tooie, and my mom got Majora’s Mask. Back then, I was rather intimidated by new games I had never played before, especially these big, open games that had so recently burst onto the scene. They were just so different from what I had been playing on the SNES up until that point.
After a time, however, I grew bored of Pokemon Stadium and decided to give Banjo-Tooie a try. The game’s huge, open worlds turned out to be far more fascinating than scary, and I quickly got over my earlier fears. My dad stopped playing around Terrydactyland, but I eventually managed to surpass his save file and beat the game, even if getting 100% wouldn’t happen any time soon. After replaying Banjo-Tooie several times, I decided to turn next to Majora’s Mask.
The problem was…I was really nervous about playing the beginning of the game, where you have three days to get your ocarina back and have no way of returning to the first day if you mess up. Luckily for me, my mom stopped playing the game right at that point, so she let me continue the game right from where she had left off. And so I set forth into Termina Field, a place I had only previously seen from the Observatory during my mom’s brief playthrough. Funnily enough, I felt my first great sense of accomplishment upon slaying my first Chuchu.
Yes, a Chuchu. Silly, no?
My progress in the game was very slow, but I remember finding Termina Field and its surroundings to be truly frightening at night, when the haunting Blue Bubbles and howling Wolfos come out. Eventually, after a lot of wandering, I made my way to Woodfall, slowly progressing until I entered my very first dungeon. Let me tell you, Woodfall Temple is very intimidating to a duckling still getting used to the concept of a 3D Zelda game. I remember just standing in the very first room, staring at the floor far below in horror as I watched these shadowy creatures slink around beneath me, while the dungeon’s rather…interesting music served to only discourage me that much more from continuing forward. (It seriously sounded like a spectral opera singer to me.)
Like with Banjo-Tooie, my first playthrough of Majora’s Mask was a really amazing experience, and even when I return to the game now, I just feel like I’ve come home. It’s no surprise, really, as I have lived in four different states since the game came into our lives, and though houses and friends and schools kept changing, one thing that remained constant, or rather, grew, was my video game collection, with Majora’s Mask being one of the first games that helped me to get over my earlier trepidation at trying new things. In fact, back then, my life felt fairly stable, and I had no idea of all the long-distance moves I still had in store for my young self. Back then, life felt secure. I thought everything I had…I would never lose.
I lost a lot of things I once held dear. Majora’s Mask is one remnant from that time period that stayed with me, and when I play it, I feel as if I’ve been transported back to that stable part of my childhood where I thought nothing bad could happen. Not only is Majora’s Mask a masterpiece, but it makes me feel safe. It makes me feel a sense of belonging that I haven’t felt in so long. While friendships came and went, I always had my video games to return to, to comfort me after a hard day. Majora’s Mask has outlasted friendships, homes, pets. I love this game, not just for its own, numerous, merits, but for what it means to me and what it represents.
Taken from official promo art