I am NOT a Nerd
or: How I spent my Winter Vacation

My winter break was one month long, which, needless to say, had me playing lots of video games. This break my game of choice was Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.

I did complete the game, but it took me almost the entire break to do it. If you're planning to play the game, make sure you start it with plenty of time on your hands, because you can't even save the game until you have stolen the Ocarina back from the skull kid, then you have to play the song of time to be able to go and defeat the four temples. The hardest part about this is that you are a Deku Scrub throughout all of that time, and have to run around significantly slower than human Link runs around, especially with the Bunny Hood, but that's a given!

Don't let the time element fool you. Although the game is billed that you only have 3 days to finish the game, you'll find yourself going forward and backward in time more than Marty and Doc! Unlike other Zelda games, your Big Treasure in previous temples isn't your key straight to the next temple in the land of Termina. You'll have to go through a series of delightful (often pain-staking) side quests, whether you're in the South Swamp, the Goron Village, The Great Bay Coast, Ikana Canyon, or even Clock Town! But I think all those other Zelda fans will agree with me when I say it's worth it to get that heart container or that empty bottle after doing a long side quest. After all, in the land of Termina, you may never know when you need it!

The transformation masks all played very interesting parts in the games as a whole. I was a bit dissatisfied by the control you received when controlling Goron Link and his Goron roll, and I got impatient waiting for the fins of Zora Link's Zora Fin attack to return (reminiscent of the boomerang in Zelda: ALTTP. Of course in ALTTP, the boomerang was much easier to aim because of the lack of the 3-D environment). I was disappointed that you only get to use the Giant Mask once, but it is really cool when you do get to use it.

As in all Zelda games, there were tedious parts. I never did like the time element much in MM, but it made the game all the more challenging. There were times where, even when I played the Inverted Song of Time on the Ocarina, I wished I had more time. While I was playing the Inverted Stone Temple, I got stuck trying to obtain the 8th fairy. The task was to do a Goron roll in between very slim openings between pillars over lava (so, of course, the bunny mask was not available) in order to hit a switch that would expose the chest that contained the fairy. I must have spent 3 MM (inverted time, no less) hours trying to get to that switch! But I finally got there, and I still couldn't find one of the fairies. I forgot to use the Fairy Mask in every room, I guess. Go figure, right?!?

The temples in this game were not as tedious as the elusive water temple of OoT. My favorite one was the Stone Tower, although it took me forever to figure out how to invert it. Again, the answer was right in front of me, as I had to shoot the red scabbard with a light arrow. It was just a hassle because I had to keep playing the Elegy of Emptiness on the Ocarina to arrange the blocks in the right pattern so I could hit the darn thing!

The game's final boss was delightfully difficult. I was disappointed at how surprisingly easy it was to defeat Ganon in OoT. Of course, because I did not have all of the masks in the game, I could not obtain the final mask (the alleged "deity" mask, which allows you to defeat Majora's Mask very quickly). Try as I might, I could not complete the notebook entry for Anju and Kafei. I just couldn't get the wedding mask! I even looked up the guide on the internet. I discovered what I was missing, but when I went to the rock in Ikana Canyon where Kafei was supposed to be hiding, he wasn't there! I did it twice, but I still couldn't get the darn mask. Anyway, I had to beat Majora's Mask the hard way, which took about 30 minutes! It was hard, but it was worth it. Although the ending and the credits did not even remotely stack up to the epic ending of OoT, it was great to have the game completed! Maybe this summer I'll finally get the wedding mask and see what the rumored "Oni Link" has to offer.