Top 5 Masks in 'Majora's Mask'
Link has many faces during his adventure...which one is the best?
I know I’ve spoken at length before about Majora’s Mask, but most of those discussions have been centred around how dark the game is or how mysterious so many elements of Termina are. Today, I want to take a look back at Link’s strangest adventure, but actually take a look at the masks that Link obtains throughout the game. Now, as one may easily deduce, masks are an integral part of the game. Link can get a grand total of 24 masks throughout Termina, each of which serve him in a different way. Of course, it is not compulsory to get every single mask in the game to finish it, but there is a certain reward for obtaining all the masks in the form of the Fierce Deity Mask, one of the Transformation Masks (which, by the way, will not be featured on this list for reasons I shall explain shortly). In this list, I’m going to be going over my Top 5 masks from the game. How I will be ranking them depends on utility, aesthetic and personal enjoyment, and as such, the list will be subjective, so if you have a different list or if you disagree, that’s totally fine! I would love to have a discussion with you if you don’t agree, because learning different points of view is always a plus.
Like I mentioned earlier, Transformation Masks will not be included on this list. That means no Deku Mask, no Goron Mask, no Zora Mask and no Fierce Deity Mask. Why? Well, if I did decide to include these masks, it would make the rankings ridiculously easy, because we all know what would be number one, and then it just becomes a very thin matter of preference. It’s kind of why the Master Sword and Hylian Shield weren’t included in my Top 5 Items list… it just throws everything out of balance.
With that disclaimer of sorts out of the way, here are my top 5 Masks from Majora’s Mask!
5. The Captain's Hat
(art from https://www.deviantart.com/blueamnesiac/art/Captain-s-Hat-282248184)
First up on the list is the Captain’s Hat, obtained in the eerie Ikana Graveyard. In order to get this mask, Link has to awaken and successfully chase after Captain Keeta (a giant Stalchild) through a couple of flame pillars and enemies before fighting him in a mini boss battle. After defeating him, the Captain will give quite a lengthy speech about how he lost the battle at Ikana Valley and has spent eternity waiting for someone to awaken his soul. The first time I played this, I kind of got a glimpse at what the theme of this entire area of Termina would be like, and it has stuck with me ever since. The Captain asks Link to take his soul (which is in the mask) and tell his soldiers that the war is at last, over. All things considered, very sombre words from a captain of an undead army. He then salutes and disintegrates, leaving Link with the Captain’s Hat.
What do I like about this mask? Well, aside from its rather melancholy origin (which I admire, as it fits with the entire theme of Ikana Valley), the mask itself is quite useful, allowing Link to talk to any Stalchildren he sees. What’s more, the Stalchildren will treat Link as their commanding officer, so that’s kind of neat. They’ll even take commands from him, which is actually something that needs to happen in order to progress in the game. But what is, without a doubt, the BEST part of this mask, is the fact that ReDeads will completely ignore you if you’re wearing it, and instead…..
Look at that form and that posture! There’s no way you can hate this mask if it can make a zombie do that.
4. The Garo Mask
Another entry from the Ikana Valley - I promise, this will be the last one. The Garo Mask, which is definitely one of the coolest looking masks in the game, is obtained by racing (and beating) the Gorman Brothers in their ranch. This is another mask that is actually needed to complete the game, as without it, the player cannot even enter Ikana Canyon. The Garo mask allows Link to encounter mysterious enemies known as Garo in certain areas of Ikana Valley. The mask initially causes them to mistake Link as their master, but upon seeing him, they realize he's an imposter, and then proceed to summon a ring of fire and challenge Link to a battle. Upon their defeat, they impart some words of wisdom before fading away.
The reason I like this mask is because it, like the last entry on this list, perfectly encapsulates what kind of game Majora’s Mask is; and it makes the player wonder about the history of Ikana Valley and what may have happened here to cause the entire area to be filled with nothing but misery and death.
The utility of the mask isn’t so much so as to put it higher on this list, but I feel it does a better job of capturing the essence of the game than the Captain’s Hat. The Garo are one of the most mysterious enemies in the Zelda franchise—not much information is revealed about them, other than the fact that they have a strict code of honour, preferring to actually commit suicide after Link bests them in battle. Major points for dedication, but it does make me wonder about how exactly they lived their life, and what keeps them tied to the world of the living.
3. The Stone Mask
(art from https://www.deviantart.com/blueamnesiac/art/Stone-Mask-279724335)
The Stone Mask… to be honest, I wasn’t sure where to put this one, because it is without a doubt the second most useful mask in the entire game, but in the end, I settled on the third spot because…well, you’ll see later on. Anyway, the Stone Mask can be obtained by finding a wounded soldier named Shiro using the Lens of Truth. In the original Nintendo 64 version of the game, he can be found near the entrance to Ikana Canyon, but in the 3DS re-release, Shiro is located inside the Pirate’s Fortress in the Great Bay area. After you talk to him, you have to give him either a Red or Blue Potion, and after you do, he’ll gift you the mask. Wearing the Stone Mask causes you to become invisible to most enemies that you’ll encounter in the overworld, and I don’t really have to tell you how useful that can be. In the 3DS re-release, the timing also works out perfectly as the mask even causes you to be invisible to the pirate guards at the fortress, making it completely unnecessary to sneak around.
The mask doesn’t work on mini-bosses and bosses, obviously, but it still provides an easy way to navigate the entire overworked without any risk of losing health. Now, Majora’s Mask is by no means a hard game, so I highly doubt that too many players would have this mask constantly active, but there are those times when multiple small errors leave you with just a couple of hearts hanging and in dire need of refuge. Now, as for why I didn’t put this mask any higher despite it being one of the most practical masks in the game to acquire, there are two reasons. One is that I believe that there is a mask that has even more utility in the game, and two, the masks on this list are judged on more than just usefulness, there’s also the aesthetic, not to mention personal enjoyment. In that spirit, let’s move on to……
2. The Couple's Mask
The Couple’s Mask. This is the only mask on the list that actually doesn’t have any power or special effect or anything - Link wears it, it looks cool, that’s about it. However, what earns it its spot so high up on this list isn’t anything to do with the mask, its what you have to do to get the mask. Side-quests are abundant in Majora’s Mask, but the one side quest that stands above them all is the Anju-Kaefi side quest that sees you travel all around Clock Town (and beyond) across the 3 days to perform a series of tasks in an effort to reunite two lovers that have been torn apart because of the Skull Kid’s malicious actions.
This mask is special because of how much the player has to do before he can get it, and also what it represents. The moment that the two of them reunite in the Stock Pott Inn and declare that together, they would wait for the morning to arrive, is one of the most heart wrenching moments of the game. The mask symbolises their struggle to reunite, and it also symbolises the efforts of you, the player, to get them there. On a more personal note, whenever I play Majora’s Mask, I make sure that this side quest is the last one I do before taking on Skull Kid after finishing all four of the dungeons, because… I don’t want the cruel grasp of time to erase the reunion that I worked so hard to make happen. I realise that so far, it looks like I’m praising the actual side quest itself rather than the mask, but the mask is simply a representation of the side quest since it has no special effect of its own.
Majora’s Mask excels in this department - weaving together stories of grief, sorrow and hope and making you wonder how these situations would unfold in real life. As the player in a video game, you have all the power to make things happen, but in the real world, you can’t do anything—you have to simply stand by and let fate take the wheel. I don’t know about you, but… that’s a scary thought.
1. The Bunny Hood
The Bunny Hood. Yeah, I’m sure at least 90% of you saw this coming, but no matter how much I loved the story behind the Couple’s Mask, I couldn’t put it over what is probably one of the most useful items in Link’s itinerary in all of Zelda history. The Bunny Hood is one of the earliest masks Link can obtain in the game, and I’m pretty positive that its the first mask that people look to obtain right after they transform back into Link’s Hylian form. The Bunny Hood is by no means a difficult mask to get; it's just a little time consuming. To get it, Link has to get the Bremen Mask on the night of the First or Second day from Guru-Guru (the guy who appears in the Laundry Pool) and after that, a visit to Romani Ranch is required, where Link has to use the mask to transform 10 baby chicks into chickens. After this is done, talk to the guy sitting there, and he’ll give Link the Bunny Hood.
The Bunny Hood allows Link to jump farther than usual and run faster as well, which, in a game that’s all about performing a specific number of tasks in a limited time period, may just come in handy. I’m sure you can begin to imagine how much of a time-saver this mask is, as it literally allows you to do everything at a slightly quicker pace. Travel becomes much easier, platforms that may have been out of reach before are actually within your grasp, and it becomes super easy to manoeuvre around enemies and bosses to hit them. The Bunny Hood is ALWAYS on whenever I play the game, and honestly, its almost impossible to imagine playing Majora’s Mask without it—its such an integral part of the experience that I feel like I would be playing the game wrong if I didn’t have it on, and that gets it the number 1 spot on this list.
So, those are my Top 5 masks in Majora’s Mask! Stay tuned for the third Zelda month post, coming later this week, and if you like what you read, be sure to leave a like or a tip if you want, and check out my homepage, where you can read last year’s collection of Zelda Month posts. Catch you guys next time!