Nintendo recently announced a remake of their cult classic Majora’s Mask. While I am happy that Nintendo is re-releasing it, I also have my reservations about it. I am mostly concerned with the atmosphere of the original. Simply put, it’s like no other game that I’ve played before. The constant menacing leer of the moon, the three-day countdown clock overlaid on the screen, the eerie music, the creepy mask transformation animations, the wrongness of the enemies…all of these things contributed to the deeply unsettling atmosphere of the game.
While most of the things listed here will undoubtedly be enhanced by the game’s re-release (the thought of the moon in 3D is truly frightening!), I think that certain elements might stand to suffer on the new hardware. In particular, I think that the enemy design might not translate well from the N64 to the 3DS. The N64, being a less powerful machine, rendered 3D graphics in such a way that many game objects appeared blocky and jagged and off-shape. For example, think of the Chu-Chu enemies in Majora’s Mask. Their long faces seem so wrong, in part, I think, to the graphical limitations of the system. Nintendo will probably want to clean up the rough look of Majora’s Mask like they did with Ocarina of Time. However, I think that cleaning up the graphics too much will spoil part of the atmosphere. Nintendo needs to walk the line between improving the original and preserving its original feel. I have high hopes for the remake but I also hope that it feels like the original.