A Link to the Past vs. Majora’s Mask: the Case for a Remake

BastianNovember 16th, 2012 by Bastian

[Original idea and additional content provided by Freddy]

The fan-base has been chomping at the bit ever since word came out that Nintendo was seeking to remake either A Link to the Past or Majora’s Mask; speculation has run rampant throughout the community as to which entry will receive the ever-coveted remake treatment.

Make the jump for an in depth analysis.

There are a variety of good arguments in favor of either of the entries receiving a remake. First things first:

The Case for Majora’s Mask:

1. The game has never received any sort of remake or port.
Unlike A Link to the Past, which was ported to the GameBoy Advance in 2003, Majora’s Mask has not as of yet received any sort of remake or enhanced port; the 3DS and the upcoming Wii U present ample opportunity for such a remake to be made.

2. Grezzo–the developers behind Ocarina of Time 3D–can re-utilize many of the assets from Ocarina of Time 3D.
Given the availability of the Ocarina of Time 3D assets, it would be a trivial matter for Grezzo to remake the game. The original Majora’s Mask was released in 2000 after only one year in development. This quick turn around time was significantly accelerated through recycling Ocarina of Time’s assets. If Grezzo was to take advantage of existing assets, it’s likely that development could be completed in a mere six months, due in part to not having to craft a new engine for the remake.

The Case for A Link to the Past:

1. Shigeru Miyamoto expressed interest before Majora’s Mask 3D was even considered.
In an interview shortly after the release of the 3DS Miyamoto expressed interest in a Link to the Past remake when asked about what other entries he would consider re-releasing in the future. Majora’s Mask was not part of the equation until the fans expressly demanded it.

2. Considered by a majority to be the better candidate.
Let’s face it, as unfair as it may seem to some, A Link to the Past stands in many respects as the “favored son” within the Zelda franchise, with Majora’s Mask regarded as “the black sheep” by many within the fan-base. This is due to a generation of Zelda fans for whom A Link to the Past was the last Zelda game they played during their childhood, and nostalgia has a way of elevating experiences to “the best.” Similarly, the generation who played Ocarina of Time just before adulthood hold that game up to a “perfect” standard due in a large part to the timing and circumstances of their experience of it.


Majora’s Mask is certainly a worthy candidate for a remake; it has a more complex and involved story and back-story, and is unarguably a darker, more sinister game, which is another aspect making the entry stand out. Additionally, the three-day system was revolutionary and would be a welcome return either through a remake, or its use as a mechanic within a brand new entry in the franchise.

A Link to the Past, however might make more sense to go through the remake process because there are so many options available for a remake. Nintendo could choose to go the “3D Classics” route and simply take the exact same game–graphics and everything–but add multiple levels of 3D so that in instances wherein there are multiple floors on the same screen the stuff on the upper floor feels closer to your screen. Or Nintendo could remake the game from the ground up utilizing the engine of Phantom Hourglass/Spirit Tracks (but brand new graphics, of course) where while everything is 3D models, it still plays–for all intents and purposes–like a top-down 2D era game. Or Nintendo could completely reinvent the game and utilize a 3D third person perspective in the vein of the newer console Zelda games.

But what do you guys think? Would Majora’s Mask stand as a worthier candidate than A Link to the Past? Or is the latter game more deserving of a remake? Chime in on the comments below.

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  • Alyssa

    I think MMwould be good because it never has had a remake and because of the ocarina of time got a remake on the 3ds its ‘sequel’ would be a good candidate for the remake. But on the other hand a link to the past is older and would need a refresher to get the old gamers nostalgia back. Personally I would like a zelda 2 remake, show new gamers a REAL challenge.

  • Xixi

    I’d prefer Majora’s Mask 3D. The assets they would need are pretty much already there from OOT 3D. A 3D classics of ALTTP could still be released too because that wouldn’t take much work, but I really don’t want them to remake ALTTP from the ground up because it would take too much effort to make a 2D game into a 3D environment. I’d rather resources like that be spent on a new game with a new story.

  • Nink

    they should do a complete reboot of a link to the past- same story but totally enhance it in every way with a similar map for nostalgic purposes. majora’s mask should be done 3d with enhanced graphics and maybe a couple new bonus masks or items. I’d really like to see an oracle of ages and oracle of seasons make but taking place in the kid link timeline…like what if the flames of destruction and sorrow were lit after twilight princess? RIGHT!?!?!

  • VanitasXII

    @ALttP 2. Considered by a majority to be the better candidate.

    Source? Because MM3D was voted to be the most wanted by a landslide last I checked.

    This is a bit biased, if you ask me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.c.vincent.3 Thomas Caywood Vincent

    Majora’s, hands down. I mean really??? The skull kid is crashing the moon into the earth!

  • http://www.facebook.com/leif.emmanuel Leif Emmanuel Cardosa

    I’d vote for Majora! :D

  • http://twitter.com/koen12345678 koen

    i want majoras mask wii U

  • person

    When people say ‘link to the past remake’ do they mean completely revamping it into 3D or just doing up the 2D visuals?

  • The Hero

    Personally I would love A Link to the Past redone. Change the maps for the dungeon and the overworld map a little bit so it feels like a new Zelda game but is a remake at the same time. Full 3D. No 2 and 1/2 day stuff. A Link to the Past is my favorite for the reasons mentioned above in the article.

    However since everyone is talking about graphical style for these games. A Link to the Past I think should look more like Skyward Sword. While everyone is saying Majora’s Mask should be done with Twilight Princess graphics I disagree. I think it should be cel-shaded but not like Wind Waker. It should be cel-shaded like the concept art. It’s cel shaded but like a creepy cel-shaded look. Like Haloween. For those that know what that is.

    Still I vote for A Link to the Past though. I’d by that in a heart beat. No… I’d buy any Zelda in a heart beat.

  • IkeFE

    The author clearly has a bias for MM. Kind of makes this article ineligible.

  • Angry Mask Salesman

    Why not both

  • obi wan

    i would prefer link to the past remake, but seriously if there is any game that neds a remake it’s NES zelda or zelda 2

  • djumbreon

    I would preferre to see MM on 3DS and a link to the past for wiiU…
    but If I had to choose it would be MM.

  • Delpheas

    Grezzo should do MM3D, they did OoT3D and should have no problem reusing the engine and assets for MM.

    EAD or R&D1 or whatever could do the ALttP remake, then focus on a new 3DS title.

    Retro or Monolith Soft could handle the brand new Zelda for WiiU.

  • Anthony

    Ummm………it did get a re release on gamecube for the zelda collectors disk in 2003 so #1 isnt correct

  • Wii U Dude

    Perhaps a Link to the pass could be a 3DS remake, while Majora’s Mask could come out on the Wii U. It would look amazing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TheRealAdil Adil Khan

    MM had a port to the gamecube for the collectors edition

  • One

    Remake both. Problem solved.

  • kjn798

    Operation Moon-fall!

  • http://www.facebook.com/RyanF.Hullstrunk Ryan F. Hullstrunk

    Both would be amazing and I wish we could just have them both remade but If i had to pick between the 2 I’d say my choice is A Link to the Past. A Link to the Past is my all Time favorite. The Zelda series as a whole are an important part of my childhood and have stayed with me into adulthood but I must honestly say the fondest moments of my childhood as far as gaming is concerned are definitely dedicated the A Link to the Past and it would be a dream come true for the classic Link design that Was the norm before Ocarina of time was to take life in a 3D model game with the graphics and platforming possibilities the 3DS Brings.

  • zeldafan

    the way i see it is alttp was remade and had extra content when it was remade they should just put the remade version of alttp on the wiiu with better graphics, and remake mm with extra content on the 3ds like they dd with alttp

  • BlackRaven6695

    The view on Majora’s Mask is very outdated. It’s no longer considered a “black sheep”, it’s the most popular game in the series among the fanbase.

  • moonfall king

    i believe that Majora’s Mask deserves the remake because it is a great sequel to Ocirina of Time, not to mention that it would be a better candidate because Ocirina was remade so why doesn’t Majora’s mask get the same treatment :)

  • zelda fan man

    I think Majora’s mask should get a remake because it has never got a remake. I have never played it either, and if I wanted to, I can’t because you need a Nintendo!