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

[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.