What’s Your Favorite Mask?

We all love Majora’s Mask (well, most of us anyway). When people talk Zelda, they like to discuss their “favorites,” whether it’s bosses, dungeons, items, or games. But Majora’s Mask allows us to ask ourselves another favorite: Mask. So what’s yours?

Let’s split this topic up into two categories: Transformation and Normal. After all, it’s unfair to pit the epic Zora Mask, to say, the practically useless All-Night Mask. As most of the non-transforming masks really do little to progress the game, I won’t get into too much detail about each of them. But the transformation masks need thorough descriptions, as they are major necessities to the game, each with their own unique abilities.

Let’s jump into it, shall we?

First, let’s briefly discuss the normal masks and their merits:

Normal Masks:

The Postman’s Hat: Check mailboxes for a Piece of Heart and rupees.
All-Night Mask: Stay awake during Anju’s grandmother’s stories.
Blast Mask: Act as a human bomb!
Stone Mask: A stealthy mask that makes you invisible to certain characters in the game. Invaluable when infiltrating the Pirates’ Fortress.
Great Fairy Mask: If you want to collect the 15 fairies of each dungeon, this is a must have!
Keaton Mask: Mow down the jumping bushes to reveal Keaton, who will ask trivia questions in exchange for a Piece of Heart.
Bremen Mask: Play a tune while marching slowly… pretty much only useful for getting the Bunny Hood.
Bunny Hood: Run twice as fast and look awesome.
Don Gero’s Mask: Conduct the frog choir for a Piece of Heart.
Mask of Scents: Reveal the location of mushrooms to give to Kotake so she can make Blue Potions.
Romani Mask: Enter the Milk Bar late at night.
Circus Leader’s Mask: Keep the Gorman brothers at bay during the Milk Road chase.
Kafei’s Mask: Inquire the whereabouts of the missing Kafei.
Couple’s Mask: Stop the argument in the Mayor’s Office.
Mask of Truth: A handy mask used to talk to Gossip Stones.
Kamaro’s Mask: Teach the Rosa sisters how to dance for a Piece of Heart.
Gibdo Mask: Make Gibdos think you’re one of them to navigate the well to Ikana Castle.
Garo Mask: Enter Ikana Canyon and reveal and fight Garos.
Captain’s Hat: Order Stalchildren to open graves in Ikana Graveyard.
Giant Mask: Even the playing field when fighting Twinmold.

Mull over your decision for best normal mask, while I discuss the…

Transformation Masks:

Deku Mask

– Spin attack
– Shoot bubble projectiles (uses magic)
– Hop across the surface of water
– Glide through the air

Whether you like it or not, you are forced to play as Deku Link for much of the beginning of the game. But it’s not that bad. Shooting bubbles may be a weak power-up, but spinning around and flying via Deku Flowers is pretty awesome. In Ocarina of Time, you needed Cuccos to glide through the air. This mask grants you this useful feat for many parts of the game. Unfortunately, this ability is limited to areas with Deku Flowers. I think the mask would’ve been much more useful if you could glide anytime you jump off a cliff. Maybe that would be too generous, but hey, that’s just me.

The usefulness of the spin attack goes beyond just moving a little faster. I find it invaluable in Woodfall Temple when you find yourself in that dark room surrounded by Black Boes. Swinging Link’s sword around leaves his back vulnerable to damage, which is especially difficult in the dark. With the Deku Mask, you can go (Deku) nuts with the joystick. As long as you keep pressing A, you’ll be fine and will eventually defeat all of the enemies. This is one of the few areas wherein I feel it beats out the Goron and Zora masks. You can lunge right into an enemy to either stun or kill it. With the Goron Mask, you’re vulnerable to attacks until you’ve built up energy and spikes protrude from your body. Very few enemies can repel the Deku’s spin attack.

Hopping across the water isn’t all that fun, but don’t traverse the area outside Woodfall Temple without wearing this mask. If those Hiploops knock you off the narrow logs, consider yourself dead. If this happens while wearing the Deku Mask though, you’ll immediately start bouncing off the water until you reach land or a lilly pad.

The Deku Mask is fun to play with for awhile, but it’s usefulness is really limited to obstacles intentionally set up by the game. What I mean by that is that unless you find yourself in a predicament in which you absolutely need the Deku Mask, you’ll rarely wear it. The Goron Mask and Zora Mask are useful beyond necessity, as they allow faster travel at times when you don’t necessarily need them.

Goron Mask

– Fiery punch that can crumble boulders
– Curl up and slam the ground with tremendous force
– Roll around for fast travel and invincibility (uses magic)

I think most players will find themselves equipping the Goron Mask more than any of the other Transformation masks. After losing all your rupees, arrows, and other items when returning to the Dawn of the First Day, this mask will make restocking a breeze. Simply roll around Termina Field and slash down bushes and enemies. While the usefulness of the Deku Mask and Zora Mask are pretty much limited to their respective areas (the South and the West, respectively), the Goron Mask is useful anywhere you need to travel quickly. It’s faster than Epona, and frankly, more fun.

You may also find this mask coming in handy if you encounter boulders, but have no bombs. Simply deliver a powerful punch to the sucker, and it’s gone. The punches are not all that effective in battle, however. The Goron attacks slower than Link and the other three transformations. You would think that the powerhouse mask of the group would be most effective in confined battle than the others, but really, it isn’t (with the exception of Goht, of course). I rarely, if ever, use the Goron Mask beyond quick travel and necessity, but really, those occurrences constitute a large chunk of the game, so that’s not really a downside.

One last useful (and overlooked) technique the mask provides, I’ve found, is curling up. The ReDeads in Ikana Castle cannot attack you in this form, and you can ground slam them to death (or… re-death?) And if you ever need to jump from an intimidating height, equip this mask, curl up, and let yourself plummet. No damage. Very convenient, but rarely necessary.

Zora Mask

– Swim very fast and precise
– Punch and kick combo
– Boomerang fins
– Electric barrier (uses magic)

While the Gorons rely on brute strength, Zoras rely on agility and technique, and that’s exactly what you’ll find with the Zora Mask. Swimming is no longer a chore, and it’s just as fun as rolling around as a Goron, if not more so. Also, like traveling as a Goron, you’re not defenseless. You can conjure an electric barrier to repel the occasional aquatic foe without slowing down. You can also sink to the ocean floor and walk around as if you were on land.

I wouldn’t suggest using this mask for regular battle, either. The punch and kick moves have less range than the sword or Deku spin attack. If, however, you want to strike a distant object without wasting arrows, break out those boomerang fins. Those are arguably the coolest feature of the mask, though like many attributes of the other masks, you probably won’t find yourself using them very often.

The only time I would recommend using this mask unnecessarily for battle is against Majora’s Mask. Unlike the bow and arrow, the boomerang fins can be used repeatedly, with no concern of depletion. They attack from behind as well, striking Majora’s soft back side. Of course, the last transformation mask makes this tactic practically useless, but if you’re looking for a challenging battle, the Zora Mask will actually come in handy here.

Fierce Deity’s Mask

– Strongest sword in the game
– Shoot powerful beams from sword (uses magic)
– Can only be used in boss battles

There’s really not much to say about this one, so I’ll make it quick. It’s awesome. Think Gyorg is a pain? This mask will make the battle as easy as shooting fish in a barrel (See what I did there?). Majora’s Mask itself will become the easiest final boss in the Zelda series. Essentially, this is like turning on God mode in Zelda. It takes the challenge away, but it’s satisfying to plow your way through some bosses that may have given you some grief in the past. Just make sure you watch your magic meter!

With all that, I’d have to say that my favorite normal mask is the Bunny Hood. Of all the normal masks, it’s probably the one you’ll find yourself using the most. Not to mention, when I was very young, rabbits were my favorite animal, so it has some nostalgic value. As for the transformation masks, it’s a toss up between the Goron and Zora Masks, but in the end I think I’d have to go with the Goron Mask. Like the Bunny Hood, I find myself using it the most outside of necessity. Although the Goron Mask is my favorite, I’d have to say that the Fierce Deity mask is by far the “coolest.”

But I want to know what you guys think! What’s your favorite normal mask? What’s your favorite transformation mask? Comment below, and let’s talk about it!