Posted on November 07 2014 by Fernando Trejos
Disclaimer: A few days after the release of this article, Nintendo gave us new information regarding the development of Majora’s Mask 3D. Some of the points made here have been rendered moot by those news. The main points of the article, however, are still valid. Take this into consideration while reading.
For the past few years—ever since the conception of the idea of a Majora’s Mask remake—most of the Zelda fanbase has been debating nonstop over one crucial aspect: should the remake be on the 3DS or the Wii U?
Even after the game was announced, after everything had been settled, thousands of people keep complaining about this; so many people are still mad that the game isn’t on the Wii U, and they fail to understand why this idea that they have is so impossible.
The 3DS Version is Easier and Cheaper to Make
As we all know very well, a 3DS version of this game would have much lesser graphics, as it doesn’t have to fit the high definition of the Wii U. That’s just common sense.
The company that’s being brought in is Grezzo, a subsidiary of Nintendo, who handled
Ocarina of Time 3D. So we know it’s not even Nintendo making the game; it’s in actuality a very small team, one that’s handled the development of very few games (they did some development for a game on StreetPass Mii Plaza and released a game named Line Attack Heroes on WiiWare, and worked on Four Swords Anniversary Edition as well).
A small team like that, working off of a small budget with a six to seven month development time, would certainly be able to finish and polish
Majora’s Mask 3D. They did an amazing job with Ocarina of Time 3D, and I do personally have a lot of hopes for them, but they’re too small of a company to handle a Wii U remake; Nintendo would have to allocate a lot more money into the project, and the development time would be a lot longer.
Not to mention, the development of
Majora’s Mask 3D would be particularly easy, because of the following reason.
Most of the Assets from Ocarina of Time 3D Can be Carried Over, So Development Would Take Very Little Time
Remakes already have a very short development time, right? With little to no creative work to be done—simply updating graphics, quickly building a new engine (or even working off the old one), and changing the control scheme, with very little added content—the whole idea behind video game remakes is that they’re quick, and bring the classic game to a whole new generation.
Now, think back to the original development of
Majora’s Mask; the whole point of the game was that it would only take a year to make, by repeating the same characters from Ocarina and reusing the old game engine. The game focused on sidequests surrounding small areas, to make up for the lack of dungeons and expansive story, and the general mood of the game was the most intense and memorable part.
So it’s a remake for a particularly short game that was built to have a short development time, with the remake’s engine and graphical assets already built, no creative work to be done at all, and millions of fans waiting to buy it. If
Ocarina of Time 3D only took about a year to develop by Grezzo, Majora’s Mask shouldn’t take more than three or four months.
As the Sequel to Ocarina of Time, A Majora’s Mask Remake Can Only Be Published On a Console That Already Has The Original Game
This is pretty self-explanatory;
Majora’s Mask is the sequel to Ocarina, so Nintendo can’t just release it on a console without Ocarina of Time on it already.
One of the main points of remakes is to bring an old game to a whole new generation, and that would be completely impossible if the target audience has no way to play
Ocarina of Time, and won’t understand Majora’s Mask. Kids today might not have both consoles, and it just doesn’t make sense to brand Majora’s Mask on the Wii U as a sequel to a 3DS game, or to release it on the Wii U independently with no explanation for the backstory.
Additionally, it gets more people to buy and play
Ocarina of Time 3D, which is obviously always a good thing.
(Yes, I realize that they could just buy the original game on the Wii Shop Channel, but not only is that a big generational gap, it’s also a complex process that can’t be easily explained to the public.)
The Profits from a 3DS Version Would be Ridiculously Higher for Nintendo
This is a given fact. The 3DS version would be much cheaper to make, and sell a hell of a lot more, seeing as how it’s a much more popular console. Nintendo could potentially sell millions of copies—perhaps even more than
Ocarina of Time 3D—for a very small side-project of a remake. This is a small venture on their part, and gives massive profits to the Zelda team.
A Wii U version would sell a lot less and cost a lot more to make, and take a lot longer as well, resulting in very slim profits on the part of Nintendo.
A 3DS Version Would Release Earlier, and Would Likely Be Much More Polished
This is also a very simple concept; Grezzo is a small company, and making a 3DS version of
Majora’s Mask would be a lot easier and take a lot less development than a version for the Wii U. With a development time like the one they’ve been given (the game will release in about five months, and they’ve likely been working on it for a month or two already, just as a quick estimation), there’s a lot more time to work on polishing the game, and possibly adding some extra content. The 3DS version of the game would likely be better and more complete, and release a lot sooner, as a Wii U remake would probably take around twice as much time to make, especially considering how everything is basically already finished on the 3DS.
A Wii U Remake Would Never Look Anything Like That Fanmade Video
This is probably the most important part of this article, as it’s time to show people exactly why the hopes they’ve had for the Wii U are completely wrong.
When people envision
Majora’s Mask on the Wii U, they always think of the same thing; that beautifully animated Majora’s Mask Wii U trailer that was released around E3 back in 2012, to raise the hype for a game that would never exist.
What people fail to realize is that, if the game was made on the Wii U,
it would look nothing like this.
Think about it; this is a remake, reusing many of the old assets from the original game, made by a tiny subsidiary company over the course of a few months. There’s no way they could ever make the animation of their game come close to the quality that we see in this famous video; it would take years, even for a team the size of Nintendo’s actual
Zelda developers, and would cost much more than this project is supposed to.
The trailer that we’re all familiar with was completely animated—there’s little chance that could run as an actual game—and had a completely different, pre-rendered art style. We still don’t know who made the trailer, but it must have taken months and months to complete; rendering an actual full game, and making it playable, would take years, even with an actual development team.
Realistically, the game would actually look the way it does now, with a very similar art style to that of
Ocarina of Time 3D, but in very sub-par 720p graphics.
Yeah, I understand how beautiful this trailer is. When I first saw it and thought it was real, I legitimately started crying and re-watched it about twelve thousand times. But this could never happen; it could never become a real game, without Nintendo losing millions of dollars and years’ worth of development time. Would it really even be worth it, just to make it prettier?
So What’s the Verdict?
Majora’s Mask Wii U wasn’t ever going to happen; not today, not two years ago, not ever. The advantages of making the game on the 3DS far outweigh any possible reasons to make it on the Wii U, and if they had decided to make Majora’s Mask HD rather than Majora’s Mask 3D, it would be one of Nintendo’s worst business decisions in years. And that’s definitely saying something.
Hopefully, people will stop complaining about the game that we have, and learn to celebrate it for how amazing it’s going to be, and be happier about the fact that our dream came true; the
Majora remake is actually going to happen. I hate to put it so bluntly—people have a right to complain, after all—but it’s time we think about the situation pragmatically.
What do you think of this whole situation? Have you changed your mind, and accepted why we need
Majora’s Mask 3D instead of HD? Do you still believe the Wii U version is a better idea, and want to try to make your case? Let us know in the comments below!