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vanguard333

Majora's Mask on the GameCube: Was it a Bad Port/Emulation?

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For context: I recently set up my old GameCube and finished Ocarina of Time on the Collector's Edition that came with the GameCube. I figured that it would be a good idea to then move on to Majora's Mask. I haven't played the game since I was a kid, but I don't remember there ever being any problems when my brother or I played it. However, when I decided to look online to see what people had to say about the Collector's Edition, I saw a ton of complaints about Majora's Mask on the GameCube randomly freezing and crashing, which is especially bad for a game like Majora's Mask since you save by going back to the Dawn of the First Day with the owl statues enabling the player to suspend-save the game.

I don't have another copy of the game (though I could probably get one via Wii U virtual console, but then I'd have to set up my Wii U; ah, the pains of moving), so I want to know: was it really that bad? Did it really have these kinds of problems, and, if so, then how frequently does it occur? Was the freezing caused by anything in particular that could be avoided, or was it completely random as I've seen quite a few people say it was?

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From my experience on the collectors disc. It had some serious crashing issues. And on a game with limited saving opportunities it became more of a frustration then anything.

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Yeah it is a big problem, I bought the 3DS version of MM just because of the problems I had with MM on the Collector's disc.  MM is the only game with that issue, but boy did it mess with my enjoyment of my first playthrough.  I did manage to beat it on the collector's disc, but the crashes drove me crazy and happened more the farther I played in to the game.

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Oddly enough my (still working, still playing) copy of the GC Collectors Disk didn't have any issues.  Occasionally the frame rate would stutter (an oddity for the GC as a whole), but that was the limit to any disk issues.

The only bug I think I've ever had on Nintendo consoles was the infamous 'can't save easy mode PoR data into RD', but that was due to purchasing the first wave of disks.

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Besides the crashing, which other posters were correct in saying did occur, the fight with Odolwa seemed different. Not just the eye I see mentioned in the guides - I remembered different strategies/items working in the GCN version. It's too bad I don't remember enough to be sure, or identify what exactly was different.

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1 hour ago, Faellin said:

From my experience on the collectors disc. It had some serious crashing issues. And on a game with limited saving opportunities it became more of a frustration then anything.

1 hour ago, EricaofRenais said:

Yeah it is a big problem, I bought the 3DS version of MM just because of the problems I had with MM on the Collector's disc.  MM is the only game with that issue, but boy did it mess with my enjoyment of my first playthrough.  I did manage to beat it on the collector's disc, but the crashes drove me crazy and happened more the farther I played in to the game.

I see.

@EricaofRenais I heard that the 3DS remake changed a lot of stuff from the original, and not all of those changes were good: namely changes to the boss fights, over-brightening, the Zora swimming getting tied to magic, Deku Link's water-hopping being nerfed in such a way that it makes the swamp a lot more tedious, saving only being done through the owl statues, ice arrows only working on sparkling water, etc., were not well-received. That, combined with me already having the Collector's disc and not knowing about the crashing because mine never crashed, led me to choose not to buy the 3DS remake. What did you think of the 3DS version?

 

43 minutes ago, kradeelav said:

Oddly enough my (still working, still playing) copy of the GC Collectors Disk didn't have any issues.  Occasionally the frame rate would stutter (an oddity for the GC as a whole), but that was the limit to any disk issues.

The only bug I think I've ever had on Nintendo consoles was the infamous 'can't save easy mode PoR data into RD', but that was due to purchasing the first wave of disks.

That was my experience as well, though I didn't get far into the game. My brother got all the way to the Great Bay Temple and he doesn't recall it ever crashing. And I never noticed frame rate issues (though they were probably there).

I never figured out how to use PoR save data for RD, so I never had that problem or knew it existed.

 

24 minutes ago, Original Johan Liebert said:

Besides the crashing, which other posters were correct in saying did occur, the fight with Odolwa seemed different. Not just the eye I see mentioned in the guides - I remembered different strategies/items working in the GCN version. It's too bad I don't remember enough to be sure, or identify what exactly was different.

What eye? The only version in which Odolwa has an eye on his head as a weakpoint is the 3DS remake, which gave eye weaknesses to all four temple bosses.

The GCN version didn't change Odolwa at all; he was originally a boss where you could try a ton of different strategies and items, and he compensated by using a ton of different attacks throughout the boss fight. The 3DS version, as far as I know, took away every form of damaging him and made it that you had to use the deku flowers to stun him, then strike his new eyeball weakness.

 

Thanks everyone for answering. Given all your answers, I think what I will do is I will try the version on the Collector's edition and see how it goes. If it doesn't crash, then excellent. If it does, then I'll find a different version (like one of the virtual console versions).

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My guess would be since it required the expansion pack on 64, transferring that to gcn just had issues. Any 64 game that needed it had slowdown often. Of course thats just a guess.

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@vanguard333 I don't have a problem with the changes they made in the 3DS version, but like I said my GC copy was so glitchy that being able to play it without glitches made it worth to me.  Not to mention I prefer portable gaming anyway (it works better for me if I can have options on where I can play my games), so I am probably one of the few people that has no issues with 3DS version.

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Huh, that's news to me. I never experienced a crash on that version of the game, and it's the only version I've ever played.

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1 hour ago, lightcosmo said:

My guess would be since it required the expansion pack on 64, transferring that to gcn just had issues. Any 64 game that needed it had slowdown often. Of course thats just a guess.

That would make a lot of sense, especially since no one seems to have any problem with Ocarina of Time on the Collector's disc.

 

44 minutes ago, EricaofRenais said:

@vanguard333 I don't have a problem with the changes they made in the 3DS version, but like I said my GC copy was so glitchy that being able to play it without glitches made it worth to me.  Not to mention I prefer portable gaming anyway (it works better for me if I can have options on where I can play my games), so I am probably one of the few people that has no issues with 3DS version.

I see. That makes sense. I was just curious.

 

38 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

Huh, that's news to me. I never experienced a crash on that version of the game, and it's the only version I've ever played.

30 minutes ago, Florete said:

That was how I originally played Majora's Mask, and I don't recall having such issues.

It was news to me as well, as neither I nor my brother ever had any issues (though I didn't play much of it). It's interesting to see that I'm far from alone in that regard, and there are almost just as many people saying, "I never had a problem" as there are people saying, "It happened to me a lot/it was a big problem."

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In my own experiences crashes definitely do happen, and it is extremely frustrating when they do, but it is not nearly enough to make the game unplayable. I think I 100%ed Majora's Mask on the gamecube and it crashed maybe 2 or 3 times. If you're going to play it's better if you know what you're doing, I expect it could be very frustrating for a blind player. Play the Song of Time often and you should be fine. Fire Emblem players of all players are accustomed to losing a decent amount of progress after an unlucky kill on a long map!

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100%ed it three times. Once in 2011, and I think twice back-to-back within a week in 2012 with no issues at any time.

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I have played Majora's Mask on gcn for years and never experienced such issues. Only thing I can think that's messed up on the collection is that the Wind Waker Demo freezes up and that's almost certainly because my disc is lightly scratched.

Maybe the players that have experienced those issues scratched their disk in a way that causes MM to glitch?

On 6/18/2021 at 7:35 PM, vanguard333 said:

I heard that the 3DS remake changed a lot of stuff from the original, and not all of those changes were good: namely changes to the boss fights, over-brightening, the Zora swimming getting tied to magic, Deku Link's water-hopping being nerfed in such a way that it makes the swamp a lot more tedious, saving only being done through the owl statues, ice arrows only working on sparkling water, etc., were not well-received. That, combined with me already having the Collector's disc and not knowing about the crashing because mine never crashed, led me to choose not to buy the 3DS remake. What did you think of the 3DS version?

There's some other one's you missed like Captain Keeta (the giant skeleton in the graveyard) being incredibly slowed down making the race a joke as opposed to legitimate challenge, but yes, it's agreed by many that most of the changes made by the 3DS version are for the worse.

If you have a 3DS with CFW there's a patch out there that reverts all (or at least most) of the awful changes the 3DS version has, but otherwise, I wouldn't recommend it. In particular the boss fights were my biggest issue, not only looking ugly because of that hideous eye weak point they decided to tack on to all of them, but also being very one dimensional as you HAVE to fight them a specific way instead of just trying to come up with your own strategy when dealing with them.

Only change that I think was good was saving through statues because there were many players who were intimidated by the time system before so that makes it more accessible.

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15 hours ago, NegativeExponents- said:

Only change that I think was good was saving through statues because there were many players who were intimidated by the time system before so that makes it more accessible.

On the downside of that, muscle memory for veteran players, or at least for me, meant many a loss of progress. As I'm so use to having the Song of Time be a permanent save to the game, the fact that it isn't actually causes me to lose a lot of progress by turning it off without saving. It really didn't have to be an and or situation, I really wish they'd just kept the Song of Time working as a save too. 😕

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On 6/18/2021 at 11:30 PM, Jotari said:

In my own experiences crashes definitely do happen, and it is extremely frustrating when they do, but it is not nearly enough to make the game unplayable. I think I 100%ed Majora's Mask on the gamecube and it crashed maybe 2 or 3 times. If you're going to play it's better if you know what you're doing, I expect it could be very frustrating for a blind player. Play the Song of Time often and you should be fine. Fire Emblem players of all players are accustomed to losing a decent amount of progress after an unlucky kill on a long map!

Thanks for the answer.

I don't know if it's fortunate or unfortunate, but as much as I want to play it blind, the fact that I already know a fair amount about the game means I'll be going in semi-blind at most (I'll still avoid walkthroughs as much as possible as I want to see how much stuff that I don't already know and can figure out on my own). 

I'll make sure to play the Song of Time often; I won't be a Majora's Mask player that tries to cram as much as possible into each cycle.

Very true; Path of Radiance is my favourite video game, but it is definitely infuriating how easy it is to lose progress on battles because there's only a suspend-save during battles.

 

On 6/20/2021 at 4:22 PM, NegativeExponents- said:

I have played Majora's Mask on gcn for years and never experienced such issues. Only thing I can think that's messed up on the collection is that the Wind Waker Demo freezes up and that's almost certainly because my disc is lightly scratched.

Maybe the players that have experienced those issues scratched their disk in a way that causes MM to glitch?

There's some other one's you missed like Captain Keeta (the giant skeleton in the graveyard) being incredibly slowed down making the race a joke as opposed to legitimate challenge, but yes, it's agreed by many that most of the changes made by the 3DS version are for the worse.

If you have a 3DS with CFW there's a patch out there that reverts all (or at least most) of the awful changes the 3DS version has, but otherwise, I wouldn't recommend it. In particular the boss fights were my biggest issue, not only looking ugly because of that hideous eye weak point they decided to tack on to all of them, but also being very one dimensional as you HAVE to fight them a specific way instead of just trying to come up with your own strategy when dealing with them.

Only change that I think was good was saving through statues because there were many players who were intimidated by the time system before so that makes it more accessible.

Thanks for the answer.

I wasn't trying to list all the changes, but I do remember Captain Keeta being rendered a joke was one of them, as was making the Twinmold fight infuriatingly long when just making it that you don't get the Giant's Mask until after slaying one of them without it was enough.

Yeah; I heard about the owls being turned into permanent saves, which was probably to accommodate the game being on a portable console (and because the original save system was born out of technical limitations). The one complaint I've heard is not the addition of the new save system, but that the old one was taken away.

8 hours ago, Jotari said:

On the downside of that, muscle memory for veteran players, or at least for me, meant many a loss of progress. As I'm so use to having the Song of Time be a permanent save to the game, the fact that it isn't actually causes me to lose a lot of progress by turning it off without saving. It really didn't have to be an and or situation, I really wish they'd just kept the Song of Time working as a save too. 😕

Yeah; I figured that would be a problem when I heard about the removal of the old save system.

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15 hours ago, Jotari said:

On the downside of that, muscle memory for veteran players, or at least for me, meant many a loss of progress. As I'm so use to having the Song of Time be a permanent save to the game, the fact that it isn't actually causes me to lose a lot of progress by turning it off without saving. It really didn't have to be an and or situation, I really wish they'd just kept the Song of Time working as a save too. 😕

 

6 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Yeah; I heard about the owls being turned into permanent saves, which was probably to accommodate the game being on a portable console (and because the original save system was born out of technical limitations). The one complaint I've heard is not the addition of the new save system, but that the old one was taken away.

Oh, my bad. I'll be honest, I actually forgot the old way was no longer available. I tended to quicksave a lot on the owl statues in the original too because I frequently had to put things down halfway that I just didn't notice it was gone now.

Edited by NegativeExponents-

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On 6/21/2021 at 11:16 PM, NegativeExponents- said:

Oh, my bad. I'll be honest, I actually forgot the old way was no longer available. I tended to quicksave a lot on the owl statues in the original too because I frequently had to put things down halfway that I just didn't notice it was gone now.

Okay. That makes a lot of sense.

 

Anyway, for a quick update: I started playing the game. I completed the first 3-Day Cycle... and that's as far as I've gotten so far; I haven't even turned Link back into a human yet. I'm hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

Interestingly, when I selected Majora's Mask, the Collector's Edition immediately warned me about potential audio issues unique to this game specifically; stating that it's due to the way in which it had to be emulated for the Collector's Edition. That's interesting that they knew about the audio issue and warned the player going in.

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For what it's worth, I enjoyed most of the changes to the 3DS version—I think they made for a better game, while still being faithful to the original.  The Bomber's Notebook especially was very helpful for keeping track of everything.  I also loved how much more control I had with the revamped "Song of Double Time", and some of the clever NPC location changes (the Stone Mask guy in Pirate's Bay being a prime example).

As for Zora Link... He actually isn't much slower, even if you're not using magic—the difference is trivial, even when swimming in a straight line:

Most of the reason it feels slow is because of how dynamic the camera work is when using magic.

Edited by FionordeQuester

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4 hours ago, FionordeQuester said:

For what it's worth, I enjoyed most of the changes to the 3DS version—I think they made for a better game, while still being faithful to the original.  The Bomber's Notebook especially was very helpful for keeping track of everything.  I also loved how much more control I had with the revamped "Song of Double Time", and some of the clever NPC location changes (the Stone Mask guy in Pirate's Bay being a prime example).

As for Zora Link... He actually isn't much slower, even if you're not using magic—the difference is trivial, even when swimming in a straight line:

Most of the reason it feels slow is because of how dynamic the camera work is when using magic.

I don't know, two seconds seems like a pretty big difference to me. Swimming is something you're going to be doing a lot of and in areas bigger than that video's test. One also has to factor in that using the shield gives greater maneuverability to Zora Link's swimming, which was free in the original game but costs magic in the 3DS version (more reason to get drunk of Chateau Romani I guess).

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49 minutes ago, Jotari said:

I don't know, two seconds seems like a pretty big difference to me. Swimming is something you're going to be doing a lot of and in areas bigger than that video's test. One also has to factor in that using the shield gives greater maneuverability to Zora Link's swimming, which was free in the original game but costs magic in the 3DS version (more reason to get drunk of Chateau Romani I guess).

Two seconds if you mash the daylights out of the R button, rather than holding it.  The N64 equivalent to that was Dolphin Diving (jumping in and out of the water), not the regular swim.  The regular swim was equivalent to the "Hold the R button" one (~6.70 seconds, I think it was)?

In any case...I mean, it's there for sure: I just don't think it's enough to justify the amount of flak 3DS gets.  

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32 minutes ago, FionordeQuester said:

Two seconds if you mash the daylights out of the R button, rather than holding it.  The N64 equivalent to that was Dolphin Diving (jumping in and out of the water), not the regular swim.  The regular swim was equivalent to the "Hold the R button" one (~6.70 seconds, I think it was)?

In any case...I mean, it's there for sure: I just don't think it's enough to justify the amount of flak 3DS gets.  

I'm not going to say the 3DS port is the worst thing in the world, it certainly made some appreciative changes and I do like that they were brave enough to actually make changes, unlike Ocarina of Time 3DS, but even if it were purely just the camera angle it'd still be a bad choice. Because swimming as Zora Link in Majora's Mask just plain isn't as much fun in the 3DS version. Perception (and the aforementioned maneuverability) matters in something like this. And I'm not even sure why they saw fit to change it, it's not like the swimming was a broken mechanic in the original (well I mean in terms of balance, there were some glitches that let you swim through the air), and the game was designed around swimming being a free action. So I find it pretty understandable that a lot of people took that particular aspect badly.

Edited by Jotari

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All this talk about the Zora swimming, meanwhile I'm currently still in Clock Town playing the deku flower minigame three in-game days in a row to get a piece of heart.

I heard that the 3DS added a target reticle and a way to look straight down by holding R, which struck me as a good change... until I played the flower minigame. There's already a shadow that you can use to tell where Deku Link will land, and since you can only fly for so long before Deku Link drops to the ground, I don't think having to switch to an alternate view to see a reticle for landing is a good idea. Someone who has played the 3DS version can tell me if I'm wrong about that assumption, but I can't help but think that putting the reticle in the standard view to make the shadow more obvious (since it is a rather small circle that can be hard to notice in dark areas) would've been a better change, especially for trying to land on the platforms that move horizontally on the Second Day.

Speaking of landing on moving platforms, I heard that the 3DS remake changed the Deku Palace so the moving platforms now only move after you've landed on them, which kind-of strikes me as missing the point. I have to ask, was the deku flower minigame similarly nerfed in terms of challenge in the 3DS version?

Edited by vanguard333

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48 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

...but I can't help but think that putting the reticle in the standard view to make the shadow more obvious...

They made the shadow at least twice as large in 3DS, if not more-so.  It's much easier to see, even without the new reticle.

Quote

Speaking of landing on moving platforms, I heard that the 3DS remake changed the Deku Palace so the moving platforms now only move after you've landed on them, which kind-of strikes me as missing the point. I have to ask, was the deku flower minigame similarly nerfed in terms of challenge in the 3DS version?

The Deku Flower mini-game stayed the same—only the Deku Palace was affected.  Perhaps that's because of how far you had to backtrack, if you missed?

Edited by FionordeQuester

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