JimButcher, on Feb 15 2010, 05:29 PM, said:
On another note, I'm kind of reluctant to play Majora's Mask. From what I've heard, there's a 3-day repetition period, and no matter where you are in the game, once the three days are up, you start at the beginning again. Wouldn't that suck to get to the end of a really hard temple, ready to fight the boss after so much effort, just to have to start over?
A common misconception. Without spoiling much, I'll explain
Your first mission gives you the ability to control time. Without completing it, you technically die at the end of the first three days. There is no logical reason to allow this, but it can happen. It's amusing, in a way.
Once you can control time, you set out to do lots of little things in particular story arcs within a three day period. Once you've done a particular chore/job, you don't have any real reason to repeat it, so it isn't like repeating the same game over and over.
When you enter a dungeon, time stops. You can't hit the three day limit while in there, so time isn't as daunting as it seems. The time limit is less about a limit and more about a sequence of events and scheduling things. If everything happened at the same time, you'd never be able to achieve all of your goals.
To give a specific example, I'll make something up. Let's say you meet someone who wants to deliver something to a specific person, but that person is somewhere else and only there during a set time. In order to get there, you might have a number of other things to do. Your time challenge is doing all the things you need to do to achieve that and meet the person you're trying to deliver to at the right time. If you miss, at the end of three days you start time over and yes, you would lose all progress in that particular arc, but not any dungeons you'd beaten or other achievements made. You do have the option to keep a journal of achievements and that carries over, as I recall (it's been 6 years since I played it?).
Sometimes it's all about getting a bottle or opening something so that in another story arc, you can use that to achieve something else.
It's complicated and was a pretty daring way of doing things, and being so different from the norm, it isn't as popular is it probably should be. Plus, without Zelda or Ganon, it's a little like Link's Awakening: you know you're in a Hyrule type place, but it isn't and few of the usual things are there. You will, however recognise a few people and types of people and some parallel concepts between MM and OoT.
Overall, it's a worthwhile play, it's just going to require a different way of thinking to really get into it. The dungeons are as good as you'd hope, though, and the errands are interesting enough. It's a little like a soap opera in spots as you learn about the lives of people, not unlike the teacher and her plots in WW.
Play it, it's a good time.