As the direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time, Majora's Mask had colossal expectations to live up to when it debuted in 2000. Fans of Ocarina might have expected the follow-up to be another grandiose adventure, set in an even wider world, packed to the brim with dungeons to explore and bosses to conquer—in other words, a game that built on the core conventions of the Zelda series.
What Majora's Mask inevitably delivered, however, wasn't quite in line with the vision of a convention sequel—it was a deeply personal adventure, set in a more intimate world, driven as much by a desire to spread happiness as by the threat of evil. Where past Zelda games turned players loose in a vast world that they could explore at their own pace, Majora's Mask focused more on experiencing the stories of the characters that inhabit its world—lived out over and over again as the clock counts down to oblivion.
Fast-forward to 2015, and Majora's Mask is still a delightfully offbeat, deeply personal quest to bring happiness to a troubled world. But just as Majora's Mask divided fans over its controversial shifts from the conventions established by Ocarina of Time, the 3DS remake revisits many of the original's cherished elements—and the results are similarly mixed.