How Majora’s Mask Fixed Zelda’s Most Disappointing Side Quest
With every entry in The Legend of Zelda, players can choose to divert their attention away from the game’s main story to complete any number of side objectives. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is no exception, offering a variety of optional tasks to complete. Ranging from brief detours to time-consuming expeditions, the lengthiest of these side quests often provide the most satisfying rewards.
However, this is not the case for every Zelda side quest. Majora’s Mask‘s predecessor, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, encouraged players to seek out and eliminate Gold Skulltulas, a type of rare enemy in the game of which there were a limited number. Unfortunately, some fans found Ocarina of Time‘s Gold Skulltula hunt largely disappointing due to the unremarkable reward obtained for such substantial effort. While finding Gold Skulltulas was a feature in Majora’s Mask as well, the game decided to take a different approach to its implementation.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask narrows its Gold Skulltula side quests to specific locations. Instead of making players meticulously comb each area of the game to find the creatures like in Ocarina of Time, Gold Skulltulas in Majora’s Mask can be found in the game’s Swamp Spider House and Oceanside Spider House exclusively. In each location, Link can find 30 Skulltulas – far fewer than the previous game’s grand total of 100. Additionally, players need not worry about Majora’s Mask‘s time-looping mechanic prematurely ending their search; the areas are confined enough that discovering every Skulltula can be done with time to spare.
The rewards garnered from Majora’s Mask‘s version of the quest, aside from being easier to attain, are a bit more unique than those obtained in Ocarina of Time. While Ocarina of Time gives some intriguing rewards for the first batches of Skulltulas defeated – larger wallets and a grotto locator – the final prize given after painstakingly seeking out all 100 is nothing more than 200 Rupees. On the other hand, completing the two Spider Houses gives players the opportunity to obtain two more of Majora’s Mask‘s most unique commodity: masks. Clearing one of the spider houses will earn Link the Mask of Truth, and the money needed to buy the game’s All-Night Mask can only be carried by the Giant Wallet earned from finishing the other. Given how special these rewards are compared to some extra pocket change, players might feel more incentivized to seek out the Gold Skulltulas.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with a side quest being long or difficult, if the reward for completing it does not match the effort put into its completion, then the quest runs the risk of disappointing players. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask took measures to re-work the aspects of the Gold Skulltula side quest that might have caused that feeling. The result is a side quest that takes less time and awards unique prizes.