Review Summary: A classical interpretation of Majora's Mask soundtrack featuring a varied assortment of instruments, compelling songwriting and the traditionally haunting atmosphere of the video game.
Zelda Majora's Mask was the definitive video game of my childhood. It fully captured my imagination as a youth with it's imaginative storytelling, apocalyptic atmosphere and compelling game-play that seamlessly weaved in tragedy and romance. Through Majora's constantly bleak and tragic tone there was never a shortage of light and hope to be found. Everything from arranging Kafei and Anju's seemingly star-crossed marriage to healing Mikau's soul and ultimately bringing redemption to the Skull Kid floored me as a boy. I was die hard committed to saving Termina from from it's imminent demise at any cost. In 6th grade I couldn't put this game down except for when I went to school. Up to this point I had never fully immersed myself into a video game but Majora's Mask left a mark on me for life. It is a shame however that nothing could be done for the Deku butler's son. The Deku butler's fallen son and the demise of the once prosperous Ikana Kingdom still compel me to think about them today. The reason I'm talking about this game is because a group of creative people got together to join forces and make an album based on the video game.
Theophany and his collaborators created an album called "Time's End: Majora's Mask Remixed" which, like the title implies, uses the game's primary themes, motifs and melodies but takes them a few steps further in musical development than what the video game originally offered. Everything is displayed on a much grander scale here complete with a wide variety of instrumentation and lush backing female vocals yet the true bittersweet essence of the game is still intact. Ten tracks are presented here, all incorporating the familiar sounding emotional heft as displayed in the video game. Instruments such as chimes, piano and guitar are used in addition to percussion, cello, mandolin and flute. There are a wide variety of instruments that contribute to the somber atmosphere while natural rain and thunder effects and soundbites are added to further dramatize the atmosphere. When listening to the pieces of this album you can instantly recall the portions of the game that inspired them. Some of my favorite's include "Lovers Mask" which details the drama surrounding Kafei and Anju. "Majora's Mask" is a decidedly more violent track than the rest, utilizing explosive tension and the game's flute motif albeit in a more sinister, warped fashion. You can visualize the moon getting closer and closer to bring Terminus to it's end. "Final Hours" brings the calm before the storm vibe. Everyone who has stayed in Termina has come to terms with their encroaching demise and sit back peacefully, awaiting their fate. "Time's End is the fitting climax to the apocalyptic final showdown, starting off slow before gradually picking up in pace and gracefully exploding with it's crescendo. There is a great usage of operatic female vocals that lead me to believe that Majora's Mask would not only make a exceptional soundtrack but a movie as well.
I earnestly implore you guys to give this album a listen. This is easily one of the most incredible album's that I've come across in recent years, based on my favorite video game of all time no less, and for that, I must give a whole lot of respect to the parties involved to the creation of this exceptional record. Now, I'm sure others might appreciate Ocarina of Time more than Majora's Mask but I think we can all agree on that this is an incredible videogame, one of the true gems of the modern gaming world. I can't think of anything more to say so I'm signing out. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.