24. Kafei’s Mask
There just has to be a better way to discover the location of a missing person than to WEAR A REPLICA OF THEIR FACE all over the damn city. Imagine if we did that IRL. Imagine the horror and confusion it would cause. That said, Kafei has the hair of any former Hot Topic-worshiper’s pre-pubescent dreams, so at least Link gets to experience that.
23. The Giant’s Mask
This mask is such a tease because you can barely ever use it — imagine leaping the mountains in a few short steps and hanging out with that enormous Goron all day long, or grabbing fistfuls of Deku Babas and arranging them in a fussy, snapping bouquet. But no, you’re only allowed to mess up Twinmold and then you have to return to your far more boring actual size.
22. Don Gero’s Mask
It is SO. DAMN. FRUSTRATING to gather all of those motherfucking frogs in one motherfucking three-day cycle. Like, must we? They’re FROGS. They’ll be FINE. Ugh.
21. The Blast Mask
There’s some not-super-comfortable stuff here re: self-harm and weaponizing your own body, but at least you have to save an old lady in order to obtain it.
20. The Fierce Deity’s Mask
Blah blah blah, so it makes you giant and all-powerful and helps you whup Majora in like four moves. Big. Effing. Deal. This is like the Rainbow Road shortcut of the Zelda universe — it’s not CHEATING, and people come down on either side of the debate (I mean, it takes a hecka long time to collect every mask and get this guy in the first place), but at the end of the day, it makes that final battle so easy it’s almost boring.
19. The Gibdo Mask
Instead of a reason, I provide this video of a ReDead screaming.
(Also: good God, poor Pamela.)
18. The Bremen Mask
Pro: This produces some wicked jaunty music and gives you control over small animals.
Con: I have NEVER BEEN ABLE TO GET OVER the fact that the little chicks turning into Cuckoos look like popcorn kernels popping, and that seems really kind of violent and weird? Idk.
17. Garo’s Mask
Wandering. Ninja. Spirits.
Okay, Nintendo, you do you.
16. The Deku Mask
There is so much pain and discrimination packed into those glowing orange eyes; first you’re trapped in the body of this thing, then you get teased and ignored and KNOCKED OVER BY DOGS because of it, and then all of a sudden it’s an identity you can pull on and off? I dunno, man, that’s some pretty heavy shit.
15. Kamaro’s Mask
Hahahahahhahahahahahhahaahahhahahahahahahaha that dance tho.
14. The Circus Leader’s Mask
I would read an entire Series of Unfortunate Events-style tridecalogy about the history of the Gorman brothers. Who hurt them? Who made them so sad and shriveled and mean? Who told them that it was okay for eyebrows to do that? God bless them, really, and may they someday find peace.
12. The Captain’s Hat
This hat hints at another life Link could have led, if instead of fighting for the side of good he instead chose to mobilize an entire undead army and conquer all of Termina in his own name. (Although being in charge of a country that has one hotel seems perhaps a little thankless.)
11. The All-Night Mask
This is the Four Loko of Termina. I don’t hate it.
10. The Bunny Hood
One of the most day-to-day useful masks in the whole game, this thing makes sprinting across Termina Field way less unbearable than it otherwise would be. It’s also fun to imagine Link as a Playboy bunny, which requires imagining Playboy existing as a publication within the scope of Zelda, which requires rendering Hugh Hefner in those delightfully blocky graphics in your own mind.
9. The Mask of Scents
Anything that helps facilitate potion-making, truffle-foraging, and clandestine witchery is A+ in my book, although you sort of forget how objectively terrifying this mask is until you look at it head-on.
8. The Keaton Mask
This one just feels so CLASSIC, popping up in “Ocarina of Time” and “Wind Waker,” an unlikely touchstone in a storyline that spits disdainfully in the face of time and space. Plus, it looks sort of like the (unimaginable) love child of Pikachu and Con from Kirby, which, lol.
7. The Mask of Truth
This allows you to READ ANIMALS’ MINDS so I don’t really know what more you want from me.
6. The Stone Mask
Who HASN’T wanted to sneak around completely unseen by their friends and loved ones? This is such a useful and endearingly misshapen mask (as an aside: doesn’t it look kind of like the Sackboy from Little Big Planet?) that you just can’t not dig it.
5. The Zora Mask
Real talk: the Zoras (and Mikau especially) have this weirdly alluring sexual energy that only the most repressed could deny. Imagine being able to transform from a LITTLE CHILD into a MUSCLY ROCK STAR EVERYONE IS OBSESSED WITH. Yes, it would be strange; yes, it would fucking rule.
4. The Postman’s Hat
There is SO MUCH POIGNANCY woven into this lil head covering. The postman does his duty every day like clockwork, and doesn’t even want to stop when there is a massive chunk of rock about to fall directly on top of him! The hat represents the mantle of duty passing from one good citizen to another, and also it helps you snoop through other people’s mail.
3. Romani’s Mask
OMG don’t you WISH this is how exclusive clubs in like, New York and LA operated? Like you can only get in if you wear a gigantic effing cow’s mask, and once you do, the only thing to drink is insanely expensive MILK? This is a vision of a better world and I for one want to be a part of it.
2. The Great Fairy Mask
I really do love the idea that Link is fluid and comfortable enough to take on, however temporarily, the persona/qualities of this fierce, maternal, larger-than-life sparkling magnetic goddess, drawing fairies ever closer and helping return fellow super-ladies to their proper form.
1. The Couple’s Mask
Okay, so it doesn’t do ANYTHING except help you get a single stupid heart piece, but this mask is the ultimate testament to a journey mattering more than its destination. I want ballads written about Anju and Kafei’s doomed and beautiful love affair; I want poetry about their reunion, when he’s still a kid and she’s an adult but it doesn’t even really feel that creepy because the world’s about to end and gahhhhhh. Show me a more moving narrative thread in any video game ever and I will show you a liar.
(Just one more reason Nintendo needs to rerelease “Majora’s Mask” for the 3DS, like, yesterday.)