The Legend Of Zelda: The 9 Best Side Quests In Majora's Mask

Since its inception, the Legend of Zelda franchise has featured an assortment of well-crafted narrative-driven side quests that act as meaningful and fun interludes between the game's central chapters. 2000's Majora's Mask continued this trend with some of the series' most complex and varied ancillary missions.

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In most cases, these side quests are entirely optional, and some players may complete the game without even coming across them. Indeed, there are so many side quests in the game that Nintendo implemented a directory mechanic in the Bomber gang kids NPCs, regularly pointing Link in the direction of a mission he might never have otherwise found. It's an eminently memorable assortment, adding to the lasting impact of the Legend of Zelda's most unusual title.

9 Anju & Kafei

Without question, the most immersive and complex side quest in Majora's Mask focuses on Link assisting a pair of star-crossed lovers who've been cursed by the Skull Kid. Anju's husband-to-be, Kafei, has been trapped in the body of a child and requests Link's help in breaking the curse and recovering his stolen nuptial mask. This quest takes multiple days to complete and features its own internal side quests -- a narrative layer that works exceptionally well with Majora's Mask's time-traveling mechanics.

Along the way, Link experiences numerous meaningful encounters with Clock Town's residents and has the opportunity to obtain four of the game's twenty-four masks -- more than in any other single quest in the game. Though the last mask players earn only has a single and somewhat contrived use, it is a prime example of the journey being more important and valuable than the destination.

8 Defending Romani Ranch

Undeniably unusual and a contributing factor to ranking Majora's Mask as the strangest Zelda game of all time, the extraterrestrial invasion of Romani Ranch nonetheless is one of the most memorable and enjoyable side quests in the game. The first stage of this mission requires link to use his bow to fend off an oncoming swarm of aliens intent on abducting the precious Romani milk cows.

In the second more grounded chapter, Cremia requests Link's help to protect a convoy from a horde of masked bandits -- the villainous Gorman Brothers. This latter stage is particularly challenging, as Link must target the horse-riding bandits from the back of Cremia's wagon. For his help, Link is rewarded with Romani's Mask, which grants access to Clock Town's exclusive and narrative-rich Latte Milk Bar.

7 Searching for a Keaton

Though it is among the shortest quests in Majora's Mask the search for the elusive Keaton -- a yellow fox-like creature that appears in several Legend of Zelda titles -- is nonetheless a well-crafted journey that rewards players for their knowledge of the world. Amidst Anju and Kafei's multi-day quest, Link will have the opportunity to receive Kafei's Keaton Mask from the Curiosity Shop Proprietor.

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This mask allows Link to encounter wild Keatons in the field around Termina. When caught, they will quiz link about the land's mythology, rewarding him with a Piece of Heart for five correct answers. The Keaton side quest does not have the narrative depth and intricacy of some of Majora's Mask's more elaborate side quests, but it artfully increases the player's immersion in Termina's open-world design and thus ranks among the best optional missions in the game.

6 The Gilded Sword

Another lengthy side quest composed of smaller side quests, Link's journey to create the Gilded Sword may rank among the best optional missions in the Legend of Zelda franchise as a whole. It is set primarily within the Goron-inhabited Snowhead Region and, like Anju and Kafei's mission, requires Link to meaningfully cross paths with an assortment of noteworthy NPCs, including the recurring fan-favorite, Biggoron.

Of all the multi-day side quests, the quest for the Gilded Sword is perhaps the easiest to manage, requiring only a handful of journeys through time to complete. A highlight of this side quest is earning the gold to gild the blade through the Goron Race. It's a challenging and fun mini-game that employs a far better articulation of the racing mechanic featured in the fight against Goht, one of the easiest bosses in the Legend of Zelda series.

5 Dancing with the NPCs

North of Clock Town on the way to the Snowhead Region, players will encounter an unusual scantily-clad dancer named Kamaro -- a restless spirit longing to bring his dances to the world. He teaches Link his unique choreography and gives him Kamaro's Mask -- one of the strangest items in the Legend of Zelda franchise -- with the instruction to spread his dance far and wide. While wearing the mask, players can teach Kamaro's dance to the girls in West Clock Town, completing this side quest and earning Link a Piece of Heart. Despite its strangeness, it's one of several uniquely artistic side quests in Majora's Mask that is as refreshing as it is endearing.

4 A Heartfelt Jam Session

After the death of Zora guitarist Mikau, players have the opportunity to continue his musical legacy. In Mikau's room, Link can find a sequence of musical notes written in a journal. By playing this riff in front of The Indigo-Go's bassist Japas, the two will compose a new song that will have the residents of Zora Hall crowding around the room to hear it. If Link plays this song on his ocarina in front of the band's de-facto leader Evan, he will reward Link with a Piece of Heart.

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This quest also unlocks a scene during the game's ending cinematic where the band plays the song in Clock Town for the Carnival of Time. As one of the game's most moving storylines, bringing Mikau's song to the world feels like a particularly satisfying moment amid the fever dream that is Majora's Mask, and it represents one of the most eloquent narrative uses of music in the entire franchise.

3 Beaver Race

Near Great Bay's Waterfall Rapids, players can find a set of NPCs unusual even by franchise standards -- a pair of anthropomorphized beavers known as the Beaver Brothers. They will challenge Link to a race once he obtains the Zora Mask, and the encounter largely serves the purpose of teaching players the nuances of the game's swimming mechanics.

The competition is unusually difficult, requiring Link not only to beat both beavers in sequence but also to do so while swimming through an increasingly challenging path of underwater hoops. The reward for this side quest makes it well worth its tedium -- an empty bottle, arguably the most useful item in the Legend of Zelda series.

2 The Gauntlet of Ikana Canyon

In the later stages of the game, players will unlock the Secret Shrine behind Ikana Canyon's waterfall. Here, a ghostly figure will warn Link of restless spirits within -- phantoms of enemies Link has slain along his quest, hungry for a rematch. In a series of subsequent dungeon chambers, Link must fight stronger and faster versions of each of the four dungeons' mini-bosses again.

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Players earn a respectable 100 Rupees for each enemy killed and a Piece of Heart at the dungeon's conclusion. It's a satisfying reflection on the game's prior encounters and serves as an enjoyable challenge as Link nears the game's conclusion.

1 Child's Play

The final stage of Majora's Mask takes place within the moon -- inexplicably presented as an Elysian field through which masked children play beneath the shade of an old tree. Speaking to the children wearing the masks of the game's bosses, they request that you give them the masks players have earned across the story in exchange for the opportunity to play a game. After giving the children the masks, they will bring Link to a mini-game stage, each of which is based upon a unique gameplay mechanic and set in an arena modeled after each of the game's four temples.

Once each of these levels is complete, the lone child wearing Majora's Mask will give Link the Fierce Deity mask, which allows Link to transform into an overpowered demigod within boss arenas. This is considered the last side quest of the game, and it's a fitting and well-rounded part of the story's conclusion that embodies all of what makes Majora's Mask memorable.

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