THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: Majora’s Mask 🎭 20 Years Too Late…

I loved The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but sadly had never heard of Majora’s Mask because it came out in the year 2000. At that time I was on active duty in the U.S. Army and spent all my free time in college or in the Pacific Ocean trying to make it as a surfer. I got back into gaming in 2001, but I was in Thailand where they preferred PlayStation. Back then all the consoles were easily hacked and could play burnt discs that shops everywhere were selling from fifty cents to over a dollar. As a gamer it felt like Christmas walking home with a bag full of cheap games. N64 cartridges were expensive and weren’t easily pirated like the CDs used in the original PlayStation so most people in Asia (outside of Japan and Korea) never saw an N64 or any of its great games. Even now, people see me playing Super Mario 64 on my phone and ask about it.

I have good internet at home and most restaurants have WiFi so I don’t waste money on a data plan for my phone which means I will use it offline often. Getting a phone ready for offline mode has many benefits. If you’re at a party for example and the power goes out and then there’s no internet, you’ll be able to jam on because you have the song files ready or can still play games that don’t need the internet like N64 games. I can imagine going back in time and telling myself that every single Nintendo 64 game can be played on a phone that fits in my front shirt pocket and I would think that we made it to Star Trek. When I think about the limitations of file size, RAM, and speed they were working with back in the 1990s, these games really shine as true digital masterpieces of artistic creation and ingenuity.

After downloading every N64 game ever made on my phone, I had to delete 99% of them because most looked horrible, some wouldn’t load at all, and most were boring. I was sad to see that GoldenEye 007 couldn’t be controlled with the touchscreen and had to go in the bin too. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s MaskSuper Mario 64Wave Race 64Mortal Kombat TrilogyStar Fox 64Perfect Dark, and Super Smash Bros. were the only games that could be controlled with touch screen well and also survived my love of putting files in the trash bin.

The graphics looked good on my phone’s screen and the controls were smooth. It felt like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time but a bit different at the same time too.  The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask was one of only three N64 games which REQUIRED the Expansion Pack which added 4MB of RAM. It really did make a difference and improved the quality of the gameplay, but was it worth buying it if it only worked on three games late in the life cycle of the N64? I remember having it and didn’t regret it at all. It was only $30 and came with the games that needed it so it was kind of a fair deal. I think many of us bought it individually and then bought games that came with it, so we’d just give the spare ones to friends who didn’t have it. I don’t know if it made any difference, in fact I remember many people complaining it made older games freeze up sometimes.

This starts off fun, getting to be Link again in glorious 64 bit plus expansion graphics, then this guy in a mask comes along and jacks our horse and ocarina.

He also turned us into this tree kid.

Flying around with flowers is fun. Nintendo always had a magical way of making games feel alive and full of fun compared to the competition. I bet that some new form of AI will be able to read these old games and reproduce them exactly like they were designed only in 8K resolution. There are many fan boys doing this now, but I think it will be done perfectly when an advanced AI does it.

With only three days left until time runs out I felt myself running around like a chicken with its head cut off not knowing what to do.

I rode my bike to this food court located at the start of the night market. I didn’t have WiFi, so I couldn’t rely on Youtube for a solution. Back in the day we’d get stuck for days or weeks on a game until someone’s older sibling told us what to do or we found a clue in an old Nintendo Power magazine.

Boom. Game over. The world has come to an end because I wasn’t fast enough. Oh wait. It’s like a 72 hour version of Groundhog Day. You get to start over, just without anything gained along the way. I would love if real life were like this without the getting stuck in the loop part. Playing old N64 games on my phone is kind of like that with the save option. It really makes the game a lot more fun not having to start all over again. I want to play these old games for nostalgia and relaxation, not to get stressed out, so I cheat using the save option all the time.

I found myself frustrated by this game, turned it off and went back the Super Mario 64, but it kept bugging me and I came back the next day to try again. I wish I had played this when it came out. I would’ve really loved it then. It’s honestly hard for me to get that into it after playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but it’s only 32MB in size and I’m glad it’s on my phone incase I ever want to play what is considered by many to be one of the greatest video games of all time.

GENSHIN IMPACT: First Impressions Review

This was the first game recommended by the App Store and looked like an interesting RPG, so I gave it a go. I’ve always like Japanese animation and video games, so it was exciting to play this merging of the two. It is very interesting how they’ve finally made a game look like a living animation. The characters and world are 3D characters, but look and feel like they were hand drawn from any angle.

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The characters are voiced with good actors which helped me get into the game more. I hate RPGs that make me read. If I wanted to read, I’d check out the latest HIVE posts or read Google News, but when I play games, I want to feel emerged in the environment and forget about the actual world and reading ruins the experience for me. They still display the texts so you can read what the characters are about to say so you can read faster than the characters speak if you want to jump to the next line or scene too.

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I also like that the characters can interact with the environment properly. If there is a mountain or tree, you can climb up it.

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I’m using an old iPad to play this. Even though it is 5 years old, it’s still an iPad Pro and has never had any problems until today. I think this game was meant for something more powerful like a PS4 because it would stutter during big animation scenes and would have a lot of black fog in the distance. Maybe when I get a new phone I’ll try this again because the stuttering scenes ruined the experience for me. It could be that I’m just running the demo and if the whole thing gets downloaded it works better.

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Unfortunately for me, my iPad only has 32GB of storage which is almost full. Maybe I’ll go on a mad picture deleting spree and install the whole 4GB of game data and see if that helps to improve the experience.

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It kind of feels like playing a Zelda game. You have a sword, some magic ability, and have wings for gliding. I really believe that artists will be able to animate whole worlds like this simply by thinking or talking about it with an advanced AI in the near future. If they can do this now, imagine what it will be like when computers can read our thoughts in five or ten years.

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I was only able to make it to the first town before I started having problems again when a dragon shows up, but the whole screen has gone black so I can’t see ANYTHING. I’ve tried reseting and loading only the game to see if it works, but I got nothing but black again. Such a shame because I was really enjoying this game. Oh well, I’ll try again on the PS4 or PS5 where it will look great. This is a great game and I wish I could play it more. I don’t know if it’s my iPad or bad game design, but I can’t continue from this point. Have you played this game too? What was your experience like?

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit


Nintendo just released a real-world kart with a camera to play in your home. It costs $99 and comes with a USB chargeable Mario or Luigi and four gates to create your own courses. If you have a huge house and are willing to drop $400 on four karts and already have the Nintendo Switch then you can have some seriously fun game parties because the game supports up to four physical karts.

Creativity

Creating a Mario level has always been a fun experience, but now that it will be a mix of reality and game obstacles, it will be fun on a new level. I created Conversation Gaming to bring quality education to the gaming world and will surely use this game for events with my students in the future.

Xbox, Playstation, or a Mario Kart?

Many people are going to choose this $99 kart over a $500 system. Nintendo has always gone up againts more powerful hardware coming out on top and it looks like they’ve found a very creative way to do it this year.

Cats and Dogs

I’m looking forward to all the YouTube videos creative players are going to produce with this game. There will surely be funny moments where dogs and cats freak out seeing Mario and Luigi navigate the courses in THEIR living rooms.

Developer Interview

The guys who made this compare it to the jump from when Mario went from 2D to 3D. I honestly don’t think it’s that big of a deal, but mixed reality gaming is pretty cool.

RETRO GAMING: Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards

Things were very different three decades ago. We were easily entertained. It may seem funny now, but seeing this was very exciting for us when we were kids playing this in the 1990’s when our parents were gone. Larry was released in 1987, but it wasn’t until later that I got to play this naughty game.

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I remember hiding the disk from my mom inside of a Playboy magazine in my vent hiding spot. I don’t remember seeing the old school large floppies. The game must have shipped with both types for maximum playability. I also remember the class laughing at an older teacher who still used the big floppy disk in the mid 1990’s. It was way harder to be a teacher back then because the kids were mean and would even bully teachers.

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I just had a disk, so I never saw this cover of the game until today when I was reading about it on Wikipedia.

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Larry was controlled by the keyboard directional keys and by typing in commands. If you typed in some correct command it would respond with an OK and it would happen, but if you typed in something wrong or irrelevant it would have smart ass sarcastic replies giving the illusion the game had AI.

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The game was about a forty year old virgin looking for sex.

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There were just a few levels and women in the game, but it took a long time to figure out what to do.

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Choosing the prostitute would give Larry an STD and then he’d die. He blew up if I remember. I wonder how many kids were scared of hookers after that video game death.

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Thanks for looking back on this ancient game with me today.

GAMEBOY: The First Zombie Maker

I remember in 2011, I was feeling so sick of Thai people being glued to their crappy phones until I went back to the States and realized it was a global problem. While it may be normal to see someone hunched over zombified by a small screen today, we old school gamers were the first to ruin our posture with Nintendo’s Gameboy.

You can’t understand how cool it was to have one of these when it first came out. It would have been like the only person to have an iPhone when everyone else was still using Nokias and flip-phones. One of my wealthier friends was the first kid in our class to have it and we all huddled around him like he had just found the one ring to rule them all.

Indestructible, but Hungry:

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Did you know that a Gameboy once survived a bomb in the first Gulf War? I remember seeing this story on the news and it just made me want one even more. It was great to finally have one of my own until I realized how much power it consumed. It would drain 4 AA batteries in just a few hours.

I tried my best to destroy my Gameboy many times in fits of rage and anger, but it would still always boot up with that red LED light and signature Nintendo ding.

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It came with Tetris and that’s the game must of us will remember the original Gameboy for. What was your favorite Gameboy memory?

Resources:

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Super Mario 64

Nothing has ever been a bigger deal or more revolutionary for gaming than adding truly 3-D graphics like Nintendo did a quarter of a century ago. There were some very crude 3D games like Wolfenstein and Doom, but they were just turn left or right mazes with 2D sprites. Going from Super Nintendo to the N64 was like upgrading from a PSP to a PS4. It was magical. Nothing has ever been more exciting or fresh since.

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I rode my bike very far to the “Super Mall” in 1996 to get my hands on a new Nintendo 64 and had to purchase the Mario 64 cartridge separately. They were giving the game away for free if you could slide down the Princess’s Secret Slide in under 21 seconds, but they only gave you one try. The graphics may seem crude today, but it felt like something from the future back then. On a funny side note, my son saw me playing it on an emulator which he imagined was a Chinese ripoff and laughed at what he thought was a pathetic attempt to copy what he was used to on the Switch.

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I didn’t go to swimming practice or Karate and even played hooky a few times in our 17 day marathon of collecting all 120 stars. I was kind of a late bloomer. I was 16 in 1996 and while my best friend was busy mackin’ on babes, me and his younger brother escaped reality completely and hooked my N64 up to his giant (at the time) 50 inch screen TV. People who weren’t even into gaming were blown away by it’s awesomeness. I remember feeling proud that I had a processor way more powerful than any of my school’s computers. I didn’t want my mom to know I had spent over $300 on everything, so I hid it in a bottom drawer and drilled holes in the back for the power and AV cables.

Emulators

I would love to hook up an original Nintendo 64 to an old TV along with a Super Nintendo an Sega Genesis while I rap that when I was dead broke that I could never picture this, but emulators are what most of us have now. I was super happy when I was able to get it to work on my PSP back in the day. Thanks to Project 64, it looks great on PC and if you have a Bluetooth controller, you can play it on your phone too. I’ve had some problems with Linux. They have Mupen64 Plus which is inferior to Project 64, so I ran Project 64 through Wine which slowed down the PC making it unplayable. Good job Nintendo! You made the game so different that it can still be difficult to emulate even today. I fully expect to play this game in VR in future versions. Some people have redone some levels in Unreal Engine. You can see one example here:

Thank you for reminiscing about MARIO 64 with me today. I’m going to ask my mammamia for some spaghetti now. Have a great day. If you want to emulate N64, check out Project 64:
https://www.pj64-emu.com/

The Orginal Xbox

I despise Microsoft. I think Bill Gates is creepy and I decided to boycott all Microsoft products for life back in 2008. I remember what a big deal it was erasing Windows and running only Linux. I asked my wife if she understood what it meant, but her only reply was that if she could keep watching YouTube, then it doesn’t matter.

The original Xbox came out before I felt that way and I still think it was one of the greatest gaming machines ever.

Hard Drive

Having a hard drive was something only for computers until the XboxMicrosoft never really used it for anything other than letting you copy your CDs to it, but it made all the difference once you hacked it.

The Best Emulator

I remember showing my friends how the modded Xbox could play their favorite Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis games. When asked which games it had, the answer was very Sarah Palin, all of them.

Orginal Nintendo and Sega games were punny as well as any Atari games. Every single Super Nintendo game including the Japanese games added up to a few gigabytes. It wasn’t until you got to the N64 where you needed to delete any games to save space.

Speaking of the Nintendo 64, I have not seen a better emulator than the Xbox. It could play any N64 game smoothly, something a PC still can’t do today. It was really fun to still play Super Mario 64Mario Kart 64, and Golden Eye (The no Oddjob rule still was in effect.)

Movies and TV

A modded Xbox was way ahead of its time. The experience you had using XBMC (Xbox Media Center now called Kodi) was better than some paid services today. You could steam videos and podcasts as well as play any files downloaded from torrents. HD files at 720 hadn’t really come along yet, so you could store hundreds of TV shows and movies on the hard drive, making it a must whenever you visited a place without internet.

Xbox Games

You could download and burn games to a blank DVD, but it had to be a certain type and burned a certain way, so it was way easier just to download the ISO file then copy it to the hard drive.

What about you?

Do you agree with me that the orginal Xbox was the last great thing Microsoft did? Has anyone else removed Microsoft from their lives completely and forever? I think Sony is going to crush Microsoft in the next generation. I haven’t seen one person excited about the new Xbox, but everyone is talking about the new PlayStation.

LEADING: Splinterlands GUILD

Even if you sold our burned all your cards, you could still have fun leading a GUILD.

Here’s how I presented my GUILD, the MANDALORIANS:

Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of the women. Only those who have the hearts of true DEC warriors may become a foundling. Losers will only reduce their rank, while champions will rain in glory. Join us and learn the true nature of Beta victory. Rewards are to be ignored. Gold will replace them in time. Learn from your failures and superior enemies. Earn more monsters. Protect the rear and always be one step ahead of your enemies. We ALL need to contribute DEC or our DAILY QUESTS are earned in vain. If you don’t pay or play, then you won’t stay. We have spoken. This is the way.

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Even though we’re three players short, we’re ranked pretty well for a level 4 GUILD. I’ll check top players without GUILDS and about one in five will accept the invitation.

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I was lucky enough to take this snapshot when I was at the top. I don’t think the GUILD leader needs to be the best player. If you recruit a strong team and build loyalty, your team will pay DEC without you needing ask for it because everyone will want that extra percent of that DEC bonus.

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Our GUILD is at level four.

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It’s going to take forever to get to level ten, but we’re cruising along to level five now. If I understand correctly, this game is about to go digital Minecraft blockchain real estate soon. I really hope that GUILDS are are part of that.

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Here’s what you get at level ten. I hope that if you’re someone who may have sold or burned everything, that you can still be a part of this revolution in gaming. If you want to join the MANDALORIANS leave a comment and I’ll invite three of you.

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