Pokemon Legends Arceus & Majora’s Mask Share Common Themes
The world of Pokemon Legends: Arceus is designed in a familiar fashion to games we’ve seen before, with a main hub area and the ability to travel to several other distinct locations. One location in particular, the Cobalt Coastlands, is a waterfront beach area that is much larger than initially meets the eye. Featuring beached ships, a fiery island, mysterious mountains and many, many Pokemon, the Cobalt Coastlands is a place that the player can find themselves losing track of time exploring every nook and cranny, especially once they unlock the ability to ride a Pokemon across the sea. Though this area is vast, it is contained to this one small area of the entire Hisui region. It’s reminiscent of another vast but contained region in a classic Nintendo title: 2000’s The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.
Cobalt Coastlands & The Great Bay Have A Lot In Common
It’s not a stretch to draw the comparisons between the Cobalt Coastlands and Termina’s Great Bay. For starters, they’re both the third major area you’re able to explore in each game, not counting the starting hubs of Jubilife Village and Clock Town. After you’ve explored the world a bit, have leveled up, and unlocked some new abilities, these coastal regions become available to you.
Both the Cobalt Coastlands and Great Bay also open up new ways for the player to explore the world. In Pokemon Legends: Arceus, the you can ride on Basculegion to explore the watery part of the world. In Majora’s Mask, you meet the dying Zora Mikau shortly after arrival, whose spirit is imbued into the Zora Mask. With the Zora Mask equipped, Link is able to swim all over the Great Bay to explore underwater. Each area largely expands the player’s capabilities and pulls you further into the story of each game.
The Eerie Seaside of Pokemon Legends Arceus & Majora’s Mask
Both the Great Bay and Cobalt Coastlands are areas that offer features you won’t find anywhere else in their respective games. You can spend your time exploring the sandy beaches and the cliffs that look over the ocean, or take to the water and discover the sea’s secrets. Even though the sound of the waves and the scenery elicit feelings of serenity, there’s something a little unsettling about each location. In Pokemon Legends: Arceus, there are beached shipwrecks, dangerous Alpha Pokemon, and a fiery island with unknown challenges. In Majora’s Mask, you’ll meet pirates, beavers, and a Zora population that’s dealing with an ecological disaster as their bay is polluted.
The 72-hour time limit in Majora’s Mask notwithstanding, each area encourages the player to slow down a little and take stock of everything that has happened so far. Whether that’s watching a sunrise or sunset over the ocean, exploring caves and clifftops, or tracking down different secrets, the coastal areas of each game manage to simultaneously provide comfort while creating further mysteries for you to solve. One of Nintendo’s strongest design qualities is in their oceans, from the Great Sea in Wind Waker to even the black-and-white waters of Pokemon Red and Blue. There’s a vastness and eeriness that Nintendo manages to nail every time they code an ocean into a game.
Whenever There Is a Meeting, a Parting Is Sure to Follow
Though they launched decades apart, Pokemon Legends: Arceus and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask happened to become available on Nintendo Switch fairly close together, with Pokemon launching in January and Majora’s Mask coming to Nintendo Switch Online in February. This is the perfect time to dive into each adventure and see what the mysteries of the coastal beaches have to offer, not to mention a wider world filled with colorful characters and gorgeous scenery. These games may be separated by over 20 years, but thanks to the magic of the Nintendo Switch, hopping between each one is as simple as a subscription fee. They’re also both installments of larger franchises, each one breaking the mold in a different way to differentiate itself from its predecessor. While The Legend of Zelda didn’t quite keep the mechanics of Majora’s Mask as it marched into the later 2000s, it does look like the Pokemon franchise is intending to keep the open-world feel of Legends: Arceus.
No matter how you look at it, both Majora’s Mask and Legends: Arceus helped take their respective franchises to new heights, revealing both to the players and to the developers what was possible. It’s too soon to say exactly how the effect of Pokemon Legends: Arceus will ripple across the generations, but with how many players have been enjoying this game, it will at the very least carry on a legacy of happy memories, something that The Legend of Zelda series is all too familiar with. After all, if Zelda is to be believed, time flows differently for each person, but a thing that doesn’t change with time is a memory of younger days.