Glitching Through Majora's Mask Requires Serious Patience

By Heather Alexandra on at

I got my first 3DS recently. It’s magical. Majora’s Mask 3D, I’m able to enjoy the best game in the series wherever I am. With glitches, I’m turning it into a whole new experience and learning life lessons all the while.

I’ve been fascinated with the glitches and tricks Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask for some time. I adore speedruns of all categories: breakneck Any% runs that seek to beat the game any way possible, exhaustive 100% playthroughs. It’s the tricks that make it special. They look so easy. But even the simplest ones take hours of practice. I’m not far. I’ve been focusing on Nioh but the process has been illuminating and challenging.

When I bought Majora’s Mask 3D, I decided that I would break the game’s intended sequences and explore to my leisure. My first task was to skip getting the Moon’s Tear. Usually, it is required to access a flower patch that can launch Link to the Clock Tower. But using a trick called a gainer, I was able to skip that.


A gainer is a forward front flip. On the Nintendo 64, it’s mostly a matter of doing a flip and then targeting during the flip. It gives you height and lets you grab a ledge to climb up to the tower. It seemed like an trick but it took me a few minutes of trying. I settled on a strange setup where I pushed myself into a wall as I made the attempt. Somehow, I got it.

My next decision was to get the Zora’s mask as quickly as possible. This is where I ran into snags. There’s a fence that blocks passage to the sea. You normally need your trusty steed Epona to leap over it. On the Nintendo 64, it was possible to bypass it using a trick called bomb hovering. Using special steps, Link could float in the air using bombs.


This trick doesn’t work in Majora Mask 3D because another trick was patched out. It’s called the Infinite Sword Glitch (or ISG) and it’s used for a lot. Timing a sword stab at the same time as interacting with an object has your sword swing forever. You need the ISG active to bomb hover. It seemed like I was stuck.

But speedrunners are smart folks and they’d found a way. Bombs in Majora’s Mask have strange properties. One of these is that if you place them right, you can get blasted forward in bomb jump. Standing on a smaller fence near the large gate, I could place a bomb, get blasted forward, and time a jump slash to get to the ocean.

Fuck, it was hard to do.

The longest I’ve spent on a trick was five hours in Ocarina of Time before I skipped through the door of time and became Adult Link without collecting all the plot trinkets. Last night, I spent about two hours trying to reach the ocean in Majora’s Mask 3D. It took my half that time to beat my most recent boss in Nioh.

It was a lesson in perseverance. Games teach us lessons in strange ways. Trying to emulate the speedrunners I admire so much stressed how skilled they are while also imparting a lesson on patience. It might seem too difficult but if you keep going, you’ll make it.

In the end, this was the result. A wonderful Zora mask before getting the Goron mask or Epona. A small victory in the grand scheme of things but still a proud accomplishment. Thanks, Majora’s Mask 3D.