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Majora's Mask How Many Mini-Dungeons Does Majora's Mask Have?

MW7

Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Location
Ohio
This is kind of a weird question, and it depends on your definition. I didn't want to make it a poll because I feel like there might be a wide range of opinions and I could easily forget some potential locations. So anyway I'll provide a brief overview of places that I think might be able to qualify as a mini-dungeon in some way, and then I'll give my opinion. I think the accepted definition of a mini-dungeon is that it is a place that has some but not all aspects of a dungeon. This makes sense because if it had all the aspects then it would just be a dungeon. The ambiguity comes in when you consider what are the aspects of a dungeon and how many of these aspects must be present. Some possible aspects of a dungeon are puzzle solving, enemies, an item, a mini-boss, a boss, a heart container, a quest item, keys, a big key, a map, and a compass (not limited to these because obviously I could have omitted some or included things that aren't necessary). Also obviously Woodfall Temple, Snowhead Temple, Great Bay Temple, and Stone Tower Temple are dungeons so they will be completely absent from this discussion. So here's my list of potential locations that have some aspects of dungeons in Majora's Mask.

Clock Town in the first cycle- This requires you to solve problems such as how to gain entry to the top of the clock tower, how to gain the bombers' trust, and how to get the deku scrub to let you use his deku flower. You have to navigate the bombers' hideout which has sort of a dungeon vibe in order to get the Moon's Tear. There's even a ''boss" of sorts- fighting the skull kid with Majora's Mask. You get a major item upon completion in the Ocarina. Also the magic meter could be considered the dungeon item since it's used in the puzzles presented in the area.

Deku Palace- Need to solve the major puzzle of how to gain entry to the monkey's cell. Have to avoid detection of guards, fight deku scrubs, and even get a new item- magic beans. This area culminates in obtaining a song necessary to progress in the quest.

Swamp and Oceanside Spider Houses- Enclosed areas that require puzzle solving to locate and kill 30 golden skulltulas. Kind of give off a dungeon vibe, and both reward with items upon completion (though neither is required to beat the game).

Pirates' Fortress- Very large area (probably larger than the Woodfall Temple) that requires significant puzzle solving. Must use stealth to avoid guards and has three mini-bosses (pirates). This area grants you the hookshot and finding all the eggs is required to progress in the quest.

Ikana Graveyard- This area begins with a boss fight against Captain Keeta which rewards you with the item useful at night in this same area (sounds eerily similar to how a dungeon item is useful in that particular dungeon). You must then enter a grave on the first night and fight keese in the first room as well as light torches. Then you fight a mini-boss for a song necessary to proceed in the quest. This area also has two additional graves that may be entered but are optional. They provide a heart piece and a bottle respectively after defeating a mini-boss in each grave.

Beneath the Well- This is a large underground labyrinth (sounds like a dungeon from LoZ) that contains many challenges- enemies, traps, and a mini-boss. You must solve verbal puzzles in order to progress, and you gain a necessary item upon completion.

Ancient Castle of Ikana- This place feels like a dungeon, and it has many enemies and puzzles. You fight a mini-boss as well as a boss/mini-boss at the end. You are rewarded with a song necessary to progress in the quest.

Hidden Shrine behind the waterfall in Ikana Canyon- This area has four mini-bosses and rewards you with a heart piece.

Moon Dungeons- These really have me confused. Can the entirety of the moon dungeons be considered a true dungeon since it has multiple mini-bosses (all in the Twinmold dungeon), a dungeon item (Fierce Deity's Mask), a boss (Majora), gives you a heart container (technically since there are four pieces), and contains numerous puzzles? On the other hand could each individual child's dungeon be considered its own mini-dungeon? In my eyes I'd say the moon has to qualify as either one dungeon, one mini-dungeon, or four mini-dungeons. My opinion would be that it's one extremely unique dungeon in which everything is optional except for the boss.

So those are the potential candidates I came up with but don't limit yourself to pick and choose from among these if you think I forgot a place. So up until now I have only presented evidence for the areas as potential mini-dungeons, but I have tried to avoid spilling my opinion on them (except in some cases like with the moon dungeons). One criteria that I'm using to make my final selections is that the mini-dungeon must be intended to be required to complete the game. This actually wouldn't contradict my opinion that the Moon is a dungeon because the Moon is always required to finish the game- it's just that most of it is optional.

So in conclusion my answer is that there are six mini-dungeons: Clock Town (first cycle), Deku Palace, Pirates' Fortress, Ikana Graveyard, Beneath the Well, and Ancient Castle of Ikana. I would guess that your answer would range anywhere from 0 to 13 (if you think all my potential options are mini-dungeons) or even more if you come up with more possibilities. I'd guess that most people would definitely say there are at least two- the Pirates' Fortress and the Ancient Castle of Ikana- since these areas are very large and self-contained as well as possess some of the dungeon criteria. Another important thing to consider is that if you believe a mini-dungeon can be an open area or not. Clock Town and Ikana Graveyard definitely have some aspects of a dungeon/mini-dungeon but are also definitely not typically thought of as dungeon-like environments. My rationale is thus- the first games in the series always had dungeons be enclosed underground areas; however, beginning in OOT with Inside Jabu Jabu the typical dungeon environment has been less essential. Other dungeons come to mind from WW, TP, SS that have "rooms" that are actually in the open air.
Forsaken Fortress, City in the Sky (this one even had a shop which further blurs the line between dungeon and overworld), and Sandship are my examples. Also I think the Snowpeak Ruins had an open courtyard in the middle; that dungeon is another example of a non-traditional dungeon as well.

Of course this topic is subject to huge amounts of personal opinion and depends on your perspective. What do you think? Is the Moon a dungeon? How many mini-dungeons do you say Majora's Mask has?
 
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guapo2003

The incomparable legend
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Location
Temple of Light
This is a very insigtful way of looking at what could be considered mini-dungeons. After thinking about it though, in my opinion, I would consider the following mini dungeons:

Deku Palace, Swamp and Oceanside Spider Houses, and Beneath the Well

But like you said, there's a variety of what can be considered a mini dungeon.
 

Warrior of Fire

The Hero of Time
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Location
Riverside, CA
I'd consider only the Spider Houses, Pirate's Fortress, Ikana Underworld (beneath the well), and Ancient Castle of Ikana as mini-dungeons, leaving only five true mini-dungeons, but the moon ranges from neither dungeon or mini-dungeon (skip the four children wearing the boss remains and go straight to the battle with Majora's Mask) to mini-dungeon (one-to-three of the children visited before the final battle) to full dungeon (visit all five of the moon kids to earn the Fierce Deity's Mask). The only reason I can see to skip any of the moon kids but visit the others (this not counting the one wearing Majora's Mask) is that you didn't get all of the heart pieces in your first visit but did get the Fierce Deity's Mask. And of course, once you've got everything from the moon that you can get, you'll just skip everything and go straight for the final battle, dropping dungeon or mini-dungeon status from the moon completely.

Forsaken Fortress, City in the Sky (this one even had a shop which further blurs the line between dungeon and overworld), and Sandship are my examples. Also I think the Snowpeak Ruins had an open courtyard in the middle; that dungeon is another example of a non-traditional dungeon as well.
A video I've seen from Wind Waker had shown outdoor areas in the dungeon on Dragon Roost Island, and the Fire Sanctuary in Skyward Sword had some outdoor rooms, including a bird statue that you could use to return to the sky and drop right back in there if you need too.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
I would only consider the Ikana Castle as a true mini-dungeon. I say this because it required you to face a boss. It was really easy, but it was a boss nonetheless (for me, a boss is absolutely essential if anything is going to be considered a dungeon or mini-dungeon). It all depends on where you draw your own distinctions though.

Also, I count the bottom of the well as basically an introduction to the Ikana Castle, and therefore do not classify them as different entities.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2011
I would only consider the Ikana Castle as a true mini-dungeon. I say this because it required you to face a boss. It was really easy, but it was a boss nonetheless (for me, a boss is absolutely essential if anything is going to be considered a dungeon or mini-dungeon). It all depends on where you draw your own distinctions though.

Also, I count the bottom of the well as basically an introduction to the Ikana Castle, and therefore do not classify them as different entities.
This is a mini dungeon: Ocarina of Time 3D Walkthrough - Ocarina of Time Walkthrough And a wolf is no way a boss. Ever. Truthfully, there is 12 mini dungeons, I think of it as this: Deku Palace, Clock Town in Deku Form, Hidden Shrine, Pirates Fortress, Under the Well, Ikana Castle, Snow Head Area ( You had to follow Gaeporas feathers and Darmani and use the lens of truth.) Moon Dungeons, Swamp Spider House, Oceanside Spider House, Ikana Graveyard, That thief's base during the Anju and Kaifie quest. Your right, it isn't just about side quests, there was lots of dungeon elements. Nintendo's last unique Zelda game was Majoras Mask, they should look into it and do what they did with it that made it so epic. I want to see many different looking mini dungeons yet see 3-7 dungeons in Zelda Wii U. And hopefully see MM 3DS.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Truthfully, there is 12 mini dungeons, I think of it as this: Deku Palace, Clock Town in Deku Form, Hidden Shrine, Pirates Fortress, Under the Well, Ikana Castle, Snow Head Area ( You had to follow Gaeporas feathers and Darmani and use the lens of truth.) Moon Dungeons, Swamp Spider House, Oceanside Spider House, Ikana Graveyard, That thief's base during the Anju and Kaifie quest.
Wow. Really? Honestly, for me a lot of those that you said (such as the Deku Palace and Clock Town in Deku Form) would be like classifying the overworlds in Skyward Sword as mini-dungeons. I mean, as far as I'm concerned, just because something has a puzzle in it that takes a couple of seconds to figure out doesn't make it a mini-dungeon. I mean, the feather thing was just hopping a few times and using an item. You do stuff like that in the overworld of virtually every 3D Zelda game. You wouldn't call climbing death mountain in Ocarina a mini-dungeon, right?

But, as I said before, it's all about where one draws their own distinctions.
 

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