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The Legend of Zelda:
Zelda Wii U
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Overview

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By Hylian Dan

PART ONE

A few years ago, while I was replaying The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, I reached the top of Stone Tower and took another look at the strange scenery there before moving on. The gigantic pointing blood-stained hand again caught my attention. It seemed so strange, so ominous, like there was some cryptic meaning behind it that I just couldn’t place. But this time, something clicked in my mind.

I understood the significance of that pointing hand, the meaning that had always eluded me before. Now I wanted to know why it was there.

What secrets has the game been hiding all this time?

Termina’s Tower of Babel

After investigating the Stone Tower Temple and glancing through several theories posted online, I pieced together my own theory. According to this theory, the Stone Tower is related to the Tower of Babel.

“They stood for a moment staring up at the structure, imposing and impossible and threatening.
“What was the story of the Tower of Babel? Does anyone know? It’s a Bible thing, right?” Jobs asked.

Mo’Steel shook his head pityingly. “You are such a heathen, Duck. The people made a tower to reach all the way up to heaven. God didn’t like their attitude, getting above themselves and all. So he turned them against one another by making them speak all different languages. That way they couldn’t cooperate and make any more towers to heaven.”

Jobs made a face. He was on the verge of saying that it was a stupid story. But Mo’Steel would be offended. “An allegory of human pride,” Miss Violet Blake said. “A pretty good allegory if you wish to instruct people in humility.”

—Remnants: Them, K.A. Applegate

An ancient people built Stone Tower as a stairway to the heavens. They would invade the Sacred Realm and slay the Goddesses of the Triforce, using the power of the Giant’s Mask. They would prove once and for all that their four beloved Giants were superior to some female deities.

The Goddesses were not pleased, so they let their divine Light Arrows fall into the hands of these wicked people. When the Light of Justice shone upon the blood-stained emblem of the tower, it rearranged things. The world was reversed so that the earth was positioned in the heavens and the sky was beneath the people’s feet.

The people came across a strange portal in the sky, and when they entered it they were transported into another dimension. But this dimension was not the Sacred Realm they had hoped to find. The universe had been flipped upside-down, and so the stairway to the heavens had become the road to Hell. This dark realm consisted of a vast desert scorched by violent sandstorms. And in this realm there lived an evil being, a monster that had been sealed away after its makers realized the extent of its dark powers.

It was Majora’s Mask. The wicked people delighted in their discovery, and brought it back with them into their world. They built monuments to the mask in both the desert and in the temples of their own world. And so their world became marked by the devil. This cursed land was thus given the name Termina, because it was doomed to end.

Fact or Fan-Fiction?

“Belief or disbelief rests with you.”

—The Garo

So…that theory might sound like a bunch of fan-fiction. Nevertheless, there is content in the game that led me to these conclusions. I’ll review the evidence, explain my reasoning, and let you decide whether or not I might be on to something.

To start with, there’s the entrance to Stone Tower. Sometime before I even began putting together this theory, I noticed that the huge statue at the entrance was a bit obscene. The statue shows a giant naked man sitting with his hands on his knees. His mouth is gaping open and his tongue extends to the ground, covering up the area between his wide-open legs. You enter Stone Tower by walking up his tongue and into his mouth.

Inside the tower, you must manipulate a series of blocks that share a very similar design. The blocks depict the same nude creature as the entrance statue, but here you can see more of the figure. If you look at the blocks from a few different angles, you’ll notice that the bottom side shows the gargoyle’s naked behind. Next to the butt cheeks, right where you might expect to see the creature’s crotch, you instead see the Triforce, the sacred emblem of the Goddesses of Hyrule. The gargoyle is licking the Triforce, which is disrespectfully displayed on the bottom side of the blocks.

And then there is the giant pointing hand mentioned earlier. It points towards the sky, and its finger is ablaze. Right next to the pointing hand is a pillar that happens to be rather phallic. When I was playing the game, trying to figure out why the pointing hand was there, it occurred to me that the builders of the tower were saying something along the lines of “Screw you!” to somebody. The ring of fire on the fingertip indicates anger, and we all can figure out what the phallus implies.

Many people who’ve read this theory quickly dismiss the idea that Nintendo would intentionally place a phallus in a Zelda game. It’s worth pointing out that Banjo-Tooie (another family-friendly N64 game released a month or so after Majora’s Mask) did the same thing though perhaps for less tasteful reasons. And, Nintendo did display butt cheeks on the gargoyle blocks in this Zelda game. I expect that the artists who worked on the game would notice what these pillars could appear to be, especially after designing those obscene statues for the same area. The fact that they prominently displayed that pointing hand next to one of these pillars further indicates that they intended for the pillars to be phallic, and that they wanted older players to notice. Earlier designs of Stone Tower still included the phalluses and pointing hand, indicating that they’re important to the design of Stone Tower, and not just last-minute additions.


Interesting scenery in Banjo-Tooie


An early version of Stone Tower

Most likely, plenty of people will still reject the idea that Nintendo would knowingly place this sort of content in a Zelda game. But if those pillars are indeed meant to be phallic, Nintendo included them for tasteful, justified reasons. Their design is abstract enough that younger players will not catch on, and their inclusion adds a great level of depth and darkness to the game’s story and setting. Majora’s Mask is a trippy, out-there sort of game—there’s the man stuck in the toilet, the Moon that comes to life, and the beautiful field you enter before the final battle. Majora’s Mask is not afraid to be shocking and strange, and there always seems to be a great deal of artistic merit to the content in the game. Would this game go so far as to include an abstract structure that’s supposed to look like a phallus to older players? It’s up to you to decide what to believe here.

Going back to the pointing hand, it’s probably not a stretch to say that the “Screw you” message is directed at the Goddesses of the Triforce. The hand points towards the sky, which is often associated with the heavens. The heavens can be associated with the Goddesses and the Sacred Realm in this case, because the image of the Triforce actually appears in Stone Tower; the game’s artists are reminding us of Hyrule’s Goddesses with that symbol.

There is actually more than one phallic pillar in Stone Tower. Four of them surround the giant face that is the entrance to the temple(1). Each phallus represents one of the four male Giants. The design of the temple entrance is also reminiscent of the bearded faces of the Giants, though we never see a Giant open his mouth. But the implied message here seems to be that the builders of Stone Tower love the Giants of Termina and reject the female Goddesses who claim to be superior beings.

The architects might have planned to wage war against the Goddesses once they had invaded their realm. The Giant’s Mask is tucked away inside Stone Tower, and the game does not provide any explicit backstory for the mysterious artifact. But if we accept that the architects loved the Giants and hated the Goddesses, we can assume that they wanted to demonstrate the superiority of the Giants. The Giant’s Mask was their symbolic weapon; it would bestow tremendous power upon them, the power of a Giant, once they had reached the heavens. They hoped to use that power to destroy the Goddesses.

Now, the Goddesses of the Triforce responded to this blasphemy by flipping Stone Tower upside-down. They allowed the sacred Light Arrows to appear in this most wicked corner of Termina, so that their divine light would smite the evil. The Light rearranged the tower so that it would lead the architects not to Heaven, but to Hell where they belonged. This Hell would later serve as Twinmold’s Lair, but prior to that, it had been the realm where an ancient tribe had sealed away Majora’s Mask.

(1) The number four is of great significance to the world of Termina, since it represents the four regions of the world, the four temples, and the four guardian Giants. Throughout the game you can see many variations of a sort of compass emblem, a design showing four circles (or other shapes) arranged in a cross pattern. This design represents the world of Termina: the regions to the North, South, East, and West, and Clock Town at the center. The four pillars in Stone Tower are yet another variation of this design.

Other Examples:

The Imprisonment of Majora’s Mask

“The mask that was stolen from me… It is called Majora’s Mask.
It is an accursed item from legend that is said to have been used by an ancient tribe in its hexing rituals. It is said that an evil and wicked power is bestowed upon the one who wears that mask.”

“According to legend…the troubles caused by Majora’s Mask were so great…the ancient ones, fearing such catastrophe, sealed the mask in shadow forever, preventing its misuse. But now, that tribe from the legend has vanished, so no one really knows the true nature of the mask’s power…
…But I feel it.”

“I went to great lengths to get that legendary mask. When I finally had it… I could sense the doom of a dark omen brewing. It was that unwelcome feeling that makes your hair stand on end.
And now… that imp has it…”

—The Happy Mask Salesman

There is a piece missing from the Salesman’s story. If the mask was sealed away, why was the Salesman worried about it? Are we to presume that the Salesman himself broke the seal and freed Majora from her prison, thinking that he could do a better job of guarding the evil artifact(2)? This doesn’t seem to make complete sense, but the game dodges this detail at first.

An alternate explanation would be that someone else had broken the seal and found Majora’s Mask. The people who found it didn’t understand the true nature of the mask’s power, but the Salesman could sense its evil radiating from afar. To prevent catastrophe, the Salesman tracked down the mask to prevent its further misuse himself.

Indeed, there is evidence for this. Twinmold’s desert lair is filled with monuments in honor of Majora’s Mask. And in the first room of the Stone Tower Temple, there is an enormous statue. At first, the statue seems to depict a grotesque face sticking out its tongue, but when the tower is reversed the statue bears a striking resemblance to Majora’s Mask. (I assume the designers of the game didn’t want this revelation to be too obvious; I think they wanted the inverted statue to be uncannily familiar.) It is not heart-shaped like Majora’s Mask, but if you look closely, you can see that an emblem was painted at the bottom of the statue. Part of the emblem is missing, indicating that part of the statue is also missing. Before the stone fragments had fallen into the sky, the statue had, in fact, been shaped like a heart. It was originally a statue of Majora’s Mask.

 

The Stone Tower architects had broken the seal of the ancient tribe. They found Majora’s Mask in the desert realm. They built the monuments there in honor of it. They brought it back with them into their world, and in the temple they built the gigantic statue of the mask. Above the statue is a doorway, and beyond the door there is a straight path to the portal to the desert. This path can be accessed no other way, so the statue of Majora’s Mask serves as the gateway to the desert.

(2) I think that Majora is most likely to be female. The form of Majora’s Wrath acts rather feminine and has a female voice. And, there are also markings between its legs that could represent ovaries. The distorted image of Majora’s Mask appears on the Wrath’s chest, and in this position the eyes of the mask resemble breasts. And how appropriate it is for the female Goddesses to unleash a female demon in response to those phalluses and Termina’s masculine pride.

“Destined to Fade”

Majora’s Mask had been freed from its prison; the devil had escaped from Hell. The world it entered was named Termina, a name that seems to be considered almost taboo. Hardly anyone speaks the word Termina within the game.

terminatio: termination, determination, setting of boundaries.
termino: restrict, define, close, set a limit to.
terminus: a boundary mark, limit, end, border.

Latin-English Dictionary

Termina was a world destined to end, a fact that its inhabitants weren’t eager to think about. However, there are a few beings in the game that seem to understand more about Termina and its destiny than they let on: The Happy Mask Salesman. The owl. The giant turtle. The Giants themselves.

“Ho-ho-ho-ho-hoot! This is a rare sight. You are a fairy child, correct? What business might you have in this poisoned swamp? If you dare not venture further, I shall pass no judgment. It is better that you hurry back to town. This swamp you are in has lost its guardian deity. But it was destined to fade anyway.
Hoo-hoot…And that destiny is not solely limited to this swamp…
If you have the courage and determination to proceed in the face of destiny, then I shall teach you something useful. Before coming here, had you not seen any of the stone statues that bear close resemblance to me? I have placed those throughout the land to aid the one with the power to change the destiny of this land…
Wherever he may appear.”

—The Owl

The turtle and the Giants seem to be relatively divine figures, akin to the Great Deku Tree of Hyrule. The Goddesses of the Triforce must have had great plans for the world of Termina before the early crimes were committed. They created these guardians to protect the new realm, to come to the aid of its people when they call out for help. But when Link enters Termina, he finds that these beings are essentially dormant, either imprisoned or simply observing events quietly as Termina slips towards oblivion.

“Now I can continue resting in peace. I too must abide the laws of ancient times and again merely watch from my deep slumber. But the evil that haunts this land has not completely vanished, Link. I shall depart after enjoying Lulu’s voice a bit longer. I think the gods can permit that. Hyeh, hyeh, hyeh.”

—The Giant Turtle

Here the turtle says something about the laws of ancient times, implying that they limit his involvement in the affairs of Termina.

Now, the Happy Mask Salesman is an interesting character. Though he is most likely not on the same level as the Giants, there is an interesting mystical quality to him: he vanishes into thin air at the end of the game, and at the start he appears out of nowhere and claims to have been following Link. He celebrates masks, which are extremely prominent in Termina’s culture. And he just happens to have somewhere he needs to go three days after he meets Link, at the time of Termina’s apocalypse. Not to mention how he appears to be the adult incarnation of the masked children who play in the strange Moon world.

It’s possible that the Salesman is a sort of divine being, perhaps on the same level as the owl or the Sages of Hyrule(3). Whatever his relationship with the Goddesses may be, he clearly stuck his nose right in the middle of Termina’s affairs. He was aware of some peril facing Termina, so he tracked down Majora’s Mask and escaped with it into Hyrule, attempting to prevent the great catastrophe. His actions seem to have violated the laws of ancient times, however. He did not have the power to change the destiny of the land, and so his efforts failed. Skull Kid stole the mask from him and brought it back to Termina, where it had a dark destiny to fulfill.

(3) It may be that the owl is really an alternate form of the Happy Mask Salesman. After all, Link is able to change forms by wearing certain masks. And the owl of Hyrule, Kaepora Gaebora, is hinted to be Rauru in disguise.

The Goddesses and Termina

People who have read the Tower of Babel theory often respond with certain questions and criticisms. Many of them involve the alleged role of the Goddesses of the Triforce in the story of Majora’s Mask. Why would the Goddesses respond to the blasphemy of the tower by allowing all of Termina to be destroyed? Is Link working against the Goddesses by stopping the destruction?

To begin with, Link was not working against the Goddesses. Without the help of the Goddesses, Link would have died on the last day along with everyone else. But somehow, whenever Link played the Song of Time, things started over. How does the Song of Time have this power? Recall what Zelda said to Link when she returned the Ocarina to him:

“You are already leaving this land of Hyrule, aren’t you? Even though it was only a short time, I feel like I’ve known you forever. I’ll never forget the days we spent together in Hyrule…
And I believe in my heart that a day will come when I shall meet you again…
Until that day comes, please…
Take this…
I am praying… I am praying that your journey be a safe one. If something should happen to you, remember this song…
The Goddess of Time is protecting you. If you play the Song of Time, she will aid you…”

—Princess Zelda

The Goddess of Time was watching over Link every moment of his struggle to save Termina(4). When Link prayed to her, she lent him her aid.

So, if the Goddesses wanted Majora to be in Termina, if they wouldn’t let their guardians step in and stop the destruction on their own, if the falling Moon was a sign of the disapproval of the Goddesses, if the land was destined to end, why would the Goddesses help Link save the cursed world? The Goddesses wanted Termina to be redeemed. The world had been stained by crimes committed long ago, and as long as that stain remained then Termina was doomed to fade. But the problems that doomed Termina didn’t begin with the Stone Tower.

(4) Though it doesn’t truly matter which of the three Goddesses is the Goddess of Time, it seems that she is Nayru. Nayru gave the spirit of law to the worlds the three Goddesses created, and time can be considered one of the laws of nature. (Also, both Nayru and time are represented in the N64 Zeldas as well as in Oracle of Ages by the color blue.)

PART TWO

“Happily… Ever After…”

“This tale’s from long ago when all the people weren’t separated into four worlds like they are now. In those times all the people lived together, and the four giants lived among them.
On the day of the festival that celebrates the harvest, the giants spoke to the people…
“We have chosen to guard the people while we sleep…”
“100 steps north, 100 steps south, 100 steps east, 100 steps west.”
“If you have need, call us in a loud voice by declaring something such as, ‘The mountain blizzard has trapped us.'”
“Or ‘The ocean is about to swallow us.’ Your cries shall carry to us…” (5)
Now then…There was one who was shocked and saddened by all this.
A little imp.
The imp was a friend of the giants since before they had created the four worlds.
“Why must you leave?”
“Why do you not stay?”
The childhood friend felt neglected, so he spread his anger across the four worlds. Repeatedly, he wronged all people.
Overwhelmed with misfortune, the people sang the song of prayer to the giants who lived in each of the four compass directions. The giants heard their cry and responded with a roar.
“Oh, imp. Oh, imp. We are the protectors of the people.”
“You have caused the people pain. Oh, imp, leave these four worlds! Otherwise, we shall tear you apart!”
The imp was frightened and saddened.
He had lost his old friends.
The imp returned to the heavens, and harmony was restored to the four worlds.
And the people rejoiced and they worshiped the giants of the four worlds like gods. And they lived happily…ever after…”

—Anju’s Grandmother

This story reveals where things first went wrong for Termina. Without his friends there by his side, the imp began to listen to that nasty voice in his head, that voice that told him again and again that the Giants didn’t want to be with him, that they weren’t really his friends. The imp was hurt and distressed, so he lashed out at the people around him and thus was banished from Termina.

Many times in the game, the Giants are referred to as gods, but here we see that this is a misperception—the Giants are guardians, not gods. The people treated them as if they were gods and worshiped them. This is the folly that would ultimately lead to the rejection of the Goddesses, the construction of Stone Tower and the arrival of Majora. And yet, the next line of the story says, very naively, that the people would live happily… ever after. The irony of this line is quite apparent. One simply has to glance upwards and notice the Moon filling the sky to see that left alone, the people of Termina are not about to live ever after. Get to know several of the characters in the game and you’ll see that the people of Termina aren’t very happy, either…

(5) Take note of the important role promises play in the story.

The Fallen Kingdom

The Stone Tower looms over the dead Kingdom of Ikana. Within the Ancient Castle of Ikana, Link defeats the undead spirits of the king, Igos du Ikana, and his two lackeys. The two defeated lackeys begin to bicker with each other before the king silences them:

“Will you stop?!!? What fools!
Haven’t you begun to understand? The kingdom being ruined and us left in this state…
Isn’t it petty, little battles like this that have caused it?
Believing in your friends and embracing that belief by forgiving failure…
These feelings have vanished from our hearts.”

—Igos du Ikana

The story of the fallen Kingdom of Ikana serves as a cautionary tale for the rest of Termina. The death of that country foreshadows the death of the rest of the world. And here, the king explains just why his kingdom fell. There were petty disputes between friends. People didn’t trust each other. They harbored suspicions and sought vengeance when they felt wronged.

Termina’s happy ending had been fading away ever since that lonely imp had been unable to trust his friends. He spread his misery to the people around him, and they sought vengeance against him. These wrongs were never righted.
The burning hand atop Stone Tower that curses the heavens is there to make a statement about Termina: it is a world without faith.

The Goddesses do not want Termina to fall into oblivion, but the land is already consumed by the spirit of doubt. Because of this, the hopeless world is doomed to fade away.

A Test of Faith

“Are you ready?
You’re the bad guy. And when you’re bad, you just run. That’s fine, right?”

—Child wearing Majora’s Mask

At the opening of the game, Link himself seems consumed by his own doubts. He rides through the woods downcast and downtrodden. Skull Kid finds him and uses Majora’s Mask to curse the boy. Link sees a vision of a mob of Deku Scrubs swarming him, their angry eyes glaring at him. Link turns and runs from them, holding his hands over his head. He runs and runs, but he can’t escape. And as Link runs, a gigantic Deku Scrub materializes behind him and swallows the boy. Link awakens in the form of the Deku Scrub.

Three days later, Link brings the Ocarina of Time to the Happy Mask Salesman, who plays the Song of Healing for the boy. Link has a second vision. This time he is not running. He stands confidently, facing the gigantic Deku Scrub. He waves to it as it shrinks into nothingness. Link awakens in his human form.
The Salesman, having fulfilled his promise, then asks Link to fulfill his own promise to return with Majora’s Mask. Though it may seem like a daunting task, the Salesman offers Link words of reassurance again and again.

“Is it not a simple task? Why, to someone like you, it should by no means be a difficult task. But yes…You’ll be fine. I see you are young and have tremendous courage. I’m sure you’ll find it right away.”

“Well then, I am counting on you… You’ll be fine. Surely, you should be able to recover Majora’s Mask. I believe in you.”

“Fear not, for the magic has been sealed inside the mask.”

“Please make the most of your time. I believe in you. I will be waiting here for you.”

“Ho, ho, ho. You have done some good work… Keep up that pace. I am counting on you to get my mask…”

“Believe in your strengths…
Believe…”

—The Happy Mask Salesman

Later, when Link ventures into the Northern Mountains, he comes across the owl. The owl remembers meeting Link in the swamp, even though time may have been reset since then.

“Hoo-Hoot! We meet again, fairy child! Have my stone statues been of help?
Well, it seems you may have the strength to change the fate of this land as I had expected. But the road ahead is even more challenging. Many trials await you. Please watch over these Gorons around you. Their land is doomed to be smothered in snow and ice forever. It will become a land where no living thing can survive.
Without courage and determination, you surely will collapse from the extreme conditions…
But if that courage and determination burns bright within you, then that’s another story…
So, will you proceed?”

[Link answers no.] “I shall pass no judgment. If that is your decision, then return to town. After retreat, courage returns.”

[Link talks to the owl again.] “What is it that you are doing? Beyond here you will fall into oblivion unless you have great courage and determination.”

[Link agrees to proceed.] “Hoo-Hoot! You are a child of many strengths!
Well, perhaps you do have enough strength to change the fate of this mountain after all. I shall take to the air now, flying toward that shrine across the way, so follow behind me. Do not be daunted by appearances. Instead, let your feelings guide you, and the true path shall open before you.
Are you ready? Follow behind me!”

[Link falls into the void.] “It seems things are not going well for you… Hoo-Hoot! Fear not, it never goes well at first for anyone. But by no means should you grow impatient. Impatience brings uneasiness and distracts the heart.
Well, will you try again? Very good. I shall fly toward that shrine. Follow behind me.”

[Link crosses the void.] “Hoo-Hoot! I have certainly been assured of your courage and determination. From here on, you must not be fooled by appearances. You must rely on your feelings…”

—The Owl

At this point, the owl seems to believe that the boy has the power to change the destiny of the doomed world. And so, the owl tests Link’s faith. He asks Link to jump into the void before him. The owl’s feathers fall into the void and land in midair. Link needs to trust that it will be okay for him to take the leap. When he does, he lands safely in midair. By following behind the owl, he is able to cross the void. As intimidating as the task may have seemed, things turned out to be okay.

Belief and Disbelief

Both the owl and the Salesman try to instill a sense of faith in the player, because they know you need faith if you are to stop Majora and redeem Termina. At any point, you can look upwards at the Moon and quiver in fear. You can look ahead and see Woodfall, the mountains, and Stone Tower looming before you and become daunted. When you enter the pitch-black room in Woodfall Temple and Tatl warns you of evil lurking in the darkness, fear may keep you from proceeding. When you enter the huge central chamber of Snowhead Temple and see all the crisscrossing platforms above you, you may feel dizzy. When you enter Stone Tower and see the abyss below you and the dangerous, complex, and confusing path upwards, you may want to retreat. When your world is flipped upside-down, you may feel paralyzed.

When you’ve spoken to everyone in Clock Town while wearing Kafei’s Mask and you still have no idea how to reunite him and Anju, you may want to give up. When Kafei is running towards the inn from Ikana and Anju is waiting in her room and the Moon is falling and time is running out and earthquakes shake the ground and still the boy does not appear, you may leave the inn and run frantically towards Ikana, afraid you overlooked something. You may see the last hours disappear and play the Song of Time in fear and desperation, but if you are to be there for the reunion you need to swallow your fears and doubts and wait with Anju until the very end. But under ordinary circumstances, Anju won’t even be there in her room. On the first day, she puts on a calm face behind the reception desk at the inn and greets visitors. She receives a letter from Kafei, her missing fiancé. On the second day, she sits at the Laundry Pool and cries.

“Excuse me. Have you seen a man in this area? He looks like this… He…disappeared about one month ago with his wedding ceremony mask.
I’m…actually…afraid to meet him… and to hear the reason why he wanted to disappear… It might be because of… me…
There are only two days until the carnival…
Should I wait?
Kafei…”

—Anju

That night, Anju’s mother reminds Anju that they’ll be leaving for the ranch the next day. Anju mentions the rumors that Kafei ran off with Cremia, but her mother tells her to forget Kafei and forget the letter. Anju leaves the inn on the final day and spends the night at the ranch, with her head buried in her hands.
But if Link gives the Pendant of Memories to Anju, she immediately remembers the sincerity of Kafei’s promise to her, and she decides to wait for him as the Moon falls. Throughout the three days she had been sobbing, hesitating, second-guessing herself, apologizing, worrying, but now, as she faces her imminent death, she sits calmly on her bed and waits for her fiancé to return.

“I have decided to wait for him. I’ve made my promise…
I’m fine with this.
I believe him.”

—Anju

And this is exactly why the Goddesses arranged for Link to enter Termina. This is why Link has the power to change the destiny of Termina. The Salesman and the owl help him to develop a strong sense of faith, and Link instills that faith in the people of Termina as he struggles to save them.

The Deku King realizes he shouldn’t have been so quick to doubt the monkey. The Goron baby stops crying and sleeps with thoughts of his father standing by his side and comforting him. Guru-Guru is able to clear his troubled conscience. The lingering regrets of Kamaro and the Gibdos are healed. Darmani sees a vision of a crowd of his Goron brothers standing before him and cheering wildly. He is comforted and his soul is able to move on in peace. Gorman stops drinking and berating himself as he is reminded of the song that once inspired him. Before, he had hated himself, feeling worthless and inferior to his brothers. But Gorman didn’t realize what his brothers really thought of him.

“So, he’s gone into the world of entertainment… That younger brother of mine is really struggling…
Compare what he does to what we do…
No! No! Noooo! And the things that we, the Gorman Brothers, have done…
Grrrr… We’re the notorious Gorman Brothers! We can’t get all sappy over stuff like this!”

—The Gorman Brothers

Gorman had felt inferior to his brothers, not knowing that they felt inferior to him!

The Face Under the Mask

“Your real face… Show it to me…”

—Child wearing Majora’s Mask

Through the character of Anju we are able to see the difference between faith and doubt and how profoundly they can change people, even if the situation remains the same. Because of this, we may be better able to understand Skull Kid, who uses Majora’s Mask to try to destroy Termina.

Skull Kid is the lonely imp from ancient times who felt neglected when his friends the Giants left him. Though he was banished from Termina, he returns to the land ages later. He steals Majora’s Mask from the Salesman and uses its dark powers to spread misery and suffering across Termina. People speak of him with contempt. When Link encounters him, Skull Kid acts cold and aloof. He betrays his friends Tatl and Tael. He stands atop the Clock Tower at the center of Termina and waits for the Moon to come crashing down.

Throughout all this, Skull Kid hides his face behind Majora’s Mask. He presents this strong, hateful face to the world so that no one can notice his many insecurities. He keeps his soul hidden from the world, and thus he allows it to fall prey to the demon Majora. He ceaselessly contemplates how his friends abandoned him and how the world rejected him. No one can offer him comfort, support, or sympathy because he doesn’t have the strength of heart to show anyone his true, suffering face. The only voice he hears is that of Majora, the enemy of faith. Majora attacks Skull Kid’s unhealed scars, reminding him of all the pain the world has caused him. In his isolation and loneliness, Skull Kid allows his fears and doubts to grow larger and larger until they swallow him and the demon Majora takes control. Majora then targets the world of Termina, summoning the Moon down from the heavens to spread fear and doubt across the land before destroying it.

“I…I shall consume.
Consume…Consume everything.”

—The Moon, possessed by Majora

Termina, however, is saved by Tatl and Link, who go into the mouth of the Moon in a tremendous act of faith. They destroy Majora and the Moon vanishes, leaving behind a rainbow. Skull Kid, his face unmasked, speaks with the Giants.

“You guys… You hadn’t forgotten about me?
You still thought of me as a friend?”

—Skull Kid

All this time, Skull Kid had been unable to trust the friendship of the Giants, and it was this weakness that had originally marred the world of Termina. But Skull Kid’s friends save him from his self-destruction and forgive his misdeeds. The rainbow in the sky appears to show that the Goddesses have forgiven the world of Termina. The wounds have been healed, and the land is redeemed(6).

(6) But not everything is well in the end. Skull Kid’s loss of faith led to the deaths of Mikau, Darmani, and the Deku Butler’s son, and these tragedies cannot be undone.

“Just Have Faith…”

Nintendo Power: “Is there anything you weren’t able to accomplish in Ocarina of Time that you have included in Majora’s Mask?”

Shigeru Miyamoto: “Yes. In fact, that is why we’ve decided to base the game on three-day intervals. This allows gamers to see characters as they go through their daily routines in more detail. Depending on which time of day you visit a particular character, he or she will be doing different things and that may reveal essential clues to the mystery that is at the heart of the game. To conquer the game and solve the mystery, players must learn all about the many characters and discover new masks.”

—Nintendo Power Vol. 134

Majora’s Mask was designed to achieve some of the things Ocarina of Time wasn’t able to accomplish. Specifically, the Zelda team wanted to flesh out the character interaction. If you revisit Ocarina of Time, you’ll notice that Nintendo made an effort to give some depth to many of the side characters in the game. Most of this was done through two major side quests: the mask trading sequence and the Biggoron Sword trading sequence, both of which built off the trading sequence concept as introduced in Link’s Awakening.

Each time you obtained a new mask or trading item, you had to figure out which character in the game would be interested in it. As you interacted with characters such as the Cucco girl and her brother or the Kakariko guard, you’d learn a little more about their families and their personal struggles. As you traded with them, you’d often help them to find greater happiness.
Sound familiar? When Nintendo was developing the premise for Majora’s Mask, it seems they focused on the dynamics of these two quests and how they could really flesh them out in a new game. Certainly, the role of the masks in Ocarina of Time heavily influenced the design of the sequel, and thus the Happy Mask Salesman would be important to the new game. Now, if you look at the Salesman’s dialogue in Ocarina of Time, you’ll notice that there is one line he repeats again and again: “Just have faith…”

Mr. Miyamoto mentions that there is some mystery at the heart of Majora’s Mask, something important that the player must discover on his own. I believe this philosophy, to always have faith, is the message that is at the heart of the game. It seems the Zelda team tried to convey this message in Ocarina of Time, but then decided they could do a much better job of it by building a game that would revolve around the idea.

The theme of faith and doubt is reflected in so many aspects of Majora’s Mask, big and small. To win the dog-racing minigame, you must seek out the dogs that believe in themselves. To help out people, you need to trust their promises and keep your own promises.

To complete any Deku Flower challenge, you must have the patience to wait until the opportune moment and the confidence to believe that you can fly to your destination. To reach the end of the Goron Moon dungeon, you need to trust the game enough to let go of the control stick and let the rolling Goron bounce off the chests in a straight line. To find the child hiding in the Zora Moon dungeon, you must not worry when you do not succeed on your first, second, or even third attempt. As the owl cautioned you, things rarely go well at first, and impatience leads only to frustration and failure.

The land Ikana is overrun by the frightful spirits of the dead, but at the center of this kingdom is the boldly colorful Music Box House. It belts out a cheerful carnival tune that causes the Gibdos lurking outside to be swallowed by the earth.

After helping the troubled people of Termina and gaining all the masks, you receive the Fierce Deity Mask, a representation of the faith you instilled in everyone. With this power you can completely obliterate Majora, the representation of doubt.

In the streets of Clock Town, the two twin jugglers play around and make jokes about several disturbing events.

“You see, we’re entertainers. We must keep people smiling. No matter how grim things get, we must always be optimistic!”

—The Jugglers

The game argues that you must believe in your strengths and believe in your friends and walk a confident path of hope. If you allow your fears and doubts to grow uncontrollably, they threaten to swallow you just as the Deku Scrub swallowed Link in his dream, and just as the Moon tried to swallow Termina.
But simple faith won’t solve every problem. Even if Anju waits patiently in her room for Kafei, her fiancé won’t necessarily return to her.

“Anju stayed in her room to wait for Kafei…
It’s foolish to believe a man like that.
I too believed my husband would return out of the blue…
Oh, Anju…
That child’s naive sense of trust may be my fault.”

—Anju’s mother

Faith won’t change circumstances. It won’t make it so that suddenly everything goes well and all your friends start living up to your expectations. But having faith allows you to go through your struggles with a clear mind and a strong heart. Without any strength of heart, a decent person could end up in something resembling Skull Kid’s tragic situation. Those without faith may try to run from their troubles, only to find that they cannot escape them.

“Forgive your friend.”

—The Eastern Giant

Friends won’t always be there for you, and they will at times disappoint you. To address this issue, Majora’s Mask also emphasizes the importance of forgiveness. As Igos du Ikana pointed out, believing in your friends means that you are willing to see past their failures.

When Kafei finally returns to Anju after his month-long absence, he raises his arm defensively and apologizes for being late. But instead of unleashing a storm of anger on him, Anju simply says, “Welcome home.”

Making Towers to Heaven

“You have a frightful mask. But being able to see into people’s hearts and minds seems useful…”

—The Happy Mask Salesman

Early in this article, I mentioned that the Stone Tower is likely an allusion to the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. The people of Termina tried to build a tower that would reach the heavens. The Goddesses disapproved and foiled their plans, and afterwards Termina was a cursed land.

In the Biblical story, people tried to build a tower that would reach Heaven. God disapproved and foiled their plans. Afterwards, each person spoke a different language, and cooperation seemed to become impossible. Mankind had become divided.

Though the people of Termina do not all speak different languages, they are similarly divided when Link enters their land. They do not understand the hearts of their friends. They lose faith in their friends. They grow suspicious of each other. They bicker with each other. They seek vengeance when they are wronged. They become lonely and isolated. They keep secrets.
They hide their faces under masks.

“Your friends…What kind of…people are they?
I wonder…Do those people…think of you…as a friend?”

“You…What makes you…happy?
I wonder…What makes you happy…Does it make…others happy, too?”

“The right thing…What is it?
I wonder…If you do the right thing…Does it really make…everybody…happy?”

“Your true face…What kind of…face is it?
I wonder…The face under the mask…Is that…your true face?”

—The Masked Children

“I shall meet you again…”

When Majora’s Mask opens, Link is in the middle of a long journey in search of his beloved and invaluable friend. But when the Moon vanishes from the skies of Termina, Tatl mentions that both she and Link have found what they were seeking(7). At that point, the Happy Mask Salesman offers Link these words:

“Shouldn’t you be returning home as well?
Whenever there is a meeting, a parting is sure to follow. However, that parting need not last forever…
Whether a parting be forever or merely for a short time…That is up to you.”

—The Happy Mask Salesman

The game ends as Link is riding through the forest once more. Perhaps he is continuing his search for his departed friend, but there is a chance that he is heading somewhere else.

When Princess Zelda bid farewell to Link, she said that she believed in her heart that the day would come when they would meet again. And both Tatl and the Salesman believe that Link has found that which he was truly seeking. His journey has come to a close, and it is time for him to return home.

“…Everyone has gone away, haven’t they?”

—Child wearing Majora’s Mask

Long ago, the Four Giants departed and left behind their friend Skull Kid. Skull Kid was torn. He didn’t understand why his friends left, and he didn’t believe that they would ever be there for him again. In his loneliness, he lost all faith.
At the end of Ocarina of Time, Link’s longtime friend departed as well. He didn’t know why she left, where she had gone, or whether he would ever meet her again. In his loneliness, Link begins a long journey in search of her. But the search is fruitless and as Link nearly loses all hope, his desperation is the only thing keeping him going.

But Zelda’s close friend had also departed. She didn’t know where he would go or how long he would be away, but she believed that she would one day see him again. In his absence, she waits patiently and prays for him. And when the time is right, the Happy Mask Salesman reminds Link that there is someone back home awaiting his return.
And so Link returns home, having found what he was after. And he trusts that one day his beloved and invaluable friend will return to him.

(7) If you decide to replay Majora’s Mask, pay close attention to the development of Tatl’s character. It illustrates very well the overall message of the story. She wears her own mask to hide her insecurities, but there are times when she tries to remove that mask and reveal her true feelings. She typically acts snide and sarcastic towards Link, but at one point she apologizes for her actions, and towards the end she even admits to admiring Link. Tatl’s close friend viciously betrays her, and she watches as that friend abuses her brother. Again and again, she declares that she will never forgive Skull Kid. Throughout the game we see her doubting her brother Tael, but Tael reveals his strength of heart during the final confrontation atop the Clock Tower. Tatl draws strength from Link and Tael and is able to find her own sense of faith.

About the Author

Dan Merrill, aka Hylian Dan, attends Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, where he is majoring in electronic game design. His portfolio can be found at www.danvmerrill.com.

E-mail: hyliandan [at] zeldauniverse.net

Related Topics
  • ulyesaz

    i’love dis game

    • Igos du Ikana

      I love it too I dont have an account and dont really need one for this one comment. I really like this theory but I would add this.

      Termina is a land of parallels to Hyrule. The characters of Hyrule have Terminan I would assert that Skull Kid is Links counterpart, or even Link himself.
      He and Skull kid both have lost close friends whom they are searching for. Skull Kid went to extreme lengths to get his friends back. And Link upon seeing this realized that Skull kid was his future if he continued his endless search. This is consistent with the above theory's mention of trusting friends. Furthermore it is consistent with the game's motiff of being at peace with our past, and present (see every use of the Song of Healing).

  • Skull Kid

    I think the salesman, prior to acquiring the mask, probably did not believe in any such curse, it was a rare and valuable item, and he is a salesman, therefore, he wanted it, purely for commercial use, only once he laid his hands upon the mask, did he realize the true evil that slept within the mask, I assume it was then, that he vowed to guard the mask, to keep Majora from ever waking.

    • Skull Kid

      aye, but I also thing you might have got one thing backwards, if Majora was sent to destroy the architects, or stop their blasphemy, why would they have monuments built to honor her? I believe the architects may have summoned majora as their own “goddess” of sorts to help them destroy the Goddesses. The Fierce Deity was the Goddesses guardian angel, or enforcer, sent to destroy Majora, while the goddesses would flip the tower to take care of the architects. If the fierce Deity was on the side of the architects against majora, why would there not me monuments to him?

      • Kahara

        If that’s true, then why do you get The Fierce Deity Mask from the Majora kid on the moon? Wouldn’t every part of Majora despise the Fierce Deity for attempting to stop it? It just dosn’t make much sense…

      • http://lindaingham@comcast.net kenny ingham

        i can answear your quastion. maby majora found the f.d mask sometime ago and decided two give it to link so he would know what to expect.that was for kahara

      • Q

        majora is totally crazy and just wants to f**k shit up(you could compare it to the joker from batman}the way the incarnation dances around really proves this. when you meet the majora kid on the moon he says he wants to play. but if you given away all your masks he takes notice of this . probably thinking some thign along the lines of -he thinks well this wont be much fun hes barely got anything to fight me with- so he gives you the mask to make things fair

      • http://www.zeldafan.com tanner

        arue but majora is a demon and she’s evil so why would she do that?

    • Anonimus

      Maybe, since skullkid think that everiting was a game, majora thought that the battle was a game

    • Alz

      I feel like the Happy Mask Salesman has a lot deeper of a role in the overall history of Zelda, and the whole Salesman thing is a facade for what he really is.

  • Nogardodomokomododra

    If you notice at the begining of the game when he walks through a certain part of the cave the hallway turns upside down while gravity seems to flip with it as well thus proving the first part of this theory. But if this is true are there other paralel "flip" worlds in the LoZ? Such as in ocarina of time, forest temple if memory serves right. A certain hallway take you into an upside down version of a room. In this area could you possibly be in termina? a small enclosed cave of some sort? Probably not. But it does introduce a new idea to this theory, the possibility of a mirror hyrule or hyrule "two" as some people say in other theories. *see the gametrailers.com zelda theory video* in which termina Could still be doomed, in a great flood bringing us to the windwaker…and it goes on but no more rambling from me.

    • http://www.zelda.com zeldafan

      i think your on to something but what about the other characters in wind waker and majora’s mask?

    • shadow/link

      or hyrule gets flooded but termiea is the world of sperit tracks

      • MasterQuestMaster

        I thought Majora's Mask came about when Link traveled back and warned Zelda about the evil king that Ganondorf would become, and Wind Waker was when Link sealed Ganon in the adult time, where Ganondorf said: "Someday, I will get out of here. And that is when I will exterminate your descendants!" He had escaped in Wind Waker, so the Goddesses sealed him underwater, and Spirit Tracks took place in a world found by Link and Zelda after the events of Wind Waker, as the king of Hyrule had told them to find a new world.

    • Flouridation

      There is a certain video on youtube called ¨Majora, Twili, and Demise: All Connected?¨ that I think you would enjoy.

  • Katuko

    If Majora is a demon straight out of hell sent by the godesses to destroy Termina, then the Fierce Deity might be their way of controlling it. Once Majora finished its job, who's to say it wouldn't move on to other countries? So, the FD would be sent in to obliterate it. This might also be why Majora gives you the mask, it knows its power weaker than it and that it is destined to die. Yet, it makes a joke out of the deal, as it's nature is, and wants one last "game".

    • chucannon

      but towards the end of the game, Majora mentioned the "true evil" and some people believe that to be the FD…

    • MasterQuestMaster

      Yeah, and the description when you got the Fierce Deity mask forebodingly warned you of the power of the mask.

  • James

    Wow, that was really interesting. When I was younger and I played it, I never really knew about the allusion to the tower of babel, and the hidden message behind MM.
    Amazing article.

  • Linktomyass

    Nice article man. I had a huge write up on MM about 9 months ago but i stoped writing it out of the blue (long distance work).

    Your first article made me want to go play it again and I did. I had writen about my experiences and the feeling i had gotten as i played the game. Far different then when i played as a child. For this, MM has defenetly found a place in my heart.

    I never did beat the game… I stoped writing after my experiences in Inkana.

    The game is still saved, now that i finaly have time again… i think i shall go to clock tower and begin the final chapter in the MM story.

    nice work man :)

  • darkbeastganon

    I like how you found and carved up the themes by looking at the game carefully. I'm still curious about the Fierce Deity though. Its fierce, right? How does that associate with faith?

    • Serenade

      He is the ‘Fierce Deity’ because of his god-like abilities and almost literally, no limiters on his power. He is a symbol of strength in this world of weakness – the one light shining through the dark.

      One will guard their faith with whatever they can. The Fierce Deity acts upon his faith to assist the people in need. The blank eyes of the Fierce Deity serve as him being a symbol, not a set person.

      There’s also the Mask Itself. This is but a theory of my own, but I believe that the mask would not turn everyone who dons it into that specific being, but rather, into a powerful being built on their own strength of their faith. By believing in the power of the mask, by putting faith into its frightening design, one can unleash true might to eliminate those that oppose their own faith.

      As a finisher however, I give you text copy-pasted from the Zelda Wiki:

      “He’s a ferocious god!”
      —Anju (Manga)

      -The Fierce Deity’s past remains largely unexplained in the game, though it is likely that it is an ancient being like Majora. It is unknown if Fierce Deity is like the Goron and Zora masks, with a soul sealed inside them, or like Majora’s Mask, where it is the soul. However, since Anju’s quote doesn’t divulge much, it is currently impossible to tell. The Fierce Deity was shown in the manga to corrupt even Link, leading the reader to believe the mask houses a very powerful spirit, even though Link did possess enough control to remove the mask at the end of the fight against Majora’s Mask.

      Some speculate that the mask is Link’s Terminan counterpart, because the mask itself resembles Adult Link.-

    • Zelda is the Bomb!!!

      his faith that he can win is Fierce. He fiercely believes he can win if he can just keep faith. that explanation work? :)

  • Rabbott

    I have a question if the goddesses flipped the tower so that when the first time you show up it’s the worng way (the right way being the way the architects built it) wouldn’t the hand be cursing the ground and or hell. Also, how would they build it upside down, where getting out of the tower to go to the ground would be to head to the top?

    • LOZ

      they probably didnt know the tower was flipped

  • TexasProudCowgirl

    Wow, that is deep. I mean, that is really, really deep.

  • Legitz

    That was such an excellent read.
    It really opens up alot more thought paths related to this game.
    Thankyou.

  • Callum M

    Fantastic! Great pleasure reading your theories which are all supported brilliantly

  • Henrik Ljungdahl

    OMG….

    You are so deep man!! Everything truly makes sense!! WOW!! I just wanna say that you are amazing!!!!

    MAJORAS MASK FOR THE WIN!!!

    • poo

      Why are you saying man are you a hippi

  • Keaton

    Wow! Absolutely LOVE this article! =] Lots of great ideas are pointed out in this article, and it seems like it’s all true as well.

  • V-Thunder

    I always thought about Majora’s Mask being the most profound Zelda game made up to this day, but while reading your article I realized how much *more* there is to the game. To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of biblical parallels, but this one fits the overall setting of MM perfectly. What you worked out isn’t just a collection of theses – it’s a very well-built mental edifice that never contradicts itself. In my eyes. ;)
    On the one hand, your article makes me wonder what Nintendo originally intended when they put those naked gargoyle blocks into the game – on the other hand, I don’t want to know because knowledge of the “truth” (e.g. “grotesk creatures fit the Zelda theme, surprised?”) could possibly spoil your interpretation and, thus, render it sort of vain. Without ever knowing what Miyamoto and Co. really thought while developing the game, your article will continue to radiate the feeling of “attaining knowledge that makes you feel like you understood some part of a bigger coherence or a greater link”. Not in terms of “OMG Termina’s linked with the real world!!!111″ but in terms of people having *thought* of the game they were making. Real content.
    Thanks for writing and posting!

  • Anymous

    This is a great article!

    I think that those who built Stone Tower was the Ikana!

    And the Godesses making stone tower upside down to send them to hell was a mistake.

    Because of that, Majora escaped from hell and caused all that trouble.

    So the godesses sent Link to Termina, and Fierce Deity is probably the one who made Majora go to hell in the first place!

    • MasterQuestMaster

      I think the Goddesses sent the people down simply to punish them, with hell being their punishment. Or maybe they only did it to halt the people's progress to the Sacred Realm, and had intended for them to be able to leave, but they did not expect the people to find the Mask. They sent Link to correct the Mask's wrongdoings, which were not intended by the Goddesses.

  • Drakky

    Great Article, Its like the bible for LoZ fans

    • Flouridation

      MM fans, you mean. Well, I suppose it is like the Bible, and this i the book of Majora´s Mask.

  • http://lindaingham@comcast.net tanner

    hi i was playing majora's mask the other day and found out that when you are stoping the thief from stealing the bombs you can get out your bow and shoot the bag and the guy explodes and it is funny!

    • geust

      realy i will try that

    • Zelda is the Bomb!!!

      rofl!

  • http://lindaingham@comcast.net kenny ingham

    my thery is that majora was terrorizing peaple and no one couild stop her.then a man(the fierce deity)came and he droped his weapon and said,you see i have dropped my weapon,i will not fight you rather i will play a song for you. then the man played and majora danced till she died and was sealed in a mask.the man said this evil is to much for you,i shall hold on to it.(i think that the song mabe the oath to order and the peaple made that day a holiday.oh and the four giants came but retreted when the fierce diety was fine on his own.

    • ???

      What???

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Thareous Thareous

      So the "Fierce Deity" only played half the Song of Healing (more-likely) since all of Majora's evil wasn't banished when she "became" the mask, right?

      Mmm…no. None of that ever happened. Interesting fanfic, though.

      • Kaba

        If you play the Song of Healing's first six notes backwards, you play Saria's song.
        But that's from the manga…which I wouldn't say is totally canon.

    • Keiggy

      Reminds me of the bonus story the manga gives you.
      "A traveler comes to the deserted land where a fierce monster, who ate the souls of men who came to him for their dreams to come true, lived. THe traveler plays a song for the beast, who danced for 3 days and 3 nights and passed away. From it's armor, the man carved a mask, and sealed it away from the world"

      … =__=

    • Brandon

      Dude, thats not YOUR theory, that's a theory you believe in. DON'T STEAL FROM OTHER PEOPLE!!! You stole this theory from the manga version!!!! And just edited it a little to make it seem like yours! Bad move my good sir….you shouldn't have done that….

  • xajora

    if majora is the enemy of faith, why is it that the single carpenter with faith is left to die directly under the moon each time you fail?
    doesn’t that disallow trust?

    in response to the fierce deity mask, the child wearing majora wanted that entity to be destroyed once and for all so he gave it to you to be destroyed with it.

    i would also like to bring a point on the bosses of the game, they never die forever; symbolizing how evil and destruction will always be there and the player must decide wether to leave them to torture the lands each time, or for the peoples hopes to be shattered ( i found this to be very interesting when thinking about it)

    I am very pleased with these articles as a whole however, as i believe majoras mask to be the best game ever

    • Anonymous

      Jesus was a carpenter. Ponder on that.

      • MasterQuestMaster

        He died with no wrongdoings, as well. And in their stead, as he was the only one to be crushed upon failure. Everyone else has left.

    • Masser

      Well, there is no way Link can actually fail in-game. Every time he dies/let's the moon fall the time-line restarts (if I recall). Even so, following what you're expected to do in-game when not finished(which is play the Song of Time), time is set back to 3 days before. When at the end of the game and Link IS ready to confront Majora, Termina is saved and the carpenter's faith is vindicated. Sorry if any of that appears awkward, I'm not very good at writing.

    • DuhDuh

      Well, I'm pretty sure that lone carpenter ran away at the last minute ;D

    • ApocalypticCritic

      The lone carpenter wasn't really showing faith. He was disparaging the other people who panicked, instead of believing in anyone else. Note that all the other carnival workers ran, as did almost everybody else. He stayed because he refused to go along with anyone else, because he was refusing to acknowledge that there was even a problem. Faith does not mean blindly refusing to see the problems of the world, or of your friends. It's acknowledging them, and then forgiving them.

      Additionally, I have recently begun thinking that perhaps each time Link goes back in time, instead of literally resetting time, the timeline freezes at the point he goes back and a new timeline is created. In this way, you can do everything in the game without having to do it all in one run. So, in a way, all the bosses are destroyed forever at the end of the game.

      Also I imagine the bank lady is going to have a huuuuuge bill for Link, considering the huge amounts of bank fraud he commits….

  • Kayle

    Some things to say.

    Ancient tribe that sealed Majora's Mask may have been the Sheikah (since the races here mirror Hyrule's races). It's said that the race that sealed the Mask has all vanished. (If you count Kafei as a Sheikah, you could say that the few survivors have simply faded into society and some of their descendants bear their traits.) If they worshiped in the Shadow Temple of Hyrule, they'd be the type to use an evil mask in hexing rituals.

    I wouldn't say that the Goddesses sent Majora to Termina as judgment exactly, but that the people's rebellious actions in embracing the mask released the demon. Their world is therefore suffering the consequences of that rebellion, and the goddesses would therefore be compassionate in allowing Link to save them from the folly of their ancestors.

    Another important link I've found in the games is that between hope/faith and courage. I had a professor once say, "It takes courage to hope." When you're discouraged, you lose faith; when you lose faith, you're discouraged. Link was chosen by the Triforce of Courage because of his own courage. He was the one hope for Hyrule, the embodiment of their hope, if you will. The characters in Ikana are full of comments about Link's power, or LIGHT. Hope is often represented as an undying light. Link provides hope for all of Termina, including the spirits—-he gives their souls rest by carrying their torch for them and saving their respective peoples. By allowing Link to come, the goddesses have given Termina hope.

    Going much further out on a limb: If the Fierce Diety's mask is counted as a transformation mask similar to the others and contains a spirit that Link must put at rest by carrying out its last will, then that spirit's one goal is to defeat Majora; and the Fierce Deity would probably be an entity about equal in status to Majora. I've always inferred that the ghost who gives Link entrance into Ikana is implying the Fierce Deity when he mentions "seeking the one who is stronger than you are". This may mean the giant's mask, but that mask implies no personality and just makes Link bigger (it doesn't have a special resting place in the mask subscreen either). I feel that's a waste of a mysterious comment, but it's possible. The Fierce Deity is undeniably stronger than Link is.

    In support of the faith/hope theme, this ghost also comments "If you have faith in your skills [try healing these troubled spirits]." And also "the spirits wander in search of one who can save them".

    • Kaba

      Very interesting…
      Although I always felt the Twili were tied with Majora, the imagery is all over Twilight Princess. This could make sense if you think the Twili are descended from the Sheikah that rebelled against Hyrule in the war from before OoT and thus banished (aka vanished).

      • luminabalderson

        Same here. It just makes sense for the Twili to be tied with Majora.
        Also, I've always thought that the Happy Mask Salesman was a member of the Dark Interlopers that avoided banishment, but that's probably just me.

        It would explain why he knew so much about Majora's Mask…

  • http://lavoakah.deviantart.com/ Lavoakah

    This… this sort of stuff is what made “Neon Genisis- Evangelion” a legend umong anime. The hidden meanings throughout… that’s why I loved it.
    I never saw this coming… My all time favourite childhood game… had such a deep meaning… so many things hidden and hinted…
    This makes me love this game even more. I knew there had to be something, some more to it… but you made it clear for me! Thank you.

  • Abysmal Zero

    Wow, your article has certainly put a new light on Majora's Mask for me! It's fantastic to think of Termina more in terms of a land with a rich, dark history–it's so easy to get caught up with OOT's storyline and then not be able to appreciate MM as much.

    I wonder though if the Twili from TP have something to do with Majora though? The Fused Shadow certainly looks like the Majora's Mask, not to mention that the Twili were banished to another realm–or maybe they are a parallel, since Hyrule is parallel to Termina, so maybe the Twili are the equivalent in Hyrule to the hexers in Termina.

    • http://www.zelda.com kennyingham

      mabey the twili were the ones who sent majora’s wrath to the worl if you think about it

    • Archery2000

      Maybe the twilight realm and the origin of Majora have something to do with each other… After all, note the TP cutscene, where Lanayru says "Fail to rule over power, and you will be ruled by it"(something like that anyw), it sounds really similar to the fierce deity mask?

  • http://www.zelda.com zeldafan

    i just relized that in ocaraina of time the light medalion and the zora's saphire have a simalar style

    • http://www.zelda.com kennyingham

      WOW this article is crazy.I mean everything fits perfectly together!
      makes you think

  • http://quiptracks.com Tracy

    I really enjoyed this article. I'm not completely sold that all of this was intentional, but I definitely want to believe that it was. I love the dark, twisted feel of Majora's Mask and this theory makes it even darker and more twisted. I wish you had included more about the Fierce Deity though, because I never considered it part of the story and I don't remember much about it. Does anybody ever even mention it?

    • Zelda is the Bomb!!!

      in this link they talk about it a bit. (http://www.zeldadungeon.net/2012/05/the-hyrulian-pantheon-the-minor-gods/) it doesnt revovle entirely around the Fierce Deity but there is a buch of stuff on him that's really cool. It also talks about Majora.

    • SquidLips

      There's a fantastic series of articles on zeldadungeon.net by the Wolfess called the Hyrulian Pantheon.

      In it, she makes the claim that Majora is the God of the Sun and the trickster figure in Hyrulian myth, like Loki from Norse myth and that the Fierce Deity is the God of the moon and the hero god of Hyrulian myth much like Thor in Norse myth.

      This adds even MORE meaning to the game, yes it is a game about promises, hope, faith, and trust, and Link is there to redeem this lost world, but he can't do it without the aid of the God of Battle, a representation of faith to the people.

  • paledragon64

    I felt that your main argument about the stone temple/goddesses/giants was pretty strong in the beginning, but you didn't really back it up well. You just put it out there and never concluded, and the rest of your arguments were off-topic.

    Your individual arguments were compelling, though. I especially liked the one about faith/doubt being a theme in the game. If you organize your thoughts better, it'll make a bigger impact. Thank you for putting effort into making this.

  • Pingback: the great erbavore » It’s bothersome.

  • JefferyRLC

    This was enjoyable to read, but I do believe you are confused.

    Termina is it's own world/reality. It is a parallel of Hyrule, but is in no way connected to Hyrule. When Link chased Skull Kid through the forest, they came across a hole in space-time that took them to Termina. Much like the Mirror of Twilight in Twilight Princess is a doorway to the Twilight Realm.

    In Majora's Mask, there is no evidence, suggestion, hint, or anything else to suggest the Goddesses even exist in Termina. And based off personal experiences in the game, I honestly believe they don't. If they did, then at some point the Trifoce should come into place, seeing as it's the symbol of their power. And since the Trifoce doesn't reveal itself at any point, one can assume that it doesn't exist in Termina either.

    It is stated that the Four Giants are only guardians, not gods. And to reenforce that, there's no context in the game that suggests the people ever worshipped them. Based on the way Anju's grandmother told the story of the Four Giants, it's more likely the people don't really believe they exist, much like how most people don't believe in fairies or ghosts.

    Stone Temple Tower itself seems to me that it functioned more as a seal of evil than a tower of Babel. I know Majora's Mask is far from traditional Legend of Zelda, but in most instances where evil arises in a Legend of Zelda game, people resort to sealing it awake. It seems the curse on Ikana Kingdom was a result from tampering with the seal of Stone Tower.

    As for the details of the origins of Majora's Mask and even the Fierce Deity's Mask, the creators intentionally have not told us. Their true nature is up for the player to discern. To be honest, I'd be more inclined to stating that Majora's Mask itself is the Termina incarnation of Ganon, and the Fierce Deity Mask is the Termina incarnation of Link.

    Nevertheless, it was still a good idea. And it you had a lot of good ideas. Just realize that Majora's Mask is a Zelda all on it's own. The less you associate it with traditional Legend of Zelda games, the more sense it will make.

    • Marceux

      @ JefferyRLC:

      There is no explicitly stated "hole" in space-time that leads to Termina. Really, it could be anything.

      As for your assertion that there is no hint that the goddesses exist in Termina, did you not see the image of the Triforce in the Stone Temple Tower on some of the blocks? Also, the Ocarina of Time should be the biggest indicator of the existence of the Three Goddesses inside Termina. Why does the Ocarina actually work in this land? You could argue that the item has power on its own, but the same song (composed for/by the goddesses) in both Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask has two completely different effects in both games. In Majora's Mask Link has greater control of time as oppose to the previous game. The tune is devine, as is the instrument.

      You could be right about the Four Giants, the Stone Temple Tower, or anything really when it comes to back-story of the things left ambiguous, but that's the beauty of the game. There is enough ambiguity but also enough "message" that the game is clearly trying to discuss or comment or propose a theme on the human experience, and we could sort out the details any way we please. This author chose "belief", and through the evidence he provided, and imagery he proposed, I'm inclined to agree.

    • zeldabro

      OH MY GOD you need to check that again

      • kennyingham

        yeah jefferyRLC check again

  • zeldabro

    OH MY GOD I BEAT THE GAME AFTER A MONTH OF GAMEPLAY!!!

  • jesse

    excellent. MM is the total black sheep of the zelda series but an absolute gem. i know people who hate it because it's different and too hard and i get very upset with them for not realizing those are the reasons it's great. it's dark and delightfully twisted. i didn't really see all that stone tower stuff before tho… thanks for posting! now where did i put that game…

  • Peter Sarikas

    First, before anything… YES! Champlain student! Awesome! I'm sitting in Pearl Hall, Champlain College, right now, reading this, at 6:00 AM.

    Moving on.

    Alot of this stuff, I didn't originally notice (I was too young), however, I did notice that the Triforce symbols in the Tower were inverted, at least sometimes, bringing to mind the rejection of the godesses in the way an inverted cross brings to mind rejection of Christ, and acceptance of Satan (Satanists wear an upside-down cross).

    Also, what is you take on Fierce Deity? I now you mentioned him briefly, however, his name gives me pause. Fierce Deity. The name invokes the image of an angered God (duh). Perhaps he was something more? Maybe he broke the seal on Majora, and was trying to repent, or maybe he was involved with the Godesses to punish the people of the Termina.

    Yeesh, I have to go replay this now,

    • Hylian Dan

      Hey! Champlain student! I'm in Adirondack right now.

      I think that the Fierce Deity is actually a representation of Link's true face. The talk about it's dark nature seems to me to be possible misdirection. I just don't see it as representing something at all corrupt.

      The game makes a big deal out the question of what a person's true face really is, what with all the masks and other grotesque faces scattered throughout the game. It also deals a lot with the issue of being a child versus being an adult, and how Link reaches a level of true adulthood and maturity after the time-traveling trauma of Ocarina of Time.

      At the opening of Majora's Mask, Link's true face is probably something like the Mirror Shield you eventually find. The OoT ordeal left him with scars of lost friendship, similar in some respects to Skull Kid's scars. But by the time Link interacts with all the strangers of Termina and they give him their masks, he is no longer a lost, lonely kid. Cremia recognizes this. His Fierce Deity form represents the adulthood he has found and the unshakable strength of heart he has gained from Termina.

      Hypothetically there could be some backstory to the FD Mask, but the game doesn't provide any of it whatsoever. So the matter of the FD Mask's actual backstory strikes me as a fun, mysterious fan fiction prompt, rather than something critical to the story. However, the game does connect the FD Mask with the masks you earn by helping people find happiness, which makes me think this thematic explanation is more relevant.

      The backstory of the FD Mask is a deliberately unresolvable mystery, but the mask fits in very smoothly with the overall story on a thematic level.

      • Jeremiah

        Well, you earlier stated that you receive the FD mask after giving your masks(which represent the happiness, faith, and resolution Link brought to Termina) away.

        It could be that the Fierce Deity Mask is in fact a symbolic combination of all of Termina's newfound faith against Majora's Mask, which brought the unhappiness. While wearing the Fierce Deity Mask, you can crush all three of Majora's forms without breaking a sweat. This power could fit in with the Faith theme of the game by showing that together, the people's collective faith can overthrow the shackles of evil.

      • Gooky

        Actually, in regards to your first paragraph there, that makes a lot of sense. The act of giving away all those masks, most of which grant you some kind of ability, or power (I know I wouldn't want to get rid of my Bunny Hood!), that's kind of a leap of faith. Which then rewards you with this ultimate symbol of faith, or whatever it is exactly. It's been ages since I've played and can't remember how it all goes exactly, but it sounds like it fits together quite nicely :P

    • LOZ

      About what you said about the cross…
      on page 3 the author does have something that might support your theory on the cross:

      "Throughout the game you can see many variations of a sort of compass emblem, a design showing four circles (or other shapes) arranged in a cross pattern."

      Note the "cross pattern". However that might overlap more to the representation of the importance of the number 4.

      In accordance to the fierce deity…
      the fierce deity might possibly be related to the traveler in the Majora's mask side story (in the manga). This can be supported by the fact that when Link wore the FD mask he looked older or rather much like the traveler. This maybe possible, however, why the traveler represents the fierce deity is a mystery. My guess is something related to how he was able to put the beast (possibly Majora O_o?) to rest and crave the Majora's mask out of the beast's armor. The traveler's resemblance to Link has led me to theorize that the traveler could be Link or something in similar connection. Do remember that all the Links in all the games are not exactly the same person. This could support the "traveler-link-deity" relationship. Doesn't really make sense if you don't read the side story. ><;;

      ughhh…
      this isn't really related to your comment but….
      um, "if" so the beast is Majora, when the tower was flipped and the people went to hell instead of heaven or the realm of the goddesses, it is possible that since the beast roamed hell, the people probably seeked the beast for its power to try to go against the goddesses as the article claims. It is either that or for their own selfish intentions seeked the beast's armor and suffered their own demise. This would support the fact that the goddesses supported Link's attempt at saving Termina and why the ocarina of time worked over and over to relay time for the 3-day interval. Of course, if the people tried to attain the power of the beast to turn on the goddesses this would support the article's claim of redeem after redemption.
      Also the side story (in the manga) explains of how time was born or something like that. Which is related to how the beast was put to rest after dancing for 3 days and 3 nights, which is possibly related to how Link had to save Termina in 3 days.

      UGH I confusing myself! Well anyways, if you read the manga you might understand better. Although you read the manga, keep in mind that the game and manga may not share the same intentions or meanings.

      …but really I hope the game and manga applies to the intentional story or really all that I typed would be somewhat meaningless. ><;;

  • Deku Bryn

    I disagree with one point in this amazing article. Majora's mask. I believe it was created by the Twili (Twilight Princess). Need proof? Look at the eyes on MM, then look at the eye on Midna's portion of the fused shadow that she always wears. Similar? Nay. Identical (almost).

    Also, isn't Termina a parralell universe? How do you know the godesses even govern it?

    Apart from this, amazing article.

    • Marceux

      The Ocarina of Time is the biggest smoking gun about whether or not the Goddesses govern Termina. Why does the Ocarina of Time, an instrument of the goddesses, have any magical properties, especially the manipulation of time through a song developed as a prayer to the goddesses, if the world was not governed by the Goddesses?

      And about Termina's nature as a parallel universe or dimension? That's just simple fan fiction. It is what it is. And it isn't Hyrule. That's all that matters. Everything else is up to the individual person to come up with.

  • Stephen Queen

    the author's original postulations on the fact that the ancient people built a tower, essentially to hell, may in fact, extend to the whole of the land, and well you can see where we could go with this. Perhaps it was not so evident in the article.
    I'll share my thoughts in full upon replaying of the game.

    it may be that all 5 areas were in some ways affronts to the gods, but that's just a passing thought as I go to bed.

    Great read before I do. And on easter friday!

  • Zero

    I loved the story. I'm actually replaying the game again. But there is one thing that i'm not convinced with. That Link went home.
    In WW the story told was that Link lost what made him a Hero when he left Hyrule. He lost..his courage, his tri-force. He was never seen again. That means he never returned.

    • LOZ

      WW may not necessarily apply to MM. It is a legend which the true story may not be told exactly or correctly. However I have no evidence to support this so…yeah….

    • Hylian Dan

      WW takes place in the adult timeline of OoT, while MM and TP are set in the child timeline. WW does at times seem to make vague references to MM, so I think it's okay to chalk it up to time-travel confusion and possible retcons.

      Examining the story of MM, the moral of the game makes it pretty necessary for Link to abandon his search for Navi. The game's ending shows him back in Hyrule's Lost Woods, however, so I believe that he's returning home. Navi is gone, but Zelda is still waiting for Link.

    • Prada

      omg poor link, he has nowhere to go… The ending for MM upset me, Tael was a B***h to linky

  • Zero

    First of all, sorry for the double post, but I was thinking of this the whole day. There is another thing that stood out to me. In the story there was a part about Majora escaping, but not how the powers were sealed.
    What I think happend is that Majora was battling an older god of the anciened people. And then they depeated each other, or weakened. Then the mask sealesman came and played the song of healing. The god turned in the Fiercy Deity Mask and Majora in Majora's Mask.
    This would mean the Salesman is indeed a deity himself. This way he would know about the song, Majora and the fate of the land.

  • Zero

    Further And, maby I'm going out on a limb now, the salesman lost the Mask on his way to Hyrule and started to search for a hero in Hyrule when he lost it. He was in Hyrule for OoT, maby he was the same. He mett Link and gave hime the task of selling the Masks for him as a test. This would also explain that he was "following him".
    The only hole is what he did with the mask. If you would conclude that the masked child with the mask was the salesman long ago (or in another form) he would have kept it. But if that would be the case why would he go to hyrule if it worked al this time.
    If you think eh loked it back beneed the Stone Tower, why would he go back and why would that child on the moon have the mask?
    I'm still thinking this one through, so when I have the answer to this one, I'll post it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Ariam_Maxim Ariam_Maxim

    If you ever want to scare the living shizuka out of you, play the opening to ESCAFLOWNE THE MOVIE while watching the intro to Majoras Mask, when the clock tower appears and after the spinning mask salesman fades out. Afterwards, when you've watched the whole intro to the music of the opening to ESCAFLOWNE THE MOVIE, watch the whole movie and watch for any signficant things that start to echo reminiscent of Majora's Mask or even any title in the Zelda series. Now thats trippin' balls!

    • Zero

      Which opening did you mean (from ESCAFLOWNE). The english or the original japanees and from what part of the intro.

      • Ariam Maxim

        Oh my God, the DVD MOIVE is in BOTH languages. I forgot. In Dvd settings switch the audio track to solo score only which sets ESCAFLOWNE The Movie to the music soundtrack during playback. Then press play.
        So when you ask which part, I'm literally telling you it's the very minute it opens right after the first name of the staff credits appear at the beginning. You want to pause the movie right after that first name, open Majora's Mask whether its on your emulator or television and unhit pause on ESCAFLOWNE right when the Clock tower appears in the Title Sequence to MAJORA'S MASK. It's easy!

  • NathanIsMyName

    Now how long do we have to wait for someone to find the hidden meanings and backstories for TP?

  • Ariam Maxim

    Alright, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. This one took m a while but I finally uncovered it a couple of months ago. At the end of Ocarina of Time when Link returned to Hyrule via the sacred time chamber in the Temple of Time, the Master Sword created two timelines existing in two alternating realities. The first timeline was the one wherein young Link and Princess Zelda became lovers until the hero embarked on a quest to find where Navi had gone in those several months following Links closing the Door of Time. Through this, Majora's Mask begins which also takes place AFTER the Oracle of Seasons & Oracle of Ages chapters. Now, when Link closed the Door of Time, and re-wrote Hyrules history, Ganondorf was exposed through Link and Zeldas testamony to the king supported by the triforce marks that was on each of the backs of the three main characters hands which was why, following Ganondorfs execution, you see that he broke free of his chains at the Arbiters Grounds due to the Power of the Triforce that he possessed. Also, during that time, he was still in possession of the Solid Black Gerudo Stallion which he gave up when he became king in the other timeline seven years in the future. Twilight Princess takes place several hundred years after Young Link abandoned the kingdom that had named him a legend, where Ganondorf returned through the manipulation of a despotic king who was once a butler to Princess Midna of the Twili, but insurrected after being friven to madness by the circumstances that led the tribe to it's exile thousands of years ago at the hand of the Goddessess of the Triforce who forbade the Twili from possessing the sacred relic of the holy land of Hyrule. It should also be noted that shadow link is in fact Twili Magic used to reflect the soul of whomsoever it deems worthy to challenge and thus Shadow Link was formed in the Water Temple in Ocarina of Time. You keeping up so far?
    Anyway, so, The Wind Waker takes place several hundred years after Ganondorfs return to Hyrule following the weakening of the seven sages seal following what I believe was either the defloration or death-after-birth of Princess Zelda which weakened the holy union of the sages spirits and enabled Ganon to return, because if you remember, Tetra is a direct descendant by birth, of Princess Zelda of Hyrule, not a reincarnation like in Twilight princess. Becasue in Majora's Mask Princess Zelda tells Link that there will come a day when she shall meet him again. That line tragically referrs to their reunion in another life when they would meet as a wolf and a prisoner in a robe within the walls of Hyrule Castle in Twilight Princess, not The Wind Waker, because it takes place the other alternate timeline, the one created seven years in the future, sealed away by the closing of the Door of Time from the timeline where Twilight Princess takes place.
    In closing, in Twilight Princess, Link finally ends Ganondorfs life at the edge of The Master Sword closing the book on that timeline and establishing eternal peace for Hyrule while in The Wind Waker, King Daphne touches the Triforce and wishes for the destruction of Hyrule for the sake of the kingdoms descendants against Ganondorfs wishes to rule the new world through the revitalization of the old. However, King Daphne's heart is not pure, and thus the triforce, if you watch closley, splits into three parts as the Sheikan legend states about the Triforce in Ocarina of Time. When Link smashes the Master Sword into Ganondorfs skull, he breaks the Gerudo lifestone every gerudo possessess on their forehead as a sort of achilles heel, when he breaks this life force, Ganondorf turns into a pillar of stone and dies unlike Twilight Princess where he dies but his life stone is left untouched on his forehead. Review all of this as you go through the stories and you will see that everything that I have stated is both accurate and on point with everything in the games. I'm 21 now and have been studying The Legend of Zelda since I was 15. Maybe even younger. Lastly, With the death of the old world, the new world is born and thus the age of advanced technology comes into view in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.
    So to answer any and all questions on Twilight Princess once and for all times, Twilight Princess takes place several hundred years after Young Link abandons Hyrule to search for his beloved gaurdian fairy, Navi.
    And The Wind Waker takes place several hundred years after the fall of Ganons Tower & defloration or death of Princess Zelda, Sage of Wisdom.

  • zeldafan

    ok someone pleae respond a.s.a.p, you know how the triforce has a hole in it and the termanians have those fairies of power courage and wisdom. well maby the last piece was taken by the termanians representing faith. because the main theme is faith so i think the termanians took that last piece when they were at war with hyrule.

    • Ariam Maxim

      Uh no.

      • zeldafan

        well i was thingking in thery, i know that is not the real reason thogh there is a small chance of that possibility. so i am just saying in thery.

      • Majora's Reincarnate

        You actually might be on to something…
        Think about this- In Hyrule and OoT, there are three Goddesses and the Triforce has 3 parts. In Termina and MM, there are 4 Guardian Giants and 4 lands.
        Now, I'm probably totally wrong here, but aren't odd numbers like 3 considered feminine and even numbers like 4 considered to be masculine?

  • bluefire

    Going back to the time thing, the Ocarina of Time is also blue.

    • Juri238

      He states that in his article.That the ocarina of time is blue and Nayru is blue.So she might be the goddess of time.

      • SquidLips

        It is also interesting to note that the Timeshift Stones in Skyward Sword are also blue, hinted at in Hyrule Historia.

  • Dash092996

    This theory is amazing! I've always liked fan-made theories, just to see whta goes through people's minds. I agree with you on the meaning of the game is about faith, 100%, but the one thing I don't though is the pillars. I think they represent the four giants, but do they HAVE to be phallic? It could have been a crazy coincidence. I'm also shocked that out of my number one favorite game for over nine years and me playing it hundreds of times, I've NEVER noticed the Triforces. >.< Thos HAVE to mean something.

  • chowder

    hey there….hey there.. hey there you pay there

  • Arkham

    Regarding:
    “I think that the Fierce Deity is actually a representation of Link’s true face. The talk about it’s dark nature seems to me to be possible misdirection. I just don’t see it as representing something at all corrupt.”

    Wasn’t the Fierce Deity Mask called the Oni Mask in the Japanese version of the game? Seeing as Oni means “demon,” it strikes me that there IS more to the Fierce Deity mask than just being a “lawful-good” polar opposite to Majora’s Mask. Maybe it’s something evil and maybe it isn’t (I suppose it would be rather odd for Link to be wearing an evil mask himself), but we can’t just dismiss the dark and ominous nature of the FD mask–it’s clearly there.

    • JapaneseMythology

      I have something to add about the word "Oni". While it does mean something along the lines of "demon", that doesn't mean that a 'oni' is necessarily 'evil' or 'bad'. There are both 'bad' and 'good' demons in the Japanese culture that are placed under the category 'oni'. For example; Tengu. Some are said to be ill-tempered demons that kill those that get near their territory or for food or maybe even entertainment; others said to take apprentices in and teach them to be masterful with any weapon, or to share their wisdom with a select few people. Some are even neutral and do not care what happens and wish to be alone as long as you don't mess with their territory or insult them.
      The word "Oni" can mean multiple things, depending on the characteristics of those labeled as such.

    • Juri238

      It might be to fight fire with fire.Some things can only be defeating with a bigger version of itself.Like a tidal wave and a bigger one.Then combine and make nothing.

  • Samuel

    Fantastic article!
    While reading it I came up with several other theories linking to this one, though I forgot them pretty fast :/

    When we did a game analysis last year in school, I started with Majoras Mask.
    It was an extremely massive job, i drawed everything in the game on paper: wall patterns, symbols and everything like that. I found some really interesting thing, like the face of stereotypical Lucifer if you looked at a pattern on a pillar in the clock tower. I stopped working on it kinda quick though, since we had like a month to do the task.

  • ParallelTraveler

    Very nice article. Overall I agree with your idea on the message of the game.
    About the giant stone mask structure in the enterence of the last temple, I think it does not completely resembol Majora's Mask because over time the mask itself chanegd shape, like evolved or mutated. SO it use to looks like that. When you fight it still in mask form, the spikes moves and it can make grunts. (Then as the fight contineus you can see it directly tarnsform and mutate form) This would also support Midna's mask being realated to Majoras Mask because of it's shape shifting.
    Also I think i'd would be safe to add Skull Kid was banished into a middle ground forest between Hyrule and Termania. After stealing Majora's Mask he was free to travel between the parallels.

    • Juri238

      Yes.that would explain one of the above theries that the happy mask salesman is a diety like the owl.He was going from OOT setting hyrule to termina and like in the game the skullkid jumped him and stole the mask.then he traveled the rest of the way and waited at the recieving end of the portal for the hero.

  • ParallelTraveler

    It should also be noted the parallel relation between Termania and Hyrule isn't important to anything. The vague explaination of Termania being a parallel universe is most likely used because the designers did not want to over 50 new characters for the game. Otherwise Termania could have been geographicly connected to Hyrule. Keeping in mind Hyrule does not take up the entire Earth. -When giving a Goron the rock food, he mentions he hasn't had one since visiting the Dodongo caves in Hyrule. With all the close attention to art, dialogue, and atmospher, I'm sure if the designers didn't want the line in the game, they would have taken it out. So this could be their way of trying to say ''pay no attention to the parallelness of the worlds.''

  • Nessa

    wow so many mysterys solved. I want to know whats up with the grave yard in TP. It creeps me out but I want to know whats with the ghosts and stuff. Oh well. Maybe just nothing.

  • bubmario

    WOW.

    Awesome article. I think you nailed the central concept of the game, and found some hidden lore about it too. Brilliant!

    I must replay this game now.

  • zelda fan

    wow that's all i can say wow. it's amazing how most of these theries might just be true great job peaple yeah

  • Tuah Shinguru

    I love this article, but I must point out something I noticed. The Moon Children look a lot like younger versions of the Happy Mask salesman, especially that one wearing Majora's Mask. Notice the way he rocks back and forth when he stands, just like the salesman. If these four children are the giants as Majora remembers them, then Majora also sees himself as a regular person. Though the Happy Mask Salesman is obviously not a normal human (as he acts as sort of a spirit in his movements and disappearances), but we see him the way he sees himself.

    Notice also that a person having two split forms is rather iconic in Japanese literature. So what happens to spirits who get lost in the lost woods? Majora's lost, hateful side becomes the Skull Kid, and his true, good self that he knows he is on the inside continues on to Hyrule, bringing happiness to everyone, like he wished his friends had done for him.

  • TheWayofUsGaroh

    Listen to this:
    I was particularly struck by the coherence of the ideas in this article and I decided to go into the game and look for more support to your theories.

    I FOUND SOMETHING AMAZING. In the entrance to stone tower (outside by the owl statue), if you kill the re-dead moaning in the distance, the fire in the eyes of the temple entrance and the fingertip extinguish. Not only that, when one of them dies, Link is paralyzed and the other re-dead walk towards the corpse to observe the body. This is a completely unique re-dead cream-paralysis; no others immobilize Link from that distance. Because this distinct reaction of the game is totally irrelevant to the basic plot or any side-quest, it must refer to some kind of cryptic significance like that mentioned in this article (if it's not left in from pre-release testing of the game). My thoughts: it is difficult to link re-dead to this theory, but if anything they must be the people of Ikana, given their place in the Castle of Ikana and the Gibdos role in the music box as well. There is obviously a connection therefore between the people of Ikana and the architecture of stone tower (hence validating much of the conjectures put forth by the author). I think that the fire perhaps represents the sprit of the people constructing the Tower of Babel, or perhaps the destruction they wish to inflict on the goddesses with the giants mask. Both of those are hardly founded ideas though; I'd like to hear what others think the relevance of this is.

    Beautiful article by the way, I am absolutely fascinated. My eyes have been fully opened to the possibility of video games carrying as many subtle intricacies and enigmatic thematic material as literature. Not to mention the potential of an art medium in which control is given to the viewer.

  • TheWayofUsGaroh

    sry for caps, *scream-paralysis (not cream-paralysis), and double post. I just got excited.

  • Draconi

    pt 1
    I never thought of Majora being female before. This would actually be pretty interesting if you think about it.

    There are FOUR male giants that have been worshiped as gods, and THREE female goddesses. If there was a fourth female deity (a.k.a. Majora) then perhaps these eight beings, the four goddesses of the heavens, and the four giants of the earths, could be the "parents" of all life that exists in hyrule /termina. And to ensure that the children don’t get out of hand, the four giants of the earths watch from the ground, three goddesses from the havens, and one goddess from the underworld. (or perhaps all four goddesses from the havens)

    Though as to why Majora would be evils is unknown to me. Perhaps she did something bad and was punished for it. Or… wait..

    • Carmalain7

      Conos and Gaia

  • Draconi

    pt 2

    We have the triforce right? Three triangles put together? Well in the middle of that, there is a FOURTH triangle. An upside-down one. And as it doesn’t really have a physical shape, it could be an "anti" or "neither" triangle, crated by Majora herself. Perhaps Majora is the evil to counterbalance the good of the other three goddesses. The giant’s don’t need this counterbalance, as they are not truly gods. This fits with they yin-yang symbol. For everything good, there is some bad. yadda yadda yadda. For three good goddesses, there must be something bad right? Hence, a fourth goddess who is "evil" and as such balances the spectrum out.

    Whether or not the three goddesses treat Majora as an equal, or as a foe. Remains to be seen.

  • Tim

    im still thinking that th salesman is the light sage in disquise. he is trying to help link through his very difficult journy to hell and back (actually a good metaphor). and if the skull kid was banished from termina, did he go to hyrule? because there is a skull kid there.

    • Zeldafan

      Well Tim you might be on to something here.When you get to actually listen to grandmother's stories there was an imp with the hat of skull kid. He got banished from termania so he must've gone to hyrule until he thought he could go back.so again you could be on to something

  • Larknok

    Might I just add this small interesting over looked fact: The song you only need to play once, at all its importance, what is it called? The oath to order. The promise to order. Faith is yet, again, involved.

  • David Wayne

    Hey! About that thing of the masked children and their comments: I must say those where the most deep phrases of all game I think. However, my theory about it, is that, in the beggining, they were all like masks…and then it's as if they had created the "races" or taken physical form as such. In the paradise-like scenario inside the moon, you get to talk to the those guardians or deities and they ignore the nature of a mask FOR the people: a crafted item used to conceal faces, to hide something. That's why they ask things about the mask you wear, and your real face; they think that everyone has a mask and underneath it lies a real version of the people, that cannot be known through simple means, as the mask can't be taken off (quite true as well)…the ones about what makes people happy, are more difficult to explain this way, but maybe these children seek a reason or solution to the problem of the Majora mask-child being sad and not playing with them…as if what they had decided, didn't please Majora, feeling guilt for it, wishing that every decision they made satisfied everyone (HA!)

  • David Wayne

    Also the thing of the mask salesman, is quite wierd I think…Is like if, this person was totally out of the couse of time…you meet him before the clock starts ticking, and in a place were time, virtually does not exist…I wouldn't say he is a divine figure, but he does posess some kind of power that gives him that characteristic…maybe it's the understanding of the significance of the masks, being those a fundamental part in the culture of Termina (…or maybe the Mario mask he carries in his pack hohoho)

    It's quite a trip this story…I liked it a lot! It's quite true everything you said about having faith, forgiveness and friendship…important it is to bring it up…and eventhough this is a game for everyone bla bla bla, the content about principles is always present and most be taken in consideration…5 stars my friend!!!

  • David Wayne

    I just noticed as well…the questions of the masked children, are the questions a leader usually asks to himself and to others of his kind…the people around you, the ones you care for, if they care for you, if the decisions you take make others happy, and yourself as well, if those decisions are the right ones to take…etc

    just pointing it out

  • Eryn Dislikes Midna

    wow… deep. well.. THAT SURE PUTS DAMPER (or Dampe XP) ON MY FANFIC! if Majora is a girl, that means i need rewrite, like, the whole thing. or maybe…. YES! THEORYS! anywho, i really need to stay off these theory pages since i keep having dreams about Majora's mask staring into my soul… *shudders* but its really well thought out. i pride myself in being a hard-core nintendo theorist and fanfic writer. i must say, this is the best thing yet. im stuck on the Great Bay, so its not like im far enough to check ALL of this out. thanks 4 a great theory!

  • TheWayofUsGaroh

    Here is a possibility that may give historical depth to the game as well: I was watching the scene in which the moon crashes into clocktown and everything is engulfed in fire, and it made me consider it as an allusion to the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima (the scene actually looks like a mushroom cloud occasionally and the shockwave of fire wiping out the land is unnmistakable. The impact of these war horrors altered Japanese art in so many ways: in fact the anime art form in which many main characters are depicted as kids or have baby eyes was inspired by the powerlessness felt in Japan after it was bombed . And this ties in perfectly to the role of faith presented in this article. Might this whole game be somewhat of a comment on hope in the constant presence of war? The people of Termina are faithless and disconnected from one another; perhaps these are representations of Japenese people scarred by war, constantly aware of future threats (the moon).

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  • Megami Avishai

    Well, the first part of this lengthy blog post was indeed very interesting. I was becoming very excited with the possibilities that Majora's Mask would have deeper , darker meanings than we first thought. But then it quickly became a bunch of rambling that strayed completely from the first idea of the Tower of Babel and so it lost it's magic. Interesting read nonetheless.

  • Juan Millan

    In some way I agree with you and i also dont… Let me tell you the tue story behind Majora… Majora is a male since I also made deep research on the concept of Majora. Majora was not created by anyone. It used to be a young boy and IT STILL IS. He comes from the tribe of the ancient dark interloppers that once tried to control the sacred realm but were sealed away to the twilight realm. Before the whole incident I want to tell the story of that tibe… That tribe had the yound children from their tribe wear masks who were to be chosssed by their dark Sages. All masks had meaningg and that way we could difference them. Majora’s mask was a meaningless mask… it had no meaning whatsoever… and that leading all the tribe to reject him. (in The scene where you’re inside the moon in MM, you can see Majora sitting under a tree alone while the other kids were playing together and mocking Majora. He was an orphan… and his pain and anger got consumed by his mask leading him to INSANITY… majora became such a powerful being almost as strong as a god… Majora was causing such misery and so much destruction to their tribe thinking it WAS ALL A GAME…As I said earlier, He was insane… The Fierce Diety came from his realm to fight against Majora.. but he didnt do it in order to help the tribe… he did it in order to accomplish his dreams and ambitions of Fighting strong foes… His fight with Majora was epic.. He finally could seal away majora into his mask… but The fierce diety was so weak from battle that he sealed himself away to a mask aswell in order to fight again someday, After that eventm, The tribe used majora’s mask for dark hexes and rituals to try and take over the sacred realm from the goddesses. they failed ans we all know it adn got rid of the mask byealing it away because they realized they were making the mask stronger and stronger and so they were affraid of its power…. The tribe sealed away by the goddesses, and Hyrule saved, The mask’s location was unknown.. and that lead me to the fact that our theory of the stone tower being the sealed location of Majora’s mask that was later found by the mask Salesman that heard that there was a ancient relic inside for his collection (GIant’s mask).. But instead, he found The cursed mask of evil… but it remained unofficia wether its true or notl… anyway, an ambitious salesman found the mask without knowing its real meaning… and power…. The salesman became aware of its meaning after insanity and dark power took part of him… It may have happened because the salesman may be a descendant of that ancient tribe since he look awfuly familiar to the kids inside the moon. Anyhow, Majora’s power got released when a being that had almost the same pain and suffering as Majora, took the mask away from the salesman… Skull kid was to blame… but he was also a victim of its power… After Link defeating Majora, We’re not really sure if it’s really death… or may have escaped and be alive in some other realm… That realm is a New different story for later on ;)

    Anyways great work finding this out, Our theories may have sense if you mix them up together a little bit ;)

  • Juan Millan

    In some way I agree with you and i also dont… Majora is a male since I also made deep research on the concept of Majora. Majora was not created by anyone. It used to be a young boy and IT STILL IS. He comes from the tribe of the ancient dark interloppers that once tried to control the sacred realm but were sealed away to the twilight realm. Before the whole incident I want to tell the story of that tibe… That tribe had the yound children from their tribe wear masks who were to be chosssed by their dark Sages. All masks had meaningg and that way we could difference them. Majora's mask was a meaningless mask… it had no meaning whatsoever… and that leading all the tribe to reject him. (in The scene where you're inside the moon in MM, you can see Majora sitting under a tree alone while the other kids were playing together and mocking Majora. He was an orphan… and his pain and anger got consumed by his mask leading him to INSANITY… majora became such a powerful being almost as strong as a god… Majora was causing such misery and so much destruction to their tribe thinking it WAS ALL A GAME…As I said earlier, He was insane… The Fierce Diety came from his realm to fight against Majora.. but he didnt do it in order to help the tribe… he did it in order to accomplish his dreams and ambitions of Fighting strong foes… His fight with Majora was epic.. He finally could seal away majora into his mask… but The fierce diety was so weak from battle that he sealed himself away to a mask aswell in order to fight again someday, After that eventm, The tribe used majora's mask for dark hexes and rituals to try and take over the sacred realm from the goddesses.

  • Juan Millan

    Part2 – They failed ans we all know it adn got rid of the mask byealing it away because they realized they were making the mask stronger and stronger and so they were affraid of its power…. The tribe sealed away by the goddesses, and Hyrule saved, The mask's location was unknown.. and that lead me to the fact that our theory of the stone tower being the sealed location of Majora's mask that was later found by the mask Salesman that heard that there was a ancient relic inside for his collection (GIant's mask).. But instead, he found The cursed mask of evil… but it remained unofficia wether its true or notl… anyway, an ambitious salesman found the mask without knowing its real meaning… and power…. The salesman became aware of its meaning after insanity and dark power took part of him… It may have happened because the salesman may be a descendant of that ancient tribe since he look awfuly familiar to the kids inside the moon. Anyhow, Majora's power got released when a being that had almost the same pain and suffering as Majora, took the mask away from the salesman… Skull kid was to blame… but he was also a victim of its power… After Link defeating Majora, We're not really sure if it's really death… or may have escaped and be alive in some other realm… That realm is a New different story for later on ;)

    Anyways great work finding this out, Our theories may have sense if you mix them up together a little bit ;)

  • Juan Millan

    Sorry for the spelling mistakes! I didnt realizeed! hehe

  • DKZ

    Dude that was deep. And u just helped me pull some of the pieces together in my view. If u have ever read the manga version it shows that majora was actualy some monstrous dragon who live in a land wher it was nieghther living nor dead; moving nor still. Then came along a man who loo slot like the fierce diety who played music for the dragon even though the dragon had said how he had eaten and killed any who dared to come to him till all feared him. But he played for him for three days and on thelast day he died and the land fell into a dark void with his body and all that was left was his armour. The fierce diety, still human then and alot like adult link carved a mask from itsealed majuras powers in it and dropped into a void and left saying that he only came be use some strang forc had drawn him there. And after link beat majura on the moon while he was still wearing the fierce diety mask the happy mask salseman came (unlike the game) and asked picked up the mask. But before he could do more the fierce deity took over and tried to kill the mask sales man who dodged and faded away laughing. So the only thing I don’t get left Is who’s the mask salseman and what did the fierce diety have against him?

  • DKZ

    Oh yah, and that why the godesses helpped link. They didn’t mean to doom terminia, just to punnish those few, but it got out of hand.

  • DKZ

    AND one more thing. There never was a tribe. The reason it say that a tribe USED it is probably beacuse the people who made the tower found it and brought it back with them. They were the tribe. And the reason why majora acts so crazy and childish may be becuase when the people who built the tower found the mask someone could have stolen it. A boy. A lonely boy. What are the chances that he would be angry at his people? And since only majoras power and evil was sealed in the mask, not his soul the will of that boy could have affected the mask. And once the people realized this they probably stopped worshiping him and some how the mask was seperated possibly of it’s own will and left it behind to go wherever it was. All that leaves is whatever happened to the fierce deity.

  • Greg

    amazing article, i really loved all your insight and the depth of your analysis. this pieced together a lot of questions i had regarding this game and helped to bolster some of the conclusions i reached myself (especially in regards to the mask salesman). again, excellent analysis of the philosophy of this truly great but obscure game!

  • And-Riv

    Thanx!! You made so much sense in so many ways man… It took me back 10 years mann…10 years… that's a long time.. xD Great writing skills btw… i felt all the images of the game coming back to me, and the realization of those things i missed when i was younger…masn ggreat article Kudos to you !! lol

  • The-D

    What about the theory that Majora's Mask takes place during Ocarina of Time?

    When Link draws the Master Sword, he sleeps for seven years. Termina is a dream world, created by Rauru, to teach Link how to be the hero needed to stop Ganondorf.

    • SquidLips

      This theory is incorrect as after Ocarina of Time ends, we get two alternate realities made by the Master Sword:

      1. After Link defeats Ganon we have notable changes, Ganon is sealed in the Dark Realm, and Zelda returns him back to his time, so he can regain his lost years. But when she returns him, she returns him to the point before they even met. So Link in the adult reality, literally disappeared (this is confirmed in the opening cinematic in WW)

      2. When Zelda returns Link to his original time, she returns him to the point before he drew the Master Sword, and (with the knowledge of the future still fresh in his mind), he runs back to Zelda to tell her what will transpire if Ganon is left alive.

      Majora's Mask does not take place during Ocarina of Time, since it takes place after Link warns Zelda of what will happen, Navi having left him, setting the stage for Majora's Mask

  • Peppy

    Majora's Mask os beyond imagination (:

  • Hachi

    I feel I should point out the clock in Termina. Hyrule never had a system of time, no clock, no years, they all just went with the flow. Termina, however, pinpointed everything to the minute. By calculating time, they bring the illusion of certainty, but the world is not certain, it is all random. By trying to create the illusion of certainty, it showed that Terminians feared uncertainty, which can be equated to doubt.

    Also, I'm going to bring up futurama, odd, yes, but there is an episode which I think can relate. There was an episode where Bender is struck by an meteor that has a community of people on it. He saved a little boys son, making everyone believe he could answer their prayers. When he couldn't do it, people lost faith, and began fighting, killing themselves in the process.

    I think it relates, in a way. The people of Termina expectations were too high, when they were not fullfilled, they lost hope and doomed themselves, instead of accepting failure and trying again.

    Knowledge is only half the battle though. Knowing their faults doesn't fix them.

  • JARED

    ZELDA IS WAY BETTER THAN HALO WARS AND WAY COLLER PLUS ITS ZELDA FOR LIFE DOGS :) YAY

  • goronftw

    I know this has nothing to do with this article but i got the great fairy sword today! :D

  • Francisco

    ever noticed how Ikana may be refering to Inka, judging by the designs…?

  • Devin

    Genius, absolutely genius!

  • http://www.sylxx.net Annika Vanert

    I liking A New style boy

  • Jawsh

    This is the best theory and article I've ever read about a game. You are a genius and I really don't think there's any other way of picking apart this game's storyline. Something tells me that this is what Nintendo planned when they made this game while they keep the hidden story behind it, well, hidden. Thank you so much for sharing this information with the rest of us :)

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  • DESCARTES

    I've read your articles and it's really peaked my interest in LOZ: MJ…I might just give that game another shot. Anyway, if not prementioned, I'd like to point out that the desert lair in which Majora's Mask may have been found actually makes a little sense to your theories. You claim that the tower was built as a blasphemous structure to the gods and was thus cursed. In Dante's Inferno, the 7th circle: middle ring is an enormous desert where those who commit blasphemies to god are doomed to spend eternity. Would it not make sense then that those who fell into hell when the gods inverted the temple to end up in this 7th circle? This is then where they found Majora's Mask, an object of blasphemy. As I said, I didn't read everyone's posts but I thought of this while reading your articles.

    • SquidLips

      No doubt Dante's Inferno surely plays a part, but Dante himself was influenced by myths, and scorching deserts is a common depiction of Hell. It gives the sense of hopelessness, weariness, doubt, struggle, and (ultimately) death. This fits perfectly with the games mood and setting.

  • Will

    dude its is MAJORAS WRAITH not the mask. IT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE MAJORAS WRAITH

  • sean

    the last time i played MM i was12, and i hated it. it was different from OOT and way harder. for some reason i felt like playing it again because it was the one Zelda game i never completed, and while looking for a good online strategy guide (just in case i got lost) i found this article. this has completely changed the way i look at this game and it is now my favorite zelda. i've played through the whole game looking for more clues to help this theory and i think i found one. at the very beginning of the game, after you become a deku scrub, skull kid is floating in a spot light. if you look at the ground within the light, you'll notice what immediately appears to be a broken triforce. the two bottom triangles are in the right place, but the top one is underneath them, this might be just another allusion to the idea of blasphemy. you almost never see triangles in zelda games unless it's the triforce, and to see three triangles that dont form a triforce makes me think it has to be deliberate. also, is it just me, or is the the path you travel from the forest to termina just the creepiest place? i always felt that there was something wrong about link being there, like he was trespassing

  • Cyrus

    To me, the game is about reconnecting with people – that sometimes we lose touch with others because we hide how we truly feel or act out when we feel alone. As the clock ticks, we drift further and further apart, but it's never too late to reach out a hand.

    From the beginning, Link is searching for his lost friend Navi, as he says goodbye to Zelda. In Termina, everyone is isolated or fighting and it's up to Link to connect them again ('link together' get it?). Lovers can't find each other, a daughter cries as her father becomes a zombie, the great fairies are shattered into pieces, even the moon breaks it's harmony with the earth and falls down to attack it.

    I feel the theme of disconnection, and the longing to reconnect are powerful through the whole game, and are evident in things like the Stone Tower. Like the Tower of Babel, the people yearned to reach the heavens (the light arrows are up there anyway) and to connect with the gods (like using the giant's mask to be like the giants?). But it resulted in tragedy and infighting. Ikana became filled with undead and the survivors noted that their kingdom fell because their friendships deteriorated. The 4 great protectors of the land abandon their friend and go off in completely different directions. The friend lashes out in grief.

    People use masks to hide their true selves, or to become something they wish to be. The mask can cover their fears and insecurities, like the troublesome Majora to hide loneliness. The mask can reflect how they feel, such as scared deku scrub in a strange world or a powerful giant.

    We all collect the masks we wear as we fulfill important roles in life, of friend, child, student, lover, parent, employee, boss, etc. But sometimes we put on a courageous front when we're scared, or smile when we're really hurting inside. The message here is that it's important to heal. For example, Link faces his fears with courage, and the mask man helps him overcome feelings of helplessness to master the Deku mask.

    I think the game has some pretty good symbolic depth to it, and it was a touching story to play through. Majora's mask is finally back in the hands of the mask man. Maybe he's the only one who really understands it. Or maybe it was a missing part of him, another facet of his personality. Who knows. But it reminds us that sometimes we just need to take off our own masks so we can connect to each other, face to face.

  • TrustMe101

    Beautiful article! I really want to believe that this was the message Miyamoto wanted to give. That man continues to amaze me and it shows that the world is much more complex than we give it credit for.

  • John

    No this is all wrong! Link went to Termina to hunt down the Skull Kid and kill him for not paying for that mask back in Hyrule!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Thareous Thareous

    Faith being the theme of Majora's Mask? I've never thought of that.

    No offense to anyone, but this sort of has the feel of a Bible–one for Zelda fans. xD

  • El Moro

    Wow you make want to play again.
    Waoh Iike your M M storyline.
    But who link looking for? "beloved friend" it is Navi or Saria?"
    Let me know.
    I release as you sad that kid at the moon with the Majora's mask look like the sales happy mask. So that theory is very credible probably he had the Majora's mask way before and he got rid of the mask. then the sales man probably need to go back in time to help link to stop the catastrophe from the future. Thats why in the game he appear quick at beginning and the end of the game.
    It is a theory but it good one.

  • LoZyMugglegater

    You know what's funny?I was here when they published this article the first time!Oh,how the time does fly.Anyway,I thought it then,and I'll say it again,this is the best game article ever,and guess what?It's about Zelda!Big surprise there!

    • mcdude910

      It's not as good as Immortal Childhood. It's written by the same guy and is also about Zelda. It encompasses: Link's Awakening, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and The Wind Waker. Check it out here: http://www.zeldauniverse.net/articles/immortal-ch

  • The Wolfess

    one of the best zelda articles ever written.

  • AXBHikaru

    In my honest opinion, the game is meant moreover to make the gamer question themselves, make them ask themselves if they've done anything with their lives, if they were important in any way, will they be remembered if they died tomorrow, if they were as honest with others as they could have been, if they were not only true to themselves, but true to others.

  • AXBHikaru

    Random thought here, remember, I'm not sure if anyone has pointed this out. There are four giants and five masked children, however the Fierce Deity was the opposite of Majora's Mask. Now think about this, the four bosses that belonged to each respective dungeon held a giant captive, in a sense, so they're the opposites of their respective giants, and all of these bosses/masked beasts paled in comparison to Majora's Mask, so Majora's Mask must have been their leader or something. In the end, you're given the opposite of Majora's Mask, the Fierce Deity's mask, which makes you grow into a giant, well, you're taller than most people at least, so I guess you'd be the smallest giant, but still, it's possible that the Fierce Deity is a giant, well, more of an unknown giant, but he was the leader of the four main giants, which is why he was able to easily defeat Majora with his impressive power, while the four giants struggled against Majora's power, in this case, the moon, even though they stopped it, it was shown they wouldn't be able to hold out forever. IDK, random though.

  • Zeldo

    majora's mask i would say is an evil power due to it's original wielder, Majora. i would have to disagree with the thought of the goddesses unleashing Majora..
    however knowing that the stone tower temple was built in honor to the demon by spiteful people is a little unsettling.. but can't help but feel a sense of remorse..

  • Zeldo

    i would say the land of Termina would be considered "where all things end" because it might have been the closest land to the heavens. later after its creation, the phallic people would discover this land and bring in the legends of Majora and in his honor build the stone tower, take over Ikana, and made to be the land of the damned where the goddesses are to be disgraced. however it backfired even though their legends are still seen through their architect. now Ikana truly is the land of the damned.."hell" of sorts if you will.

  • Muskiok

    I feel… old, now. I remember when this article first came out.

  • Linktomyass

    FIRST!!!

    oh wait…..

    Why is this up again?

  • TheMaverickk

    There's lot of imagery that I've caught on myself over the years. The "heart" is the most obvious symbol in the the game. It actually permeates every visual design element not to mention the very theme.

    I mean to put it all into consideration the very world of Termina is divided into 4 sections. The human heart also is divided into 4 sections or chambers. Clock town itself is divided into 4 sections as well (North, South, East, West). There are lots of visual elements in the game elements in the game where you sill see patterns which features 4 parts as well. All the clocks in the game have 4 dominant circles (3 blue, 1 red) standing in as the points for 12, 3, 6 and 9.

    Through out Clock Town you will see a square tile pattern which also has 4 blue circles in it.
    http://www.zeldainformer.com/images/articleimages

    The game titular evil, Majora's Mask is distinctly the shape of a heart. If you look at the flower like patterns scattered around all of Termina, they are always 4 leafed.
    http://www.zeldauniverse.net/wp-content/uploads/2

    Either way, every time I play the game I find new things to look at and appreciate. It honestly is the most fleshed out Zelda of all time.

  • cbarnett2386

    That was an excellent read! I never noticed this stuff, of course I was young when I first played it! I will be playing through again (which I've already started) and paying attention to some of the above mentioned details! Thanks for posting!!

  • TBoneTony

    As I was reading this, I remembered my own situration when I had doubt in my mind.

    My life then was difficult and I found it hard to move on.

    But when I let go of my doubt, I found that I could achieve anything, even if some of my goals were a bit too hard or too unrealistic, with a clear mind and a clear goal. I find myself getting towards my goals every day.

    Reading about this reminds me of when I first played Majora's Mask, as well as Ocarina of Time.

    These games are all about having faith in yourself, and overcoming obsticals to achieve your goals.

  • Lach Menel

    Favorite article on ZU. It all has come together, there is going back.

  • Kinowolf

    The game becomes a lot easier to understand when you realize that the Mask Salesman isn't exactly a "good" character. He may not be evil, but he certainly has his own hidden and sinister plans.

    As for the Fierce Deity, it's another example of faith and doubt. You're given the option of using this "dark" power or relying on yourself. If you rely on yourself, the fight is hard but you don't compromise yourself by taking the easier road and unleashing a dark being on the world.

    After all these years, it's still the deepest game in the series.

  • bobbby

    phew this is some pretty overkill theorizing… you could make a game out of this lol.

  • Taha_Soysal

    It's amazing that you've managed to pull all of this out of that one game! I even remember the one that analyzed Wind Waker a few months ago. It makes me want to look at some games more deeply from now own, because they might contain some hidden meaning.

  • Bitf Adict

    I have no comment. I can just hope a new, BRAND new post will come soon.

  • nathan0555

    This website should directly ask about this to the developers of the game, its such a plausible conspiracy that they cannot blame us for believing these possible, hidden messages and stories in the game, and questioning them.

  • majorasmaslfan

    link is terminas jesus exept he didnt die for there sins

  • Rose

    Great article, very philsofic. Majora’s mask sure is a mysterius game…

  • Sheila

    Wow, so, true…

  • SaC

    AMAZING article :)

  • http://SheikfreakIvan.deviantart.com SheikfreakIvan

    Termina also means "End" or "Finish" in spanish

  • frank

    If the stone tower is blasphemous to the three goddesses, then the giant mask is just as blasphemous to the 4 giants. By giving a mortal the power of the giants, the power to defeat the goddesses, then that symbolizes that they don't need the giants anymore. So, instead of saying that they love the giants and hate the goddesses, it's more like they're saying they don't need any gods anymore.

  • frank

    and, you should explain the significance of the balloon in the north part of clock town. It also has the mask on it, and the kid is spitting at it. What does that symbolize? lol

  • Hector

    Never realized, but majora's mask is almost an inversion of the head of Majora's wrath

  • Eludiac

    Very interesting read. Im still contructing thoughts on the whole triforce involvement in the stone tower but I don't know if they necessarily deal with the goddesses in hyrule at all, maybe just a reference to Link, and how he is to be consumed by majora. the triforce seems to be on the tongue of the stone golem block things and then link actually has to walk into the mouth of a statue. It could have been a prophecy that link would come but the powers of majora would prevail. Maybe majoras plan was to use the moon to consume all of termina and thusly open a hole into hyrule? who knows, thats all up to interpretation.

    What i find the most compelling is the concept of masks and how they come to be. the masks are purely representative of feelings and emotions. Well link gives up all of the emotions and feelings he has on the moon and that results in emptiness, and showing links true face: a legend, a fierce diety. Without emotions to weight link down he is able to become the fierce diety and wreak havoc on majoras evil. However i dont think that the fierce diety is supposed to be inherently good, in fact is seems almost an equally negative thing. I found it really interesting that the most powerful mask in the game which easily defeats majora is called Fierce Diety and not Hero's mask or something. Its just sad to see our lovable link who has shown so much care to people, become a ruthless killer and a destructive force.

    Chew on this: if these masks come from healing, maybe someone evil was healed and that resulted in the majoras mask? maybe the salesman did it? I think that the happy mask salesman knows a lot more about the mask than what he lets on. He shows you the healing song, and he DEMANDS that mask, and he could want it for its power and for greed, similar to gollum from lord of the rings.

    Theres so much symbolism on the moon… its hard to figure out. Majora felt isolated from the rest of the kids (giants) playing and he viewed them as monsters. The five kids are playing but take their roles too seriously and termina becomes just a celestial playground for the giants. majora, being alone, didnt know how to play reasonably and became filled with hate and envy for the others having fun so he sought to destroy it all.

    Similarly, this could act as a warning for link. If link becomes empty and alone like majora, he can become a ruthless monster like majora (fiercy diety).

    Theres so much going on in majoras mask that i dont think ties into any story line really and it is just a reflection of link's pscyhe. Very deep game.

  • Brandon

    I'm glad you did that.

  • Seph

    The Master Sword is shaped like a phallus, so it must be saying "Screw You!" to Link.

  • Hank Hill

    this sounds like another asinine fan fiction backstory, i tell you what.

  • Zackee

    I freaked out when you wrote that to complete the Goron Moon Dungeon you had to trust the game enough to let go of the control stick. I remembered how many times I failed on that one, then I though to myself "What would happen if I didn't use the control stick? It can't possibly be that easy… Can it?".
    Have faith in the game. Brilliant.

  • ZeldaFan15

    Termina Is An Word In Spanish That Means End Or Something Related, For Example: The Road Ends Here. Spanish: El Camino ''Termina'' Aqui. Thats Why The Cursed Land Of Termina Was Givan That Name. Nice Job Makin This!!!

  • Roro

    I always thought MM was more of a dream of Link's, after he is knocked off his horse by the Skull Kid.
    There are just so many repeating elements from OoT, that it makes me feel like it's the 3D version of LA.

  • Zellough

    Majora's Mask was my first Zelda game, back when i was 4, i always felt such a dark theme from it that kept me from completing the game until an older age (11)

    A lot of stuff like this make me look into its actual mature theme and various theories and i just think "wow, what a damn game", I'm impressed

  • Guest

    Wow.

    This spoke to me… in a deeper and more profound way than one might expect.
    Thank you for helping me see what was so plainly there, hidden among the scenery.
    You have opened my eyes to a to a shining ray of hope.
    Thank Nintendo, Zelda, and, once again, you and your amazing insight.

  • Luke

    Mind = Blown.
    I love you.

  • Kokkaku

    I think this is brilliant. I can see so much more in this game now.

  • Kokkaku Mibu

    I have a theories as well. Of course this is just my personal thoughts and linking between thoughts with my opinions.
    I think there are actually 4 goddess. They say there are 3 because there are only 3 gold triangles. The Triforce is 3 gold triangles and one black one in the middle. The fourth goddess is in control of the black triangle. That triangle is the one for evil because the other triangles are for good. I think Majora is the fourth goddess and she has control of the fourth triangle.The black one is evil and the evil in all of the others is what connects it. All 3 elements that the goddess control Water, Fire, Earth, All can be used of evil as well as good. And that is some thing that connect them all the bad in them so Majora is the evil or the satin in a way.

    • Kokkaku

      I also think that The people either ignore the black because it is evil or the think it is empty. When you read what the lunar children say they seem sad and lonely or empty. The large empty space all around through out when ever you encounter Majora is also a key factor.
      Majora might be untold for the simple fact the ancients did not want it to be released so the did not speak of it. They wanted to keep it a secret. And all the sculptures and statues and stuff are there because the worshiped Majora as the fourth goddess.

    • zeldajunkie

      crazy thing is man i was thinking the EXACT same thing after i read this article! =O

      btw amazing article haha

  • Kokkaku

    The where meant to be destroyed because the worshiped Majora because she was the evil one of them. It was punishment for following the dark triforce piece. In all the other games the ignore Majora's exinstance along with the idea of the giants.
    Do not get mad at me for writing this please. I am just expressing the ideas I had. Please do not be mad at me.

  • Guy

    There are really great observations in here… but i think i hate the observation of the pillars i still love this game why you had to make the observation that the pillars are phallic WHY

  • TheMaverickk

    Still a really wonderful article years later.

    Majora's Mask is and will always be one of the deepest Zelda titles.

  • tetraxlink

    Thank you! I really enjoyed you’re article. Very well written.

  • The Iron Giant

    This is an awesome article, and the reason I joined ZU! …But why was it reposted? It made me think that there was something new. :(

  • JOKER

    adds alot of depth to MM. You can tell you inspired yourself while writing this. I had heard this theory before but this strengthins and expands upon it. MM is definately a story about having faith. link starts out the story in a fog of doubt. by the end of the story he has become the faith of termina and believes in himself. And to quote something Obama said when running for election, be the change you want to see. That stands true as the message of MM as well. In ooT, Navi accompanied you on your journey. She gave companionship and advice and reassurance to link along their journey, but in MM it is link who must learn to believe in himself and instill faith in others such as Tatl.

    Also in ooT, link is told throughout the story about his legend and how he is chosen by the gods to bring peace to the land. The master sword is deemed the bane of evils existance and his path to victory is layed before him in a clear matter his birth and life being revealed to him as the story goes on. In MM his path is much more vague and ambiguous and the means by which he will obtain victory is unclear. So again he must rely on his own sense of faith to accomplish his mission

    Very will written, I personally felt inspired by it. It seems that the article itself is meant to instill a sense of faith in the reader following the trend of the game. Important to note that faith is often achieved during the times that look the bleakest. Anju and Kafie are able to forgive each other in the face of eminent death because at that moment they are able to realize with their brief amount of time the only thing that matters in their promises they made to eachother in an innocent act as children. And perhaps the imminent destruction looming over them is the only reason they Were able to forgive eachother and realize what really mattered. Its easy to believe in yourself when everything seems good, but its the being able to keep that faith no matter what against the worst of times that truely measures that faith. That tests it and truely instills that faith in your character.

    The measure of a man is not him at his best, but how he comes back from his worst. God Bless and Have Faith.

  • Sanity's_Theif

    This article is just great, it only made me love Majora's Mask even more, that says something considering it was already my favorite game of all time

  • Anigeek

    I registered just to comment about how amazing and awesome this is.
    To answer that: Very.

  • snuddelhund

    While reading this i heard Oath To Order, Zelda's Lullaby and The History Of The Godesses playing in my head. it's a great theory and i think the hand pointing to the sky in Stone Tower might have something to do with the moon falling too.

  • defender110

    I refused to believe Nintendo place giant cocks in their game!

  • beabah

    why does the child that wears majoras mask give you the fierce diety's mask?

  • Morth

    I always thought there was some deeper meaning to Majora's Mask, even with as dark as it already is. I'm surprised at the amount of symbolism people are finding in the moon stage alone; I simply breezed that part without truly stopping to think about what the masked children really meant. Another instance of faith I found in the game is when Romani trusts you to defeat the aliens, extremely confident. If you fail, however, she is taken away with the cows. We all must keep our promises or else witness the consequences.

  • Martin

    just a thought; the word Majora has a feminine ending ("a") which, perhaps lends more evidence to the notion of Majora being female? I know that this is not always a rule, but it's something that I noticed.

    Absolutely amazing article! The points are truly compelling and I completely took them to heart!

  • http://www.nintendoeverything.com Austin

    A positively amazing read. Brilliant work, sir.

  • Adam

    I really enjoy this game. and also the backstory of the Stone Tower. thanks!

  • Michael

    Incredible. Today I searched for interpretations of Zelda after all the metaphors in OoT clicked suddenly, and found this. "Myths" are great big metaphors for our own lives and society, and they are everywhere in our modern culture. The problem is that most of us don't look for the underlying metaphors, archetypes, and symbols that are under everything, the way people looked at stories in the past. So I would say that it isn't a "hidden" meaning, it is THE meaning!

  • TriforceTrev

    After reading this, I realized that Majoras Mask is no longer just a game. Zelda isn’t just a game. It’s life. Quite incredible.

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  • Picko11

    i think its safe to say i am one of many who played the game after reading this.
    never thought of there being so many aspects of the game.. great review man

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  • Luis

    Thank you for taking the time to write this. I am going through my own stage of doubt.. I always admired Link; someone I always wanted to be just like in real life. You have reminded me of the importance of Faith

  • liam

    Termina In Latin literally translate too " the end of the " termina, the end of the… what line,world,road.
    Termino:CLOSE,LIMIT,SET BOUNDS TO,SET A LIMIT TO,DELIMITATE,DELIMIT,RESTRICT,CONFINE,FIX,DEFINE,END,DETERMINE,DRAW TO A CLOSE,TERMINATE,FINISH,BRING TO A CLOSE.
    Mabey we're missing something i feel like where missing something the time line when you think about oot splits the timeline ( we're all aware ) every game can split the line but majora's mask if termina was destined to fade if link had let it, fate would not have be altered.

  • liam

    thus it can't split the line

  • Fate

    Notice, at the end of part one, when he says the Goddesses wanted Termina to be redeemed… Does anyone else notice the reference to the Abraham Religions? Just think; in Judaism, God is going to send a messiah to redeem the jews. In Christianity and Islam, He did, by way of Jesus for Christianity and Mohammed for Islam.

  • nugget21

    Wow Great Articale Loved All the Tower of Babel thoery and the Games underlined theme of faith I playing it I only really picked up on friendship.Also about Termina giving a screw you to the goddess's of the triforce great Idea I always felt the mask salesmen was Evil but thats my Idea Thanks for posting this a gresh look at my fave Zelda Game

  • ALDO

    OMG YOU ARE SOO GENIUS <3 GREAT YOUR POST (y)

  • stavros

    I have been reading alot of the back meaning towards majoras mask and i came across a few interesting points. As you can see through out each level a different emotion brews inside the people i.e.

    In woodfall ANGER is displayed from the missing of the princess thus accusing the monkey.

    In the goron level (forgot the name) BARGAINING is displayed by the gorons for their great leade to come back

    The great bay display DEPRESSION of the zoras due to many factor i.e. the eggs, death of the lead singer

    The tower stone level shows DENIAL having the spirits of the dead walking among the living

    And finally on the last day the people of the city show ACCEPTANCE of the moon falling having them make independent decisions

    I connected all the dots together and realized these are the five grieving steps but not in order has anyone come across this accusation

  • alexander

    I am also one one of those too young to grasp the full meaning of majoras mask this article does ereat job. Im one of those 3ds owners who would like to see a remake of this for the Ds if they do make one for the ds im sold thanks to this article.. Nintendo should hire you bud.

  • BEN

    I drowned

    • Chris

      You shouldnt have done that…

  • Arcadian_Legend

    Read this article a long time ago. Of all the theories from the fandom this has to be my favourite.

  • Tiranofarl

    Best articule I've everton real!

  • Archery2000

    Wow, really indepth. However I believe there is more to fierce deity and the message of Majora's Mask, more than meets the eye. Note that the image of the sun as the centerpiece of the boss room, the center of the sun features a familiar compass logo, which represents Termina. Using the points from this article, if the world was really flipped, what would you think it would mean? Sending the moon crashing into termina, which is superimposed onto the sun? I'd like to believe, that while termina as a world exists, the "planet" is coexistant with the sun. I'd like to think that Majora is merely fufilling the termination of the world, and itself with it, after all, it does refer to the fierce deity as "bad/evil" There's alot of contradictions to clear up… I think only the creators know for sure what it meant…

  • Charlie

    I really enjoyed this article. It makes me think about the great game I grew up playing. Indeed, Zelda was one of the main myths that has guided me in one way or another. An analogy would be Ancient Greeks with their myths of gods and the Iliad and Odyssey, even those have continued onto our culture, we now have new things such as Zelda.

    I really like this precept: “Faith won’t change circumstances. It won’t make it so that suddenly everything goes well and all your friends start living up to your expectations. But having faith allows you to go through your struggles with a clear mind and a strong heart.”

    I think the Zelda games taught us, among other things, that you can keep on struggling against odds, as long as you have faith in yourself that you can do well. Concurrently, this idea is wonderful to share and spread with others. Furthermore, it may be one of the best things people can do, have faith and believe that you can do what you set out to do.

  • Gio

    Dude i also had similarities towards this idea when i was a kid but since i told my older brothers about this ideal did they think i was just crazy so they simply followed the game without ever paying attention to small detail like relating it towards biblical texts.

    On a side note well i don't know if they have asked this question but what if the happy mask sales guy wanted the skull kid to steal the mask therefor not cursing him as well?, Maybe he wanted to break of from the old fashioned laws and rules that he was under the control.

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  • Arnold Darocha

    in tht game theres a creepy pasta in majora's mask called Ben. LOOK IT UP ITS PRETTY COOL!!

  • Datahound

    I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the fact that in the opening scene, it would seem that Link is travelling through the lost woods from the Ocarina of Time. Taking that into consideration you can come to two conclusions. One is simple; Link is looking for his friend Saria. If you take into account all the comments made by the skull kids in OOT about becoming lost in the woods it would explain why Link seems down-hearted (he can't find Saria and he is lost, unable to find his way home).

    The second conclusion is a bit more complex. This involves the trading sequence to get the saw in OOT. You get medicine for the guy sitting in the lost woods and he leaves before you can give it to him. This is just a theory, but lets say if a person walked into the lost woods & got lost, they would end up in Termina. It would explain the skull kids from both game, why the mask salesman was robbed in the same forest (the lost woods) Link got robbed in, why the characters often are similar, yet slightly different at the same time (their ancestors all got lost). As for the Stone Tower stuff, that is quite possible. I really think however that the story takes place in the lost woods.

  • Stefan

    Even though this article is a little dated now, I needed to comment on it.

    This was amazing, it blew a small part of my mind – in a good way. I often felt that there was something to Majora’s Mask that I never quite figured out. As you stated yourself, all of the above are theories, but rather convincing ones if I might add.
    You backed everything with a lot of evidence and logically correct conclusions. This was a joy to read and for that I wanted to thank you.

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  • Wuzat Reit

    Oh my god, I think you just completed the game.
    I mean, everyone here already "won" the game, but winning majora's mask if far apart from completing it.
    You sir, just completed it.

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  • DeviouslyKitt

    This subject may have been pointed out, but, with all the Biblical references, maybe there is a slightly different way of looking at things.

    We have the three Goddesses that created all, and many believe by Majora's name/ design in final form, Majora may be female, as a demon at that. My idea goes along with this. Majora, by all rights of design and abilities, could be a reference to the Fallen Angel. Especially if the theory of Stone Tower leading to Hell when upside down were to be considered, further more if Majora was sealed away in said vast desert. While it doesn't apply in the same sense, perhaps Majora was a reference to Satan in an obscured way. And the Goddesses giving the light arrows to the Ikana being the punishment for building the tower, which would lead them to their fallen sister.

    A stretch I understand, but one to ponder

  • Mark

    Majoria's Mask was a very sad game it felt like watching the wizard of oz that kind of world with the creepy wicked witch of the west, that sort of creepiness.

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  • Kurtis

    Amazing article. It really made me reflect on my own life. There have been so many instances where I’ve lost faith in those around me, and it only served to further isolate myself from my friends. It left me with an empty feeling. But when I believe in them, and by extension in myself, I feel strong and fulfilled even when they fail to live up to my expectations.

    To think, I’ve been playing that game for more than twelve years now. Sure, it alwys gave me an uplifting feeling to help the denizens of Termina, but it had never occurred to me that Nintendo was purposefully attempting to convey such an important idea in a profound and subtle way.

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  • Fernanda

    I'm playing the game again… and reading this article makes me pay attention on things I didn't notice before. AMAZING article! Congratulations!

  • http://www.cjpahire.co.uk Colin

    Wow, that was really interesting. When I was younger and I played it, I never really knew about the allusion to the tower of babel, and the hidden message behind MM.
    Amazing article.

  • Helios

    I finished everything there is to this game just today, I came in search for answers, and I sure got them. Thank you for this amazing article, you just filled my gap's childhood with this dark, furnishing, yet so beautiful miraculous story. There was so many things I wondered when I was little, when I played this game back then, whenever the time ran out and the moon fell, I closed my eyes in fright and got out the room, my cousins would laugh at me.

    I used to wonder why they would make a moon with such a creepy face for a rated E game, but I guess that's how deep my questions got. By now, this game's hidden messages and meaning gives me chills, the kind that now excites me, I love it!! So much thought put into it, all the heart full meanings, thanks, you opened my eyes widely after a while, even if this is just a game.

  • ZeldaHorse

    Your theory about Majora being female is 100% accurate. how do i know this? well, what no one else has mentioned. the moon is almost always referred to as a femal celestial body in mythology around the globe.

  • ZeldaHorse

    also, if you notice on all the doors in the stone tower temple there lie a small yellow sun below a large red sun. as seen here: http://www.freewebs.com/goldnetwork/Screenshot_2….
    two suns, especially in the way this is represented. symbolize yin and yang. male and female. etc

  • Tbshirk

    Guys the majora's mask was created from a hero killing an ancient beast of great evil, and power, than carving its horns and tusks into the shape of a mask, to control its power. The hero than threw it into a never ending pit hoping that no one would ever find it again. The pit he threw it into lead to Hyrule. The happy mask salesman, hearing of such a great mask traveled to hyrule to retreave it. Than traveled back to Termina. The course of this happenieng was all before links quest in Hyrule started. If your wondering how i know this, its a little behind the scenes i got to see.

  • zachuel

    I wish that they made more games with messages like this, instead of instilling games with pride, revenge, and questionable morals. Maybe if they kept making games like Majora's Mask, the gaming community wouldn't be as bad as it is. If games went back to teaching life lessons, the world could be different, but now its all about money and who's better than who. This is also inspiring to an old gamer, and hopefully it may inspire others. http://imgur.com/gallery/yVqoQyA And to you Hyrule Dan, thank you for explaining the message of Majora's Mask more in depth. It was very moving to me.

  • Tenno

    Wow, I mean seriously.
    I haven’t played this game (due to not owning a N64 in my life) but I must say, every time I read up on this game’s “Lore” I just get completely blown away.
    so many hidden secrets. so many mysteries it’s just so amazing!
    and this very page just convinced me and reminded me why this medium is such a wonderful gift.
    tl;dr
    cool story unraveling, bro!

  • poo

    This anserd all my quesions

  • poo

    Hey does anybody like chuggaconroy

  • poo

    I am so bored

  • poo

    Chuggaaconroy lp is awsome

  • APaleLonliness

    Fantastic article man! but now a days there is a problem with your ending… you claim that link might have gone home and stayed, but that can't be due to his appearence in TP.

  • poo

    Anybode going to awnser

  • Asano

    The one thing that somewhat blows this entire theory apart is the fact that the the tower was built from inside a canyon up. As opposed to being built on flatlands in central Termina or in the mountains of Snowhead, which it's temple would be far closer to the heavens than the tower built in the Canyon (basically in hell already when you think about it. Flipping the tower would essentially only send the one's trying to traverse it back home. Not so much in the realm of punishment). Basically the architects weren't very smart in building if their plan was truly a goal to reach the heavens. Furthermore, the theory ignores the fact that the temple is mirrored as well as flipped. Why? If the goal of the goddesses were to instead send the tower to hell, why bother mirroring the structure? It doesn't add up… Also, if the ancients had the power of majora's mask, why would the Giant's mask be even remotely necessary? Majora's mask is most likely the older mask in the pair. And the more powerful one. Given skull kid used it to summon the moon down to the earth. I'm sure Majora's mask was powerful enough to clash against the power of the goddesses. If the giant's mask were as powerful as the theory suggest, why was it not sealed away in place of Majora's Mask? If whatever ancient group wanted to use the Giant's Mask, why did the Goddesses not do something about that mask instead?

    Additionally, the Sacred Realm was only accessible (according to ocarina of time lore) by gathering the three spiritual stones and playing the song of time at the alter of time. There's little evidence supporting any other means, or a means existing in termina…which is also an entirely different dimension separate from Hyrule or whatever realm Hyrule exists in. Termina exists in it's own universe. The goddess, or Hyrule lore created that world and that world alone. There's not much suggesting that those same goddesses have any connections to Termina. We don't know who or what created Termina. And with a name like that, I could be have been created by Demise for all we know…

    That aside, as good as it all sounds, there's a lot of it that standing on thin ice. While I won't talk much on the architectural designs other than the theory assumes the triforce is a good thing in Termina. It's already been established that Termina is a realm separate and parallel to Hyrule. In Hyrule, the Triforce is a symbol of great good. What would be considered a parallel to that? Great evil. The fact that this opposite isn't considered further diminishes the stance of the theory.

    Finally I will say that the mechanics of the temple are more logically a defense against intrusion. First the emblem is hidden. Secondly the passage to the temple can't be formed without pressing three switches in a specific order, thus eliminating any one entity from gaining access through normal means. Next, Twinmold's room can't even be accessed until the tower is flipped, barring easy access. That's only after acquiring the tool to even flip it, and it's not exactly an easy thing to get.

  • Karma

    I have another origin theory about Termina that might make some sense…

    I think that Terminians were decendants of Hylian exiles, which might explain as to why most of the characters look so simlair to the ones in Ocarina of Time. These "exiles" were most likely banished from the kingdom of Hyrule by the Royal Family, due to thier beliefs that opposed the word of the Goddesses; so they decided to establish an independent kingdom (AKA: Ikana). They then later named the land around the Ikana Kingdom: Termina, which is derives from "terminate", as to terminate their relationship with Hyrule and the Hylians.

    The "exiles" continued practicing their beliefs that ridiculed the Godesses within Termina and the Ikana Kingdom (Shown by the goblin licking the Triforce), leading up to their biggest FU: The Stone Tower Temple. Then the rest is covered above.

    I still loved reading all of this though!

  • NicktheHero1

    This is the review that I wrote after I was done reading the article:

    Just got done reading "The Message of Majora's Mask", by Hylian Dan, 4 times.
    I'll have to say that I am speechless. I really don't know what say. The complexety of this theory and this fantastic moral message fitted together is so vast and so mind boggling, it leaves you without words. Wow. No wonder it took me 4 times to digest it all. Some may think I'm over-exaggerating, but some people probably don't understand the depth of the theory and the message of MM.

    Dan did such a great job putting all this together. His theories and conclusions (though some are inappropriate) are all backed up and make sense. Who knew that there could be so much meaning to just one video game? Let alone the whole LoZ series. This article is very thought-provoking, well written, and has a lot of depth. Dan ripped out the guts of Majora's Mask and gave them to us on a platter. It causes me to appreciate MM even more. But I still think OoT and MM are equal in greatness (let's save that arguement for the appropriate thread).

    I really liked the part near the end of the work–what Dan said about believing in your friends, forgiving failure, and having faith. This message coincides with other LoZ games too. I'm definitely going to implement this into my own life, as well.

    The only part of the article that I didn't understand was why Dan didn't mention anything about how this all ties in with Termina being a parallel world. Or the history of the Fierce Deity.

    Another thing that I thought about later: They sure don't make video games like they used to. All the other games today don't have any meaning in them. They're just shallow or out-of-control craziness (like zombies, which is totally stupid).

  • Sasha

    You just made my favorite Zelda game into my favorite all time game. Just a really, really excellent read. I'd love to hear more Zelda theories from you. (:

  • Zelda fan.pad

    I have something to add to this. When the skull kid left termina, he went to hyrule, where he made friends with the kokiri.He forgot about what happened and enjoyed his time. But when Ganondorf took over, the kokiri had to stay put to avoid the monsters. With his new friends gone, his hatred came back and he returned to termina. At the end of MM the skull kid said that Link reminds him of a fairy child he met "in the woods". ( the skull kid attacks you as an adult, implying that he remembers the people of termina)

  • Philip

    There might be a reason that the number four keeps appearing throughout the game… It’s interesting you caught it.

    In Far Eastern Asian cultures, particularly in Chinese culture, (which the Japanese borrowed heavily from at one point in time), the number four is associated with death because in Chinese, the word four rhymes with the word for death. This superstition followed its way into Japan.

    • baph0mt

      “shi” is the word for 4 in Japanese, which can also mean death. “yon” is the alternate word for 4.

      • imtoolazytothink

        For example, yondan means fourth

    • Kevin Schimes

      A friend and I springboarded off of some of the information presented here to develop a theory that Majora was the fourth Goddess of Hyrule that was banished by Hylia for misdeeds. Majora then retaliated by using the masculinity of the Giants of Termina and perhaps even a male figurehead (Demise) to build a. (stone) tower to the Sacred Realm. Because of their treason, Termina was forced to suffer, the Mask was banished to the bottom of the Tower, those worshipers were banished as well (perhaps “becoming” the Twili), etc. This all explains the power of four in the game (as well as the series, sometimes), and leads into/further develops this theory as well.

      (The above explanation is VERY barebones, mind you. We accounted for the entire Zelda franchise in our theory and using Majora’s fall from grace filled every hole except who, exactly, the Salesman was.)

  • Dakota

    Very Interesting read, I love the symbolism in Majora’s Mask.

  • brohaw211

    Wow… Just… Wow. This was always of my very favorite games, but I had never quite put the pieces together like this. Have faith… Ha. Maybe I was to young to understand when I first played this incredible game. Your article has left me speechless… The message has always been right there.. Haha have faith… I love that. Thank you for this read, it will give me a lot to think about over the next couple days.

  • herbalcell

    This is one of my favorite games.. thank you for putting so much effort into explaining this fascinating theory! Very well put together, in-depth analysis of a very simple, beautiful message.

  • baph0mt

    This is a most thorough explanation of Majora’s Mask I have seen! I’d love to see a synthesis of this and GameTrailers’ theory about the relevance of the Kubler-Ross model.

  • Juanchirriche VF

    Hi!

    My name is Juancho, (sort of like Jack or Johnny in spanish), and I’m writing you from Costa Rica. I tell you this because maybe you’ll be happy that people so far can get to read your stuff. now that I’ve introduced myself I’ll carry on with what i have to say.

    I’m just writing you this e-mail right here to both express my gratitude and admiration for you. Lately, people has been turning their eyes more frequently to the great Majora’s Mask game; but for me it was different. I got to play the game as just a kid, roughly 12 years old. For me, the game was simply mesmerizing. Everything seemed deeper and far more interesting than the previous Ocarina of Time, even though OoT is one of the greatest games ever.

    Flashforward about 15 years later, and here I am: a young adult struggling with a severe case of mental illness. After being in a lot of different therapies, I’ve been diagnosed with quite a few conditions, including a dysthimic disorder and major depressive disorder. As time passes by, I began to understand that these things have been in my life since I have memory, even though I never noticed it as a kid.

    Lately, I’ve been playing the game again, this time on the Wii virtual console; and as I’m more mature this time around, (not so much, but still), I could get a better grip of what this game was all about. I noticed the 5 stages of grief structure of the game, as well as the predominant depression theme. No wonder why this game struck me this hard! It was like an adventure through myself.

    Nevertheless, it was until I read your article that I could REALLY begin to understand the intertwined motifs of the game, and get what this game is about. Reading your article, I almost came to tears as I began to unravel the game’s mystery with your help, (Frankly you unravelled it for me). I felt so identified with the Skull Kid’s story, as depression works like the Majora’s Mask influence over him. There you are,feeling alone and completely hopeless, and your feelings start to act out. The sadness became unbearable, the anger became an insane wrath that almost always ended up with me beating myself since I had no one to lash put to, and the void in my life became an abyss; an abyss like the one in the Stone Tower.

    I’m still dealing with my severe depression, and will be doing so ’til the day I finally die. Thinking about that just made me even sadder and hopeless. Several times I’ve thougth about ending my life, and in fact I’ve tried a couple of times. It’s just way too much pain in my mind, that sometimes I just feel like its futile to even try getting out of bed or having breakfast.

    But yesterday I found your article. It was simply eye-opener! I read through the whole thing a couple of times, because I couldn’t believe that all this information, all of this subtext was right there, dwelling beneath my all-time favorite videogame. As I told you, I almost broke into tears while reading your article. Part of it was because of the beauty dwelling in the game, part because I was having my mind blown away by your analysis, but he MOST important part was because as I read I kept feeling like Termina itself: doomed, poisoned by hatred and without an even glimpse of hope.

    But then I got to the “Have faith” part of your essay. Your analysis of the Happy Mask Salesman, (a character that always creeped me out), and how this guy was involved from the get-go in Termina’s history. Every time I played this game I hated this guy, he was so unnerving and creepy, and the mystery surrounding him was too much to deal with since the game itself had no answers about it. Now I know that this guy was a crucial part of the story, and basically the bearer of hope. No wonder I hated him so much! Depressed as I am, I cannot tolerate hopeful thinking even if I tried myself to be that way. But now, thanks to you and your wisdom, I comprehend this. It may seem a little superficial, but I gotta say that your point of view of the game inspired me. Faith is something I lost a long time ago, along with hope, love and the capacity to feel happiness; but still seems like there’s something I should strive for: keep going for the sake of keep going.

    I know this is a long, LONG e-mail, and most probably won’t be getting an answer; but I still want to thank you for giving me this kind of revelation. It was like I’ve read this fantastic book over and over again, but failed to see the real spirit of it. Now, because of you, I finally understand it. For that I thank you! And for your incredible analysis and psychological depth I admire you. In times like these it’s not common to meet with people this brilliant. Even though I consider myself an intelligent person, (then again, who doesn’t?), I know there’s much I have to learn from people like you; people that can deconstruct something as complex as Majora’s Mask game and give me another point of view.

    For all of this I thank you once again.

    “Just have faith…”

    • Kuger

      Hey, ¿cómo estás? Soy uruguayo y me gustaría intercambiar unos mails contigo. kuger.henage@gmail.com mi dirección de correo. Escríbeme, por favor. Saludos

    • Dan Merrill

      Hi Juancho! I’m glad the article was able to have such an impact on you. You should know that I had a particularly bad case of depression not long before I wrote this. Part of what motivated me to study this game so closely was because I recognized the themes of depression in it, and I suspected that it had something important, meaningful, and very relevant to say about how to find a deeper sort of happiness. I completely agree with your comparison of Majora’s Mask’s influence to the way depression works; I’d been thinking a lot about that while I was writing this. I’ve continued this sort of analysis in my articles “Immortal Childhood” and “The Philosophy of The Wind Waker” which you might find interesting. Thanks so much for reading and for your response, and I hope you can keep your spirits lifted!
      All the best,
      Hylian Dan

      • Alexandra Michael

        Hey Hylian Dan! I just wanted to say, I’m writing this as a 19 year old girl from Cyprus who happened to come across your articles (this and ‘Immortal Childhood’) years ago, when I still didn’t fully understand the English language (and had a much shorter attention span). However, even though I didn’t understand all parts of it, the ones I did understand somehow stuck with me. A small, irrelevant detail of my day reminded me of your articles so I thought I’d look for them, and I am so glad I was able to find them so easily! You’re a tremendous writer with amazing points to make. :)

    • Alejandro Macías

      your story is as similar as my story

      “Just have Faith…” :)

  • ben

    hoe is there a underground sky?!

  • ben

    sorry I ment how

  • ben

    but serriesly

  • ben

    in magoras mask you fall in a tree and come underground whith a sky!

  • ben

    and a moon

  • ben

    also a sun

  • ben

    someone explain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ben

    pleas

  • http://marcosgtr.blogspot.com/ Marcos Carvalho

    What an amazing content you’ve developed here… This goes far beyond just a theory, but a deep philosophical analysis if the very inner values the game intended to share. I’ve been a huge fan of Zelda series for years, being OoT my all-time favorite game. Therefore, I always was fascinated by the depth on MM’s obscure plot with all those symbolism and profound subjects. Anju and Kafei’s quest is likely to be the most meaningful side-story I’ve ever met in a game. The whole ambiance, the inner conflicts, the duality between faith and doubt, the wonderful song displayed when they finally met at the very last moments… and you’ve nailed each aspect on that.

    Thank you very much indeed for such a valuable content. This has to be shared so more people can be lead to be able to cherish and grow upon reflecting on all those ways.

  • Mona Ali
  • Nick Byrd

    This is one of the best theories I’ve ever heard…especially with the new timeline out…Twilight PrincesS was a sequel to Majora’s mask according to that and it states in TP that a group of magic users got above their station and were banished to the realm of Twilight…what if these people were the builders of Stone Tower using the power of Majora’s Mask and the Goddesses banished them, but in their anger had already cursed Termina to end, and that’s why they sent Link…to undo the mistake they made in their anger?

  • imtoolazytothink

    And so I say what I said since forever: how did this get an E-Rating?

  • Sid Walker

    Wow this was a long and good article, i only read a few parts, i like to think ot was connected to skyloft and maybe the stone tower was a passage or portal between the sky world and the ground world

  • Sid Walker

    Nice

  • Rich Caramel

    Link leaves to meet zelda, but never gets to her….He becomes a stalfo,the heroes shade…