Majora’s Mask analysis

Majora's Mask analysis

Ruslana Fogler, Staff Writer

I’m ten years old, and I’m talking to the mailman. We’ve encountered each other a few times before, and, by watching him prance around, I’ve gathered that he has a severe, pathological obsession with his job. Now, having come to terms with the fact that he’s going to die in a few minutes, he’s having a severe mental breakdown. I have no idea how to help him. I’m just a kid, after all! 

He’s not the only one who is going to die. They all are. The hesitant mayor, the terrified shopkeeper, the kind grandma, the stalwart soldiers, the two reunited lovers—in just a few moments.

Obviously, none of this is real. I was playing a game called Majora’s Mask—a game that’s so wildly creative, grim, and alluring that it’s very difficult to describe in a few words or sentences. First released on the Nintendo 64 gaming console, it’s a game that tells the lives of a world of people that are all going to die in three days, without any understanding or idea of their situation, if you don’t take action to prevent it. 

It’s a dark game concerning the concept of powerlessness, and it taught my young mind many grave truths about the world. Within the game, a particularly resonating theme is the idea that, regardless of how much time, power, and responsibility you have, it is impossible to successfully save everyone from their anguishes. Simultaneously, the game emcompasses the importance of maintaining appearances in order to achieve the best result for everyone. 

Majora’s Mask contains many characteristics unlike practically all other games. In three days, the moon is going to fall and decimate everyone and everything off the face of the world. Link, the character you play as, has the ability to rewind time to the start of the first day. However, this process of rewinding time erases your inventory and also effectively annihilates any connections or progress you’ve made with the town people, who each have their own fill of troubling issues. In other words, that young farmgirl who you protected from the aliens, that old lady you saved from the robber, the entire mountain city you saved from freezing under the blizzard—suddenly, all of those events never truly transpired in the first place. By the end of the game, Link defeats the evil spirit dwelling within a mask known as Majora’s Mask that’s causing the moon to fall, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee a happy ending for everyone.

Somewhere out there, there’s a mother who’s had her babies stolen from her, a forest city being slowly choked to death by poison, two separated lovers, a father who’s turned into a bloodthirsty zombie trapped with his young, ten-year old daughter, and far, far more. Regardless of how many times you reset time and attempt to save each character, it is impossible to reach all of them before the three days pass. As each full playthrough of the game requires you to reset time multiple times, the player is forced to watch their actions be completely erased and experience the characters they saved return to their previous turmoil. Thus, Majora’s Mask, by combining a slew of interesting, suffering characters and a chillingly-bleak, time-pressed system, conveyed to my young mind the stark message that you cannot save everyone, even with control over time and overflowing capabilities—a sad but important truth in our world as well.

Majora’s Mask, a dark, ironically E-rated (available and encouraged for kids of all ages) game, certainly scarred my brain with nightmares for weeks on end. Simultaneously, it ingrained deep truths within me and will always be a game close to my heart.