The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

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Dawn of the First Day
—72 Hours Remain

The sixth game in The Legend of Zelda series, Majora's Mask is a direct follow up to Ocarina of Time, both in story and gameplay. The development team re-used the engine and models from Ocarina Of Time, thus greatly reducing the development time to one year.

Following on from the end of Ocarina Of Time, a young boy named Link is searching a mysterious forest for his lost friend. There, he is attacked and robbed by a masked Skull Kid (and his two fairy companions) who take the Ocarina of Time and flee. Pursuing them, Link is cursed into the form of a Deku Scrub by the Skull Kid and dumped into a mysterious portal.

Link finds himself in the parallel world of Termina, which is preparing for the Carnival of Time in three days time. Unfortunately, a sinister moon hangs in the sky above Termina, and seems to be growing larger with each passing day. Link soon discovers to his horror that the evil Skull Kid has taken control of the moon and will drop it on Termina at the start of the Carnival of Time, annihilating everyone and everything.

Link soon finds a cure for his curse and, following a confrontation with the Skull Kid in which he regains his Ocarina, travels back in time to the moment where he first entered the world. He must now use the Groundhog Day Loop to solve the mystery of the masked Skull Kid and find a way to stop Termina's destruction. To do this, he must use the power of several magical masks to transform into different species- a Deku Scrub, a Goron, and a Zora- and travel to every compass point of Termina. But the clock is always ticking, and the moon is forever looking down upon his progress...

Majora's Mask is a surprisingly dark entry in the Legend of Zelda franchise, with the persistent, oppressive presence of the moon creating a constant feeling of dread and haste. In place of the sprawling sense of wonder and freedom of Hyrule Field, there's something quite lifeless and empty about Termina Field. It very much feels like a dying world, one filled with neither good nor evil, but simply a void. The masked Skull Kid is memorable for not only being evil but damn unsettling, and Link witnesses characters dying in his arms more than once.

Having only four dungeons, a great emphasis is placed on sidequests. There are a lot of people in Termina who need help over the three days before its destruction, and by exploiting the Groundhog Day Loop Link can help all of them (although temporarily) to gain Pieces of Heart and new Masks, which can then be used to solve other puzzles. These include helping a young couple to reunite and defending a farm from cow-stealing UFOs.


Tropes used in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask include:
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Bombers' hideout is located in Clock Town's sewer system.
  • Aerith and Bob: The members of the Indigo-Go's are named Mikau, Japas, Tijo, Toto... and Evan and Lulu.
  • Aliens Steal Cattle: One Sidequest involves Link stopping Them from stealing the ranch's cows. If he fails, the ranch owner's little sister gets abducted as well. Don't worry, she'll be back there the next day... for a given value of "there".
  • All There in the Manual: The in-game text never refers to Termina as a parallel world, but it's mentioned repeatedly in the manual.
  • Alternate Universe: Termina. You can see doubles of most people from Ocarina walking around, and the technological level is much higher.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The arena for the final battle.
  • Another Dimension: Termina.
  • Antagonist Title: The eponymous Majora's Mask as used by the Skull Kid.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Justified - Most citizens refuse to believe that the moon is actually falling. However, this is later subverted; on the third day, when the moon is very, very large, everyone is panicking and evacuating the town.
  • Apocalypse How: What happens if you fail. Class 5 definitely, possibly even Class X but the further results of the moon crashing aren't seen after Link's (pretty horrible) demise.
  • Artifact Title: The titular Zelda has very little to do with anything in the game, and only appears for a brief flashback near the beginning.
  • Artifact of Doom:
    • The eponymous mask, which the Happy Mask Salesman is desperate for Link to retrieve from the Skull Kid at all costs.
    • The Fierce Deity's Mask. The in-game description hints the mask's power is in the same class as Majora's Mask's own power, and fighting Majora with the Fierce Deity Mask equipped is a phenomenal example of a Curb Stomp Battle.
  • Ascended Extra: A lot of things that you could have ignored in Ocarina of Time was upgraded to become a major parts of the story in this game.
    • The Happy Mask Salesman was just a shop owner for a side quest in OoT. In MM, he used to own the title mask.
    • In OoT Skull Kid was just a single forest imp that you really didn't have to ever see in the game. In MM, Skull Kid was the primary antagonist... under the influence of the mask of course.
    • The masks are what drives the plot of the game, including the Goron and Zora masks which you didn't even need for a sidequest in OoT.
    • The Deku Scrubs have a full kingdom in MM. In OoT they were just mere Mooks.
    • The Ice Arrows are far more useful than they were in OoT, considering they weren't even required to complete it. It was very much possible to finish the first game without even obtaining them.
  • Aside Glance: Link, after Tatl recruits herself into your party.
  • As You Know: When encountering any recycled mook from Ocarina of Time, Tatl would say something like "You don't even know what a keese is?"
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
    • You, after putting on the Giant's Mask. This only works in Stone Tower Temple's boss room, though.
    • Captain Keeta and Twinmold, the boss you have to fight as a giant.
  • Attack of the Town Festival: When does the moon crash? On the day of the festival honoring the guardians of the land. (Said guardians are necessary for stopping said moon.)
  • Bad Moon Rising: Or, in this case, descending.
  • Bag of Spilling: Zigzagged: Link doesn't keep any of the items he had at the end of Ocarina of Time (bomb bag, Lens of Truth, etc.) apart from his sword and the eponymous instrument (a gift from Zelda), but he does keep a metal shield (similar to, but not the Hylian Shield) and Epona (whom he never got to ride as a kid). Playing the "Song of Time" to reset the in-game clock also causes you to lose pretty much anything that's not a key item (current rupees, bombs/arrows, etc. which are shown flying out of Link as you tumble back through time) and resets pretty much all sidequests and Boss Battles. You get to keep the money you deposited in the bank, since the stamp is updated every time you make a deposit, so you're not actually saving your rupees, you're just ripping off the banker.
  • Battle Tops: In its final form, Majora's Wrath, the mask attacks with a pair of whip-like appendages and razor studded spinning tops.
  • Becoming the Mask: Discussed in the Moon. One of the children asks that, if you have so many masks, what does your true face look like? Also hinted at in the manga.
  • Becoming the Costume: The Deku Mask, the Zora Mask, the Goron Mask and the Fierce Deity's Mask, each of which transforms Link into the race (or in the case of that last one, the minor god) it represents.
  • Big Bulky Bomb: The Powder Keg.
  • BFS: Three: The Great Fairy Sword, which is almost as long as Link is tall; the Helix Sword (Fierce Deity's sword); and Odolwa's sword.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Ikana Canyon.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Much of the game has a kind of mournful, elegiac feel, from the "final hour" music to the fates of several important characters. (A lot of them wind up dead or not altogether happy, no matter how many sidequests you finish.) The owl remarks that Termina might just be destined to pass away.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Zora Link's armfins are not just for swimming; they also function as sword, shield, and boomerangs.
  • Blinding Bangs: The banker sports these since he's directly based on the beggar from Ocarina of Time.
  • Body to Jewel: The moon's crystal tears.
  • Book Ends: The 'fights' with Skull Kid. Playing hide and seek with red-haired children.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The eponymous mask does this to the Skull Kid.
  • Bring It: Majora's third form makes a gesture like this if you don't make an attempt to attack.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Woodfall.
  • But Now I Must Go: Link, who hasn't a moment to spare for the world he just spent no small amount of effort to save.
  • Call Back: The whole dimension could be seen as one giant Call Back to the previous game, given that most of the people you meet are an exact visual replica of people you met in Hyrule.
  • The Cameo: The Happy Mask Salesman's backpack contains masks of Mario, Elvis Presley, Darth Maul, and one that could be either Bowser or Falco Lombardi.
  • Camera Lock On
  • Capital City: Clock Town, which is also the First Town.
  • Chain of Deals: The Deku Title Deed Sidequest.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: An example that occurs after the game has ended. Remember that twisted tree you see at the beginning of the game? Remember it. And cry when you realize that it was the Deku Butler's son, who apparently got soul-sucked for your initial Baleful Polymorph. Doubles as Chekhov MIA.
  • Chasing Your Tail: The boss battle against Goht. It's technically possible to defeat him with carefully placed bombs and arrows (and loads of patience), but a lot more entertaining to mow him down with Goron Link's spikes.
  • Cherry Tapping: Given that the game follows a pseudo-nonlinear path, you can go fetch the key item from the first dungeon and then proceed to finish everything else in the game, then go back and plow through that first temple's boss with fully upgraded equipment.
  • Chiaroscuro: Extremely prevalent in promo art, less so in the game itself.
  • Clock Tower: The centerpiece of Clock Town, naturally.
  • Colony Drop: What the Skull Kid does with Majora's Mask. When you confront him on top of the clock tower, he causes it to drop faster (time limit: five minutes), and taunts you with "if it's something that can be stopped, just try to stop it!"
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The color of the rupee next to the number of rupees that you currently have reflects the wallet that you are carrying at the moment. A green rupee indicates that you are carrying the child's wallet (99 rupees), a blue rupee indicates that you are carrying the adult's wallet (200 rupees), and a red rupee indicates that you are carrying the giant's wallet (500 rupees). A minor but nice touch, something that OoT didn't have.
  • Combat Tentacles: Majora's Wrath.
  • Comic Book Adaptation: The manga by Akira Himekawa, which puts the Skull Kid in a more sympathetic light and also includes a bonus story illustrating the creation of the eponymous mask, but cuts out most of Ikana Canyon to focus on Anju and Kafei.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Indigo-Gos' hit song is "The Ballad of the Wind Fish".
    • The Skull Kid is heavily implied to be the same one who gives you a Heart Piece for playing "Saria's Song" to him in Ocarina of Time. He says that you smell like "the fairy kid who taught him that song in the woods," and you even hear the song in the stinger.
  • Cool Horse: Epona, of course.
  • Cowboys and Indians: Majora considers the final battle a variant of this.
  • Crapsack World: What Skull Kid is turning Termina into. Although considering what the owl is implying about the doomed Deku and the (un)dead Ikana Canyon, two problems long before the Skull Kid showed up, not all of it may be his fault.
  • Creepy Child: The mask-wearing children on the moon.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Any boss with the Fierce Deity's Mask.
  • Curse: Skull Kid loves cursing people and even places. It's one of the first things to happen in the game. Even the undead are cursed by the guy.

""We dead should not be lingering here in this land. It was all a trick of the masked one who had upset things." — Sharp

  • Darker and Edgier: The only other game in the series that can even compare is Twilight Princess. Link is saving the world by wearing masks inhabited by the spirits of dead people; you can't Take Your Time, the world will end in three days and is not going to wait for you; the villain isn't looking to obtain power and Take Over the World, it's an Ax Crazy Physical God who is completely off its rocker and looking to cause havoc. The citizens of Clock Town are very easy to get emotionally attached to, and as a result you are very likely to be traumatized upon seeing something horrible happen to them, because something will sooner or later, everyone in this game gets their turn to have their life ruined and you are going to watch it happen over and over unless you intervene to save them. The artwork of this game also implements a lot more shading, as if to cement the tone.
  • Dark Reprise: The Final Day theme for Clock Town, as compared to the First Day version.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Link himself. Wear the Goron or Zora masks, and everybody will think that you are either Darmani or Mikau, respectively. Not to mention the Deku Butler, who is reminded of his son when he sees Deku Link. This is only made more obvious when the Butler is seen next to the twisted tree you see at the beginning of the game in the end credits. Yeah. Skull Kid sealed the soul of a Deku Child into you.
  • Decapitation Presentation: This game uses a less violent variant. The masks that the bosses wear are substituted for the actual heads.
  • Despair Event Horizon: A lot of people cross this on the third day, especially the Postman who curses about how badly he wants to flee, but that "it's not on the schedule", and the swordmaster, who boasts that if the moon falls he'll just cut it out of the sky. Come the final six hours of the third day, you can find him huddled and shaking in the back room of his shop crying that he's afraid to die.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
    • When Sakon steals the bomb bag, try shooting an arrow at him.[1]
    • Wear the Captain's Hat during the King Ikana fight. It's a Paper-Thin Disguise at first...before the King recognizes that Link is too short to be Keeta. And during the fight immediately before that one, try marching with the Bremen Mask.
    • Half the fun of the game is to find the many hidden scenes that only occur at certain times (usually on the Final Day) when you have done certain things, or are wearing certain masks.
    • Go into the Pirate captain's quarters wearing the Stone Mask. Instead of being invisible like you normally would be, you're caught, with the pirates wondering how some kid in a funny mask got all the way up here.
      • There are also a couple of scripted fights in the pirate area where the pirates will comment on your usage of the Stone Mask (if you're wearing it).
    • Try using the Song of Healing on a broken sign. The sign magically repairs itself!
    • Some characters in the game will have commentary on every single one of your masks.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Although hints are dropped here and there, throughout the entire game it seems like you'll square off against the super-powerful Skull Kid after you've freed the Four Giants. When you confront him at the end, all it takes to deal with him is for you to perform the Oath to Order, which will summon the Four Giants to stop the moon and save Termina. Then Majora's Mask itself starts talking... Bonus points for having been right in your face all this time, during which you probably thought it was just an inanimate, albeit evil artifact.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: A number of characters. The Rosa Sisters, Kamaro, and Guru-Guru come to mind.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: Although Link's a male example, the entire setting is this.
  • Down the Drain: Everyone remember OoT's Water Temple? Well, this game's counterpart, Great Bay Temple, manages to be even more confusing.
  • Drunk on Milk: Lampshaded by Gorman, who does this.
  • Dummied Out: Before release, the game contained something called the Inspector's Mask, and you were to receive it from Mr. Toto. This mask did not make it into the finished game, and what it would have done remains unknown; however, considering Mr. Toto is familiar with Kafei's mother, and that Kafei's mask allows you to ask people where he's been, it could just have been an earlier version of that.
    • Early screenshots showed the Megaton Hammer (or something like it) as Goron Link's weapon. This was replaced by a simple punch for the final game.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Compare Tingle in this game to later incarnations.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • The world is going to end in three days and only you can go back in time to prevent it from happening. All the while people around you are depressed or dying, the four areas are in turmoil with suffering for all who live there, and trying to help anyone is pointless because you have to turn back the clock eventually to stop the end of the world making all your efforts to help pointless. All the while the Moon continues to stare down at you, scaring you and mocking your efforts at the same time. And yet despite all that you still keep going. You struggle for the light at the end of this dark tunnel. And when you finally see the sun rise on the 4th day, you know it was all because you didn't give up.
    • Averted in some cases, as there are plotlines or character dilemmas that can't or don't have a satisfying conclusion regardless of how Link alters events - the origins of the masks being a more unsettling example.

Child on the Moon: The right thing... what is it? I wonder, if you do the right thing, does it really make everyone happy?

  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower: You cannot get the Fierce Deity's Mask until seconds before the final boss. Also, the awe-inspiring Giant's Mask can only be used against one specific boss in the entire game.
  • The End of the World as We Know It
  • Escort Mission: If Link saves Romani Ranch from "Them", he can help Cremia deliver some milk to town, and in the process he must drive off the disguised Gorman Brothers attempting to destroy the cart. (This becomes laughably easy if you wear the Gorman Mask... which you can only get after finishing the quest.)
  • Eternal Engine: Great Bay Temple, a maze of pipelines, sluices, valves, and lots and lots of water.
  • Everythings Better With Bunnies: The Bunny Hood is one of the most useful masks in the game, allowing you to run twice as fast. Link also looks completely adorable when wearing it.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: At the end, the Moon dissolves in a chromatic light, and leaves a rainbow streaked across the sky.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Stone Tower to some extent, even though it's not the Big Bad's base of operations. It's so tall it can be seen from parts of Termina that are nowhere near it (e.g. from the Goron village or from just outside Clock Town's east gate). To get to the dungeon proper you have to pass through two stone monster faces, the first of which is at the bottom of the tower and the second of which is a giant one at the top with flaming eyes. The curse placed on the dead kingdom of Ikana emanates from this tower. It's not clear who built it and it's covered in strange symbols and iconography, some of which seems to reference the Triforce, which has led to much speculation from fans.
  • Expy:
    • About ninety percent of the game's NPCs have character models from Ocarina of Time. Justified since Termina is a parallel world to Hyrule.
    • Romani Ranch even has two expies of the same character at different points in time. (Romani and Cremia = child Malon and young adult Malon, respectively.)
    • The Gorman brothers are three expies of one guy, who is in turn an expy of a certain plumber's brother.
    • The Bad Bats are expies for Keese, although they seem rather redundant, since actual Keese are still in the game.
  • Eye Scream: During the Transformation Sequence, Link's eyes have cracks in them.
  • Face Design Shield: The Mirror Shield.
  • Face Fault: Deku Link does one while talking to the monkey prisoner in the Deku Palace. Cue everyone else in the throne room looking over at them.
  • Fantastic Racism: Several characters will only give you respect in one form. The girl in the treasure chest shop actually charges different rates depending on which species you are, while the Curiosity Shop will only do business with humans.

"Eesh. You frighten me. I keep special hours for folks like you. Try comin' back at half past never."

    • Also,the Bombers don't want "NO SCRUBS!" This particular prejudice is caused by their previous experience with the Skull Kid.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Keep in mind that the Deku Scrubs are plants, which means they are made of wood, which means that they, and more specifically, Deku Scrub Link, are extremely flammable. For that matter, so is Zora Link. Catch even the slightest fire-based attack and he instantly goes down in flames.
    • Also, in Majora's Mask, Gorons cannot swim due to their stonelike weight. If you drop into water while wearing the Goron Mask, instant Super Drowning Skills game over.
  • Fast Forward Mechanic: Not only is there a song to skip ahead ("Song of Double Time"), but also to slow it down ("Inverted Song of Time") and reset time ("Song of Time"), which also doubles as the way to save your game.
  • A Father to His Men: Captain Skull Keeta. While he's never seen directly interacting with the Stalchildren, he's implied to be this by dialogue.
  • Fetch Quest: The arduously long Anju and Kafei quest, which you have to do at least twice in order to get 100% Completion.
  • Five-Man Band: Oddly, despite not being a band of heroes but an actual, musical band, the Indigo-Go's pretty much fit the pattern with Mikau as The Hero, Japas as The Lancer, Tijo as The Big Guy, Evan as The Smart Guy and Lulu as The Chick...
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: The clocktower tolls regularly to signal when it is night and day, but gets more unsettling the closer the moon gets. It doesn't stop chiming once midnight hits on the Last Day, constantly reminding you that, yeah, better get to that clock tower.

Dawn of the Second Day
—48 Hours Remain -

  • Four Is Death: Four curses, Four Giants, Four Transformation Masks, and Four Temples. The Moon falls at 6:00 am of the fourth day. The order of temples you visit forms the number four.
  • Freudian Excuse: Skull Kid did all those things because Majora's Mask made him do them. Normally, this would be a very poor excuse, but in this case, an exception can be made -- he was only susceptible to the Demonic Possession because he wanted friends that badly. Talk about depressing.
  • Gaiden Game: To Ocarina of Time. The Working Title was even "Zelda Gaiden."
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
  • Gosh Hornet: Link drops a beehive on a group of Gerudo soldiers in their Great Bay fortress, leading to a lot of frantic running and girlish shrieks.
  • Gravity Screw: In the Stone Tower Temple, you can flip gravity. And in two certain rooms, you can flip gravity while gravity's already been flipped once. But only for those two rooms.
  • Grim Up North: Snowhead during winter.
  • Grimy Water: The swamp of Woodfall has been poisoned by the curse. Thankfully, only normal (and Zora) Link have to worry about it -- Deku Link just skips across the water's surface, and Goron Link (who can't swim) just gets teleported out (à la Non Lethal Bottomless Pit) should he fall in.
  • Groundhog Day Loop: The whole plot, more-or-less.
  • Guide Dang It: Given how many side quests are in this game, many of them are involved, but none more so than the Anju & Kafei quest.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Snowhead Temple, a predominantly icy dungeon that contains lava pits and some fire-based enemies.
  • Hammerspace Hideaway: The Deku princess somehow gets put into one of Link's bottles, despite being normally almost as tall as Link himself.
  • Hannibal Lecture: The children wearing the boss masks on the Moon each give you one after finding them in hide and seek: one asks Link about the nature of goodness, one about the nature of friendship, one on the nature of happiness, and one who asks what Link's true face looks like "underneath the mask" and implies that he is Becoming the Mask. This theme is even stronger in the manga, where the demon Majora taunts Link and gives him a "demon" (Oni) mask of his own to wear.
  • Heli Critter: The Deku Scrubs. Link himself gains this power when he transforms into one.
  • Hollow World: Going inside the Moon will reveal that it is, in fact, an idyllic plain with an enormous World Tree in the center. This would lead one to believe that the four dungeons are in fact inside the actual crust of the moon.
  • Idiot Ball: If you go to Ikana Canyon and talk to Sakon, the notorious thief, he'll comment on how nice your sword is and ask if he can have a look. If you say "yes"... [2] A nasty trick on players who are used to the frequent But Thou Must! requests of most people in the Zelda games.
  • Implausible Synchrony: Every clock in town states the same time. Granted, this is Clock Town. If there's one thing you could expect them to have down to an art form...
  • Infinity-1 Sword: The Gilded Sword. It is the strongest regular sword you can get in the game, being four times as damaging as the Kokiri Sword, and it's only available after at least half the main quest is done with. To get the two other stronger swords (the Great Fairy's Sword and the Double Helix Sword - see below), you have to complete the Stone Tower Temple with all Stray Fairies, and obtain all masks, a goal that pretty much is the same as achieving 100% Completion, respectively.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The Fierce Deity Mask, earned after obtaining all the other 23 masks in the game, and the Great Fairy's Sword, the strongest sword in the game (besides the Fierce Deity's weapon). It's a good deal more useful than the mask due to being usable anywhere and not just in boss battles. However, it has the mild disadvantage of taking up a C-Button instead of replacing your normal sword, and Link can't guard as effectively with it as he can with the Gilded Sword and a Shield.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: You have 72 hours to stop that moon from falling. You can slow down the clock or reset it to the top again, but beyond that it continues ticking relentlessly.
  • Invincible Hero: Consider this: if Link plays the Song of Time, he returns to the first day. If the third day comes and goes, the Moon destroys the world... and then Link returns to the first day. This is not Gameplay and Story Segregation; there is dialog, and the game continues as normal (although you lose anything new since the last time you saved). Even though it includes the destruction of the world, this time loop is safe. In other words, there is no way for Link to fail; the only way out of the loop is to win the game.
  • Last-Note Nightmare: The title theme.
  • Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition:
    • It has a "Collector’s Edition" in America that came with a cartridge that had a holografic label.
    • It has a "Limited Edition Adventure Set" in Europe limited to 1000 pieces that came with a shirt, a watch, a 2 CD soundtrack, a poster, a sticker and 2 pin badges.
  • Magic Music: Mostly focused on the Ocarina. Healing souls, teleporting, summoning storms, going back and forth through time and more are available to Link through the Ocarina's songs. Sharp the composer also has a song which will slowly kill those who hear it.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Cremia to Link if he successfully finishes the above mentioned Escort Mission.
  • Mask of Power: And of twenty-four different kinds.
  • Merged Reality: Implied at the end of the game, as it looks like all the good you've done has been merged into one 'ideal' time-line, despite how many three-day loops you've made.
  • Mood Whiplash: Clock Town's tune on the final day is a faster-tempo remix, with ominous bass undertones.
  • Mummy: Gibdos.
  • Myopic Architecture: The door to the castle of Ikana is sealed and cannot be opened by any means... too bad there's a hole in the wall right next to it.
  • Nightmare Face: Some of the masks, as well as the Moon.
  • Ninja: The Garos act like this, particularly the whole "never leaving behind a body" bit. The game description outright states the Garo are ninjas:

"This mask can summon the hidden Garo ninjas. Wear it with (C)."

  • Nonstandard Game Over: This is what happens if you let time run out.
  • Painful Transformation: See Transformation Trauma.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • The Captain's Hat to Stalchildren. Despite the fact that Keeta was over 10 feet tall, none of the Stalchildren figure out the difference. Ikana isn't fooled. Eventually.
    • Many other masks have similar effects, such as the Gibdo and Garo masks. Even with the three transformation masks, the form Link takes doesn't look much like the person he's impersonating, yet everyone is fooled.
  • Perception Filter: The Stone Mask, which makes Link "inconspicuous as a stone", having most NPCs not see and interact with you. Unless it's a plot-related event, in which case the NPCs will lampshade your usage of the mask.
  • Phrase Catcher: The various spirits of Ikana call Link, "you who do not fear the dead".
  • Plot Coupon: The four masks that you recover from the game's four main bosses.
  • Regional Bonus: In the original Japanese version, the only way to save was to warp all the way back to the first day, as the Owl Statues were only used for warping. Needless to say, the international cut received the ability to quicksave at owl statues, making the game less of one big Marathon Level.
    • Numerous glitches in the Japanese version were fixed in the international versions. Some segments in the Japanese version were also made easier.
  • Reset Button: The Song of Time.
  • Riddle for the Ages: What did happen to Navi? This is the last game which featured the Hero of Time, and by the end he still hadn't found Navi, even though the friend he was looking for when he got caught up in this mess is implied to be her.

Dawn of The Final Day
—24 Hours Remain -

  • Right on the Tick: 6 A.M.!
  • Rule of Symbolism: The basis of this theory.
  • Schizo-Tech: Cremia uses a horse and carriage (with a steering wheel), everyone uses melee weapons, and yet the pirates somehow have motorboats. There's also the "pictograph box", which is essentially a 19th century camera. Maybe it and the pirate boat motors work on magic, though. Great Bay Temple is also full of working plumbing and fluorescent lights.
  • Sequence Breaking: The dungeons can be completed in any order, provided you take the items you need to complete them first. Of course, this tends to be inconvenient, as either getting to or completing each sequential dungeon requires the item located inside the previous dungeon.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: The Four Giants.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: This game is noticeably more difficult than its predecessor, mostly due to the omnipresent time limit, and to the fact that the challenge is packed into the space of only four dungeons (and the accompanying sidequests) rather than OoT's ten.
  • Shock and Awe: Zora Link's electric barrier. Presumably, other Zoras could be capable of this.
  • Shotacon: Anju to Kafei. "Even though they're lovers, they look just like a mother and child." To be fair, it's not their fault.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Bremen Mask, which makes roosters march and dance, is a reference to the Grimm's fairy tale "The Town Musicians of Bremen".
    • Hidden Star Fox reference: In the Masks subscreen, the second row of masks are aligned in resemblance to five Star Fox characters.
    • The aliens that invade the Romani Ranch bear a great resemblance to the FlatwoodsMonster
    • All of the mask transformation scenes reference The Mask. It's especially noticeable with the Zora mask transformation. Link screams in pain as Stanley Ipkiss did. Additionally, the backstory of Majora's Mask itself as well as its evil nature are VERY similar to The Mask's own (originally belonged to a lost tribe who used it in their rituals, etc).
    • The band members of the Indigo-Go's play songs from previous installments of the Zelda franchise when you visit their rooms. The pianist is playing the game over/continue theme from the original Legend of Zelda. The bassist is playing the dungeon theme from the same. The drummer is playing the cave theme from A Link to The Past.
    • Some of the masks on the Happy Mask Salesman's pack look familiar, including one of a certain red plumber.
    • Wart and Twinmold are fought in a similar way Arrghus and Moldorm, respectively and both from A Link to the Past, are.
  • Sidequest: The whole game serves as one huge sidequest. The game also gives you a day planner to keep track of all the NPC-based sidequests quests in the game. It's possible to see the end credits but only have completed about 10% of the game. Miyamoto stated that this was so the player will be able to learn more about the NPCs and their lives.
  • Sidequest Sidestory: See above.
  • Snow Means Death: The curse of the Goron People.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: The Clock Town theme accelerates as the three days progress.
  • Sprint Shoes: The Bunny Hood boosts Link's movement speed by about half, making it as fast as his roll attack.
  • Standard Status Effects: Touching a Blue Bubble will cause Link to become "jinxed," which temporarily disables his sword.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Deku Palace and the Pirate's Fortress.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Deku Link can hop across the water's surface up to 5 times, but can't swim if he falls in after that. Goron Link sinks like a... well, rock.
  • Surprise Creepy: The game is actually pretty unsettling from the start, but someone coming from almost any other game in the series with no warning is in for a shock.
  • Talking Is a Free Action
    • About the only time the game clock is not ticking is when there's a text box onscreen.
    • Played with when you go to talk to the monkey the Deku are keeping prisoner; he offers to teach you a song to allow you to enter the Woodfall Temple. During the scene you (the player, not Link) are shown that the King and the guards are quite aware of your presence. As soon as the monkey teaches you the song the King says that's proof enough of the monkey's guilt and the guards throw you out of the palace.
    • Sakon's escape after mugging the Bomb Shop Woman is unhindered by the text box.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: The clock doesn't tick during the change from one form to another. Justified by the fact that any given transformation appears to only take a couple of seconds.
  • Technicolor Blade: The Great Fairy sword is pink with a green core.
  • That's No Moon: Not so much the Weird Moon itelf, but the island in the Great Bay that's actually a sleeping turtle.
  • Timed Mission: Aside from a few timed mini-games and sidequests (like recovering Kafei's stolen Sun Mask), when you first arrive in Clock Town, the Skull Kid still has your ocarina and you have only three days to get it back before the moon comes crashing down.
  • Time Travel: See Groundhog Day Loop. Link can also play the song of Double Time to immediately skip to the next sunrise/sunset time (contrary to its name, it doesn't really speed up time, just skips it).
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Time Travel works far differently than in Ocarina of Time. Some items, such as ammo, stray fairies, and sidequest-related items, are lost in the trip back to the beginning. Key items (weapons, masks, heart containers, major Plot Coupons) are safe, though.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Ice Arrows in Ocarina of Time had minimal uses since they only froze enemies, getting them was highly difficult, and you couldn't get them until you had pretty much finished the game. This time around they're a dungeon treasure, and their uses include freezing water to stop its flow, freezing enemies to provide blocks to push around, and creating platforms of ice in water to form a path.
  • Transformation Trauma: When you put on a transformation mask, Link looks up with an extremely pained expression and screams. Thanks for the pleasant dreams, Nintendo.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • There is only one Blue ChuChu in the game. There is also only one Peahat, even though there are many of them in Ocarina of Time.
    • Regular sized Poes only appear in one room in the upside down Stone Tower Temple.
  • Unstoppable Mailman: Deconstructed when the postman is forced (by his own discipline) to stick to his schedule, even with all of Clock Town evacuated and the end of the world nigh.
  • Updated Rerelease: After Ocarina was released on the 3DS, the devs said that if enough fans asked, they would do this game as well. That spawned Operation Moonfall, a massive campaign to get Majora's Mask remade for the 3DS as well.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • Just knowing that every NPC you come across is going to die in three days if you fail is a pretty huge motivator to get the job done fast -- especially if you fail to get your Ocarina back the first time and have to witness the moon crashing down and obliterating everything.
      • Not only is every NPC doomed to die in 3 days but many of them are cursed on top of it, and so is the very land they walk on in some cases. Or in the case of Woodfall Swamp and Great Bay, the water is cursed. Some have even more agony thrown on top of their lives. Kafei has his marriage nearly ruined in addition to being made a child. Skull Kid ran into Koume, a woman who is centuries old, in Woodfall Forest and decided to nearly cripple her. Skull Kid was suffering from a sick case of Super Dickery, wasn't he?
    • If you complete the Postman's Hat side quest, you can convince the Postman to stop panicking and deliver the mail. If you talk to him afterwards at the Milk Bar, he'll give you his hat and happily leave Clock Town.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • If you go to such lengths for rupees that you sell the Zora eggs to the Curiosity Shop Owner.
    • You can score an easy free healing potion from the Twinrova in the swamp by not giving it to the sister that the Skull Kid wounded.
    • Giving Anju's Letter to Kafei to the hand from the toilet instead of putting it in a mailbox like you should.
    • Keeping the Pendant of Memories for yourself instead of giving it to Anju. If you complete the rest of the quest, Kafei returns to find Anju isn't waiting for him and is left to die alone in despair.
    • In Termina Field, there's a man climbing a tree to get at some red rupees. If you roll into the tree you'll knock the man and the rupees out. You can collect the rupess while the man rolls about with every indication that he's broken his leg.
    • You can actually kill Sakon once he's stolen the bomb bag by shooting it with a bow (setting off the bombs), as opposed to the less psychotic option of stealing it back.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The mask transformations.
  • Weapon Tombstone: A variation occurs when Link constructs a gravestone for Mikau out of his guitar.
  • Weirdness Censor:
    • Tingle! You see him in Clock Town and in all four cardinal directions. You see him in the area of a poisoned swamp and a tree enveloped in bats. You see him in the middle of a horrible blizzard, surrounded by Wolfos. You see him above a murky ocean. Yeah, okay. But you also see him in the canyon of the dead, with big lumbering mummy-like Gibdos all over the place. And he lets it all pass without comment. What makes this even odder is that the weirdness censor is averted by the Deku Nut salesmen, who are quite aware of their environment, including the one in the canyon who offers to sell you a blue potion to save you from being cursed by Blue Bubbles. It's pretty clear that Tingle is a few beers short of a six-pack anyhow, so maybe he thinks he's off in La-La Land somewhere no matter how many horrible things are happening around him.
    • Absolutely nobody seems to notice that Link can change between four different species right in front of them.
  • Widget Series: Termina is a weird place. A few random examples:
    • Learning the other half of a lullaby from a baby so that you can get a giant invisible stone man to go to sleep and roll out of the way and stop breathing an icy wind.
    • Using different magical masks to become an entire musical quartet, and thus make someone cry, who is Drunk on Milk.
    • Racing a creepy beaver with Kaleidoscope eyes.
    • Saving an old lady from a thief and being rewarded with a bomb that makes explosions happen in front of your face, and they can be blocked by your shield held a foot away.
    • Playing a lethal game of hide and seek with a group of anthropomorphic ancient beings, so that you can give them your masks.
    • Impersonating the fifty-foot skeletal captain of an undead army to make a group of undead soul-eaters dance. (And let's not get started on the kinds of dances they do...)
    • Saving a (Zora) woman's unborn children so that she can get her voice back.
    • Stuffing a Tsundere anthropomorphic flower princess into a bottle so she can clear up a misunderstanding between her father and a monkey.
    • This video tells at least a FIFTH of the weirdness you find!
  • Water Source Tampering: Woodfall's water is poisoned to the point of it having a purple hue to it.
  • Weird Moon: Among other oddities, the Moon has a face on it! Also, it's apparently sentient. And supposedly cries.[3]
  • World Tree: There's one inside the moon, of all places.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: Three of the Ocarina songs are carried over from Ocarina of Time[4], but don't do anything until you re-learn them. Averted with the Song of Time, since the game has you "remember" it, and playing it before is impossible since you don't have your instrument up until that part. Played straight with the other two, though.
  • Your Head Asplode: The Blast Mask. It causes an explosion in front of Link, which can be blocked with his shield.

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Notes

  1. Players who have not obtained the Blast Mask or who intend to do any segment of the Anju/Kafei sidequest past that point are discouraged from attempting this.
  2. Tatl scares him off before he can get ahold of it. It's still a dumb move though.
  3. For good reason.
  4. Song of Time, Epona's Song, and Song of Storms, in case you're wondering