I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time, and now finally the moment has arrived to wonder: who is the Link in Majora’s Mask? Well, yes, to almost all Zelda fans it is common knowledge that the Link in Majora’s Mask is in fact the same Link from Ocarina of Time, and is still, essentially, the Hero of Time. But, he is, in fact, different. I’ve got your attention now, haven’t I? Well, keep reading if you want to find out how Majora’s Mask’s Link is different from his appearance in Ocarina of Time.
In Majora’s Mask, Link is emotionally unrecognisable as the hero that saved Hyrule twice from Ganondorf in the events of Ocarina of Time. In body and consciousness, it is the same Link, but when Link first started his journey, he was a happy little guy with not a care in the world except that he had a bit of a disagreement with Ganondorf. Now, he’s sad and embittered, having not been recognised as a hero by the people of his homeland.
Seeing no point in staying with the people who are ignorant of what he’s been through, Link embarks on a journey to find Navi, after she mysteriously left him at the end of Ocarina of Time. Journeying through the Lost Woods on Epona, Link is ambushed by the Skull Kid and two fairies. Skull Kid promptly steals the Ocarina of Time, and when Link confronts him, in an action-packed sequence, Skull Kid jumps on Epona and attempts an escape.
Also, before I continue, in this game, Link has further trained and honed his combat skills since his first adventure, and now does awesome somersaults when he jumps. When I first saw this, I was like, “Oh, man, Link’s got some moves on him!”. It’s interesting seeing Link do all these tricks for no good reason; I mean, it would be understandable if it was in combat, and he was trying to make it harder for an enemy to hit him while he was jumping, but here, no real purpose. I suppose he could be jumping to make himself feel better, as, his horse just got stolen and he’s being distracted from his quest, so he does some somersaults to tell himself everything’s fine.
Link follows the Skull Kid into a large stump, falls down a hole, somehow survives the fall, and is again confronted by the Skull Kid. But this time, instead of running away, Skull Kid does a creepy-ass head rattle and turns Link into a Deku Scrub before leaving with the purple fairy, revealed to be named Tael, and abandoning the yellow fairy with Link.
The yellow fairy introduces herself as Tatl, and explains that Tael is her brother (heh, get it? Tatl and Tael? Tattle tale? Nice pun, Nintendo). Tatl agrees to stay with Link until they manage to catch up with Skull Kid and she is reunited with her brother, and together, they journey onward through a cavernous room with a deformed bush and a twisted hall until they find themselves in the lower room of what appears to be a mechanism which uses the flow of water to turn the cogs. Making their way up a few levels, they soon meet the Happy Mask Salesman.
The Happy Mask Salesman informs Link that the Skull Kid has stolen a powerful mask from him, and that he’ll turn Link back to his normal self if he can reclaim the Ocarina of Time. As repayment, the Salesman requests that Link also gets back the mask that Skull Kid stole.
Poor Link, all he wanted to do was find his friend and make his life that extra bit happier. Alas, no: he gets mugged, losing his favourite toy and his other friend, and then gets turned into a scrub and is stuck with a rude little sparkle. To make things worse, the only way to return to his normal form is to give an evil mask back to a guy who clearly has mental problems. Unfortunately, Link has no other option, and because it’s in his nature, he follows through with what is requested of him.
Link leaves the building to find that it is a clock tower, and finds that he is the centre of Clock Town, which is the centre of a parallel land called Termina. While there, Link reforms the Great Fairy, who grants him the ability to use magic and shoot bubbles from his mouth. Link then seeks to determine the location of Skull Kid, and after playing a game of hide and seek with the Bombers Secret Society of Justice, Link gains access to the Astral Observatory and use the telescope to find that the Skull Kid is atop the clock tower.
And so, at midnight, on the third day, Link confronts Skull Kid at the top of the clock tower, and in response, Skull Kid pulls the Moon out of its already decaying orbit and brings it directly down onto the land. However, before it crashes, Link manages to shoot the Skull Kid with a bubble, causing him to drop the Ocarina of Time. When Link picks it up, his memories of his parting from Princess Zelda return to him. In the memory, she reminds him of the Song of Time, and says that wherever he goes, the Goddess of Time will watch over him.
When Deku Link goes to play the Ocarina of Time, it apparently shares in the transformation caused by Skull Kid and becomes the Deku Pipes. The Deku Pipes retain the Ocarina of Time’s magic, however, and when Link plays the Song of Time, the notes are heard by the Goddess of Time that Zelda mentioned to Link when he left, and for the first time, the Song of Time actually induces time travel, propelling Link back to the dawn of the first day.
Link returns to the Happy Mask Salesman, who is somehow aware that three days have passed for Link, and gives Link the Song of Healing so that Link can return himself to his normal form using the Ocarina of Time. However, when he discovers that Link was unable to recover the mask, he becomes unimaginably angry and lectures Link on what the mask is and what it can do.
With this new info in his pocket, and having seen the apocalypse himself, Link makes it his duty to save the land of Termina from Majora’s Mask, following Tael’s advice and going to the four edges of the map to rejuvenate the land and summon the Four Giants. It’s not surprising that Link does this, given his courageous personality. This time, however, due to the nature of time travel, he is fully aware that again, he will not be remembered as a hero. This does not affect Link’s decision however, and he follows through with his plan to save the land.
During his adventures through time and Termina, Link comes across two souls in need of healing. Link first comes across the soul of Darmani III, leader of the Gorons that live in the mountains. He learns that Darmani went to find and destroy the cause of the eternal winter that the mountains have been enduring, however, he fell from the path and was mortally wounded on the rocks below. Upon healing his soul with the Song of Healing, Link receives the Goron Mask, which houses Darmani’s soul, and allows Link to take on Darmani’s physical appearance, with minor alterations to make it clear that it is still Link.
When Link ventures to the Great Bay, he finds the dying Mikau, and takes him to shore. Once back at shore, Mikau uses his last ounce of strength to… ROCK OUT!!! He sings one final, passionate song about how he came to be in his dying state, explaining that the eggs of the lead singer from Mikau’s band have been stolen from the Gerudo pirates, and that when he went to go and get them, the Gerudo beat him to the brink of death and threw him out. Link plays the Song of Healing for him, and in a vision, Mikau is reunited with the members of the band one last time while his physical body dematerialises and leaves the Zora Mask, which, like the Goron Mask, houses Mikau’s soul and allows Link to take his physical form to sneak into the Gerudo Fortress and steal back the eggs.
And in the Ikana Kingdom, instead of just saving one soul, he saves hundreds: every doomed soul that died with the kingdom was liberated when Link destroys the evil in the Stone Tower Temple. This all goes to show that Link doesn’t save kingdoms just for the fame (obviously); he is upset that he gets no recognition, but whether or not he embarks on each quest doesn’t hinge on whether he gets recognition. He is doing these things purely out of the goodness of his heart.
In the end, Link saves all four of the Giants, and on midnight of the third day, he calls them to stop the moon from falling. The Giants successfully stop the moon, but Majora’s Mask, realising it can do no more from its current position, ditches Skull Kid, possesses the moon, and begins pushing it down itself, causing the Giants to struggle.
Link journeys into the moon, and after traversing a strange, beautiful meadow and talking to a moon child bearing Majora’s Mask, he finds himself in an even stranger, rainbow room, in which he fights and defeats Majora’s three incarnations. Link then returns to the land as the moon is destroyed, and the Giants return to their slumber as the Carnival of Time begins.
Majora’s Mask, now void of the evil it once possessed, is returned to the Happy Mask Salesman, who goes on to continue his travels; Skull Kid, now back to himself, makes up with Tatl and Tael; and upon Tatl’s suggestion, Link gets back on Epona and goes off to find his way back to Hyrule and continue his quest for Navi. And that’s it. I know when I looked at Link’s appearance in Ocarina of Time, I was analysing every little decision he made, but that was because Link lacks character in that game, being designed only to link the player with the virtual world; this time around, Link did have character, and he really only had to make one major decision: whether or not to save Termina. But the spirit of each and every Link that will ever exist is constant: where there is evil, he will stop it.
Then there were all the other people in Termina, those that had minor issues compared to the coming apocalypse, but Link helped them anyway. This Link goes on to further lament on the fact that was never remembered as a hero, and was unable to pass his knowledge on to his descendants. As such, he survives after death as the Hero’s Shade, and teaches the Link of Twilight Princess the seven Hidden Skills. But what do you guys think? Do you think that Link actually cared before this adventure whether or not he was remembered as a hero? Do you feel that the Link in Majora’s Mask is emotionally different to his earlier appearance in Ocarina of Time? I didn’t bring this up before because it was a little off-topic, but do you think that Link should’ve told people that Darmani and Mikau had passed away, rather than posing as them and then disappearing, with everybody else none-the-wiser? Let me know in the comments.