Out of all the games I’ve played, no game connects with me emotionally quite like Majora’s Mask. My first exposure to the game was the short-lived playthrough Mother Duck started on our brand new Nintendo 64. She only completed the beginning of the game, up until you get your ocarina back from Skull Kid. Intimidated by the open world now accessible beyond Clock Town, she allowed me to carry on from where she left off.
One location you don’t really need to revisit after that initial intro to the game (unless you aim to complete all the game’s side quests) was the Observatory. Needed to obtain a Moon’s Tear, a requisite item for gaining back your ocarina, I didn’t visit this place myself until my second playthrough, during which I played the entire game from start to finish, Mother Duck’s initial progress included.
Rushing about from place to place, determined to reach the top of the clock tower before the moon fell, I found myself entering the Observatory, and it all came flooding back to me. That same feeling of magic and wonder I had experienced as I watched Mother Duck do the same thing. There was something about the music here, something that struck a chord and caused me to mentally pause.
Majora’s Mask is a great game. It’s fun, it’s odd, but weaving throughout the whole thing…one feeling you can’t ignore is…sadness. This literal apocalypse is three days away. All the people you meet, all the places you visit, all doomed to vanish beneath the moon’s determined march towards Termina below. People handle it differently. Denial. Fear. Acceptance. In the end, how they feel doesn’t change the fact that they will all be gone, wiped from existence, in three days’ time.
Unless a young boy in green can stop the unstoppable.
I feel like the music in the Astral Observatory sums up the entire game. As it begins, I feel a sense of wonder and awe. Of possibilities. Except, about 40 seconds in, the tune dips, as does my heart. As the song falters, I ask myself, “What if…?” What if we don’t stop the moon on time? What if Link’s quest is a failure? The consequences would be catastrophic. Amidst the generally cheery tune, I feel sadness. Sadness amidst my earlier feelings of hope and boundless possibilities of an adventure not yet properly started.
Video from YouTube User: Yacov B
This song speaks of hope, and the doubt one might feel in the midst of our earlier assurance that everything is going to be okay. The nagging “what if” that accompanies all problems we think will probably be all right in the end. That short dip in the song’s tone is only fleeting and temporary, for we can’t allow doubt to stop us or cloud or judgement. There’s always the possibility of failure, but that shouldn’t be enough to stop us from fighting towards our future. We all feel discouraged from time to time. We all feel that our efforts don’t matter in the end. But if we give in to such feelings, we’ll only create a self-fulfilling prophecy for ourselves.
Never give up, dear readers. Never stop trying. Carry on, and don’t let your doubts slow you down.
Taken from official promo art
If there’s a gaming regret of mine, it’s that I never cracked Majora’s Mask. I am quite envious that you did!
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Coincidentally, I just finished a replay of Majora’s Mask. Thanks for sharing your memories of the game with us, they are quite touching and I can see why you relate so strongly to it.
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