(PC: Cover art for Theophany’s Time’s End album, highly recommend)
In respect for the most unholiest of inauguration days yesterday, and because of an impending D&D session in a few minutes, I’m gonna keep this one short and pointless.
To all the Legend of Zelda timeline historians in the audience, I’m playing along the “Child Link” timeline. (I grew up with Wind Waker and it has been a huge goal of mine to finish all the gamecube games and any other ones my crappy computer can emulate.) My girlfriend got me into Twilight Princess halfway through college and, ever since then, I’ve been emulating the old N64 games.
For those who don’t know, the “Child Link” timeline follows the events of Ocarina of Time. At the end of Ocarina, Zelda takes the Ocarina of Time (the magical time-travelling fairy flute) and sends Link back six years to warn her of Ganon’s impending treachery. This creates a schism in time – one timeline in which adult Zelda continues her life after sending Link back (which leads to my bae Wind Waker) and one timeline that begins with Link warning Zelda as a child to avoid Ganon.
That “Child Link” timeline continues with Majora’s Mask, then to Twilight Princess, and then to Four Swords Adventures. (This is all coming from Hyrule Historia, but from memory, so if I’m wrong don’t hate me.) Majora’s Mask comes right after the subverting of the events in Ocarina, where Link leaves Hyrule searching for a friend and gets pulled into another adventure.
In my honest opinion, it’s miles better than Ocarina.
(Please wait to hate me until I explain.)
Ocarina of Time is an incredible game, a quintessential LoZ game. It’s one of the longest in the series, filled with a beautifully realized world and a plethora of memorable and adorable characters. It follows a standard hero’s journey that ends in the saving of Hyrule from Ganon and a return of (temporary) peace to the land.
But the plot of Ocarina is just that – standard. In every way, it represents the archetypal clash of good against evil, with very well-defined roles for each character. It’s not a bad thing, but in my own twisted mind I prefer something a little bit more… well, twisted.
This game is creepy as hell right from the start. You meet this mask salesman who’s somehow lost what amounts to the Devil incarnate imprisoned in a mask. It’s been stolen by the Skull Kid from Ocarina, who’s now planning to crash the moon into the earth. Every detail – the frame jumps between each line of dialogue from the mask salesman, the burnt orange irises of the moon watching over you, the pressure of having a three-day timeline to complete each mission in the game – is uniquely frightening and stressful to the player.
Apart from me loving disturbing and dark content in a Zelda game – a trend started by Majora’s that continues through other games like Twilight Princess – this game was the perfect sequel to Ocarina. After that beautiful – and usual – journey through Hyrule, the horror content in Majora’s feels fresh and gritty and real. I have always adored The Legend of Zelda series for its flawless combination of childlike humor, deep emotional content (Wind Waker grandma gets me every time), and dark plot elements. While Ocarina very much felt like a Zelda game to me, it didn’t quite encapsulate all of that. Majora’s, on the other hand, and especially coming right after Ocarina, was incredible.
Am I wrong? If you hate me, leave a comment! I need better traffic on here anyway, and I’m fastidiously avoiding opinion pieces about the obvious matters right now.
Love you all!