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Majora's Mask is NOT about Link going to find Navi


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#1 Egann

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 09:52 PM

I've always thought this, but with Majora's Mask being re-released I really think it's time to put the record straight. I really have never understood why so many people think Majora's Mask is about Link looking for Navi when it goes out of its way to say otherwise. Let me show you a few details:

  1. Link got a heart piece from a skull kid in Ocarina of Time. Remember, the one you played Saria's Song for?
  2. The third and fourth spoken line in Majora's Mask is Skull kid recognizing Link. "Huh? This guy? Well, it shouldn't be a problem."
  3. How does Majora's Mask end again? Ah, yes. Link makes a carving on a tree stump.

I put it to you that Majora's Mask is exactly what it says it is; a story about Link going to save his friend, the skull kid. I personally like that much better than some sidequest on his way to find Navi because it's more personal.



#2 Twinrova

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 11:49 PM

Yeah but, literally right after the intro says he's going to find an old friend it plays the fairy sound. Why would they put that in if it wasn't Navi?



#3 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 12:25 AM

What Rova said. There was nothing at all in Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask to suggest that there was some kind of meaningful relationship between Link and Skull Kid before the events of MM. The tree carving isn't symbolic of Link having found his friend, it's symbolic of Skull Kid's redemption, regaining the ability to form happy and healthy friendships again, even with the person who was his enemy. There's also the fact that Navi is completely missing from the game to begin with, which seems pretty significant to me considering she was Link's partner throughout his entire previous journey.

And I believe it's stated that it was Navi he was searching for in Hyrule Historia, which really should put the question to rest.

#4 Fin

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 02:23 AM

I always figured Navi too, and I thought the point was for Link to learn that he needs to trust that Navi may return to him on her own someday. There's a whole theme throughout the story about friendship and trusting that your friends won't forget about you even when they have to leave you behind, such as with Skull Kid and the Giants, and Anju's big decision ultimately coming down to how much faith she has in Kafei to return.

"Just have faith..."

So I was looking for an actual picture of that quote and ended up finding one during his ending speech instead, which prompted me to look that up. The flipside of the lesson about having faith in your friends is that you have to remember to return to the friends you've left behind, in Link's case Zelda.

"Shouldn't you be returning home as well? Whenever there is a meeting, a parting is sure to follow. However, that parting need not last forever... Whether a parting be forever or merely for a short time... That is up to you."

#5 Selena

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 11:45 AM


According to Hyrule Historia, the Nintendo Power strategy guide, and the official Legend of Zelda series website, Navi is the one that Link is searching for at the beginning of Majora's Mask, the direct sequel to Ocarina of Time. However, this is never directly stated in-game.

 

Word of god trumps all, but I guess the "never stated in game" part leaves things open on a technicality.

 

 

Did we ever find out what happened to Navi? Stripper at a fairy bar? Gossip columnist in Castle Town? Writer of a vaguely helpful Hyrule bestiary? Went off to rescue all the fairies who get put in jars? Safety officer at some construction company (watch out!!)? Became the sultry, bossy mistress to the Great Fairy?



#6 Egann

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 12:41 PM

Warning: the following post is...English-majory. Enter at your own peril.

 

Yeah but, literally right after the intro says he's going to find an old friend it plays the fairy sound. Why would they put that in if it wasn't Navi?

 

The opening of Majora's Mask is a manipulation straight out of Hitchcock. It's supposedly a narration from Hyrule's royal family (presumably Zelda), and yet Zelda had virtually no interactions with Navi other than observing she was there. More to the point, Link is mugged by two fairies not five seconds after the chime. What we do know is that the body language at the end of Ocarina suggests Link and Navi parted with no clingy feelings one way or the other, and that if Link follows the Mask Salesman's suggestion and returns to Hyrule at the end of Majora, he will have returned without Navi.

 

I'm not saying the Navi interpretation is completely useless; Ocarina of Time is basically a power fantasy of being able to skip into adulthood and retreat back into childhood at will, and Navi served that thematically because the Kokiri don't age past childhood. It was a sign that Link had an adult body, but wasn't really an adult, and the end of Ocarina--where Zelda gives Link back his missing time--means that he really will grow up. Along this line of thought Link searching for Navi would mean Link is trying to cling to his childhood even though he has already grown up, and returning without Navi means Link has accepted growing up.

 

FYI: I don't think its a coincidence that Link looks like Peter Pan, especially in Ocarina.

 

That said, I think that interpretation has problems, namely that Link accepted growing up at the end of Ocarina when Navi left him. Again, Link didn't look bothered or clingy. The narrator at Majora's beginning also is presumably looking back and has the insight to book-end the story. Why would the narrator bookend the story on the opening when Link doesn't find Navi at the end? The better explanation is that it's too early to reveal that the villain and the protagonist know each other, and Navi is a convenient red herring.

 

If I had to guess, I would say Link is having problems growing up in Hyrule because he experienced it twice, so he's on a quest to grow up somewhere else. Majora's Mask is a sidequest he picks up to save an old friend--everything said in the prologue literally applies to Navi, but by the end it metaphorically applies to Skull Kid.



#7 JRPomazon

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 02:45 PM

I actually really like your explanation Egann. I never considered Navi of representing Link's childhood and her departure at the end of Ocarina of Time now makes much more sense. However, I'm going to fight you on Skull Kid's relationship with Link. The way I see it, the two of them know of each other but not nearly as well as good friends. I figured they were just aquiantances. After all, if Skull Kid knew Link well enough at the beginning of Majora's Mask then he'd know he wasn't someone to shrug off and fool around with. He's just one of those Kokiri kids who he ran into a while back, mostly harmless right?



#8 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 03:03 PM

Warning: the following post is...English-majory. Enter at your own peril.
 

Yeah but, literally right after the intro says he's going to find an old friend it plays the fairy sound. Why would they put that in if it wasn't Navi?

 
The opening of Majora's Mask is a manipulation straight out of Hitchcock. It's supposedly a narration from Hyrule's royal family (presumably Zelda), and yet Zelda had virtually no interactions with Navi other than observing she was there. More to the point, Link is mugged by two fairies not five seconds after the chime. What we do know is that the body language at the end of Ocarina suggests Link and Navi parted with no clingy feelings one way or the other, and that if Link follows the Mask Salesman's suggestion and returns to Hyrule at the end of Majora, he will have returned without Navi.
 
I'm not saying the Navi interpretation is completely useless; Ocarina of Time is basically a power fantasy of being able to skip into adulthood and retreat back into childhood at will, and Navi served that thematically because the Kokiri don't age past childhood. It was a sign that Link had an adult body, but wasn't really an adult, and the end of Ocarina--where Zelda gives Link back his missing time--means that he really will grow up. Along this line of thought Link searching for Navi would mean Link is trying to cling to his childhood even though he has already grown up, and returning without Navi means Link has accepted growing up.
 
FYI: I don't think its a coincidence that Link looks like Peter Pan, especially in Ocarina.
 
That said, I think that interpretation has problems, namely that Link accepted growing up at the end of Ocarina when Navi left him. Again, Link didn't look bothered or clingy. The narrator at Majora's beginning also is presumably looking back and has the insight to book-end the story. Why would the narrator bookend the story on the opening when Link doesn't find Navi at the end? The better explanation is that it's too early to reveal that the villain and the protagonist know each other, and Navi is a convenient red herring.
 
If I had to guess, I would say Link is having problems growing up in Hyrule because he experienced it twice, so he's on a quest to grow up somewhere else. Majora's Mask is a sidequest he picks up to save an old friend--everything said in the prologue literally applies to Navi, but by the end it metaphorically applies to Skull Kid.

The problem is that you're looking at it from a story perspective, when we know Nintendo works gameplay first and story last. With MM being made on perhaps the strictest deadline out of any Zelda game, this was especially important.

Here's my theory: One of the biggest complaints players had with Ocarina of Time was that Navi was annoying. Nintendo wanted to address that problem, without changing the fairy-based Z-target and help system. The easiest way to do this was to remove the voice. But Navi without her voice isn't Navi, so they gave Link a new fairy with a more subtle sound effect. This brings up a new problem: why would Link go on a journey with a new fairy instead of his faithful companion from his previous adventure? The simplest solution was to have Navi missing, and incorporate that, and the role of the new fairy, into the plot.

Whether that's true or not...

Looking at Link's body language when Navi departs tells us nothing because Majora's Mask was not even planned when that scene was created. Even if it did, you don't always know just how much you'll miss someone right away. Sometime it takes a while for it to sink in.

Let's look more closely at the text of MM's intro.
 

In the land of Hyrule, there echoes a legend. A legend held dearly by the Royal Family that tells of a boy...

A boy who, after battling evil and saving Hyrule, crept away from the land that had made him a legend...

Done with the battles he once waged across time, he embarked on a journey. A secret and personal journey...

A journey in search of a beloved and invaluable friend...

A friend with whom he parted ways when he finally fulfilled his heroic destiny and took his place among legends...

"Beloved and invaluable friend" way more accurately describes Navi, who was Link's close ally throughout his entire journey, than one of the random skull kids who had minor interactions with Link. And Link definitely parted ways with Navi at the end of his journey... not some skull kid who he never sees again after meeting in the forest.

Edited by Hana-Nezumi, 14 February 2015 - 03:05 PM.


#9 Veteran

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 05:21 PM

With Tatl in the remake being EVEN MORE ANNOYING than Navi, I say Link's journey in the forest was to get as far away from fairies as he possibly could.

Then two of them show up. Guy's cursed.

#10 wisp

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 06:44 PM

How in the world is Tatl more annoying than Navi? :rofl:



#11 Veteran

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 07:21 PM

Do this! We've only got 71 hours left!

Do this! We've only got 70 hours left!

ETCETRA!

:rage:

#12 Egann

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 07:41 PM

I actually really like your explanation Egann. I never considered Navi of representing Link's childhood and her departure at the end of Ocarina of Time now makes much more sense. However, I'm going to fight you on Skull Kid's relationship with Link. The way I see it, the two of them know of each other but not nearly as well as good friends. I figured they were just aquiantances. After all, if Skull Kid knew Link well enough at the beginning of Majora's Mask then he'd know he wasn't someone to shrug off and fool around with. He's just one of those Kokiri kids who he ran into a while back, mostly harmless right?

 

It's certain that they never knew each other "well," but remember the narration at the beginning isn't from Link's point of view; the events are over and done from the narrator's point of view, to the point that they are in legend. Link and the Skull Kid are pretty good friends at the end, which is enough for a removed narrator to call them friends at the beginning, even if its technically inaccurate. More to the point, the sidequesty nature of Majora's Mask tells us a lot about Link's personality. He helps people even when he knows he will have to reset time on them. It's a good guess that even if Link doesn't form friendships rapidly, he does empathize.

 

It's also not stated how much the mask is messing with Skull Kid's head. He recognizes Link twice in the game--at the beginning and at the end--but he doesn't remember remembering Link at the end. That's a little odd. He also ignores Link's sword and shield and goes straight for the Ocarina. The logical explanation is that Majora is making Skull Kid massively rash and overconfident, but also that Majora recognizes a magical artifact which can threaten it when it sees one. Majora was manipulating Skull Kid to play with and take the Ocarina because the Ocarina was the threat.

 

 

Warning: the following post is...English-majory. Enter at your own peril.
 

Yeah but, literally right after the intro says he's going to find an old friend it plays the fairy sound. Why would they put that in if it wasn't Navi?

 
The opening of Majora's Mask is a manipulation straight out of Hitchcock. It's supposedly a narration from Hyrule's royal family (presumably Zelda), and yet Zelda had virtually no interactions with Navi other than observing she was there. More to the point, Link is mugged by two fairies not five seconds after the chime. What we do know is that the body language at the end of Ocarina suggests Link and Navi parted with no clingy feelings one way or the other, and that if Link follows the Mask Salesman's suggestion and returns to Hyrule at the end of Majora, he will have returned without Navi.
 
I'm not saying the Navi interpretation is completely useless; Ocarina of Time is basically a power fantasy of being able to skip into adulthood and retreat back into childhood at will, and Navi served that thematically because the Kokiri don't age past childhood. It was a sign that Link had an adult body, but wasn't really an adult, and the end of Ocarina--where Zelda gives Link back his missing time--means that he really will grow up. Along this line of thought Link searching for Navi would mean Link is trying to cling to his childhood even though he has already grown up, and returning without Navi means Link has accepted growing up.
 
FYI: I don't think its a coincidence that Link looks like Peter Pan, especially in Ocarina.
 
That said, I think that interpretation has problems, namely that Link accepted growing up at the end of Ocarina when Navi left him. Again, Link didn't look bothered or clingy. The narrator at Majora's beginning also is presumably looking back and has the insight to book-end the story. Why would the narrator bookend the story on the opening when Link doesn't find Navi at the end? The better explanation is that it's too early to reveal that the villain and the protagonist know each other, and Navi is a convenient red herring.
 
If I had to guess, I would say Link is having problems growing up in Hyrule because he experienced it twice, so he's on a quest to grow up somewhere else. Majora's Mask is a sidequest he picks up to save an old friend--everything said in the prologue literally applies to Navi, but by the end it metaphorically applies to Skull Kid.

 

The problem is that you're looking at it from a story perspective, when we know Nintendo works gameplay first and story last. With MM being made on perhaps the strictest deadline out of any Zelda game, this was especially important.

Here's my theory: One of the biggest complaints players had with Ocarina of Time was that Navi was annoying. Nintendo wanted to address that problem, without changing the fairy-based Z-target and help system. The easiest way to do this was to remove the voice. But Navi without her voice isn't Navi, so they gave Link a new fairy with a more subtle sound effect. This brings up a new problem: why would Link go on a journey with a new fairy instead of his faithful companion from his previous adventure? The simplest solution was to have Navi missing, and incorporate that, and the role of the new fairy, into the plot.

Whether that's true or not...

Looking at Link's body language when Navi departs tells us nothing because Majora's Mask was not even planned when that scene was created. Even if it did, you don't always know just how much you'll miss someone right away. Sometime it takes a while for it to sink in.

Let's look more closely at the text of MM's intro.
 

In the land of Hyrule, there echoes a legend. A legend held dearly by the Royal Family that tells of a boy...

A boy who, after battling evil and saving Hyrule, crept away from the land that had made him a legend...

Done with the battles he once waged across time, he embarked on a journey. A secret and personal journey...

A journey in search of a beloved and invaluable friend...

A friend with whom he parted ways when he finally fulfilled his heroic destiny and took his place among legends...

"Beloved and invaluable friend" way more accurately describes Navi, who was Link's close ally throughout his entire journey, than one of the random skull kids who had minor interactions with Link. And Link definitely parted ways with Navi at the end of his journey... not some skull kid who he never sees again after meeting in the forest.

 

 

I find it odd they would say Link was "done with the battles he once waged across time," when Majora's Mask involves time travel heavily, but I won't nitpick.

 

I am sure Navi's reception was part of Nintendo's logic for switching Navi out for Tatl. I imagine that's also where they got Tatl's rude personality from; they turned how playtesters received Navi into a character quirk for Tatl. That said, I don't think anyone would have *actually* complained if they had swapped "hey, listen" out for a ringing sound in the sequel and kept the same fairy.

 

More likely they chose to give Link Tatl because they had already decided for Navi to leave at the end of Ocarina.

 

Otherwise, I largely responded when I replied to JRP. The narrator isn't Link, and is talking in a retrospective tone which may refer to future events in the game as much as past ones in the canon.

 

EDIT:

 

Do this! We've only got 71 hours left!

Do this! We've only got 70 hours left!

ETCETRA!

:rage:

 

Look at the time! You don't even have THREE DAYS left!

 

Uh, Tatl, I think I started out with three days.


Edited by Egann, 14 February 2015 - 07:43 PM.


#13 Hana-Nezumi

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 09:54 PM

You have to really stretch things to try to fit the description to skull kid. Just because the prologue is in past tense isn't reason to presume that the speaker is for some reason telling things out of order to call Skull Kid "a beloved and invaluable friend" (which I think would be a bit weird to say even at the end of MM) and it doesn't make sense at all for Link to go on a "secret and personal journey" to find someone he isn't yet close with. However Navi is someone whom the description DOES fit very accurately, without any kinds of unusual assumptions.

#14 Spikey

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 03:44 PM

It must be Navi. That odd part at the end of OoT....it felt kind of like an open ending. Navi thinks her part in Link's life is done, that their bond was purely mechanical and temporary. Only fitting that MM opens with rejecting that, as Link sets out to find a friend.

 

Sometimes I have this weird idea of the three fairies as being symbolic for the three Triforce parts. In Ocarina, Navi is kind of like a mini-Zelda, and represents wisdom by being a voice of reason (and hints). In Majora's Mask, Tatl is like Link, cast into a certain role by fate and/or destiny, but with a stout heart that suits the part. Then there is Tael with that dark purple glow, who is kind of like a miniature Ganondorf next to the Skull Kid wearing Majora's Mask.



#15 JRPomazon

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 04:17 AM

Reviving thread in 3...2...1...

 

Majora's Mask may not be as focused on Link finding Navi or him specifically saving the Skull Kid from the influence of Majora's Mask. There was an article I read a while ago that really hits the theme of this game right on the head.  (http://www.zeldauniv...rtal-childhood/)

 

Majora's Mask is about accepting the passage of time and growing up.

 

The Skull Kid hung out with the four giants pretty regularly, grew very close to them until the day they had to return to the corners of Termina. This was a very traumatic event for Skull Kid, given the nature of his existence being that of a damned soul who got lost in the woods one day and never came back. He had Tatl and Tael of course but ultimately he'd missed his friends miserably. So he steals Majora's Mask from the Happy Mask Salesman and puts the wretched thing on, the evil of the mask quickly identifies the hole in his heart and uses it to manipulate the darkness within Skull Kid to doing what it wants him to do, which is to bring destruction down on the world via Moonfall.

 

Meanwhile, Link leaves Hyrule to search for Navi (yes, she up and left and he too was rather distraught about the whole thing) because he had saved Hyrule already in the future past. But of course, he doesn't get credit for all of that because it was a different timeline, so Link is once again stuck with the limitations of being a kid despite everything he did. That, combined with everything else must have been miserably frustrating for him to deal with.

 

And then we have the three day cycle itself. The same days over and over, complete with earth-shattering apocalypse that ends everything in fire. Why the cycle? Because for Link, who laments being the hero no one remembers has to suffer this groundhog day scenario where everything his does within that short amount of time is forgotten over and over again, leaving him more and more frustrated with his age and how he just wants to grow up and be the hero he was again. And of course, it's the only way to stop Majora's Mask from ending the world. Now why is he ending the world? Because he's taking the wishes of Skull Kid and distorted to no end. Skull Kid wants his friends back, he wants things to go back to the way they are. But more than that, he doesn't want anything to change. He doesn't want to go on another day where things are different and he has to grow up. So for Majora, if the world ends then Skull Kid doesn't have to face the future without his friends. There won't be a future to speak off.

 

But with the influences of the people of Termina and the transformation masks of the Deku, Goron and Zora heroes, Link is able to bring peace to their spirits and take on the long aimed for role of hero he once had in the Future Past timeline in the last game. He solved the problems of each domain within Termina and helps bring peace to the land to summon the giants. Not only that, but he deals with the problems of the people of Clock Town. Kafei and Anju, the Romani Sisters, etc. They all have concerns and worries that Link himself becomes attached to and he sees time and time again what happens to all of them if he can't save them. Despite being a kid again and not having the same power he might of had in Ocarina of Time as an adult, he grows up. Perhaps maybe his views of being a hero, growing up and getting back what it was he lost at the end of OoT change. For the better I imagine.

 

So when Link is ready to grow up and move on, he has to face Majora who is using Skull Kid's inability to move on to fuel his chaotic designs. The last illusions Skull Kid has through the power of the mask are shattered when he is abandoned by the Mask and is once again left alone. So good and evil clash inside the moon itself and Link defeats the evil that was possessing Skull Kid and threatening the world. At the end of it, Skull Kid comes to terms that despite not seeing the giants anymore didn't mean they stopped being friends. Partings are a natural occurrence in life, but friendships still remain regardless. Time can move freely again and the cycle is broken. And for Link, who you'd think must have given up on finding Navi after all this, is given a very encouraging message from the Happy Mask Salesman: "Whenever there is a meeting, a parting is sure to follow. However, that parting need not last forever. Whether a parting be forever or merely for a short time… that is up to you." It's not bad for him to look for Navi, it's not impossible for him to reunite with her and no goodbye has to be forever. It a very hopeful message.

 

To summarize everything, I think that there is some truth in both arguments. Link's initial motivations come from seeking his friend Navi, who might have represented a part of his life that he just wanted to get back. Be it his glory as the Hero of Time or maybe the childhood he had before with the Kokiri. And after learning the importance of moving on and being a grown-up, he begins to see Skull Kid's problems as very similar issues to his own. He began to emphasize with the poor guy because he was going through very similar stuff. That's why it was so important to save him. Not just because of the oncoming disaster but because maybe they were kindred spirits. It seems that they did meet each other in the previous game but I don't think their relationship was much more than player character and NPC Heart Piece dispenser.

 

So yeah, thoughts?



#16 Fin

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 06:52 AM

Yeah, that plus my earlier post in this thread pretty much sums up how I see the themes of the game.

Edited by Fin, 29 March 2015 - 11:25 AM.





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