Excellent thread, Erimgard!
FSA and TP feature mirrors with the same backstory: They were used to seal away a dark tribe.
Nothing contradicts these two mirrors being the same, so I believe they are the same mirror, but on separate timelines.
First of all, I agree.
I don't necessarily believe the Interlopers were a full tribe, or all from one tribe. It could've been any large group of magic-wielders.
Well, in Japanese the magic wielders are never called a tribe, but constantly referred to as a clan or family.
Now, in TP, the mirror is said to have sealed away a tribe, and then that tribe, the Twili, play a huge role in the game.
In FSA, it would seem that this dark tribe is mentioned once, and no further background or story is given.
There is seemingly no gameplay purpose for mentioning this sealed tribe.
Unless that sealed tribe is shown.
Up to here, exactly! But then comes where we differ. Let me use this opportunity to present a theory that I haven't openly spoken about before.
Am I the only one who noticed that a group of magic wielders does
visually appear in FSA, complete with their dark cloaks, a strong affinity to darkness, and a presumed inclination towards evil?
The sudden appearance of the mages is never really explained, and the mentioned clan of darkness is never elaborated on. So it only makes sense to connect these two unsolved issues to one, thereby restoring some inner closure to the game's plot.
In Japanese FSA, there's no universal name given to the mages, they are referred to with a variety of words for "magic users". One of them, found at Death Mountain Foothills, says:
フォフォフォ…。 お若いの、巨人の群れに お困りかな…？
Ho ho ho… Young ones, troubled by the crowd of giants, are you?
Oh ho ho ho… Such youth… Troubled by the giants, are you?
この世には 我ら魔導師によって 強大な魔法が かけられた ２種類のメダルがある。
In this world there are two types of medallion on which we magic wielders have applied mighty sorcery.
We magic users have enchanted two types of medallion.
This magic instantly alters the shape of brutal monsters or kills them…
These medallions instantly alter the shape of an evil presence or make it vanish.
そのうちの ひとつが そこの宝箱に しまってある。
One of these is in that treasure chest there.
One of these medallions is in that treasure chest there.
ワシが 魔法をかけたものじゃ。よかったら お使いなされ…。
I enchanted it. You may use it if you like…
It's one that I enchanted myself. You may use it if you like.
Compare that mage's "mighty sorcery", 強大な魔法, to the wording
used by Lanayru, "powerful sorcery", 強力な魔力.
Pretty similar, and just a little different. This tiny difference is comparable to the tiny difference between FSA's 闇の一族 (Clan of Darkness) and TP's 影の一族 (Clan of Shadow), which is totally due to the games' focuses on either darkness or shadow, and delivers no reason for them to be two different clans.
Also, the mages don't hail from "this world" (この世), and the same wording is used in TP when they differentiate between "this world" and "the otherworld" (which is in truth the Shadow World).
Now, the obvious objection to my theory will be that the Twilis cannot live in the light world. However, this is not necessarily true.
Just because Midna prefers
to remain a shadow there, and suffers damage once exposed to one of the greatest sources of light
, this does not mean the Twilis couldn't dwell in the harsh light if they just protected themselves with the cloaks they're already wearing anyway.
Not long ago, I translated the first conversation between Zant and Midna:
いくら望んでも、今の世界では お前は 決して交わることはできぬ影にすぎぬ
No matter how much you may desire otherwise, in the world as it is now, you will never be more than a shadow that cannot mingle.
No matter how much you may desire otherwise, you will never be more than a shadow in their world. You cannot consort with their kind!
- "Traitor of the shadows" shows how shadows can be used as a collective term for the Clan of Shadow. That metaphoric sense is important for further down.
- While he still does say Midna cannot mingle in the Light World due to being a shadow, this may be meant in said metaphoric sense, because the word for mingle refers to social interaction, which she as one of the hated Shadow people will never be able to. Just my interpretation, but a valid one.
Even if one's personal problem with this quote is too great to overcome - in spite of the justification I gave in the notes -, one really has to consider that in FSA the situation is that Vaati goes around spreading darkness over the land. This is exactly what the mages welcome, and the one and only reason why they praise Link for having released Vaati. The Village episode tells us that the mages are not evil, thus they cannot be applauding Vaati for his evil nature, but rather for making "the world a better place for our kind"
, to use their own words.
Well, I certainly don't expect people to like my theory or reasoning (apart maybe from Lex and Erimgard), but at least you can see now that I didn't sympathize with the two mirrors being the same without any reason. I do have this waterproof theory about who the clan of darkness is. The thing I can't explain is the role and nature of the Dark World in FSA, but none of us really can, so that's not my flaw.
Except that they have different powers
Similar powers. And what Lex said.
the metaphysics of their sealing is different
Only by hearsay.
they're not the same size
2D versus 3D.
they look different
one mirror is explicitly said to be evil and the other is merely dangerous but still technically an item of the goddesses
In FSA the goddesses aren't mentioned, so "evil" may be synonymous for "dangerous".
one got destroyed and the other didn't
That's why FSA is in a separate timeline from TP.
they were sealed in different places
Not necessarily. The Temple of Darkness could easily be the Execution Place, as it's located close to FSA's desert. Technically, in the level map, the temple isn't even close to the forest, in spite of what the maiden may say.
Not to mention that in Zelda Cosmology, "Dark" and "Twilight" are different.
It is Mirror of Darkness versus Mirror of Gloom.