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Beyond the Canon: The Legend of Zelda [Part Three]

Welcome back to Beyond the Canon, our ongoing mini-series that will be taking you through the most prominent entries in the officially licensed Legend of Zelda manga adaptation.

Here is PART ONE, and here is PART TWO!

These stories delve into the world famous video game series and tell their tales in a new way, sometimes with more or less character development and world building than ever before. You may even find that some newly introduced plot points are preferable to the original game narratives. So join us as we take a trip across the plains of Hyrule and go beyond the canon!

Foreword – For those who don’t know, manga is read from Right to Left, take that into consideration when viewing the following images.

Our story opens with a message that, presumably, comes from the Happy Mask Salesman who first makes an appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The message is printed across an image that shows Majora’s Mask resting in front of the moon and it reads, “Hey, everyone!  Do you recognize this mask? It’s perfect for a night like this when the moon is full and things seem creepy. I’m going to tell you one of my favorite stories. It’s all about this mask…”

From here we are introduced to the Happy Mask Salesman as he approaches from the horizon, carrying his pack of masks on his back as usual. Getting nearer, he offers up greetings, introducing himself as a wandering salesman who travels the world selling his goods. He then asks he comes across as being suspicious, or somehow shady. Preempting an answer, he says, “I bring happiness. Trust me.” At this point,we’re shown that the Happy Mask Salesman isn’t talking to use, but someone he approached. This is indicated by a hand being shown as pointing towards Majora’s Mask, hanging from the salesman’s pack. He tells the potential customer that the mask is only for display purposes because it’s “too dangerous,” before explaining that it is a mysterious mask that grants the deepest desire of the wearer. He then says that it possesses a terrible, terrible power, calling it demonic and evil.

He turns to leave, but is attacked from behind by an unseen assailant who steals the mask and runs off. The happy mask man, who doesn’t give chase, says that, “If you have that mask, it will be calamitous. It can only end in tragedy. Trust me. Trust me.” We then see the unmistakable profile of a Skull Kid holding the mask and laughing, putting it on and strutting around. His fun is cut short however, as he is jolted by some force and the mask blazes with energy.

The story jumps to Hyrule Field at this point, a location never seen in Majora’s Mask, as Link and Epona prepare to set out in search of Navi. Prior to beginning the search, Link has made plans to meet with an order of knights to receive some additional training and some of the younger knights are excited to be worthy of a visit from someone who has been named as a Hero of the land. When the knights hear that Link has arrived at the gate, they rush to meet him. Reaching the gate, and finding a child, they begin to think that the hero Link must have ran off, leaving his squire behind. But Link tells them that their master, Osun, is expecting him and presents the Ocarina of Time to them, proving his connection to the royal family. Osun takes Link to the practice yard along with the knights in training where Link proceeds to handily defeat all of them, even snapping one of their swords. When it comes to fighting against Master Osun, Link is said to be holding his own against the much older, much more experienced fighter before finding away under the older knights guard and landing a winning blow.

After sparring, Osun remarks on Links skill level when it comes to matters of the sword, but decides not to pry too much. Instead, he the conversation moves to the knights of the order, who he calls soft. He explains to Link that this is good, because it means they’ve never seen war, but he tails off instead of commenting on how this leaves the land exposed to threats. Saying his goodbyes, Link and Osun are both happy to see the younger knights are pouring themselves into their training, inspired by Links display.

Riding off on Epona, Link thinks about his journey up until now, his time spent with Zelda and his battles against Ganondorf, which leads him back to thinking about Navi. Navi, being a fairy, is most at home in the forest, and so he plans on continuing his search for her there. Not long after having entered the forest, he spots a fairy that zips down to himself and Epona, but he realizes that this fairy is yellow and not blue, like Navi. The fairy starts to quickly circle Epona’s head, confusing the horse and startling her, this causes her to buck Link off her back. While Link lies on his back unconscious, Skull Kid emerges from the trees and begins to pick through Link’s pockets, laughing all the while until he eventually comes across the Ocarina of Time. Link comes to his senses and sees the Ocarina in Skull Kids hands and demands that he gives it back, Skull Kid plays coy by hiding it behind his back, but Link tells him to hand it over. Link lunges for Skull Kid who leaps over him and lands squarely on Epona’s back and he goads her into a run. Barreling down on Link, who’s busy telling Epona to stop, it becomes clear that the Horse is too startled to make sense of Link’s command, forcing Link to dive aside for fear of being trampled.

Getting to his feet, Link gives chase through the forest before ultimately coming to a sudden sheer drop where, unable to recover his balance, he falls over the edge and plummets downwards, coming to a stop on a large soft Deku flower. Trying to clear his head from the fall, Skull Kid appears before Link, who asks to know who the Skull Kid is. But rather than getting a proper answer, Skull Kid tells Link that he’s, “Sick of looking at your face,” before attacking Link with some sort of magic, causing him to fall into a pit of darkness where he is ensnared by roots and plantlife.

When Link comes to his senses, he sees his own reflection in a nearby pool of water and is terrified to find that he has been turned into a Deku Scrub, which Skull Kid finds “hilarious.”

Skull Kid departs the area with a fairy in tow and the yellow fairy, called Tatl, is separated from the pair. Link, on the other hand, is in something of a panic, not knowing how to get the mask that is clamped to his face off. He quickly notices that he no longer has is sword or shield, and doesn’t know how he will eat in this form.

The fairy Tatl starts to bounce on Link’s head, telling him that it’s his fault that she was separated from her brother. Rubbing his head, he says that it’s “hard to believe you and Navi are both fairies.” Discovering that he can form bubbles with his new Deku body, Link traps Tatl inside of one and demands that she tells him where Skull Kid has taken Epona and, after a moment’s thought, Tatl tells Link to head for Clock Town. Following the fairy as she makes a path through the forest, Link finds that the soil has grown soft beneath his feet, eventually leading him into a slow and gentle fall through the air as clock faces surround him and the sounds of ticking gears ring out. Blinking to clear his head, Link opens his eyes and finds that he’s inside a large stone room with turning gears and quietly creaking timbers with a set of double doors.

Pushing the double doors open, Link emerges into the main plaza of a town dominated by a large clock tower which is chimingly loudly. As builders go about their work erecting a tower, the foreman calls out that they only have three days to get their work completed because the carnival is nearing. Meanwhile, Link remarks that he, “never knew a town this big existed so deep in the forest” while looking around and getting the feeling that something is wrong as some folks are celebrating and others are in panic. While he walks down the street, a man bumps into him and tells him to watch where he was going. The man greatly resembles Ingo from Lon Lon Ranch, which confuses Link. Then another person bumps into him from behind, this time a large Zora who Link first thinks might be the Zora King, but shrugs the idea off because he was so much bigger. Generally speaking, Link is confused about his situation.

Learning that Skull Kid often hangs around outside the town, Link and Tatl make for the gate but are stopped by the soldier on guard, he tells Link of the dangerous that exist beyond the walls and advises that he stays with his parents, mistaking Link for a Deku child and laughing when Link tells him that he’s a hero. Link is returned to the street by the guard where he encounters a dog which, when compared to his newly stunted stature, appears to be quite large. It starts to chase Link who has no option but to run which causes him to tumble over his short legs and fall down the entire sloped street of West Clock Town. A woman carrying a parasol, mistaking Link for a child in the same way as the guard had done, ask if he’s okay after his fall that left him very scuffed up. Link tells her that he’s fine, but nonetheless she scoops him up and says that taking care of him is no bother at all, and she makes off for her home which is revealed to be the Stock Pot Inn. The woman, Anju, takes Link to the back room to treat his injuries while Anju’s mother pleads with her to pack for evacuating the town, but Anju refuses to leave whilst her mother tells her to stop waiting on someone called Kafei and to give up on him.

While Anju prepares some medicine, Link asks if he is still in Hyrule, to which Anju replies, “Why, no. This is Termina, Clock Town in Termina. I’ve never heard of a place called Hyrule.” At her response, Link realizes that something strange must have happened when he passed through the forest, somehow crossing into “another world… or dimension.” While Link blushes awkwardly as Anju tends to his injuries, she tells him about the Carnival and the fear among the populace following rumors that the moon is expected to fall in three days. When Anju tells Link that she isn’t going to flee the town, he asks if it’s because of the person her mother mentioned, Kafei, asking if he’s her boyfriend. She tells Link that they were to be married, but that Kafei went missing, she goes on to say that she believes he will return, and that’s her reason for staying. Link echoes the sentiment that Kafei will return, telling Anju that she’s a great girl and Kafei would never break a promise of marriage to her. Looking back at the moon, she tells Link that the townsfolk say, “The Little Demon is calling the moon.” At this moment, Skull Kid appears behind Anju, though she can’t see him, and Link jumps to his feet. Skull Kid proclaims that there’s nothing he can’t do, and he’s bringing down the moon to make the carnival more entertaining. Link runs outside to pursue Skull Kid who had started prancing his away across the rooftops, ultimately coming to a halt at the top of the clock tower. Once there, Link demands that Skull Kid returns the Ocarina of Time and returns Link to his original form, but Skull Kid ignores him and entreats Majora’s Mask to bring down the moon. Tatl asks if this a prank or a joke, but her brother Tael calls out to her, telling her to “bring four people… one each from the swamp, mountain, sea and valley. Skull Kid slaps the fairy aside and almost drops the Ocarina of Time, but catches it before it falls, telling Link that even if he had the Ocarina, it wouldn’t change a thing.

At this point in the manga, an inexplicable occurrence, that isn’t explained, happens. The moon falls three times, crushing and destroy Clock Town, but each time it falls, time starts to rewind for no reason.

Link uses his ability to blow Deku bubbles to knock the Ocarina of Time out of Skull Kids’ hand so that he can reclaim it, and in doing so gains access to a Deku Scrub Tuba which he uses to play the Song of Time. Doing this rewinds time by a full three days and returns Link to the inside of the clock tower, but now he is freed from the Deku Mask, the manga omits the Song of Healing in its entirety. It’s at this point that the Happy Mask Salesman re-enters the story, speaking to Link to get his attention, saying, “You’ve been through something terrible, haven’t. You!” The Happy Mask Salesman introduces himself and informs Link that he too was robbed by Skull Kid, telling him Majora’s Mask is a “legendary magical item from long long ago… and it’s cursed. It’s said that those who wear it are possessed by an incredibly evil power.” The Happy Mask Salesman goes on to tell Link that has been following him and that he believes he’s capable of retrieving the mask from from Skull Kid. Reluctant to help the shady mask salesman, but moved by Tatl’s impassioned plea for helping her brother, Link agrees to take on the quest, but he is immediately set on edge by the suspicious and positively malign feeling emanating from the Happy Mask Salesman. He says, “It’ll be alright, you’ve got the Ocarina of Time.You who have fought across the bounds of time are sure to succeed, ho ho ho. Trust in your own power. Trust in it.” And with this, he vanishes into the darkness and out of sight.

Links enters the Clock Town plaza again and prepares to set out, but he spots Anju walking past and makes a detour to talk to her. He asks how she’s doing, and when he’s met with confusion Link remembers that now that time has been reset, they’ve never met. Changing tact, he asks if she has heard anything from Kafei, but the mere mention of his name causes her to grasp his arm and question him about where Kafei might be. Apologizing for his lack of usefulness in finding Kafei, Link excuses himself and contemplates how frustrating it will be having everyone forget him when time resets, but Tatl prompts him into action and so the pair make towards the exit leading towards the swamp. The guard let’s him pass without question this time, and they make their way out into Termina Field. Link remarks that Termina Field looks like Hyrule Field (it doesn’t) but notices that the air smells different and, after striking a suitably heroic pose, he declares that, “Another journey begins.”

Entering into the Swamp, Link comments on how the density of the trees and plant life makes the swamp seem more like a jungle, noting that there’s a strange smell in the air. Tatl tells Link that the Deku have a palace nearby, and that they should go there and ask for information, but Link is too busy thinking about how he suddenly feels sick, at first thinking it’s the smell, but he stumbles onto his knees saying that he feels awful. He realizes that something is wrong with the water around him, figuring out that it’s poisoning him, before passing out and sinking beneath the surface. Tatl is startled by the sudden arrival of a troop of monkeys who descend from the trees, claiming that they’re going to help Link and, true to their word, they pull Link from the toxic water and quickly transport him to a spring of pure water. Having thrown him into the clean spring, they start to scrub him down to remove the toxic residue from his skin and this quickly restores Link to consciousness, he then thanks them for saving his life. They monkeys, however, tell Link that he now owes them a favor as recompense for saving his life. They tell Link that the swamp has steadily been filling with poison, making it impossible for people and wildlife to continue living there, and that the poison has been making its way into the swamp from Woodfall, an area atop a large waterfall. What’s worse is that having tried to investigate the cause of the poison themselves, the monkeys and the Deku princess all went to Woodfall together, but were chased off by a giant monster while the Deku princess herself was captured. The monkeys entreat Link once more and return his sword and shield to him, which finally convinces him to help them, but before doing so, he tells them of his plan to visit the Deku Palace.

Reaching the palace, Link is confronted by a pair of Deku guards who tell him that he is not allowed into the palace and that strangers are currently unwelcome. He turns away from the gate, saying that the place is very unfriendly. To get inside, he puts on the Deku mask (planning to use it as a disguise) but finds that he is transformed into his Deku form again. Using this to his advantage, Link infiltrates the palace where he finds the Deku King in a rage, threatening to burn the local animals at the stake if they don’t confess to their alleged crimes of kidnapping the princess. He shouts to the crowd about how they should be used to set an example of what happens to those who attack the royal family of Deku. Link pulls of the Deku mask, draws his sword and starts to slash the ropes holding the monsters in place, instructing them to flee, but the guards surround Link and prevent his escape while the King says that he must be responsible for kidnapping the princess, and so Link finds himself tied to a stake over a roaring fire.

At this point, the roof comes crashing inwards as a towering foot collapses it, and the towering form of Odolwa, self proclaimed God of Woodfall, comes into view with a sword and shield drawn. He claims that the Deku had grown lazy with their worship and tributes to him, and so he will destroy the whole palace. The monkeys arrive at the scene to free Link, and they tell him that Odolwa is actually a monster who stole away the princess, and not a God. As Link defends against Odolwa’s attacks, Tatl moves in close to the monster to try and find a weakness but instead finds a magical bottle tied to its waist that holds the Deku princess captive inside. With the same practiced thrust that was used to defeat Master Osun, Link frees the magical bottle from its bindings and it’s deftly caught by one of the monkeys. Link tells Odolwa, “You may be big, but you’re not a skilled fighter!” and it enrages the monster who raises his arm high above his head to rain down a powerful blow, but Link uses the opening to unleash a spin attack, which kills Odolwa and rapidly reduces him to ashes, leaving nothing more than a mask.

The mask begins to shudder and a spirit seems to escape, taking the form of a giant in the mist who’s booming voice can be heard echoing through the swamp. Tatl is able to translate the language and tells Link that the giant was saying, “Call for me.” before it took its leave and Link wonders if it was one of the four people that Tael had told him to bring to the clock tower. The monkeys free the Princess from her bottle and she is reunited with her father, who she believes to be pig-headed and too quick to act, but she also extends her thanks to Link while offering apologies for any strife that may have been caused by her capture, but Link simply kneels in front of her any says that it’s an honor to have assisted in her time of need. And with that, he makes ready to depart the swamp, talking with Tatl about the imprisoned giant as they go before looking fondly at his Deku mask which he now considers to be good luck. With swamp behind them, the duo set out for the mountain known as Snowhead.

The Snowhead adventure opens with a lost Goron wandering in the snow, ultimately collapsing and becoming slowly buried in the snow were he laments about his regret and shame before being covered over. Next, we cut to Link holding his ear to his hand, saying that he can hear a voice on the wind, wondering if it’s an animal or a person, but his thoughts are interrupted by a bone-rattling sneeze as the cold air whips at him. He complains loudly about the fact that nobody warned him of how cold it would be in the mountains, and while Tatl rebukes him for the implied insult, he sneezes again, causing the nearby freshly fallen snow to fall on top of him. The fallen snow reveals a Goron Warrior that’s frozen in ice, Link initially mistakes him for Darmani from Hyrule but quickly realizes his mistake and wonders about what might have seen him brought to his icy fate.

But at this moment, a ghost looms out of the darkness, groaning about its regrets and shame, this startles Link initially, but he listens to what the ghost has to say, asking what it is that he is feeling regret over. The Goron tells Link that his name is Darmani, and that he is an accomplished Warrior with the blood of Goron heroes in his body and that he set out to defeat the monster atop Snowhead that has been causing the terrible prolonged winter, despite the protestations of his fellow Gorons. Before leaving, the Goron Elder’s son approached Darmani, begging his uncle to teach him the Goron Fire Punch, but Darmani told the child that he would teach him the trick after he defeated the monster and spring had returned. We cut to Darmani atop the mountain, facing off with the Mechanical Masked Monster, Goht. He winds up for a mighty strike but is gored by the horns of the beast and flung from the mountain into a ravine. With the story told, the ghost tells Link that he feels shame for having failed the bloodline of heroes and regret at not being able to fulfill his promise to the Elder’s child. To give some comfort to the worried ghost, Link pulls out the Ocarina and plays a song that, “eases my aching heart” (despite having never learned the song of healing) and allows Darmani to pass peacefully from the world, leaving behind a mask in the shape of a Goron.

Link lifts the mask and, after putting it on, is transformed into a mighty Goron warrior who is no longer afflicted by the cold. Link puts this warming effect down to “Darmani’s warm heart” and, with Tatl’s reminder, he makes off for the Goron village in the mountains peaks. When he arrives to the village that’s buried under the snow, he finds it somewhat empty with only a small handful of Gorons outside. But when they see him, they instantly mistake his massive form for that of Darmani, and quickly spread the word that he has returned while taking Link to see the Elder. While there, the ear splitting sounds of the Elder’s son crying can be heard echoing through the halls, and the other Gorons take Link there with haste as they can no longer tolerate the howling. The child immediately stops crying and throws his arms around Link, mistaking him for Darmani, but after a few moments the child realizes that something seems off about his Goron uncle. To avoid an awkward confrontation, Link tells the child that it’s time to sleep, and performs a lullaby to calm him, before telling him that Goht still lives, and that after he defeats Goht he has “something else to do.” The child cries and protests against Link, whom he still believes is Darmani, leaving and so Link tells the young Goron that he needs to grow up to be brave and strong to protect his fellow Gorons, this inspires the youth to start practicing the Goron Fire Punch on his own, and with that, Link leaves to continue his path up the mountain to where Goht resides. When he reaches the summit, Link finds Goht waiting. The mechanical beast says nothing more than, “You’re back again.” Before charging at Link and sending him soaring through the air to land in a heap nearby. Link, speaking to the air, promises Darun that he will avenge his death if he could only lend him his strength. Goht lowers its horns and charges him once again, but this time Link seizes the beasts horns and slams it to one side, before turning and pitching it off the cliff face to its death.

With Goht dead, its remains release the form of the second giant that had been trapped inside the mask, presumably by Majora’s evil magic, who walks off into the distance, just like the giant from the swamp. And finally, spring returns to the mountain as the snows clear and flowers bloom. The gorons gather to celebrate Darmani, hailing him as a true hero for defeating the monster, while the Elders child refers to him as the strongest goron ever. The spirit of Darmani speaks one last time to Link, thanking him for assisting the gorons in their time of need and leaving him the goron mask. Link makes his way back down to the field of Termina, talking with Tatl about why the giants were sealed as he goes. Reaching the open field again, he looks upwards at the moon which is closer than before and says, “As long as I see that in the sky, I can’t rest, and he sets out for the Great Bay.

Link arrives at the Great Bay at a run, thrilled to finally get a view of the sea, something he has never seen before. He’s amazed by the size of it and notices some nearby fishermen showing signs of frustration. Link asks what the problem is and the fisherman let’s Link know that ever since a mysterious cloud has formed over the Great Bay, he and his colleagues haven’t been able to catch any fish at all, but the conversation is cut short as the man notices something that causes Link to turn around.

A large pirate ship comes into view past a rock formation, and at the front of it Link can see two figures fighting, before one is cast down from the ship and into the water. Link moves to rescue the person before it’s too late, despite the presence of the ship and dives deep under the water to grab them. Resurfacing and dragging the body to the shore, it becomes clear that the man Link has saved is a zora, but despite showing no wounds Link tells us that he’s badly injured. The man stirs and tries to get to his feet, talking about chasing the pirates and retrieving some sort of egg, but Link tells him to be still and asks him what exactly is going on. The zora reveals that his names is Mikau, a zora descended from a line of heroes who also just so happens to be the guitarist from the popular musical troupe, the Indigo-go’s. He tells Link that while the band was rehearsing, the lead singer Lulu lost her voice and gave birth to a strange egg, this happened just as the cloud appeared over the Great Bay area. Mikau asks Link to save the egg in his stead because in his current state he has no hope of doing so. As a means of repaying Link for the task, he plays him a song which Link joins in on with his Ocarina. When the song is over, he tells Link that he has a good ear for music and that he should join the band, but his body starts to glow and his physical for starts to fade and he tells Link that he wishes he could play in the band one last time before he abruptly flashes out of existence, leaving nothing behind but his guitar and a mask. Link dons the mask and takes on the form of a zora and sets out for the pirate ship on the horizon, leaving nothing behind him but a grave that reads, “here lies a guitar hero.”

With his newfound prodigious speed in the water, Link catches up with the pirate ship and boards it in no time, the waves offering little in the way of resistance. Removing the zora mask and sneaking across the deck of the ship, he finds access to the belly of the ship which grants him a view of the pirates below, discussing the egg. The pirate leader, Aveil, is telling her cronies that the egg is the only clue they have about the “Dragon Cloud” that has appeared over the bay, she goes on to say that “the masked one” told her that underneath that cloud, there’s a treasure that will set them up for life. Link knows that the masked one must be Skull Kid and he resolves to retrieve the egg right now, but lingers outside because there are simply too many pirates to fight. In the upper woodwork of the ship, Link  conveniently spies a hornets nest that is dangling precariously over the pirates that he manages to dislodge with an expertly cast stone. The nest hits the ground and angry hornets erupt from it, attacking the pirates who are now in disarray, chasing them away from the area. When the area is clear, Link jumps down and quickly seizes the zora egg for himself, which he says is similar to a giant pearl, but the pirate leader reappears with her swords drawn, asking who he thinks he is to be pulling tricks on a band of thieves such as hers. Instead of answering, Link puts on Mikau’s mask which surprises the pirate who says, “I thought I already finished you off.” Before leaping into battle, her swords spinning. Link fights back with a range of kicks and swipes from his zora arm blades, but the fight is interrupted by something that nudges the ship, staggering all on board. Suddenly, a tremendous island sized turtle emerges from the sea, knocking Link and the pirate into the water and capsizing the ship, terrifying the pirates who quickly flee.

Doctor Mizuumi paddles up alongside the Turtle in a little boat, much to Link’s surprise, and tells him that if he leaves the egg behind it will be safe in his seaside lab. The turtle also tells Link that he was summoned by the egg once it “called” to him, telling him about the crisis that the sea was experiencing. He tells Link that time is precious and that the Great Bay needs him, so Link grabs hold of one of his fins and the two shoot towards the Dragon Cloud with small glowing seahorses helping to illuminate the path ahead through the murky water. But as the approach, Gyorg, the gargantuan masked fish, emerges from the depths and attempts to swallow Link whole. Link barely makes it out of the way in time, but the spirit of Mikau reaches out to Link, telling him to battle Gyorg with his arm fins that can generate a powerful electrical current throughout his entire body. Link charges the monster and connects with his fins, shocking the beast with the water helping to spread the current across its entire body. The body dissolves away, leaving a mask floating on the surface which Link swims up to retrieve. Upon doing so, both Tatl and Link are glad to see that another giant can be glimpsed in the distance, evidently having been freed from the mask. Returning to the shore, Link notices the fish have returned and that the fishermen can ply their trade once again. The giant turtle tells Link that Lulu was from a tribe of zora who were sea protectors and that the egg was a warning of trouble in the sea, but that with the crisis averted, her voice should return soon. The turtle, evidently wise in the ways of the world, tells Link that he knows he is from another land, another world even, and asks why he has decided to save Termina. Link tells him that, although he doesn’t have a concrete answer, “a hero fights for whoever needs protection.” He tells Link that he truly is a hero and that he will surely stop the moon from falling before returning to the sea to resume is slumber. Link makes his way onto a nearby outcrop of rock where he finds a female zora alone, instinctively he knows that it’s Lulu and he tells her that the egg has been stored safely in the marine research lab. Almost immediately, her voice comes back to her and she thanks Link, who she has mistaken for Mikau. All of the band arrives soon after and, relieved to see Mikau again, they all join together for one last rehearsal before the carnival performance.

Without a mention of how Link departs the Great Bay or Mikau’s band mates, the story makes three back-to-back hard cuts now. First, we cut back to Clock Town and inside the Stock PotInn we find Anju alone, looking at a picture of herself and Kafei. She is sitting on her bed, next to a bridal gown and lamenting the fact that despite having promised to be married, Kafei still hasn’t shown up. Meanwhile outside, the moon hovers lower than ever of Clock Town, on the third and final day. Our second hard cut takes us to Ikana Canyon where Link is battling the giant masked insect, Twinmold. This fight completely forgoes the use of the Giant’s Mask and is resolved in a single page with Link simply cutting the monster in two, releasing the last of the four giants from its imprisonment. Tatl tells the giant that it needs to follow both her and Link to Clock Town given as how there isn’t much time left. But the giant remains still, telling Link that he should call the giants using a song from his Ocarina. The giant performs the Giant’s Theme, and leaves Link with the message, “Forgive your friend,” before leaving. Now, we hard cut back to Clock Town where Link heads for the Stock PotInn to check in on Anju, deciding that they still have time to spare and, upon arriving, they find that the Inn appears to be empty.

A mysterious person is discovered just outside the Inn’s door and takes Link by surprise, not wanting to hang around and answer questions, the person tackles Link aside and makes a run for it. In his haste to leave, the masked person drops a letter, which after recovering his footing, Link lifts to investigate. The letter is written, “To Anju, from Kafei.” Knowing the significance of the information possibly held within the letter, Link runs into the Inn looking for Anju, knowing that she will immediately want to read the letter. He finds Anju and her family preparing to evacuate the town, but when he hands Anju the letter, she exclaims that there’s no doubt that the handwriting was Kafei’s and that after reading the letter, she has decided to stay in the town. Her grandmother shouts out that she’ll stay too, much to Anju’s mother chagrin, but the grandmother tells her daughter that there’s nothing to fear because the four giants will come to save them. This catches Link off guard and he questions her, asking what she meant and, giving him a kind look, she tells him that the children nowadays don’t know the stories of old. She tells Link that years and years ago, Giants once lived with the people of Termina, living alongside them in peace and protecting them if need be. She goes on to tell Link that one day, the Giants told the people of the land that it was time for them to go, but to call for their aid if ever it was needed, and they each took 100 steps with each going a different direction. Having heard enough, Link tells Anju that he’s going to search for Kafei because he has an idea. Anju asks Link to relay a message of her confidence in him, telling him that she will wait for Kafei’s return. As Link turns to leave, the Grandmother snatches his arm and tells him that one person was particularly upset with the departure of the Giants, a little demon who felt so abandoned, his heartache could have split the earth. It’s at this point that Link realizes the Skull Kid and Giants were once friends.

Now searching for Kafei to prevent Anju from feeling heartbroken, Link sneaks around Clock Town trying to find the mysterious person who was trying to deliver the letter to the Stock Pot Inn, eventually catching up to him, giving chase and following him through the streets before being hit by a surprise attack of collapsing crates. At this point, we see the masked stranger run off to the Clock Town Laundry Pool where he vanishes into a storage area, locking the door behind him. Somehow, inexplicably, Link is already there and waiting, saying, “You need to work much harder to lose me!” Link grabs him, demanding answers as to why he had that letter, but the masked person throws him off easily, to which Link says, “Awfully strong for a kid!” Link, being better trained, recovers and tackles the masked person, easily restraining him on the ground, asking if he had answers or if he was just playing tricks on Anju. The mask falls off the person at this point and they reveal themselves to be Kafei, transmuted into the body of a child by the Skull Kid who he encountered coming home from a bar one night. He tells Link that Skill Kid has taken everything from him by turning him into a child, and when Link tells him that he has plans to stop the Skull Kid, Kafei asks if he can follow along to help. At this point, again, inexplicably, the Happy Mask Salesman can be seen in the corner of the room laughing. Kafei shows Link the Sun Mask he had made for his wedding and when Tatl tells him that Anju is worried, he tells her that he could never let Anju see him this way.

Midway through the conversation, the moon begins its inexorable advance towards the surface, with Kafei apologizing to Link for attacking him. At this point, we see the Happy Mask Salesman with a shady look on his face watching Link, Kafei and Tatl running off, saying, “They’re off to confront that little demon. Now for the real show. If I can only get that mask back, I’ll no longer have a need for this world, I just move on. Ho ho ho ho.”

While Link and Kafei pass through the town, some can be seen taunting the moon, children play happily having been told by their parents that it won’t fall while others still debate with the mayor over the proper course of action. In general, indecision is rife among the people of Clock Town.

Link turns to Tatl, asking where she went, implying that she had vanished for a while despite this never actually occurring, but Tatl simply says, “What? I didn’t miss anything,” as Link sets about playing the Giant’s Theme on his Ocarina. When nothing happens, Link demands that the Skull Kid should return Kafei to his normal form, but he refuses while laughing at them, blasting the ground at their feet with some sort of magic when Kafei pleads for mercy so that he can reunite with Anju. Still laughing, Skull Kid turns back to the moon, calling it closer while talking about how everyone will soon be dead and that they deserve it. At this point, Anju appears atop the tower and calls out for the child that she recognizes as being Kafei. Tatl reveals that this is where she went, to fetch Anju, because she wouldn’t want to go another second without the person she loves. Anju and Kafei embrace while Skull Kid recoils from them, telling them not to do that in front of him, meanwhile Link is still telling Skull Kid to stop the moon from falling.

Suddenly, as if from nowhere, a rumbling booming can be heard and the Giants appear as if from nowhere, catching the moon in their powerful arms. Tatl and Tael are finally reunited for a moment before Tatl starts raving at the giants about how frightened she was that they weren’t going to appear at all. Skull Kid, who had previously been immobilized for some reason, gets to his knees and says that he didn’t mean for that to happen, meaning the moon fall event, and recounts the tale of how he felt abandoned, unwanted and alone when the giants left the Clock Town. He felt that when he had the mask, everyone would do as he pleased because the mask was his only friend, but suddenly he is lifted into the air and slammed into the ground repeatedly, with a voice now coming from the mask itself, calling Skull Kid a trusting fool who was merely garbage and never anything close to a friend. Majora calls Skull Kid dull and discards him, instead blasting a beam of energy at Link and asking if he will play with him instead while considering which game would be most fun before deciding on a game of tag. Majora tells Link that he is “it” and that whoever is “it” must wear a special mask, which he drops at Links feet before laughing heartily and flying off to land on the moon in a wash of light. Link puts on the mask and, much to the terror of Kafei and Anju, he emerges from an explosion of energy as a Fierce Deity, a warrior god that battles against evil. Link and Tatl follow Majora to the moon through the wash of light and emerge in a large open field populated by four children, each of which is wearing one of the masks that Link had taken from the monsters of Termina. The children all bet Link that he can’t catch them in their game, but he immediately kills all four with one arching sweep of the two handed double helix sword.

All that remains is a new child wearing Majora’s Mask which jumps into life, trailing tendrils and flies in circles around Link. Using the flat of the double helix sword, Link slaps down the mask with enough force to stun it a little bit, causing it to laugh and wobble back into the air, laughing somewhat maniacally as it goes. It suddenly shifts form again, becoming a lanky biped, running in circles daring Link to try and catch it again before wrapping a tendril around Link’s arm and hitting him with an electric blast, hoping to burn him to ashes, but the Fierce Deity stands untouched by the attack. Instead, Link tears the tendril from Majora’s body, injuring and enraging the monster, causing it to lash out at him for not offering the sort of fun that the mask enjoys. Majora screams at Link, “I like playing games! Everyone does! Everyone except you!” To which Link replies, “Okay, no more games.” and raises the double helix sword above his head before bringing it down in a brutal slash that cuts Majora from shoulder to groin, and finally, the mask falls silent. The power within it, sealed and defeated. Again, inexplicably, the Happy Mask Salesman appears, saying, “Whew… that was close. My precious mask…” before noticing the Fierce Deity in front of him. Obviously frightened, the Happy Mask Salesman makes his excuses to leave, citing how busy he is, but the Fierce Deity slashes through his pack destroying many of his masks, saying, “Beat it, you little troublemaker!” At which point, the Happy Mask Salesman laughs to himself and fades away from sight. The salesman, his masks, his motivations and his abilities are never explained or expanded upon.

Link removes the Fierce Deity mask and takes a deep calming breath before returning to the clocktower before, finally, the giants throw the moon back into the sky. We cut to the next day now as fireworks boom above the city of Clock Town as Anju appears in her wedding dress. On the horizon, the giants can be seen comforting a now mask-free Skull Kid who eventually explains that the giants told him they had never forgotten about him and that they returned to help because they feared for his safety.

As the giants take their leave, returning to the four corners of the world, Link spots Epona on the horizon galloping towards him. Not wanting to waste any more time at all, he immediately mounts up and tells Skull Kid, Tatl and Tael that it’s about time he resumes his quest of searching for his friend. Skull Kid asks Link to come and visit again, and he promises to return one day. As Link rides off into the forest once again, Skull Kid can be seen carving a picture into a nearby tree stump depicting Link and Skull Kid with Tatl and Tael, playing happily together. And thus, the story comes to an end.

Well, I certainly hope you enjoyed reading all of this! Until next time, folks, peace out and take care!

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