Zelda Chronology: Part 3
Before I get started, I have to bring a few things up. First off, I’m REALLY sorry this is so late. I guess after the first two didn’t get much attention (neither did my Blog on a whole for that matter), I had to fight off the urge to abandon it altogether. I apologise for that.
Second, you’ll recall I said I decided to do this after seeing the Angry Video Game Nerd drive himself mad trying to figure out Zelda’s Chronology back in January ’08, though I should note I never really got around to watching AVGN until this past year. For this, I am EXTREMELY unworthy, but I digress: If you have not seen this video, check it out! For that matter, if you have not watched any of AVGN’s material, you need to at least give it a glance.
With that cheap plug outta the way, back to the Zelda Chronology, and…I kinda lied. I said I would look at both Majora’s Mask AND Wind Waker this time around, but after realising I’d bit off WAY more than I could chew doing both at ones, instead we’ll just look at the next major Zelda game to come out after Ocarina Of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, which was also for the N64. In fact, this game was a direct sequel to OoT, taking place several months after Link was sent back to his youth at the end of Ocarina of Time (see what I meant by it only “kinda” ending?). What’s odd about this game is that, despite being called “Legend of Zelda”, Zelda only makes cameo appearances in this game, and Ganondorf is nowhere to be found. Also, the tone is much darker in this game, but I’ll get to that later.
We open to see Link riding his horse Epona through the deepest regions of the woods looking for an unnamed friend (presumably Navi since the annoying little firefly took off for no reason at the end of OoT), when he’s ambushed by the Skull Kid, a character from OoT, who stole a powerful mask known as Majora’s Mask and is being possessed by it. Skull Kid and his two fairies, Tatl and Tael, knock Link off of Epona, rendering him unconscious, and stealing the Ocarina of Time from him. When Link wakes up, he chases Skull Kid even deeper into the dark forest. However, Skull Kid gives him the slip and uses a Deku Mask to transform Link into a Deku Scrub, but abandons Tatl, who promises to help Link if he’ll give her a pass. The two find themselves in a clock tower and meet the Happy Mask Salesman, who tells them more about the masks, and tells Link to find the Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask and bring them back to him, but that he must do so within 3 days. Only then can he change Link back into his normal self again. So Link goes ahead and travels through a huge set of doors to find himself in a land called Termina, which is actually an alternate realm of sorts to Hyrule. But all is not well at all, as he finds the moon is actually falling from the sky and will impact with the central Clock Town in 3 days! However, as time winds to a close, Link finds a means of getting to the top of the Clock Tower, where he confronts Skull Kid and Tael. Tael tells them a riddle about four that could stop this, but Skull Kid just knocks the fairy away. Link manages to get the Ocarina of Time back, but time is running out. However, Link has a flashback of Zelda teaching him the Song of Time, and begins to play it, which somehow transports them back to inside the Clock Tower 3 days prior, though the Happy Mask Salesman seems to know what has happened. He restores Link to normal, but freaks out when he finds that Link doesn’t have Majora’s Mask, demanding that he get it back before Skull Kid unleashes the apocalypse on the world.
From this point, Link is able to travel throughout Termina, solving side-quests, obtaining new Masks that give him new forms, and learning more about the Skull Kid, Majora’s Mask, and the Four Giants that can stop the moon from crashing at the end of the 3 days, which you can keep from happening by playing the Song of Time to go back to the start of the 3 days, but honestly you should at least see it once. But if you don’t feel like risking it, here…
…Anyway, it turns out you have to traverse four dungeons, solve the puzzles and traps, gain new weapons and items, and defeat four gigantic monsters that have taken up residence in each one in order to awaken each of the Four Giants…Well of course, isn’t that the Zelda way? Speaking of which, I suppose it would be ignorant of me to talk about this game and NOT mention possibly one of the most controversial dungeons in all of Zelda. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I suggest you do one or both of the following: Watch Chuggaaconroy’s Let’s Play of Majora’s Mask as he goes through the Stone Tower (heck, I recommend watching that Let’s Play anyway), or read the article “The Stone Tower: Why Termina Was Doomed” on zeldauniverse.net. Personally speaking, I don’t have a problem with the Stone Tower, but it kinda makes you wonder what they were on when they made it.
…Anyway, so you do that, go to Clock Tower on the last day, call the Four Giants, and it looks like the catastrophe has been averted…But of course things can never be that easy, so Majora’s Mask leaves the Skull Kid and possesses the moon itself in a last ditch effort, but you travel inside and kick it’s non-existent butt and set everything right again. The Skull Kid is apologetic, he makes up with Tatl and Tael, and Link and Epona ride off to go back on their adventure.
Now, that’s the main story of this game. But as anyone that’s played it can tell you, that’s NOT the entire game. This game is FILLED with frigging subquests, almost all of which circle around the mega depressed peoples of Termina and solving their problems for them. So yeah, throughout the run of this game you become a hero, horse racer, guitarist, Goron racer, postman, collector and trader of various items, and TONS more. And with all that crammed into 3 Days, you’ll find yourself travelling back through time a lot. It’s a wonder with all the time travelling Link has done the past couple of games that THIS didn’t happen…
Like I was saying, this game has a very dark nature compared to Zelda games before it. Link’s trying to stop Armageddon, a lot of the scenery in the game can be even darker and grittier than in OoT, a lot of the characters are going through their own personal crises, the moon looks flipping terrifying, the ancestors of the people are suggested to be heretics to the Gods, there’s a mask that gives you the power of an entity suggested to be the “real bad guy”, and everything is out to kill you! So, how did they follow up this release? Why, with the cel-shaded, cartoon-looking adventure on the high seas, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.