ou’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you? Those grim words hang over the entirety of Majora Mask, the sixth entry in the Legend of Zelda series. In his darkest adventure, Link must relive the same three days over and over again to prevent the moon from colliding into the kingdom of Termina and ending the world.
Made with a small team in a single year for the Nintendo 64 from the assets of its predecessor, Majora’s Mask could have been a shameless cash-in—but instead has gained wide recognition as the most mysterious, mature, and touching game in the series. It’s also the Zelda game that has inspired more inventive fan theories and bone-chilling internet horror stories than might be expected from a high-fantasy adventure.
Through rigorous research and a new in-depth interview with Majora’s North American localizer, Jason Leung, writer and editor Gabe Durham investigates the relationship between Majora’s fast-paced, adaptive development and the meaning projected onto its story by players—and shines a light on the strange and tumultuous romance between art and fandom.