Over the years, many of you–Majora’s Mask fans in particular–have likely been following the activities of the online collective fan movement, “Operation Moonfall”. This is an ongoing campaign that aims to raise Nintendo’s awareness of the prominent fan demand of an MM remake. Recently, Lyndon Willoughby and Mo Valdez teamed up to create a new campaign for Moonfall supporters; taking to Kickstarter to produce beautiful screen-printed posters, which would then be sent to key employees at Nintendo as well as to backers.
With the campaign coming to an end, Lyndon was kind enough to take some time to chat with me, discussing the campaign, Operation Moonfall, and his own personal thoughts on Majora’s Mask. On top of being a passionate Moonfall supporter and a talented designer, he’s a friendly and intelligent guy with a lot of interesting things to say. Read on to see for yourself!
Tell us a little about Operation Moonfall. How did this movement come to be, and what made you personally want to get involved?
It’s important to remember that Operation Moonfall existed long before the poster campaign. Within months after Ocarina of Time 3D was released, there began forming this online presence of people who were asking the inevitable question of “this worked for Ocarina, why not for Majora’s Mask too?”. There was an initial petition which gained quite a few signatures, but the poster campaign that I proposed to the Moonfall admin was the first attempt to involve the public in a quite a long time. Being someone who has loved Majora’s Mask since its release, I was excited about the possibility of adding my voice to the movement in kind of a unique way.
Your recent Kickstarter campaign saw you distributing beautiful screen-printed posters to not only Nintendo, but also to backers. What made you decide on this idea?
Well, I recently got my degree in Graphic Design with a focus on 2D print art. For the last few years I have been following various screen print outlets like Mondo, as well as following many of the world-class illustrators who were being commissioned to design screen prints based on popular movie and television licenses. Having a modest print collection myself, I was aware of the high amount of quality you can greet from the silk screen medium. When I had the idea to offer prints up for purchase, screen-printing just seemed to naturally mesh with my desire to sell something of a high quality, and it was also a perfect fit with the style I chose to design in.
What were the roles of each member in the campaign?
Well, for the most part, the logistics of running that campaign were handled by myself. The design of the art and the administration of the Kickstarter, including shipping the rewards to backers was all on my end of things. Of course, the prints themselves were produced by Mo Valdez with Lastleaf Printing up in Pueblo CO, and Mo absolutely did a fantastic job of transitioning the art from my 2D comps into the finished product that was sent out to backers. The advertising for the project was handled mostly on the official Operation Moonfall Facebook page.
What made you choose Kickstarter, and would you use it again?
I had followed a few different Kickstarter campaigns, each with varying levels of success. I was very drawn to the user experience that they offered. The site made it very easy for me to interface with my backers and for that reason alone it seemed like a very natural fit. It also allowed me to raise money for the prints in a moderately risk-free format. I had a very good experience with it, and while I don’t believe that every project is right for Kickstarter, given the right circumstances I would absolutely choose to use it again.
Have you had any kind of response from Nintendo at all?
Unfortunately, Nintendo has yet to contact me. The poster tubes that I sent them absolutely arrived at their address, however I have not been in touch with anyone from either Nintendo or Nintendo of America.
Have there been any respectable acts of support from fans that have stood out to you?
Just the amount of loyalty that fans have been showing to the Majora’s Mask title. The Kickstarter campaign reached just over 75% of it’s desired funding goal within 24 hours of me posting the campaign. I had messages from people who wanted nothing more than to talk about how much they loved Majora’s Mask, and how they were proud to support a movement dedicated to it. It was an awesome experience, seeing how that game has inspired such an unusually loyal following.
What is it about Majora’s Mask that’s so important to you?
To me, Majora’s Mask was one of the first games I ever played that really “went there” emotionally. It was such a different type of game than I had ever played before, and set itself apart from Ocarina of Time which I had played quite a lot. To me, the narrative and the world-building in Majora are simply superb. I can’t think of a Zelda world that I was ever as invested in as Termina, simply because of how completely the developers were able to breathe life into it. It’s a game with a lot of feeling and a lot of meaningful layers.
Do you have a favourite character, dungeon, or section within the game?
The one that stands out to me the most is the popular “couple’s quest”, the optional side-quest in the game involving the characters Anju and Kafei. That quest is the epitome of the developer’s quest to make this Zelda more personal than it had ever been before. Another favourite would definitely be almost the entire Ikana Canyon/Stone Tower Temple section of the game. That entire playspace had such a distinctive (and creepy) mood. Everything from the secret of the Music Box house, to the moment when you turned Stone Tower upside-down is just a wild ride, leading to the fantastic climax of the game.
Would you prefer a remake on Wii U or 3DS?
It’s a tough call. I think that a 3DS remake absolutely makes the most sense, given the treatment that was already given to Ocarina of Time, a very similar game. Being able to play Majora’s Mask on the go is certainly appealing, but then you think of all the cool functionality that could be used in conjunction with the GamePad. Imagine having the clock always ticking away on your controller!
Are there any improvements you’d like to see in a remake?
The only way I would like to see the game touched up at all is visually. When you look at the concept art for the game, it is very different from the concept art for Ocarina of Time. It is very dark and heavily shaded, using more exotic colours. While a lot of this was present in the original title, I think that the N64 lacked the raw power needed to take that artistic vision as far as it could go. I think that an HD-remastered Majora’s Mask could easily be the most visually distinctive Zelda title, with the exception of Wind Waker.
Do you think any of the Wii U’s or 3DS’ unique functionalities could add anything to a remake?
I think the individual advantages brought to the table by the 3DS and Wii U have already been pretty well-explored in both Ocarina of Time 3D and Wind Waker HD. Having a touchpad available for quick item swaps speeds up the flow of these games considerably. I would expect the same treatment to be given to Majora’s Mask.
How do you think a completely new audience would respond to a Majora’s Mask remake?
I think that gamers these days have become accustomed to games that push the envelope a little more. Gamer culture has had a lot of games come and go in the last two generations that were able to really strike an emotional chord. While that is the case, there has not been another Zelda game since Majora’s Mask which was quite so emotionally involved. I think that a remake would expose a lot of people to a whole different side of the Zelda universe than they may have ever seen before. The story itself is quite timeless.
Any other games you’d love to see revived, outside of Majora’s Mask?
I can’t think of any off the top of my head. My preference would be for Nintendo to release this remake, then concentrate completely on new Zelda adventures. Preferably something featuring the Hero of Time again!
What’s next for Operation Moonfall?
Well, given that I am not an admin of the actual online fan group, I couldn’t say for sure. However, I would hope that they continue to build momentum and awareness until the day that we get firm confirmation that this thing is happening.
What can fans do to support Operation Moonfall and the possibility of a Majora’s Mask remake?
Like the Facebook page! Sign the online petition and above all, tell your friends about it. More online awareness will lead to more action.
You can indeed follow the official Facebook page here, and it’s not too late to sign the petition if you support the possibility of a Majora’s Mask remake. Also, Lyndon’s art isn’t limited to Majora’s Mask; he has a variety of spectacular and unique pieces over on his Cargo Collective portfolio!