When I played Majora’s Mask as a kid, I was mesmerised by how real the characters felt. They conveyed real, relatable fears, problems, and in particular feelings of loss and grief that everyone experiences at some point in their life. I grieved for Anju, mourned for Lulu, felt heartbroken for Darmani, and so many others. However, it wasn’t until I was a little older that I fully understood the tragedy of the Deku Butler and his son, which Lunaros perfectly portrays in her beautiful piece of artwork titled simply ‘Deku Mask’.

Yuga’s Art Gallery is a series in which we highlight our favorite artwork and crafts from The Legend of Zelda community, as well as some official artwork from the franchise from time to time. Zelda is a series that is constantly changing its style, and after over 30 years of evolving and shifting its visuals, it continues to inspire endless ways for artists to interpret their favorite characters and moments.

I remember when I raced the Deku Butler for the first time, and he states: “When I see you, I am reminded of my son who left home long ago. Somehow, I feel as if I am once again racing with my son.” As a 12-year-old, I didn’t put two and two together – that the Deku Mask had to stem from the soul of a Deku Scrub, and that a ‘tree’ looking very similar to a Deku Scrub was near where Link was transformed into one. You see it so briefly and lose access to it once you enter Clock Town. I completely forgot about it, until I read theories online connecting the two. I must have even overlooked the end-credits cutscene of the Butler mourning at the ‘tree’. His words took on a whole new meaning once I realised this implication, and they became so bittersweet.

I love Lunaros’ piece because it perfectly recreates this tone: it conveys the Butler’s son’s parting as a heart-breaking yet beautiful moment.

deku mask by lunaros oriinal

I love how she’s drawn tree branches enveloping Link’s body, seemingly stemming from the son’s body. It metaphorically conveys that he’s passing on his physical Deku Scrub form, while his face cracks (symbolising how it will create a mask) and his body roots into the ground, transforming into a tree. I also love the gentle glow that bathes them both, which is created by the orbs of light surrounding them. I think the orbs clearly represent the son’s soul being freed from his physical form. It mirrors Darmani’s passing exactly: glowing orbs leave his ghost as he is healed by the song. It’s beautiful in this artwork because it shows that although the son weeps, his soul is leaving and finding peace.

I’d like to think this is what happens inside Link’s mind or in some form of limbo, during the cutscene when Link and the Happy Mask Salesman play the song of healing to create the Deku Mask. It’s when Link waves goodbye to a Deku Scrub: to the Butler’s Son, freed from Majora’s curse.