If you play Majora’s Mask under regular conditions, in the manner it was meant to be played, there’s already no shortage of horror themes throughout the game. It’s widely regarded as the most sinister title in the Zelda series, from its overarching doomsday plot to the expressions of grief, sadness, and hopelessness among its vast cast of characters.
If you did want to tap into more of the disturbing atmosphere at the heart of Majora’s Mask, though, it turns out there’s even more creepiness packed into the game than we thought: it simply lurks beyond the boundaries of what is typically presented to the player. Who knew?
Princess Zelda’s Study is a series where we examine the history of The Legend of Zelda to bring you some fascinating (or just plain weird) trivia. In our studies, we’ll explore each game’s development, curiosities within the rich lore of the franchise, and the impact it has had on our culture. From time to time, we’ll also look at Nintendo’s past to unearth some facts about our favorite company.
In Clock Town’s Lottery Shop, Link can purchase lottery tickets for a chance to win rupees. He is served by a mysterious, unnamed attendant (recorded in the Bombers’ Notebook simply as the “Lottery Shop Attendant”) hidden within the shadows of the storefront. This person is never seen.
It’s ominous enough doing business with someone (or something) in the shadows, but it is, in fact, possible to manipulate the game’s camera to get a look behind the counter, and things only get eerier from there.
After buying a ticket, the attendant will rotate the storefront. By quickly activating the first-person view while rolling into this side of the counter at a specific angle, you can hijack the camera and see what’s behind it: a hidden mask.
YouTube user Dylan Gidney demonstrates how to do this in the following video, with the mask appearing at the 2:48 mark:
The simplest (though unconfirmed) explanation for this is that the developers placed an arbitrary object within the storefront for Link to “interact” with, triggering the dialogue in the same manner as when Link interacts with other NPCs in the game. Despite the efforts of players clearly proving otherwise, the player isn’t supposed to see the mask, so it’s an easy solution that makes it appear as though Link is interacting with a concealed character. It’s the same mask that you see on the shop’s wall, so the fact that it is a duplicated model supports the theory that it was never intended to be seen by the player.
Now that the discovery has come to light, though, it’s pretty creepy seeing the mask floating in the darkness, regardless of its technical purpose. It’s oddly fitting that a ghoulish glitch like this should appear in Majora’s Mask of all games, too. The worst thing? No matter what angle you look at it from, it will turn to face you.
With Halloween coming up, I’m sure many of you will be booting up the game soon to get into the spirit of the holiday. Why not give this a try while you’re at it, and freak out a fellow Zelda fan?