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    Majora's Mask — Complete Theory
    • Majora's Mask's storytelling is a fascinating dichotomy of clarity and vagueness. Certain things are extremely easy to figure out—such as Skull Kid's relationship with the Giants—and others are an absolute nightmare—like everything else. But there is such a feeling of history to the world of Termina, it is clear that some level of thought was given to it to construct the most realistic (and bizarre) world of any Zelda game.
      After months of obsessively studying every inch of the game—deciphering symbols, analyzing hidden themes, interpreting obtuse dialogue, digging deep into the mires of fan fiction for insights—I have constructed the following history for the world of Termina.

      A couple of caveats:
      1. The idea in Hyrule Historia that Termina is just a dream world will not be acknowledged, because it is dumb. Instead, the idea that Termina is just a parallel world will be assumed.
      2. Given that the game was, by all accounts, a rush job, it is unlikely that all of this was intended by the developers; however, I like to think that it might have been.
      3. On a similar note, given the paradoxes between and within games in the series, there is no way to craft any sort of lore that does not get contradicted at least a little bit by other installments; however, I have endeavored to craft this theory in a way that contradicts as few things as possible.
      4. Finally, most of my analysis was done from the 3DS version, though a few details are pulled specifically from the original. A bit of a strange "authority" problem arose, which I solved with "Due to hardware limitations, everything in the original was more intentional and therefore more important; conversely, since more thought was put into the visual design of the remake, it is a more polished resource."

      :moon: :moon: :moon: :moon: :moon: :moon:
      To find a coherent answer to Termina's history, a number of questions must be answered. The game supplies this by the boatload. The first step is to identify the questions. My theory answers, at least to some extent, all of the following.
      -What is Termina, where did it come from, and what is its relation to Hyrule?
      -What is Majora and where did it come from?
      -What is Majora's Mask?
      -What is up with Majora's various forms?
      -What are masks and their significance in Termina?
      -Who is the Goddess of Time and what is her relationship to Termina?
      -What are the Giants, and what is their relationship to Termina?
      -Why were the Giants friends with the Imp in the first place?
      -Why did the Giants decide to "watch the world while they slept?"
      -Who built the Stone Tower and when?
      -What is the significance of Stone Tower and its temple?
      -What is the significance of various things found within Stone Tower, such as the Garo Master, Gomess, and the portal to the desert void?
      -Why does Stone Tower flip when light shines upon the red, blood-stained emblem?
      -Why was the enemy nation/Garo attacking Ikana, and how did they do it?
      -How did Ikana Kingdom begin, and why was it founded on a land stained with blood and darkness?
      -What caused Ikana's curse and, almost as importantly, when?
      -Who is the "Masked one" that upset things in Ikana?
      -What is the "devil" that Sharp sold his soul to?
      -Why did Sharp sell his soul to said devil? Why did the royal family need to be "restored" in the first place?
      -What is Igos du Ikana referencing when he refers to the "pettiness that left his kingdom ruined?"
      -Why is Flat locked in a grave, and why are Skull Keeta's soldiers guarding them?
      -What happened with the "battle in his own kingdom" that Skull Keeta lost?
      -Why are the gates of the Ancient Castle of Ikana sealed?
      -What is the significance of the Elegy of Emptiness?
      -Where did certain masks come from, such as the Giant, All-night, Bomb, etc. Masks?
      -What is the Fierce Deity's Mask? Is it good, bad, or neutral?
      -What is the significance of the cryptic symbols strewn about Termina and what do they tell about its history?
      -Who are the "ancient tribe" and what were their "hexing rituals?"
      -Why did the ancient tribe "seal Majora's Mask in shadow forever" since they were the ones who were using it? Where did they seal it?
      -What is the giant turtle?
      -What is the significance of Woodfall Temple?
      -What is the significance of Snowhead Temple?
      -What is the significance of the Secret Shrine of Ikana?
      -Who and what is the Happy Mask Salesman? What does he want? On a related note, is he good or bad?
      -Why and how did the Happy Mask Salesman obtain Majora's Mask in the first place?
      -Why did the Happy Mask Salesman not go after the Skull Kid himself?
      -Why did the Happy Mask Salesman open up a shop in Hyrule Castle Town, only to seemingly abandon it soon afterward to enlist Link's aid? (Remember, the Happy Mask Shop opened just before the beginning of OoT, in both timelines.)
      -What is the Song of Healing? Is it good, bad, neutral? How does it work?
      -What happens to those souls soothed by the Song of Healing?
      -What exactly happens when Link wears a transformation mask and why do they do this?
      -What is the Termina/Hyrule counterpart relationship for any given character/area?
      -What is up with the Triforce symbol desecrating Stone Tower in the N64 version of the game?
      -Why are the Deku so strangely prevalent in Termina, compared to their scarcity in Hyrule?
      -What are the monkeys?
      -Why is the cursed Moon the force that is doomed to destroy Termina?
      -Why is there a crescent moon on the Fierce Deity's armor? Why is there a triangle on the opposite side?
      -Why is Majora's Mask usually associated with sun-like symbols?
      -Why are masks so important to Termina's culture?
      -Why are clocks so important to Termina's culture?
      -Why is Termina divided into four regions, so separated that Terminians refer to them as the "Four Worlds?"
      -What is the "Inside of the Moon?"
      -What are the Moon Children, and what is the significance of their dialogue, appearances, and actions?
      -What is the significance of the four Moon mini-dungeons, specifically the fourth (which bears little similarity to anything in Ikana)?
      -What is the main message of the game? What is/are the supporting message(s) of the game?
      -Who built Clock Town and when?
      -What is the significance of the Carnival of Time, apart from the information given in the game by a character of questionable sanity?
      -What are the "heavens" that the Imp "returned" to?
      -What is the significance of the Boss Masks, their relation to Majora's Mask, and their imprisoning of the Giants?

      Questions that are not fully answered by this theory are listed below.
      -Why are Skull Keeta's men investigating the "secrets" of the Oceanside Spider House?
      -Why are there sarcophagi in the Oceanside Spider House?
      -Why are there photos of the Skull Kid in the Oceanside Spider House?
      -What is the significance of Great Bay Temple?
      -What are Kotake and Koume's purpose in Termina?
      -What is up with the Gerudo Pirates?
      -What is up with the Sea Snakes?
      -What is up with the Golden Seahorse and Pinnacle Rock?
      -What is up with the New Wave Bassa Nova (the most redundantly named song of all time) and why is it linked to Lulu's eggs?
      -Why was the Moon for long revered and worshipped as a mystical body
      -What is up with Termina's version of Kaepora Gaebora? Unlike Hyrule's version (an encouraging avatar of Rauru), Termina's Owl is pessimistic, foreboding, and cryptic. It, and its statues, also seems to be able to transcend time to a degree.
      -What is the significance of the Sun/Moon Masks for wedding ceremonies?

      (I am sure that I have missed quite a few pertinent questions, but these will have to suffice for now.)



      You may have noticed a trend with the questions above.
      Merely listing them all out like this begins to create a sort of history all by themselves, leading to a picture of what may have happened in Termina's past. I believe that a number of the more abstract metaphorical concepts in the game are actually physically represented, so please bear with me.
      Answers can be found below, used to construct a sort of history of Termina:

      -What are masks in Termina? They are twofold—physical and symbolic.
      The main theme/message of the game seems to be "Hide and take the easy way out, and it will eventually destroy you." Hiding/the easy way can be equated to hiding behind a mask of an assumed personality or emotion that does not actually reflect YOU. Wearing a mask hides your true face, leaving you unable to "face" your problems and fears. As anybody who has gone through anxiety-related psychological therapy knows, hiding your worst concerns behind a facade or behavior, while lessening your pain for the moment, only serves to harm you in the long run.
      Masks are eerily prominent in Termina's culture, and not just physically. Almost every character, from Anju to Zubora, are wearing a mask of some sort. Anju seems calm and caring even though she is distraught and fearful—only once Link gets her to open up and face her fears of her own insufficiencies can she find the courage to wait until the very edge of doom for Kafei. Gorman II seems arrogant and confident, even though he is depressed and terrified of failure—only once Link gets him to open up about his true feelings does he have the ability to move on and inform his troupe of his failures. The Curiosity Shop Guy seems heartless and wholly corrupt, but he is just trying to keep his conscience away from the reality of his actions him while simultaneously protecting his old friend, Kafei. And the list goes on.
      Aonuma once said that the masks were created to hold the memories and feelings of the deceased. Adding the above ideas to that, it is safe to say that every physical mask that Link obtains represents the emotional facade dropped by the person he helped overcome their mask. When Link wears somebody's mask, he is quite literally hiding behind a symbol of their own personal masks. This concept is taken to the extreme with the transformation masks. Not only does Link hide behind the persona of a person, but he actually hides behind their appearances, inhabiting their bodies. Those who speak to him recognize him as Darmani, or Mikau, or resembling the Deku Butler's son: people that he is most certainly not. While it seems necessary, is it truly right to bring Lulu false hope that Mikau survived? The Gorons that Darmani has been restored? The Deku Butler that his son might still be alive?
      Following from this, a secluded gossip stone says that the Fierce Deity's Mask contains all of the attributes of every other mask. It can only be obtained after getting every other mask in the game. And given the mask-ish nature of masks, it seems fair to say that the Fierce Deity's Mask is indeed a Mask among masks, containing the power of all of the memories and emotions, a power that covers its wearer so utterly that they basically no longer truly exist. Look at Fierce Deity Link: his eyes are blank and souless. Wearing it makes the bosses trivial, but also somehow unsatisfying. Wearing the Fierce Deity's Mask is taking the easy way out, not facing the peril ahead but hiding behind a mask, ultimately destroying the satisfaction from fighting Majora.

      "Your real face...what is it? The face behind the mask...is that your real face?" If you wear a mask so completely that it begins to define you, are you anything without the mask? Are you wearing the mask, or is it wearing you?

      -Secondly, what is up with the Giants?
      The Giants seem not to be actual gods, though they are considered to be by many. While strong, they are hardly the hardiest beings we have ever seen in TLoZ, and they seem also to be incredibly mortal, impotent (compared to Majora), and fallible. They describe themselves as "guardians." The protectors of the people. At one point the people all lived together, and the Giants lived among them. Something then happened that clearly exhausted the Giants to the point of needing lengthy slumber, only arising in times of dire need. This was probably instigated by the Ancients, and Majora's Mask, in ages past.

      -What about Majora's Mask?
      Majora's Mask likely originated/was sealed in the desert void accessible within the inverted Stone Tower Temple. Based on in-game imagery (specifically within Ikana Castle and the Secret Shrine) and the non-canon Manga, it seems that Majora was once a sort of demon dragon king—or, in other words, a sort of devil. It was hungry but alone, for it had consumed everything in its voidish world. Eventually its essence and power was sealed away in a mask, but its mind was broken in the transition—its mind was sort of reborn as a sort of malevolent, naive, sadistic, and curious child. The mask, being a mask, is a facade; Majora literally is showing itself to the world as a mask. It is its mask, through and through, they are one. This is hardly a satisfying existence, particularly for a being of such power and curiosity as Majora. While it can act somewhat autonomously, it seems to prefer working through a host whenever it can—again, a case of a mask wearing you. This explains why it did not abandon the Skull Kid until it had fully exhausted his usefulness.
      While a little bit overly speculative, I believe that Link's experience on the Moon is actually Majora seeking to corrupt him as a new host. This explains the trippy questions, the fact that Majora's Mask attacks him with tendrils, and especially the Fierce Deity's Mask. Majora may have hoped that Link would become consumed wholly by the Fierce Deity's Mask, erasing the "face behind the mask," perhaps opening a window for Majora to take over. So what if the Fierce Deity's power surpassed its own, that's part of the fun of the game! But being a child, it did not take kindly to actually being harmed, leading to it creating its own "face" to wear. It no longer was a mere mask, but an incarnation of Majora itself. Drunk with its new body, it insanely danced about in a frenzy. But when this proved not enough, Majora pulled out all of the stops, and assumed the form of a mighty sorcerer. (The Japanese for "Majora's Wrath" roughly reads "Majora's Magic-Wielding Person") It bears twin whips, a way to both torment and enslave. And with Majora's Wrath's defeat, Majora disappears in a burst of light.
      Majora's Mask is almost always associated with the sun. It originated in a bright desert. Stone Tower is heavily affected by light. In its final battle, it emerges from a sun-shaped obelisk. Et cetera.
      Conversely, the Fierce Deity bears a crescent moon on its armor, suggesting a relationship to the moon. Perhaps the power of the Fierce Deity, formed from the collective of all the masks of Termina, is in some way associated with the moon. This would give great irony to the Moon, a symbol of masks, destroying the very people who wear those masks. Again, masks ultimately destroy; denial gets you nothing.

      -The Stone Tower?
      Stone Tower Temple is decorated with numerous blasphemies, including a broken, upside-down statue of what appears to be a winking Majora's Mask. Clearly it was constructed by some sort of tribe of ancient pagans—possibly Termina's version of the mysterious Zonai, but more likely some twisted Terminian version of the Sheikah/Yiga. Based on various information in the game, it seems that these pagans venerated the Giants as gods, not just guardians, and built the Stone Tower as an insult to the rightful gods. (The Tower of Babel theory is strong with this one.) But the gods would not allow this.
      Light exposes lies for what they are, an inversion of the truth. Likewise, light shone on the Stone Tower and exposed the pagans' beliefs for what they were, an inversion of the true world. The tower flipped in the light. Instead of reaching the heavens, the pagans reached a hell, a hell where Majora('s Mask) dwelt. Whether they created the mask from the demonic dragon or it was already mask-ified is uncertain, but in any case they grew to revere it. Eventually they grew to scorn their beloved Giants, seeing them as weak for not desiring to be gods. They raised up Majora's Mask, and used it to create dark spells of terror. They created Gomess, a grim reaper sort of demon that would sweep like death through the world and bring living victims to sacrifice in death to Majora's Mask. They created masks of torment and strength, such as the All-night (or Nightmare) mask to torture their prisoners, the masks of the Temple bosses in mockery of the Giants, a size-enhancing mask that would itself give them the strength to fight the Giants. Blood and barbarism spilled from the walls of Stone Tower, fracturing and tormenting the world.

      -Bloodstained Hill
      The actions of the ancient pagans merely led to a massacre of gruesome proportions.
      Over time, some of the ancient pagans came to their senses, realizing that Majora's Mask had power greater than they knew. They observed that those who wore Majora's Mask over time seemed to lose themselves more and more. These enlightened pagans began to plan a rebellion to seal away Majora's Mask in the deserted void from whence it came.
      Around the same time, the suffering people of Termina decided that they had had enough. They called upon the Giants, who not unhappily agreed to fight the barbarous pagans and end their reign of terror. A last alliance of Hylians and Gorons (and Zora and Deku and Monkeys oh my) marched upon the armies of the Pagans, and on the slopes of the Stone Tower they fought for the freedom of Termina.*
      The Pagans had been prepared for this. Their demon slave, evil Gomess, had taken the corpses of their countless victims and animated them in an undead horde. One of their fierce warriors placed the Giant's Mask on his face, and lumbered forth to confront the Guardians of Termina.
      The bloodbath was unspeakable. The hopes and dreams of the Terminians were cut down in swathes by the nightmarish forces of the pagans. Gomess itself rushed forth in a dark wind and smote down Terminians, turning them into undead monsters that attacked their own allies. The Giant Pagan attacked the true Giants with every ounce of might in his enormous body, knocking them away with great blows. The fight dragged on, and on. Battle after battle.
      The Rebel pagans saw this as a perfect opportunity to enact their plan. With the pagan forces distracted by the battle outside, the rebels wrestled Majora's Mask from one of its preferred hosts. Quickly they rushed to the portal to the desert void where they might trap Majora's Mask. Of course, everything went wrong. The pagans were quickly alerted to this insurrection, and many of their dark forces rushed in on the rebel band in waves. The desert void was guarded by Death Armos, an admirable barrier. And Majora's Mask itself was having none of it. It sought to latch itself to the faces of various rebels, though those who wore it were quickly sacrificed in the name of sealing Majora's Mask away.
      In the end, the Giants prevailed. Stone Tower's inverted nature was a result of light exposing its lies, and the Giants darkened the wicked tower. The Pagans fell down (or up?) as the tower reverted. Majora's Mask and the desert void was sealed away in the absence of light, and the rebels with it. Gomess retreated into the Stone Tower Temple, where the Terminians sealed the temple's maw to contain its evil.
      Victory was won, though dearly.

      -The Four Worlds
      Termina was shattered. The free armies slowly returned to the burnt fields of Termina. With the pagan threat gone, the broken and despairing people turned on one another. (Except for the Gorons, they were cool with it all.) The Giants were exhausted from their battle, yet clearly their work was not done. They now had to save the people from themselves. Forcibly, each giant scooped a race or two and forcibly relocated them as far from one another as they could. Mountain, Ocean, Swamp, Canyon. 100 steps North, West, South, and East. (Though perhaps not quite 100 steps east, given recent blood-baths in that area.) They needed rest, rest. They would watch the people while they slept. They would sleep until they were needed again.

      -The Imp
      Of course, we all know what happened from here from the game itself. The Giants were friends with an imp, the imp did not understand why the Giants were going to rest, he angrily spread chaos until the exhausted Giants threatened to literally pull him apart limb from limb, he sadly fled, etc.

      -Ikana Kingdom
      In the ages following the great War, people again began to gravitate towards the canyon to the east. Its topography had been radically reformed since the War, given the careless feet of rather heavy Giants. The human race built a great civilization under the shadow of Stone Tower, though they avoided the haunted structure as best they could. They prospered for a time. But that land was cursed. It would not last.

      -Time for Celebration
      Through all of Termina's troubles, the one thing that always continued onward, caring little for the woes or joys of the world, was Time. In a time of chaos, the people could respect the dedication of that aspect of nature. In time things were good, then in time they were bad, and in time they were better again. Constantly progressing, healing and causing all ills. As the people of the Four Worlds again began to befriend one another, they decided they could learn from Time's example. They met in the center of the Four Worlds and built a town. The masons from Ikana engineered a massive clock tower that would watch over the world as a beacon and a caution. From its peak, each year when the sun and moon were in alignment, the people would pray and sing to the Giants and beg for a prosperous year. Worshipping the Giants in the past had led to little good, but with their more reclusive nature the practice was far more abstract, and bore less risk for terrible consequences.

      -Garo's of War
      Descendants of those who venerated the ancient pagans still lingered, hiding in the southern swamp. The Garo, they were called, perhaps best recognized as a Terminian equivalent of the Yiga Clan. They dreamed of a day when they might reclaim the glory of their ancestors, but with only a handful of them they could not hope to ever retake the stronghold that was Stone Tower.
      The leader of the Garo then had an idea.
      Ikana had fallen into civil war. A number of noble squabbles had left the throne in disarray. The rightful king, Igos du Ikana, had been exiled. He lay hidden in the hills, preparing an armed force to retake his kingdom.
      The Garo Master saw this as a perfect opportunity to ally with the Ikanans, creating an opportunity for him to learn the ancient spells needed to reach the Stone Temple. He journeyed to Igos' court in exile, where he was promptly refused. Igos, sensing evil intent, would have nothing to do with the Garo Master.
      But one of Igos' most dedicated servants, a composer called Sharp, saw his king's decision as a tragedy. He secretly struck up an alliance with the Garo Master. Together they set to work to discover the ancient spells of the Pagans, eventually discovering the elegy of Emptiness, a melody created by the Ancients that could shed shells of its wielder as heartless, fearless armies. In this whole process, Sharp unfortunately had to sacrifice his soul to obtain the melody, leaving him as empty as the elegy.

      -Ikana's Fall
      With the Elegy of Emptiness and an ally within Igos' court, the Garo prepared their assault. As yet another noble rebellion shook Ikana’s capital, and as Igos du Ikana prepared his forces to enter and reclaim his throne, the Garo Master suddenly attacked with an army of hollow Garo Robes at his command. Ikana Kingdom was thrown into great chaos, terrified by the sudden rise of the ghostly ninja-like warriors. In desperation, they reached out to Igos du Ikana and offered him his throne if only he would aid them in their hour of need. Igos accepted without hesitation, and promptly set out against the “enemy nation,” as the Ikanians named the Garo Tribe. Igos sent his close friend and general, Keeta, to bottleneck the Garo at a narrow pass in the canyon leading to the capital. Keeta and his armies fought heroically, but Sharp chose this moment for his betrayal. He threw open the gates to Ikana’s center and quickly cursed those nearest to him, trapping them in graves to suffer forever. The supernatural skills of the ghostly Garo soon overwhelmed Keeta’s forces in a massacre. As the battle raged in the canyon, the Garo Master rushed his forces to the ancient castle of Ikana, towards the hidden entrance to the Stone Tower.
      Ikana’s fortress castle served as a seemingly impenetrably stronghold, built upon impassable cliffs and boasting walls many yards thick. Hordes upon hordes of Garo Robes flooded in upon the castle’s outer defenses. Igos ordered the castle gates sealed, the path up the cliffs burned. The Garo ignored the flames, rushing up the disintegrating pathway despite it. But there was no chance of them breaking through the castle walls, Igos thought. Several Garo Robes led the way, bringing with them a mighty explosive made from a monster called a Nejiron (a substance they used regularly for their curious brand of seppuku). As the rest of the Garo forces created a diversion, the spies investigated the castle. They found a weaker spot in the wall, and ignited the Nejiron bomb. The wall cracked, and the Garo without attacked. With the castle breached, Igos du Ikana rallied his dwindling forces as best he could and charged the Garo head-on. He fought mightily along with his closest followers, but all around him his men screamed, died, and fled from the terrifying ghostly army. Igos himself cut down dozens of the Garo Robes, but unwittingly failed to fully execute one of them. This Garo Robe, unable to die an honorable death, spoke its due to Igos.

      “Regrettable...although my rival, you were spectacular. I shall take my bow by opening my heart and revealing my wisdom. The Elegy of Emptiness. It grants a soldier with no heart, a twin image, one that will not falter in the darkness. Belief or disbelief rests with you. To die without leaving a corpse...that is the way of the Garo.”

      Singing the elegy very briefly, the Garo Robe vanished. As he did, the earth shook. Igos du Ikana looked to the skies. A dark wind was rising from the top of the ancient Stone Tower looming in the distance. He gasped with horror as he tried to comprehend what was happening.
      The Garo Master had been using the battle as a diversion. He had been ascending the Stone Tower, sacrificing his heartless minions to reach the top. When he reached the temple, he reached out his hand and threw open the doors.
      Gomess rushed out. The demon, cackling, swept through Ikana, snatching the life from every soul in the canyon. The land was instantly cursed with living, mindless death. Not a man, woman, or child was spared from this terrible fate. Igos himself became a phantom ruler of a dead kingdom.

      With Ikana's fall, Termina reached a sort of plateau. It stopped growing, but merely continued. Without advancing, the only option is slow regression. Over time, the people became more and more embroiled in small personal problems. Unnoticed, the world began to decay, ever so slightly. Masks abounded.

      -The Happy Mask Salesman
      The man who called himself a “happy mask salesman” descended, albeit a bit indirectly, from an ancient people of some world, perhaps the Pagans, perhaps the Sheikah, perhaps something else. He had a great obsession with masks and magic. He dedicated his life to the finding of ancient knowledge and relics, amassing great power (but seldom using it). He gained some skill in manipulating space, time, and spirit, delving ever deeper into the sorceries of all powers—though more subtle than most, he assuredly rivaled the greatest sorcerers to everlive. As he fulfilled his thirst for knowledge and power more and more, he began to wonder what he would do with his hoarded knowledge in the end. He asked himself what things he loved most in life, and answered “knowledge,” “masks,” and “possessions.” He asked himself what it was he desired most in life, and answered “happiness.” He asked himself what it was in the world that made him happy, and answered “seeing happiness on the faces of others.” It all fell into place for him. He would combine his many loves and passions into one: he would use his power to travel the world, collecting masks (both literal and metaphorical). He would enter societies as a salesman, and sell “happy masks” to hide the griefs of others. He would enlist the help of his customers to help him locate more masks, and the cycle would continue.
      The problems with the Happy Mask Salesman’s actions were endemic to his underlying philosophy. Despite possessing great understanding of living spirits, his obsession with masks betrayed an unsettling truth. He was a superficial fellow, content with merely hiding pain rather than curing it. He saw little problem with this, believing that a society that looked happy would be happy, but in everywhere in his wake the people he “helped” became engulfed in grief that could never be cured, for it could not be seen. Moreover, the methods to his goal of “happy faces” often proved morally questionable. Using his great knowledge he composed the Song of Healing, a melody that soothed tortured souls, sealing their sorrows in masks. But the song’s name does not accurately describe its functions: it did not heal, it merely soothed. It acted like a sort of eternal drug, one that dulls the senses in a painless sleep without truly curing the regrets of those subjected to it. His work of mask-giving is easy, the work of truly bringing joy proves far harder.
      The Happy Mask Salesman’s darker aspects do not end there. He practiced what he preached; he eternally wore a mask of happiness himself, smiling cheerfully no matter how he felt. Despite his efforts to appear pleasant at all times, his subdued emotions sometimes boiled over, leading to occasional outbursts of frenzied rage, all while his smile persisted over the inferno. While he claimed to wish goodwill upon all, he greatly resented betrayal, and subtly planted in his enemies seeds of doubt that might one day destroy them from within. He possessed the ability to perceive with a glance nearly everything about any person, no matter what facade they hid behind. Additionally, he seemed never to age, appearing across great spans of time with not a wrinkle more. Despite his genuine professions of charity, the Happy Mask Salesman often did more harm than good when he was allowed to do his work.
      Lastly, despite all of the facades of happiness he created over his years of labor, he never quite felt fulfilled. He never would admit it, he hid this behind his masks just like everything else, but only the work of bringing true joy to others could fill this hole. But blinded by his hoarded knowledge, this is a wisdom he may never learn.

      -Finding Majora's Mask
      It is possible Termina’s slow decline stemmed from the work of the Happy Mask Salesman long ago, though nobody really knows. But what is certain is that when the Happy Mask Salesman stepped into Clock Town shortly before the events of the main story of the game, the world already seemed to have embraced his doctrines of superficial happiness. Despite the palpable despondency that even the happiest of masks could not hide, the Happy Mask Salesman felt he had little work to do here. But this was not his purpose on this journey. For long ago in his journeys he had heard of a legendary mask, Majora’s Mask. The desire to possess it encompassed him, though despite his greatest efforts he had been able to learn but little of its history and whereabouts. Most of the few references to it he had found in speech and writing spoke of it with dread, warning of it deathly power and forbidding any to search for it. But to the Happy Mask Salesman, these seemed of little concern. He understood masks better than any who walked the worlds, and knew that he could handle whatever darkness it may possess.
      He had finally found a lead claiming the mask lay sealed somewhere in the eastern wastes of Termina, and excitedly set out in search of it. The denizens of Termina seemed clueless regarding Majora’s Mask, for they had basically forgotten of its very existence through the sands of time. But piecing together half-remembered legends of a great Stone Tower in the region of Ikana, the Happy Mask Salesman set off. He endured great trials as he made his way through the unfamiliar territory, though from his great knowledge he recognized that the pagan Garo of old had once dwelt in this place. Excited, he pressed onwards. Evading the vengeful spirits that mindlessly wandered the land, he made his way to the ancient capital of Ikana. But he failed to find Majora’s Mask. Frustrated but wearied, he returned to civilization to rest before trying again. Although foiled repeatedly by the deadly Indiana-Jones-like traps littering the ruins of the Stone Tower, he at last reached the decaying temple at its summit. Exactly he did it is beyond guessing, as he did not fully know of the Stone Tower’s inverse relationship with light, but somehow he not only managed to evade the monstrous spirits that haunted the temple but also to retrieve Majora’s Mask from the sealed-off Sun Realm. The exercise drained him of his strength, however, but at last he had Majora’s Mask. But as he held it in his hands and gazed at it, he began to feel the dread of a dark omen brewing—that uncomfortable feeling that makes the hair on your neck stand up on end. Belatedly he realized that he had stuck his nose into something greater than even he could imagine, but by then it was too late. The dark powers in the Stone Tower Temple had been awakened to his presence, and the exertion in unsealing Majora’s Mask from its cursed hell had drained him. He was weary and needed a place to recover. He knew enough of the pagans’ foul deeds to understand that his life while in Termina would be forfeit, for the darkness of Gomess would never cease to pursue its prey. The Happy Mask Salesman needed a place where he would never be found to regain his strength and plan his next move, and thus he fled to the Lost Woods in Hyrule. He only narrowly evaded the evil Gomess’s scythe, pursued across many miles by the dark beast before he managed to conjure up enough power to transport himself to Hyrule, far beyond the demon’s reach.
      The Happy Mask Salesman, exhausted, fell asleep in the deep magic of the Lost Woods. He did not fear the magic of the haunted woods, for it paled compared to his deep craft. He slept long and deep in the woods.

      -The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
      Of course, the Skull Kid stole Majora's Mask from the Salesman at this point. When the HMS awoke, he was distraught. Too weak to deal with the problem himself, he journeyed to Hyrule Castle Town in hopes of finding aid. He set up a shop as cover. While there, he met Link, and sensed in him some power that he could not fully understand. (This being the Child Timeline, Link presumably still retained the Triforce of Courage, a paradox but a true one.) He followed Link into the Lost Woods, and from there the adventure begins.



      A couple of small details not answered by the main theory, as they are somewhat tangential.
      -"Them," or the aliens, are seeking to abduct the cows for Chateau Romani, to use as an energy supply.
      -The big turtle is likely Termina's version of the Wind Fish. When asleep, it seems to form an island. The Indigo-go's have a hit song, "Ballad of the Wind Fish," which sounds nothing like the "Ballad of the Wind Fish." I imagine that naming it "Ballad of the Wind Sea Turtle" would have been slightly less marketable. It is all a bit fishy.**
      -Snowhead Temple was built in honor of the four giants, as murals of them can be seen in the boss room.
      -Woodfall Temple was a worship place for the Deku in times past, when the swamp was a more wholesome jungle. Over time, the swamp decayed, just like the rest of Termina.
      -The Goddess of Time is of course Hylia. Seemingly she also has some authority in Termina.
      -Clock Town seems to have been built over some mystical sites, as the Great Fairy Fountain, Deku Scrub Playground (which based on the marking seems to have been a place of worship for them, perhaps what the Deku Butler's son was seeking when he ventured beneath Clock Town to his death), and link to the Lost Woods all seem older than the town.
      -The Secret Shrine seems to have functioned as Termina's version of the Yiga Clan Hideout. Apart from its visual resemblance, it is decorated with numerous heart-shaped masks with blank faces. Clearly something that venerated Majora's Mask inhabited these mines.
      -Skull Kid escaped to Hyrule after his falling out with the Giants, but seems to have returned at some point, perhaps to make up with them. It is then that he became friends with Tatl and Tael.
      -The surreal inside of the Moon is not completely real, but more of a place created by Majora's power. The Moon Children represent Majora's curiosity and manipulation, their questions designed to weaken Link in preparation for the Fierce Deity's Mask.
      -The monkeys are Termina's current iteration of the Kokiri/Koroks/forest spirits. This version of them is also seen in Twilight Princess.




      TL;DR, a quick timeline.
      -Hyrule created. Parallel worlds (Lorule, Termina, etc.) come into being.
      -Termina's Sheikah become infatuated with the Giants and build a stone tower in their honor. The gods punish them and the Termisheikah find a void with Majora's Mask in it.
      -The newly paganize ancients wreak havoc across Termina. Some of their number decide to revolt.
      -The Giants lead and army against Stone Tower. The bloodbath is extreme, but the pagans are ultimately defeated and Majora's Mask sealed in the void where it was found.
      -The chaos that ensues in the aftermath of this war is solved by the Giants separating the peoples of Termina into four areas. Exhausted from their struggles, the Giants sleep.
      -The Imp does his thing, and the Giants rouse to get him to leave.
      -Ikana is established in the shadow of Stone Tower.
      -Clock Town is built.
      -Termina prospers
      -Political turmoil brings Ikana into a state of civil war.
      -Descendants of the pagans, the Garo, convince Sharp, an advisor to Ikana's rightful king, to aid them find ancient pagan power. Sharp sullies his soul in the process. They find the Elegy of Emptiness.
      -The Garo use the elegy to assault Ikana, which falls under their attacks. The Garo Master throws open Stone Tower Temple, and Gomess leaves the land in a cursed state.
      -Termina slowly declines, masks become more prevalent.
      -The Happy Mask Salesman finds Majora's Mask, but is forced to flee before he has a chance to change his mind.
      -Skull Kid steals Majora's Mask
      -The Happy Mask Salesman sets up shop in Hyrule Castle Town and finds Link. He follows him.
      -The events of the game.

      Thanks for sticking around until the end of this post. Hopefully this made some semblance of sense to somebody. God bless!

      *apologies for textual references to other franchises
      **sorry

      (Extra special thanks to Admin's "Tower of Babel" theory (zeldauniverse.net/2006/11/03/t…r-why-termina-was-doomed/), HylianDan's "Message of Majora's Mask" theory (zeldauniverse.net/2011/09/13/the-message-of-majoras-mask/) and TheLoneStar6's "Tales of Termina" fan fiction series (fanfiction.net/u/12226805/TheLoneStar6).)

      The post was edited 8 times, last by Patagorithm ().

    • That's a lot to look into but I will look forward into this !

      Patagorithm wrote:

      The idea in Hyrule Historia that Termina is just a dream world
      Hyrule Encyclopedia* Hyrule Historia stated it was a parallel world.
      HE is just an interpretation of the Lore so you're right to not take it as the words of the gods.

      I will respond myself to those questions first :

      Display Spoiler
      What is Termina, where did it come from, and what is its relation to Hyrule?
      -> Termina is a region within a parallel world to Hyrule's world just like Lorule is, the geography of Termina match with the one of Hyrule in a certain way and especially to Skyward Sword Hyrule with Lanayru, the counterpart of Great Bay, being a Sea.
      It was separated into four Realms by the Giants, the guardian deities of this region.
      It is connected to Hyrule from the Lost Woods, a paranormal place where space is shifted, to an underground below Clock Town.

      What is Majora, his various forms and where did it come from and what is Majora's Mask? Why did the ancient tribe "seal Majora's Mask in shadow forever" since they were the ones who were using it,Where did they seal it? usually associated with sun-like symbols?
      -> Majora is a demonic evil Spirit with powerful and evil powers that inhabit the Mask of its name which was used by "a certain race in ancient times"

      太古の とある民族が 呪いの儀式で 使っていたとされる 伝説の 呪物なのです
      A certain race in ancient times used it for their cursing ceremonies. It is a legendary fetish.

      その仮面をかぶった者には 邪悪で すさまじい力が宿ると 言い伝えられています
      The legend says that the one who puts it on will have a terrible and evil power dwell within them.

      伝説では・・・
      The legend says…

      ムジュラの仮面が もたらす 災いの あまりの大きさに
      The calamity brought about by Mujura’s Mask was so great that

      それを恐れた 先人たちが 仮面を悪用 されないよう 永遠の闇に 封じ込めたといいます
      our ancestors who feared this sealed it within the eternal darkness so that it would not be misused.

      その力が どんな力なのか 伝説に 記された その民族が 滅びた 今では わかりません
      What power does the mask hold? The race spoken of in the legend was destroyed, so we do not know.

      Note that the Ancestors described by the HMS( which he associates himself with) that sealed it might not be the same as the race that used the mask and was destroyed. They were using it and nothing state that they are its creators so we don't know where it came from.

      I's other two forms are 化身Keshin "incarnation" as it grows a body of its own and 魔人Majin "Demonic person" which is what it is pretty much but note that Bellum and Vaati are refered as 魔神Majin "Demon Deity". Even if Vaati is then refered as such during FS. and I think Sheldritch too. It could mean that it is demonic but not related to the Demon Tribe and Demise's shenanigan.
      It can spread its Malice simillar to Calamity Ganon from what we saw from the 3D version, with his Eye balls within the Bosses that release an evil Soul of its shape once destroyed.

      He was only at his altar within the Moon, my guess is that he was a God of Love named Aron.(see one of my theories) I say he since the sun is male in Termina.

      Who are the "ancient tribe" and what were their "hexing rituals?"

      The ancient race that used the mask in curing cérémonies and "our ancestors" that sealed the mask seem to be two different groupes.
      We don't know that much about them, but maybe they were laining to use the Mask in order to expand their dominance over the world and ended up destroying themself ?

      What is the Termina/Hyrule counterpart relationship for any given character/area?

      Very different from the one of Hyrule with some similarities.
      Tingle is Tingle.
      Romani is not Malon.
      They have different backstories too.

      Who and what is the Happy Mask Salesman? What does he want? On a related note, is he good or bad? obtain Majora's Mask in the first place?not go after the Skull Kid himself? open up a shop in Hyrule Castle Town?



      What are masks and their significance in Termina?
      ->
      そのむかし 四界の神である 巨人の顔を かたどった面を 祭りで かぶったことから ときのカーニバルでは おのおの手作りの 「お面」を 持ちよる習慣に なっている
      Long ago, during the festival we would put on masks modeled after the faces of the giants who are the gods of the four worlds. Because of this, it has become a custom for everyone to have a homemade mask at the Carnival of Time.

      この歌は、邪悪な魔力や うかばれぬ魂を いやし 仮面にかえる曲 この先きっと、 お役に立つと思います
      This song replaces evil magical power and souls that can not rest in peace with a healing mask. I am sure it will be useful to you in the future.

      ワタクシは、しあわせのお面屋 古今東西、しあわせのお面を 求める行商人・・・
      I am the Happy Mask Shop Owner. I am a peddler who searches for happy masks at all times in all places.

      Masks are Fetishes/Artefacts meant to be used to cover the face of its user, each bears uniques emotions as well as powers.
      Apparently, they originated from the Festival of Time modeled after the face of the Giants before diverging into a custom of making their own.
      But soon the darkside of Masks came to be, since everyone was hding their true self Under the masks, human interactions were harder and people forgot how to be and make others Happy.
      But the Happy Mask Salesman's most dearest desire is to make people Happy with them , opposing the "Ancient Race" which used them to curse.
      There are many types of Mask, the transformation Masks are called いやし 仮面 "Healing Mask" and result from evil powers or Souls that can not rest in peace, some also contain only the Will of the Spirit like Kamaro's Mask and won't transform you as only the "Soul Masks" do.

      Who is the Goddess of Time and what is her relationship to Termina?

      時の女神はあなたを守っています 時の歌を奏でれば あなたの力に なるでしょう・・・
      The Goddess of Time is protecting you. If you play the Song of Time, she will help you

      あ~ 神様 時の女神様 ダレでもイイから お願い 時間を止めて!!
      Aah, God, Goddess of Time, I don’t care who. Please stop time!!

      She appears to be a Goddess shared by both Termina and Hyrule, so not quite the lesser God,

      In oracle of Ages, Nayru is the Oracle/Shrine maiden of Ages/Time 時空Jikū "Space-Time", she possess the 時のたてごとToki no Tategoto "Harp of Time".
      Since an Oracle was a servant and translator of a specefic God and Nayru is called by the name of one of the three Golden Goddesses we can assume that the Goddess of Time is Nayru, which would fit with how this Goddess is not specific to a World.

      The carnival of Time, while celebrated to honor the Giants and good Harvest, is named that way surely in reference to her.

      え・・・「ときのカーニバル」 毎年、太陽と月が 同じ カサに入る 和の季節 たゆみない 自然に驚き たゆみない刻を とうとび その年の ほうじょうをねがって
      Umm? ?The Carnival of Time? Each year, during the season where the sun and moon enter the same astronomical halo, we show respect to the unceasing natural wonders and the unceasing time, and we pray for fertility that year.

      Sun and Moon … It reminds me of the Composer Bothers in OOT :

      トライフォースの力は いまだ 解明できないまま…で あったが オカリナの音を 使って 時をあやつる研究は もう少しで 完成するはずで あった…
      We still haven’t… or rather hadn’t, been able to explain the Triforce’s power, but are, or were, nearly finished with research on manipulating time with the sound of an ocarina…

      "To tell the truth, each of us was studying a different song, one to summon the sun and another to summon the moon."

      "The rising sun will eventually set, A newborn's life will fade. From sun to moon, moon to sun... Give peaceful rest to the living dead."

      And It would respond to :
      What is the significance of the Sun/Moon Masks for wedding cérémonies?

      The groom is the Sun and the Bride is the Moon, together they form a couple, that is the way of Life.
      The couple Mask might be related to the … Goddess of Time !

      Remember those lines :
      Each year, during the season where the sun and moon enter the same astronomical halo, we show respect to the unceasing natural wonders and the unceasing time

      カーニバルの日に 結ばれた男女は そのあかしを お面で奉納するのは 最良の吉と されている
      On the day of the Carnival, a man and woman who are pledged to each other will dedicate their mask as proof of this pledge and so that they will have the best of luck.

      What are the Giants, and what is their relationship to Termina? Why is Termina divided into four regions, so separated that Terminians refer to them as the "Four Worlds?"

      え・・・・「4にんのきょじん」 民が 今のように 四界にわかれず ともに暮らしていた むかしの話
      Umm??The Four Giants? This is a story from long ago when the people weren't divided into the four worlds as we are now and lived together.

      そのころは、4人の巨人たちも 民とともに 暮らしていた ある、収穫をいわう 祭の日 巨人たちは 民にいった われらは、眠りながら 民を 守ることにした
      In that time, the four giants also lived together with the people. Once, on a festival day used to celebrate the harvest, the giants said to the people, While we are sleeping, we will protect you.

      The Giants are the Guardian Spirits of Termina, once it was not divided into the four realms, but it was then separated after a terrible event maybe, and they decided to sleep surely because the humans that were making themself dependant of them or something like that.

      As Skull Kid is the Spirit of a dead child cursed for eternity, as they are the protector of the people, they would be he's friends out of pity over his situation, the five of them being immortal spirits.

      Who built the Stone Tower and when ? What is its significance ,who are the Garo Master, Gomess, and the portal to the desert void ? Why does it flip ?

      It appears that the four Temples of Termina were created by the same people which used to worship the Giants, they might be the Ancient Race that was destroyed after using the Majora's Mask into cursing ceremonies.

      -Why was the enemy nation/Garo attacking Ikana, and how did they do it?


      -How did Ikana Kingdom begin, and why was it founded on a land stained with blood and darkness?

      What caused Ikana's curse and, almost as importantly, when and who is the "Masked one" that upset things in Ikana?
      ->Skull kid with the Majora's Mask. Majora summoned Twinmold within the Stone Tower which is the source of this curse.

      お前が ほんとうに 死者を恐れぬなら この地の 神殿におもむき 我らを 苦しめる呪いの根源を 断って欲しい
      If you truly do not fear the dead, I would like you to go to the temple in this land and sever the source of the curse that is tormenting us

      So, kinda like how Ganondorf made Morpha the source of the freezing curse of Zora's domain.

      Skull Kid, used as a puppet by Majora, was the one to curse and kill all those we save. I guess Majora was feeding over the bad emotions of the victims to grow more powerful.

      What is the "devil" that Sharp sold his soul to, why did he sell his soul ? Why is Flat locked in a grave, and why are Skull Keeta's soldiers guarding them?

      悪魔に魂を売り 私を こんな所に閉じ込めた 張本人・・・・
      He sold his soul to a demon and is the one who sealed me here…

      フラットよ わが愛しき 弟よ 死して なお 王家の復活を 夢見た おろかな兄を ゆるしてくれ・・・
      Oh, Flat, my beloved younger brother. Please forgive your foolish older brother who dreamed of the restoration of the dead Royal Family.

      Apparently, it was after the fall of the Kingdom that Sharp sell his Soul to that 悪魔Akuma "Evil Demon, Devil" so he would restore the Royal Familly of Ikana. And he sealed his Brother Flat so he wouldn't oppose. The grave must be thir and the soldier are those resurrected by the curse.

      Who was that Devil ? It could be Majora, meaning that those events are quite recent.

      我ら 死した者は この地に よみがえっては ならぬはず それを狂わせたのは 全ては 仮面をつけた者の 策略である
      Us dead ones shouldn't be revived to this world. It was thrown out of order all due to the scheme of the one who wears a mask.


      What is Igos du Ikana referencing when he refers to the "pettiness that left his kingdom ruined?

      王国が 滅びて われらが こんな姿に なってしまったのは・・・ このような 小さい争いのつみかさねが 原因だったではないか・・・
      Our kingdom was destroyed and we became like this? Accumulating petty quarrels like this was the cause, was it not??

      仲間を 信じ それに応え 失敗を許す・・・そんなキモチが われわれの 心から消えたのは
      Trusting in our comrades and responding to this by forgiving failure? These feelings disappeared from our hearts

      So, because their was no cohesion within the Ikana Army, they were defeated by their lack of team work.

      What happened with the "battle in his own kingdom" that Skull Keeta lost?

      王国で起きた戦いに敗れ 屍となってからも 我が魂を 呼び起こしてくれる者が訪れるのを ここで 待ち続けていた
      I was defeated in a battle that occurred in the kingdom and became a corpse. I have continued to wait for the visit of one who would wake my soul.

      だが、ロックビルは わが国の 数百の兵をして 落とせなかった 難攻不落(なんこうふらく)の場所
      However, the Rock Building is an impregnable place that my kingdom could not fell even when we used hundreds of soldiers.

      それは 血塗られた歴史を持つ 丘の上の城で 隠密活動をしていた 忍者の首領の お面だな
      That is the mask of the leader of the ninja that were spying on the castle on the hilltop that has a bloodstained history

      Ikana was built near the Kingdom of "the ancient race" which was already destroyed at that time, the Garo where the actual resident of that tower and watch over the Ikanian Kingdom to make them not be involved with the Temple's secret.
      However, a war broke out and hundreds of soldiers were sent to the Temple yet all of them were defeated alongside Captain Keeta, sometimes after Keeta's burial, the Kingdom was defeated and destroyed by an unknown event that also defeated the Garo.

      Why are the gates of the Ancient Castle of Ikana sealed?

      "Ikana Castle Front Gate
      Use what you will, this sealed gate shall never open." — Sign

      Surely because of its "bloodstained History".

      What is the significance of the Elegy of Emptiness?

      お前に 神殿の闇にまどわされぬ 心を持たぬ兵を さずけよう
      I shall grant you a heartless soldier who will not be led astray by the temple's darkness.

      心を持たぬ兵 すなわち、自らの ぬけがらを 生み出す ことのできる力だ・・・
      A heartless soldier. That is, a power that lets you create an empty shell of yourself

      Apparently, the Temple's Darkness divided the people and prevented team working. The Heartless Soldier, an empty shell wich doesn't have a will of its own won't betray anyone.
      That song composed by the composer Brothers was made for this type of scenario.

      What is the significance of Woodfall Temple?

      It appears to be filtrating the Water's poison, it is located over the source of the Southern Swamp's water.
      It is now a place of worship for the Deku.

      What is the significance of Snowhead Temple?

      A shrine dedicated to the Giants as we saw paintings of them within Goht room.
      It might be a way to control the seasons over the Mountain using the thermal warmth of the Mountain's lava we saw at the Bottom of the Temple. Majora used it to inflict Winter.

      What is the significance of Great Bay Temple?

      It is maybe another filter, preventing Great Bay from being murky like it was after Majora's doing here.
      It is associated with the Zoras Lulu's family and the Giant Turtle.

      What is the significance of the Secret Shrine of Ikana?

      The Poe collector, probably an "angel of Death", was waiting us so we could rematch the ones we defeated but won't accept it and want to fight us again, so to send their souls to the otherside once for all.

      What is the Fierce Deity's Mask? Is it good, bad, or neutral?Why is there a crescent moon on the Fierce Deity's armor? Why is there a triangle on the opposite side?

      A warrior which spirit was sealed within that Mask and probably sealed within the Moon and will manifest in responce to people's emotions felt after collecting all the Masks.
      It opposes Majora's Sun, I suppose.
      Triforce ? Force ?

      What is the Song of Healing? Is it good, bad, neutral? How does it work? what happens to those souls? What exactly happens when Link wears a transformation mask and why do they do this?

      Probably passed down by "our ancestors", they turn curses, certain emotions and Souls that can't rest in peace into masks.
      When Link use a transformation mask, the Soul within it shift into his new body, it take the shape of the soul's body, we became them … and it might be painfull.

      Why is the cursed Moon the force that is doomed to destroy Termina? What is the "Inside of the Moon?", What are the Moon Children, and what is the significance of their dialogue, appearances, and actions? The Moon dungeon and the Ikana themed one ?

      Majora wanted t.
      A sacred place shifted by Majora.
      The feelings felt by the peoples or maybe the ancient ones.
      Might be how the ancient civilization's place looked like.

      What is up with the Triforce symbol desecrating Stone Tower in the N64 version of the game?

      Irrevelant as the 3DS cut it or probably the Ancient Race showing how they inspire take over the Heaven.

      Why are the Deku so strangely prevalent in Termina, compared to their scarcity in Hyrule?

      We saw in the Woodfall Temple, a place of worship for the Deku, that they might be related to the ancient ones and gained a lot from that association, they are the biggest presence in the Southern Swamp.
      While OOT ones, while being in control of the Lost woods, are a lesser presence against the Deku Tree and his Kokiris. Also they were working for Gohma and Ganondorf.

      What are the monkeys?

      Forest dwellers, probably from the Woods of Mystery.

      Who built Clock Town and when ? What is the significance of the Carnival of Time ?Why are clocks so important to Termina's culture?

      The ancient people of Termina to honor the Goddess of Time during te Carnival of Time, a festival celebrating the good Harvest brought by the season where the sun and moon enter the same astronomical halo, Nature and the Gods, it's a pretty old tradition within Termina.
      Because of the cult of the Goddess of Time.
      I think that it might hd been built after the creation of the four worlds.

      What are the "heavens" that the Imp "returned" to?

      Hyrule

      What is the significance of the Boss Masks, their relation to Majora's Mask, and their imprisoning of the Giants?

      Odolwa was a legendary Warrior of the ancient people of woodfall Temple.
      Goht was a mechanical chimera built by the ancient people of the Snowhead Temple.
      Twimold and Gyorg were once wildlife.

      Majora resurrected them and implanted its Malice within them, their existence is what keep the Giants sealed and the disasters brought by Majora's Cursing.

      Where did certain masks come from ? Why are masks so important to Termina's culture?

      Postman Hat : Filled with the joy of Freedom, bearing white rabbits, it's the the red like a salmon hat that the postmen wear.

      All-Night Mask : Staying-up-late "A torture device of insomnia called the All-Night Mask seems to be available at the Curiosity Shop..." — Gossip Stone
      It was used as a torture devive, maybe by the Garo ? The curiosity shop also contain many objects from that time.

      Blask Mask : "The old woman with knowledge of explosives has a dangerous mask filled with gunpowder..." — Gossip Stone It was probably made by the Old bomb lady orpassed down within her family.

      Stone Mask : "I've been here for many years, waving my arms around and asking for help, but everyone ignores me and passes me by." It's 'cause I'm about as impressive as a stone, right?...I'm used to it, though.""to become as plain as stone." Apparently, the mask got its power from the sentiment of not being noticed by anyone like if he was a stone felt by Shiro the soldier or maybe it was the cause ? He's not wearing it tho.

      Great Fairy Mask : The Great fairy of Magic made it so we could collect her sister's Stray Fairies. "Allow me to grant you something good so that the Stray Fairies will not fear you." — Great Fairy

      Keaton Mask : "It carries quite a lot of nostalgia. It was popular with children long ago."
      "I gave him that mask a long time ago when he was just li'l Kafei. Didn't know he kept it that well for so long..." — Man from Curiosity Shop "It seems Keaton, the "ghost" fox, plays tricks in the grass..." — Gossip Stone So it was made to represent a Keaton, a mythical four tailed fox(similar to a Kitsune) popular with kids. He's also known in Hyrule.

      The Bremen Mask : (Inspired by the tale of the same name) "The leader was a good instructor. His members matured quickly and they became adults in an instant." — Guru-Guru it gives you the qualities of a leader and once belonged to a Dog and leader of an Animal troop, it has powers over cuccoes like make chicks grow adults in an instant, if misused, someone could use the mighty power of the cuccoes to rule the world! :gimli:

      Bunny Hood : "I bet with those long ears you can hear the voices... Oh, these are genuine rabbit ears from the animal of legend! I don't care how expensive it is! Please sell it to me!" — Running Man
      It'sat the image of the Rabbits, the fastest animal of the plain.

      Don Gero Mask: "it was crafted so well that no one would even think twice if you were to direct the frog choir." A mask made to looks like Don Gero, the leader frog of the Frog Choir that sing when Spring is back to the mountain.

      Mask of Scent: Mr. Oink Mask "My son often used that mask to find mushrooms in the forest. Oh, how I long for those days." — Deku Butler "The power of this mask allows you to see what you can smell…" It was made to looks like a pig, maybe a species from the woods of Mystery that was feeding of Bewitching Mushrooms.

      Romani's Mask : The proof of the membership of the Milkbar, open to those with the maturity of an adult "It's not based on age, but on a person's way of thinking and acting…"
      A cow being an adult female bovine taking care of her calf, sentiments and maturity. It was made by Romani's family.

      Troupe leader's Mask : "It is filled with the feelings of tenderness left behind in the back of one's heart. " it contains Gorman's deepest feelings, devastated by the cancelling of the carnaval of Time.

      Kafei Mask : Made by Madame Aroma with the memory of her son's face, "The worry of a concerned mother is expressed quite well in that mask."

      Masj of Truth : A Sheikah Artefact "The mask that can see into people's hearts and minds also seems to work on animals as well..." — Gossip Stone "This is the same mask the Sheikah spoke of!" Apparently "the instructions were inscribed somewhere in here, but when I went to look, I was cursed!" the mask secret is protected within the House of Spider, meaning the Sheikah might be related to this place, however the spider curse will punish those with greed.

      Garo's Mask : "you must be one with quite a bit of courage" It the mask of the Garo's Chief. "That is the mask of the leader of the ninjas who once spied on the hilltop castle with the blood-stained history" Somehow, the Gorman Brothers found them.

      Wedding masks : The sun and moon masks, they are quite precious apparently and are used during weddings, fused together to form a couple's mask.

      Captain's Mask : "I shall rely on your power to fulfill my request. I ask you to take my soul, which rests in the fiercely burning flame... And convey my words to my men, who, even in death, remain loyal to me. "
      once used by Keeta, it is now containig his soul and the servants of Ikana will now obey to us.

      Those we made with the Song of Healing :

      Gibdo's Mask : It contains the Curse made by Majora that was turning people into undead Gibdos, which Pamela's father was victim of.

      Kamaro's Mask : It contains Kamaro's dance moves and his will for it to be taught.

      And that's all the regular masks. They are a tradition within Termina derived from the Festival of Time, they reflect the emotions of those who made them and are a way of communicating.

      - Why was the Moon for long revered and worshipped as a mystical body ?
      -What is the significance of Great Bay Temple?


      Why are Skull Keeta's men investigating the "secrets" of the Oceanside Spider House? Why are they sarcophagi ?

      "Ah! Captain, sir! It's been a long time since we've seen you! As you have ordered, sir, we are investigating the secrets of this place." — Stalchild

      From the picture of Skullkid we saw in that place, it must be the ancient residence of Skull Kid prior to the time left Termina.
      The secret might be the Golden Token, which Skull Kid probably stole from the Swamp Spider House Temple while being immune to the curse as a Skullkid.

      Maybe the previous owner or Skullkid's ancient Partner in crime upset about the Giants leaving ?


      What are Kotake and Koume's purpose in Termina?

      They are Gerudo elders, so probably ex-pirates, and the Witches of the Swamp trying to make money by making potions and ... tourrism ?
      Nothing like their Hyrulean counteparts ….

      What is up with the Gerudo Pirates?

      The Gerudo which were Desert thief in Hyrule are Sea thieves in Termina, so, pirates.
      They are quite greedy and hostile even without a ganondorf.

      What is up with the Sea Snakes of Pinnacle Rockand the Golden Seahorses ?

      The deep Pythons are predators of the deep sea that were reactive after that Majora cursed the Great Bay.
      Pinnacle Rock is one of the deepest area of the sea and the home of the Deep Pythons.
      The Golden Seahorses know the Sea very well but were in a bad position after that Majora cursed the Sea.

      What is up with the New Wave Bassa Nova and why is it linked to Lulu's eggs? What is the giant turtle?

      潮騒のボサノバ Shiosai no Bosa Nova "Sea Roar Bossa Nova", Bossa Nova is a brazilian music style, the lyrical fusion of Samba and Jazz, in portuguese it means "New Tendency" and it was popular among the Young people.
      Lulu and Mikau were a Young coup.

      "I was surprised when my voice turned that lonely island into a turtle... But that song you played for me...My mother used to sing it often...long ago... Those eggs were laid to remind me of that. That song was from when I was a very young child, so I had forgotten it..." — Lulu

      So, apparently, the song is the key to awaken the Giant Turtle, the guardian of Great Bay's Sea.

      Now I can continue resting in peace. I too must abide the laws of ancient times and again merely watch from my deep slumber. But the evil that haunts this land has not completely vanished, Link. I shall depart after enjoying Lulu's voice a bit longer. I think the gods can permit that. Hyeh, hyeh, hyeh." — Giant Turtle

      He was working for the Gods since ancient times, so Lulu must be from the ancient royal family of the Zora and that song was passed down within her line.


      What is up with Termina's version of Kaepora Gaebora?

      Must be a servant of the Goddess of Time as he knew about us and placed those statues for us. the one which the shape is to shift the destiny of this world.
      We don't know if he was once a human before ….

      What is the significance of the cryptic symbols strewn about Termina and what do they tell about its history?

      What symbol ?

      What is the main message of the game? What is/are the supporting message(s) of the game?

      One word : Friendship


      That was a lot ...

      I will then read what you wrote and conflict my ideas to yours.


      Patagorithm wrote:

      Aonuma once said that the masks were created to hold the memories and feelings of the deceased.
      "That's the Gibdo Mask, isn't it? That is a fine mask. It is filled with the love of a father and child."-HMS

      From what the Happy Salesman says to us about the Masks, it's not just the deads, but also the livings, an owner leaves emotion within its mask and HMS can sense those.

      Patagorithm wrote:

      The Giants seem not to be actual gods, though they are considered to be by many. While strong, they are hardly the hardiest beings we have ever seen in TLoZ

      A 神Kami "God/Spirit", in Shinto, is not the all powerful God of western religions, a Kami can be your ancestor's Spirit taking a new form, a part of the landscapes(kinda like Animism), and the creators of the World and their descendants, what you would expect from the gods of a mythology.

      "it refers to all divine beings of heaven and earth that appear in the classics. More particularly, the kami are the spirits that abide in and are worshipped at the shrines.'- Motoori Norinaga

      It's sometimes hard to decide what is a spirit and what is a god.
      For me, a God would be a Divine Spirit with sacred powers.


      Patagorithm wrote:

      ancient pagans
      Same for Pagan, it was originally used to refer to the rustic people then used to refer to the heaten by the Christians of the Roman Empire. Before becoming a degratory term against those with different religious beliefs.

      In Japanese, they are 太古の民族 "Ancient members of a Tribe" or "Ancient Race".

      And if they disrespect the Gods then they are more like infidels.

      Patagorithm wrote:

      They created Gomess
      Or summoned as there is a magic circle on the floor.

      Patagorithm wrote:

      a size-enhancing mask that would itself give them the strength to fight the Giants.
      I like that !


      Patagorithm wrote:

      Bloodstained Hill
      I think that term was about Ikana …

      The ancien race probably destroyed itself with the mask, as it can cause calamities.

      Patagorithm wrote:

      The human race built a great civilization under the shadow of Stone Tower
      I share that idea too.

      But I think that Clock Town was built after the fall of the Ikana Kingdom, by the remnants of that Kingdom.

      Patagorithm wrote:

      Garo's of War
      Why should the Garo being the bad guys ?

      My take on this is that the Garo were the protectors of the Stone Tower and were trying to prevent the Ikanians from discovering what was sealed there.
      "They're the shells of spies from an enemy nation sent to investigate Ikana."

      That "enemy nation" being the Garo nation, located within stone tower.


      Patagorithm wrote:

      , from an ancient people of some world

      Since he said "our ancestor" in japanese, then he is must likely the descendants of those that sealed the mask.

      Patagorithm wrote:

      The Goddess of Time is of course Hylia.
      :coffee: Oh yeah yeah
      As the Lore (never) told us.

      Nayru ? Never heard of her ...

      Patagorithm wrote:

      -The monkeys are Termina's current iteration of the Kokiri/Koroks/forest spirits. This version of them is also seen in Twilight Princess.
      I could agree to that …


      While I would disagree to must of this, I agree on various of your ideas, that the Ancient Race built Stone Tower, that the Desert is the remnant of their civilization and that the Garo are related to them.b vn