Top 10 Ways Majora's Mask References Ocarina of Time
10. Ikana's Inverted Triforce In the original Nintendo 64 release, Termina is home to quite a few Triforce markings. Specifically in Ikana. Taking into consideration the Inverted Stone Tower, many fans speculated that the people of Ikana intentionally invoked the Triforce’s image to pervert it in order to insult the Hylian Goddesses once inverting its image. It’s a nice theory, but the fact of the matter is that there’s already a good enough reason why it’s present in the original game. The Triforce at the end of Ocarina of Time is an important icon, one the end of the game can’t live without. In Majora’s Mask, however, the Triforce isn't even just an icon, a symbol the game can very casually and comfortably twist upside down. 9. Kafei and Link's Parallels It’s not too difficult to figure out that Link and Kafei are meant to parallel one another, but the fact Kafei is very explicitly not Link often makes some fans overlook their similarities. While Link and Kafei are very much unique entities in Hyrule and Termina respectively, it’s silly to ignore how much they have in common. Ignoring the fact that Kafei plays exactly like Link (along with being the first alternative playable character in the series,) both are men in boy’s bodies. In the same way Link returned to his original body at the end of Ocarina of Time, Kafei similarly returns to his original body at the end of Majora’s Mask. 8. The Opening Nightmares Both Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask heavily feature nightmares sequences to open their stories. In the former, Link is terrorized as he has a prophetic dream detailing his first encounter with Ganondorf. He chases Zelda out of Hyrule Castle and seemingly kills Link. Majora's Mask doesn’t feature a “nightmare,” but it does feature a cutscene that references OoT in terms of presentation. Cursed by Skull Kid, a haze of Mad Deku swarm Link in a nightmarish sequence that jars players into the dreamlike Termina. It’s here where Majora’s Mask properly twists into its own beast altogether. Unlike with Ocarina, however, Link won’t be waking up from his “nightmare” in Majora’s, instead forced to settle things immediately. 7. Twisting The Deku's Image On that note, it should be mentioned that the Deku image plays a profound role in both Ocarina and Majora’s openings as well. In the former, the Deku is an image of positivity, personified by the Deku Tree. Visually references mythology’s many world trees, he’s a symbol of peace and his death opens Ocarina on a somber, yet classically epic tone. The Deku image in Majora’s Mask isn’t nearly as kid, actively assaulting Link from the get-go. The transformation is painful, the Deku’s face is explicitly twisted & sad, and Link’s agony is on full display from the start. It’s an emotionally visceral opening, forcing players into the action without The Deku Tree’s delicate touch. 6. Link Acknowledges Songs He's Heard It’s easy enough to miss since most players will just be eager to get through the “song get” text, but Link actually does acknowledge songs he’s heard from Ocarina of Time. Or at least the in-game text acknowledges it. Romani specifically says that Epona responds well to her song, not that she taught her it, and the item get text from the Song of Storms outright says that Link has heard the song before. It makes sense as this is the same Hero of Time from Ocarina of Time, but there’s this persistent idea that each new entry in The Legend of Zelda is a reimagining of the same legend. Aside from this notion being gibberish just from a conceptual level (Zelda II was a direct sequel from day 1), games like Majora’s Mask actually reference the series’ very real continuity. 5. Saria's Song Ocarina of Time has more than a few Skull Kids, and there’s no guarantee that anyone playing Majora’s Mask will have played Ocarina beforehand. While it was indeed popular enough in 2000 where most people playing MM will have played OoT, the same isn’t exactly the case for the 3D remakes, especially since they were released years and entries apart. At the end of the game, Skull Kid will make an offhand reference to learning a song from a certain boy. This actually acknowledges an optional event in Ocarina of Time where Link can teach the Skull Kid Saria’s Song. Worth noting, Twilight Princess suggests that this very Skull Kid went on to become something of a guardian for the Lost Woods. 4. Link and His Fairy Both Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask open with Link a boy without a fairy. In the former, it’s a way of immediately othering Link. He’s different, his peers think so, and even having a fairy doesn’t give him the acceptance he longs for. It’s a seed that eventually grows into Navi leaving Link at the end of the game, the mature Hero of Time now independent. But Navi was Link’s only real friend and the only one who could understand what he went through. It’s implied Link is searching for Navi at the start of Majora’s Mask, but being ambushed by Skull Kid throws him off his path. He’s paired with Tatl, but unlike Navi, it’s not because they’re part of some grander destiny. This is a distraction for Link and Tatl plants a seed that results in Link leaving her at the end of the game. 3. Welcome to Kakariko Village With such a limited development schedule, Majora’s Mask really had no choice but to reuse as many assets as possible from Ocarina of Time. It saved time, it saved money, and it allowed for Termina to be built a bit more efficiently than Hyrule was. It’s a more fleshed out environment and its reused assets only result in a richer world. Unfortunately, those who took the time to learn Hylian will have noticed that the sign leading into Romani Ranch actually welcomes players into Kakariko Village, reusing the the sign from the village for the ranch. It makes sense, and Nintendo likely didn’t expect fans to learn Hylian, but it was still enough of a goof for Nintendo to change it in the remake. 2. Flat and Sharp The Composer Brothers are mentioned in Ocarina of Time, but that mention is the most the majority of players will get out of Flat & Sharp for the rest of the game. They’re actually present with in-game models, Link need only examine the graves in front of the tomb leading to the Song of the Sun, but since getting the song is such common knowledge, most won’t think to do so. Flat and Sharp notably return for Majora’s Mask and end up playing a plot-critical role in getting Link to Ikana Stone Tower. Flat teaches Link the Song of Storms in Ikana Cemetery which Link can then play for Sharp in Ikana Valley, allowing him to descend down the well and start infiltrating Ikana Castle. 1. The Fierce Deity's Mask The Fierce Deity’s Mask is perhaps the single coolest bonus item in The Legend of Zelda, but it’s also a fan favorite piece of equipment because of how narratively and thematically loaded it is. It’s a mask that can rival Majora, given to Link by Majora, for the explicit purpose of playing with Majora. Oh, and the Fierce Deity is the “bad guy". At the same time, it’s also a direct reference to the change Link undergoes in Ocarina of Time. There, he goes from a boy to a man by possessing a mythical sword. In Majora’s Mask, he goes from a person to a god by possessing a mythical mask. In Majora’s Mask, he goes from a person to a god by possessing a mythical mask. The Master Sword is a sword of good, whereas the Fierce Deity’s Mask is implied to be one of evil. Taking into consideration that Adult Link and Fierce Deity Link share a character model, it’s hard to deny the comparison.