Why are Koume and Kotake good guys in this game when they were evil in Ocarina of Time? Maybe they became more evil and power-hungry when they raised Ganondorf, realizing how much power they had from raising the only male of the Gerudo generation. Since Ganondorf doesn't have a counterpart in Termina, it's possible that they never gave in to their power lusts?
When they died, they went up — as in, to Heaven — which might suggest that they weren't truly evil to begin with. Their Terminian selves might reflect on that.
Alternatively, they were only evil in Ocarina of Time because they were born in a harsh desert; being raised by the ocean would have been considerably more pleasant.
Or, arguably more boringly, they just underscore the whole "alternate reality" aspect of Termina; the whole "evil twin from another dimension" shtick, only their counterparts in Hyrule were the evil ones in this case.
The Skull Kid and the Mask are an excellent villain. Both of them are part of a whole — not that Skull Kid is even conscious of this fact. He's mad with power, but of course that power isn't his. Majora may be the wielder of the power, but he's unable to direct it in any way that the Skull Kid wouldn't like. The end result, the Skull Kid wants to cause some mischief, Majora wants to destroy as much as he can. The combination leads to the multitude of problems you see around the world, and the clear impending destruction of the entire planet. Add to all of this the miniature Fridge Logic scenes you find at multiple points throughout the game, and you realize just how truly twisted and dangerous that duo is.
Kafei as a child:
Why did the Skull Kid turn Kafei into a child? Kafei has someone who loves him, but the Skull Kid thinks that he is unloved since the Four Giants left. He's acting like a jealous, hurt kid; bullying someone who has what he wants but can't take. It's even more evident in the manga during the fight between Link and the Skull Kid by having Kafei there as well and having his and Anju's reunion there. When they hug, the Skull Kid yells at them not to do that in front of him, which is what triggers his breakdown instead of the arrival of the Giants.
The manga also shows that Kafei was just leaving his sort-of bachelor party when he ran into Skull Kid. A bachelor party is a single man's last chance to act super immature and irresponsible before he ties the knot — and considering the game's themes of childhood versus adulthood, and recklessness versus responsibility, it fits that the Skull Kid's spiteful trick on Kafei would be to trap him into childhood via Involuntary Shapeshifting.
The game's title refers to two people. First, there is the one who is named Majora's Mask, for obvious reasons. However, in a way, the real Majora's Mask is the Skull Kid. After all, a mask is basically something that hides who you really are. Majora was pretending that the Skull Kid was the villain, hiding its true nature. Skull Kid was, literally, Majora's mask. In fact, the game is largely about removing the masks to show the truth. The bosses are the guardians of Termina, but they have been forced to wear monstrous masks, which you must remove to restore the guardians. At the end of the game, in order to unlock the Fierce Deity's Mask, you must give up all of your masks except three: the ones that contain the souls of real beings. Even the Happy Mask Salesman plays into this: he's creepy because his job is selling fake faces.
Speaking of the invisible knight, he must have been crippled somehow and, thus, needed the mask to hide from the kamikaze rodents/Gerudo pirates wandering about. Of course, after being healed, he would become capable of defending himself and, thus, would no longer need the mask. It makes perfect sense.
We all know that Majora's Mask was set in a sort of parallel world to the Hyrule we knew of in Ocarina of Time, which is why there are tons of characters in Termina who look exactly like the people in Hyrule (never mind the ones with slight changes, like Ruto/Lulu or the Gerudo bandits/pirates, because they're still generally the same thing). Some characters, however, are either portrayed as the polar opposite of what they were in Ocarina (such as Twinrova) or had whatever habit they're known for bumped up several notches when compared to their role in Hyrule (such as Sakon, who was a petty thief NPC in Hyrule, but is now a badass thief who is not only partially responsible for screwing over people like bomb granny and Kafei, but also serves as one of the extremely rare examples where Link can kill a person who was not intended to be a mook). Of all the characters seen in the game, the only ones that remain the same in Termina as they did in Hyrule are the Skull Kid (that is more evident in the manga than the game, to be honest) and The Happy Mask Salesman. As the point above said, the Happy Mask Salesman lives on the fact he sells masks (fake faces), and nearly everything and everyone you encounter otherwise either act completely different from what they were before or look different than they were (even if it's something as simple as new clothes, new haircuts, or a new style/color. Suppose Termina had served even more as a look into the mind of the Happy Mask Salesman (where everyone either showed their true faces or took on a much different look/persona under a "mask") than simply a neighboring kingdom that had secretly and mysteriously held people who look like resident Hylians?
A much simpler reasoning that the Happy Mask Salesman and the Skull Kid act the same is that they are the same characters from Hyrule. The Skull Kid is heavily implied by the ending to be the same one as in the Lost Woods, to the left of the entrance.
The Skull Kid's plan to destroy Termina is just a child's tantrum gone horribly wrong. The Skull Kid wants to see his friends again, and the only thing he can think of is to create a crisis so that the giants will have to emerge as protectors again. However, as Majora's Mask slowly consumes him, it sabotages his plans by imprisoning the four giants so that the world will actually be destroyed instead. The comment taunting Link to summon the giants is a sign of the mask's cocky assurance that it's completely in control and nothing can go wrong. When Link actually calls the giants, however, their cries suddenly remind the Skull Kid why he brought the moon down in the first place, and he screams as he finally realizes what he's done.
Majora's Incarnation is doing the moonwalk inside the moon.
Navi was given to Link as a guide, but he's destined to be a hero. He doesn't need any more than one guide. Skull Kid has two fairies, 'cause he needs more guidance. Navi resembles "navigate", what a guide does. Tatl and Tael (Skull Kid's fairies) sound like "tattletale", which is one way a child can spread mischief. Tatl (or "tattle") is short form for giving information to an adult while trying to get someone in trouble, like how Tatl tells you monsters' weaknesses.
Tael tells Link and Tatl to go get the four who are at the swamp, mountain, ocean, and canyon. Tatl has no idea what he's talking about when he says that, which leads to the point: Tael (pronounced tale) knows some of the tales of Termina. Very clever, Nintendo.
At first, the Curiosity Shop owner seems like a nice, normal merchant, but after a while, you realize he's a buyer and seller of stolen goods. He sells the Bomb Bag that Sakon stole and says, "This is just between us, but this is actually the Bomb Shop's". Also, he describes some items by saying, "At this price, this one's a steal!" It really gets bad when you realize that he's willing to buy Zora Eggs from you, essentially putting infants of a sentient humanoid species on the black market. Of course, the player would have to also be pretty evil to go along with that in the first place, but even so.
He also implies that he owns (and maybe even trained) the gear-swiping Takkuri. He knows exactly how you lost that sword or bottle.
There seems to be too much emphasis put on sidequests. But at the start of the game, Link's initial mission was to find Navi. Defeating Majora and saving Termina was, in itself, a sidequest to Link's original goal of finding his friend.
Many a fan used to get extremely annoyed by Kafei grabbing onto the Idiot Ballby stepping onto the switch that activates Sakon's security system. Except he has no reason to believe it was a switch, and would naturally think it was a pedestal to view it. Or alternatively, think it would remove the glass covering it.
The BGM for Clock Town during the final day is Stepford Smilerin musical form: the nervously forced cheerfulness of the usual Clock Town theme is foiled by the dramatic tone of despair playing alongside it, like someone hiding a dark secret and, after two days, not being able to keep it anymore.
The Moon's Tear. It feels so out of place even though it has importance in the beginning of the game. But if you think about it, the moon has an evil demented face and is on a collision course with Termina because of the mask, so the Moon Tear is an actual tear shed by the moon in sorrow over the horrible action it is going to perform while it is under the control of Majora's Mask.
It was once pointed out to me that Majora's Mask is not merely a parallel of Ocarina of Time, but an inversion — in Ocarina of Time, the problem is human (Ganondorf steals the Triforce) and the solution is divine (the hero rises to the call). In Majora's Mask, the problem is divine (the gods have either abandoned or cannot save the world) and the solution is human (Link intervenes).
Similarly, it has inverted themes from Ocarina of Time: Ocarina of Time is about a child becoming a hero with very little personal interactions with others. He doesn't experience growing up, but instead time-travels forward to being an adult. Friends grow up and move on without him, and he never had the chance to create relations with others. Majora's Mask, on the other hand, is about the child-hero going through the process of growing up. He's stuck in the same time period, forcing him to form interpersonal connections with others through the side-quests. Using a sword is seen as a rite of passage to adulthood, he receives the Romani's Mask, which is a symbol of growing up. The first two forms (Deku and Hylian) are childlike forms, while the ones gained later in the game are adult forms. He learns about relationships, makes a lasting friendship with the Skull Kid, learns about sacrifice, loss, and other relationships, and so on. Finally, at the end of the game, he is an adult (is it coincidence the Fierce Deity looks like an adult Link?) and, unlike in Ocarina of Time (where he was forced into adulthood through time travel), he earned adulthood through his experiences.
Majora's Mask posits that everything, including people, exists in a state of duality — the superficial image and the true underlying aspect. A green and thriving swamp filled with poison water. Holy temples void of divine presence. A carnival of lights and a dark, falling moon. People going about their day, smiling and courteous, only to be found later curled up in laundry pools or bar seats, crying out their unhappiness. But this duality is a natural, if not necessary, aspect of life — because if the Skull Kid had even the barest inkling of what Link really was, would he have dared challenge him? Who else could save a world of masks and illusions than a hero who hides behind the face of a boy? This enforces the fact that masks aren't just a central gameplay mechanic, but a central motif of the story. There's always another face behind a mask.
Speaking of characters with Super Drowning Skills, Deku Link can only skip across the water a few times before he goes under, right? At the end of those skips, he runs out of momentum and falls into the drink. But Deku aren't water-soluble, just really light; as a piece of driftwood, Deku Link would probably have a hard time swimming, thus necessitating a reset. Furthermore, look at Deku Link's face, with its wide-open mouth. Have you ever seen him close it? Or even move it? He's made of wood, so it's likely that his mouth is stuck that way. Deku Link drowns because he's unable to stop the water from flowing into his lungs.
When you heal Darmani and Mikau's souls, you see a Dying Dream. Darmani's is a bunch of Gorons praising him as a hero. Mikau's is the Indigo-Go's playing and he and Lulu walking toward them. When you beat the temple in their respective areas, you can talk to certain people to get a bonus scene. The one for the mountain involves... the Gorons praising Link (in the form of Darmani) as a hero. The one for the ocean is... the Indigo-Go's playing with Link (as Mikau). Not only did Link heal their souls, he also managed to fulfill their Dying Dream for them.
The "aliens" seem to come out of nowhere. However, Termina seems to be an inverse of Hyrule, and many (if not all) elements of this game are inverted from Ocarina of Time. That one was pure fantasy, so it seems only natural that they would shake it up in this one by including a bit of science fiction.
It is fairly common knowledge that the Chateau Romani from the ranch has properties similar to alcohol, as children are not allowed in the bar, nor are they allowed to drink it. On day three, provided you saved Romani from the aliens, you will find Cremia in the barn talking about her little sister being grown up. Cremia mentions that her sister is finally ready to have some of the Chateau Romani. At the end of the night, when they are walking back to their house, Romani is cheerful. However, Cremia is more melancholy in her dialogue. It seems that she is sad that her sister is growing up; however, Cremia realizes that it is the end of the world and that she needs to use the Chateau Romani to deaden her sister's senses before the upcoming apocalypse — thus sparing the pain of death. Or simply as a last kindness, a way to make sure Romani's last night is as happy as Cremia can make it, like Make-A-Wish. And Romani saved the cows — she did prove she's more grown-up than Cremia thought.
From the get-go, Majora's Mask shows you it's a very different game than the rest of the series. How so? The color of "The Legend of Zelda" on the box-art is typically red, and the games typically take place in Hyrule. Majora's Mask doesn't take place in Hyrule, and instead uses purple as the color for its box-art, to highlight the difference.
When Link rescues the third giant, it says "Help our friend." Tatl assumes it's talking about the fourth giant, but it was referring to Skull Kid.
When Tatl asks the giants to help stop the Skull Kid, the fourth giant says "Forgive your friend." The message has a double meaning: the giant is telling Tatl to forgive her friend (the Skull Kid) for what he did under the mask's influence, but it's also telling Link to forgive his friend (Navi) for abandoning him before the start of the game.
The reason why there are no Kokiri counterparts is because there's no Deku Tree counterpart. For the Kokiri to have a counterpart in Termina, they would need a Deku Tree counterpart to come from.
It's fitting that the game has the Hero of Time as its protagonist. While Link no longer makes dramatic leaps back and forth via Master Sword, he is still manipulating time via rewind, and using it to save Termina.
When Link buries Mikau, he gives him a Weapon Tombstone made from his guitar. Musicians often refer to their instruments (particularly guitars and saxophones) as their "axe."
It's rather annoying that Tatl berates you for not knowing information about enemies if you ask her, but it almost makes sense. For one, she's only helping you because the door was literally slammed in her face and she needs you to get to Skull Kid. For two, she thinks Link is an idiot (at first, at least). For three, she gets mad when you ask for information about enemies Link has already faced in Ocarina of Time, so he should already know. Comparatively, Navi was specifically sent to assist Link, so she was much more willing to dispense information. This also ties in with what we see outside of battle. In Ocarina of Time, Navi tells Link a lot about what he is supposed to do, and in the final boss fight, bemoans her inability to help Link. Tatl, on the other hand, does not offer as much advice, and her cutscene time is more focused on her relationship with Skull Kid and Tael than with telling Link what to do.
The 3DS remake came out on Friday the 13th. Given the themes of the game, that wasn't unintentional.
Kafei is Link's Terminian counterpart. Not only is he playable like Link, his hair is purple to contrast Link's blond hair, and if Cremia's crush on him means anything, he's probably good friends with the people on the ranch, like Link is with Malon at Lon Lon Ranch. And if that isn't enough, think about their respective trials. Link had the mind of a child but the body of an adult in Ocarina of Time. Kafei had the mind of an adult, but the body of a child.
This gets a further subtle Call-Back in A Link Between Worlds, where the Lorulean counterparts to the Hyruleans are typically differentiated by having purple hair and red eyes.
Though it's still up for debate on whether or not it was intentional, the five areas of Termina mirror the five stages of grief. Think about it for a minute.
Clock Town is denial: Most of the people there don't want to admit that the moon is going to fall on them.
Southern Swamp is anger: The Deku Scrubs want to punish a monkey they blame for kidnapping their princess.
Snowhead is bargaining: The Gorons are freezing to death due to an endless winter and their dead hero, Darmani, wants to come back and save them.
Great Bay is depression: The Zoras are in despair and have called off the concert they promised to play at because their singer, Lulu, is so sad that she's lost her voice.
Ikana Canyon is acceptance: With no transformation mask to acquire here and the area nearly devoid of life, the only thing Link has left to conquer is himself, facing his own grief at the loss of his friend, which was the reason he was on the journey we saw him on at the beginning of the game.
Why is Majora's Mask/Incarnation/Wrath such a nightmare as a normal Link, but so easy as Fierce Deity? Recall the earlier fridge that Majora is a child playing games and throwing tantrums. Recall also that Fierce Deity Mask's power doesn't just transform Link, it makes him into the only sort of form of "Adult Link" we see in Majora's Mask. If Majora is a child, then Link is another child trying to fight back against a sadistic and terrifyingly powerful bully. As Fierce Deity, though, you're the adult, you're in charge, and Majora is going to sit its ass down and accept defeat.
Fierce Deity's Mask:
Word of God states that the Fierce Deity's Mask "contains the souls of everyone in Termina". But what exactly does this mean? Well, let's look at it from a Gods Need Prayer Badly standpoint: the mask most likely gets its power from the hearts of the people. At the start of the game, Termina is a Crapsack World where the people are desperately hanging onto the few scraps of hope they have left, which means the Fierce Deity would either be very weak or, going by its description when you acquire it, a terrible and corrupting dark power possibly even worse than Majora itself. But by the time you do get it, Link has gone around Termina helping everyone he could, and therefore the Fierce Deity becomes a Hope Bringer that turns everyone's restored hopes and dreams into a power that can protect the world.
Which begs another question: why would Majora have the Fierce Deity's Mask in the first place, let alone give it to Link to use against itself? Simply put, Majora is a sadistic monster. It spent an undisclosed amount of time turning Termina into a hellhole before Link even showed up, robbing the people of their hopes and dreams and threatening to cap it off with The End of the World as We Know It while the people could to nothing but run and/or despair. The only good reason it would give Link the mask is to instill the same despair into him, to make him fight to save the dying world only to show him that he couldn't. Moreover, from its own childish, warped logic, Majora believes it's the good guy in the story because it thinks there's no way it can fail, and since evil always loses in the end, Link must be the bad guy. When Majora realizes it's actually losing the final battle, it can't figure out why and proceeds to flip the fuck out before Link puts it down for good, and using the Fierce Deity's mask with all of Termina hoping for a happy ending punctuates it with a Curb-Stomp Battle.
When you first meet the Happy Mask Salesman before you exit the clock tower, he tells you to recover the thing that was stolen from you (the ocarina) and tells you that with your power, you would retrieve it right away. It then takes you three days to get it back, much longer than "right away", but once you do get it back, time resets to just after you exit the clock tower, only this time you have the ocarina. To you, it was three days, but to the Salesman, you left the tower and immediately walked right back in with the ocarina. From his perspective, you got the ocarina back "right away".
An extension of the earlier Fridge Brilliance entry regarding duality. Everyone complains that the 3DS remake is "too colorful" and "too cartoony", while Majora's Mask was supposed to be a dark-looking game. Except... it never was. For years, Twilight Princess was hailed as the darkest Zelda title, largely due to its artstyle, while Majora's Mask was considered that weird surreal game with all the bright colors. It was only years later that fans were able to look back at Majora's Mask and realize that, beneath its colorful exterior, it was actually a much darker game than Twilight Princess. It was never meant to be visually dark, but instead thematically dark. The aesthetics served as a mask that hid the game's true nature, giving it the outward appearance of a colorful cartoon when in actuality it's the darkest and most mature entry of the Zelda franchise. The 3DS version is only further enhancing that mask, that deliberate dissonance between appearance and truth.
Continuing the discussion of masks and the 3DS version, another major complaint about the remake is that Odolwa, Goht, Gyorg, and Twinmold all have giant eye weakpoints that are not where eyes normally are. You often hear fans saying, "Why does Gyorg have an eye in his mouth? That's so stupid and makes no sense!" But wait... think about it for a second. Those four bosses are described in their Boss Subtitles as wearing masks. With Odolwa, it's rather obvious, but if you didn't know they were masked, you would just assume that Goht, Gyorg, and Twinmold's faces were real. However, they're not real; those Boss Remains you collect are merely masks, and this is further evidenced by the Moon Children wearing these remains as masks. So, for example, if that's not really Gyorg's real face, then that's likely not his real mouth, either. Gyorg doesn't have an eyeball caught in his throat; what you're seeing is Gyorg's real eye looking through the mask he's wearing. What does Gyorg's real face look like? Who knows? But the face you see is just a mask, while the giant eyeball looking through the mask's mouth is his real eye. It's all part of the game's theme of masks.
Those giant eyeballs look just like the eyes on Majora's Mask. It gives the four bosses a shared visual motif and strengthens their connection with their creator, Majora, as well as further unifying the game's aesthetics.
The last few notes of the theme that plays in any of the four regions before you beat the temple sound a lot like Majora/Skull Kid's theme...
The five areas outside Clock Town each feature a father-and-child duo who hold some importance to Link's endeavors: in Southern Swamp, the Deku King's actions toward the imprisoned monkey stem from his worry for his missing daughter; in Snowhead, the Goron elder teaches Link the Goron Lullaby as a means of calming his crying son, who misses him; Cremia reminisces about how she inherited the ranch from her late father, while Romani's and her mother is never mentioned; Mikau in Great Bay gave his life to save Lulu's seven Zora eggs, which the game implies were also his; and Ikana houses a young girl trying to keep her mummified father safe from monsters. Each of these shows of fatherhood likely holds significance to the main protagonist and probably hits him harder than anything else he comes across on his adventure - while Link at least discovered the fate of his mother in Ocarina of Time, who died trying to protect him from war, he never even knew his father.
There is a rather disturbing piece of fridge horror when you consider the Deku Butler's Son. Since it is implied that the "tree" near the beginning of the game used to be the Butler's Son, it's not a tremendous stretch of the imagination to say that the son may have still been alive moments before. That is, until the Skull Kid came along and ripped the soul out of his body in order to turn you into a Deku.
Pirates and the eggs:
The Gerudo Pirates stealing the Zora eggs. Sure, they're the key to the temple, but they're stealing eggs. In other words, they're kidnapping children, and unborn children at that. No wonder Mikau went nuts.
It's rather obvious that's why Mikau went after them despite apparently having no combat training (thus getting himself killed in the process) — there's some big hints that those are HIS unborn children the pirates stole.
Not to mention that every time you rescue an egg from the fortress, you're told that it doesn't look very healthy. Between that and what you're told about how delicate the eggs are, we get that the Gerudo Pirates kidnap children and keep them in unsafe conditions that endanger their health.
Worst of all, if you have already done the Water Temple, gone back in time, and finished the game without doing this quest, you have basically left his eggs to die.
It's not on the level of selling the eggs, but you can also take advantage of disguising yourself as Mikau to sell well-angled photos of the mother of his children to one of her fanboys. One good What the Hell, Player? moment deserves another.
Think about what happens if you fail in keeping the aliens away from the barn. Not only do they succeed in taking the cows, they take Romani along with them. Yes, she comes back, but she isn't quite herself. It makes you wonder... just what did they do to her in that time?!
In Ikana Canyon, Pamela is trapped in a house with a lot of undead monsters outside and being forced to watch as her dad slowly turns into one. That's bad enough, but consider that her dad is halfway turned when Link shows up. If Link hadn't interfered, there's a good chance the dad would have turned into a Gibdo and killed his daughter.
Or worse, what if her father managed to curse his daughter into a Gibdo also? We don't know how exactly he was cursed into a Gibdo.
It's pretty obvious that had it not been for Link, all of Termina would've been doomed. But we all know that he saved them. In his timeline. Once you look at the fact that there are two other timelines that OoT spawned, it makes you wonder — what happened to all the Terminans? Without any other Link going to Termina, there's no hope for them. In the adult timeline that OoT Link left, it's seven years in the future, which means that Termina is long gone. And in the decline timeline, where Ganon won, the ALttP/Oracle/LA Link, ALBW Link, and TLoZ/AoL Link only go in the Lost Woods for a very short time.
The Skull Kid still appears in the Lost Woods in the future of Ocarina of Time, meaning at least at that point, Termina had yet to be destroyed. It seems as though Link not befriending the Skull Kid in the Child timeline by playing Saria's Song is what eventually drove him to steal Majora's Mask in the first place...which is probably a case of Fridge Horror all its own.
Some may ask, why are the Gorons so bothered by the winter? They're made of rock, right? Let's look at this scientifically — water likes to seep into ground cracks. It also expands when it freezes, making the cracks in the rocks bigger; this can split giant rocks in half over time. Now remember that Gorons roll everywhere at high speed, likely creating a lot of friction, and probably absorbing water into any cracks they may have gained from smacking into walls or whatever. Furthermore, ever feel a rock in wintertime? Rocks are excellent conductors of cold and don't have much in the way of insulation. Of course winter is going to be a pain for creatures made of it.
In the Swamp Spider House, there is a man who was cursed into being a spider/human hybrid. When you talk to him, he begs you to break the curse, showing how desperate he is to be normal again. Now, consider that of the very few people in the swamp region, no one but Link would have the tools or resources to break the curse. That's right, were not for Link, that poor guy would have been stuck like that forever. (Or at least until the moon fell, which is hardly reassuring.)
The "You could get used to this" scene was an amusing, Accidental Pervert aside, until you factor in Link's whole life: he grew up somewhat ostracized from the Kokiri, and despite all he went through since then, it's likely he hasn't had much physical contact with another person outside of battle ever. Double that with the fact that he knows his mother died when he was a baby, and hugs are said to originate from being held by our mothers as infants. So what is the "this" that he could get used to? Basic human affection. Which becomes fridge brilliance when you consider later games in the franchise, where Link has warm, nurturing backgrounds with caring families, either biological (like in The Wind Waker) or surrogate (like in Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword). Those versions of Link are much more expressive. No wonder, then, Link has a blank expression. Besides instinctive surprise/horror, he literally doesn't know how to convey emotions like anyone else would.
Ocarina of Time's chubby, red-shirt and blue overalls wearing ranch owner Talon was based on Mario while his lanky and resentful green-shirt and white overalls wearing worker Ingo was based on Luigi. Both have Terminian counterparts. In fact, Ingo has three of them. At first glance, Talon being the Milk bar's bartender and the Ingos being thieving ranch owners and leader of a troupe doesn't seem to have any obvious connection. Then it hit me. "Not Mario" is the bartender at the bar where "Not Luigi the 3rd" goes to to drown his Sorrows. Mario is assisting Luigi in getting piss drunk!
When you travel to Snowhead Temple, a blizzard obstructs your path; said storm is being caused by Biggoron. Now remember that Darmani died due to a blizzard when he traveled to the temple. Biggoron unknowingly murdered his tribe's most respected and powerful warrior.
As noted on the Nightmare Fuel page, the Elegy of Emptiness creates a statue of Goron Link with a huge, ugly scar on its belly. However, Darmani's Ghost sports a very similar scar when you first encounter him (it's clearer in the 3DS version). This implies that the scar is a death scar. Which means when Darmani died, he did so as a result of being disemboweled. Or cracked open like an egg, depending on how tough you think Goron hide is. It's hard to say which is worse...
You meet the Goron Elder frozen into a big snowball, and even after you thaw him out and get him to teach you the intro to the Goron's Lullaby, he keeps going on towards Snowhead, to try and save his son and his people from the winter, all the while expressing regret that he cannot console his crying son. Him being old is one thing, because you do the job for him and he survives the incident. But remember, he went off to stop the blizzard and the seemingly endless winter: this means the reason he left in the first place is because he got news that Darmani died (as several Gorons mention hearing of Darmani's death from the Elder himself). And Darmani's ghost had to watch him leave and probably freeze into a snowball, all because Darmani failed. Not to mention pretty much the only reason Link can succeed where Darmani couldn't is the simple fact that he has the Goron's Lullaby, as Darmani was blown off-course by the giant Goron exhaling that icy wind that you have to put to sleep to get to the temple. True, completely thawing the area takes the Deku Mask too, and other weapons Gorons cannot use, but it would have been an enormous relief if Darmani could have at least put that giant Goron to sleep.
Also Link can't possibly save everyone or resolve every single sidequest in any single loop, even if he does so collectively across multiple loops. Until the end of the game, he has to live through each cycle and decide who to help and who to abandon until the next. And even after finishing the game, some creatures (possibly including the Deku Butler's son) ultimately can never be saved in the end.