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Saving the world, three days at a time.

"You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?"
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Majora's Mask is the sixth game in The Legend of Zelda series, released in 2000. A followup to Ocarina of Time in terms of both story and gameplay, the development team re-used the engine and character models from Ocarina of Time, which reduced the development time of this game to one year. Fitting, as the devs only had that one year to make it, owing to a bet Eiji Aonuma made with series creator Shigeru Miyamoto. The game was notable both for being the darkest entry in the series at the time, a title that it's still in the running for to this day, and for being one of two games that required the N64 Expansion Pack alongside Donkey Kong 64 (though technically Perfect Dark needed it as well in order to function properly).

After the end of Ocarina of Time, Link embarks on a personal quest to reunite with a lost friend. As he wanders through a mysterious forest on his trusty horse, Epona, he is mugged by a masked Skull Kid and his two Fairy Companions, who steal Epona and the Ocarina of Time before fleeing. Link chases after the trio, but falls down a rabbit hole of sorts and is transformed into a Deku Scrub by the mischievous Skull Kid.

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Link soon discovers that he has fallen into the parallel world of Termina, the residents of which are preparing for the annual Carnival of Time. But a sinister omen hangs in the sky: The Skull Kid has taken control of the moon, and he intends to crash it into Termina within three days. The impact will wipe out everyone and everything.

Link eventually regains both his Ocarina and his true form, then sets out on a quest to save Termina by traveling across the land to awaken its slumbering guardians. Link has two special skills to exploit in his new quest: He can gather and wear different masks to transform into new forms (each form has its own unique abilities), and he can use the Ocarina of Time to time travel back to the beginning of his quest (which gives him the additional time needed to unravel the Skull Kid's plot).

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Majora's Mask has only four dungeons (though they're much harder than any of the ones in Ocarina), so the gameplay places great emphasis upon various sidequests. Numerous people in Termina need help of some form or another, and by exploiting the "Groundhog Day" Loop, Link can help all of them (albeit temporarily) to acquire Pieces of Heart, new Masks, and other rewards. These include helping a young couple reunite with each other and defending a farm from cow-stealing UFOs. The game is also well known for its grim, disturbing atmosphere, as well as its thematic examination of issues such as despair and inevitability. It's often noted that Majora's Mask paved the way for deeper storytelling in the Zelda series following Link's Awakening.

In the wake of the success of its predecessor's 3D Video Game Remake, Majora's Mask also received a remake for the Nintendo 3DS; it was developed by Grezzo in conjunction with Nintendo.The N64 original has also been rereleased on the Virtual Console for Wii and Wii U, as well as Nintendo 64 - Nintendo Switch Online on Nintendo Switch.


Majora's Mask contains the following tropes:

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    # - A 
  • 100% Completion: There are plenty of collectibles in the game: 52 heart pieces, upgrades for your items, Great Fairy rewards, increasing the capacity of your wallet, quiver, etc. Also, collecting all the masks in the game results in you receiving the Fierce Deity's Mask at the end of the game. It is easily the most powerful mask in the entire game, but is only usable during boss fights. Each earned mask also corresponds to a piece of the Segmented Ending, showing the happy ending of whomever you helped in order to earn the mask.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower:
    • You cannot get the Fierce Deity's Mask until seconds before the final boss.
    • The awe-inspiring Giant's Mask can only be used during one specific battle near the endgame.
    • The Great Fairy Sword requires you to collect all the fairies in the final dungeon. It is also the strongest weapon you can use outside of a boss fight.
  • Ability Depletion Penalty: When riding Epona, the A button spurs her to a full gallop, which is regulated by a line of carrots. The meter will refill gradually when partially depleted, or all at once if fully depleted, but only after Epona slows noticeably for several seconds, which is enough to lose you the Racing Minigame.
  • Aborted Arc: The Snowhead arc ends with the Goron elder stepping down and offering the role of patriarch to Link-as-Darmani. He encourages you to think about it before giving him an official response, but this never comes to pass by the end of the current cycle and appears to further go unresolved during the ending, in which the Gorons as a whole are largely absent.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Bombers' hideout is located in Clock Town's sewer system.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: It doesn't make sense that sunlight shines into the Ikana dungeons during both day and night. But this makes game progression far more convenient by letting you use the Mirror Shield at any time, so players don't generally pay it any mind.
  • Action Bomb: Link can use the Blast Mask to create an explosion right in front of his face. This can hurt, but the damage can be blocked by putting the shield in front of his face. There are also rat-like enemies who have bombs strapped to the ends of their tails, and explode upon touching Link. In-universe, this inspired an invention called a "bombchu", (also found in Ocarina of Time) which is a sort of bomb modeled after these rats, which hovers over the ground like a heat-seeking missile.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Zero Punctuation's Yahtzee noted that it makes very little sense that the mask of a dead ninja warrior is in the possession of the Gorman Brothers who run a horse racing track and sell cheap milk. This is fair, as in 3D, the mask they give you is the Garo Master's mask, which is extremely distinctive and based on the mask of the very same ninja, whereas in the original it was just a mask and hood they used to disguise themselves when committing robberies that happened to look like the Garo Ninjas' hoods. This was likely done to appease the original but comparatively minor plot hole of summoned Garo addressing Link as "Master", even though his mask didn't look any different than theirs.
  • Aerith and Bob: The members of the Indigo-Gos are named Mikau, Japas, Tijo, Toto… and Evan and Lulu.
  • Age-Down Romance: Inverted. The young woman in charge of the Treasure Chest Shop in Clock Town is slightly dismissive toward Link when he's in his real form as a Hylian kid. But when he transforms into an adult Zora, she calls him handsome and gives him a discount for the minigame while making coquettish giggles.
  • Air-Aided Acrobatics: Deku Link can use the wind currents in the Stone Tower Temple to gain extra height. They become more common when the temple is upside down.
  • Alien Abduction: Initially, Link is only able to visit Romani Ranch on the final day, since there's a large rock blocking the road that takes a carpenter two days to break. There, you see a girl, Romani, sitting outside completely dazed and lost, while her older sister Cremia laments a disaster that took place two days before, saying she wishes she believed her sister. Once you find a way to get to Romani Ranch on the first day, Romani enlists your help in defeating "Them", a group of alien ghosts who come down to the ranch each year to take their cattle. If Link fails or does not visit Romani Ranch at all on the first day, They take her and traumatize her, explaining her condition on the "default" final day.
  • Aliens Steal Cattle: One Sidequest involves Link stopping Them from stealing the ranch's cows.
  • All There in the Manual: The in-game text never refers to Termina as a parallel world, but the manual repeatedly mentions this fact.
  • All the Worlds are a Stage: The final dungeon is the inside of the Moon, where you go through mini-dungeons themed after the four temples scattered across Termina, and their respective music tracks also play while you're inside them; the oddball is the one associated with the Stone Tower Temple, as it doesn't bring back its music and only consists of a Boss Rush against minibosses (though one of them did appear in the original temple, and another appeared in a graveyard found within the temple's hosting region, Ikana). Notably, going through these areas is completely optional, as you can directly fight the boss if you wish. In fact, you can only fully conclude the optional areas after collecting all masks in the game; this is because both the access and the closure of these mini-dungeons requires handing over the masks, and doing so awards the player with the Fierce Deity Mask, which turns the final boss into a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • All Your Powers Combined: As revealed by a Gossip Stone in Ikana Canyon (namely the one you access after finishing the game's Chain of Deals) the Fierce Deity's Mask represents a symbolic reunion of all the merits of the other masks. This was confirmed by game director Eiji Aonuma in a 2015 interview, further explaining that the Fierce Deity's Mask contains the memories of all people in Termina (and many of the other masks are given to Link by them as a reward for his help).
  • Alternate Self: Most moderately-significant characters, and even a few significant ones like Tatl, are implied to be alternate versions of characters from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. For example, the Gorman brothers are three alternates of Ingo, who is in turn an expy of a certain plumber's brother.
  • Alternate Universe: Termina is one to Hyrule. You can see doubles of most people from Ocarina walking around, and the level of technology is much higher. The manual repeatedly refers to it as a parallel world, and some sources describe it as a side effect of the creation of Hyrule.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The arena for the Final Boss is one of these.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The game gives the villain (a sad and lonely Skull Kid who gets in over his head) a haunted mask that gives him demonic powers, including trapping Link inside the body of a deku scrub and causing the moon to come crashing down. Fortunately, Link himself manages to find magical masks (including those who transform him into different races) to eventually confront him.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: You briefly take control of Kafei and alternate between him and Link during the Side Quest to retrieve the Sun's Mask.
  • Animals Hate Him:
    • Dogs instinctively attack Link in his Deku form and knock him around, which can be annoying when you're trying to solve some puzzle or just look around. At least the attack doesn't do any damage.
    • At the other extreme, dogs are audibly terrified of Link in his Goron form. But they love his Zora form and will follow him around, whining (they're indifferent over his Hylian form altogether).
  • Another Dimension: Termina, to Hyrule.
  • Antagonist Title: The eponymous Majora's Mask as used by the Skull Kid.
  • Antepiece: During the prologue, Link is transformed into a Deku Scrub, which changes the control scheme. Thus, when Link enters the second room, Tatl teaches him about the Deku Flowers and how to fly with them. There's no bottomless pit here, so Link can practice the flight controls here safely; in the following room, there's a huge chasm, so Link will need to show he has gotten the hang of flying. This is repeated with the Goron and Zora transformations, as in the respective nearby areas where they're obtained there's plenty of space to practice their unique abilities (curling in the snowy slopes, swimming in the wide waters of Great Bay), so Link can subsequently venture into more dangerous areas that require them (curling to jump large chasms to reach Snowhead, swimming through the narrow, explosive-guarded underwater passageways in the Pirate's Fortress).
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Many of the masks are this. The Stone Mask, for example, makes a certain stealth section a cakewalk, and the Bunny Hood allows Link to move about 68% faster. This doesn't apply to Z-locking and rolls, though.
    • If you fail the Beaver Brothers race a certain number of times, you will end up on an alternate course that is much easier to finish.
    • Each temple has a Majora's Mask platform at the entrance that can warp you straight to the boss room as long as you've beaten them before. In the 3DS version, you only need to have visited the room to unlock the warp. If you need to trigger a post-boss event again (or run out of time the first time in the 3DS version), you don't need to go through the temple again.
    • Falling into the pits in the Moon's Goron level doesn't do any damage, it just sends you back to the area's starting point. Be prepared to fall A LOT in there. Also, if you use one of the teleporter tiles to go back to the beginning of the area, it changes the default starting point to a spot where you're already perfectly lined up to begin rolling.
    • The 3DS remake adds more of these features:
      • There are more Save Points, adjusted warp locations, and putting the bank next to the Clock Tower owl. Removing the Suspend Save in favor of proper save points, as well as the addition of extra statues, makes the game a lot less of a marathon.
      • Furthermore, you only have to encounter the bosses, not beat them, to unlock the teleport plates; reaching the Boss Room in the last minutes of Day 3 means your effort is not wasted. You can also decide how far ahead you want to skip with the Song of Double Time in specific hours (instead of just to the next sunrise or sunset). An exact time is given for the clock; while not exactly necessary, this is useful for meeting certain events that happen at specific times without having to guesstimate. The Ocarina/pipes/drums/guitar now has a permanent spot in the touch screen, reducing the visits to the item screen and all but giving you an extra equipping space, so the game has an extra empty bottle to fill out the space in the item screen left by the instrument.
      • The rewards for getting all the Stray Fairies in Woodfall (the upgraded Spin Attack) and Snowhead (the upgraded magic bar) are switched around. As the upgraded magic bar makes the usage of the Goron and Zora forms' magical abilities much more practical, this means players can get access to it much earlier and at an easier time than in the original game.
      • But the biggest additions are the Sheikah Stone in the Clock Tower (which gives hints about where to find heart containers and how to continue the plot) and the upgraded Bomber's Notebook (which automatically gives you updates on challenges).
    • All of the mechanics that disregard the logic of the time loop serve as this. For one, all quest items (masks, weapons, dungeon tools, bottles) can be taken back in time with you — even milk bottles will stay on you to let you keep the bottle — you just lose the milk inside. Then there's the bank, which will always recognize you and have your money, even though a bank stamp should not equal recognition in a new time loop, and you deposited your money in a time loop that no longer exists. Also, Epona will not have to be obtained from Romani Ranch after you learn Epona's Song and get her back once. When you play it, she'll come running in any subsequent time loop, even though she would be in a pen and the ranch would still be blocked off without you repeating the long sequence to open up the road.
    • You only need to obtain Goron Powder Keg certification (basically a tutorial with the item before you can buy more) once, and in subsequent time loops, you can buy them with no problem, despite not being tested and approved to use them in that cycle.
    • You can have your special items stolen by Takkuri birds in Termina Field. However, rather than making you rewind time and reobtain the items the long way through their various quests, the Curiosity Shop in Clock Town will sell your stolen items back to you — they're the store's only product, provided by the Takkuri!
    • One you probably didn't even notice: the first time loop where you're stuck as a Deku Scrub moves faster than normal (27 seconds an hour instead of the normal 45). This leaves you enough time to complete all the tasks you need to do without forcing you to do a lot of waiting around for time-sensitive events to start.
    • Items and abilities for use in later dungeons can be used to make bosses from earlier dungeons much easier, in case you need to do something in an area post-boss and don't want to waste precious time on the full fight.
  • Apathetic Citizens: This is both justified and averted. Some characters note that the festival is usually crowded with people, and the threat of the falling moon scared them all away. Some of the other citizens refuse to believe that the moon is actually falling. If you enter the Mayor's conference, the town is divided between those who want to continue the festival and those who want to evacuate the town. This is subverted on the third day, when the moon is close to landing: By this point, everyone is panicking and evacuating the town.
  • A Plot in Deed: Link must obtain the deed to a Deku flower in Clock Town to progress in the game, which its owner will trade in exchange for the Moon's Tear. There's also an optional side quest where Link can continue to trade with other Deku who will give him the deeds to their own flowers in exchange for the deed to a flower in their preferred location.
  • Apocalypse How: This is what happens if you fail and allow the moon to fall. Likely Total Extinction. This could also plausibly be Physical Annihilation, but the aftermath of the moon crashing into Termina aren't seen after Link himself is swept up in the destruction, especially if it happens right on top of the Clock Tower.
  • Arc Number: The game puts a large emphasis on the number four. Given the threat of the Moon's fall, this is very fitting.
    • Four main forms that Link can transform between.
    • Four dungeons in four areas around Clock Town.
    • Four mini-dungeons on the moon.
    • If the moon isn't stopped from falling, it lands at 6:00 AM on the fourth day.note 
    • If one draws lines to connect the temples in the order in which you're supposed to visit them (south, north, west, east), the figure you get resembles a "4".
    • The fourth area, although once a prosperous kingdom, is said to have a bloodstained history, and has become a realm of the undead.
    • The fourth dungeon requires a song that allows Link to make up to four statues of himself, with one for every form.
    • Completing the Frog Choir requires locating four frogs located around Termina.
    • Four masks are obtained from aiding the dead to complete their unfinished business.note 
    • Four masks are rewarded as part of reuniting Kafei and Anju.note 
    • Link breaks four curses placed on people by Skull Kid.note 
    • Keaton asks four questions before awarding a Piece of Heart.
    • Four Poe sisters must be battled for a Piece of Heart.
    • Four trials in Ikana must be undertaken for a Piece of Heart.
    • The Gerudo Pirates only have four of Lulu's eggs, with the remainder hidden in one of the four Great Bay Eel caves.
    • Four Big Poes and Four Iron Knuckles exist in the game, each guarding a substantial reward.
  • Arc Words: The words the Happy Mask Salesman tells to Link when they first meet, and whenever the Moon falls down and destroys Termina: "You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?"
  • Art Evolution: While reusing the same engine from Ocarina of Time, the game makes several improvements from the previous game thanks to the expansion pak:
    • Textures are in a higher resolution.
    • Motion blur is used in many cutscenes.
    • Environmental lighting is improved.
    • Characters, including Link, have greater range of animations.
    • Link's tunic has more realistic looking folds and crevices on his tunic and also sports a belt on his chest that holds the sheathe for his sword.
    • The 3DS remake generally upped the quality of the models and textures across the game.
  • Artifact of Doom:
    • The eponymous mask, which the Happy Mask Salesman is desperate for Link to retrieve from the Skull Kid at all costs.
    • The Fierce Deity's Mask. The in-game description hints the mask's power is in the same class as Majora's Mask's own power, and fighting Majora with the Fierce Deity's Mask equipped is a phenomenal example of a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • The Artifact: Guru-Guru (the windmill musician) still plays the Song of Storms, even though he's not involved in the storyline where you learn the song in this game, and you don't learn it from or teach it to him in this game like you do in Ocarina of Time.
  • Artifact Title: Princess Zelda has very little to do with anything in this game; she only appears in a brief flashback near the beginning of the game.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The game depicts a moon threatening to flatten Termina and destroy the world in the process. Even discounting magic, in the unlikely event that the moon were to fall out of its orbit and towards the planet, the gravitational interaction between the planet and the comparatively tiny moon would cause the moon to disintegrate under the pressure of the planet's gravity before it could impact the surface. The planet would still be ravaged by rapidly rising and falling tides and increased volcanism from the crust being pulled by the moon's gravity, but an impact event is nigh impossible.
  • Ascended Extra: A lot of things that you could have ignored in Ocarina of Time were upgraded to become a major part of the story in this game:
    • The Happy Mask Salesman was just a shop owner for a side quest in Ocarina of Time. In Majora's Mask, he used to own the titular mask, and he kicks off Link's quest by tasking him with its retrieval.
    • In Ocarina of Time, the Skull Kid is just a single forest imp that you really didn't have to ever see in the game (you could run into two more for an ocarina challenge). In this game, the single Skull Kid is the primary antagonist under the influence of Majora's Mask.
    • The masks are what drive the plot of the game, including the Goron and Zora masks, which you didn't even need for a sidequest in Ocarina of Time, and whose only use was getting funny dialogue out of NPCs.
    • The Deku Scrubs have a full kingdom in the game. In Ocarina of Time, they were just mere mooks to Ganondorf apart from the Business Scrubs, who would sell you stuff including upgrades and a Piece of Heart if you could defeat them.
    • The Fire and Ice Arrows are far more useful than they were in Ocarina of Time, which was possible to finish without either (Fire Arrows were seemingly required a few times, but could always be substituted by Din's Fire and/or nearby torchesnote , while Ice Arrows were obtained from a bonus dungeon and had no major use at all). Averted with the Light Arrows, which are required in both games.
    • The Bunny Hood. In Ocarina of Time, its only uses were for a Chain of Deals and to prevent encounters with Stalchildren (hardly a challenging enemy). In Majora's Mask, it grants a speed boost that is optional but useful at various points in the game.
    • In Ocarina of Time, Epona is essential for several side-quests (one of which is the final part of the trading quest, which is timed and sends you from one side of Hyrule to the exact opposite side), but you could easily complete the main game without her; every area she can get you to has another way to enter it. Players don't even need to meet her. In Majora's Mask, short of exploiting a glitch or two, you will not get to the second half of the story without her, which is why one of Link's personal objectives in the game is to find her again.
    • Bombchus from Ocarina of Time were only required once for two dungeons and were useless everywhere else. Majora's Mask gives Bombchus more mileage with several puzzles requiring them.
    • The Cucco Lady who was simply a background character in Ocarina of Time, now referred to as Anju, is a major player in the notable sidequest where you have to help find her missing fiance Kafei.
  • Ascended Glitch: The Blast Mask trick (that is, being able to avoid taking damage by using your shield) from the original N64 version of the game was not only kept in the 3DS remake, but the remake actually tells you how to do it upon obtaining the mask for the first time.
  • Aside Glance: Link stares at the camera for a second in response to Tatl deciding to tag along with him.
  • Astral Checkerboard Decor: The Ancient Castle of Ikana in features this design (the colors of the checkerboard's pattern are yellow and teal), as well as some parts of the Stone Tower Temple.
  • As You Know: When encountering any recycled mook from Ocarina of Time, Tatl says something like, "You don't even know what a Keese is?" This is dropped in the remake; she no longer assumes you're a veteran.
  • Attack of the Town Festival: When does the moon crash? On the day of the festival honoring the guardians of the land. Said guardians are necessary for stopping said moon.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • You can fight the second boss, Goht, by standing in the doorway and shooting fire arrows as he approaches. You'll probably take a lot of damage from getting trampled, and it takes a long time to finish. The inclusion of a weak point in the 3DS remake nullifies this strategy.
    • The Great Fairy's Sword is assigned to a (C) item button, not the (B) button meant for Link's swords. This makes usage of the sword feel unnatural, and trying to execute a Spin Attack on demand is unreliable at best. While not useless, the Great Fairy Sword only shows up in your inventory after completing the last dungeon, and by that point, you've dispatched most of the threats where the sword could have been put to good use (barring yet-to-be-done sidequests). The inconvenient button location does not apply in the 3DS version, as the item buttons are in a far more convenient location, which means you can assign the Great Fairy Sword next to the main attack button for Link's sword.
    • The Giant's Mask, which you get 2 rooms before fighting Twinmold (the penultimate boss), can only be used when fighting Twinmold, and it drains your magic meter like nothing else. That said, using the mask allows you to curbstomp Twinmold faster than anything else (it's even stronger than the Fierce Deity's Mask). In the 3DS remake, you obtain it while fighting the boss, after you beat the blue Twinmold, and it is required to defeat the red Twinmold. While it makes Link fight and taunt like a wrestler, its magic cost is still high.
    • The Fierce Deity's Mask can only be worn in boss rooms. While it turns a few such battles into curbstomps, it gives no major advantages against any boss with a gimmick. In the 3DS remake, the mask is only useful against the first and last boss, you cannot win the battle against the third and fourth bosses if you wear the mask, and it can still only be used in Boss Rooms (and, incongruously, the Fishing Minigame).
  • Awesome, but Temporary: The Razor Sword breaks after exactly 100 swings, but has double the power of your standard sword. Even if you don't break it, you'll lose it when you go back in time. There's a complicated sidequest to upgrade it further into the Gilded Sword, which is even stronger, and permanent.
  • Ax-Crazy: Majora. Unlike most of the other villains in the franchise, its main motivation for killing/tormenting/etc. its victims is for sheer fun, and it tries to take it to its logical extreme by crashing the Moon into Termina.

    B 
  • Background Music Override: If Link gets to the point where there are only six in-game hours left until the moon falls, the theme of the final hours will play in the background until either the moon falls or Link goes back to the first day. The theme overrides any and all songs in the game other than those of the current dungeon, mini-boss, or boss.
  • Badass Adorable: In addition to retaining his innocence and competence from Ocarina of Time, Link manages to perform even bigger feats in this game like fighting off aliens with a bow and arrow, chasing down a mechanical goat, becoming the captain of an army of skeletons, and suplexing a giant sand worm! His Deku and Goron forms are cute and badass in their own ways.
  • Bad Moon Rising: In this case, it's "descending".
  • Bag of Spilling: This is a Zig-Zagged Trope. Link doesn't keep any of the items he had at the end of Ocarina of Time other than his sword, the eponymous instrument (a gift from Zelda), a metal shield (similar to the Hylian Shield in design), and Epona (whom he never got to ride as a kid). Not having some of the items from Ocarina is Justified by how that game ends (Zelda sends Link back in time to stop Ganondorf before he can get the Triforce).
  • Baleful Polymorph: Link's original Transflormation into a Deku Scrub is a curse from the Skull Kid. After he changes back to normal, he becomes a Voluntary Shapeshifter.
  • Bandit Mook: The Takkuri, a goofy vulture-like creature that hangs out near Milk Road, will do its best to ram into you on sight. If it does, you may lose hundreds of Rupees — or worse, an irreplaceable piece of equipment such as a bottle or your sword. If you lose an item, the only ways to get it back are to either purchase it from the Curiosity Shop (which is apparently the Takkuri's fence) or use the Song of Time to force a reset. If you manage to kill the Takkuri, it drops a Golden Rupee worth 200 rupees.
  • Barbarous Barbary Bandits: The Gerudo, who were already portrayed with an "Arabian Nights" Days culture in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, are reinterpreted as pirates in the Great Bay region of the alternate world of Termina.
  • Bare Your Midriff: It takes a bit of trickery with the camera to see them, but the Treasure Chest Shop attendant and the desk clerk at the Mayor's Office in Clock Town both wear short belly-baring shirts. The Gerudo Pirates do so as well, being clad in much more revealing tube tops.
  • Battle Theme Music: Despite being a 3D game, Majora's Mask follows the pattern of 2D games by giving all regular bosses a tense music track and a smooth, yet menacing theme for the final boss. However, in 3D Zelda fashion, it does also have a dedicated battle theme for minibosses.
  • Battle Tops: In its final form, Majora's Wrath, the mask attacks with a pair of whip-like appendages and razor-studded spinning tops.
  • Becoming the Costume: The Deku Mask, the Zora Mask, the Goron Mask, and the Fierce Deity's Mask each transform Link into the race (or minor god) it represents.
  • Becoming the Mask: One of the children in the Moon asks, "If you have so many masks, what does your true face look like?" This is also hinted at in the manga.
  • Beneath Notice: Taken to the extreme with the Stone Mask, which magically makes its wearer so thoroughly uninteresting and unremarkable that they effectively become invisible since nothing pays any attention whatsoever to them. A number of people are observant or disciplined enough to still notice, however: a number of the Gerudo pirates will still engage you, remarking "That mask won't fool me!" as they attack.
  • Berserk Button: Anju's mom doesn't react well if you talk to her while wearing Kafei's mask.
  • Be the Ball: Since Link can turn into a Goron in this game, he gets to use this ability to travel faster, defeat enemies as he curls, and tackle large gaps or chasms (though ramps are required for this case).
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: The mysterious and ninja-like Garo, when beaten, will give Link advice about the area he's currently in before saying "We never leave bodies, this is the way of the Garo" and setting themselves on fire with their specialized cloaks. The Garo Master miniboss in the area's temple takes it a step further by pulling out a bomb and blowing himself up.
  • Betting Mini-Game: The Doggy Racetrack minigame in Romani Ranch belongs to this category. Link has to choose a dog and bet a certain amount of money that the dog will be in the Top 5 when the race ends. Since there are plenty of dogs in the corral, it's advised to use the Mask of Truth to read the dogs' minds and tell which one is the most likely to win. A revenue of 150 Rupees or higher will earn Link a Heart Piece.
  • BFS: There are four in this game: the Gilded Sword, an adult longsword that Link uses in one hand; the Great Fairy Sword, which is almost as long as Link is tall and as wide as he is; the Double Helix Sword (aka the Fierce Deity's sword); and Odolwa's sword.
  • Big Bad: Skull Kid is the one using the eponymous mask to bring down the moon onto Termina, The mask itself is the Greater-Scope Villain, as it turns out to have been possessing him all along and be the true culprit.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Ikana Canyon is a wasteland whose only inhabitants were cursed to come back to life as undead monsters, such as ReDeads, Stalfos, and Poes. And the Ikana Graveyard has bands of Stalchildren milling around at night. Despite this, the local dungeon (Stone Tower Temple) averts the trope, being instead a Temple of Doom themed around light and sky.
  • Big, Bulky Bomb: The Powder Keg is a friggin' barrel of kerboom that's bigger than Link. To drive the point home, Link cannot carry this thing in his Hylian, Deku or Zora form. He has to be in Goron form to do so (and due to the bomb's size and danger, a permit is required).
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: There's both a dragonfly mook with an electrified tail in the Bubblegloop Swamp region at the south, and a Dual Boss of centipedes (Twinmold) in Stone Tower Temple. For the latter, it's recommended to use the Giant's Mask to attack the weak points (heads and tails) more easily.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Downplayed; the game ends on a high note when Link defeats the spirit inhabiting Majora's Mask, saving Termina from the moon, reunites the Skull Kid with the Giants, Tatl, and Tael, and unwittingly creates a Merged Reality where everyone he helped earned their happy endings. Of course, since the Deku butler's son, Darmani, and Mikau have died regardless of how many time loops you made, their loved ones have no choice but to to deal with their loss. It's also implied that Link never sees Navi again, but at least he and the Skull Kid are friends now.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Stone Tower Temple has many corridors in the floor as well as the ceiling, because the dungeon can be literally turned upside down to explore it while it's in that state, and avoiding to fall into the sky.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Zora!Link's armfins are useful for swimming, but they also function as sword, shield, and boomerangs.
  • Blasphemous Boast: There are implications that the Stone Tower Temple itself is one, rejecting the Golden Goddesses worshipped by Hyrule in favor of the Four Giants of Termina. The pillars outside Ikana Canyon and the moving blocks in the Stone Tower depict grotesque naked creatures licking the Triforce, the symbol of the Goddesses, with the blocks having the Triforce on the bottoms of the creatures (the Triforce appears nowhere else in the game). The outside of the temple resembles the faces of the giants, the Giant's Mask is found within the temple, and a giant hand points upward with a flaming fingertip, almost like a family-friendly middle finger to the heavens. The large statue within the temple's main room resembles Majora's Mask when viewed in the temple's upside-down state, and the boss area also has Majora carvings, perhaps implying that the builders began worshipping Majora instead, further distancing themselves from the goddesses. The 3DS remake removes all of the disgraced Triforce symbols, perhaps to keep the symbol out of the game entirely.
  • Bleak Level: The entire area of Ikana Canyon. It's a haunted area with scarce flora, with the small Stalchildren waiting around for their long-deceased captain (whom the player races and gets named as the new captain), the royal family's skeletons remain in the area and the only people living here are a thief and, further in, a girl and her turning-into-a-Gibdo father.
  • Blinding Bangs: The banker sports these, as he's directly based on the beggar from Ocarina of Time.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: The Gilded Sword is made by forging the Razor Sword with a bottle of gold dust won from the Gorons.
  • Blob Monster: This game marks the debut of the Chuchus, a sentient gelatinous mook that would go on to make multiple appearances in the series (including all following 3D games) ever since. The game also has a blob monster (with a frog monster inside, controlling it) as a miniboss in Great Bay Temple. If the blob absorbs you, the frog pummels you inside before kicking you out. Naturally, it is defeated by shattering it with Ice Arrows, though the real battle is against the frog, which proceeds to reassemble the large blob every time it's hit.
  • Block Puzzle: The gravity-twisting room in Stone Tower Temple, where Link has to move a block through the floor as well as through the ceiling (the gravity can be changed by shooting at an emblem with the Light Arrows).
  • Blush Sticker: The game gives these to the Deku Princess. It helps to further mark her as the only Deku Scrub who is both fully friendly and lacking their Fantastic Racism.
  • Body to Jewel: The moon of Termina is not only sentient, but it can even cry. The resulting crystal-like Moon Tears are highly prized by Terminans.
  • Bonus Feature Failure:
    • The final Great Fairy treasure is the Awesome, but Impractical Great Fairy Sword, and you may already have upgraded to the more practical Gilded Sword by this time. And its status as a C-equipped weapon makes it trickier to use than the B-equipped standard sword.
    • The Fierce Deity's Mask. You can only use it against the five main bosses (though some glitches give the possibility of extending its use in the overworld, and you can use it in the fishing holes in the 3DS remake), and it doesn't have as many features as the usual transformation masks, so shooting little energy discs from the sword against the few enemies you can use it against gets old in a hurry. Also, because you must have gotten all the masks in the game to get it, you already had to beat all but the Final Boss.
  • Bookends:
    • The game's story begins and ends at the Clock Tower.
    • The very first track that plays in the intro is the last one to play in the credits. Link is also shown doing the same action during both instances (traveling through a forest).
    • Link meets the Skull Kid at least twice in the game: At the beginning during the first three-day cycle, and at the end after all the Giants are freed.
    • Playing hide-and-seek with children, except the latter requires giving masks to each of them.
    • Majora's Mask ends where Ocarina of Time began: At a World Tree housing a glowing-eyed monster.
    • Both the first and last masks you obtain are transformation masks.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • All the Bunny Hood does is make you run faster and jump farther. This is why you're probably going to have this on the most outside of transformation masks. (Speedruns all but require this mask.)
    • The Stone Mask renders most monsters and NPCs oblivious to Link's presence; this allows him to sneak effortlessly past guards and defeat enemies at his leisure. note 
    • In the original version, Goht could be defeated with little risk by remaining in the entryway to the Boss Room and sniping him with arrows in human form. The remake removed this weakness, forcing you to defeat him in the intended fashion.
  • Boss Remix: Each phase of the final battle uses a different remix of Majora's Theme.
  • Boss Rush: The Secret Shrine in Ikana is a mini-boss rush area, featuring rematches against the Dinolfos, Wizzrobe, Wart, and Garo Master. You don't have to do them all in a row, but you do need your Life Meter to have reached a certain threshold to access each miniboss room: Four hearts for the Dinolfos, eight for the Wizzrobe, twelve for Wart, and sixteen for the Garo Master. The Ikana route in the hide-and-seek area of the Moon as a similar gauntlet (minus the requirement of additional hearts), and not only has a Piece of Heart as a reward, but like all other routes it's also necessary to complete it if the player wants to obtain the Fierce Deity's Mask before facing the Final Boss.
  • Boss Tease: The Skull Kid is an altogether tangible threat; you know from early on that he's on top of the Clock Tower, teasing you as you gaze from the Astral Observatory or just playing merry hell with the nearby planetoid. But you can't even reach the platform you need to get up onto without completing a trading quest to gain access to the flower that can boost you up to it in Deku form; and even then, you can only paff at him with a magic bubble to get your ocarina back, as he's otherwise invincible. Come back having freed the Four Giants, though, and you'll soon reach the final encounter. Subverted, as you fight Majora's Mask itself, it having previously controlled the Skull Kid and just discarded him to lay into you.
  • Bottomless Pits: These are used in the traditional sense (just as in Ocarina of Time): Fall into one and you respawn at the beginning of the room. The Stone Tower Temple takes it a step further with the Gravity Screw by making it possible to fall into the sky.
  • Bowdlerise: In the Japanese version, the jugglers in Clock Town are a pair of flamboyant Camp Gay guys who flirt with each other while practicing their act. In other versions of the game, their dialogue was completely rewritten so that they tell jokes instead.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Fierce Deity's Mask turns Link into the Fierce Deity, who is able to slay bosses in just a few hits, including the final boss. You need to collect every mask in the game to get it, and you can only get it before the game automatically takes you inside the final boss room, which is the last point you can play the Song of Time and do the loop reset before the final boss battle. The mask also can't normally be used outside of boss rooms.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The eponymous mask does this to the Skull Kid.
  • Braving the Blizzard: The way to Snowhead Temple is blocked by a blizzard caused by a giant, invisible Goron. To get into the temple, you play the "Goron Lullaby", putting the giant to sleep and ending the blizzard.
  • Breakable Weapons: The Razor Sword, an upgrade to Link's usual weapon which blunts back down to its original form after a hundred swings. A Side Quest allows to be upgraded into a permanent, stronger form.
  • Brick Joke: When you first meet the Happy Mask Salesman at the beginning of the game, Tatl hides behind Link. The reason is that she and her brother Tael were with the Skull Kid when he stole Majora's Mask from him. At the end of the game, when the Salesman reveals himself, Tael hides behind Link.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Majora's Mask itself. Its vivid green, red, and yellow coloration, offset with purple, stands in stark contrast to Ganondorf's black and dark brown ensemble.
  • Bring It: Majora's third form makes a gesture like this if you don't make an attempt to attack.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Southern Swamp, home of the Deku Tribe. It surrounds the Deku Palace and is filled with toxic water due to the curse on the Woodfall Temple. Until the water is purged, the proper means of navigation is hopping between water lilies with Deku Link.
  • Bubble Gun: The first ranged attack Link can get is one where he (in Deku Scrub form) shoot bubbles out of his mouth/nose/whatever. Incredibly weak and able to stun none but the weakest of enemies, it's primarily used to pop balloons before you get arrows.
  • Bullfight Boss: While the fight against Goht, the Masked Mechanical Bull, is not this (but instead Chasing Your Tail), the later Garo Master miniboss attacks by charging at Link with his flaming sabers.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: The Bunny Hood is one of the most useful masks in the game, allowing you to run twice as fast. Link also looks completely adorable when wearing it.
  • But Now I Must Go: Link is this at the end of the game, as he has no time to enjoy the world he saved — though he does stick around long enough to slip into Zora form and play with The Indigo-Gos at their concert.
  • But You Were There, and You, and You: Link's reaction in the official artwork (and a meta example for the player) when they wander into Termina and see its citizens look like those he already met in Hyrule. Justified, as he's stumbled into a parallel universe.

    C 
  • The Cameo:
    • The Happy Mask Salesman's backpack contains masks of Mario and Elvis Presley.
    • Princess Zelda's only appearance in this game is in a flashback where she re-teaches you the Song of Time.
  • Camera Lock-On: The game utilizes the same Z-Lock as Ocarina of Time.
  • Can't Refuse the Call Anymore: This happens after the Happy Mask Salesman has taught Link the Song of Healing and given him his former shape. Link had promised him to retrieve Majora's Mask, and the salesman proceeds to explain why it's important that he does so.
  • Cartoon Meat: The Goron delicacy "Rock Sirloin" takes the manga meat shape, only made of rock instead of meat.
  • Cash Gate: The Gibdos in the Ikana Well require a multitude of different items before they will let you pass them. While most of the items they ask for are normal pickup that can be found throughout the overworld, one Gibdo requires for you to give him five Magic Beans (or one, in the 3DS remake), which must be bought. Also in this game is the Powder Keg; while you do get a free one that you could use to enter Romani Ranch, you must purchase another Powder Keg in order to get through Ikana Castle.
  • Catastrophic Countdown: The game has a downplayed version on the last day before the moon crashes onto Termina. The ground repeatedly shakes, presumably due to tidal forces, but nothing actually blows up until the impact.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: There's a minor cave behind a waterfall, in the undead kingdom of Ikana. It's the Secret Shrine, which houses a Boss Rush against minibosses.
  • Chain of Deals: The Deku Title Deed sidequest involves meeting a Deku Scrub merchant in each area, all of whom are unhappy with their current location. Each will take the deed to the previous location in exchange for theirs, giving you access to a Deku Flower needed to reach a Piece of Heart. The final merchant will instead give you a Huge Rupee worth 200 Rupees at the conclusion of the quest rather than another deed, although he'll give you permission to use his Flower while he's gone.
  • Chasing Your Tail: In the boss battle against Goht, you can technically defeat it with carefully placed bombs or arrows (and loads of patience), but it's a lot more entertaining to mow him down with Goron!Link's spikes.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: After the opening cinematics, the player must go through the first path as a Deku until they finally reach the Clock Tower, which for a beginning player can take around 15 minutes, and is then followed by a waiting period which, due to the nature of saving in the game, lasts another 32 minutes. Luckily, you can pass the time more quickly by interacting with one of the two dancing scarecrows, and in the 3DS remake, the Owl Statues activate simply by examining them rather than needing to be struck with Link's sword.
  • Chekhov's Gag: When wearing the Garo, Captain's, or Gibdo Masks, ReDeads will ignore you and do a variety of silly dances instead. On the climb to the Stone Tower Temple, there's a distant ledge with some pots and ReDeads, and no apparent way to reach it. The solution? Put on one of those masks and Hookshot a ReDead. Because it's dancing, you won't be pulling yourself into hungry arms, and you can safely smash the pots and cut down the ReDeads and continue on your way.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • An example of this occurs after the game has ended: The twisted tree you see at the beginning of the game turns out to be the remains of the Deku Butler's son. This doubles as Chekhov M.I.A..
    • The epilogue confirms that the Skull Kid is the one from Ocarina of Time (specifically, the single one on the stump to the left of where Link enters the Lost Woods).
  • Chiaroscuro: Extremely prevalent in promo art, less so in the game itself.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Kafei and Anju had one of these; they promised to exchange wedding masks on the day of the Carnival of Time, which, according to Termina tradition, is the best day for couples to be married. The promise proves so meaningful that Kafei refuses to reunite with Anju without retrieving his wedding mask (the Sun's Mask) from Sakon, who stole it shortly before Link's arrival in Termina.
  • Circling Vultures: They're not vultures, but the seagulls swarming Mikau as he floats dying in Great Bay get the same point across.
  • Circus of Fear: Ikana Canyon has a giant music box that plays what can only described as scary circus music. It doesn't even help much that it also scares the mummies away.
  • Clear Their Name: One of Link's motives for rescuing the Deku Princess is exonerating her monkey friend, who's been wrongly accused of kidnapping her.
  • Clock Tower: The centerpiece of Clock Town, naturally. It's not only the entrance to Termina from Hyrule, it's also where the endgame takes place.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: This game marks the debut of the eccentric Tingle. He's a middle-aged guy who dresses in a skintight green outfit in order to emulate the "fairy boy" (Link). He's obsessed with Rupees, he flies all over the place using a red balloon, his Catchphrase is "kooloo-limpah", and in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker he forces his brothers and employees to dress in outfits similar to his. There's a very good reason why he's in a jail cell on Windfall Island in the 2003 game.
  • Collection Sidequest: Masks, many of which in turn are collected after completing other sidequests. There are also collection quests in specific areas, such as Skulltula Tokens (in Skulltula Houses) and Stray Fairies (dungeons).
  • Colony Drop: This is what the Skull Kid does with the Moon, using the power of Majora's Mask. When you confront him on top of the Clock Tower, he yanks it down even faster (reducing the in-game countdown by one hour), and he taunts you to boot: "If it's something that can be stopped, just try to stop it!"
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The color of the rupee next to the number of rupees that you currently have reflects the wallet that you are carrying at the moment: green for the child's wallet (99 rupees), blue for the adult's wallet (200 rupees), and red for the giant's wallet (500 rupees). It's a minor touch, but a nice once, considering how Ocarina of Time didn't have it.
  • Combat Tentacles: The third form of Majora's Mask, Majora's Wrath, sprouts long tentacles from his hands, which he can attack and bind Link with.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: The manga by Akira Himekawa puts the Skull Kid in a more sympathetic light and includes a bonus story illustrating the creation of the eponymous mask, but it also cuts out most of Ikana Canyon to focus on Anju and Kafei.
  • Commedia dell'Arte: Anju and Kafei's subplot fits this; they are the Innamorati, Mayor Dotour is il Dottore, and Link seems to be a male version of Columbina. Among others, the Curiosity Shop owner is Brighella, and Tingle is a loose version of Pulcinella.
  • Compound Interest Time Travel Gambit: To keep track of bank accounts, the banker puts a stamp on the person's head. This stamp remains on you when you travel back in time. For 100% Completion, you are required to abuse this — the banker gives you a larger wallet at 200 rupees, and a heart piece at 5000. The game's official guide sums up the situation: "This will probably result in a devastating crash of the bank and the complete destabilization of Clock Town's economy, but hey, that still beats being obliterated by a falling moon."
  • Console Cameo: The 3DS version includes cameos of numerous pieces of Nintendo hardware: the Ultra Hand, R.O.B., a GameCube with a Game Boy Player (or at least, the appearance of the front side of one), and a Wii Remote.
  • Continuity Nod: The Skull Kid is heavily implied to be the same one who gives you a Heart Piece for playing "Saria's Song" to him in Ocarina of Time. He says that you smell like "the fairy kid who taught him that song in the woods," and you even hear the song in The Stinger.
  • Continuing is Painful:
    • Like with Ocarina of Time, dying puts you at the beginning of the dungeon (or the last entrance you used outside of dungeons) with only three hearts to your name. You'll most likely have to leave whatever area you were in to go hunt for hearts or travel to the witch's potion shop to restock. Lucky for you that death doesn't affect the in-game clock.
    • If the moon falls, the game doesn't end despite the It's a Wonderful Failure cinematic. You will be sent back to day one so you can continue the quest — although any and all progress you accomplished in that three-day cycle will be erased, which means you'll have to do whatever happened in that cycle all over again.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: This trope is inverted, albeit unintentionally. When using glitches to wear the Fierce Deity's Mask outside of boss battles, most enemies won't take damage from the Sword Beams that shred bosses in seconds. The game has no programming to account for the situation. This means the being that can defeat the final boss in a minute can't even hurt a Keese with the sword beams. (They're not immune to the sword itself, though.)
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: In Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf is the king of the Gerudo who seeks to claim the Triforce to conquer the world of Hyrule out of his hunger for power. In Majora's Mask, the demonic entity in the titular Artifact of Doom took control of the Skull Kid to destroy the world of Termina For the Evulz.
  • Cool Horse: Epona, of course. In this game, she's still just a filly, but is just as capable of carrying Link (bareback, no less) as she is when she's full-grown.
  • Cool Mask: The game's premise is that Link obtains lots of masks with unique powers. There are 28 obtainable masks in total: Four transformation masks, twenty regular masks that have different effects or uses, and the four masks from bosses that allow Link to refight them without having to go through their dungeons again.
  • Cowboys and Indians: Majora considers the final battle a round of "good guys against bad guys." And it insists on playing the good guy.
  • Crapsack World: What Termina is becoming thanks to Skull Kid's mischief. The Southern Swamp's water has been poisoned, Snowhead is stuck in a perpetual winter that will eventually freeze all the Gorons, the Great Bay's water temperature has risen so the Zora's eggs cannot hatch, and Ikana Canyon is full of the undead of an ancient kingdom.
  • Creepy Cemetery: Ikana Graveyard, which is located within the path to the main area of Ikana Canyon. Inside the cemetery, Link can race against the remains of an army officer who died centuries ago, trick his men who dance around graves at night into thinking he [Link] is the officer, and have his men open up the graves to go on adventures underground.
  • Creepy Centipedes: The game features the Dual Boss known as Twinmold, a pair of massive masked centipede-like insects that corrupt the Stone Tower Temple.
  • Creepy Child: The mask-wearing children on the moon, not least because they resemble the Happy Mask Salesman. Also, Romani after her Alien Abduction.
  • Creepy Good: The Happy Mask Salesman. He's very creepy and mysterious, and only seems to be concerned with getting his mask back, but his dialogue suggests that he knows more than he lets on, as he urges Link to get Majora's Mask back before something terrible happens. He also commends you on all the people you've made happy when you show him a mask earned as a reward, and, although he then dismisses it and urges you to get his mask back, doing so will prevent the people you helped along with the whole world from being horribly destroyed, which seems like a quite moral and sensible set of priorities.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In the original game, any boss with the Fierce Deity's Mask. Yes, including the last one.
  • Curse: Skull Kid loves cursing people and even places. It's one of the first things to happen in the game. Even the undead are cursed by the guy.
    Sharp: We dead should not be lingering here in this land. It was all a trick of the masked one who had upset things.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: According to Hyrule Historia, collecting all masks is canon, as it mentions Link transforming into Fierce Deity to fight Majora.
  • Cyanide Pill: The Garo monsters in Ikana Canyon will commit suicide if Link defeats them in combat... by way of setting themselves on fire. "To die without leaving a corpse; that is the way of the Garo." Things get strange when the Garo Master instead blows himself up with a handy bomb... and drops hints seconds later, so his "suicide" wasn't entirely fatal.

Dawn of the Second Day
— 48 Hours Remain —

    D 
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • Woe betide anyone playing Majora's Mask after Ocarina of Time who thinks to try and stun enemies with the Hookshot, especially if the enemy they chose was a ReDead or Gibdo. That doesn't work in this game, though the zombie will still happily respond by grabbing on and going for the neck.
    • Like the Ocarina of Time remake, the 3DS remake has the X, Y, and A buttons used instead of the C buttons for playing Ocarina notes, but they do not match the position of the buttons they've replaced despite having the same layout. Trying to play a song that used only the C buttons in the original, like Epona's Song, with only your muscle memory will not work.
    • In the 3DS remake, playing the Song of Time to go back to the first day does not save, which is contrary to the original game requiring it to save the file without the Suspend Save system. One must be careful to not play the song and quit, lest you lose your progress.
    • The bosses in the remake also have new weak points that have to be exposed and then attacked in order to defeat them. Some of the tactics that worked for the N64 versions will likely only get you killed here.
  • Dance Battler:
    • Odolwa, the Masked Jungle Warrior, is the boss of Woodfall Temple. Due to his erratic movements, which sometimes stem to leaping to a random point in the room and simply dancing without making any strike, (and the fact he summons dungeon-unique beetle-creatures, which Link has to kill, and swarms of flesh-eating locusts, which he can't do anything about), he's often a difficult boss for beginners.
    • Majora itself, specifically Majora's Incarnation. It dances erratically, including moonwalking. Its sole attack is a large sequence of energy spheres.
  • Dangerous Device Disposal Debacle: The legend of Majora's Mask says that the people who created it used to use it in hexing rituals until they finally realized exactly what kind of destructive power was contained within it, sealed it in shadow so it would never be used, and then went missing. By the time of the game's events, the Mask Salesman only sought it out as a collector's item, leaving it open for the Skull Kid to steal and subsequently misuse.
  • Darker and Edgier: Majora's Mask takes this Up to Eleven compared to Ocarina Of Time, in part because the game is set within a world that is facing impending doom. The moon is descending upon the land of Termina and will crash into it within three days; if you let the clock tick down to zero, it engulfs the entire land in a blazing inferno, annihilating everything in its wake. By subverting the Take Your Time approach used in other games of the series, Majora's Mask creates a feeling of dread that lasts throughout the game. Death and suffering are everywhere in Termina; there are a number of deceased characters whose souls are unable to rest due to their lingering regrets, living characters who have had curses placed upon them, and even a few cases of Demonic Possession, just to name a few. Even the artwork goes for a more darker tone by having a lot more shading and shadows on the characters and displaying a much more serious tone, although the artwork in the 3DS version tones it down. Out of all the other games in the Zelda series, only Twilight Princess is regularly compared to Majora's Mask in terms of which one is darkest.
  • Dark Reprise: The Final Day theme for Clock Town, as compared to the First Day version. Then it fades to black when there's one minute before the moon crashes.
  • Darkest Hour: Or rather, the final six hours until the Moon crashes. The clock tower ominously chimes away on what is supposed to be a night of celebration, but is now instead the eve of the apocalypse. The hauntingly ethereal and somber soundtrack plays. Your clock suddenly turns into a Catastrophic Countdown, which in turn becomes flashing red upon the final hour.
  • Daylight Horror: As soon as it hits 4 AM of the final night, it gets quite light out, but it's also the most tense and unsettling moment of the game: the sky has a sickly pink tone to it, the land rumbles, and the bells of the clock tower echo in the distance reminding you that you have about two minutes until The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: When Link wears the Goron or Zora masks, everybody will think he is either Darmani or Mikau, respectively. Also, the Deku Butler is reminded of his son when he sees Deku Link. This is only made more obvious when the Butler is seen next to the twisted tree you see at the beginning of the game in the end credits.
  • Death Mountain: Ikana Canyon is a tall, rocky landscape cursed with an evil aura that was unleashed from Stone Tower due to the Skull Kid's meddling. As a result, many undead enemies roam it, thus overlapping this trope with Big Boo's Haunt. Stone Tower itself also has some mountain-themed motifs, such as large boulders that roll towards the bottom, stone platforms that have to be activated with weight-sensitive switches, and pillars Link can latch onto with the Hookshot.
  • Decapitation Presentation: This game uses a less violent variant. The masks that the bosses wear are substituted for the actual heads.
  • Degraded Boss: Dinolfos is a Mini-Boss in the Woodfall Temple and two optional areas, but only a regular enemy elsewhere. This also happens with Wizzrobe (miniboss in Snowhead Temple and the Ancient Castle of Ikana, but only an enemy in Stone Tower Temple) and Big Poe (miniboss in Ikana Graveyard, enemy in the Gibdo well).
  • Dem Bones: The game has no Stalfos by that name, but Ikana valley is home to skeleton soldier mini-bosses that act like Stalfos in all but name.
  • Descent into Darkness Song: The Clock Town theme. It starts out rather upbeat enough, as the town is mostly going about its business and the townspeople are blissfully ignorant that anything's wrong. Sure, the moon is up there glaring at them, but it's way out there. What's it gonna do? The next day, the moon is demonstrably closer than its original position, and that night, closer still. The music is slightly darker to accommodate. Then, by the third day, the music is outright apocalyptic, since the townspeople have all but fled or given up in terror, and the moon is so close it looks like it could cleanse the planet with one strong snort.
  • Despair Event Horizon: A lot of people cross this on the third day, especially the Postman, who curses about how badly he wants to flee, but that "it's not on the schedule," and the swordmaster, who boasts that if the moon falls, he'll just cut it out of the sky. Come the final six hours of the third day, you can find him huddled and shaking in the back room of his shop, crying that he's afraid to die.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: The "You could get used to this" scene is 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. Then 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, Link has a blank expression. Besides instinctive surprise/horror, he literally doesn't know how to convey emotions as anyone else would.
  • Developers' Foresight: Tons. If it weren't for the reused assets from Ocarina of Time, you'd hardly know this game was made in only a year with how much thought the devs put into everything.
    • Some characters in the game will have commentary on every single one of your masks. The sheer amount of alternate dialogue and events here is staggering for a game of its time.
    • It's also encouraged to try all sorts of things on the bosses. There are a plethora of ways to engage them outside of what's intended, and you might be surprised by what does and doesn't work. (This is unfortunately dropped in the 3DS remake due to the bosses having their mechanics altered.)
    • When Sakon steals the bomb bag, try shooting an arrow at him.note 
    • Wear the Captain's Hat during the King Ikana fight. It's a Paper-Thin Disguise at first, before the King recognizes that Link is too short to be Keeta. During the fight immediately before that one, try marching with the Bremen Mask to see the Servants march.
    • Go into the Pirate captain's quarters wearing the Stone Mask. Instead of being invisible like you normally would be, you're caught, with the pirates wondering how some kid in a funny mask got all the way up here. There are also a couple of scripted fights in the pirate area where the pirates will comment on your usage of the Stone Mask (if you're wearing it).
    • Try using the Song of Healing on a broken sign. The sign magically repairs itself.note  You can also use the Song of Storms, once you learn it, to instantly cure the curse inflicted by Blue Bubbles.
    • If you want to water a planted bean but don't have water in a bottle, the Song of Storms or the rainfall that occurs on the second day will work just as well (except if you're in a cave).
    • Tatl and Tael will have a different conversation before entering the moon a second time on the same save file. The first time, Tatl will be very angry towards Skull Kid while Tael defends him by revealing that it was the mask all along. If you reset time and trigger the scene again, Tatl will interrupt her brother's plea — after all, she's heard this conversation before. Cue a perplexed Tael.
    • The guards at the Pirate's Fortress have worse vision at night, but only in the Japanese version.
    • As with Ocarina of Time, most items have different effects when used on Gossip Stones. Different Ocarina songs do different things (most commonly give you fairies for playing the Song of Storms), bombs make it rocket into space (and it will stay gone until you go back to the first day), hitting it with a sword makes it tell you the time... etc.
    • Due to glitching and exploits, it's possible to get the Goron and Zora masks, as well as access Snowhead, the Pirates' Fortress, and Ikana Canyon before you set foot in any dungeon. The dev team made sure to make it impossible to use the Hookshot to cross the river into Ikana Canyon. However, it's still possible to get over it without Ice Arrows; a bomb-boosted jump as Zora Link works just fine. If you managed to complete Stone Tower Temple before Great Bay (the place where you get the Ice Arrows), Tatl will panic when you return to Clock Town, saying that there's still more to be done out there.
    • Normally, the guards at each exit for Clock Town will stop you if you're Deku Link, let you pass if you're Goron or Zora Link, and then stop you at first you're Hylian Link but then see that you have a sword and let you pass. If you were to somehow leave town through another method, get your sword stolen, then go up to the guards, they will actually have dialogue that changes to reflect this, still let you pass, and will even give you a hint on how to get your sword back. If your sword is at the Mountain Smithy in Snowhead, they will simply ask, "Do you have a sword?" as opposed to the default "...A sword?"
    • Despite a good amount of things being buggy or impossible, many things that can occur when you use a glitch to play as Fierce Deity Link anywhere indicate that it's possible the developers knew someone would find a way to use him:
      • If you open up a chest with him, the game will not crash and he actually has an animation. Surprisingly, even opening a big chest (which requires very specific steps, but is in fact possible)note  gives him a full, finished sequence of him opening it.
      • If you somehow manage to enter a shop with him, he has his sword sheathed and can't use it, just like normal. As an added bonus, as his sword normally interrupts the animation if you don't press the button fast enough, he can actually swing a bottle regularly due to this, even still keeping it in his hand when idle.
      • Most NPCs will still react to Link as though he was in a different form. The only real exceptions, aside from a small handful, are the ones that crash the game when you talk to them with the mask on. Even some of the ones who make form-specific remarks will still recognize that he is transformed. The girl from the Treasure Chest Shop, who gives you a different entry price depending on what form you're in, even charges you a different fee with the mask on.
      • When you buy something as Fierce Deity, you can actually see the glowing orbs that emanate from his magic sword in the background of the text screen.
      • If you perform the glitch at the entrance to the Pirate's Fortress (possible at the hill right when you get inside it), Link will not only put his hands up when the pirates spot him, but even screams loudly when thrown out.
      • If you save at an owl statue with the mask on, the glitch does not reset after loading the save file again; you are still in Fierce Deity form when you get back to the game.
      • If a Like-Like sucks you up, your sword actually sticks out of its mouth due to its size.
      • You can climb up ladders normally and lift up items you shouldn't be able to, such as pots, plants, and rocks.
      • The act of jumping across platforms still has the aerial acrobatic animations done by normal and Zora Link programmed.
      • Entering the Deku Shrine with the mask on and speaking with the butler still results in him recognizing you. Racing with him is even possible.
      • Fierce Deity Link has a full drowning animation, despite there being no way to get your head stuck underwater in the only area with water in it that he was programmed for (Gyorg's boss lair.)
    • If you play the Oath to Order without freeing all four giants, the ones that you did free will attempt to stop the moon, but fail.
    • Normally, Goht's boss battle is only triggered after shooting a fire arrow at the ice covering him. It triggers basically immediately after the arrow is shot. However, if you press the button for any of the four transformation masks right after the arrow hits the ice, you will put on the mask and the default cutscene of Goht initiating the battle will play, except you will be in a different form, complete with a different scream when he runs you over as well.
    • Putting a transformation mask on immediately after turning Stone Tower upside down will show the default sequence in your current mask.
    • There is a way to get to Ikana without the Ice Arrows by carefully aiming the Hookshot at a specific spot. If you do this, and proceed to continue until you finish Stone Tower Temple, Tatl will warn you that you forgot to "solve the problem at Great Bay" when you travel back in time.
    • Despite how unlikely it is for a player to do so, taking off the Goron Mask immediately after throwing the Rock Sirloin to the starving Goron, before it lands in front of them, will cause them to give a much more generic conversation of gratitude afterwards that omits the part where they recognise you as Darmani.
  • Difficulty by Region:
    • In the original Japanese version, the only way to save was to reset time all the way back to the first day, as the Owl Statues were only used as Warp Whistle destinations. Needless to say, the international cut received the ability to Suspend Save at owl statues, making the game less of one big Marathon Level. The tradeoff for this feature, however, was that the international version could only hold two save files. The Japanese version had the traditional three.
    • Numerous glitches in the Japanese version were fixed in the international versions. Some segments in the Japanese version were also made easier.
  • Dirty Coward: As far as we know, Sakon only steals from helpless old ladies and children.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Although hints are dropped here and there, throughout the entire game it seems like you'll square off against the super-powerful Skull Kid after you've freed the Four Giants. When you confront him at the end, all it takes to deal with him is for you to perform the Oath to Order, which will summon the Four Giants to stop the moon and save Termina. Then Majora's Mask itself starts talking... Bonus points for having been right in your face all this time, during which you probably thought it was just an inanimate, albeit evil, artifact.
  • Discontinuity Nod: The man who runs the shooting gallery in Clock Town uses a very familiar phrase when you fail his archery minigame. "You can try again, as long as you have enough Rupees."
  • Disgusting Public Toilet: The bathroom of the Stock Pot Inn in Clock Town has some fungus growing inside it, as seen when wearing the Mask of Scents. From midnight to 6:00 AM, the toilet has a huge nasty hand of unknown identity sticking out of it. "Pa-Pa-Pa-Paper!" This hand reappears in Oracle of Ages and Skyward Sword, but in those games, it is less creepy than the original.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: A song where one character only remembers the first few notes, and the rest must be learned from someone else, plays a major role in the second stage of the game.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: A number of characters. The Rosa Sisters, Kamaro, and Guru-Guru come to mind.
  • Doomed Protagonist: By the time the First Day dawns, Mikau is mortally wounded. No matter how quickly you reach the appropriate spot, it's already too late to do anything but play the Song Of Healing and get the mask left behind.
  • Doomsday Clock: The player has three days until the moon crashes down on Termina, with a giant clock tower counting down to this in the center of the Hub Level (which is appropriately named Clock Town) and a smaller clock display at the bottom of the screen.
  • Downer Beginning: The game begins with Skull Kid turning Link into a Deku Scrub and stealing his horse and the Ocarina of Time. As Link chases him, he reaches the land of Termina, where it's revealed that the Moon will fall in three days.
  • Down the Drain: The Great Bay Temple is a complex water plant that operates through a network of color-assigned pipes that carry water through the rooms. It also has a giant waterwheel that controls the direction of the water's flow.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: Link goes looking for his Fairy Companion, who left at the end of the previous game, so he goes searching in the Lost Woods. His horse gets stolen, he gets turned into a plant, and then he gets stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop while he tries to stop the moon from falling.
  • Dramatic Unmask: While Kafei does unmask himself in his sidequest, the major example is an inversion. The Skull Kid doesn't take off his masknote , the mask takes off the Skull Kid.
  • Dreadful Dragonfly: The Dragonfly enemies, weird and aggressive darner-like creatures with electric abdomens that can zap Link.
  • Drunk on Milk: Lampshaded by Gorman, who gets plastered at the Milk Bar (and requires you to cure his hangover in the 3DS version).
  • Dual Boss: The last boss (Twinmold, the giant worms) before Majora, found in Stone Tower Temple. Due to their gigantic size, using the Giant's Mask is recommended (though not required). In the 3DS remake, the mask is required, but can only be used when one of the worms is defeated.
  • Dub Name Change: Strangely, a case of a name not being changed. Wart is known as Arrghus in every other localization it appears in. Arrghus is the name of a boss in A Link to the Past, and Wart is the name both
creatures have in their respective games' Japanese version, confirming they're the same species.

    E 
  • Early-Bird Boss: First-time players of the game are in for a surprise when they face Odolwa, the first dungeon boss. He's fast, hard hitting, and his arena tricks you into thinking you should use Deku Link (which instead leads to a darned near One-Hit KO). Many gamers only do that dungeon far enough to get the bow and move on to take down the second dungeon Snowhead, so they can come back to rock Woodfall and give Odolwa what-for with the Gilded Sword, Fire Arrows, and an extended healthbar. Subverted in the 3DS version, which changes him to more of a Puzzle Boss (he blocks everything with his shield unless you use Deku Link to fly above him and stun him), so having better gear won't help as much.
  • Early Game Hell: The game has a rough beginning due to some cruel factors that affect Link since the beginning. Since his Ocarina of Time was stolen, he's unable to travel back in time and thus unable to save his progress. Until he's able to revert the situation, he has to perform several tasks under a time limit of three days, which even pass on a much faster rate than in later gameplay sessions. (Each hour normally lasts 45 real life seconds, but in this first loop it only lasts 27 seconds; symbolically, this represents the urgency Link has to improve his situation.)
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The world is going to end in three days and only you can go back in time to prevent it from happening. All the while people around you become depressed, the five areas of Termina are in turmoil, and trying to help anyone is ultimately pointless because you have to turn back the clock eventually to stop the end of the world. All the while the Moon continues to stare down at you, scaring you and mocking your efforts at the same time. Yet despite all that, you still keep going. You struggle for the light at the end of this dark tunnel, and when you finally see the sun rise on the 4th day, you know it was all because you didn't give up. Better yet, your efforts paid off, because the good endings you managed to bring in previous timelines actually stay true in a Merged Reality, regardless of whether or not you made them happen in the cycle during which you defeated the Final Boss or not. This is a Bittersweet Ending, however, as some characters, like those whose bodies form the transformation masks, are dead. Even then, however, Link is able to heal their souls and let them move on to the afterlife.
  • Editorial Synaesthesia: The Mask of Scents allows Link to see smells, allowing him to spot special Mushrooms that can be given to Kotake in Southern Swamp to brew a Blue Potion.
  • Elemental Crafting: Link's best one-handed sword is made by infusing his Razor Sword with high-quality gold dust. The Nintendo Power Strategy Guide lampshades it by saying the smith must have some mysterious process to make gold stronger than steel.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: Almost everyone either ignores or downplays the quite-obvious fact that the moon is falling and the world will be destroyed. In the final hours of the last day, some characters begin to acknowledge their impending death, but denialism still runs rampant throughout Termina right up to the end.
  • Elite Four: Link must first defeat the Four Guardians to face the Final Boss, each of which is a boss that yields a Plot Coupon mask after its defeat, freeing the spirit of one of the Four Giants. Once all of the Giants are free, Link must summon them to hold up the moon and keep it from crashing into Termina. The Four Giants clearly take their inspiration from the Buddhist Four Heavenly Kings, each guarding one of the four directions to which Link must travel to free them — the Southern Swamp, the Northern Mountain, the Western Ocean, and the Eastern Canyon.
  • Endless Winter: The monster Goht is causing an endless winter to plague the mountain range the Gorons live in.
  • Enemy Scan: This function is performed by Tatl. As she is more involved in the game's plot, and she has a developed personality (unlike Navi of the previous game's fame), she grudgingly works together with Link and often snarks at him when asked for advice. Amusingly, in the original version but not the 3DS remake, if Link consults her on any enemy previously encountered in Ocarina of Time, she starts off with "What?! You don't even know about the [x]?!"
  • The End of the World as We Know It: What Link is trying to prevent with the "Groundhog Day" Loop.
  • Epic Hail: The Oath to Order — the song that summons the four Giants to unite and protect their land, but only if they've all been awakened.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: This Zelda mainstay applies especially strongly here, because of the "Groundhog Day" Loop. With every return to the Dawn of the First Day, the game world is reset, and only the items Link takes back with him determine what new areas he can explore.
  • Escape Rope: When played within a dungeon, the Song of Soaring will take Link to the entrance. Elsewhere, it's a Warp Whistle.
  • Escort Mission: There's one unlocked in Romani Ranch if you helped Romani repel the ghostly invaders in the first day's night. On the second night, you help a milk cart get to town, and must fight off two men from a rival ranch who try to attack the cart with your arrows. You have infinite arrows while doing this, allowing you to basically shoot the crap out of them the entire time, and you only fail the mission if they hit you three times and break all three jugs of milk. Success gets you entry to the Milk Bar via Romani's Mask, and on repeats the chance of Marshmallow Hell. This then becomes laughably easy if you wear the Circus Leader's Mask you get through completing the sidequest inside. The attackers won't even do anything except ride after you.
  • Eternal Engine: The Great Bay Temple combines this with Down the Drain. It's a highly advanced cistern whose machinery works with the mechanical energy provided by the Great Bay's water. Link has to activate several color-coded engines to bring water onto certain parts, allowing him to reach places that wouldn't be accessible otherwise.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: At the end, the Moon dissolves in a chromatic light, and leaves a rainbow streaked across the sky.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: The dog on Romani Ranch will run and bark in the direction of the nearest one of "Them" as they invade.
  • Evil Mask:
    • Majora's Mask. That Skull Kid wearing it might seem like a monster, given the various gruesome curses he inflicts on you and the residents of Termina — but then you learn that before he put it on, he was just a lonely kid who wanted friends. By the end of the game, it becomes clear that the mask itself has been pulling the strings the entire time, and has no motive for any of its cruelty besides its own amusement.
    • While the Fierce Deity's Mask is implied to contain dark powers nearly as powerful as Majora, its true nature (as explained by a Gossip Statue found in Ikana Canyon, and further explained by the game's director in a 2015 interview) is anything but evil. Link doesn't have a problem wearing the mask anyway.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Stone Tower to some extent, even though it's not the Big Bad's base of operations. It's so tall it can be seen from parts of Termina that are nowhere near it (e.g. from the Goron village or from just outside Clock Town's east gate). To get to the dungeon proper, you have to pass through two stone monster faces, the first of which is at the bottom of the tower and the second of which is a giant one at the top with flaming eyes. The curse placed on the dead kingdom of Ikana emanates from this tower. It's not clear who built it and it's covered in strange symbols and iconography, some of which seems to reference the Triforce, which has led to much speculation from fans.
  • Eye Scream: During the Deku Scrub Transformation Sequence, Link's eyes have cracks in them. The Goron and Zora sequences have similar effects.

    F 
  • Face-Design Shield: The Mirror Shield sports a rather disturbing open-mouthed grimace.
  • Face Fault:
    • Deku Link does one while talking to the monkey prisoner in the Deku Palace. Cue everyone else in the throne room looking over at them.
    • In the 3DS remake, Goron Link nearly does one when he finds that playing the Goron's Lullaby put not only the Goron Elder's son to sleep, but all the other Gorons nearby as well.
  • Fade to White: A Fade To White is shown at the end of the game, signifying the breaking of the three day time loop the game took place in.
  • Falling into the Plot: During the game's prologue, Link chases the Skull Kid after the latter kidnaps Epona and steals the Ocarina of Time. He reaches a grotto and ends up falling several meters down, which takes him into the land of Termina; it is there where the game takes place.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • Keep in mind that the Deku Scrubs are plants, which means they are made of wood, which means that they, and by extension Deku Scrub Link, are extremely flammable. For that matter, so is Zora Link. Catch even the slightest fire-based attack and he instantly goes down in flames.
    • Gorons cannot swim due to their stonelike weight. If you jump into water while wearing the Goron Mask, Link will instantly drown, then respawn minus one heart of health. Though Twilight Princess would much later seem to suggest they don't drown, per se, so much as get stuck with no way out. The remake would in most cases return Link to the start of the area, but without the loss of health.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: The punishment the Deku Scrubs mete out to the monkey. They have him repeatedly dipped into a cauldron of boiling water.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Several characters will only give you respect in one form. The girl in the treasure chest shop charges different rates depending on which species you are (and only the Goron can win a Piece of Heart), while the Curiosity Shop will only do business with humans. At least with the treasure shop girl, what mask you wear affects whether and how she flirts with you rather than how much she hates you.
      Curiosity Shop Owner: Eesh. You frighten me. I keep special hours for folks like you. Try comin' back at half past never.
    • After you find all of the members as a Deku Scrub, the Bombers refuse to accept you into their gang. This particular prejudice is caused by their negative previous experience with the Skull Kid.
  • Fantasy Aliens: While the creatures that attack Romani Ranch are never expressly referred to as aliens (likely because the people of the setting would have little concept of what an alien is), they are definitely giving off alien vibes with their kidnapping of cattle and looking exactly like the Flatwood monsters.
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: Not only is there a song to skip ahead ("Song of Double Time"), but also to slow it down ("Inverted Song of Time") and reset time ("Song of Time"), which also doubles as the way to save your game in the original version (in the remake, Owl and Feather statues act as Save Points instead).
  • Father Time: Princess Zelda and Tatl separately make mention of the Goddess of Time, both times during the climax of the prologue. She seems to be a deity of the parallel world that Termina is in, but her powers can still be accessed via the Ocarina of Time from Hyrule.
  • A Father to His Men: Captain Skull Keeta. While he's never seen directly interacting with the Stalchildren, he's implied to be this by dialogue.
  • Feed It a Bomb: In the 3DS version, Gyorg's second phase requires you to disconnect aquatic mines chained to the floor of the flooded arena when it attempts to inhale you. Doing this will make Gyorg inadvertedly swallow the mine and stun him upon the ensuing explosion.
  • Fetch Quest: Several sidequests have become infamous for Fetch Quests, though most of them are confined to the large and frustrating Kafei/Anju sidequest that, thanks to the game's "Groundhog Day" Loop element, has to be repeated at least twice (for those who know exactly where to be) and as many as four times (for those who dodn't), to collect every item available from it. There's also the Gibdo Well in Ikana, where several Gibdos ask Link for different items, not all of which are available there; and that's a main quest objective.
  • Fictional Age of Majority: There's no specific age, but if you're old enough to be able to carry a weapon, you're considered an adult and are free to leave Clock Town, which is the case with Link, who is around 9-13 years old.
  • Fiendish Fish: Gyorg, the boss of the Great Bay Temple, is a giant purple fish with a scary set of huge teeth. It is responsible for the murkiness and the dangerous warming of the Great Bay waters, threatening the local Zora population.
  • Final-Exam Boss: The forms of Majora's Mask, made explicit by Tatl's advice, all of which boil down to "What did you do when you've fought enemies like this before?"
  • First-Person Snapshooter: The Pictobox allows you to take and store a single photo of anything you like at a time. In regards of the Swamp Tourism contest and the large man who co-runs it, you can earn rupees by snapping up photos of certain things with the Pictobox, and getting a photo of the Deku King (a rare sight) or Tingle (the son the guide was worried about) nets you a Piece of Heart. There's another event in the game triggered by taking a photo of one of the (female) pirates and giving it to the fisherman on Great Bay Coast. There's also the slightly creepy stalker Zora who wants a pic of Lulu, who'll pay you to snap a pic of her while she's grieving the loss of the eggs.
  • Fishing Minigame: The remake brings back fishing in the form of two fishing ponds. Any of Link's transformations can fish, including Fierce Deity Link.
  • The Flatwoods Monster: Flatwoods-like ghostly entities referred to as "Them" invade Romani Ranch during the first night. Only Romani is aware that they're coming and is preparing to stop them. On her own, she will fail and be abducted alongside the cows, only to be returned with her mind wiped clean. If Link helps her keep the invaders at bay until sunrise, they won't return thereafter. Rare for Flatwoods Monster-inspired creatures, "Them" float around horizontally instead of vertically.
  • Floating Clocks: The cutscene that follows the Song of Time, signifying the player's return to the beginning of the "Groundhog Day" Loop, shows Link falling down a spiral of the game's idiosyncratic spinning clock faces in a white void, as his disposable items fly away from him. Similar cutscenes, showing circles of clock faces surrounding Link, accompany the game's other time-manipulating songs.
  • Floating Mask: Near the end of the game, the titular mask discards the Skull Kid and begins floating around on its own.
  • Flunky Boss: Odolwa summons hordes of moths and some large grasshopers from the ceiling during his boss battle.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: The Clock Tower tolls regularly to signal when it is night and day, but gets more unsettling the closer the moon gets. It doesn't stop chiming once midnight hits on the Last Day, constantly reminding you that, yeah, better get to that clock tower.
  • Four Is Death: Four curses, Four Giants, Four Transformation Masks, and Four Temples. The Moon falls at 6:00 am of the fourth day, and drawing your path through the four regions on the map in straight lines forms the number 4, as you start at the south, go north, then southwest, then east.
  • Fountain of Youth: Kafei was reverted to a child prior to the events of the game by the Skull Kid. It's implied in the ending that the curse is lifted, restoring Kafei to his proper age.
  • For Want of a Nail: Sakon's Bomb Bag heist is a good example of how a minor action can have major consequences in the future. Yes, Link can stop the theft, possibly even lethally... but Anju and Kafei's marriage, of all things, hangs on Sakon succeeding in the theft: Sakon stole Kafei's Sun Mask, and Kafei loses his chance to track Sakon to his hideout if the Bomb Bag heist goes awry, and thus he loses the mask forever. Helping the old lady's business dooms the young couple's relationship.
  • Free Rotating Camera: The 3DS remake has this as a feature only if you are using a New Nintendo 3DS model (which has the circle pad) or the circle pad attachment.
  • Freudian Excuse: Skull Kid did all those things because Majora's Mask made him do them. He was only susceptible to the Demonic Possession because he wanted friends that badly. The Four Giants feel a lot of responsibility for how Skull Kid is acting, as they recognise their leaving him was seen as them abandoning him and beg you to forgive Skull Kid.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The Skull Kid was a kid who liked to joke around, and ended up possessed by an evil mask, summoning a giant moon to the ground.

Dawn of The Final Day
— 24 Hours Remain —

    G 
  • Gaiden Game: To Ocarina of Time. The working title was even "Zelda Gaiden". It was supposed to be an add-on of sorts using the 64DD peripheral.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • Exploiting a certain glitch allows you to use the Fierce Deity's Mask outside of boss rooms. On the plus side, you can curb stomp nearly any monster you fight with the super power from the mask. On the bad side, talking to specific characters or doing other specific actions can cause the game to lock up due to the game not being programmed to handle certain things with the mask equipped.
    • The 3DS remake has a pretty big one involving the fishing ponds. Ordinarily, the shopkeeper will ask if you want to leave when you approach the exit door; if you say yes, he'll take your fishing rod. If you play an invalid song and move towards the door while the "Your notes echoed far... but nothing happened" message is still up, this event won't trigger and you'll be able to take the fishing rod out of the pond. It's somewhat buggy, though: the game treats it as if it has ammo (set to a maximum of 0), and if you try to cast it, Link will pull out an invisible object and the game will crash.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Zig-zagged. On the one hand, chests tend to reset when you travel back in time. On the other hand, big treasures like the Fairy Bow travel back in time with you and don't reset.
  • Gangplank Galleon: You have to infiltrate the Gerudo Pirate Base to get the Zora Eggs in the Great Bay region.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Goht requires you to chase him down using the Goron Mask.
  • Ghostly Glide: The Happy Mask Salesman is rarely seen actually walking. He usually "cuts" from frame-to-frame to different locations, though at one point he turns around to face the camera by slowly rotating on the spot... When he walks off at the end of the game, he stops after a few feet and fades away.
  • Glass Cannon: Majora's Incarnation. Its Energy Ball attack is powerful, particularly in the 3DS remake, but it's easily stunned and takes only a few hits to defeat.
  • Golden Ending: The game has a segmented ending, where the finale Cut Scene includes several short clips that are each unlocked by the possession of their respective mask. As such, the entire ending can only be seen if you get said masks.note  Failing to collect a specific mask instead shows you a picture of said mask rather than the scene, as the scenes are directly related to the resolution of the sidequest attached to them.
  • Go Out with a Smile: If you complete the Anju and Kafei quest, they end up finally getting married and happy to be together at last. However, by then, the whole world is shaking and they have less than two hours of married bliss to enjoy before the moon crashes and obliterates them and all they've ever known; they seem completely aware of this, but don't seem to mind.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: In addition to Pieces of Heart (52, the most in any game in the series), weapons, songs, wallets, Stray Fairies, bottles (six, another record to date), and various other odds and ends, the game has 28 masks (including the 4 collected from bosses, as they're merely plot coupons) to collect. Only six of them are necessary to complete the main storylinenote  (though some others make it easier), but the other 18 are necessary for 100% completion. The very last one in particular is accessible only by collecting all of the other masks.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Link, who is always a child in this game, can now find and use the Hookshot in his current age, namely a version whose range is average between the two Ocarina versions. None of his alternate versions (Deku, Goron, Zora, Fierce Deity) are suited to use it.
  • Gravity Screw: In the Stone Tower Temple, you can flip gravity. And in two certain rooms, you can flip gravity while gravity's already been flipped once. But only for those two rooms.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The ancient tribe that created Majora's Mask.
  • Great Offscreen War: The conflict between the Ikanian military and the Garo Ninjas in the past. Given the lamentations of the undead soldiers, the huge wall sealing off Ikana Castle, the ghost ninjas swarming all over it despite this, and the presence of the Garo Master in the Ikanian stronghold of Stone Tower, it is very clear which side won.
  • Grim Up North: Snowhead during winter.
  • Grimy Water: The swamp of Woodfall has been poisoned by the curse. Thankfully, only normal (and Zora) Link have to worry about it — Deku Link just skips across the water's surface, and Goron Link (who can't swim) just gets teleported out (à la Non Lethal Bottomless Pit) should he fall in.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The whole plot, more-or-less. Play the Song of Time at any point to return to precisely 72 hours before the moon completes its descent, and use any items gained in the last go-round to go find another area with more stuff that you might be able to use to stop the moon and escape the loop.
  • Ground Pound: This is a special ability gained when you get the Goron Mask.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy:
    • The guards are so focused on making sure children don't leave the town (unless said child has a sword) that they don't seem to mind if they let a thief escape with the bombs he just stole from an old lady.
    • No matter how many times the Deku Guards catch you trespassing in the castle gardens, the guards at the front gates continue letting you into the palace with little more than a few stern words.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The game is nearly impossible without a guide, to the point that the 3DS version includes an extensive hint system to counteract this. Certain masks are obtained by going to a completely random spot at an arbitrarily fixed time, or by using an item or mask in a completely irrelevant location.
    • Unlike in other Zelda titles, giving consumable items (such as potions) to someone requires you to assign the item to a button, and then pressing the button while talking to them. Other 3D Zelda games will have you press the button while standing in front of someone to give it to them, so this difference can throw players off.
    • Given how many side quests are in this game, many of them are involved, but none more so than the Anju and Kafei quest, due to the need to know where each important step has to be done and when.
    • In the 3DS remake, the Twinmold fight can be an exercise in frustration if you don't know how its second phase is programmed. The red worm must be punched a certain number of times for it to be stunned; however, the counter is reset when it burrows, meaning all those hits must connect within a single cycle of its attacks. When Twinmold falls to the ground, it's left vulnerable, yet normal attacks are useless against it. To inflict damage, you have to grab the monster's tail, which is done by pressing the A button while NOT L-targetting. Additionally, rotating the circle pad while Link spins Twinmold deals extra damage, which is never hinted in-game.

    H - M 
  • Hailfire Peaks:
  • Hammerspace Hideaway: The Deku princess somehow gets put into one of Link's bottles, despite being half as tall as Link himself.
  • Hannibal Lecture: The children wearing the boss masks on the Moon each give you one after finding them in hide and seek: one asks Link about the nature of goodness, one about the nature of friendship, one on the nature of happiness, and one who asks what Link's true face looks like "underneath the mask" and implies that he is Becoming the Mask. This theme is even stronger in the manga, where the demon Majora taunts Link and gives him a "demon" (Oni) mask of his own to wear.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: There's the Stone Tower Temple, likely the most diabolical and convoluted dungeon in the game (and to an extent one of the most in the series), but whose boss simply requires you to turn into a giant and constantly hit its permanently exposed weak points (tail and head) to be defeated. This boss, Twinmold, doesn't even try to attack you, since it just moves around the battle arena. This is revised in the 3DS remake, where the boss does attack Link and the strategy to defeat it is more difficult.
  • Heli-Critter: The Deku Scrubs. Link himself gains this power when he transforms into one.
  • Henpecked Husband: Mayor Dotour, to the point that he's willing to ignore the town guards' pleas to evacuate the remaining citizens because the stubborn carnival leader threatened to bring his wife into the argument. All while there's a giant moon about to crash into the town.
  • Henshin Hero: Four of the masks Link collects on his journey through Termina transform him into the being they depict: the pond-hopping, bubble-spitting Deku, the fast-rolling, fire-punching Goron, the fast-swimming, boomerang-launching Zora, and the mighty Fierce Deity.
  • Herald: At the very beginning, the Skull Kid steals most of Link's items and turns him into a Deku Scrub, which forces Link into the plot proper.
  • He Was Right There All Along:
    • The game contains a particularly unique example in Goht, who is plain sight the moment Link walks into the Boss Room, but is frozen solid and must be hit with a fire arrow to be awakened— at which point he promptly tramples you and runs off.
    • The mini-boss Wart (the giant eye surrounded with bubbles) will not attack until you go into first-person mode and look up at the very, very high ceiling. Once you make eye contact, it will drop to the floor and begin trying to ram you.
  • Hideous Hangover Cure: The 3DS version adds a small sidequest where you have to bring one of these to Gorman. Tatl won't let you do anything that risks spilling or consuming it, more due to the smell than for Gorman's sake.
  • High-Speed Battle: One approach to the boss battle with Goht is having Link to don the Goron mask and pursue him, by rolling into him at high speed. Goht's running speed increases as he takes damage, so does the speed of his attacks, and the number of obstacles that litter the cavern. The alternative of simply waiting on the side and shooting him with arrows whenever he nears is extremely boring by comparison, but easier.
  • Hold the Line: There's an optional mission that requires you to protect a barn against a bunch of otherworldly creatures until the sun rises. You cannot use your sword to defeat them, so you have to be skilled with your bow to succeed. A mission that occurs after that requires you to protect milk jars from a pair of muggers while riding on a covered wagon. If you manage to complete both missions, you are rewarded with Romani's Mask.
  • Hollow World: Going inside the Moon will reveal that it is, in fact, an idyllic plain with an enormous World Tree in the center. This would lead one to believe that the four dungeons are in fact inside the actual crust of the moon.
  • Holy Pipe Organ: An official soundtrack album features synthesized "orchestrated" rearrangements of the game's soundtrack. The orchestration of "Oath to Order", the theme of the Four Giants, heavily features pipe organ.
  • Hub City: Clock Town, . In addition to being the central hub of activity, it's located right in the center of Termina, with each of the 4 regions branching off in each the 4 compass directions.
  • Hub Level: Termina Field. All four major regions of the game (Woodfall, Snowhead, Great Bay and Ikana Canyon) are accessed through the field, which in turn has Clock Town in its very center. Romani Ranch can be accessed from Termina Field as well. And these destinations aren't linked to each other at all, except for a river passageway from Ikana Canyon to Woodfall.
  • Hypno Trinket: The evil creature that lives in Majora's Mask takes control of any person who puts it on.
  • Ice Palace: Snowhead Temple. Inside the temple are large chunks of ice that can only be defrosted with Fire Arrows (technically with Hot Spring Water as well, but it's impractical to try to use them as they cool over time, losing their effect).
  • Iconic Sequel Character: The game saw Tingle, one of the most recognizable characters in the series, albeit one of the most polarizing as well, show up for the first time.
  • Idiot Ball: If you go to Ikana Canyon and talk to Sakon, the notorious thief, he'll comment on how nice your sword is and ask if he can have a look. If you say "yes"... note  A nasty trick to play on players who are used to the frequent But Thou Must! requests of most people in the Zelda games.
  • Implausible Synchrony: Every clock in town states the same time. Granted, this is Clock Town.
  • Inconsistent Dub: The eyeball miniboss in the Great Bay Temple is known as Wart here. Its name was previously changed to Arrghus in the English version of A Link to the Past (in the Japanese version of both games, it's called Wart).
  • Inexplicably Awesome: The game has a few characters who qualify. Who is the Happy Mask Shop Man, how did he come by Majora's Mask, and why is he the only guy with time-travel-proof memory besides Link and co.? Majora's Mask itself toes the line between this and Eldritch Abomination, as does its opposite number, the Fierce Deity Mask - Majora has some backstory alluded to in-game, but it's fairly vague.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Gilded Sword. It is the strongest regular sword you can get in the game, three times as damaging as the Kokiri Sword, and it's only available after at least half the main quest is done with. To get the two other stronger swords (the Great Fairy's Sword and the Double Helix Sword), you have to complete the Stone Tower Temple with all Stray Fairies, and obtain all masks (a goal that is nearly the same as achieving 100% Completion), respectively.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Fierce Deity's Mask, earned after obtaining all the other 23 masks in the game, and the Great Fairy's Sword, the strongest sword in the game (besides the Fierce Deity's weapon). It's a good deal more useful than the mask due to being usable anywhere and not just in boss battles. However, it has the mild disadvantage of taking up a C-Button slot instead of replacing your normal sword, and Link can't guard as effectively with it as he can with the Gilded Sword and a Shield. The Fierce Deity's Mask can only be used in boss battles and acquiring it is tantamount to 100% Completion, but it allows you to curbstomp any boss in moments.
  • In-Game Banking Services: There's a banker in West Clock Town whom Link can talk to as a means of depositing and withdrawing rupees which will remain saved even when Link uses the ocarina to reset back to day 1. Having a total of 200 rupees in the bank will reward Link with a bigger wallet.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The description of the Stone Mask in the 3DS remake. Putting on the mask allows Link to become as plain as a stone, so, the game reasons, since nobody pays attention to stones, you're practically invisible.
  • Instant Flight: Just Add Spinning!: Deku Link can fly using propeller-like flowers.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Very low fences, like the ones in the training area in Kokiri Forest, could be backflipped or side-jumped over in Ocarina of Time. But Majora's Mask made this much more difficult to pull off, due to changes to the backflipping physics (Link jumps higher, but covers a shorter distance).
  • Interim Villain: The titular mask itself, in the context of the Zelda franchise; this game takes place between two of Ganondorf's major appearances (Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess). The mask is the game's Big Bad and is ultimately the one behind the Skull Kid's mischief.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: You have 72 hours to stop that moon from falling. You can slow down the clock or reset it to the top again, but beyond that, it continues ticking relentlessly. As if that isn't bad enough, the clock actually ticks at a speed of 1 hour every 45 seconds (for every 45 seconds you play, an hour passes in Termina. That's 54 minutes in all). This speed can be slowed, but it's still stressing to only have 180 minutes to save the world or restart the timer.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: You'd be forgiven for thinking that because the game generously gives you up to a maximum of 6 bottles, managing your items after each reset will be a walk in the park. Turns out, if you want to avoid backtracking or wasting too much time, you'll need every single one of the bottles. Moments in the spider houses and under the well will result in a "Guide dang it!" moment when you're out of a required item.
  • Invulnerable Horses: The lack of hit-detection or collision-detection from Ocarina of Time carries over into this game. Link is still completely invincible while on the back of Epona.
  • Irony:
    • Viscen's soldiers wish to have everyone flee to safety while Mutoh's carpenters demand to stay and continue the carnival. On the final day, most of the carpenters have chickened out and fled while the soldiers are still at their posts due to not having been given the order to evacuate.
    • Wearing the Mask of Truth to talk to the Gossip Stones in the moon can tell you what characters possess what masks to gain from them. However, one Gossip Stone doesn't seem to mind telling you who has the Mask of Truth... while you're wearing it to talk to the stone in the first place.
  • It Can Think: During the game's climax, it's revealed that Skull Kid wasn't willingly causing all the wrongdoings present in Termina. It's Majora's Mask itself, who turns out to be sentient and evil.
  • I Will Find You: The reason Link was even dragged into the mess was because he was looking for Navi, who left him for unknown reasons at the end of Ocarina of Time, but got ambushed by the Skull Kid during his trek. Presumably, after defeating Majora's Mask, he continues on his journey to find her.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: The Stone Mask makes Link effectively invisible to minor enemies by rendering him "as boring as a stone." You obtain it from an unfortunate soldier who put it on and then collapsed from exhaustion—but couldn't get anyone to help him because of the mask's effects. Link himself can only perceive the soldier using the Lens of Truth.
  • Joke Item: The Circus Leader's Mask. Other than being required to obtain the Fierce Deity's Mask, the only use of Circus Leader's Mask is keeping the Gorman Brothers from attacking Cremia's Wagon. However, you need to protect the wagon in the first place in order to obtain the mask, so its only potential use is in a future cycle, should you go through with helping Romani and Cremia a second time, even though there's no need to do so. Averted in the 3DS version, as the mask (now renamed the Troupe Leader's Mask) is now crucial in obtaining a bottle.
  • Just Before the End: The Happy Mask Salesman tells you to get back Majora's Mask and hand it to him within 72 hours, because he's "a busy guy". In reality, he gives you this specific deadline because that's when the moon will crash against the earth and destroy everything.
  • Last Note Nightmare:
    • The title demo sequence. It originally shows various scenes of Clock Town and its inhabitants, with a peaceful-sounding rendition of the Clock Town theme playing in the background. But at the last 30 seconds, the scene shifts toward the Skull Kid and the falling moon in the night sky, and at this point, the Clock Town theme starts to blend into the ominous theme of the Skull Kid, before transforming into it completely. A definite change from the simplistic yet cheery demo of Ocarina of Time (the previous N64 Zelda title), reflecting this game's comparatively darker atmosphere.
    • Termina Field starts off as an off-kilter but upbeat and catchy remix of the series' main tune, up until the very end, where the chord progression starts repeating itself over and over again, sounding increasingly depressing and ominous for each repetition.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When you do the Anju & Kafei sidequest again, when you get the Couple's Mask. The text in the 3DS version reads "...You've received this before, but why not again, eh? After all, Love is in the air!"
  • Lava Pit: Some pits of lava can be found in Snowhead Temple (which is otherwise snow-themed) and Stone Tower Temple. They merely deplete Link's Life Meter gradually if he gets in as a Hylian, and transforming into a Goron will render him immune to lava. However, getting in as a Deku or Zora is lethal, because they're weak to fire.
  • Lethal Chef: Anju's cooking is so bad that it's implied that her grandmother fakes senility just to avoid eating it.
    Granny's diary: It was my granddaughter who cooked again today. Putting that to the lips shortens the life! I thought of a way to get by without eating. I'll try it tomorrow. I just hope I'm not caught.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: Light-based puzzles are present in both Ikana Castle and Stone Tower Temple, though the Mirror Shield appears earlier in the final room of the Gibdo's well. In the temple, the Mirror Shield can be used to store light in special mirrors and eventually redirect them onto a sun target. For added difficulty, the light is only stored in the mirror for as long as you shine light on it and won't shine until you stop, so if you're too slow you have to go back and start over again. Worse still, there's a room where some enemies appear constantly to interrupt your process, though this can be eased with the use of the Stone Mask (which makes you invisible). Once you make it halfway in and defeat the first mini-boss, though, you get the Light Arrows, which neutralize the puzzles.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Stone Tower Temple. Link gets the light arrows there, there's ample use of the mirror shield, and, unlike the other dungeons, it's open air, meaning that lots of sunlight comes in during the day time. Yet there's definitely something evil and sinister about the place, as signified by the Majora-esque figure in the entrance, and the inverted Triforces all over the place.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Goron form is the biggest shape Link can take and can perform powerful physical attacks, and while it has the slowest walking speed of his forms when it starts rolling it's the fastest thing in the game.
  • Lily-Pad Platform: The Southern Swamps are littered with big lilypads that Deku Link can use freely as platforms. His other forms are too heavy for the plants to carry them, though.
  • Live Item: The game goes as far as squeezing a Deku Princess, and later Zora Eggs and a seahorse, into a bottle.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The game is usually good at averting this, since it makes use of the Expansion Pak to run every time-sensitive event programmed in the game during the three-day cycle without compromising the technical performance, and most of the time the transition between areas doesn't take any longer to load than in the game's predecessor. However, there is one instance where a load period is noticeable: When Link is spotted by a Gerudo Pirate in their Fortress, the game seemingly freezes for a few seconds as it loads the outside of that areas (which is the vast coast of Great Bay), to which Link is kicked.
  • Loads and Loads of Sidequests: The game is rather known for the huge amount of Sidequest Sidestories it features. Fortunately, this is the first game in the series to include a daily planner (the Bomber's Notebook) to help keep track of them all, a feature The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild would later utilize.
  • Lone Wolf Boss: Several minibosses in the game, given the nature of the game's villain. Among them, the ancient creatures and peoples of Ikana Canyon stand out, including Captain Skull Keeta, Igos du Ikana, and all of the Garos (including their Master).
  • Long-Lasting Last Words: Mikau's song is a prime example of this. It appears to be played for laughs, but is immediately preceded and followed by somber cutscenes, leading to many very confused players wondering how to react.
  • Lost in Translation: The Fierce Deity's Mask is described as being the mask of an oni in Japanese. The scene where you are invited to play "good guys and bad guys" before fighting the final boss involves playing tag in the Japanese script. In Japanese, the game is called "pretending to be an oni", with the "it" player as the oni — i.e., Link is the oni.
  • Lost Wedding Ring: Kafei, a man who got turned into a child by the Skull Kid, was robbed of his ceremonial wedding mask (essentially the equivalent of a wedding ring) by a thief named Sakon. It's Serious Business because, apart from having great personal meaning to Kafei, the mask is meant to fuse with Anju's Moon Mask to form the Couple's Mask, the one and only proof that any wedding has taken place (apparently, there aren't marriage certificates in Termina). Kafei flatly refuses to face Anju again without it.
  • The Lost Woods: The Woods of Mystery. Instead of having to navigate them yourself, you get to follow a cute monkey through them, probably because the path through changes each day.
  • Love Triangle: Kafei, Anju, and Cremia. The former two are engaged, and planned to have their wedding during the Carnival of Time. But, as revealed by Romani, her sister Cremia has feelings towards one of them (most likely Kafei, but it's never specified). Meanwhile, eavesdropping on a conversation between Anju and her mother reveals that Cremia is Anju's best friend, but Anju is worried that the reason for Kafei's disappearance is that he ran off with Cremia. Anju's mother doesn't think highly of him either way, but points out that Cremia would benefit from his support and that of his family. The carpenter who scoffs at the soldier recruitment poster also seems to have a crush on Anju, though whether or not she or Kafei are aware of this is unknown.
  • Low Fantasy: Termina seems to be much lower on the fantasy scale than the general Hyrule games, with Link's use of even basic magic fascinating characters and leading them to wrongfully assume he's capable of greater feats like resurrection, and while there is a legend of a hero who can change Termina's destiny, it never specifies that Link himself is the only one who can do it. Indeed, he pulls it off thanks to favorable circumstances rather than any divine plan. Also, the game's villain is a child corrupted by forbidden, uncontrollable power, and not a more Sorcerous and Calculated character like Ganon[dorf] and many other villains in the series.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • There is a minigame where you must make your way through a randomly-generated maze within a set amount of time. The walls of the maze will only rise once you're close to them, which can make things a bit disorienting if you're not careful. Of note is that if you initiate the game while wearing the Goron Mask, you can play for a Heart Piece. Fortunately, the maze itself isn't all that big, and most players tend to succeed within their first few attempts. However, there is no surefire path through the maze that can be exploited, meaning that it technically boils down to luck.
    • There's also the Doggy Racing mini-game, in which you must bet rupees on which of the fourteen dogs you think will win the race. Picking the first place dog will yield you triple your bet, while second place will give you double. Placing third through fifth gives will return your bet, while anything lower is a loss. If you can win a total of 150 rupees (either from a single race or across a streak), you will be awarded with a bonus Heart Piece. While it's possible to use the Mask of Truth to hear the dogs' thoughts to give you an idea of how well they'll perform, there's still a chance that even the most enthusiastic-sounding dog will place between third and fifth. Good luck to anyone who doesn't know about the Mask of Truth and its use in this mini-game.
  • Macabre Moth Motif: Specifically in Woodfall Temple, where they will chase Link whenever he carries a Deku Stick on fire. Also, the dungeon boss, Odolwa, will sometimes summon moths to attack.
  • Made of Incendium: While donning the Deku and Zora masks, contact with any fire source will immediately kill you, and the last few seconds before continuing shows Link bursting into flames and collapsing. The Deku form is made of wood, of course, but the Zora's vulnerability to fire is not explained.
  • Magic Music: The Ocarina, and the corresponding instruments used by Link's three other forms. Healing souls, teleporting, summoning storms, going back and forth through time, and more are available to Link through the Ocarina's songs. On the side of evil, Sharp the composer has mastered a tune that slowly kills those who hear it.
  • Manchild: Tingle, who debuts in this game. He's a 35-year-old man who believes he is the reincarnation of a fairy and spends his spare time floating around on a balloon searching for other fairies.
  • Man-Eating Plant: In addition to bringing back Deku Babas (and introducing an aquatic subspecies known as Bio Deku Baba), the game features several plants in the Woodfall Temple, which float on water like very flat lotus flowers with a tiny, thin row of teeth along the edge and an eye in the middle. Deku Link can use them as platforms to jump across safely, but if Link climbs on in his regular form, it will close on him, chew him up, and spit him back out. They turn into normal, non-carnivorous flowers when the water is purified.
  • The Man in Front of the Man: Majora's Mask is this to the Skull Kid, something that the final confrontation at the Clock Tower makes clear when the mask discards him before retreating into the moon (and also shows that it's a sentient object, instead of Skull Kid merely taking advantage of its powers for kicks).
  • Marshmallow Hell: If you complete Cremia's Escort Mission with the Romani Mask already in your possession, she treats Link to a hug for lack of a better reward. Thanks to the differences in height, Link gets this trope. The game lampshades this: "You feel all warm and fuzzy inside! Sigh, you could get used to this..." (This may just be referring to the fact that Link probably hasn't received a hug before)
  • Mask of Power:
    • The eponymous Majora's Mask has enough power to destroy the world on a whim, given that someone is wearing it.
    • Most of the twenty-four different masks that you collect throughout the game grant you a power of some sort.
    • The remains of each boss, as far as the storyline goes.
  • Match Maker Quest: The very long Kafei and Anju quest, where it appears that Kafei has gone missing just before his marriage with Anju. It's not as simple as it looks, and you can't even do this quest until very deep into the main game. And you need to do it twice in order to get 100% Completion.
  • Mathematician's Answer: The Postman, who has just delivered to Anju a letter from her missing lover.
    Anju: This letter, wh-where did you?!?
    Postman: From the postbox.
    Anju: Th-that's not what I mean! From the postbox where?!?
    Postman: From the postbox somewhere.
  • Mayincatec: The Ikana Valley area has a lot of Mayincatec-esque imagery, ranging from the grotesque figures in stone to the clothing worn by Igos du Ikana and his lackeys. Uniquely enough, some European medieval elements are thrown in as well.
  • Meaningful Echo: "You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?" note 
  • Meaningful Name: "Termina", according to Eiji Aonuma, means "terminal", in analogy to an airport terminal. Once per year, Clock Town receives people from several other regions to celebrate the Carnival of Time. This also means that the connotation of the name in relation to the potential apocalypse due to Majora's Mask and the Moon is only secondary.
  • Mechanical Monster: Goht, whose epithet actually is (Masked) Mechanical Monster. It's an enormous mechanical goat-like monster that constantly runs away, and the only way to make it stop after waking it up is to destroy it.
  • Merged Reality: Implied at the end of the game, as it looks like all the good you've done has been merged into one 'ideal' time-line, regardless of how many three-day loops you've made or whether you were able to get an event done in the last time loop.
  • Metal Slime: The Takkuri, which flaps around Termina Field near the entrance to Milk Road. It's a fairly beefy enemy, and will flee if it scores a hit and steals an item — usually this is Rupees, but after you obtain the Hero's Bow it can start stealing bottles, quest items, and even your sword! The pay-off for risking this and managing to slay it is a Huge Rupee (200), but in the event you fail and lose something important in a cycle you don't want to rewind, you may find yourself rebuying the stolen item at the Curiosity Shop for a hefty price.
  • Mind Screw: The climax. You follow Majora's Mask up to the moon and find a bright, grassy field, where four kids wearing the dungeon boss masks are playing, while a fifth kid wearing Majora's Mask sits in a Troubled Fetal Position under a tree. The kids each teleport Link to a themed dungeon to play hide and seek, and wax poetic on the symbolism of masks and happiness. Then when Link finishes each dungeon, the corresponding kid has vanished from the field. Finally, you talk to the kid wearing Majora's Mask and he asks you to play with him, which translates into the final battle. You're transported to an Amazing Technicolor Battlefield, where Majora suddenly summons the four boss masks against you and mutates into increasingly monstrous forms as the battle continues.
  • Mini-Boss: Majora's Mask has been since its release the game with the highest number of minibosses, and several of them being recurring means that it's also the game with the highest number of miniboss encounters. There are two in each dungeon except Snowhead Temple (where Link faces one twice instead), four Gerudo duels in Pirates' Fortress, and a much larger number in the Ikana region, though some fights are optional.
  • Mini-Dungeon: At least four: The Deku Palace, which Link infiltrates to learn a song that gives him access to Woodfall Temple; the Pirate's Fortress, where Link must retrieve both the Hookshot for navigation and the Zora Eggs in order to learn the melody that opens the way to the Great Bay Temple; the give-items-for-access Gibdo Well that eventually rewards with both the Mirror Shield and direct access to another mini-dungeon, the Ancient Castle of Ikana, where Link then looks for a way to gain access to Stone Tower and Stone Tower Temple.
  • Minigame Zone: There are several games in Clock Town (notably, the ones in the East area are revamped, more difficult versions of those found in Castle Town in Ocarina of Time). Several Heart Pieces can be won thanks to them.
  • Modular Epilogue: The end credits include segments for each of the collectible masks. If you didn't get a mask, you'll see an image of that mask in place of that part of the ending.
  • Money for Nothing: Most Zelda games have this for a certain degree, but this one has it the most due to the ability to reset time (allowing you to endlessly reap money from the numerous Metal Slimes) and the large capacity of the Clock Town Bank. Plus, you get a Heart Piece for reaching the maximum bank balance (but not spending it), so this trope is enforced if you want 100% Completion.
  • Monster in the Ice: Goht, the boss of the Snowhead Temple, is frozen solid when Link enters his boss chamber, and needs to be defrosted before being fought.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Clock Town's tune on the final day is a faster-tempo remix, with ominous bass undertones.
    • Mikau's death scene, where the drama of his tragic demise suddenly gives way to a guitar solo and rocked out plea for help, only for him to drop dead immediately after.
    • In the climax, summoning the Four Giants in the Final Hours will result in the Moon finally being halted from destroying Termina and Tatl finally being reunited with her brother Tael. Then Majora's Mask detaches itself from the Skull Kid, flies up into the Moon, and attempts to resume the apocalypse. Tatl in particular takes a few moments to realize that she reflexively responded to something the Mask itself said in the middle of her little victory speech.
    • Another one happens in the ending, if you collected the correct masks: Right after the scene of Anju and Kafei's wedding comes a scene where the Deku Butler is mourning the loss of his son.
  • Mook Bouncer: Not as prevalent in this game compared to Ocarina of Time, but the Wallmaster will try to send you back to the beginning of the area.
  • Mook-Themed Level: The game has two "Spider House" side dungeons that feature 30 Gold Skulltulas (a tarantula-like enemy) each as the main enemy to kill.
  • Moth Menace: Moths can be found throughout the Woodfall Temple. They swarm around stationary torches and are harmless... at first. Once you light a Deku Stick to turn it into a torch, they'll follow the fire and hurt you. The only way to escape them is to put out your torch, although if you move fast enough, you can outrun them to a certain extent and minimize the damage. Odolwa can also summon a swarm of these moths.
  • Motion Blur: The game uses motion blur in great amounts, usually in cutscenes but sometimes in real-time gameplay. And this is on the Nintendo 64. Granted, the game was released in 2000 and uses the 4 MB RAM expansion pack, but the use of motion blur in real-time is still quite amazing for a mid-90s console.
  • Moveset Clone: For the brief time he is playable in Majora's Mask, Kafei has identical animations to Link, from walking to flinching. This was done to easily incorporate his playability into the engine.
  • Mummy: Gibdos, which are mummified ReDeads located in a well connecting Ikana Canyon with the Ancient Castle.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • In a sort-of Easter Egg, it's possible to use the Song of Healing to instantly repair any sign you've managed to wreck (deliberately or otherwise) just by playing said song in front of it.
    • In the 3DS version, you can use the Goron Mask or Fierce Deity's Mask to help you fish a Grand Swordfish in the Ocean Fishing Hole.
  • Musical Nod:
  • Music Is Eighth Notes: The game plays with this trope by having the Zora offspring be the eighth notes. More specifically, they arrange themselves in a certain way, then pose as eighth notes (Zora offspring resembles tadpoles in terms of appearance) so that they could teach Link a new song.
  • My Name Is ???: The hand in the Stock Pot Inn's toilet is entered in Link's Bomber Notebook as "???". Also, in Majora's Mask 3D the inside of the Moon is labeled as "???" if you save, quit, and look at the save file to load it.
  • Myopic Architecture: The door to the castle of Ikana is sealed and cannot be opened by any means... too bad there's a hole in the wall right next to it.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The lady at the dog racing track has a similar name to the lady with a Bow-Wow from Link's Awakening.
    • Wart and Twinmold are fought in a similar way to Arrghus and Lanmola respectively, both from A Link to the Past. In fact, Arrghus's Japanese name is also Wart.
    • Bubbles (the flying, disembodied skulls with bat wings and blue fire) can curse Link in such a way that he can't draw his sword until it wears off.
    • Kafei asks you to keep "a secret to everybody".
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Outside Clock Town each of the lands is overcome with some plague of evil (caused by Majora). The denizens are too preoccupied with their own finite troubles to appreciate the full scale of the impending disaster. Save that domain, and there's celebration, but one NPC character among the crowd will share their troubles with the player, in that when they look upon the capital and the descending moon they realise something is very wrong.

    N - Z 
  • The Necrocracy: Undead King Igos Du Ikana still rules over his dead kingdom from his palace long after it was destroyed. His subjects now consist only of skeletal warriors and mummies. The Ikana military is still intact and led by Captain Keeta, a giant skeleton. His soldiers generally want to take leave of the oath they swore him so they can pass on.
  • Nerf: In the N64 version, several things were altered for the International release, overlapping with Regional Bonus. In the 3DS remake:
    • The Inverted Song of Time doesn't slow down time nearly as much as it did in the original N64 version. The N64 version tripled your available time while the 3DS version only doubles it, meaning a 3-day cycle now lasts about one less hour of real time with the effects of this song.
    • The Ice Arrows can only make platforms in specific, sparkling areas of water.
    • Regular arrows no longer stun Odolwa, instead either being blocked or jumped over.
    • The Blast Mask no longer lets you use your shield to block the explosion if you're L-Targeting something. You can still block it if you're not targeting anything, though.
    • An example that applies to the original N64 version in relation to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the Hookshot, which no longer stuns enemies. The Hookshot is also no longer able to kill Big Skulltulas, which was oringally the most efficient way of dispatching them without using arrows or hitting their underside.
  • Never My Fault: Tatl stops you from following the Skull Kid in the beginning, and as a result gets left behind by him. She immediately blames Link for it.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: The game reuses many of the assets from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This was due to the developers wanting to avoid the lengthy development cycle of Ocarina of Time, as well as the troubled development that Ura Zelda went through. Majora's Mask was built off of Ocarina of Time's game engine to ensure that it would be developed within a year. Kafei, an NPC for a big side quest, has the same body and animations as Link himself and his face is also similar to Link's.
  • Nightmare Face: The Mirror Shield, some of the masks (especially any Transformation Sequence), and the Moon.
  • Ninja: The Garos act like this, particularly the whole "never leaving behind a body" bit. The game description outright states the Garo are ninjas:
    Garo's Mask Description (3DS Version): The mask of the Garo leader of Ikana. Summons the hidden Garo ninjas.
  • Nintendo Hard: The 3-day time limit can greatly increase the difficulty of the dungeons on a player's first time through the game if they don't enter with ample time left on the clock (and the Inverted Song of Time to hand). Trial-and-error exploration will eat through the 3 day cycle incredibly quickly, meaning the player may have to start the entire dungeon over from scratch if they get stuck for too long.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Song of Double Time does not double the speed that time passes, but is instead a Fast-Forward Mechanic that lets you skip to the next sunrise or sunset (N64 version and re-releases) or any later hour of the current day (3DS remake).
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The Beaver Brothers. The Legend of Zelda as a whole can have some weird character designs, but they look like something out of Banjo-Kazooie.
  • Non Standard Game Over: The game has two game over types; the standard death, and the ending that occurs if you let the moon fall on Termina. There's also an extension of the moon falling Game Over: If the guardians are called with the Oath to Order when even one of them isn't free, the free ones' attempt to stop the moon will turn out to be not working, at which point the player gets one minute (real time) left to play the Song of Time to escape. If the player opts to let time run out here, he or she will see a scene where the guardians fall over and the moon continues to fall. Then it continues to the normal scene of this Game Over variant. The Nintendo 3DS remake further extends this slightly: Whilst in the original game, "You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?" appears on a black screen after the Moon falls, the remake adds some text telling you "And so the angry moon fell from the sky, annihilating this world and its many inhabitants", in between the moon hitting and the "terrible fate" line. The original game had some degree of ambiguity to its game over, but the remake straight-up tells you that you were too slow and everyone died.
  • Noob Cave: The game starts out with Link underground and stuck in the form of a Deku Scrub. Your new fairy, Tatl, teaches you the basics by bossing you around (fairies are too small to open doors on their own). Later you get to navigate the canals to the observatory, which is a more formal and dangerous starter dungeon.
  • Oculothorax: Wart is a miniboss that consists of an eyeball surrounded by heavily-armored frog-like scales. It's invulnerable while the eye is closed, and starts out surrounded by bubbles which must be separated and dispatched in order to attack it cleanly. Wart is related to Arrghus, a giant-eyed jellyfish that appears in some other games.
  • Oddly Shaped Sword: Link wearing the Fierce Deity's Mask wields the Double Helix Sword which has two blades that cross back and forth before coming to a point.
  • Official Couple: Kafei and Anju. According to Romani, Cremia has feelings for one of them, and talking to one of the carpenters wearing Kafei's mask gets you a growled warning to stay away from "my Anju", but they only have eyes for each other, despite Anju's initial doubts.
  • One of These Doors Is Not Like the Other: The Woods of Mystery in Southern Swamp has you follow a monkey across hollow tunnels to avoid getting lost and returning to the entrance; unlike the Lost Woods in Ocarina of Time, the correct path changes every day, but the monkey has memorized all patterns. The path to Pinnacle Rock in the Great Bay Area is similar, only there the "doors" are invisible paths within the ocean surrounded by murky water, and you have to follow a seahorse.
  • One-Time Dungeon: The areas at the very beginning of the game cannot be revisited once you have passed through them. This includes the Lost Woods, which cannot be returned to after Skull Kid transforms Link into a Deku Scrub, and the underground section (referred to as the "Portal" in the official Player's Guide) that follows, as the door in the Clock Tower basement can never be reopened. Fortunately, no items of any significance are in these sections. These areas are briefly revisited during the credits, though, where it is revealed that the withered tree in the Portal is actually the Deku Butler's deceased son.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Talk to the monkey while he's being dunked in the boiling water, and he will be dunked one last time before emerging in a very unsettling state. Luckily, if you free the Deku Princess, you find out he's still alive.
  • Opening the Sandbox: When you finally break the Skull Kid's curse in Clock Town. As a human, you finally have a decent melee weapon and can leave town. The town itself also has various activities for Hylian Link.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: The Deku Butler misses his son and wonders where he is. It turns out that his son was the sad twisted tree you encounter in the prologue, with his soul having been used by the Skull Kid to curse you into the form of a Deku Scrub. During the end credits cutscenes, the Deku Butler finds what's left of his son and falls to his knees sobbing.
  • Outside-Context Problem:
    • While they aren't part of the main story, it's still hard to believe aliens existing in a fantasy world like Zelda, even if it's another world.
    • Link himself ends up as an Outside Context Solution as he posesses magic powers and a small measure of Divine Backing, in a world that treats legends as children's tales as opposed to Hyrule's heavy emphasis on fate and legends.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic:
    • You can actually defeat Goht without ever transforming into Goron Link by shooting him with arrows, but it is far more time-consuming since you're forced to stay in one spot and take potshots as the boss runs around the large, circular room. The 3DS version requires you to use Goron Link, as a weak spot was implemented that can only be exposed by ramming into the boss while rolling.
    • Wart is one of the toughest bosses in the game thanks to being surrounded by a shield of eyeballs that make it almost invincible and are hard to track down and destroy in appreciable numbers once dislodged... unless you remember that Deku Nuts have a large area effect, and simply stunning these eyes is also enough to kill them.
  • Outside-Genre Foe: One sidequest involves Link protecting a farm from aliens. Yes, aliens. They appear ghost-like, and NPCs even call them "ghosts", but their design is based on The Flatwoods Monster and their abduction of animals and a little girl emphasize them being aliens. This is the only time aliens show up in any of the fantasy-styled Zelda titles.
  • Overnight Age-Up: One sidequest lets Link turn Cucco chicks into grown roosters in an instant using the Bremen Mask. This is significant because their owner, Grog, felt that not seeing the Cuccos grow up was the only true regret he had in the face of Termina's imminent destruction. The Fierce Deity Mask, when worn, makes Link taller, look more like an adult, and his battle cries are taken from his adult form from Ocarina of Time.
  • Oxygen Meter: Although it only really applies in the Gyorg fight and accidentally getting caught underwater — such as underneath one of the moving mechanical platforms in Great Bay Temple — regular Link has one that works much like in Ocarina of Time. How long he can hold his breath for is determined by how full his life meter is at the time, with two seconds added for every quarter-heart.
  • Painful Transformation: Link goes through massive pain every time he puts on a transformation mask, as proven by his bitter, loud shriek. It's more mental pain than physical however, as it's stated that whenever Link puts one on, the sorrow and pain of its original wielders' lives all come rushing to him at once.
  • Palette Swap: There are two elemental versions of Wizzrobe (ice and fire). The ice version is the Mini-Boss of Snowhead Temple, while the fire version appears as a miniboss in Ikana Castle and is degraded to an enemy in Stone Tower Temple.
  • Palmtree Panic: The game has Great Bay and some of its associated locations (Pinnacle Rock, Zora Cape and Zora Hall). Due to the curse placed on the Great Bay Temple by the Skull Kid, only the closest portion of the ocean's water is safe to swim, as going any further will cause the murky water to take the swimmer back to the beach.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • The Captain's Hat to Stalchildren. Despite the fact that Skull Keeta was two stories tall, none of the Stalchildren figure out the difference. Even Igos du Ikana, the only one who sees through the disguise, takes several seconds of inspection to figure out that you're too short, completely failing to notice the equally obvious fact that you're clearly a Kokiri-dressed Hylian kid with a mask on.
    • Many other masks have similar effects, such as the Gibdo and Garo masks. Even with the three transformation masks, the form Link takes doesn't look much like the person he's impersonating, yet everyone is fooled.
    • The Garo are only fooled briefly. After you call them out of hiding, they quickly realize you are an impostor and attack you.
    • Taken to ridiculous extremes with the Stone mask, that makes you invisible to most enemies, even as you loudly hack away at them.
  • Parents Know Their Children: The Deku Butler never mistakes Deku Link for his own son, though he does say that he looks a lot like him. This is in contrast to the Goron and Zora races, who always confuse Link with Darmani and Mikau respectively.
  • Pass Through the Rings: There's a swimming minigame with this concept in the Waterfall Rapids, located in Great Bay. After completing it for the first time, you're told you have to do it again to get your prize (a bottle). And twice more if you want a Piece of Heart. The dificulty gradually increases every time: You have to pass through 20 rings in 2 minutes in the first race, then 25 in the same time limit in the second, then 20 in only 1 minute and 50 seconds in the third, and finally 25 in that reduced time limit in the fourth.
  • Perception Filter: The Stone Mask, which makes Link "inconspicuous as a stone", having most NPCs not see and interact with you. Unless it's a plot-related event, in which case the NPCs will lampshade your usage of the mask. Taken Up to Eleven if you use it while fighting regular enemies (not bosses or mini-bosses)—they won't be aware of you even while you stand there attacking them.
  • Perpetual Molt: The wings that encase Link when playing the Song of Soaring. Kaepora Gaebora does it to help Link cross a series of invisible platforms in Goron Village.
  • Phrase Catcher: The various spirits of Ikana address Link as "you who do not fear the dead."
  • Pirate Girl: The game takes the all-female Desert Bandits from Ocarina of Time, the Gerudo tribe, and makes them pirates.
  • Player Headquarters: Clock Town, which is also the First Town.
  • Plucky Girl: Malon’s Alternate Universe counterparts Cremia and Romani are of the same mold as she was in Ocarina of Time, with Romani showing an energetic attitude to prepare for the invasion of "Them" and Cremia putting up a brave face despite knowing the moon is gonna crash into Termina and kill everyone.
  • Plot Coupon: The four Mask Remains. They keep the power of the bosses sealed, and upon collecting them Link manages to free the Four Giants (the only ones capable of stopping the Moon).
  • Plot Tailored to the Party:
    • A number of masks serve little purpose other than being required for a single sidequest.
    • The dungeon-related songs barely have any use aside from opening up their respective dungeons. Although the Elegy of Emptiness needs to be played at many points throughout the Stone Tower Area, it too serves no real purpose at any other point in the game. The Oath to Order is only needed at one point as well.
  • Pokémon Speak: The first boss, Odolwa, always and continuously chants his name during your battle with him.
  • Police Are Useless: The soldier at the North Gate during the first night. Not only does he let Sakon slip past him, but he doesn't lift a finger to stop the guy from robbing the poor old lady in the first place.
  • Pop Quiz: Keaton, who gives you a Piece of Heart if you answer his quizzes about the game's world correctly. You need to wear Keaton's Mask to make him appear, though.
  • Post-Defeat Explosion Chain: The Twinmold pair in Stone Tower Temple dies this way. When one of them has its HP depleted (their weaknesses are the head and the tail), it will fly erratically for a moment while agonizing, and then have its slender body explode piece by piece from the tail, only leaving the head intact and letting it fall down. The same thing happens to the other insect upon its defeat, and Link wins the battle as a result.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: There's a spot in the Great Bay Temple where you can throw the Zora Boomerangs while being pushed around in a circle by the water current, letting you move faster than normal. If you keep running away, you can avoid the boomerangs indefinitely as they continue to chase you in a circle.
  • Prized Possession Giveaway: Prior to the events of the game, Princess Zelda entrusted Link the Ocarina of Time, which until then had been passed down for generations within the Royal Family of Hyrule, as she felt it would save Link's life one day (and it does, as soon as Link manages to retrieve it).
  • Progressive Instrumentation: One minigame features Link performing a music test in the milk bar. As he assumes each of his four forms and plays their respective instruments, an illusion of the previous forms playing their parts appears and the music gets more complicated as instruments are added. Finally all four Links are somehow on stage playing at once.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The opening sequence requires you to play through 3 in-game days (roughly 2 hours) in which you are essentially item-less and aren't allowed to leave the central hub town, and until you do so, you can't even save.note  By the way, if you fail to do all of the required tasks within the 3 in-game days, you have to start over from the first day, when you arrive at the town. At least you still can talk to a scarecrow to fast-forward the remaining time until the last hours after you've done everything it takes to reach the conclusion of this prologue.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Averted by the purple-haired Mayor Dotour, who is mostly impotent as a decision-maker until confronted with the Couple's Mask.
  • Purposely Overpowered: The Fierce Deity's Mask, which you can only acquire after getting every other mask and is only usable during boss fights—but makes them completely one-sided.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: If Link does not show the Couple's Mask to the mayor by Day 3, Mutoh blackmails him into not giving the order to flee. Most of the townsfolk decide to flee anyways, including Mutoh's family and several of his carpenters.
  • Race Against the Clock: You have three days to save the world! At least you have the ability to go back in time, but at expense of some of your achievements. It also has a race against the clock beginning, where you have to get to the Ocarina of Time (atop a clock tower no less) in order to reset time before the moon falls. Afterwards you can reset time as much as you want. Each in-game hour is 45 seconds, though with the Ocarina you can also slow down time to 1/3 of its speed in the N64 version, and 1/2 in the 3DS version.
  • Race for Your Love: Kafei races across Termina to reunite with Anju after retrieving his mask. Depending on how much of the sidequest you completed, she might not be there.
  • Racing Minigame: There's one per region except Ikana Canyon (which instead features a chase sequence against Captain Keeta). Notably, Link can take advantage of one of his physical forms in each: Deku Scrub in the race with (not against) the Butler in Deku Palace, Goron in the spring race in Snowhead, human with Epona in the horsetrack race in Milk Road, and Zora in the Waterfall Rapids ring race. Downplayed with the Doggy Racetrack in Romani Ranch, as it's the dogs which participate in the race and Link can only bet which one is going to win (he can get reliable hints about the winner by using the Mask of Truth).
  • Rambling Old Man Monologue: Listening to Anju's grandmother ramble on (and then fall asleep as she does so) is a good way to skip ahead in time, and if you manage to stay awake and listen to the whole story (the only purpose of the expensive All-Night Mask), you can even earn two Pieces of Heart out of the ordeal. The nice thing about it is that the stories she tells are actually interesting and provide backstory to Termina and Skull Kid.
  • Recurring Boss: Some of the minibosses, such as Wizzrobe and Iron Knuckle, are fought more than once.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: The sky takes on a reddish hue near the horizon on the night of the final day. In the 3DS remake, the entire sky is a deep blood-red with ominously swirling clouds. note 
  • Regional Bonus: Unusually for the series, Majora's Mask has a massive amount of differences between the Japanese and International versions of the game. These changes range from minor improvements note  to major overhauls of gameplay mechanics. note  A comprehensive list of changes can be found here.
  • Repeatable Quest: The Song of Time enables this option, allowing you to go back in time and replay any section of the game you’ve completed while keeping your equipment and upgrades.
  • Reset Button: Playing the Song of Time restarts the 3-Day cycle, but it also undoes most of the things you've accomplished and takes away your consumable items.note 
  • Riddle for the Ages: What happened to Navi? This is the last game which features the Hero of Time, and by the end he still hasn't found Navi, even though the friend he was looking for when he got caught up in this mess is heavily implied (and is later confirmed by the Hyrule Historia book) to be her.
  • Right on the Tick: The moon falls at precisely 6 A.M. of the fourth day.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The heavy focus on an impending apocalypse is a transparent parallel with the Y2K crisis that was still in recent memory at the time, which predicted an apocalyptic cataclysm due to the computers that controlled the vast majority of the developed world's services in 1999 not being built to handle the rollover to the year 2000. The hysteria surrounding the crisis would eventually be proven to be for naught once 2000 actually rolled around, thanks to the computers being updated in time (though there were still a few minor cases of rollovers to January 1, 1900), but until then, it reached a point where large amounts of people were stockpiling supplies and building "Y2K shelters." The looming threat of the moon crashing into Termina in Majora's Mask and the wide range of responses from the region's residents are clear parallels to the varied responses towards Y2K, which in both the game and real life ended up spanning to both logical extremes on the spectrum.
  • Rule of Seven: Seven Zora eggs. The number is relevant because all seven must be grouped together so they can hatch. For the same reason, the song the newborn Zora children teach to Link to cure Lulu's disphonia and enter the Great Bay Temple has seven musical notes in its chorus.
  • Rule of Three: Link has three days to save Termina. Each temple also has three boss fights: A Mini-Boss to obtain the Hero's Bow or elemental arrow (of which there are three), another to obtain the Boss Key, and a main boss to free the giant and end whatever curse has invaded the land. And the final boss is fought in three stages.
  • Runaway Bride: Kafei is supposed to marry Anju on the day of the annual festival, but has run away. Justified, in that he's under a spell that's turned him into a child, and needs Link's help to get his proper body back. While you never see it happen, it's assumed that he does get his body back since you see the wedding from his height and it's too tall to have been the view of a child. In the manga based on the game, you do see him get his body back, though Kafei's adult face is never shown as part of a running gag and likely meant to mirror the game's tricky camera.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: Like its predecessor, the ESRB rating for the 3DS remake is Everyone 10+, while the original version's rating is Everyone (age 6), due to the E10+ rating not existing until 2005.
  • Save-Game Limits: One of the purposes of the "Groundhog Day" Loop is to allow the Nintendo 64 to render such a complex world, as only Link's status (weapons, masks, Plot Coupons, and bank balance) and the activated Owl Statues need to be saved. The rest of the game world starts fresh with every press of the Reset Button. The Suspend Save feature added to the international release came at the cost of one save slot because of how much extra information must be saved when stopping in the middle of a cycle.
  • Save Point: The Owl Statues have this function in the international release of the game, in addition to serving as Warp Whistle destinations, allowing a Suspend Save so that the player is not required to lose that cycle's progress when quitting. The 3DS remake further upgrades the statues to regular save points (the Song of Time no longer has this function) and adds a few more quill savepoints that don't function as Warp Whistle destinations, including one in the first room of each dungeon and one inside the moon.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: Link drops a beehive on a group of Gerudo soldiers in their Great Bay fortress, leading to a lot of frantic running and girlish shrieks.
  • Schizo Tech: Cremia uses a horse and carriage (with a steering wheel), everyone uses melee weapons, and yet the pirates somehow have motorboats...and cannon (as part of the background scenery, but still). There's also the "pictograph box", which is essentially a 19th century camera. Great Bay Temple is full of working plumbing and fluorescent lights.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: The Four Giants have been trapped by the Skull Kid, and need to be freed by beating the bosses. They're the only way to stop the Moon from hitting Termina.
  • Secret-Keeper: Kafei's de-aging and subsequent loss of the Sun's Mask are kept secret from his fiancee Anju by the Curiosity Shop owner, the Postman, and his father Mayor Dotour. Upon delivering a letter from Kafei to Anju, the Postman goes so far as to use the Mathematician's Answer approach to avoid saying what's going on.
  • See the Invisible: In Snowhead, the invisible platforms that lead to the Lens of Truth are marked by Kaepora's feathers.
  • Segmented Serpent: The dual boss Twinmold resemble a pair of giant burrowing worms composed of multiple armored segments, with their heads and tails being their only weak spots.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: Whereas The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time takes place in standard franchise setting Hyrule, this direct sequel takes place in the alternate land of Termina.
  • Serious Business: The entire culture of Termina seems obsessed with masks, and they also have a huge mask-themed festival every year where everyone wears masks. In fact, a traveling salesman who sells only masks comes around for the occasion. There is even a bar in Termina that, instead of a membership card, requires all customers to wear a cow mask for service. Then there is the Couple's Mask, which is extremely important as it is needed for two people to get married. If something happens to the mask, they don't get married! The most serious example of all is Majora's Mask itself, which was crafted centuries ago by a tribe of, most likely, dark wizards to be used in ancient hexing rituals by invoking the power of the sinister, malevolent, demonic god, Majora. When the skull kid wears this mask, it takes control of him and causes the moon to fall on Termina, killing everyone in sight!
  • Sentient Phlebotinum: Majora's Mask itself is orchestrating all of the havoc that the Skull Kid is wreaking.
  • Sequence Breaking: The dungeons can be completed in any order, provided you take the items you need to complete them first. Of course, this tends to be inconvenient, as either getting to or completing each sequential dungeon requires the item located inside the previous dungeon.
  • Sequential Boss: The final battle with Majora in the moon features three forms, named "Majora's Mask," "Majora's Incarnation," and "Majora's Wrath".
  • Sheathe Your Sword: How to defeat the first part of the Goron-roll maze on the moon with ease. Roll forward until spikes appear, then just release the joystick and let the chests and ramps bounce you onto the correct path automatically.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Though the game doesn't have an overworld desert,note  the battlefield where you fight the boss of Stone Tower Temple (Twinmold) is a wide desert under a sandstorm. Link has to avoid straying too far from the starter area, or else he'll sink down instantly due to quicksand (even if he grows big with the Giant's Mask).
  • Shock and Awe: Zora Link is able to use magic to create an electric barrier that also increases his swimming speed. It is unknown if this ability is unique to him or can be performed by any Zora, though their later natural weakness to electricity in Breath of the Wild suggests the former.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The introduction to the game, where Link falls Down the Rabbit Hole into a parallel universe, is an obvious one to Alice in Wonderland.
    • The Bremen Mask, which makes roosters march and dance, is a reference to the Grimm's fairy tale "The Town Musicians of Bremen".
    • Hidden Star Fox reference: In the Masks subscreen, the second row of masks are aligned in resemblance to five Star Fox characters. Sadly, the fact that the masks don't have a set order in the 3DS version means that this won't necessarily be the case there.
    • All of the mask transformation scenes reference The Mask. It's especially noticeable with the Zora mask transformation, as Link screams in pain as Stanley Ipkiss did. Additionally, the backstory of Majora's Mask itself as well as its evil nature are VERY similar to The Mask's own (originally belonged to a lost tribe who used it in their rituals, etc).
    • Some of the masks on the Happy Mask Salesman's pack look familiar, including one of a certain red plumber, King Dedede, one that looks like Elvis Presley, and another that looks sort of similar to Darth Maul's face.
    • The Giant's Mask is a reference to Ultraman. While the mask simply grants Link a gargantuan size to fight on fair terms with Twinmold in the original, the 3DS remake adds full on hand-to-hand combat and wrestling moves that would make a Showa Ultra blush. In addition, the draining magic meter in both versions works analogously to the Color Timer of Ultraman, which only allows the giant form to be maintained for a limited amount of time.
    • In the remake, there are posters advertising the Carnival of Time which bear a logo almost identical to that of Panel de Pon.
    • In the remake, the Bomber's Notebook description for successfully completing the alien/ghost sidequest is "Busting Ghosts".
    • When Jim asks the other members of the Bombers Club if Deku!Link can join, they respond with "No way! No Scrubs!"
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: The Dancing Couple returns from Ocarina of Time. While playing their mini-games in East Clock Town, you actually get the option to shoot them to increase your time limit. Much fun! And if you win, they say "That's annoying, so let's show off even more!"
  • Sickly Green Glow: The sky takes on a green hue during the daylight hours of the Final Day before the Moon crashes into Termina.
  • Sidequest: The whole game serves as one huge sidequest. The game also gives you a day planner to keep track of all the NPC-based sidequests in the game. It's possible to see the end credits but only have completed about 50% of the game. Shigeru Miyamoto stated that this was so the player will be able to learn more about the NPCs and their lives.
  • Sidequest Sidestory: One of the sidequests involves trying to reunite a couple who were supposed to be married during the Carnival of Time, but the groom mysteriously disappeared. Many of the other quests also give insight into the lives of the NPCs, such as the sisters who run the ranch together after their father's death, and the members of the circus troupe who have to deal with a cancelled show.
  • Significant Name Overlap: One Goron in Clock Town is called "Link" (or whatever other name you gave the main character in the beginning). He has a reservation at the inn with his name, which allows the player to check in on his behalf. This event grants access to the second room in the second floor, in which Link can find a chest holding 100 Rupees and overhear a conversation between Anju and her mother during the second day if the former character's sidequest is ongoing (also, having this room available allows Link to stay in the inn during night when Anju is closing the entrance door).
  • Sleep Deprivation: The All-Night Mask has the description that it doesn't let its wearer fall asleep, even if they want to. It's used in the game to allow Link to stay awake through Granny's long stories (and earn a prize by doing so), but supplementary information within the game indicates it was originally used as a torture device.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: Despite the pretty bleak main plot, the game still manages to incorporate elements from both ends of the scale as a result of Yoshiaki Koizumi making the scenes and areas he worked on quite serious in tone. In response, Eiji Aonuma tried making his scenes and areas more lighthearted to create some contrast, hence the occasional instances of Mood Whiplash.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Snowhead is a mountain range that has been cursed to be in a perpetual winter. Once you beat the Snowhead Temple, spring arrives, turning the region into a normal mountain.
  • Snowlems: The region of Snowhead has Eenos, lumps of snow that hurl snowballs at you.
  • Snow Means Death: The unnaturally long winter in Snowhead is more than likely going to kill the Gorons unless you do something about it.
  • The Sociopath: The eponymous Majora's Mask. It loves all of the pain and destruction it causes, cares nothing about the consequences of its actions, and sees everyone else as nothing more than puppets and playthings to use and throw away.
  • So Near, Yet So Far: The Skull Kid is found on top of the Clock Tower, one of the first buildings Link visits, and you first confront him at the beginning of the game. But the only result of this confrontation is Link retrieving the Ocarina of Time and resetting the three day cycle. Only after freeing the Four Giants can anything be done to stop the Skull Kid, and he'll be there on top of the tower for the entire game.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: The Clock Town theme accelerates as the three days progress.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Not only does this include both the Hylian and the Deku Link's Spin Attack, but defeating Twinmold in the 3DS remake involves knocking it out of the air, grabbing its tail, spinning around, and slamming it into the ground.
  • Spoiled Sweet: The Deku Princess can boss around her own father and intimidate her subjects like a typical spoiled princess, but she's still a nice girl who went out of her way to brave a dangerous dungeon to cure the swamp of its poisonous water and only lashed out at her father and subjects because they were about to punish an innocent person. She also lacks the Fantastic Racism of the other Deku Scrubs; while they will only let fellow Deku Scrubs into the palace and are implied to be eager to punish the monkey in part for being a non-Deku, she is a close friend and ally of the monkey who also politely refers to Link as "Mr. Link" regardless of what form he takes.
  • Sprint Shoes: The Bunny Hood boosts Link's movement speed by about 50%, making it as fast as his roll attack.
  • Square-Cube Law: Averted in the original when using the Giant's Mask, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: it turns Link giant-sized along with his sword and shield, but his mobility is unaffected. In the remake however, it's played straight: Giant Link's movement becomes much more sluggish and his sword and shield do not scale in size this time, forcing him to make do with his bare hands.
  • Status Effects: Touching a Blue Bubble will cause Link to become "jinxed," which temporarily disables his sword. As he can still use items, however, the Great Fairy Sword is still usable.
  • Stay with Me Until I Die: Invoked, rather hauntingly, by Cremia on the last day when she realizes that even the ranch isn't safe from the coming apocalypse and neither she nor Romani will survive the night.
    Cremia: Romani... sleep with me in my bed tonight, OK?
  • Stealth-Based Mission:
    • You have to get to the monkey's cell in the Deku Palace so he can teach you a song, and the only way is through the gardens. You'll be walking past guards on duty that will kick you out as soon as they see you. On top of this, the latter half of the mission makes you fly over the gardens while dodging hostile dekus; if you get shot and fall down, you may be seen by one of the aforementioned guards. There is a shortcut in the 3DS version, however, that lets you skip the former half of the mission.
    • You'll be searching for the four Zora eggs in the Pirates' Fortress, which is constantly watched by several guards. Some are sailing in a boat and some are walking on the ground. To make things easier, you can obtain the Stone Mask here in the 3DS version, a mask that will prevent you from being kicked out as long as you don't talk to the pirates.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Deku Link can hop across the water's surface up to 5 times, but can't swim if he falls in after that. Goron Link sinks like... well, like a rock.
  • Super Senses: It is implied that a secondary function of the Bunny Hood is super hearing. Wearing it during the Postman's 10-second-counting challenge makes the on-screen timer visible and its ticking audible for the entire duration of the challenge, because Link can hear the Postman's stopwatch perfectly.
  • Surprise Creepy: Majora's Mask is actually pretty unsettling from the start, but anyone coming out of almost any other game in the series with no warning is in for a shock.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: There's a minigame in Zora Cape where Zora Link can toss his boomerang to see if he can break all the pots. However, if you fail, the host of the game will charge Link (or Mikau, as he thinks he is) 10 Rupees for jar repairs. Even if you win, the prize is normally revealed to be 100 Rupees, but the host will deduct 10 Rupees for repairs anyway, leaving you with 90.
  • Surreal Horror: In contrast to other flavors of "dark" that other Zelda games have gone for, Majora's Mask aims for the unsettling and bizarre. It starts with a cackling, masked imp and two fairies mugging the Hero of Time in a liminal forest, said hero chasing him through the other side and falling down a hole, and waking up in a parallel world facing an apocalypse. And it doesn't let up from there.
  • Suspend Save: This feature was added to the American release. If the player doesn't want to go through the entire three-day timeline in one sitting, they have the option of saving and exiting at an owl statue, to resume later. The only way to save one's progress in the game permanently is to go back in time to the beginning of the "Groundhog Day" Loop. In the 3DS version, this is updated to a normal save system.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The Southern Swamp region of Termina. The water there is poisoned and most of the vegetation appears to be either dead or dying. Situated within its central mountain is Woodfall, a twisted bog that contains one of the game's four dungeons, Woodfall Temple, which is itself a waterlogged ruin, overgrown with vegetation and Grimy Water.
  • Take Your Time: Though you're constantly pressured to finish everything as quickly as possible, there are some moments where time simply stops, thus you can meander around as long as you want, moon falling be damned. Defeating a boss in a temple stops the clock so that you can get your bearings. Going inside the moon for the climax of the plot also has time frozen, so you can take as long as you want to get the rest of items in the moon (the timer at the bottom of the screen that appears when the first cycle starts disappears in this area). Even the final battle against Majora has no time limit, despite Majora forcing the moon to keep pushing downward and the four giants struggling to keep it up in the air.
  • Talking Is a Free Action:
    • One of the only times the game clock is not ticking is when there's a text box onscreen.
    • Played with when you go to talk to the monkey the Deku are keeping prisoner; he offers to teach you a song to allow you to enter the Woodfall Temple. During the scene, you (the player, not Link) are shown that the King and the guards are quite aware of your presence. As soon as the monkey teaches you the song, the King says that's proof enough of the monkey's guilt and the guards throw you out of the palace.
    • Averted in one instance: Sakon's escape after mugging the Bomb Shop Woman is unhindered by the text box. Close it quickly, or he may get away!
  • Technicolor Blade: The Great Fairy sword is pink with a green core.
  • That Russian Squat Dance: One of the dances a ReDead can do if you wear the Captain's Hat, Garo's Mask, or Gibdo's Mask is this. Majora's Incarnation does this dance as well.
  • That's No Moon!: Not so much the Weird Moon itself, but the island in the Great Bay that's actually a sleeping turtle.
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: The game uses the Leitmotif of the eponymous mask as a basis for the music of Southern Swamp, Snowhead, Great Bay and Ikana Canyon (to symbolize that those areas are cursed by the evil influence of the mask).
  • Time Travel: The Song of Time allows Link to go back to the first day, while the Song of Double Time skips ahead to the next sunrise or sunset, or, in the 3DS version, to any hour of the current day.
  • Timed Mission: Aside from a few timed mini-games and sidequests (like recovering Kafei's stolen Sun Mask), when you first arrive in Clock Town, the Skull Kid still has your ocarina and you have only three days to get it back before the moon comes crashing down. For every other cycle, though the time limit remains, you can control time with the Ocarina.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Time Travel works far differently than in Ocarina of Time. Some items, such as ammo, stray fairies, and sidequest-related items, are lost in the trip back to the beginning. Key items (weapons, masks, heart containers, major Plot Coupons) are safe, though. The exception is the Razor Sword, which reverts back to the Kokiri Sword if you go back in time.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Link. Thanks to his adventuring experience, he's capable of using adult tools as a child, can pull off more fanciful leaps, and is strong enough to use a metal shield and lift bomb flowers without needing a Goron Bracelet. Presumably, this early additional training is what allowed him to learn and teach the hidden arts to his descendant as the Hero's Shade in Twilight Princess.
  • Too Fast to Stop: The Bunny Hood mask is useful but can prove to be this for the player in certain platforming sections and with Snowhead's ice physics. In these few cases it's best to just remove it and proceed normally.
  • Tower of Babel: Stone Tower has been interpreted as a metaphor for the Tower of Babel. Read more here.
  • Transflormation: Link's transformation into a Deku Scrub, both involuntary and voluntary.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: The clock doesn't tick during the change from one form to another. Justified by the fact that any given transformation appears to only take a couple of seconds.
  • Transformation Trauma: When you first put on a transformation mask, Link looks up with an extremely pained expression and screams. This can be thankfully skipped after the first viewing.
  • Tree Trunk Tour: This is how Link ends up in Termina in the first place.
  • Trippy Finale Syndrome: The final area takes place inside the monstrous moon itself. Which, in fact, appears as a vast and beautiful green field with a single large tree in the center, surrounded by children at play. And then Link goes to fight the boss in a room painted like an acid trip... and in its second stage, Majora's Mask runs around very fast making clucking noises.
  • Tsundere: Tatl probably started the trend of Link having a Tsundere-girl for a friend and helper. She gives the "I don't care about you, but I have to help you" line.
  • Turtle Island: The island out behind Zora Hall is actually a friendly turtle that takes Link to the Great Bay Temple once he awakens it using the New Wave Bossa Nova.
  • Underground Level: The Gibdo Well, which connects Ikana Canyon with its Ancient Castle. To progress there, Link has to deliver items to the mummified Gibdos while wearing the Gibdo Mask (and while doing so, he has to keep an eye on hazards like a torture device that only Deku Link can overcome and some annoying enemies).
  • Under the Sea: The game has the entire ocean province known as the Great Bay (excluding the land parts that fall under Palmtree Panic or Eternal Engine instead). In particular, there's a section known as the Pinnacle Rock, in which Zora Link is guided by a seahorse (whom he previously freed) through a maze of murky water where a wrong step sends him back to the beginning (in a similar fashion to The Lost Woods in most Zelda games); it is there where Link has to find the Zora Eggs that weren't stolen by the Gerudo pirates (but are guarded by giant sea snakes), and optionally the seahorse's lover. Retrieving those Zora Eggs as well as those located in the Pirates' Fortress helps them hatch on their own and teach Link the melody that grants access to the Great Bay Temple (which is primarily Eternal Engine but also revolves about manipulating water, specifically trying to get the water to keep flowing through to a central point of the dungeon). Killing all sea snakes and reuniting the two seahorses will yield Link a Heart Piece.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: The second part of the fight against Gyorg, in the 3DS remake, plays entirely underwater. In the original version, Link only has to enter the water when the boss is stunned in order to inflict damage onto it.
  • Unending End Card: After its completion, the game leaves you hanging after the final cutscene with a still image of Link and Skull Kid drawn in a tree trunk.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • There's a single Blue ChuChu in one small room in the Great Bay Temple. As like other ChuChus it poses almost no threat, but unlike other ChuChus it doesn't contain an item, its true function is to be frozen into a block for use as a platform.
    • Majora's Mask has one Peahat in a hidden grotto in Termina Field; kill it for a Piece of Heart and you never get to fight another one. This wouldn't be so unusual had the previous game not featured numerous Peahats of the same type all over Hyrule Field.
    • Normal Poes are only found in one room of the Stone Tower Temple, and a solitary 'normal' (as opposed to Business Scrubs and Mad Scrubs) Deku Scrub enemy is found in the Swamp Spider House. Both of these were a lot more numerous in Ocarina of Time.
    • Majora's Mask also has only two Eyegores, who have the odd distinction of being unique from each other - One fires lasers from its eyes while the other doesn't.
    • There are only two Desbrekos in Majora's Mask: one in a tank in the Pirates' Fortress, and another in Great Bay Temple.
    • The American and European versions of Majora's Mask has a single place where Skullwalltulas can be found: a grotto in Termina Field. This isn't the case in the Japanese version, where another grotto with Skullwalltulas exists. It is in the path you need to take to reach the Bean Seller, this path was simplified for the international releases.
    • Takkuri, a large bird that divebombs Link and steals Rupees or items from him. Although it's a unique individual in this game, it later reappears as an entire enemy kind in Four Swords Adventures.
  • The Unreveal: The ending shows Anju and Kafei's wedding, implying he regained his true adult form, but the player doesn't get to see him as a grown-up.
  • Unstoppable Mailman: Deconstructed when the postman cannot bring himself to break schedule, even with all of Clock Town evacuated and the end of the world nigh. A final delivery to the mayor's wife gives him brief solace, and when she tells him as the postmistress to flee, he takes his chance without hesitation.
  • Useless Useful Spell: The Elegy of Emptiness as Deku Link. It creates a statue, but that statue is as light as Deku Link and unlike the other three forms' statues, it can't weigh down switches. The sole purpose of the Elegy of Emptiness is to create statues to weigh down switches.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Link can transform (screaming in agony in the process) into a Deku, a Goron, and a Zora, soar from one place to another by growing wings and teleporting, and alter the flow of time in front of anyone and no one notices. This is used for a gag when infiltrating the Deku Palace. When Link encounters the captive monkey, the latter notes that a particular song is require to enter Woodfall Temple, but that Link will need a louder instrument than the Ocarina of Time for the song to work. Link then transforms into a Deku with the big pipes right there and asks for the song again, only for the monkey to ask who he is. Link does a Face Fault in response.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The final dungeon, set within a terrifying grimacing moon, appears to be a beautiful field containing a single tree with children playing around it. Children wearing the masks of all the bosses. Most of it is optional (you can talk to the child wearing Majora's Mask to teleport directly to the final battle), and in order to fully complete the dungeon areas you'll need to have collected all masks in the game, as doing so will grant you a very powerful extra mask that is unavailable otherwise.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • Just knowing that every NPC you come across is going to die in three days if you fail is a pretty huge motivator to get the job done fast—especially if you fail to get your Ocarina back the first time and have to witness the moon crashing down and obliterating everything. And many of them are cursed on top of it, and so is the very land they walk on in some cases. Or in the case of Woodfall Swamp and Great Bay, the water is cursed. Some have even more agony thrown on top of their lives. Kafei has his marriage nearly ruined in addition to being made a child. Skull Kid ran into a centuries-old woman in Woodfall and decided to injure her.
    • If you complete the Postman's Hat side quest, you can convince the Postman to stop panicking and deliver the mail. If you talk to him afterwards at the Milk Bar, he'll give you his hat and happily leave Clock Town.
    • The amount of caring that comes from some of the more hardcore gamers actually results in runs where they try to do as many of the sidequests as possible in a single cycle before finishing the game, so all the good they do stays intact.note 
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • If you go to such lengths for rupees that you sell the Zora eggs to the Curiosity Shop Owner.
    • You can score an easy free healing potion from Kotake, the swamp hag, by not bringing it to her wounded sister.
    • Giving Anju's Letter to Kafei to the hand from the toilet instead of putting it in a mailbox like you should.
    • Keeping the Pendant of Memories for yourself instead of giving it to Anju. If you complete the rest of the quest, Kafei returns to find Anju isn't waiting for him and is left to die alone in despair.
    • In Termina Field, there's a man (the Trading Post night clerk) climbing a tree to get at some red rupees. If you roll into the tree, you'll knock the man and the rupees out. You can collect the rupees while the man rolls about with every indication that he's broken his leg or sprained his ankle.
    • You can actually kill Sakon once he's stolen the bomb bag by shooting it with a bow (setting off the bombs), as opposed to the less psychotic option of stealing it back. Granted, some would consider that justice, but alas, you still cost an old lady her bomb bags as if he stole them and Kafei will never be able to get his mask back with Sakon dead.
    • When wearing the Captain's Hat, the Stalfos will recognize you as their captain and await their next order loyally. They're technically still enemies, however, and you can slice them with your sword, essentially killing your own troops.
    • In the afternoon of the First Day, there's a bit where Anju will confuse you for a guest (whom she's never met and who has the same name as yours) with a pre-existing reservation. You can steal the dude's reservation and the money he's got in his room, leaving him minus 100 rupees and stuck in the cold for the night.note  This was slightly changed in the 3DS version, where Anju won't let you take the guest's room (despite the two of you having the same name) since said guest is a Goron and you're not. Once you get the Goron Mask, you can confuse Anju into letting you have the room.
    • It's possible to injure Kafei while he's putting his letter in the mailbox by either tricking a dog into attacking him or getting him caught within the blast radius of a bomb.
    • After healing Pamela's father and getting the Gibdo mask, you can return to talk to her with said mask on to upset her since her father was one of them just moments ago. She'll kick you out of her house, however.
    • During the Business Scrub Scramble side quest, the Business Scrub in the Great Bay decides to head for the northern mountains if you give him the Mountain Title Deed, hoping for some cool and clean air. However, you can send him there when the region is still suffering from an endless winter (and is even more unsuitable for Deku Scrubs than the Great Bay). So, not only is he having trouble marketing to Gorons, he ended up getting scammed about the quality of the land and is in danger of freezing to death.
  • Video Game Remake: In the vein of Ocarina of Time 3D, Majora's Mask 3D was released February 2015 alongside the New 3DS, and makes use of several of the New 3DS's features.
  • Violation of Common Sense: There are two Pieces of Heart that you can earn by listening to Granny's stories while wearing the All-Night Mask, then answering a question about said story. In order to earn a Piece of Heart for the longer Four Giants story, you must answer "I dunno" instead of the correct response in order to receive the prize.
  • Visual Pun: Link learns the "New Wave Bossa Nova" when Lulu's newly hatched Zora tadpoles arrange themselves into the notes of the song; the Japanese word for music notes is the same as the one for "tadpole" due to the resemblance between them. This is of course Lost in Translation in other languages.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The mask transformations.
  • Vortex Barrier: A cyclone surrounds the Great Bay Temple and prevents you from swimming there. To enter it, you need to awaken a giant turtle who can handle the storm just fine. When you enter, you see a group of Gerudo pirates be blown away by the cyclone.
  • Wacky Racing: A sidequest in Snowhead is a rolling Goron race, which is much like, and about as safe as, climbing inside monster truck tires and racing them down a mountain.
  • Wallet of Holding: Averted as in Ocarina of Time. Link starts off with a wallet that only holds 99 Rupees and can get two upgrades to hold up to 200 (Adult) and 500 (Giant) Rupees respectively. The last is required to buy the All-Night's Mask from the Curiosity Shop on the 3rd Day if you averted Sakon's robbery of the Big Bomb Bags. Note that by the time you actually fulfill the conditions to carry 500 Rupees, however, you will have almost certainly saved up more than enough in the bank via time travel to actually buy it and other similarly expensive items.
  • Warp Whistle: The Song of Soaring, taught by Kaepora Gaebora, allows Link to teleport in a shower of feathers to any statue bearing the owl's likeness that he has "awakened" by striking it with his sword. There's one in Clock Town, one near the entrance to each region, and one outside each dungeon. In the international release and the remake, the statues are also Save Points.
  • Water Source Tampering: Woodfall's water is poisoned to the point of it having a purple hue to it.
  • Weapon Tombstone: A variation occurs when Link constructs a gravestone for Mikau out of his guitar. Or his "axe", if you will.
  • We Buy Anything: The game has the "curiosity shop", where you can sell fairies, bugs, Zora Eggs, and fish. All they ever sell during the game's events are a stolen bomb bag, a stay-awake Mask of Power, and your own sword or bottle when it is stolen by a bird.
  • Weird Moon: Among other oddities, the Moon has a face on it. As for what's inside the Moon... A meadow with a World Tree in the center, surrounded by five seriously creepy children, four of whom play a potentially lethal game of hide-and-seek for masks. The fifth one represents Majora and basically thinks that the Final Boss battle is a game of cops and robbers.
  • Weirdness Censor:
    • Tingle! You see him in Clock Town and in all four cardinal directions. You see him in the area of a poisoned swamp and a tree enveloped in bats. You see him in the middle of a horrible blizzard, surrounded by Wolfos. You see him above a murky ocean. Yeah, okay. But you also see him in the canyon of the dead, with big lumbering mummy-like Gibdos all over the place. And he lets it all pass without comment. What makes this even odder is that the weirdness censor is averted by the Deku Scrub salesmen, who are quite aware of their environment, including the one in the canyon who offers to sell you a blue potion to save you from being cursed by Blue Bubbles. It's pretty clear that Tingle is a few beers short of a six-pack anyhow, so maybe he thinks he's off in La-La Land somewhere no matter how many horrible things are happening around him.
    • Absolutely nobody seems to notice that Link can change between four different species right in front of them.
  • Wham Line: "Certainly, he had far too many weaknesses to use my power." Said not by Skull Kid, but by Majora's Mask itself.
  • Wicked Heart Symbol: The titular mask is a sentient Artifact of Doom with plans to destroy the world. And it's shaped like a heart.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Skull Kid. A lonely, harmless little guy that is forced to destroy the world!
  • World Tree: There's one inside the moon, of all places.
  • Worthy Opponent: The Garo Ninjas, although minor in their appearance, consider Link a worthy opponent. They not only praise him upon their defeat, but also provide him with some helpful tips as a token of their respect before they finally dispose of their own bodies. (Majora itself deliberately provokes Link at the end, seemingly for the amusement of battling him.)
  • You Are Already Checked In: Link is shocked to discover that a room at the Stock Pot Inn has already been reserved for him. Turns out there's a Goron also named Linknote  who made the reservation. You just happened to arrive before he did. Steal his room at your peril, 'cause you can find him outside shivering in the cold later if do. Remember that this is the festival season, and all the hotels were booked solid a long time ago. The Goron doesn't get angry if you steal his room, though: if you do so, his Verbal Tic makes him say his name as "Link-goro!". The receptionist doesn't understand him and sends him away saying there's no reservation under that name. In the 3DS remake, the receptionist remembers that a Goron made the reservation, and you can't steal the room until you have the Goron Mask.
  • You Are Worth Hell: In the very long and optional Kafei and Anju side-quest, actually completing the quest will lead to reuniting the lovers during the last two hours of the third day. They choose to stay together, in the middle of an abandoned town with the moon less than two hours from impact, fully aware they will probably not live to see the morning. However, after the game ends, they do manage to live to see the morning, and their wedding begins.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After the moon is stopped during the start of the game's climax, the eponymous mask discards the Skull Kid, whom it had been using as a host for most of the game. This leads Majora's Mask to be the real Final Boss. Skull Kid gets better at the end.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: The game ominously warns you that "72 hours remain", counting down after each in-game day. The entire world of Termina is doomed to be destroyed by the falling Moon unless Link can free the four giants to stop it. If Link fails, he is sent back to the first day to try again.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already:
    • You can't play most of the Songs before you learn them, including the three songs carried over from Ocarina of Time (the Song of Time, Epona's Song, and Song of Storms). Justified for the Song of Time, as you don't even have the Ocarina of Time before the the flashback that reteaches it to the player.
    • Averted with the Song of Double Time and the Inverted Song of Time; you're allowed to use them without having to talk to the Scarecrow that tells you about them.
  • Your Head A-Splode: The Blast Mask. It causes an explosion in front of Link, which can be blocked with his shield.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: The Skull Kid is this when the player encounters him near the end of the game on the final day. He can summon the Moon to drop, but doesn't attack Link any other way. All the player has to do is play the Oath to Order so the Giants can stop the moon. The Skull Kid will promptly have a mental breakdown and faint. The only possible way to lose is to wait for the Moon to drop in the five minutes allotted.


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Alternative Title(s): Majoras Mask, The Legend Of Zelda Majoras Mask 3 D

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