The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Characters, Part 2
The Deku Scrub Royal Family
When Link meets the Deku Scrubs of Woodfall’s Southern Swamps, he finds their kingdom in a state of disarray. Their princess has disappeared, and their king’s grief is so great that he’s unable to think clearly. According to the other scrubs, the king is so upset that he “… can’t even send troops out to look for her…” and “nothing can calm [him].” In his blind rage, he grasps the first culprit he can blame for her disappearance: a monkey who was seen entering the temple with her and leaving without her. Only by rescuing the princess himself can Link prove the monkey’s innocence and heal the poisoned waters surrounding the kingdom, along with the king’s grief.
The Deku King is not the only member of the court to experience suffering. His butler struggles with his own quiet grief as he mourns his missing son. According to him, his son vanished without a trace and hasn’t communicated in some time. “I wonder where he has gone…” the butler says, “…what he is doing…If only he would write me a letter…” Later, racing with Link in his Deku form reminds the butler so much of the lost child that he forgets himself, saying: “I am afraid I may have tried too hard to outrun you. As old as I am, I am still a fast competitor. Just like when I raced my son…” Unfortunately, Link is not able to reunite the butler with his son, as it’s heavily implied that the scrub-shaped stump that gave life to Link’s Deku mask was the butler’s son. As the other transformation masks Link receives are from those who have passed on, it stands to reason that the butler’s son suffered the same fate.
Darmani and the Gorons
Darmani the Third, warrior Goron, gave his life fighting the demon in the Snowhead Temple. When Link meets Darmani, he’s a ghost of his former self, desperately clinging to his half-life while snow covers his beloved village. He begs Link to bring him back to life so he can save the village himself; when Link cannot, he asks that Link heal his soul instead. Fortunately, this is something that Link can do, and this act of mercy has the added benefit of granting Link a Goron transformation mask. With that mask, Link gains the power to take Darmani’s form and protect the Gorons.
Darmani’s absence leaves a lasting impact on the Gorons. His strength and his heart were both legendary, as noted in the inscription on his grave: “Oh, chosen Goron hero! Your power to lift objects without effort is mightier than the strength of any other. And your heart is strong, too, as it is filled with compassion that is kinder than any other.” When Link appears to them in Darmani’s form, they are so relieved to see their savior that they do not question how he could have returned. They are simply grateful to have their hero back, as he gives them hope for survival.
Mikau and the Indigo-gos
Mikau, the lead guitarist of the Indigo-gos, cares deeply about his music and his bandmates. Both are put at risk when the lead singer, Lulu, loses both her eggs and her voice. Her eggs were stolen by pirates; her voice was destroyed by grief. At first, Lulu did not want her other band mates to know what had happened to her, as she was “too embarrassed and too sad.” When she finally confesses the truth to Mikau, she’s certain he’ll do something rash. Sure enough, Mikau plots with his bandmates to steal Lulu’s eggs back from the pirates that took them. They elect to send Mikau on the rescue mission, but he is gravely injured in the process, and Link finds him on the verge of death.
With the last of his strength, Mikau begs Link to find Lulu’s eggs and heal his tortured soul. When Link plays the Song of Healing, Mikau’s pain is eased, and he proclaims: “Soon, I’ll be just another wave in the ocean…destined to disappear.” He succumbs to his wounds, leaving behind a mask that lets Link take on Mikau’s form. This form allows Link to accomplish what Mikau could not, recovering both Lulu’s eggs and her voice, allowing the Indigo-go’s to perform at the carnival once the moon’s descent is stopped.
The Ikana Valley Dead
In Ikana Valley, the restless dead haunt the land, seeking those who might soothe their tortured souls. Many of these dead are connected to the Ikana Royal Family, led by the skeletal Igos du Ikana. One of Igos’s military captains, Keeta, has spent his afterlife mourning a losing battle and wants nothing more than to tell the spirits of his men that the war is over. The royal composers, Flat and Sharp, live their afterlives apart after a fight that destroyed their relationship. Igos mourns for his fallen kingdom, as a curse has befallen it ever since someone opened the Stone Tower Temple. Only Link, with his masks and his ocarina, can help them through their grief and lift the curse on the kingdom, restoring the Ikana Valley to its former glory.
The Ikana Valley Dead serve as a secondary ensemble cast within a larger ensemble story. Rather than giving Link a fourth transformation mask through interactions with a single Ikana character, the developers chose to have Link befriend several different groups in the desolate valley. Although their struggles are all different, they all share the same grief that binds the rest of Termina. Each of them has lost something in their own way, and their varying reactions to this loss have impacted those around them. The Composer Brothers are particularly notable, as Flat claims that his brother Sharp ‘sold his soul to the devil,’ and the loss of his soul compelled him to dry up the river that helped repel the Gibdos. This led to a nearby scientist succumbing to the Gibdos curse, leaving his young daughter without a guardian in a land full of ghosts and zombies. Although this story is but a tiny subset of a larger narrative, it illustrates some of the different ways that grief can change people.