When Link collects the masks (or “remains”) of the four temple bosses, he can summon the four guardian giants after midnight on the last night. Between the four of them, they catch the moon and hold it above the town clock tower, but Majora’s Mask detaches itself from the Skull Kid and vanishes into the moon. Of course Link follows it.
The inside of the moon is a hyper-saturated green field suspended under a hyper-saturated blue sky. In the middle of the field is a single tree. Four kids wearing the boss masks are ambling in circles around the tree, and a kid wearing Majora’s Mask is sitting at the base of the tree, his knees curled up to his chest. All of the kids seem to be child versions of the Happy Mask Salesman. This is the most surreal thing in the entire game, and that’s saying something.
If Link gives some of his masks to one of the children, he will be transported to a mini-dungeon which functions as a master-level test of each transformation mask. The fourth “mask” is Link’s own form. When he completes the last series of trials, the child wearing the Twinmold mask asks him if the face he wears under his mask is indeed his true face. Creepy.
Should Link complete all the dungeons, he will have given all of his masks to the four children. In return, the fifth child gives him the Fierce Deity Mask, which holds a power just as terrible as that contained within Majora’s Mask. When Link puts on the mask…
As Sailor Fierce Deity Moon, Link is so overpowered that he only loses one full heart in his battle with Majora. It’s kind of obscene. Majora is scary, but Fierce Deity Link is horrifying. No wonder Majora calls him “the real bad guy.”
I wish someone would write fanfic in which Link, who is possessed by the Fierce Deity in the same way that the Skull Kid was once possessed by Majora, threatens the safety of Termina. Has that been done already? I found this list of fics set after the end of the game, but it’s going to take some time to sift through them…
Although the moon doesn’t fall, it’s difficult to describe the ending of Majora’s Mask as celebratory. The Deku, Goron, and Zora from whom Link received his three transformation masks are still dead, and Tael tells Link to go home, because she, Tatl, and the Skull Kid are going to the Festival of Time without him.
Anyone who expected a happy ending from this game obviously hasn’t been paying attention.
( Header image by spaceart on Tumblr )