If you're a big fan of the franchise, it's really hard to argue that Majora's Mask isn't the creepiest Zelda game ever made. Twilight Princess is dark, and Ocarina of Time has its moments as well, but with the moon falling from the sky and Link facing his impending doom, Majora's Mask simply doesn't have much competition when it comes to scary Zelda games. Between its soundtrack, creepy visuals, bizarre storytelling, and overall mechanic of fighting against time, Majora's Mask is disturbing in all the right ways. It's hard to even consider it a children's game, as its main theme seems to be the inevitability of death.
There are even theories about Majora's Mask that claim Link is actually deceased the whole time, although this is not officially confirmed by Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto himself. Here are 10 reasons why The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is hands down the scariest Zelda game of all time.
"You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?"
Although he made his debut in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time , the Happy Mask Salesman plays his most prominent role in Majora's Mask . Is there anything about this guy that isn't unnerving? The fixed look on his face when he's happy is strange enough, but anger him and he will sporadically lash out and begin to yell at you and even throttle you.
What's most mysterious about this man, though, is how little we actually know about him. Link first encounters the Happy Mask Salesman at the bottom of the Clock Tower, right after turning into a Deku Scrub. He appears out of nowhere, remarks that he's been following you, and somehow always knows what you've been up to, despite never leaving his post. Although he does teach you the Song of Healing, he loses his mind when Link tells him he was unable to recover Majora's Mask for him.
When the game is completed, the Happy Mask Salesman leaves you with these final, ominous words:
"Since I am in the midst of my travels… I must bid you farewell. Shouldn’t you be returning home? Whenever there’s a meeting a parting is sure to follow. However, that parting need not last forever… whether a parting be forever or merely for a short time… that is up to you.”
In Majora's Mask, Link can put on three different masks that turn him into another creature (Deku Scrub, Goron, and Zora.) Pretty cool, right? Wrong. When Link puts these masks on, he is clearly in a great deal of pain during the transformations.
The mask takes hold of Link's face, and while a purple aura swirls behind him and he screams in pain, you can literally hear his bones breaking as he molds into whatever form he will be taking. You can skip these cut-scenes after you've transformed once, but the first time they occur you are forced to watch the suffering in its entirety. Pain. Suffering. Death. This is what Majora's Mask is all about.
Seriously, remind me how this is a kids' game again? The featured game mechanic of Majora's Mask involves constantly rewinding time, before 72 hours pass and the creepiest moon you've ever seen in your life smashed down to Termina and wipes out everything in sight. He smiles menacingly at you as he looms above and watches your every move; a grim reminder that if you aren't quick enough, you and everyone around you will be wiped out.
The game reminds you every 12 hours how much time you have left, even if you're in the middle of a dungeon. This adds a certain panic to your gameplay, as this timer is something not found in any other Zelda title. The terrifying moon is one of the many reasons why Majora's Mask is not only one of the most disturbing Zelda games ever made, but one of the most unique as well.
If you check the restroom at the back of the Stock Pot Inn between the hours of midnight and 6 am, you will encounter something mysteriously known as "???" in the toilet. When you interact with it, a creepy hand emerges from the toilet, simply saying, "Pa-pa-pa-paper, please!" Link can turn over any item made of paper to the hand, such as the Letter to Kafei or one of his title deeds. In doing so, "???" will reward Link with a piece of heart.
Says Shigeru Miyamoto of the hand: "There are some ghost stories in Japan where - when you are sitting in the bathroom in the traditional style of the Japanese toilet - a hand is actually starting to grab you from beneath. It's a very scary story."