Fans of the Legend of Zelda video game series have long maintained that the story of Majora’s Mask follows the classic 5 Stages of Grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. According to this fan theory, each of these stages ties into an area of the Nintendo 64 game. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is a harrowing journey through the psyche of a hero who has recently experienced a traumatic loss. Let us sum up the major tenets of grief throughout the game:
Denial: In Termina, the townspeople are in denial regarding the giant evil moon that is barrelling towards their planet.
Anger: The Deku King thrashes about in anger when yelling about his missing daughter. He’s blinded by rage and blames her disappearance on a little monkey.
Bargaining: Darmani died and became a ghost but still takes a swing at bargaining for his return to this mortal realm.
Depression: Perhaps saddest of all, Lulu loses her eggs and her resultant depression prevents her from speaking.
Acceptance: Acceptance is tied in with the Stone Temple, a place filled with deadly, um, death. Link is the only character alive in the Temple and climbs the tower as though his soul were ascending to a higher plane. Ultimately, he discovers the Light Arrows, which could represent enlightenment, which comes at the end of the 5 stages.
You may be thinking that if the game is all about grief, then who are we grieving for? You don’t just arbitrarily suffer an awful spiral of grief without losing someone or something first, right? Some theorise that Link is going through a process of grief to accept his own death. The problem with this theory is that the Majora’s Mask Link must grow up to be the ancestor of the Twilight Princess Link. So someone else must have died. Well, Majora’s Mask starts with Link searching for a lost friend … his fairy Navi.