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The Dark Secret Behind The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask's NPCs

"The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask" has long stood as one of if not the most morose entries in the "Zelda" series. In contrast to the lively bustle of Clock Town, the NPCs that Link encounters throughout Termina face self-doubt, anger, denial, grief, and other deeply human conditions — from which fans have extrapolated theories (via Zelda Dungeon). The fullness of emotion exhibited in characters like Gorman and Anju facilitated what many consider some of the best side-quests in all of "Zelda" (per WatchMojo). Apparently, the developers put more of themselves into the NPCs in "Majora's Mask" than fans previously knew.

DidYouKnowGaming? put together a new video on "Majora's Mask," with its documentarians discovering a bunch of fun tidbits largely forgotten about more than 20 years since the game released on the Nintendo 64. In addition to the giant turtle in "Majora's Mask" taking inspiration from the world's oldest twins, the YouTuber channel rediscovered old interviews with the game's developers explaining one of the many reasons why certain NPCs appear so downtrodden. As it turns out, the developers themselves chose to reflect their feelings about the game's development process in the NPCs.

DidYouKnowGaming? has some massively dedicated personnel to find details like these in "The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask," a 20-year-old game. Then again, the documentarians already proved their commitment to preserving gaming history when they called out Nintendo's copyright bluff on another "Zelda" video. 

A terrible fate for the developers

"Zelda" Producer Eiji Aonuma famously accepted the challenge from Shigeru Miyamoto to create a new "Zelda" game in a single year. While the development team had access to "Ocarina of Time" assets and graphics, it still proved a monumental task. As expressed in an interview with late Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata, Aonuma experienced doubt from the beginning.

Indeed, DidYouKnowGaming?'s video on "Majora's Mask" illustrated the stress and uncertainty others on the development team felt. Script writer Misoniru Takano indicated a few NPCs who spoke to this reality. "We wrote one of the carpenters to say, 'Damn! I'll have to stay up again... I wonder if I'll finish this,'" Takano said. In game, the carpenter refers to preparations for the Carnival of Time, but it apparently made a metaphor for the teams' own doubts about finishing the game.

Takano also explained the origins of the most sinister line in "Majora's Mask." When the Happy Mask Salesman startles Link in the game's opening with that cutting assessment, "You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?" For such an iconic line, it may surprise many theorists that Takano added the quote after the team completed the game — after the, presumably, "terrible fate" of a developmental wringer.