Monday, February 21, 2011

Majora's Mask

Majora’s Mask, originally released for Nintendo 64, is probably the darkest game in the Zelda franchise, with most agreeing that Twilight Princess comes in a close second. The entire storyline is very different from any other Zelda game. Majora’s Mask is set in a parallel universe to Hyrule and Link has been stripped of Epona and his ocarina. The ever present danger of the moon crashing into this new world of Termina (note the clever and subtle reference to a “terminal” universe) and the world’s doom-accepting inhabitants cast a gloomy tint over your actions in the game. The main villain is a young man who has stolen a mask that causes him to become schizophrenic and attempt to destroy his own world.

What follows here is a story of a young man who found a strange copy of this game. Matt, or Jadusable, posted his story on 4chan’s /x/ discussion board which mainly focuses on paranormal stories. Jadusable hoped that telling his story would protect others from his fate and possibly help him figure out what was going on. He posted on the image board on two consecutive nights (Septmeber 7th and 8th of 2010) and had a friend post with his username on another night. He also uploaded some of the unexplainable footage that he took while playing the game and had his roommate upload the last videos and a text document of a sort of journal he kept on what was happening in the game. Below is his first-person account of finding, playing and trying to escape the game.

“I recently moved into my dorm room starting as a sophomore in college and a friend of mine gave me his old Nintendo 64 to play. I was stoked, to say the least; I could finally play all of those old games of my youth that I hadn't touched in at least a decade. His Nintendo 64 came with one yellow controller and a rather shoddy copy of Super Smash Brothers, and while beggars can't be choosers, needless to say it didn't take long until I became bored of beating up LVL 9 CPUs.

That weekend I decided to drive around a few neighborhoods about twenty minutes or so off campus, hitting up the local garage sales, hoping to score on some good deals from ignorant parents). I ended up picking up a copy of Pokémon Stadium, Goldeneye (fuck yeah), F-Zero, and two other controllers for two dollars. Satisfied, I began to drive out of the neighborhood when one last house caught my attention. I still have no idea why it did, there were no cars there and only one table was set up with random junk on it, but something sort of drew me there. I usually trust my gut on these things so I got out of the car and I was greeted by an old man. His outward appearance was, for lack of a better word, displeasing. It was odd, if you asked me to tell you why I thought he was displeasing, I couldn't really pinpoint anything - there was just something about him that put me on edge, I can't explain it. All I can tell you is that if it wasn't in the middle of the afternoon and there were other people within shouting distance, I would not have even thought of approaching this man.

He flashed a crooked smiled at me and asked what I was looking for, and immediately I noticed that he must be blind in one of his eyes; his right eye had that "glazed over" look about it. I forced myself to look to his left eye instead, trying not to offend, and asked him if he had any old video games.

I was already wondering how I could politely excuse myself from the situation when he would tell me he had no idea what a video game was, but to my surprise he said he had a few ones in an old box. He assured me he'd be back in a "jiffy" and turned to head back into the garage. As I watched him hobble away, I couldn't help but notice what he was selling on his table. Littered across his table were rather... peculiar paintings; various artworks that looked like ink blots that a psychiatrist might show you. Curious, I looked through them - it was obvious why no one was visiting this guy's garage sale, these weren't exactly aesthetically pleasing. As I came to the last one, for some reason it looked almost like Majora's Mask - the same heart-shaped body with little spikes protruding outward. Initially I just thought that since I was secretly hoping to find that game at these garage sales, some Freudian bullshit was projecting itself into the ink blots, but given the events that happened afterward I'm not so sure now. I should have asked the man about it. I wish I would have asked the man about it.

After staring at the Majora-shaped blot, I looked up and the old man was suddenly there again, arms-length in front of me, smiling at me. I'll admit I jumped out of reflex and I laughed nervously as he handed me a Nintendo 64 cartridge. It was the standard gray color, except that someone had written Majora on it in black permanent marker. I got butterflies in my stomach as I realized what a coincidence this was and asked him how much he wanted for it.

The old man smiled at me and told me that I could have it for free, that it used to belong to a kid who was about my age that didn't live here anymore. There was something weird about how the man phrased that, but I didn't really pay any attention to then, I was too caught up in not only finding this game but getting it for free.