Posted on March 17 2015 by Rod Lloyd
Many would agree that Majora’s Mask has some of the strongest characters in the entire Zelda series. Eiji Aonuma has admitted before that the game was meant to appeal to a more adult audience, and this fact is proven in the well-developed, more serious characters. In a recent interview with Japanese magazine Nintendo Dream, Aonuma explained how many of the characters and scenarios present in Majora’s Mask are inspired by the developers’ personal experiences, some of which being extremely serious.
After a discussion about how work on Majora’s Mask was divided amongst developers, Aonuma is asked about personal experiences that influenced the game:
“ND: …I heard Mr. Aonuma and Mr. Koizumi also used other personal experiences from during the development.
Aonuma: It’s almost always like that (laughs). There are really many cases when we had personal themes as a starting point for production.
ND: The wedding of Anju and Kafei was like that, right?
Aonuma: That’s right. It was born from the Taepodong uproar of the time.
ND: There was news that North Korea was preparing to launch Taepodong missiles.
Aonuma: We were attending a wedding of a staff member and were talking with Koizumi and the others: “Come to think of it, it’s somewhat strange to come to a wedding in a situation when missiles may fall down today.” The discussion progressed into noting how it would also fit the setting of a falling moon and whether to do a wedding in the game. Now that I think of it, no matter where we go, we always talk about work (laughs). However, I didn’t mind it at the time!”
This is certainly a surprising origin to such a beloved couple. After sharing this information, Aonuma goes on to explain the creation of Pamela and the Indigo-Go’s:
“(ND: About Ikana Kingdom)
Aonuma: However, I had thought the material I wanted to put in the area, like Music Box House and reversing top and bottom of the Stone Tower, from the beginning. Particularly Pamela was named after a part of a Bossa Nova song. “Pamela, Pamela ♪” was stuck in my head at the time (laughs).
ND: Did you decide [to add] a character based on a name?!
Aonuma: Although it was based on wanting to have material involving a little girl. Nevertheless, I imagined Pamela as a foreigner girl when creating her just from the name, but when I looked at the finished [design], I decided she was Japanese.
Aonuma: I remember well the day when I was informed Pamela was in the game. When I checked it, the camera showed all of Ikana in a distant view, but I had no idea where Pamela was. “Where is she?” I asked. The only reply I got was: “Isn’t she there?” I looked hard and saw something that moved and looked like a little spot. I said: “Did I get it!?” (laughs)
ND: The camera was pulled too far away, right? (laughs)
Aonuma: But when I saw that figure moving around, I got the feeling this child was brave. That’s why I created a little troubled setting for her father.
ND: Did the father exist in the beginning?
Aonuma: It was decided to only have Pamela and there wasn’t a Gibdo father.
ND: What did you think when you created the event for Indigo-Go?
Aonuma: While the Goron one is like a hero story, I thought to make stories for masks relatively sad. That is how I thought the story of Mikau and his love for children. When considering relations for those characters, I ended up thinking a band could be good. I joined a band as a student and I’m still playing wind instruments so I thought a band would give a youth-like feeling. When I discussed this with Koizumi, we thought “let’s make them have a concert in Clock Town”, and so the setting was quickly decided. We wanted to connect Clock Town and the surrounding areas so that’s why this plan got great support.”
These responses are super cool when considering how emotionally relatable the characters are. Not only do the characters confront difficult and serious subjects, they are equally inspired by serious or emotional experiences. With answers like these, I wouldn’t mind if interviews asked Aonuma about character inspirations more often.
How do you feel about these responses? Are you surprised? What character origins would you want Aonuma to elaborate on? Let us know!
Source: Nintendo Dream (via Nintendo Everything)