Posted on May 22 2020 by Michaela El-Ters
Over the years, I’ve found myself drawn to media that explores the idea of multiple timelines or alternate universes, and at the center of my fascination with these stories is the Zelda series. Before the publication of Hyrule Historia, the notion of split timelines was nothing more than a fun theory fans posited online. The franchise was often split between two timelines, the branching point always beginning with Ocarina of Time. Back then, the split was attributed to two things: a timeline in which Link returns to the past, and one in which he disappears. The revelation of the third timeline in Hyrule Historia was a bit of a shock when it was revealed that its cause was “Link’s death,” something that Ocarina of Time never divulges. While that’s a whole other can of worms, the game I want to address that could lead to another timeline via Link’s death is Majora’s Mask.
Majora’s Mask‘s narrative is firmly rooted in the repeated three-day cycle. Over and over, Link must relive those three days in order to defeat Skull Kid, and the consequence if he fails? Majora’s Mask is one of the only Zelda games to feature a “bad ending” should Link fail (check it out here). The thing I find most fascinating about this bad ending is the “what if.” What if there’s another timeline that exists where Link died here, and Termina was wiped out? What would that mean for subsequent games in the Majora’s Mask timeline? For me, the possibilities are endless — and I buy the idea of the split timeline much more if it branched from Majora’s Mask as a result. What do you think? What would a new timeline branching from Majora’s Mask‘s bad ending look like? Let us know in the comments!
Feature art by VincentBisschop