Continuing on our theme of Villains this week, we have a new topic to discuss. As many have said in response to our Ganondorf article, Majora seems to be the perfect Villain. But why is this?
Majora’s Mask is essentially the perfect recant of the monomyth. The monomyth, as described by Joseph Campbell is “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” In this case Link is our hero and his journey through Termina gives him the mysterious power to save Termina from it’s own impending evil. But, as Campbell goes on to describe, “The happy ending is … a misrepresentation; for the world, as we know it, as we have seen it, yields but one ending: death, disintegration, dismemberment, and the crucifixion of our heart with the passing of the forms that we have loved.” This is Majora. He is the acid dripping on our otherwise perfect.
Majora is the essence of death, disintegration, dismemberment, and the death of loved ones. He causes these events in Termina. Majora is the harsh reality of life for the people of Termina. And this is why Majora is the perfect villain. He has absolutely no motive other then death and destruction. He wants nothing more then to see everything dead. He manipulates Link into following him to his near-death. Manipulates the literal moon into destroying the world it watches over, even obviously causing it distress which can been seen with it’s face and its tears, but yet the moon “shall consume. Consume… consume everything…” He manipulates Anju and Kafei apart, destroying their love. Controls a young skullkid into doing his bidding and then throws him aside as “This one has served its purpose, and it is useless.” No other villain thus far has done so much to destroy everyone’s lives in such a subtle way. It’s almost like he is a virus slowly eating away at everything the people of Termina love.
Another thing, which is purely aesthetic in its value is the visual look of Majora. First of all, he’s a mask. That alone gives him an otherworldly creepiness. Humans seem to naturally have a fear of inanimate objects somehow coming alive. Majora taps into that irrational fear and amplifies it to a new level. Also, is the visual look of the mask. It’s a heart with spikes coming out of it, which quite literally is the perfect metaphor for Majora. He digs into people’s hearts and destroys them. And finally are the eyes of his mask. They have an obvious determined, focused look to them. It’s as if they are looking directly into your soul, attempting to tear it apart. The visual is fantastic and has only been almost matched with the Twilight Realm in Twilight Princess.
Zelda is a wonderful series, but we need more of these villains. That’s not to say Ganondorf should completely disappear, but there is no sense of wonder with him anymore. He’s Ganondorf, he had the Triforce of Power and wants the whole thing for his own. He’s obviously greedy, but he’s not like Majora. He doesn’t want the complete destruction of Hyrule. No, in fact the whole reason why he wants the Triforce is because he envied Hyrule with its green, beautiful rolling fields and mountains. He wants that for his own. This obviously evolves into evil, but it’s evil with a cause which is far less menacing then evil with no cause.
That’s what makes Majora such a great character. Majora has a sense of myth, wonder, and fantasy around him. He’s a lurking evil, one around every corner, that makes his presence absolutely known. That is the essence of evil and that is why Majora is the perfect villain. His evil has no source. It has an absoluteness to it that can’t be understood on our level. Perhaps Majora has his motive, but likely he doesn’t. He is the essence of Evil in Termina, maybe even in Hyrule as well, and the only action for evil is destruction.