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Majora’s Mask’s Unique Star System Explained

The Legend of Zelda The series has a lot of secrets and impressive details. Throughout its history, Zelda has built an impressive amount of lore and references to itself, thanks in part to its definite yet flexible timeline. Many other secrets also abound, such as famous secrets like Super Mario Bros. Enemies appear in Wake up link and more puzzling species like butterflies that turn into fairies when they land on Deku Sticks in Ocarina of Time. Whether it’s in the game itself, the artbook and tutorials, or the unreleased builds and minified code, The Legend of Zelda has been giving fans something new to discover for years.

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Recently, another secret has come to light, this time in the old Nintendo 64 title Majora’s mask. The Legend of Zelda: The Mask of Majora is a very popular entry in the series, even if it is so out of the norm that some people have difficulty accessing it. Majora’s mask focus on its sky, largely due to the moon getting closer and closer as the game’s three-day cycle goes on. With one side quest involving an alien and another involving a shooting star, it’s safe to say that Nintendo wants players to pay attention to what’s going on above them. However, it turns out that the night sky itself harbors a deeper secret than anyone realises, and it is only being discovered.


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What’s going on with the stars of Majora’s mask


The Moon from the Legend of the Mask of Zelda Majora

Posted on Twitter just a few days ago, a programmer using @zel640 came across Majora’s mask and noticed that the sky texture is not preset like in most games. The stars seen in the night sky are randomly placed and identified by the characters used in the player’s name. This discovery doesn’t add to the game in any way, but it’s a lot of fun regardless of how much Nintendo has included this subtle feature. From now on, Majora’s mask players will be aware that their night sky is unique to them, even if the ferocious moon shares those skies.


The reason for this being included in the game is unclear. Again, there’s no practical reason for it to be here for it to appear to be an easter egg. That might be the extent of it, though there are several other possibilities. A particular developer may have implemented this feature on their own as a pet project. It could be a relic of some other direction the game went in at some point, or it could be a tech demo for something else. The position of the sun plays an important role in Fire Arrows side quest in Ocarina of Time, so this could be built on top of that, but perhaps the related task was cut. It’s really hard to say why this is here, but it’s probably largely just another small detail that makes Nintendo games what they are.


Why is Majora’s Mask’s Take on a Skybox so unique


It’s also an interesting detail, as sky boxes are not usually treated with this design. Many of the early 3D games were simply images placed outside of level geometry to mask the void in which 3D video games took place. Some include layers of moving clouds or just a general motion to simulate the passage of time, but others suffice as still images. Some games randomize the night sky and their cloud formations, but these are not tied to anything the player has access to. Skybox and background need to be handled with care, as a bad skybox can be very clear and can break its immersion. Creating a skyline is often a simple part of game design, but some titles go beyond that to create a unique experience.


Majora’s mask is one of those games, with the moon being a 3D model that hangs in the sky and grows larger over time. This is also true for Bloodborne, as its moon takes on a strangely large appearance by turning it into a 3D model. Gestures like these are often unnecessary, but they speak to an attempt to make what’s happening in the story believable. In both of these cases, the moon interacts with the game worlds in some way as well as adding aesthetic appeal to them. By all means, Majora’s mask‘NS personalized starry sky adds another layer of mystique and charm with this beloved old Zelda game.


The Legend of Zelda: The Mask of Majora available for N64, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo GameCube.

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