Welcome back to Fan Corner, a weekly series where I highlight the fan fiction, fan art, fan films, and other fan projects which are actually worth your time. I've been having internet problems and stomach-bug problems this week, so let's go ahead and get to this before something else goes horribly wrong.
"Link is absent. It is a what-if cautionary tale to the world of the audience (like Ikana was to the rest of Termina) telling of Termina's fate without the intervention of a savior, a Deux Ex Machina in Hylian form." - "A Majora's Mask Opera" 3/22/12
What is it?
Majora is a fan-created opera based, as the name indicates, on The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. It first broke onto the scene in March of 2012, when the first demo was released (and was featured on Kotaku at that time).
Six more demos have since followed that original one, as well as frequent updates on the project. The songs of Majora are set to the actual soundtrack of Majora's Mask, but given lyrics, and sometimes combined into one number.
The biggest difference between the plot of Majora's Mask and Majora is that Link, the protagonist of the game who saves the land of Termina from disaster, is absent. Instead, the opera focuses on Kafei, the main character of one of the biggest and most memorable side quests in Zelda history.
Since the full opera has yet to be released (although progress does still seem to be moving forward at a slow but steady pace two full years later) I can only offer you the information which has so far been provided, but Kafei's story in Majora will take him along a similar journey to Link's in Majora's Mask.
The demos which have been released so far are:
- #1: Mayor's Council Room Fugato
- #2: Sakon's Arietta
- #3: Pamela's Arietta
- #4: Deku Palace Choir
- #5: Trio - Anju, the Postman, and Anju's Mother
- #6: Giant's Aria
- #7: Clock Town Choir & Kafei's Recitativo
Why should I care?
This is actually not the first time I've written about Majora, but I felt like highlighting it here on Fan Corner because it remains one of my favorite fan projects, and one of the few I'm still actively following.
The first reason you should care about Majora is that, as any Zelda fan will tell you, the Zelda series has some of the best music in all of gaming, and the fact that Majora is building upon that (and doing so well) should be reason enough to get you at least a little bit interested in the project.
It's also based on Majora's Mask, the very pinnacle of the series, and yet it's doing its own thing as well. The twist on the original story and the focus on the memorable characters of Kafei and Anju, provide a really interesting take (at least from what we've seen so far).
Honestly though, the primary reason you should care about this project is that what's been released so far has been really good. I like what spins they're putting on the story, and I've found the music really enjoyable thus far. The demos have ranged from creepy, to heartfelt, to grim, but they've all been pretty good so far. My personal favorites have been demos #1, #3, and #5.
Since this is still a work in progress, it's hard to tell you too much about this one beyond "I like what I've seen," but for what it's worth, I do really like what I've seen. Even if Majora never updated again (which I certainly hope won't be the case) what's out there now is definitely good enough to deserve your attention.
How familiar with the source material do I need to be?
I think for this one you'll probably want to have played the games going in, at least right now.
It's possible that if/when the full opera, or more of it, is completed, you'll be able to jump in without having even heard of Majora's Mask, especially since it's changing a pretty key part of the original story, but since it's currently only a series of demos, you'll probably get a lot more out of it if you're able to contextualize what's going on in a given demo within the context of the original game.
Fans of the series music will especially enjoy hearing a new take on some of those songs. If you're not a fan of the Zelda series, it might still be worth checking out the demos, but I doubt you'll be instantly sold on the premise like I was.
Where can I find it?
Majora's official wordpress blog, where you can get updates on new demos, Q&As, and just general information on the project can be found here. The youtube channel where the demos are posted can be found here. The most recent demo, #7, was released on January 2nd, 2014.