Time’s End

timesend_majora

Here we are at the end, I guess. EDIT: There was a link to a Majora’s Mask-themed countdown here but the website went offline immediately after it hit 0, so I’ve removed the link.

Honestly, I sort of forgot tomorrow was the end of the world until a friend linked me to that countdown. It’s mostly been a laugh whenever someone brings up the whole Mayan calendar thing, but for some reason, tying it to Majora’s Mask is the first time the supposed end of the world has actually been unnerving, the first time it’s had some weight to it.

All of us who’ve played Majora’s Mask have faced the end of the world already. We’ve faced it more than once, in fact. I’m curious, though — did we learn anything from it?

The expected set of adjectives comes to mind: watching the game’s characters and its world meet their end was painful, terrifying, tragic. It was also beautiful, in a bittersweet way, because what Majora’s Mask is really about is finding some measure of happiness for the people of Clocktown in those final days. For all its typical Zelda adventuring and dungeon-diving, the heart of the game, for me, was always that. You spend the three days leading up to the apocalypse learning as much as you can about the inhabitants of the town, unraveling their stories, and trying to make them happy, even if it’s only for a few moments before the moon comes crashing down.

The result is both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. It always had a profound effect on me, that duality, even in my early teens when I first played the game. Majora’s Mask, I think, is a metaphor for the impermanence of happiness. Even when the world isn’t ending, happiness is always fleeting. That’s what makes it beautiful.

So, here we are in the real world, and what if the metaphorical moon really was about to come down? What if this really was the end? How would you feel about the life you’ve lived?

I can tell you I wouldn’t be satisfied with the state of things when I checked out. I have too many projects left to finish. Too many stories left to hear. Too many people I wish I had spent more time with, and who I should have told mean the world to me.

And I need to hurry up and get on top that stuff.

If I learned anything from Majora’s Mask, that’s it right there.

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