“Haven’t you begun to understand? The kingdom being ruined and us left in this state… Isn’t it petty, little battles like this that have caused it? Believing in your friends and embracing that belief by forgiving failure… These feelings have vanished from our hearts.” — King Igos du Ikana, Majora’s Mask
As Link journeys through the Kingdom of Ikana in Majora’s Mask he witnesses first-hand the barrenness caused by rifts in friendships. He observes the devastation left by those who never forgive and seek only for revenge. Link listens to the above words of King Igos du Ikana and learns the power of embracing friendships instead of destroying them.
While his two lackeys pettily argue over who once was the best swordsman in the kingdom, King Ikana cautions Link to never lose trust in his friends. Speaking from his own experience the King counsels Link to always forgive his friends and to never desert them, a message further driven home through the story of the lonely Skull Kid.
Tatl tells Link that when she and her brother Tael met the Skull Kid “he told us that he had been fighting with his friends and that they had left him alone.” Through the usage of the All-Night Mask, Link can learn the full story from Anju’s Grandmother.
The tale reveals that the Skull Kid’s friends were the Four Giants. Following the creation of Termina the Giants went their separate ways to rest; only to awaken if the people needed their help. Thus it was that the Skull Kid felt abandoned and alone.
The lonely Skull Kid lashed out at Termina and its people who had no option but to cry out to the Giants for help. Responding to the pleas of the people the Guardians had no choice but to banish Skull Kid from Termina. It was then, at his lowest and loneliest, that he met Tatl and Tael. It was then that he committed his most heinous act in stealing Majora’s Mask.
With the power of the mask the Skull Kid returned to Termina to exact his catastrophic revenge. He would seek to use the moon to turn the whole world into a wasteland even more lifeless than Ikana. In the despair of loneliness all it took was a glimpse of power for Skull Kid to turn to revenge, never once thinking of forgiveness.
Skull Kid succumbs to the pettiness that reduced the once great Kingdom of Ikana to nothing. Belief in his friends had completely vanished from his heart and so he was an easy prey for Majora. The Skull Kid simultaneously hides behind Majora’s Mask while also becoming its prisoner; however, to Link the imp simply becomes the villain that must be stopped.
Link sees only single-mindedly. He sees the threat and must act to stop it. The friend that he once made in the Lost Woods through Saria’s Song in Ocarina of Time is long forgotten. All Link sees is the corrupted villain who must be overcome.
In order to stop the Armageddon-scenario from coming to fruition Link seeks to free the Four Giants who have been imprisoned by the power of Majora. With his mind set solely on defeating the renegade imp, the words of one of the Giants comes as a surprise to him.
This Terminian Guardian is not interested in defeating the Skull Kid, nor is it at this stage even interested in stopping the catastrophe. Three simple words are uttered by the Giant; the three words that Link needed to hear most: “forgive your friend.”
Already the Giants had forgiven their friend and pitied what Majora was turning the Skull Kid into. They were sorry for him and understood his actions. They may have disliked the Skull Kid’s choices, but they had never hated him. These words from the Giant reorients Link’s quest from the goal of defeating Skull Kid to the goal of saving the friend he once made in the woods.
Although the Giants had been forced to banish the Skull Kid to protect their world, they still had not forgotten him. Even when they were no longer physically present and went to rest they still remained the Skull Kid’s friends. It is just as Kaepora Gaebora puts it, in that those who are true friends “transcend space and time to become friends for eternity.”
Genuine friendships are not swayed by human failings and mistakes. They are not defined by disputes and disagreements. Allowing such fickleness to tear apart friendships ruins lives, destroys kingdoms and can turn whole worlds to naught. True friendship is about forgiveness and never forgetting one another even when separated by time and space.
We can be left mourning our losses like in Ikana or we can embrace our relationships. We can let petty battles tear our lives apart or we can embrace forgiveness. Either we live in a barren wasteland or we can believe in our friends.
“You guys… You hadn’t forgotten about me? You still thought of me as a friend? Did you… Did you save me? I thought they didn’t want to be friends with me… But… They hadn’t forgotten about me… Friends are a nice thing to have… Heh, heh. Could you be my friend, too?” — Skull Kid, Majora’s Mask
Dathen Boccabella was a lead writer for Zelda Informer from February 2009 to February 2012. He now writes for the major sports-news website The Bleacher Report while studying a double degree in Media & Communications and History.
Stay tuned at Zelda Informer over January and February for Dathen’s weekly Friday night Legend of Zelda inspirational column.
To keep up to date with all of Dathen’s work you can now follow him on Twitter @dathboc where he’ll be giving away your choice of a free Wii or Wii U game at 1000 followers.