Perhaps one of the biggest mysteries of the Zelda franchise is the Fierce Deity, from Majora’s Mask. In-game, it’s just a mask that is extremely powerful and is used to defeat Majora with ease. However, from a story context, there is a lot of unexplained narrative. YouTuber and theorist GameOverJesse has this covered. Jesse postulates that the Fierce Deity may be Link’s counterpart in Termina, much like Ravio. However, whereas Link is described as heroic and brave, it’s possible the Fierce Deity may have been blinded by his ego and thus sealed away. Ravio is Lorule’s counterpart, but is also rather cowardly. It is entirely possible that the Fierce Deity may have been quite different from Link.

Personally, I’ve always held that the Fierce Deity was a war god of Termina. Given that his fighting style is extremely quick and brutal, and seeing just how fast he can put an end to Majora, it makes sense. I admit the possibility of him being a fallen hero, one who demanded political power or title is interesting.

What do you think of the theory? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Leonard Norwood Jr.

    With all these theories about Fierce Deity Link. I did one time think about one theory that was based of the Majora’s Mask manga. There’s a chapter about Majora when he was a dragon, he met a man that had a striking appearance of Link as an adult. This man play music for the dragon and dance for days and nights until he died, to which this guy carved out a mask out of Majora’s body, I think his scales or something from his husk to seal his powers away. I thought that was an interesting theory that Fierce Diety was from that man who sealed Majora’s power away into a mask. But there are many theories that people think about. We all know what Fierce Diety Link is capable of, and there’s no telling if he was an anti-hero of the sort, because he only appeared to only strike down Majora’s Mask, ending his threat on Termina for good. I do understand that all those theories are there to find answers to questions that we want to know about Fierce Deity Link and anything out there in the Zelda world.

  • Mark Cochrane

    Given that Hyrule Encyclopedia has confirmed that Termina was just a creation of the mask based on Skull Kid’s memories and emotional issues, I think we can safely disregard this theory. Skull Kid would only make Link’s counterpart a god if he saw Link as a god, and why would he do that? He isn’t even known to be the Hero in this timeline. It’s more likely that the Fierce Deity comes either from Majora or from Link….or both.

    If it’s Majora, then it might be the case that Majora sees what Link has been able to achieve and thinks that he must be some kind of god; Majora creates the Fierce Deity’s Mask as what he thinks Link’s “true face” really is and proceeds to get his head kicked in. It could also be that the Fierce Deity is Majora projecting some past foe onto Link, though these two possibilities are not mutually exclusive.

    If it’s Link, then it could be a lot of things. How Link sees his adult self, how Link wants to be seen by others, the Spirit of the Hero made manifest…..my personal favorite is that the Fierce Deity is actually Link’s divine predecessor in the same way that Hylia is Zelda’s divine predecessor.

    • Jesiah Grant

      If Termina is supposed to be a dream world and not an alternate reality like its stated in Hyrule Enclyclopedia, Is it safe to assume Majoras Mask is of Hyrule, or one of its neighboring countries? Still find it weird that its eyes kind of resembles the fused shadows eyes.

      • Mark Cochrane

        I don’t think of Termina being a “dream world” so much as an “alternate reality created by Majora”, but yeah, the mask is almost certainly from Hyrule or a neighboring country.

        Also, there’s definitely a connection between Majora’s Mask and the Fused Shadow, but it’s a dinosaur/bird thing. The people who made the Fused Shadow are related to the people who made Majora’s Mask, but saying they’re the same people is like calling a chicken a t-rex.

        • Jesiah Grant

          What ever it was when Majora created, it vanished once its power left the mask right? Man they need to localise the Hyrule Encyclopedia pronto, I’ve wanted something like that since I was a kid. Hyrule Historia was but a taste.

          Both Twilight Princess and Majoras Mask have so many connections, whether its the heros shade being the hero of time or the heros shade teaching you the song of healing and he gorons lullaby from majoras mask the fused shadow and majoras mask perhaps originate from that same tribe who eventually became the twili? however interlopers seem to have been banished by the goddesses closer to when the triforce was formed so i have no clue. Dammit i need that book, who knows what other lore goodies it has for us >_<

      • In the video, I use a quote from Aonuma, the creator of the game, where he mentions that Termina is a real location beside Hyrule. Also, you have to think. If Termina was created when the skull kid puts on the mask, how did the cutscenes exist where it shows the skull kid and the fairies in Termina field, they take place long before the happy mask salesman and link enter Termina.

        The book wasn’t written by Nintendo and even hyrule historia has had a few different errors and mistakes, this being one of them. Even the timeline that was “canon” in Hyrule Historia has now been changed by Nintendo.

        • Mark Cochrane

          Oh, Termina was real alright. The mask MADE it real. It’s not a dream world, it’s a parallel world created ex nihilo by a magical artifact of immense power using Skull Kid’s memories and emotional issues as a blueprint. That’s a very important distinction to make. As for the cut scenes, there’s nothing that says they didn’t take place in Hyrule and that what we see in the game is not merely copies of those key locations.

          By the way, there was only one developer quote in that video, and it said nothing about Termina being a real location.

        • Jesiah Grant

          Retcons happen all the time, its nothing new.

    • Tibari

      “Skull Kid would only make Link’s counterpart a god if he saw Link as a god, and why would he do that?”
      Because Link was Skull Kid’s only friend in Ocarina of Time?

      • Mark Cochrane

        I suppose that’s a good enough reason, but Skull Kid didn’t recognize Link as his old friend until after the final battle, and Majora was completely in control when you were handed the Fierce Deity’s Mask. Maybe Skull Kid and his friendship with Link somehow had something to do with it, but the big deciding factor was still Link and/or Majora.

        • Tibari

          Skull Kid didn’t recognize Link immediatly, maybe because Skull Kid was already controlled by the mask.
          When Link gets the Fierce Deity’s Mask, it’s only because of Majora indeed, since he wants to play.

          • In the video, I use a quote from Aonuma, the creator of the game, where he mentions that Termina is a real location beside Hyrule. Also, you have to think. If Termina was created when the skull kid puts on the mask, how did the cutscenes exist where it shows the skull kid and the fairies in Termina field, they take place long before the happy mask salesman and link enter Termina.

            The book wasn’t written by Nintendo and even hyrule historia has had a few different errors and mistakes, this being one of them. Even the timeline that was “canon” in Hyrule Historia has now been changed by Nintendo

    • Stan the Man

      I have also long thought the fierce deity to be Link’s original divine form.

    • I believe I recall reading somewhere that Aonuma viewed the fierce diety mask as a literal accumulation of Link’s good deeds towards the people of Termina. Which is why the mask resembles Link. It is straight up made for him, and didn’t have an existence before Link gives away his masks inside the moon.

      • Mark Cochrane

        Do you mean the interview where he says “The best I can give you is just a suggestion. The best way to think about it is that the memories of all the people of Termina are inside of the Fierce Deity Mask.”? I don’t recall an interview where it’s described as “a literal accumulation of Link’s good deeds towards the people of Termina”, though it is certainly a valid interpretation of the previous quote. In fact, it fits very well with what ‘Fierce Deity’ means in Buddhism; by collecting all of the good karma in Termina, Link is able to ascend to a higher state of being.

        • Yes, that is probably where I read it. I couldn’t remember it verbatum, so I wrote how I remember interpreting it. But that quote from the interview still kind of renders this video moot, doesn’t it? At least in regards to trying to decipher Aonuma’s head-cannon, as it goes against his own words.

          I haven’t read the Hyrule Encyclopedia, but if that is how it describes Termina, then it lends credence to Aonuma’s words. And it further makes sense of why it is Majora himself that grants Link the Fierce Diety mask. Since in this scenario, any good deeds done towards the people of Termina would indirectly be done towards Majora himself. (kind of)

  • K2L

    The Fierce Deity’s Mask is, simply put, the personification of the thoughts and memories of the people who were suffering in Termina. This was stated by Eiji Aonuma and is backed up by the game itself (Ikana Canyon’s Gossip Statue, remember?). You can keep regurgitating pointless theories if you want to pretend the game is some sort of metaphysical masterpiece, as long as that makes you feel happy. Me? I prefer to just look at the game as just that: A game. A very good one, but nothing else.

    • Are you saying a game can’t be art, it can only be a form of mindless entertainment?

      • K2L

        Not “mindless”, but I have a hard time looking at the game as something overly philosophical, or even philosophical at all. This isn’t Neon Genesis Evangelion or Metal Gear Solid 2

        • I see what you’re saying.
          But for my 2 cents, in defence of all games not just LoZ – I find it hard to separate games from the idea of art on so many levels. (sorry in advance for my overly long response, I got carried away and now I don’t want to delete what I’ve written)

          If its not ‘mindless’ then it must be somehow in some way evoking or stimulating the mind.
          If its not art but its not mindless then it would be the equivalent of a sudoku magazine. I think the fan-following the franchise inspires has to speak to the fact that its more than ‘just that’. Games deserve more respect for what they achieve.

          Building on that – Is a movie art?
          A large group of creatives worked together to make a story that is entertaining, exciting.
          Add to that some interactivity and you now have a game.
          Particularly Zelda often tries to change the way we interact and view ‘gaming entertainment’.
          Are games losing their ability to be viewed as art because we have to pay for them?

          When a story becomes interactive it becomes ‘a game’ and not art. And therefore has to immediately give up being viewed as a piece of art – its now just a consumable product.

          For my part at least, in so many ways, gaming takes art to a unique level that no other medium can match but its so often viewed as a lesser form of art.

          • K2L

            Make no mistake, video gaming is nowadays my number one medium of preference (and in the past I read many books and watched lots of TV, so that says a lot). And I do support the opinion that video games have deservedly earned the condition of “art”. Specifically, an interactive form of art. I have even played games that have further convinced me of that, such as Ocarina of Time, Okami, Banjo-Kazooie, most recently Etrian Odyssey, and so on.

            What I meant to say, was that Majora’s Mask is unlikely to have been designed with the idea of some extremely complex philosophical theme in mind. The game was made in only 18 months, way fewer than the months and years required to complete the development of the other 3D Zelda games (Wind Waker took slightly over two, Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess took four each, Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild took five each). They were more worried about polishing the compact-yet-dense software, since Miyamoto pressured them to have it ready as soon as possible (or else they would have to work upon Ura Zelda instead). The game DOES have some interesting meals for thought regarding the story, but apparently some people have extremely obsessed on looking at things that may not be there at all. When I think of the game, I think of the amazing gameplay features, the plentiful extra content and the colorful locations.

            Note that I also have this sentiment when analyzing books, movies and TV shows, not just video games. MANY people have spent too much time making up crackpot theories and doctorate-like essays about shows that are hardly meant to have any sort of phylosophical message. Those people seem to be happy by doing so, and I feel good for them. I just don’t do it myself, because I don’t really need to look too hard into stuff just to make them more enjoyable.

          • Mostly I have to agree with what you’re saying but there is one small counterpoint to be made.

            Sometimes an art-form can take on an unintentional meaning but the meaning carries no less weight.
            That comes from there being 2 intended main parties in the interaction of creating art.
            The artist – creates the piece with their message in mind (or sometimes no intended message as you point out). They knows what it means in their mind. But they also know and hope, that when they put something out, it will be received by so many different people all coming from a different life, and therefore vantage-point on the art.
            That viewer is not spoon-fed the message. So even if there is an intended message or not, the art may take on meaning something completely different to every person who sees it.
            Though the story remains the same for MM for everyone who plays it, the interpretation of that is what makes it so complex.

    • Thomas Foolery

      What’s funny is that ZI posted an article about that after Ainuma said it. There really is no point to this article or GameOverJesse’s video.

  • Robert Shepard

    I dont know about any of that, but Ganondorf is the Dream Daddy we all need. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/666efa647c45234e74f7e57203451dab91fa20f291b5c668c4cefec763ce9ac9.jpg

  • V_s

    Fierce Deity being Link’s counterpart doesn’t make sense if you take the instruction booklet or anything that has ever been said out-of-game by Aonuma or Nintendo seriously. The instruction booklet told us that the people in Termina aren’t supposed to be counterparts/doppelgangers of people from Hyrule. They only look “sort of” similar to people that Link knew in Hyrule when he looks at them “at first glance”. So the notion of Termina having doppelgangers to the extent of Ravio and Hilda doesn’t really make sense or at least was never intended to be the case. Couple that with the fact that Aonuma said Termina is a nearby land to Hyrule, and the fact that Hyrule Encyclopedia said the events of MM are a dream (feel free to pick and choose which of those, if not both, you want to subscribe to), and we’ve got even less reason to believe the FD is a parallel universe doppelganger. And then on top of that Aonuma mentioned in an interview what the origins of the Fierce Deity truly are, as has already been mentioned in this comment thread.

    So the only way the premise of this theory survives is if the instruction booklet and all out-of-game content are non-canon. And I definitely sympathize with the idea that we need to keep a short leash on the hold that out-of-game content has over the games, but the instruction booklet is virtually synonymous with the game itself, so I don’t feel comfortable treating it as possibly-lesser-canon out-of-game content.

    • Thomas Foolery

      Hyrule Encyclopedia is fan theories made by a fan magazine. The book even has a disclaimer that they are only Nintendo Dream’s interpretations of the games, not Nintendo’s.

      • V_s

        And Hyrule Historia had a disclaimer saying that it was only the current interpretations of the people of Hyrule. (It doesn’t even credit anyone from Nintendo as the actual editor. Aonuma was a supervising editor, but all of the actual editors and contributors don’t seem to work for Nintendo as far as Google can tell me.)

        Hyrule Encyclopedia was signed off on by Nintendo and published by Nintendo. So either both Hyrule Encyclopedia and Hyrule Historia are less canon than what’s in the games (which is what makes the most sense to me), they’re both entirely non-canon, or they’re both canon except where the two contradict one another (and if that’s what you choose to believe, I’ll let you decide where you draw the line between which is the controlling book and why).

        • Thomas Foolery

          Whether or not Historia actually has that disclaimer (I have the book and don’t recall anything like that in it), that doesn’t change the fact that Encyclopedia is pure fanmade material. The only thing Nintendo themselves had to do with it was supplying them with the new concept art they never released before. Unlike the people of Hyrule, Nintendo Dream’s staff are actually real people so I’d imagine them saying “hey don’t take our fanon seriously guys” holds more weight.

          If you want to take Encyclopedia as canon than you might as well wonder what’s even the point then. What’s the point of even having any Zelda timeline or lore discussions when some group of fans can publish a book and change a lot of it on a whim? The next fan made book could claim that Wind Waker was all just a dream. Are you gonna want to discuss “what this could possibly mean” or rather would you feel the urge to call it what it is, stupid? It does nothing but cheapen the lore you all want to discuss and theorize on.

          • V_s

            I own Historia too, which is why I know it has that disclaimer.

            What’s the point of having any Zelda timeline or lore discussions when the guy who didn’t actually write the story or the dialogue of the games and who has said on the record that the story of the series confuses him and that he hasn’t beaten every Zelda game in the series has carte blanche to change his mind about what the story means on a whim?

            That’s why I’m saying that the games are the topmost level of canon, and everything outside of the games is less canon. If out-of-game content contradicts what’s in the games, we should ignore that out-of-game content regardless of where it comes from. But if it doesn’t contradict the games, and Nintendo has approved it, there’s no harm in treating it as credible until the next game comes out and proves it impossible.

          • Thomas Foolery

            Well Encyclopedia does contradict the game itself. Majora’s Mask’s manual calls it a parallel world and says nothing about it being a dream world. Honestly Encyclopedia was just trying to copy the twist in Link’s Awakening without realizing how silly it is for Majora’s Mask and how much it cheapens the game as a whole.

            I do agree that what we see in the games should be considered the highest form of canon though.

          • V_s

            Yeah, both Encyclopedia and Historia contradict several of the games. But I think it’s not too much to take both on a case-by-case basis, and consider the parts that don’t contradict the games as being potentially true.

          • Mark Cochrane

            I’m honestly not sure why everyone sees “Termina was based on Skull Kid’s memories of Hyrule” and starts screaming “dream world”. I’ll always see Termina as being as real as Hyrule, Lorule, etc, for those three days; if I build a house based on my memories of an old house, is the new house not real?

          • V_s

            Hyrule Encyclopedia apparently says that Termina ceased to exist once Link left the land. So if it was created by Skull Kid’s imagination and it disappeared after the events of the game were over, that makes it about as good as a dream world.

            But of course the Skull Kid creating Termina doesn’t make sense given that we see him in Termina before he ever finds Majora’s Mask, and we see Link at the end of the game still carrying items he got from Termina after the power of Majora’s Mask has faded, so it’s really just a bad explanation that doesn’t work with the in-game evidence.

  • Thomas Foolery

    Aonuma has already explained what Fierce Deity Link is, and ZI even posted about it.

    What is the point of this?

    • I mean, not defending HE or anything but technically it’s at the very least ambiguously canon until Nintendo says it isn’t.

      • Thomas Foolery

        Nintendo doesn’t even really have to say anything since HE says it for them. Nintendo would just be repeating HE’s very own disclaimer.

        • True I guess.

          Though I do kinda like the idea of Oracles Link being his own incarnation, even though I simultaneously hate the idea of having anything established in HH being overruled.

    • Mark Cochrane

      Believe whatever you want to, but let me tell you this: if you take HE as canon and start theorizing about what that means for Termina, oh man, the rabbit holes you can go down….

      • Thomas Foolery

        Well, I don’t.

  • Happy Mask Collector

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    All you need to do is join the club here,
    https://m.facebook.com/groups/1522682788026117

    U just need to scroll down to the poll. Me and other members are keeping it bumped ATM!