Thoughts on Ember Lab’s “Majora’s Mask – Terrible Fate”

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I had seen this video among my Youtube recommendations a few times in the last couple days, but I didn’t pay too much mind to it. While the thumbnail is definitely enough to draw my attention, the title didn’t really give me enough to consider giving it a view. It wasn’t until a recommendation from Lyle McDouchebag, who is typically pretty cynical about everything, that I decided to give it a try. If my writing this post is any indication, it did enough for me to urge writing about it.

I’m not usually prone to writing about short videos on Youtube, but if Porter Robinson’s “Shelter” can receive the amount of attention it does for showcasing a story inside a six-minute music video, then so can Emberlab’s four-minute fan video concerning The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. The video in particular is Emberlab’s take at the origins of Majora’s Mask‘s story, where the Skull Kid comes across Majora’s Mask from the Happy Mask Salesman. Story-wise, they don’t add much, simply taking the premise that Majora’s Mask provides and fills in the blanks a tad. The major appeal to a project like this is the height at which they can provide for what they’re given. They pass with flying colors. And shadows.

What anyone and their grandmother can note immediately with this project is that the animation and design is phenomenalTerrible Fate genuinely looks like a major-motion picture animated by DreamWorks or something. Its short runtime gives it more of a trailer feel than a full-fledged story, but given their small sample size, they did what they felt was appropriate and rolled with it. The emphasis of lighting, mist, and subtle facial/bodily gestures tells more of a story than endless exposition ever could. That doesn’t stop them from adding a little vague exposition, but I digress….

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Even more than the animation itself, the design of every detail is incredibly faithful to the original source, which is sure to please fans of the game. Seeing the Skull Kid, the fairies, and the Happy Mask Salesman (and especially Majora’s Mask) brought to life in this crisp, HD, current-age animation is so stimulating to the inner Nintendo nerd that one can’t help but feel immersed. It evokes a lot of the same magic that one might’ve felt playing the game for themselves, with the oodles of deliciously dark imagery and themes present along the way.

If there’s one thing I feel comfortable criticizing about the short, it’s the voice acting. It feels a little… cheap. Like it was shoehorned in for the sake of checking off the cliché of having an ominous giggle to foreshadow a, ahem, terrible fate. Not just that, but the voice in general (while befittingly Asian) feels a little disjointed. This becomes all the more apparent from their attempt at a mischievously sinister giggle. It was the only point of the video that made me cringe a tad. I would have preferred if the entire video was devoid of speech, kind of in the sense of most Legend of Zelda titles.

If you love the Legend of Zelda franchise, Majora’s Mask specifically, or just want to see a group of people’s love and care put into a four-minute video, this video is for you. If not, one won’t find much with its short runtime. Almost like Pokemon Origins (Or basically anything nowadays), it’s dedicated to the fans with a nostalgic backing, revised to include or remove something or another. For what it’s worth, it’s an intriguing view of what Majora’s Mask could be should it be adapted to film. Otherwise, it’s Nintendo fan service by dedicated Nintendo fans.

Should anyone be interested, I will provide a link to the video.

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