Today marks the 13th anniversary of the release of The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask in North America. In a future article, I'll talk about the game itself. For this article, however, being so close to Halloween, I'll talk about an urban legend that I recently stumbled upon.
Apparently, some kid was handed a copy of the cartridge that had no sticker. It just had "MAJORA" written with marker on it. The kid put it in his Nintendo 64 and played it. He saw a save file that read BEN, so he deleted it and played the game. This kid performed the "fourth day" glitch, where you go to the observatory right as the final timer is about to hit 0:00:00, then talk to the astronomer and look through the telescope. You then move on to the fourth day, averting the moon crashing down. That's when the weirdness occured.
Majora's Mask is already one of the darker entries in the Zelda franchise this side of Twilight Princess, with Link racing against the clock to save the world of Termina from impending doom. If you can get it done right, the game will make the player think it's haunted. Link walking around like his back is broken, characters appearing where they should not be, Link spontaneously bursting into flames, this should not happen in the normal game...right? Not to mention save files reappearing, or new ones spawning on their own with names like DROWNED and YOURTURN. What is going on here?
Glitches do happen from time to time. I remember a glitch that prevented me from playing Duck Hunt one day. After fighting my NES to finally get the game running, Duck Hunt ran with flickering bits on the screen. The dog walked his normal route, then turned around, walked the other way, then teleported to the middle, buried hip deep in the ground, and laughed at me, before the game crashed. My NES wouldn't work again that day, and it was a struggle to get it to work just to play a few levels of Mario 3 before crashing again. Cartridges have trouble working when they're in dusty area's, and my grandma's basement was pretty dusty.
Plus, the Nintendo 64 at it's heart is a computer. Nothing more. It only processes the data stored in cartridges. So if someone were to reprogram the game, burn the ROM into the cartridge, making a copy of Majora's Mask that runs wonky all the time, there's your Haunted Majora.
Sometimes I wonder if all of these Haunted Majora stories make it back to Nintendo.