majora's mask

Theory Time: The ‘Other World’ In A Link Between Worlds is Termina

A Link Between Worlds, the upcoming Zelda title on Nintendo 3DS, has many similarities to its predecessor, A Link to the Past. From a similar name to a near identical Hyrule map, there’s a clear connection to the original SNES title. Even the evil Dark World is still present, but a close inspection of the hints we’ve seen in interviews, trailers, and screenshots suggest it may be more than it seems at first glance.

Be warned that this article will contain information that may be considered as spoilers.

hildaSomething that has struck me as odd for some time now is the way the Zelda team has addressed the Dark World this time around. Notably, they haven’t. In the vast majority of interviews, the Zelda team has been careful to avoid using the specific phrase ‘Dark World.’ Instead, they’ve been referring to it as the ‘Other World.’ Based on its appearance, interviewers have taken the liberty of dubbing it the Dark World, but Aonuma himself has not.

Also interesting is the fact that, unlike in A Link to the Past, the Other World has a full-fledged kingdom comparable to Hyrule. This is not consistent with what we know of the Dark World. In A Link to the Past the Dark World exists because the Sacred Realm has been tainted by evil.

In this corrupted Sacred Realm, all who enter are transformed into some sort of manifestation of what’s in their hearts. The only inhabitants of this Dark World are Ganon’s monsters and Hylians who have been transformed into some new form. There are no ‘normal’ people, and normality in the Dark World can only be achieved with the one-of-a-kind Moon Pearl.

Perhaps more interesting is the identity of these Other World inhabitants. Screenshots have revealed some new characters, including Hilda – a girl who appears to be a parallel version of Princess Zelda. Bearing similar physical appearance and name to Zelda, Hilda appears to be royalty, and has a staff with an upside down Triforce on it. There is also the mysterious villain-esque character who bears a strong resemblance to Ganondorf. Both of these characters appear to be Other World counterparts to the denizens of Hyrule.

kefkadorfThe idea of a parallel world with counterpart characters is, of course, nothing new to Zelda. This concept was the premise of Majora’s Mask and the land of Termina, which is where things start to get really interesting. A new key feature of A Link Between Worlds is Ravio’s Item Shop. Rather than collecting items in dungeons, players rent items from Ravio in order to allow for non-linearity in tackling dungeons.

When Ravio’s shop first appeared, it reminded many of the mysterious Happy Mask Salesman from Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. In the latest Nintendo Direct, new footage was shown for A Link Between Worlds, and if you look closely, you can see Majora’s Mask itself on display in Ravio’s Shop. This is especially interesting, because Happy Mask Salesman was the one who sought out the mask in the first place before it was stolen from him by the Skull Kid and taken to Termina. Is this a subtle cameo, or something deeper?

Along with having two worlds to explore, Eiji Aonuma has hinted that there will be a second, shadowy Triforce in A Link Between Worlds. This is also inconsistent with what we know of the Dark World in A Link to the Past, and Hylian lore in general. The quick conclusion would be that there is a ‘normal’ Triforce in the Light World, and a ‘shadowy’ Triforce in the Dark World, but based on what we know, that is impossible.

As we previously covered, the Dark World of A Link to the Past is actually the original resting place of the Triforce, the Sacred Realm. It merely changes itself to reflect the heart of the last person who touched it. It is not ‘shadowy’ by nature, nor is its Triforce. It doesn’t make sense for the Sacred Realm and Hyrule to have separate Triforces, but it’s possible that a parallel world like Termina could have its own separate Triforce.

In fact, despite the fact that Termina has its own distinct lore separate from Hyrule, there are actually Triforce symbols in Termina. I’ve previously speculated that they learned of Hyrule’s Triforce at some point, but it’s equally possible that Termina has its own Triforce – the shadowy Triforce.

triforce in terminaThroughout Hylian history, the Triforce has been both prominent and forgotten. In many of the games we hear of (or participate in) wars over the sacred relic, but in other games (such as Minish Cap and Four Swords Adventures) it is never mentioned by name, and we only see depictions of it. Just as Hyrule has forgotten of the Triforce at times, it’s possible that Majora’s Mask took place during an era in Termina’s history where the shadowy Triforce had simply passed into legend.

So if the Other World is not the Dark World, why does it look so much like it? You have to keep in mind that Ganon failed at his mission in A Link to the Past. He wished for the world, but because he was trapped inside the Sacred Realm that wish was only granted inside the Sacred Realm. This resulted in the creation of the Dark World. Had Ganon successfully broken the seal and made his triumphant return to Hyrule, he would have transformed it into the same dark and twisted place that the Dark World had become.

If the Ganondorf-esque character we saw in the official artwork got his hands on the shadowy Triforce, it’s likely that he spread darkness over the land. This would explain why the Other World bears such a close resemblance to the corrupted Sacred Realm, but does not transform people like the Sacred Realm does.

According to IGN, as of last summer the Zelda team was still debating whether they should do a Majora’s Mask remake or a spiritual successor to A Link to the Past. Is it possible that they settled for a little bit of both? There’s certainly some evidence of that potential, but it almost seems too good to be true.

More Zelda Theories

  • James

    I said something like this a while back.

    I think it’s more of a parallel world. There are light/dark versions of every character and such.

  • Caleb Penner

    I always thought it would be interesting to know what happened in the timeline where link didn’t save termina. It Presumably was crushed by the moon.

    • Erimgard

      It’s possible Skull Kid never got Majora’s Mask in the first place.

    • perfectlyreasonabletoo

      Good riddance. What a crappy game.

      • Caleb Penner

        It’s ironic because his name has “Perfectlyreasonable” in it. Seriously, what’s wrong with MM? All the characters have their own stories, it has brilliant music *Cough*stonetowertemple*cough* and the best swimming controls EVER (Zora Mask). If you’re gonna say a game is horrible, give a reason.

        • Kosse Moore

          Majora’s Mask is a pretty terrible game from a design stand point overall. I have so many reason as to why majora’s was a horrible game.
          Heres a few.
          -The constant change of gameplay via the mask, causes many problems for the overall design.
          -the 3 days limit ruins any sense of adventure you get out of your typical zelda titles.
          -The controls are abysmal.
          -The game play for Link’s various transformations are wonky.
          -The story pretty much contradicts many things that happened in ocarina of time.
          -The only good thing i can say about it was that the music was pretty awesome, and the falling moon concept looks cool from an artistic stand point.
          But to be honest after playing all of the the Legend of Zelda games and comparing them to majora’s mask. Im sorry but majora’s mask is the worst game in the whole franchise. I can back myself by proving it through the sales of the game. And its the most hated game in the whole franchise by fans. Its only been recently that majora’s mask even got much of a following. And the following is louder than it is large.

          • Caleb Penner

            -The constant change of gameplay via the mask, causes many problems for the overall design.

            The controls aren’t difficult to grasp, and once you’ve gotten it down, changing doesn’t feel awkward.

            -the 3 days limit ruins any sense of adventure you get out of your typical zelda titles.

            It does get rid of the great adventure feel, but it replaces it with a eerier atypical feel that is new and refreshing to the zelda series.

            -The controls are abysmal.

            It’s pretty much like OoT, and you seem fine with that.

            -The game play for Link’s various transformations are wonky.

            The goron punch is awkward, but you don’t tend to use the Goron form in combat situations, the Deku masks flying was tricky, and the bubbles were practically useless, so I’ll give you that. and as I said above: “and the best swimming controls EVER (Zora Mask)”

            -The story pretty much contradicts many things that happened in ocarina of time.


    • Lanayru

      I do believe something like that is interesting, and they perhaps rebuilt you know.

  • zdog

    Great piece Ben! Hadn’t thought about that, but it really makes sense!

    • Erimgard

      Thanks! I appreciate it.

    • cognitofalcon

      Lol, Ben didn’t drown?

  • The Satellite

    This is a very compelling theory, and now I’m kind of hoping that this is the case. Of course, there’s the whole upside-down Triforce on Demise’s sword, and I know some were hoping this game would hopefully shed some light on that, but then… what if Demise originated from Termina? Man, I love theories, it makes speculating fun, but whatever the cases of this second world and shadowy Triforce turn out to be, I’m sure it will be an enjoyable game and storyline.

  • EzikielofHyrule

    I think this is a great theory and would show extremely good design on Nintendos part, but I doubt its right. I would really like it to be the case though, cause it would make for and interesting twist

    • EzikielofHyrule

      I actually just found some evidence that may debunk the theory. While both games are on a seperate timeline, Alttp being on the Link defeated timeline and WW being on the Ganon defeated timeline It would still be possible. The only problem is that MM events take place directly after the events of OoT, where the events of AlttP take place long after the events of OoT(the dark wars happened), making ALBW much much longer after the events of MM. This submits a problem because in the trailer we see MM unpainted, and presumably unfinished. Which means the only way it could be Temina is if after MM was destroyed the dark tribe was revived and MM was started to be made again, but then why would it be in the hands of the shop keeper?

      • Erimgard

        I don’t believe it’s supposed to look unfinished/unpainted in that footage. It’s just an odd angle.

        I appreciate the feedback though! I’m in the same boat with you, actually. I’m not 100% sold on the theory myself, but there’s enough hints here and there that it’s a possibility, and I think it would be really cool if it is true.

        • EzikielofHyrule

          Oh yah, I think you’re right I can see the slight differences in shades. I still dont think its Termina, just because of the major time difference and the fact that as far as we know the area is near identical to Hyrule. But yah know that I looked at it again, it seems more likely

  • K2L

    Unlikely. Completely unlikely

  • diabloaura

    If Termina is anti-hyrule, that means Ganondorf should be a good guy, not “Villain-esque”.

    • Juan Carlos Fornelli

      Not really. People in Termina weren’t ‘anti-hyrule’ people. I suppose you could think of it as similar to placing an individual in a different scenario and let them develop on their own. For example, some of Majora’s NPCs are similar to the ones in Ocarina’s but they have other jobs. Some others ended up a much similar way than they were in Ocarina. Ganondorf in Termina could very well be evil, if anything, with other motivations or backstory.

      • Jacob Lake

        Link’s counterpart was bad. Fierce deity.

        • Christian

          The Fierce Diety wasn’t Link’s counterpart at all, it was just the spirit of a crazy powerful god trapped inside of a mask.

          • Jacob Lake

            Except you are wrong.

            • Bobby Coghlan

              no he isnt

              • Jacob Lake

                About it not being link’s counterpart, he is. About it being a mask no.

                • Christian

                  The mask housed the spirit of an insanely destructive deity.
                  Link puts on the mask.
                  The spirit possesses him.

                  100% NOT his “counterpart”. They are in no way related. Do you mean to say that this Fierce Deity is Link’s Termina equivalent? There’s literally nothing to support this; it’s made very clear in-game that the deity in the mask is… just a deity. Nothing Link-based in the slightest. The Fierce Deity we see in game is the Deity manifested through Link: believe it or not, the real Deity would look waaaaay different.

                  …Now I really want a Zelda game with the ACTUAL Fierce Diety as the final boss… That would be crazy!!

                  • Bobby Coghlan

                    It would be a good idea

  • Brian E. Scheid

    Courtesy of Jackson:
    Okay that title screams “Let’s draw in the fucking Zelda crowd with some bullshit article”
    Time to publish “Wind Waker HD is actually in the child timeline.”

    Sorry, Ben, but I gotta agree with Jackson on this one. Plus part of me doesn’t want Termina to exist outside of Majora’s Mask. Plus, wasn’t Majora’s Mask a cameo in The Wind Waker?

    • Erimgard

      Is anything I wrote factually inaccurate?

      Even if not Termina proper, what we’ve seen of the Other World so far (again, no one on the Zelda staff is calling it the Dark World) is not consistent with what we’ve seen of the Dark World. It’s more consistent of a parallel world than the Sacred Realm.

      • Brian E. Scheid

        As I recall he did say it was a Dark World, but not the same from ALttP. Not to mention that the main doubt I have with it being Termina is how dry and dead the greenery is. While Termina had lush green grass, The other world in ALBW features dead beige grass with purple bushes. You might try to write it off as regional differences, but I don’t see why that would be when Holodrum and Labrynna featured no such regional differences in comparison to Hyrule. The color scheme is the same as the LttP Dark World. It’s clearly a Dark World, but Termina is far from a Dark World. As far as I’m concerned, you’re just as right in saying the other world is Termina as saying the other world in ALBW is the Twili Realm or Subrosia. In the end we’ll just have to play the game and find out. I just don’t want it to end in a fashion where this world disappears at the end of the game.

        • Erimgard

          Covered in the article. If the world was overrun by the counterpart Ganon, of course it’s going to look dark.

          And you recall incorrectly.

  • Cybrus

    I am 100% confident that the “Other World” is NOT Termina. I agree with the theory that it’s going to be a parallel world, but that does not mean it’s going to be Termina. Termina was a one game location. We will never see Termina again unless they do a remake..and I’m still hoping against that.

    • Jacob Lake

      Why would we never see it again? That’s like saying we’ll never see a certain character again because they were seen only in one game. (Demise)

  • TheShadwofChaos

    I just noticed the eyes on Majora’s MAsk, and the female Gannon’s eyes are very similar in shape and angle. I’m thinking this one is more just coincidence though.

    • TUbEStAR

      How cool would it be if it turns out that you’re right about the resemblance? I’d love to see more connections to Termina and MM in future Zelda games.

  • Lynn Turner

    I think it is possible that the “other world” is actually not the dark world and is another world entirely (which is probably what the article was saying). I don’t see how it could be connected to Termina, but I’m open to anything. We won’t know for sure until the game comes out.

  • Ong Yu Hann

    I don’t know if there’s one thing that they didn’t take into account, but MM and LTTP are on different timelines. This means that Link never went to Termina. It’s possible that either:
    1)the anti-thesis of the goddesses in hyrule were the ones who saved Termina, causing them and their shadow triforce to be worshipped in place of the giants.
    2)The HMS never took Majora’s Mask, which may explain why it ended up in Ravio’s shop. Of course, this means Skullkid never stole the mask.

    If hyrule could be influenced by split timelines, why not termina? Surely Termina existed during the events of OoT, it just wasn’t accessible from Hyrule.

    • TheShadwofChaos

      To counter this, I liked to believe that Termina was an alternate twisted world created by the power of Majora, all to taunt link, and for the skullkid to have his fun. I know this isn’t exactly plausable due to certain things like the Skullkid having lived previously in Termina, but it does explain why everyone looks like people Link encountered in the past.

      • Christian

        …Link doesn’t enter Termina until after the Skull Kid curses him.

        Holy shit, this theory might be golden.

  • Truth

    i think it’s safe to say it’s not termina. they don’t look alike at all.

    • Christian George Lucas Pye

      From what we can see now. The game is still in development remember

      • Mania

        They revealed the entire overworld and it releases next month. It’s safe to say its pretty much done.

        • Erimgard

          They revealed the entire Light World, not the Other World.
          And to be perfectly honest, geography has never, ever been consistent in Zelda. The Zelda team is perfectly happy re-arranging how Hyrule looks if it fits their gameplay or storyline purposes.

  • Jacob Lake

    What if that evil clown person IS Majora? Colour, eyes, etc similar.

  • JDUDE321

    Seeing as Link is defeated and thus never saves Termina from moon-crushing in ALBW’s timeline, perhaps this could be a post-apocalyptic Termina, explaining the darkness and barrenness that’s been seen in this otther world so far.

  • Kevin Sutherburg

    So we have Zelda who has been in the series since forever, and now we have a Dark World counterpart named Hilda? …if there’s a character named Sabrina in this I’m going to flip my shit…

  • George Costas

    Just like Termina might be the Ocean King World?

  • Kosse Moore

    Guys this isn’t termina, for one they are calling it “Lorule” And its more plausible to say this is in the dark world from the original a link to the past.

    • Erimgard

      This article was written before the “Lorule” reveal.
      It’s very much NOT plausible to say it’s the original Dark World, because the developers have flat out said it is not.

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  • Jose Vera

    I have a theory: Ganon’s mother…

  • Bokumetsu Burade

    I just wanna point out that a link between worlds starts you out in Links room with Majora’s Mask on the wall. It’s got no connection to the character who opens shop later as it was there before he arrived.

  • Guest

    they dont have a shadowy triforce. They dont have a triforce at all, it was destroyed by the seven sages, while in hyrule the triforce was sealed. The majoras mask appears there before ravio is there. and also, ravio sets shop in your house. link had the mask hanging there already. Yuga (thats the character who looks like ganon) doesnt steal the triforce. Also, it is possible that it has seperate triforces, as its in the GAME. and why would it be impossible? Hyrule and Lorule (the “other” world, not termina) are practically parallel universes. The majoras mask is just an appearance. Of course, how will you know this? You probably didn’t play the game yet as it didn’t come out when you wrote this (at least im pretty sure). Sorry I had to shoot this down to hell, but i felt that I had to, as I already finished the game.