Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Psychology of Majora's Mask: Character Profiles

Hello everyone and welcome back to The Psychology of Majora's Mask!  This is the second segment of these articles, with many to come!  The other articles can be found below:

Part One:  The Psychology of Clock Town

Part Three: Character Profiles - The Gorman Troupe

Part Four: Character Profiles - The Guards, Carpenters, and The Mayor

This is the start of the "Character Profiling" segments, and in each new installment we will focus on a few individual characters.  We will be following the characters around every second of every day, profiling their every move, phrase, and emotion.  Whenever their dialog changes I will talk to them with every mask and see if they react differently to different mask types.

In order to keep this in the most organized manner possible, I have decided to keep a very similar format structure to my original post that involved Clock Town itself, with some slight changes depending on the characters themselves.

Before we begin there are a few things I would like to cover to avoid confusion:


These articles are purely opinionated.  While I do come to my own educated conclusions about certain things, they are by no means fact, and I would love to hear any other conclusions that you guys may have come up with!  There is  possible segment that I will write later which involves all the things that you guys, the readers, have pointed out to me!  I am only one man, and my train of thought may be entirely different than yours, so I love seeing it from different perspectives.

In these articles I will be following around the said character for the entire three days of Majora's Mask, I will be talking to them at every given chance, but no one else during this process.  That being said, I am aware of some alternative endings to certain characters, but if they are activated by talking to another person, or by talking to people in a specific order, then I will not be covering them in the "character profiles" segments.  However, I am planning on doing a later segment on all alternative endings of characters, so do not fret, they will get covered eventually!


With that, lets get started shall we?

Today we will focus on the following characters:

The Postman

The Bombers

The Swordsman



The Postman

Day 1 (72 Hours Remain):

9:00 amAfter waiting outside the post office in West Clock Town for a few hours, the postman finally opens the door and leaves at 9' o clock sharp and heads directly into South Clock town.

9:15 amEnters South Clock Town.

9:30 amSlaps the mailbox that is located on the east end of South Clock Town.  Immediately after slapping it, he reaches in and grabs something.  It is safe to assume he is delivering and picking up mail.

9:45 amEnters North Clock Town.

10:00 amDelivers and checks for mail in the mailbox located in North Clock Town.  He then heads towards East Clock Town.

10:15 amEnters East Clock Town.

10:35 amChecks the mailbox in East Clock Town.  His speed then picks up as he heads southward.

10:50 amChecks the other mailbox in the south end of East Clock Town and heads towards South Clock Town.

11:15 amEnters South Clock Town.

11:30 amChecks the mailbox located at the South end of South Clock Town.  He then heads back towards West Clock Town, where he began is trek.

11:45 amEnters West Clock Town.  His speed picks up.

12:00 pmRetires back into the post office.

Side Note!
If you talk to the mailman at any time during his daily routine throughout the city, he will tell you that he doesn't have time to talk or else it will screw up his schedule.

The only exception to this rule is if you talk to him with Kafei's Mask, to which he responds "I don't know where he is.  Even if I knew, it would be a secret."


Analysis Report!

"Even if I knew, it would be a secret."  What I am gathering from this statement is that the postman does indeed know where Kafei is, and is doing a very poor job at trying to hide it.  If you don't know where someone is, then you certainly don't say "I don't know where he is", that is a dead giveaway that you do know.  It is almost as if talking to a child who is trying to keep a secret.

12:15 pmWe find him laying on his bed in the post office.  If talked to he says "according to my schedule, it is now my nap time.  If my schedule is disrupted by even a few seconds, letter delivery will be delayed... Public service is very hard."  We can see that he takes his job very seriously.

Talking to him with Kafei's Mask gets the same response as earlier.  All other masks get the default conversation.

On the walls of the post office we find a poster that reads:

"This Week's Schedule
Morning: Collection
Afternoon: Delivery
Evening: Practice
The Week's Motto: Don't slack off -- the heavens and the wife are watching.
                                                                          -- Mayor Dotour"

There is also a clock ticking on the wall, as well as a map of Clock Town with markers in the area's with mailboxes scattered throughout the room.

Talking to him with any mask but

1:00 pmWakes from his nap and leaves Post Office.  Begins heading towards South Clock Town.

1:15 pmEnters South Clock Town.

1:30 pmDoes not check mailbox in South Clock Town, continues towards East Clock Town.

1:45 pmEnters East Clock Town.

2:00 pmEnters the Stock Pot Inn.

2:05 pmHands letter to Anju, the receptionist at the Stock Pot Inn.

Upon handing Anju the letter, she seems shocked and asks him where he got this letter.  He tells he "from a mailbox."  When she asks him "from what mailbox?" He responds with "A mailbox somewhere."  Anju gets very frustrated as they continue to argue.

Analysis Report!
I once again find myself relating The Postman to a child.  The way he talks to Anju is very child-like.  When she asks him where he got the letter, his response "from a mailbox" is something that a child would say.  When he continues to say "from a mailbox somewhere", he is only showing even more child-like symptoms.  His answers are short and with little description.  What I am gathering from this is that he knows exactly where the letter came from, but was instructed not to tell.  The way that he then keeps the secret withheld is a very immature way to do so.

2:30 pmLeaves the Stock Pot Inn and heads back towards South Clock Town.

2:45 pmEnters South Clock Town and begins running faster.  Heads back towards West Clock Town.

3:00 pmEnters back into the Post Office.

Upon entering the post office behind him, we find his sitting on his bed and moving his arms as if he is running.

When spoken to, he tells you that you disrupted him while he was in the middle of his mental training.  He goes on to explain that his mental training is "running for ten seconds exactly, without looking at a clock".  He then offers for you to try it.

The first time he allows you to try it for free.  Any time after that he will only let you do it for 2 rupee's per try.

If you get it on the dot, you receive a piece of a heart from him.  All masks give the same conversation, however, if you're wearing the bunny hood, there will be a timer on the screen that will help aid you in getting the 10 seconds.

12:00 amThe postman trains for the rest of the day until he finally kicks you out at midnight.

Day 2 (48 Hours Remain):
9:00 amJust like the day before, the postman is out the door at 9 in the morning.  Once again heading towards South Clock Town

9:15 am: Enters South Clock Town

9:30 amChecks the mailbox in South Clocktown.  Once again heads towards North Clock Town.

9:45 am: Enters North Clock Town.

10:00 amChecks mailbox in North Clock Town.  Heads towards West Clock Town.

10:15 amEnters East Clock Town

10:35 amChecks first mailbox in East Clock Town.  Picks up speed and heads towards the second.

10:50 amChecks seconds mailbox in East Clock Town.  Heads towards South Clock Town.

11:15 amEnters South Clock Town.

11:30 amChecks the second mailbox in South Clock Town.  Heads for West Clock Town.

11:45 amEnters West Clock Town.  Picks up speed.

12:00 pmRetires into the Post Office just as he did the day before.

Upon entering the Post Office, we once again find him laying on the bed.  However, instead of telling us about how it is time for his afternoon nap he now says:

 "This is a problem... A real problem.  Not a single letter was mailed... What should I do this afternoon... I wish someone would tell me."

Analysis Report!
The postman talks about how not a single letter was mailed today.  This throws off his entire schedule because in the afternoon he usually delivers letters, this means that his afternoon part of the schedule is non-existent.  At first glance, this statement doesn't mean much, but if you look just a little deeper into his words, you can gather two things from them:

1.  Involving the postman's personality.  First off, we've seen him do his morning routine twice now.  Every time we talk to him it seems to be about his "schedule" or about his job in general.  In this statement, we see his schedule thrown into disarray, and without it he seems lost.  He even goes as far as to wish for someone to tell him what to do.  From this statement, it's easy to see that the postman is not a leader, but a follower.  In his case, it appears that he follows his schedule, and nothing but his schedule.  But even when his schedule is thrown out of whack, he still needs someone to tell him what to do, almost like a child would.  It's interesting that this is now the third time I have related the postman to a child.  I think it is safe to say that he is overall a very childish person.


2.  No letters are being mailed out.  So what does this mean?  From the sounds of it, he always has his schedule, and without it he is lost.  So why have no letter been mailed today of all days?  Because the villagers are leaving, of course!  With less and less villagers every day, this means less and less letters to be mailed.  While normally Majora is very up front and direct when it comes to harming others, he is actually indirectly hurting the postman.  Every single person in this town is affected by Majora in some way, and this is how the postman is affected by him.


After talking to him with every mask, he says the same thing with every one but the Kafei mask.  His response to the Kafei Mask is the same as it has always been.

3:00 pm: Kicks you out of the post office as it is closing time.

12:00 amAfter waiting outside his door for 9 hours, we finally see the postman leave.  And at midnight, no less, an odd time for a postman to be out and about.  He is heading for South Clock Town.

12:15 amEnters South Clock Town.

Upon talking to him he simply says "You're disrupting me!"

1:00 amChecks the mailbox at the South end of South Clock Town. Heads back towards West Clock Town.

1:45 am: Enters West Clock Town

2:00 amEnters the Post Office for the rest of the night.

Final Day (24 Hours Remain):

9:00 amDoor to the post office opens as always, and the postman steps out.  Heads for South Clock Town.

9:15 amEnters South Clock Town

9:30 amChecks first mailbox.  Heads for North Clock Town.

9:45 amEnters North Clock Town.

10:00 amChecks mailbox in North Clock Town.  Heads for East Clock Town.

10:15 amEnters East Clock Town.

10:35 amChecks first mailbox in East Clock Town.  Picks up speed.

10:50 am: Checks second mailbox in East Clock Town.  Heads for South Clock Town.

11:15 amEnters South Clock Town.

11:30 amChecks second mailbox in South Clock Town.  Heads for West Clock Town.

11:45 am: Enters West Clock Town.  Picks up speed.

12:00 pmEnters post office.

Upon entering the post office we find out a very interesting detail about the events that happened the night before:

"Last night, I wrote a letter to myself and deposited it in a post box... I just retrieved it.  This afternoon, I shall deliver that letter!  Hrr, hrr!"

Irony!
This is an event that is entirely built around irony.  On the first day, the postman only had one letter to deliver, and that was to Anju at the Stock Pot Inn.  The second day he got no letter, and was in a state of confusion because his schedule could not be completed.  Last night at midnight we saw him head to South Clock Town and deposit a letter into the mailbox there.

My first thought was that there was something fishy going on in Clock Town, but much to my surprise, it was quite the opposite.  The postman is so enthralled in this idea that everything must go "according to schedule" that, knowing he would yet again receive no letters to deliver, he made a letter of his own and deposited it into the mailbox so that this schedule of his was not ruined once again.  Come this afternoon, he will deliver the letter to himself, therefore keeping the schedule in place.  The irony of this one is quite simple, he wrote a letter to himself, to deliver to himself, to keep himself from straying from the schedule.  Quite a humorous event as well.


Character Development!

So here's the thing.  This little event that we just saw happen is one that is completely unnecessary.  The one and only point of this event is to add just that much more personality to the postman.  It shows us just what lengths he will go in order to stay on schedule, and it's amazing that the developers put this into the game.  Such a small, pointless event, but one that adds pounds of character to the postman.

1:00 pm: The postman leaves the post office and heads for South Clock Town at an extremely fast pace.

1:10 pmEnters South Clock Town.

1:25 pmTouches the first mailbox in South Clock Town, but does not stop and slap it like he usually does. He simply touches it very quickly and moves towards North Clock Town.

1:35 pmEnters North Clock Town.

1:45 pmTouches the mailbox in North Clock Town.  Heads for East Clock Town.

1:55 pm: Enters East Clock Town.

2:05 pmTouches first mailbox in East Clock Town.   Postman begins running faster than I've ever seen him, I have trouble keeping up.

2:15 pmTouches second mailbox in East Clock Town.  Heads for South Clock Town.

2:25 pm: Enters South Clock Town.

2:35 pmTouches second mailbox in South Clock Town.  Heads for West Clock Town.

2:45 pmEnters West Clock Town.  Once again begins running at an incredible speed.

3:00 pmEnters back into the post office.

Upon trying to open the door behind him, it refuses to let me in, saying that the Post Office closes at 3:00.

6:00 pmUpon nightfall I am able to open the door to the Post Office.

Inside, we see The Postman on his hands an knee's, obviously distressed.

"I want to flee, but it's not written on the schedule!  To me, the delivery schedule... It's the highest priority."

Irony!
Once again we find irony in The Postman's comments.  Just as we always have, we continue to see his dedication to the schedule.  But here, we see his dedication taken to a new level.  He doesn't want to stay and be killed by the moon, but his schedule doesn't tell him he can leave town, therefore he has to stay.  He has to stay for the schedule.  The irony here is that once the moon falls, there will be no schedule.  The schedule is why The Postman lives, and it will also be why he dies.

On the bed we find a letter that is written to The Postman, from himself.  It is safe to assume that it is the one he delivers last night.  It says:

"To myself,
You have been doing a great job delivering the mail.  I have a request for my hard working self.  All of the townsfolk have taken refuge.  I want myself to flee, too.  Even if it is not written on the schedule, I want myself to flee.  Please...
                                                              From Me"

Analysis Report!
Here we get yet another dose of personality from The Postman.  We see him at odd's with himself.  It's obvious he wants to leave.  He says he wants to leave.  In this letter that he wrote to himself, he is literally pleading with himself, "I want myself to flee.  Please...".  It's actually really sad when you sit down and think about it.  It's like he's trapped in a jail cell and even though the door is wide open, he can't leave.  No matter how badly he wants to, he cannot part ways from the schedule, because the schedule is always top priority.

The End (Zero Hours Remain):

And so The Postman dies with the rest of Clock Town.  As the moon comes crashing down onto Clock Town, he sits in the Post Office, having a battle of mentality with himself over whether or not he should leave, even thought it's not on the schedule.

"The schedule is why The Postman 
lives, and it is also why he dies"

So we've followed The Postman for three day's, what did we learn about him in this time?

- He is very childish, and has no real free will.

- Even in death, he will never stray from the schedule.

- If the schedule is ever disrupted, he acts like a lost puppy.

- He will do whatever it takes to make sure the schedule goes according to plan.

- He knows where Kafei is, but refuses to tell.

_________________________________________________________________________________


The Bombers


The Bombers are a squad of five children (six if you include the one guarding the entrance to the observatory) that wander the streets of Clock Town.   As you can see from the picture above, there are four members (wearing blue bandannas) and the leader (wearing the red bandanna).  I will be treating the four members as a single character (as they all have the same personality), and then the leader.

The Leader (Jim):
On day 1, the leader of The Bombers can be found in North Clock Town, attempting to pop a balloon with his blow-dart gun.  When you walk up and talk to him wearing individual masks you get these responses:

No Mask"What do you want, guy? I'm busy practicing with my blowgun!  Don't mess with me!"

Here we see him talking to us as if he's a tough guy.  I would guess that Link is just a year or two older than him.

Deku Mask"... Whaddya want, shrimp?  I'm busy practicing with my blowgun!  If you can't pop that balloon, then don't mess with Jim!  Grrrr..."

Here we see him talking down upon us.  Throughout the game Deku Link is depicted to be very young, surely younger than Jim here.  Since we are smaller than him, his confidence gets boosted, and he acts even tougher than he does to Link with no mask.

Goron Mask: "What do you want, you big oaf?  Adults shouldn't mess with kids' games!

Here we can see him talking to an adult in a very rebellious tone.  Calling a Goron (something that is easily 4 times his size) a big oaf is pretty gutsy.  However, his cockiness dwindles with his second sentence, and it almost sounds like Jim is whining (as children often do) to make the Goron leave him alone.

Zora Mask"What do you want?  Don't look down at me!  Adults shouldn't mess with kids' games!"

We see a very similar speech to that of the Goron's.  This one has a little more significant's though.  The sentence "Don't look down at me!" shows us that all Jim really wants is recognition for who he is.  He doesn't want people to look down on him for any reason, after all, he is the leader of The Bombers gang, he cannot show weakness.  Therefore, in order to hide any weakness, he demands respect of the Zora, even though it is quite a bit a bit bigger than him.  Still, with his last final sentence we see him back down just like he did with the Goron.

Stone Mask"..........???"

The stone mask (seen to the left) is a very odd looking mask.  It is understandable why he is confused that someone would talk to him while wearing it.

Kafei's Mask"I used to see him at the Laundry Pool a lot."

Not much to decipher from this one.  He is simply telling us where he usually see's Kafei.

Circus Leader's Mask"Act your age, don't be a crybaby!"

As you can see to the right, the Circus Leader's Mask is one that is constantly crying.  So when you talk to Jim while wearing it, he basically tells you to grow up.

Analysis Report!
It's odd to hear this coming from Jim, as he appears to be trying to act much older than his he, making him somewhat of a hypocrite since he too is not acting his age.  That being said, Jim is once again trying to act as tough as he can.  Grown men shouldn't cry, and therefore if you do, then you are a wimp.

Keaton Mask"What?  Oh, a mask?  I've seen a real Keaton near the slide!"

While most adults would probably assume Jim is lying by saying that he saw a Keaton (a mythical japanese 3 tailed fox), he certainly is not.  Upon further investigation, if you break all the grass near the slide while wearing the Keaton mask, a real Keaton will appear and ask you various questions.

All Other MasksDefault response to mask-less Link.

Upon popping the balloon, we get a various amount of responses depending on the characters we play as:

No Mask"Are you the guy who just popped that up there?  Whoa!  Hey, just for you, guy, I can make you a member of our gang, the Bombers!  But there is a test for becoming a Bombers member. C'mon!  Give it a try!"

Before seeing us pop the balloon, Jim acts very tough, and almost like he's better than us.  However, upon seeing us pop the balloon, his attitude changes altogether.  He is now welcoming Link into his gang with open arms, and seems very excited about him joining up.

If I decline his invitation to join the gang, he says"What's the deal, guy?  You dress like you think you're all cool, but you're nothing special!"

He once again gets hostile towards us and reverts back to the way he did before we popped the balloon, he even insults us.  It would seem that since Jim didn't get his way, he is now whining, just as children tend to do.

Deku Mask"Are you the one who just popped that up there?  Not bad for a Deku Scrub!  We Bombers have a hideout that leads to the observatory outside town.  You need a code to get in.  Maybe I'll tell you what it is!  But don't think you're getting it that easily!  I can't just tell you what the code is... You'll have to pass my test first."

Once again we see Jim become more friendly as us popping the balloon.  Albeit, he is not as friendly as he was towards link, and seems much more hesitant towards letting a deku scrub into his group, but he still acknowledges that you did something that he couldn't, and gives you the chance to prove yourself.

If we once again decline his test he says:"I thought you were tougher than that... But you're nothing special!"

Just as he did with human Link, he goes back to being hostile after he doesn't get his way.

Goron and Zora Mask"You burst my balloon!  Don't be messin' with other people's stuff!  Ya won't be able to handle the consequences, pal!"

This time, instead of acknowledging the idea that we popped his balloon, he pushes right past it and gets hostile.  Since Goron and Zora Link are adults, unlike Deku and human Link, it is safe to say that if a child does something that Jim couldn't do, he is impressed and wants to be friends with you.  Whereas if an adult does it, he feels like they are "looking down upon him", just as he said earlier in one of his quotes.

Going back and accepting the challenge we get the following events:

No MaskOnce accepting the challenge, Jim calls over all of the other members of the Bombers and he proceeds to tell me that if I can find all five of the members by tomorrow morning, then I will be an official member of the Bombers.  After scavenging around town, I managed to find them all, in which Jim proclaims "You did it!  So what's your name, guy?  Link, huh?  All right!  That Skull Kid broke our rules and he's been doing all kinds of bad things lately.  Starting today, he's out!  I'm making Link a Bomber!  You guys don't mind, right?"

In which all the members reply that they are all for me being a member.  They then go on to teach me the secret code to get into the observatory.  They also go on to talk about how they help out everyone in town, no matter what they may need.

Analysis Report!
There's something interesting that I never realized; Skull Kid was a member of the Bombers.  So here we come to how Majora has affected the Bombers.  He has tarnished their name.  The Bombers don't realize that Majora has taken over Skull Kids body, so they think that he is doing all this bad stuff.  To think that Link is now replacing Skull Kid in the bombers is quite interesting as well.  The boy who is causing everything horrible to happen is now being replaced by the only boy who can prevent them all from happening.

Symbolism!
This above statement is a good piece of symbolism, and it really shows us that good will triumph over evil in the end.  The Bombers took in Skull Kid, thinking that he would be an asset, but when the tides quickly turned, they added Link to their ranks in order to prevent it all from happening.  They got rid of the evil, and brought in the good.

Deku MaskUpon accepting Jim's challenge we go through the same series of events that we did with link. I must find all the Bombers hidden throughout town in order to receive the secret code.  Upon finding them all Jim says:

"You're pretty good for a Deku Scrub!  If only you were human... Then I could give you an original Bombers' Notebook and make you a member...What do you guys think?"

To which the other members reply "No way!  No scrubs!"

Jim goes on to say "I guess not... Once, we let some kid who wasn't human join our gang, and, boy, did we ever regret it!  Sorry!"

Analysis Report!
It's interesting that they talk about Skull Kid being the one non-human who joined their group and how they regretted it.  Keep in mind that in the normal game, you play as a Deku Scrub before you play as a human Link, so they give you a hint that it may be Skull Kid, but you're not really sure.  It isn't until you become a member as Link that it is finally revealed.  If that isn't attention to detail, then I don't know what is!

Jim never leaves his spot in North Clock Town, and every day he is trying to pop that balloon, but he never can, even at the last minute of his life he is still trying to pop that balloon.

The Members:
The members of the Bombers are scattered throughout town, but, like Jim they never stray from their area's. Two can be found in East Clock Town, and two in West Clock Town.  They all say the same  exact things.

No Mask (As a member)"Hey , buddy!  Have you found any troubled people?  If you do, add 'em to your notebook!"

The Bombers are extremely dedicated to helping out those in need, and it's obvious that, that is all they really want.  They even give you a notebook that helps you stay organized, and keep track of all of the people of Clock Town.

No Mask (Not a member)"How old are you?  You're not from around here, are you?  Why are you dressed like that?  Why?  Huh?  Why?"  Do you have any problems?  Any?  If you do, tell it to us Bombers!  Tell us!"

In this statement we see two things happening.  We see a sense of child-like wonder from these boys, asking pesky questions, and being quite annoying doing it.  Much unlike their leader, these boys are not nearly as serious as he is, yet they do something that Jim didn't do; they ask if you need any help.

Symbolism!
So what have we learned from this?  We learned that Jim sits in North Clock Town, alone, acts tough, and tries to pop a balloon.  He is the leader of the group, but he feels like he is helping out the least.  The other Bombers are set up in pairs of two, constantly surveying town, and if you talk to them, they ask if you need help.  Jim, on the other hand, tells you to stay out his way, and never once asks if you need help.  This is not unlike many worlds leaders throughout history.  Even today, many world leaders talk and talk.  They say what they want to get done, and then they do nothing to get it done.  They sit on their thumbs and put on a pretty face and optimistic words.  Jim is not unlike these leaders.  He tells his group mates what they are going to do, he tells them that they help others in town, yet he is the only one not trying to help others, and is simply caught up in his own goals, not caring about others at all.  It very much relates to the real world and a lot of the problems that it faces.

Deku Mask"What's with you?  You're wearing a weird hat for a Deku!  Did you come to town to play?  I bet nobody will play with you, right?  The adults are all busy getting ready for the carnival!  The old astronomer at the observatory outside town is the only one who'll spend any time playing with us kids.  We Bombers, have our hideout at the observatory.  You have to take a secret route to get there.  Oh!  Don't be telling Jim in North Clock Town that I told you that!"

It would appear that the main reason why Jim is the leader of the Bombers is because he is very intimidating, and the other members are scared of him.  You can tell by the way the members beg you not to tell Jim about what they just told you, in fear that they might get punished.  Jim rules over them by using fear.

Goron Mask"Oh!  A Goron!  Do you live in the mountains?  Why is Tatl with you?  Why?  Huh?  Why?  Do you have any problems?  Any?  If you do, you can tell us Bombers!  Tell us!"

This is an interesting conversation.  It would appear that the members know the name of our fairy, Tatl.  Tatl is a friend of skull kids, so this shows us that the members of the Bombers spend a decent amount of time around Skull Kid.  We also continue to see that immaturity and sense of wonder that these children have about everything and everyone.  We also see them stray from the path of Jim yet again.  While Jim told you to get out of his way because you were an adult and you shouldn't "look down on him".  It's quite the opposite for the rest of the member, they are as willing to help you as they were with human Link.

Zora Mask"Oh!  A Zora!  Do you live in the ocean?  What's it like?  Why is Tatl with you?  Why?  Huh?  Why?  Do you have any problems?  Any?  If you do, you can tell us Bombers!  Tell us!"

Very similar to that of the Goron.  The children are still as interested as you as they've ever been, and still as willing to help as well.

Stone Mask"........?"

We once again see a state of confusion from the stone mask.  None of the members seem to know what to think of this odd mask.

Couples Mask: "We're too young for that mask!"

The couples mask is one that only man and wife wear.  I feel like this is very similar to the "girls have kooties" response that we get from a lot of younger boys.

Kafei's Mask"I used to see him by the Laundry Pool sometimes.  Hey, who is he?  What did he do?"

We once again keep with the theme of curiosity from these young boys.  It would appear they are interested to know everything about everyone they meet.

Postman's Hat"You can look in the postboxes... I wish I could!"

His sense of wonder continues.  No matter what it is, these kids want to know about it.  They even want to know what's inside the postboxes!

Keaton Mask"I have that too!"

For the first time, they seem satisfied with what they are seeing, as they all seem to have this same mask, there is no sense of curiosity to it, so they give you a short, boring answer, but one that is excited as its ever been.

Romani's Mask"You're a grown up!"

Romani's Mask is the same one you wear to get into The Milk Bar.  It signifies that you are old enough to enter and these kids are simply acknowledging that you're old enough to drink.  Surprisingly, for the first time, it would appear that they are not excited to find out about the mask, or about what is inside The Milk Bar.

All Other Masks"Hey, where did you get that mask?  C'mon, tell me!"

Nearly every single mask they want to know about, whether it is about the message that the mask holds, or simply where you got the mask so that they can get one of their own.

In the following 3 days, the Bombers continue to guard town.  No matter when you ask them, even if it is in the final hours, they are always willing to help, and as curious as ever.  They have sworn to help the people of this town, and no matter what they will stay, even until the bitter end when that moon comes crushing down, they stay.

Analysis Report!
Perhaps the Bombers are curious as to what will happen when the moon does finally fall.  Perhaps they are too naive and young to understand any of the actual dangers that are going on in Clock Town.  Or maybe they don't want to leave in fear that Jim might punish them for being cowards.  All of these are feasible arguments that I can see, and truthfully, all of them could be the right answer as to why the Bombers all stayed until the bitter end, but I guess we'll never really know exactly why they didn't run for their lives.

So what do we learn about the Bombers?

The Leader:

- Is caught up in his own problems

- Isn't willing to help others

- Rules using intimidation

- Very rebellious; hates adults

- Tries to act much older than he actually is

The Members:

- Always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone

- Do not care of your race or your age

- Have a childish sense of wonder

- Curious about absolutely everything

-Afraid of their leader, Jim
_________________________________________________________________________________

The Swordsman


Day 1 (72 Hours Remain):

The swordsman resides in West Clock Town next to the Post Office.  He owns a training dojo that he has amply named the "Mighty Training Center".

Before entering the dojo we can read on a sigh outside the door:

"Enter all disciples and those who choose to be enlightened with the way of the sword." 

We can see that he is pretty confident about his abilities as a swordsman.

Upon entering the dojo, we see The Swordsman sitting cross legged (just like the image above) on the floor in front of us.  Talking to him, we get this response:

"This training center has friendly, polite, 24-hour, one-on-one training that will noticably improve your sword skills!  From now until the end of the carnival, join at a special discount."

He then asks if I would like to give his training a try and gives me the options of doing the novice course for 1 rupee or the expert course for 20 rupee's.

Upon declining his training he says "Is that so?  Regrettable.  Truly regrettable."

Talking to the swordsman with each mask gets us a wide array of responses.

Deku Mask"This is a training center for learning the sacred way of the sword.  It is no place for children!"

We can see that he takes his job very seriously, but we also see that he may have a short temper on him with a "this is a serious place, and we don't have time for children" attitude.

Goron Mask"Umm... Excuse me, but this is a training center for studying the way of the sword... I can't help those without a sword."

In the response, he seems somewhat unsure of himself.  Perhaps he has never seen a Goron before, or he is intimidated by our large appearance.  Whatever the case may be, he seems very uncomfortable.

Zora Mask"How unfortunate it is, since you seem to have good skill, but this is a center for studying the way of the sword.  If you don't have one... But if you have a friend who want to study, tell them we have a special discount going on."

Much unlike the response to the Goron, he seems more comfortable, commenting on how you seem to have the skill, but cannot be taught because you don't have a sword.  However, the ending statement does make him seem a little intimidated by the Zora's appearance.  He cannot get the guts to finish his sentence and full decline the Zora request, instead he changes the topic.

Bomb Mask"This is a training center for teaching the scared sword!  Why do you wear that mask?  I cannot allow such an evil weapon in here.  Come back when you are ready!"

I would first like to point out that upon giving us this response, he also lets out a loud, vocal, yell.  We see that short temper of his come out, as he doesn't have time for our childish games.  This is a serious dojo after all.  We also see him refer to a bomb as an "evil weapon".  This is odd, for he is teaching people the way of the sword, which is yet another weapon that can be used in evil ways.  Truthfully, all weapons are evil in their own rights.

Analysis Report!
I understand The Swordsman's temper, for he is trying to run a very serious business and teach others how to fight.  However, if he truly is trying to be the "sensei" to someone, then I feel like he should show more patience.  Perhaps tell us to run along and go play elsewhere, rather than yelling at us to get out.  I feel like he too has a ways to go when it comes to being a teacher.


Great Fairy's Mask"Hey, that's not bad.  That girl's mask is very beautiful!  I'll lose my focus if I try to instruct you while you're wearing that.  Leave it at home.  Or... I could keep it for you."

First off, this is creepy.  Yet I can't help but relate it to all the perverted sages that we often see in Japanese culture.  The Swordsman tries to be as serious as he can, but if a pretty girl walks in his path, his personality immediately changes and he becomes somewhat of a pervert.

Analysis Report!
Creeping on a little boy wearing a girl's mask is NOT an okay thing to be doing!

Bunny Hood"Ohh, how adorable!  Let me tug on your long ears... Ahem... If you study the way of the sword here, you'll get your bunny dirty, so put it away."

Cute girl's and cute animals, both of these things seem to make The Swordman lose his focus and become a much less serious person.  However, at the end of this response, we do see him go back into his serious mode and tell you to take the bunny ears off.  This is much unlike when we wore the Great Fairy's Mask.

Stone Mask"Hmm... Is someone there?"

It would appear that he does not even realize we exist.  This is much similar to the Bombers confusion when I wore the stone mask, as it would appear that some people are not able to see us while wearing the Stone Mask.  This does not apply to everyone however, for when talking to The Postman with it on, he gave us his default response.

Don Gero's Mask"I'm no good at singing, so I won't sing.  Not even if you wear that!"

Don Gero is a frog mask, and the leader of the Frog Choir that can be found in Majora's Mask.  The Swordsman acknowledges this fact by refusing to sing for you.  He is the first character so far that appears to know who Don Gero is.

Bremen Mask"This is a training center for the sacred sword!  Do not wear that mask and march around in here!  If you wish to do that, go outside!"

Like when we wore the Bomb Mask, this response is also combined with a loud, audible. yell.  The Bremen Mask is used to march around while playing your ocarina.  If any animal is in the area, it will march around behind you, marching with you.  We once again see him acknowledging the ability of a mask, but how does he know so much about them?

Gibdo Mask"Frightening!  That mask!  It's frightening!!!  That scares me.  Take it off!  Take it off!"

We have seen many emotions from The Swordsman thus far; Anger, happiness, seriousness.  But for the first time we are seeing fear.  And quite a lot of fear at that.  This man, who is suppose to be a great warrior, is afraid of something as simplistic as a mask.

Analysis Report!
In my last article The Psychology of Clock Town, we saw fear in the soldiers on the final day.  They had placed their hands on their hearts, and were shaking because of how close the moon was.  I pointed out that this shows us that even the greatest of warriors are afraid of some things.  In this case, we see a similar fear, but on a much lower level.  While the soldiers didn't show their fear until the final hours of their life, this man is afraid of a child wearing a mask.  The Swordsman tries to be tough, and tries to be a serious warrior, yet he is a coward.  It is as plain and as simple as that.

Captains Hat"Waah! If you wish to study the way of the sword, remove that mask!  It looks like something I saw in a bad dream...

We once again see The Swordsman being quite cowardice openly admitting that he is afraid of the mask that you wear.  We also see his short temper come out of him as he demands that you remove the mask before you can teach you.

Romani's Mask"...... Do you really wish to study the sword?  I can't find the will to teach you when their milk has no freshness..."

Analysis Report!
We can decipher two meanings from this statement:

1.  The Swordsman is not a fan of Romani's milk, as he claims "it has no freshness..."

or, a more in-depth look...

2.  Perhaps this is more of an analogy of sorts.  "Their milk has no freshness" may actually be referring to us, that our milk has no freshness.  We come into this mans dojo wearing a mask.  This is the farthest thing from being serious, and The Swordsman realizes this.  "Our milk has no freshness" is actually a metaphor for "we are not taking this seriously" and therefore, he cannot teach us.

Keaton Mask"......This is a training center for studying the way of the sword, so I will teach anyone who has a sword... But first, leave that mask at home..."

At the start of this response, The Swordsman also lets out an audible sigh, as if he does not have time for our games at this time.  He also notices that you have a sword, and therefore claims that he must teach you.  However, he will not do it while we wear this mask.

Analysis Report!
For once we do not see The Swordsman lose his temper at our childish mask, this is no doubt because he realizes that we do in fact have a sword on your back.  However, he handled it the right way this time, he simply explained that he could not teach us while we wore that mask, and that he will not do so until it is gone.  He stayed calm, and did not let his anger show.  Perhaps he is not quite as short-tempered as we had originally thought.  This shows that he does have some restraint.

Postman's Hat"Ahh... You always do a wonderful job delivering the mail."

He does not seem to appear to know what to say to The Postman, and so he simply gives him a compliment and sends us on our way.

Throughout all those mask's, there is one consistency.  Whenever an adult talks to The Swordsman, he appears to be unsure about what to say.  Whether it is a Goron, Zora, or The Postman, he always seems hesitant to tell us "no".  In fact, he never once directly says that he cannot teach an adult, he simply avoids it as best he can.  The Goron he claims "he cannot help those without a sword", never directly saying that he cannot help you.  As the Zora he avoids denying our request and instead tells us that if we know someone who would like to learn we should let them know.  And as The Postman, he simply compliments us on how well we deliver the mail before sending us on our way.

Analysis Report!
What I have gathered from all this is that The Swordsman truthfully isn't entirely confident in his abilities.  He says he cannot teach the Goron or Zora because they do not have a sword.  However, The Postman does have a sword, as it is still technically Link, and he still refuses to teach him, and completely avoids the subject altogether.  Yet he is more than willing to teach Link, a child, his ways.  The Swordsman is afraid of teaching adults his ways, in fear that he may no be good enough to teach them.  Or perhaps, his skills really aren't that good to begin with.  Whatever the case, we can see that he is only comfortable teaching children.

So what happens if we accept his novice or expert training?

Novice Course:
In the novice course we go over all of the basic training.  How to dodge, how to attack, how to lock on, and how to shield.  When you mess up on any of these given tasks, The Swordsman gets enraged and yells at you, once again showing just how short his temper can be at times.

Expert Course:
Upon beginning he tells you that you must break all 10 the logs using the "highly difficult techniques"  that appear, and that if you can score a perfect 30 points, then he will teach you "all of the secrets".

Analysis Report!
He tells us to break the logs using the "highly difficult techniques", yet we've only taken the novice course, and the techniques that he taught us were far from highly difficult.  This only adds to the fact that this swordsman may be all talk, and very little actual skill.

If you fail to get all 30 points, he tells you that your training is insufficient and that you "must jump more".

The only way to successfully obtain the 30 points is by doing the same exact jumping strike on every single log that appears.  Upon completing it with 30 points, he gives you a piece of a heart.

Analysis Report!
That settles it, The Swordsman is a complete and utter fraud.  He talks the talk, but in actuality he doesn't know anything about the way of the sword.  To complete his expert course you literally hold the sword out in front of you, and jump at the log.  Every log.  If you do a slash, or a stab at the log, you will not receive enough points to hit the 30 and your training will be "insufficient".  To add to it, his only advice is for you to "jump more".  The truth is that you very rarely do a jumping strike in this game while fighting an enemy, as it is slow and clunky, and makes you wide open for any attacks.  This also confirms that The Swordsman is so hesitant to train the Goron, Zora, and Postman, not because they don't have a sword, but because he doesn't know anything about how to wield a sword.  And The Swordsman knows this, so he tries to keep it off of that subject.


Day 2 (48 Hours Remain):

Upon talking to him on day two, we get this response:

"When you sharpen the sword skill, your mind is sharpened naturally.  With the moon getting closer in recent days, the number of the weak and frightened has increased.  But when you attain a master's level of training as I have, there is nothing to fear!  By learning at this training center, you too can attain such a strong mind and will."

Analysis Report!
There he goes again, talking the talk.  He claims that his mind and his still is so strong, that he has nothing to fear, not even the moon crushing him.  Yet if we put on a scary mask he outwardly shows us that this is not the case.  The Swordsman tries to be strong, and he can talk all he wants, but we all already know that he is a fraud and that this "master's level of training" that he has is nothing more than a childish thought.  Do you think that he's going to stay until the bitter end like he is claiming?  My guess is that he will not.

Upon talking to him with any mask, we get the same responses that we did on the first day.

Day 3 (24 Hours Remain):

Once again entering the trainin dojo, we talk to him and get this response:

"Rumors are spreading which suggest the moon is falling, but you can breathe easier as long as I am in town.  Tonight I shall cut the moon into pieces!  If one does not have such skill, he cannot teach the way of the sword to others.  If you wish to be as powerful as I am, then I shall teach you until night time."

Analysis Report!
This is a very humorous response.  There are a few inconsistencies in his statement though (imagine that).  First off, since we have already done extensive research on his personality, we know that he is no the master swordsman that he claims to be.  Second'y, he claims to be a master swords man, but says "if you wish to be as powerful as I am, then I shall teach you until night time."  Does he really expect us to believe that you can become a master swordsman, capable of slicing the moon in half, in a single day?  I think not.

Night 3 (12 Hours Remain):

Talking to him at the night of the final day, he still remains in his dojo, talking about how he is going to slice the moon in half.

Analysis Report!
While up until this point I have been thinking that The Swordsman realized that he did not have the ability to slice the moon in half, but now that there is 12 hours remaining I am beginning to second guess myself.  We all know that this is an impossible task, but perhaps this swordsman has lied for so long that he actually tricked himself into believing that he is a master swordsman and that he can save the town.

Final Six (6 Hours Remain):

Upon entering the dojo, we can see that The Swordsman is missing, and that sign is now in place of where he usually sits.  The sign reads:

"I'll be on vacation for a short while.  Please don't look for me."

Analysis Report!
The Swordsman is not wrong, running away isn't a cowardice thing to do in my opinion.  If the moon was going to fall on me, I would probably run away and try to survive as well.  However, the way that he played it up, as if he could take on the moon because he was a master swordsman was very immature of him.  This also proves that my previous statement was false, The Swordsman is completely aware that he does not have the ability to stop the moon from falling, and he has come to acceptance with that fact.

There is one thing off about this.  Standing outside the dojo between the final 12 and the final 6 hours, we never see the swordsman leave.  

As it turns out, he didn't.  If you go to the back of the room you will find a board that you can break with your sword.  Inside is a hidden room, in which you can see The Swordsman huddled up against the corner, shaking.  Upon talking to him he says:

"Uuuuuuuurgh... I'm scared!  I can't take it!  I don't want to die!"

Analysis Report!
I did not expect this.  It is just yet another event that is hidden and often overlooked throughout the world of Majora's Mask.  Finally, we see The Swordsman admit the truth.  In his final hours of life, he finally admits that he is afraid of dying.  Truthfully, I feel bad for him.  All that he ever really wanted was for people to think more of him, that he is a strong warrior, and that he is a great man.  He hid away his emotions (for the most part) and always tried to play the tough guy (much like Jim).  The Swordsman is only human, just like the rest of us, and he is afraid of death.  He can suppress it, and hide it all that he wants, but when the final hours come, his true personality comes out, and he is just as afraid of his inevitable death as everyone else is.

And so he dies.  Just like The Postman, just like the Bombers, and just like the rest of Clock Town.  He talks about how he is afraid of dying, but the truth is that it is inevitable, and so he perishes in the corner of his dojo, whimpering like a lost dog the entire time.

So what did we learn about The Swordsman?

- He talks the talk, but he can't walk the walk

- He realizes he is not a skilled swordsman

- He is afraid to teach adults in fear that they will realize he is not skilled

- He is afraid of death, even though he refuses to admit it.

- He is also afraid of various other things, like scary masks.


What do these three have in common?

What do these three characters have in common?  It's quite interesting actually.  The Postman is very childish, he acts like a child most of the time, and relies on his schedule like it is his parent.  

Jim, the leader of the Bombers, tries to act like a tough guy, but if he doesn't get his way you can still see him whine like children often do.  

The members of the Bombers also act like children, which is understandable considering that they are, yet I would say that out of the all these characters they are the most grown up, as they are always willing to lend a helping hand no matter who they are, or what the situation is.  

Finally, The Swordsman is also very childish.  He tries to be a teacher, and he tries to be strong and act strong, but the reality is that this is quite the opposite.  He is not strong, nor does he know how to wield a sword properly.  He cannot accept these facts on his own, so he immaturely lies about his abilities so that others respect him.

Irony!
Out of all three of these characters the one's that act the most like adults are the Bomber members; the children of the town.  They are always willing to help, and they never question why.  They are able to make their own decisions, and they never think of themselves, only about others, the one's who need help.  Yet Jim, the only one who tries to act like an adult, and the leader, is the most immature of the members.  He only thinks of himself and his own goals, never asking you if you need any help, and quickly yelling at you for doing wrong.



16 comments:

  1. Love reading these! Can't wait for the next installment!

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    Replies
    1. A note about The Swordsman's reaction to the Romani Mask:

      In Denmark there is a saying going like this "The rowanberries is sour, said the fox he couldn't reach them". This is used when there is a goal you want to reach, but you can't, and then just complain that it was because of something else. It could actually be the same here.

      We know that only real man is accepted to get the Romani Mask, and since the swordsmen is this perfetic wimp, he won't get a Romani Mask, he is not a real man. But his excuse is "Their milk has no freshness". That is in his world, the explaination why he don't have a Romani Mask.

      I can't know for sure, but it is a theory that matches up with the rest of the analizies of the swordsman.

      Delete
    2. I find this very interesting. I never knew of this expression before, but it makes perfect sense to me. I think you're on to something here.

      Delete
  2. MM is my favorite game and I like what you're doing. Cant wait for the Anju and Kafei profile.

    Your site is cool, too. Keep it up. :)

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  3. Theese are really good! It makes ,y view of Majoras Mask completly different

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  4. It's funny... the older you get and the more you observe and understand people, you come to the realization that most adults act very childish once you peel back their exterior "macho" frame. Very few people have the strength to perform when necessary... and this game does a wonderful job at exposing the weakness in those mens' hearts.

    I feel especially bad for the postman, who is so controlled by his "schedule" that he cant break the spell that leads him. I feel for him, since we all need reason in life, but so many of us inherit our place in society without choice... I find it cruel to call him childish as he has the strongest will out of all of the 3 characters shown.

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  5. You missed a part for the postman. After the Anju and Kafei quest, if you give him the letter to deliver, he excitedly delivers it immediately. Then, the postmistress (Kafei's mother) tells the postman to leave the town. He then gives you the postman's hat and says, "I won't be needing this anymore." He then skips out of the town. Note: skipping is childish, and he is acting as a kid would if they had been told they were done with their chores.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I am aware of this. It was tough to figure out exactly whether or not I should implement it or not because it is not activated by following JUST the postman around.

      Do not worry though, I will cover it in a later section which will probably involve all characters that have quests much like these. Think of it as a follow-up character profiles, but it will include all these quests for various quests in a single post.

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    2. Okay, sounds awesome.

      Delete
  6. I've had this game for years and never realised ANY of that

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  7. I would assume you realize this, but the character's reaction to the Stone Mask is explained by the very mask's ability. The stone mask is a special mask that make others unable to see you; that's what it does. So that's why they acted like tehy weren't sure if there was someone there or not.

    Why the postman still answered you I have no idea.

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    1. Wait, I had a thought. Maybe this happens on purpose and demonstrates an important point: The postman is so wrapped up he's talking to himself, and not to you. So when you "talk" to him when you "aren't there", he still says the same thing. This would make sense with his character too, as he is very focused and single minded. I could see him repeating something about his schedule to himself as he went about his route.

      I feel happy that I solved it! :P

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  8. Doesn't the postman actually leave town when he gives Link the Postman's Hat? He is glad he finally found his successor so he can leave his schedule.

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    Replies
    1. Indeed he does. However, I would need to talk to an outside source in order to activate this event, as it is not activated by simply following him around and talking to him.

      There will be a later segment of all the various endings that The Postman, as well as other characters, can have.

      Delete
  9. Amazing article. Don't stop doing these!

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  10. he says that their milk has no freshness because the ranch is not possible to deliver their fresh milk to town because of the rock blocking their ''only'' way to town

    ReplyDelete