- "I own the Happy Mask Shop. I travel far and wide in search of masks..."
- — Happy Mask Salesman
The Happy Mask Salesman (お面屋 Omen'ya?, "Mask Shop Owner") is a recurring character in the Legend of Zelda series. He is a traveling collector and seller of strange, rare, and unusual masks. He is often considered one of the most unnerving characters in the series, due to his erratic behavior, unpredictable temper, strange powers, and occasional displays of hysteric outbursts. Partly due to his unique and mysterious demeanor, there are many theories as to the Happy Mask Salesman's true identity and motives; in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, he gives Link many subtle hints that he may be more than a common collector of masks.
- "Hiyeee! Welcome to the Happy Mask Shop! We deal in masks that bring happiness to everyone! How would you like to be a happiness salesman? I'll lend you a mask. You sell the mask and bring the money back here. If you want to read the fine print, take a look at the sign right over there. After you've sold all the masks, you will become happy yourself! Have faith..."
- — Happy Mask Salesman
The Happy Mask Salesman is the proprietor of the Happy Mask Shop in Hyrule Castle Town. The Happy Mask Shop lends out masks for other people to sell, in order for the potential seller to obtain "true happiness" and for the Salesman to obtain some profit. He is generally in a good mood, but if Link returns without Rupees for a sold mask, his expression changes to a demented, unnerving version of his usual self, and he kicks Link out of his shop in anger. His mood returns to normal once Link re-enters the shop.
The Happy Mask Shop opens once the Hyrulean Soldier guarding the gate to Death Mountain asks Link whether he can bring him a Keaton Mask for his son. Lending the Keaton Mask from the Happy Mask Salesman initiates a trading quest; once Link has sold four different mask models, the Happy Mask Salesman lends him the Mask of Truth, which allows him to read the thoughts of Gossip Stones. Furthermore, three new masks - the Gerudo, Goron and Zora Masks - are now available to lend, as are the previously sold masks. Aside from the Mask of Truth, the masks available serve no practical purpose in completing the game, though wearing them often yields humorous results when talking to other characters; furthermore, all may be worn on the Forest Stage, eliciting different responses from the Deku Scrub audience depending on which mask is worn.
Although the Happy Mask Salesman is nowhere to be found during the adult portion of the game, he is seen celebrating at Lon Lon Ranch during the credits. Since he is known to have the ability to travel between worlds, he may have fled into another world upon Ganondorf's attack on Hyrule Castle.
- "During my travels, a very important mask was stolen from me by an imp in the woods. So here I am at a loss... And now I've found you."
- — Happy Mask Salesman
The Happy Mask Salesman's largest and most prominent role is in Majora's Mask. One of the major characters of the game, the Happy Mask Salesman's actions prior to the events of the game catalyses the impending destruction of the entire world of Termina, the focal point of the game's story.
On his travels to find strange and powerful masks, the Happy Mask Salesman managed to obtain the legendary Majora's Mask. Used by the Ancient Ones in their hexing rituals, the mask held destructive powers of cataclysmic proportions; to prevent an inevitable catastrophe from coming to pass, the tribe sealed it away. The Happy Mask Salesman ostensibly went to "great lengths", the details of which are not revealed, to obtain the mask; upon successfully retrieving it, however, he immediately came to regret doing so, as he could sense "the doom of a dark omen brewing". Continuing his journey, while traversing the Lost Woods, the Happy Mask Salesman was ambushed by an imp known as the Skull Kid, and his two fairy companions, Tatl and Tael; while the Salesman was unconscious, the Skull Kid stole Majora's Mask.
Eventually, Link, who had left on a journey to find a friend he lost after the defeat of Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time, is likewise ambushed by Tatl and Tael and knocked unconscious. The Skull Kid appears and steals his Ocarina of Time. Link regains consciousness and attempts to sneak up on the Skull Kid, but the imp and his friends quickly escape astride Link's horse, Epona. Chasing after them, Link falls down a hole and ends up in a series of tunnels below the land of Termina. After being transformed into a Deku Scrub by the Skull Kid, Link joins up with Tatl, who was left behind by the Skull Kid and Tael, and together the two work their way out of the cave complex. From out of nowhere, the Happy Mask Salesman approaches Link and tells him that it is possible to return Link to his Hylian form; all he needs is to get back his Ocarina of Time from the Skull Kid and return to the Salesman. In exchange for this, the Happy Mask Salesman requests that Link to retrieve his stolen mask. The Salesman gives only a tantalisingly brief explanation of Majora's Mask; he appears to know far more than he lets on.
Link exits the tunnel area and finds himself in Clock Town, where a large, ominous Moon is threatening to destroy the entire land of Termina upon the passing of three days. On the Night of the Final Day, Link confronts the Skull Kid on top of Clock Town's Clock Tower, and knocks the Ocarina of Time out of his hand, but fails to retrieve Majora's Mask. Link plays the "Song of Time" and turns back time to the First Day with the aid of the Goddess of Time, and returns to the Happy Mask Salesman. The Happy Mask Salesman keeps his promise and teaches him the "Song of Healing"; a song that heals troubled spirits, turning the Deku spirit that had inhabited Link's body into a mask, which Link can use at any given time to change back into a Deku Scrub. However, when the Happy Mask Salesman learns of Link's failure to recapture Majora's Mask, he becomes extremely distressed, even going as far as to shake Link violently. He reveals the true nature of the mask and its power, and asserts that recapturing the mask is crucial to the survival of the world. Strangely, he also tells Link that the mask must be returned before he leaves Termina to continue his journey. The date of his departure coincides with the collision of the Moon with Termina, unless Link stops the Skull Kid. He continues to wait patiently for Link to retrieve the mask. After Link successfully defeats Majora, the entity inhabiting the mask, thus saving Termina, the Happy Mask Salesman gets back his mask, now seemingly stripped of its power and merely a regular mask. He leaves Link with puzzling words and disappears into nothingness.
- "Why are you staring at me? Oh, you WANT something?"
- — Happy Mask Salesman
The Happy Mask Salesman is the proprietor of the Mask Shop located in Nuun Highlands of present age Labrynna. Suffering from an extreme case of hunger, he "subtly" requests that Link get him some food. Link gives him a piece of Tasty Meat to satiate his hunger. In return, the Happy Mask Salesman gives Link a Doggie Mask, however, not before Link asks the annoyed Happy Mask Salesman for something in return. This is part of the trading quest for the Noble Sword.
The Happy Mask Salesman displays a sinister side that is not seen in the game. Though during the majority of the manga he appears to be exactly the same character as in the game, towards the final battle with Majora, he is shown saying the following:
- "Heh heh... They're after the little demon. Now for the real show. Once they bring me back that mask, I will no longer have a need for this world. I just move on. Heh heh heh heh..."
- — Happy Mask Salesman
After the battle, the Happy Mask Salesman appears before Link (who is still wearing the Fierce Deity's Mask) to take Majora's Mask back. However, the spirit inside the mask that Link is wearing, as if sensing the Happy Mask Salesman's true intent, manipulates the hero to strike the Happy Mask Salesman down and calls him a troublemaker. After getting up, the mysterious man picks up Majora's Mask and fades away laughing.
The Happy Mask Salesman appears to be more than a simple salesman. He seems to know all about Link and his accomplishments in Hyrule and can tell what Link went through to obtain a particular mask or the power inherent in the mask, without ever seemingly leaving his post in the cave beneath Clock Town's clock tower. This is not his only strange characteristic - he also seems to appear as if from nowhere, appears to change from one pose to another instantly, and has been seen vanishing into thin air. He also manages to make a giant exaggerated piano appear from out of nowhere to teach Link the "Song of Healing". After Link learns the song, it disappears. Also, if three days pass and Termina is destroyed, Link appears back under the clock tower where the Salesman waits. Though this could also be interpreted as the game resetting to the moment before the dawn of the first day, the Salesman's laugh is heard just prior to the reset, accompanied by dialogue he had spoken previously, suggesting the Salesman may have transported Link back through time.
He also exhibits a flaring temper - he shakes Link violently from the neck when Link returns without Majora's Mask, and he has hysteric, unnerving fits. He seems to be largely benevolent during the course of the game, seems genuinely worried over the damage the Mask could wreak, and seems satisfied when he discovers that Majora's spirit has been driven from the mask. However, his motives are never explored. Furthermore, he seems to have willingly freed Majora's Mask, which shows questionable morals. His knowledge of the mask and his efforts to uncover it imply he was not worried by the threat it posed, and he seems only to have become concerned after he beheld the accursed object. It is never clear what he plans to do to the mask (or whether he has already tried to do anything). It is implied that the mask gets the Skull Kid to steal it, which indicates it was in some way restrained or unfulfilled under the possession of the Happy Mask Salesman.
It is possible the Mask Salesman is an Ancient One, or descendant thereof, himself. Although he says the tribe itself has disappeared, this could only refer to the original members, and not include any offspring they subsequently had. The strongest evidence for this theory is his unusual knowledge of the tribe's history and actions. Also, his means of trapping evil magic and troubled spirits within masks through the song of healing is quite feasibly something the Ancient Ones used to effect the spirit of Majora's confinement within the mask. He has unusual and powerful magical abilities (teleportation, apparition of the piano). The Ancient Ones are already described as magic users, and their sealing of a vastly powerful mask within shadow indicates a similarly unusual and powerful magic.
He says that since the tribe disappeared, no one knows the power of the mask; however, he also claims he can feel its power--a trait possibly inherited from those who knew its power. His strong desire to acquire and then to regain the mask could be connected to an inherited sense of responsibility, or the fact that only an Ancient One's descendant could have the knowledge to control it. This may be reinforced by the masks own desire to escape from him using the Skull Kids actions. The final hint is that the field Majora created in the moon had five Lunar Children, who all resembled the Happy Mask Salesman himself. If the Mask Salesman's race and ancestors were the original wearers of the mask, it could explain why Majora chose people in that image to wear the five masks.
The Happy Mask Salesman's mystical powers and vast amount of knowledge could denote that the Happy Mask Salesman is not a Hylian, but rather, a Deity or the earthly avatar of one, or in the very least a higher being not of Terminan or Hyrulean soil. The Salesman can, as previously noted, make items, as well as himself appear and disappear at will. These attributes combined with the aforementioned facts makes a case for the Happy Mask Salesman in truth being a god, perhaps one who guides those who are lost.
He also may have limited control over the flow of time, as when Link is inside the Clock Tower, time does not pass; in fact, the in-game clock disappears entirely. This could be taken further to suggest that the Happy Mask Salesman is, in fact a personification of the Goddess of Time, which is further supported by the fact that Link is taken back to his meeting with the Mask Salesman if he fails to stop the Moon. If that is true then he may be the same character in Oracle of Ages as in the Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time.
The nature of this deity may also be that of an inter-dimensional hero, explaining his presence in both Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. This hero may be someone who cannot directly intervene in grave matters, but can assist the people of whatever dimension he is visiting (much like the mask salesman teaches Link the Song of Healing and seems to be aware of Link's time travel).
Due to the fact that his eyes are, for the most part, closed, it is hard to determine the color of his eyes. However, when he opens them during one of his violent outbursts, they are red. Red eyes are a characteristic commonly connected to the Sheikah. However, the red eye color may stem from the fact that the eyes are bloodshot during his frantic episodes. Additionally, in Ocarina of Time, the Happy Mask Salesman gives Link the Mask of Truth as a reward for selling his masks. The Mask of Truth is a well-known artifact of the Sheikah race. It could be that he somehow obtained the mask during his travels, but it could also have been passed down to him by his would-be ancestors, the Sheikah.
While non-canonical, in the manga, the Happy Mask Salesman's eyes are occasionally open, but since the manga is printed in black and white, it is impossible to determine the eye color. However, the brightness of the irises suggests that the color is a light color, obviously ruling red out, unless it is a lighter shade of red.
Another belief is that the Happy Mask Salesman is an in-game avatar of Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of the Mario series and the Legend of Zelda series. This theory is compounded by his seemingly unlimited knowledge, strange powers, and the appearance of masks resembling Mario and King Dedede, both of which are Nintendo characters. Additionally, Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that as a child, he had dreamed of directing puppet shows before getting into gaming. This could be a further reference to the Happy Mask Salesman, who, in the game, seems to be influencing all of the events from behind the scenes.