- "Is that a "Kee...something..." character mask? I heard he's very popular recently?"
- — Keaton Mask Soldier
The Keaton Mask (キータンのお面, Kitan no Omen?) is a recurring mask in the Legend of Zelda series. The mask is based on the mysterious fox-like creature known as Keaton. People's reactions to the Keaton Mask indicate that it is based on a seemingly fictional character named Keaton, who is popular with the children of Hyrule and apparently Termina at one point.
The Keaton Mask can be borrowed from the Happy Mask Shop in Hyrule Castle Town so that Link can find someone to sell it to. It is the first mask Link obtains as part of the Happy Mask side quest, and it can be sold to the Hyrulean Soldier guarding the Death Mountain Trail Starting Point in Kakariko Village for 15 Rupees, allowing Link to make a profit of five Rupees upon returning the mask's proceedings to the Happy Mask Salesman.
Interestingly, it can be borrowed again once Link has already sold it, but it serves no real purpose other than comic relief. If Link wears the Keaton Mask on the Forest Stage, the Deku Scrubs will either become aggravated and spit nuts at him until he leaves, or react positively and start dancing, showering Link with Rupees.
The Keaton Mask reappears as one of the twenty-four masks that Link can collect. Kafei wears it as a disguise, as he has gone into hiding after being turned into a child and losing his wedding mask. If Link successfully meets Kafei, the Man from the Curiosity Shop will then appear in the Backroom of the Curiosity Shop after 1 PM on the Final Day. However, in the 3DS version of the game this door opens at the dawn of the Final Day. If Link speaks to him there, he will give Link the Keaton Mask that Kafei had been wearing, as well as Kafei's letter to his mother, explaining his situation. The Curiosity Shop Owner states that he gave that mask to Kafei when he was a child, and he was surprised by how well Kafei kept it.
If Link talks to members of the Bombers Secret Society of Justice while wearing the mask, they will mention having one as well, indicating it is a popular mask among children. Talking to the Bombers' leader Jim while wearing the mask and Jim will mention seeing a Keaton near the slide in North Clock Town.
The Keaton Mask can be used to find Keaton in locations at which there is a ring of bushes with a single bush in the center. If Link cuts one of these bushes, the other bushes will scatter. If Link hits the bush while wearing the Keaton Mask, Keaton will appear after the bushes have vanished, and immediately recognize that Link is in disguise. However, as Keaton recognizes the goodness in Link, he offers to ask Link five random questions about people, places and animals in Termina. If Link answers all five questions correctly, he will receive a Piece of Heart. Answering all five questions on subsequent time loops will earn Link 20 Rupees.
The Keaton Mask is featured on a sticker depicting it being worn by Kafei. The sticker grants a +10 bonus to shield recovery and can be used by any character.
Young Link wears it on his head and will even don it when the Strong Attack button is pressed with a Full Magic Meter (as Young Link's Strong Attack is normally used to turn SP into Magic).
Keaton Mask appears as Young Link's Gold Material drops. As part of the Master Wind Waker DLC, their is a Fairy Clothing Headgear option called Fox Mask which is based on the Keaton Mask worn by Young Link. However it is worn on the side of the head like how Young Link wears his Keaton Mask in the Hyrule Warriors series. In his Battle Intro cutscene, Young Link will briefly don the Keaton Mask, which will humorously fall off while Link is wielding his Kokiri Sword, causing him to briefly stare at the camera in embarrassment.
As part of the A Link Between Worlds DLC, the Keaton Mask also appears as Ravio's Gold Material drop.
Though an actual Keaton appears in Majora's Mask, this creature is never seen nor made reference to in Ocarina of Time. As a result, the meaning of its name remains a point of speculation. It is possible that the name is meant to be a reference to kitsune, the Japanese word for "fox", which also serves as the name bestowed upon mischievous foxes from Japanese folklore in English retellings.
Though an actual Keaton is seen in Majora's Mask, and the mask in Ocarina of Time is recognized as a fox by some characters, the mask may also be a reference to Pikachu from Nintendo's Pokémon series. The mask and Pikachu have similar coloration, and both are very popular among children (in the Zelda universe and the real world, respectively). Lastly, Princess Zelda misidentifies the mask as a mouse, which is the type of creature Pikachu is listed as.
The Keaton Mask is believed to be a reference to Fox McCloud, an anthropomorphic fox that serves as the main character of the Star Fox series. It is one of five masks that are a supposed reference to Star Fox, along with the Bremen Mask, the Bunny Hood, Don Gero's Mask, and the Mask of Scents.