- "Friends are a nice thing to have... Heh, heh. Could you be my friend, too? Eh-hee-hee... You have the same smell as the fairy kid who taught me that song in the woods..."
- — Skull Kid
Skull Kid (スタルキッド Stalkid?, ) is a recurring character in the Legend of Zelda series. A member of the Skull Kid race of creatures, the Skull Kid is a mischievous being who takes delight in playing tricks on others. He serves as the primary antagonist for the majority of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and it is generally accepted, though not explicitly stated, that he makes his first appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
|Artwork of the Skull Kid from Ocarina of Time, with and without the Skull Mask|
The Skull Kid can be found playing his flute in a clearing in the southern part of the Lost Woods. If Link approaches him as an adult, the Skull Kid attacks him on sight, as Skull Kids fear adults. If Link approaches him as a child, the Skull Kid is docile and does not attack him; however, if he is hit with a projectile weapon, he will dodge the attack and disappear until Link leaves and re-enters the area. As a child, Link can play "Saria's Song" for the Skull Kid; when this occurs, the Skull Kid, also a friend of Saria's, befriends Link, presenting him with a Piece of Heart as a token of their newfound friendship.
After the two become friends, Link can sell the Skull Mask to the Skull Kid as part of the Happy Mask side quest. However, the Skull Kid pays Link only ten Rupees, despite the fact that the price was twenty Rupees, forcing Link to make up the difference out of his own pocket. The Skull Kid is very happy to receive the mask, and takes pride in the fact that his friends are jealous of it. Strangely, after the Skull Kid receives the mask, all other Skull Kids in the game are depicted wearing the mask as well. This is likely due to a programming error, however, since the extra Skull Masks are removed in Ocarina of Time 3D.
The Skull Kid is the primary antagonist for the majority of the game, being the one apparently responsible for the series of disturbances and disasters that have recently plagued the land of Termina, and seeking to destroy the entire land by pulling the Moon out of its orbit and sending it on a collision course with Termina.
Before the events of Majora's Mask he was found by Tatl and Tael during a rainstorm. They eventually befriended, but the Skull Kid's mischief leads to the Happy Mask Salesman, and he then steals a mysterious mask from him. The mask's power then took him over.
Later, on a quest to find a friend he lost during the events of Ocarina of Time, Link travels deep into the Lost Woods astride his horse, Epona. Suddenly, two fairies, Tatl and Tael, appear and frighten Epona, causing Link to fall off and lose consciousness. The Skull Kid, wearing the mask he stole, then appears from out of nowhere, and proceeds to search Link for valuable items. He steals the Ocarina of Time and attempts to play it; meanwhile, Link regains consciousness and, having noticed the Skull Kid, attempts to sneak up on him. The Skull Kid steals Epona and attempts to escape; Link is able to hang onto the Skull Kid's leg for a short while before falling off. He chases the Skull Kid into the forest on foot, entering a huge tree with a great pit inside, into which he falls.
At the bottom of the pit, Link finds the Skull Kid, who informs him that he "got rid of" Epona, as she would not obey his commands. He then proceeds to use the power of Majora's Mask to transform Link into a Deku Scrub. As the Skull Kid is set to leave, Link attempts to give chase once more, but Tatl is able to deter him; unfortunately, this causes her to be separated from her brother Tael and the Skull Kid as the door closes behind them. In desperation, Tatl agrees to work together with Link as his Fairy companion for them to make their escape. Link uses the powers of his new form, along with Tatl's advice, to make his way out of the tunnel complex, and into a large underground chamber. As they attempt to exit the area, the Happy Mask Salesman appears before them. Without revealing too many details, the man tells Link that he can restore him to his Hylian form if he recovers his stolen ocarina, as well as the mask that the Skull Kid stole from him. However, he tells them that they have only three days to complete this task, as he will be leaving at that point.
Exiting the underground chamber, Link and Tatl find themselves in Clock Town, the geographical and economic center of Termina. They are eventually able to access the top of the Clock Tower, where they find the Skull Kid. Link is able to retrieve the Ocarina of Time, but is unable to retrieve the stolen mask. He uses the "Song of Time" to travel back in time to the dawn of the first day he arrived in Termina, thereby avoiding the land's imminent destruction upon the fall of the Moon. He then returns to the Happy Mask Salesman, who teaches him the "Song of Healing", restoring Link's Hylian form. Upon hearing that they failed to retrieve the mask, however, the Happy Mask Salesman is severely distressed, and informs them of the destructive powers of Majora's Mask, and how imperative it is that it is returned to him. They are also provided with further details of how the Skull Kid ambushed the Happy Mask Salesman and rummaged through his bag of masks, ultimately finding Majora's Mask. It is unknown whether this was a random crime perpetrated by the Skull Kid without the express intention of stealing Majora's Mask, or if he was driven by the demonic power inherent in the object—though certain hints are given implying the latter.
Following advice received from Tael, Link and Tatl go on a quest to rescue the Four Giants, guardian spirits of Termina who have the power to halt the falling Moon and have been imprisoned by the curses of Majora's Mask. Along the way, they learn of how the Skull Kid came to meet Tatl and Tael, and witness the many calamities caused by, or attributed to, the Skull Kid. Aside from the seemingly inevitable collision between the Moon and Termina, the land's four outlying regions—Woodfall, Snowhead, the Great Bay, and Ikana—have all also been plagued by different environmental crises, each of which is undone once Link rescues the Giant guarding that region. It is unknown how many of the Skull Kid's crimes, which range from petty vandalism and threats of theft, to attempting to destroy everything, were perpetrated under the influence of the mask—especially since the Skull Kid's mischievous nature was apparently present before the introduction of the mask. At the very least, it is made clear that the most wicked of the Skull Kid's deeds are due to the influence of Majora's Mask.
From Anju's Grandmother, Link and Tatl learn the story of the Four Giants and their friend, the mischievous little imp known as the Skull Kid, who was greatly saddened by their leaving. This sadness, in time, turned to great hate and contempt, and may have influenced the Skull Kid's decision to steal Majora's Mask, or his susceptibility to its powers. In his anger, the Skull Kid caused more trouble for the people of Termina, until they summoned the Four Giants from their sleep, who banished the Skull Kid. In the present, each time Link rescues a Giant, they implore Link to "help their friend" by playing the "Oath to Order" at the time of utmost need.
Having rescued all of the Four Giants, Link returns to the top of the Clock Tower and summons them. Not having the strength to battle the combined power of the Four Giants, the Skull Kid faints, and the Moon's progress is halted. As Tatl and Tael are reunited, Termina seems to be saved; however, the mask, revealed to have been a sentient entity known as Majora all along, abandons the Skull Kid and retreats into the Moon, activating it once again with the intent to consume everything. Link follows after it, and after he defeats the many forms of Majora, it is ultimately destroyed. The Moon disappears, and the mask, now powerless, is returned to the Happy Mask Salesman. As the Four Giants leave once more, the Skull Kid realizes that his old friends had not forgotten him, and that he must let them go. He declares Link his new friend, and at the end of the game, he is revealed to have carved an image of himself, Link, their two Fairy friends, and the Four Giants into a stump in the Lost Woods.
Although the Skull Kid himself is not playable in the game, his outfit and Majora's Mask is an alternate costume for the character Lana. He also appears in Young Link's Focus Spirit Attack, wearing Majora's Mask, he summons the Moon which is sliced in two by Fierce Deity Link.
- "In three days' time, the moon will fall and destroy the land of Termina. At least, it will if Skull Kid has any say in the matter. Thankfully, Young Link put an end to that. Skull Kid is a mischievous little imp who inherited fearsome powers after stealing Majora's Mask. Despite causing widespread destruction and chaos, he is actually very protective of his friends. Equipped with an ocarina, a trumpet, his companions, Tatl and Tael, and of course the terrifying power of Majora's Mask itself, Skull Kid is a serious threat to anyone around him."
- — Skull Kid, Majora's Puppet Historical Entry Tutorial Bio
Skull Kid appears as a playable character. He uses dark magic and the powers of Majora's Mask, as is he wearing it. He uses an Ocarina he stole to command Tatl and Tael, to help him in his attacks. Additionally he can use his trumpet from Twilight Princess to summon Puppets to attack enemies. Using the download code that comes with Hyrule Warriors Legends, he can be unlocked for play in the Wii U version of Hyrule Warriors.
The Skull Kid's personality in the manga is very much the same as his game counterpart. He attempts to crash the moon into Termina. After he is freed from the mask, the mask attempts to kill him; citing the Skull Kid as a worthless pawn who was "no fun".
The Skull Kid is featured on two stickers. The first sticker gives a +20 bonus to leg attacks and depicts him as he appears in Majora's Mask. The second sticker gives a +7 bonus to darkness-based attacks and depicts him as he appears in Ocarina of Time. Like all stickers that grant bonuses to darkness-based attacks, the second sticker can be applied only to Ganondorf.
The Skull Kid appears as an assist trophy. He either turns the camera upside-down or turns fighters invisible with his dark magic. Skull Kid also appears as a Trophy.
In Ocarina of Time, Skull Kid was shown to like music and fear adults like the other members of his race. In particular, he liked Saria's Song. He also had at least some desire to be tough, as he bought the Skull Mask specifically so he could appear tougher.
In Majora's Mask, his personality and to some extent backstory was further explored: He was implied to have originally been friends with the Four Giants, but after they left to assume their roles in the creation of Termina, Skull Kid ended up saddened due to thinking they abandoned him. He was also shown to be a prankster even before acquiring Majora's Mask, although it was heavily implied that his pranks never got serious or dangerous until after he acquired the mask. After gaining the Mask, thanks in large part to the mask's evil influence possessing him, he also became a warped shell of his former self, being very vindictive and sadistic, and his newfound malice being such that he even attempted to destroy Termina by having the Moon crash down on Clock Town. As an indication of just how much he changed under the Mask's influence, he managed to smack Tael and not care that Tatl was outraged when Tael gave a key hint on how to stop his plans, despite their formerly being his friends. Despite this, however, minor elements of his former personality occasionally shone through, such as his being implied to have given Epona away to Romani and Crema instead of killing her as he had earlier claimed to Link. After being freed from the influence of the mask, he ultimately befriended Link, and offered to play with him.
Like other Skull Kids, he had the ability to teleport.
After acquiring Majora's Mask and being influenced by it, however, he gained several potent and dangerous magical abilities from it. It's implied that he either gained invisibility via the mask or at the very least that he used invisibility as an extension of his species' ability to teleport, as his first appearance had Majora's Mask seeming floating in midair before he unveiled himself. Some of his magical abilities via the mask included transfiguration (as evidenced by both his turning Link into a Deku Scrub and Kafei into a child), disintegration (as evidenced by his shattering the various Great Fairies into various shards), and summoning, which was especially evident by his causing the Moon to come down onto Termina. He also may have access to spells that drain entities of their life to power his spells, which is heavily implied by how he managed to kill the Deku Butler's son.
Aside from his magical abilities, he also gained some superhuman abilities, such as superhuman agility, due to his jumping at a massive height to evade Link's attempt at tackling him and then hitching a ride on Epona.
It is widely believed—and heavily implied in Majora's Mask—that the Skull Kids in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask are one and the same. While no outright statement is ever made regarding this, it seems beyond a reasonable doubt this is what the games' creators intended.
Firstly, upon encountering Link in the Lost Woods after having ambushed him, the Skull Kid appears to recognize Link, but deems it not to be a problem. Later, after the Skull Kid is removed from the influence of Majora's Mask, he tells Link that he smells the same as "that fairy kid who taught [him] that song in the woods": in Ocarina of Time, Link plays "Saria's Song" to a Skull Kid in the Lost Woods, who becomes his friend after this.
Additionally, Link sells the Skull Mask to this same Skull Kid, indicating a preexisting interest for masks which could have motivated the Skull Kid's theft of Majora's Mask. Lastly, after the end credits of Majora's Mask, the final image shown is a stump bearing carvings of the Skull Kid, Link, Tatl, Tael, and the Four Giants. After a certain amount of time passes, part of "Saria's Song" will play.
It is also possible that this Skull Kid is either the same Skull Kid, or an ancestor to the Skull Kid from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. This is supported by the fact that that Skull Kid knows "Saria's Song". Although not of the same continuity as the main games, the moveset and bio for Skull Kid in Hyrule Warriors Legends also supports this theory due to him wielding the trumpet he used in his boss fight against Link in Twilight Princess.
In early translations of the manga, "Skull Kid" is translated as "Star Kid", based on his Japanese name of "Sutaru Kiddo", since the Japanese language spells foreign words phonetically. However, this is an error; "Sutaru Kiddo" is more accurately translated as "Stalkid", a derivative of a traditional Zelda enemy, the Stalfos.