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- "This is a kind of parallel world that is similar yet different from the land of Hyrule, which was the setting for "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.""
- — The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask American manual
Termina (タルミナ Tarumina?, Talmina) is the land where the story of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask unfolds. After the events of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Link searches for Navi in the Lost Woods. However, he is ambushed by a Skull Kid wearing a strange mask known as Majora's Mask. Chasing after the Skull Kid, Link falls down a hole inside a tree, and wakes up in Termina.
Because many of the people and creatures Link meets in Termina are almost identical in appearance to certain inhabitants of Hyrule, Termina is often thought of as a parallel world to Hyrule. This is never directly stated in the game, though the manual does call Termina a parallel world. In-game legends state that the land was created by the Four Giants. In the official Hyrule Encyclopedia, it is stated that Termina is nothing more than a figment of the Skull Kid's imagination brought to life by the mask, and that once the mask was defeated and Link left, Termina ceased to exist.
In Termina, the races do not have a common king who governs the entire land, but instead have individual leaders. The Terminans are arguably more technologically advanced than contemporary Hyruleans, to the point of developing photography and plans for prototype rockets. Every year the Terminan races celebrate the Carnival of Time in the central settlement of Clock Town. They do this in honor of the Four Giants who, according to legend, created the land and still guard it. The Triforce and the Hylian pantheon are apparently not worshiped and may not be known of at all. However, the builders of Stone Tower would appear to know of the Triforce, as depictions of it can be found on the underside of the floating blocks in the tower. The Triforce symbol can also be found on pillars in Ikana and the side of Termina Field closest to the tower. Their origin is never confirmed, but they are covered in markings identical to those found in Stone Tower.
Termina's central city is the lively Clock Town, located in the middle of Termina Field, between the known populated regions. West of Clock Town is Great Bay. To the north of Clock Town are the mountains of Snowhead, south is where the swamp of Woodfall is located, and to the east of Clock Town is the ruins of the ancient kingdom of Ikana. If Link looks at Termina from the furthest point away from the coast, Pinnacle Rock, it appears that the land is surrounded by water, making it either an island or a peninsula. This means that the kingdom of Ikana is probably not the furthest point east and that there is presumably an eastern coast. This is supported by the in-game map screen, which depicts land further north and east of Ikana.
Activity in Termina is concentrated in the large area that is Clock Town, and, unlike the monarchy in Hyrule, there is a mayor. Another possibility is that the different races trade with each other for resources; the Gorons produce bombs, the Deku produce natural goods (Magic Beans, Deku Nuts, etc.), the Zoras produce fish, and the Terminan Hylians provide services and finished goods. Terminan Hylians live mainly in Clock Town and only a few live elsewhere, such as Romani and Cremia, who live on Romani Ranch to the southwest of Clock Town. Gorons live in the mountains, Zoras live in the sea to the west, and Dekus live in the swamps of the south. There does not seem to be one ruling race, but each race's home is like a city-state, each with its own government system and traditions.
Areas of Termina
Clock Town is the apparent center of Terminan affairs, located between the major population centres and Ikana. Inhabited mostly by Terminan Hylians, Clock Town is divided into 5 sub-sections: North, East, West and South, as well as an area known as the Laundry Pool. East Clock Town consists of a few carnival-like games, the Mayor's Residence, the Stock Pot Inn, the Milk Bar, and the entrance to the Bombers' Hideout. North Clock Town consists of a large park which takes up the entire area, except for a small Fairy Shrine in the corner. There, occasional sightings of a Keaton in the park can be witnessed. West Clock Town is the city's main commercial center. It includes various stores, some of which are of questionable legal status, such as the Curiosity Shop. West Clock Town is also where one can find the local Post Office and the bank, as well as a Lottery Shop. South Clock Town is the town's main hub. It is connected to all four of the other sections. Every year, the Carnival of Time occurs in South Clock Town, making it a cultural location. A large Clock Tower is in the center of South Clock Town, hence the name "Clock Town".
Termina Field is a large mainly treeless area that encircles Clock Town and borders Termina's various mountains, valleys, and bodies of water. A system of roads spanning the field connects Clock Town with the other regions of Termina, including Snowhead, Great Bay, Ikana Valley, and the Southern Swamp. Although vegetated primarily by various grasses, Termina Field is far from topographically featureless. Many species of animal life populate the area, chiefly ChuChus. Termina Field is the perfect place for a horse ride.
Woodfall is a large swamp in located just south of Clock Town. It is very aquatic and lush, and it has an abundance of wildlife. The Southern Swamp's dominant species, the Deku Scrubs, have developed a small kingdom which is administrated from a palace nestled deep in the Southern Swamp, near Woodfall. Woodfall Temple is the Deku Scrubs' temple of worship, and is the root of the poison leaking into the swamp waterways. There are places in which other races live, and their businesses are high on platforms. One is the Swamp Tourist Center, where Link can get a boat tour of the swamp, and the other is the Magic Hags' Potion Shop, where a number of helpful potions are sold. Other areas of interest include the Woods of Mystery, a maze-like wood which is very much like the Lost Woods in Ocarina of Time, and the Swamp Shooting Gallery, in which Link can test his skills with his Hero's Bow.
The Snowhead Mountain range is the most elevated area in Termina. It is home to the Gorons, who have made a city on the snowy slopes. The Goron Village consists of many cavernous-like areas cut into the mountains, most notably the Goron Shrine. Outside the borders of the village lies the Mountain Village, a small area, which is home to the Mountain Smithy and two swordsmiths named Zubora and Gabora who can improve Link's sword for a price. On a cliff overlooking the Mountain Village is the Goron Graveyard. It serves as the final resting place of the great Goron hero, Darmani. The Gorons' temple is Snowhead Temple, a huge peak in the mountain range surrounded by a huge chasm. Snowhead Temple is where the bitter, endless winter torturing the Gorons stems from, and is also the site where the Goron hero Darmani was blown off of the cliffside by a large Goron and ultimately killed.
Termina's large western coastline, known as Great Bay, initially appears to be a peaceful and serene setting. However, large numbers of Leevers and Like Likes infest the area and making travel along the beach somewhat difficult. The entry from Termina Field opens on an empty beach, with the Fisherman's Hut, and a house of skulltula on the shore, along with kayak-like boats on the sand. A short way offshore is the Marine Research Lab, suspended above the waves by several columns. It resembles the helmet of an antiquated diving suit, featuring portholes and a large hook on the roof. The knowledgeable Professor, who is well informed on the plight of the Zora, conducts his research here. Even farther out from shore is Pinnacle Rock, a murky trench teeming with huge sea snakes, and further still Great Bay Temple, home of Gyorg, and the stem of the murkiness and heat in the ocean that is preventing the Zora from hatching their eggs. From a distance Great Bay Temple resembles a fish or whale surrounded by the "dragon cloud," as stated by the leader of the Great Bay Pirates, Aveil. The dragon cloud is a raging hurricane-like storm that makes traversing the waters of Great Bay around the temple near impossible without the help of the large turtle found behind Zora Cape. The far north of the bay shelters the Pirates' Fortress, a large compound with a high level of security. Zora Hall Coast can be accessed through a tunnel not far from the Fisherman's Hut. Zora Hall can be found off the coast near this point, located in the "mouth" of the large fish shaped rock. This appears to be the main population centre for the Zora, and is the home of the band, The Indigo-Go's. Above the waterfall there is a catchment where two Beavers live. The stretch of river above the waterfall is the Waterfall Rapids where they make their dam.
Ikana is a desolate and forlorn area of Termina, where few besides the dead can call home. Ikana has a large river flowing through it, which leads to the Southern Swamp if Link follows it. The Ancient Castle of Ikana can be easily seen, but its main gate is closed forever. Along the river, Link can find the Music Box House, a strange dwelling with a waterwheel that makes the music playing in the house run. Also near the river is Sakon's Hideout, a seemingly impenetrable cave that Sakon uses to hide all of his stolen goods. Further up the hill, Link can spot the gigantic Stone Tower, a rock stronghold that contains the Stone Tower Temple which looms above all else in the haunted kingdom of Ikana. A deep well delves deep into the chilling underworld of Ikana. Near this is a cave full of water, where the river's source originates but is blocked by the older composer brother, Sharp. Ikana seems to have been a thriving kingdom but then died and faded into obscurity. An evil curse was released upon the land when the Doors of Stone Tower were opened. The Ancient Castle of Ikana is now haunted by vicious monsters and the Stalfos versions of the King Igos du Ikana, and his two vassals. The castle can only be accessed from outside via Ikana's Well. Despite how the canyon may have appeared in its past, it is now a land of death and mournful memories. Restless and angry spirits still roam it's mysterious and dark grounds.
The Catacombs are a series of tunnels underneath Termina that serve as the entrance to Termina from the Lost Woods in Hyrule. They have no inhabitants other than what appears to be a dead Deku, commonly speculated to be the Deku Butler's Son. The Skull Kid appears to have used this passage to Hyrule several times: at the end of Majora's Mask, he indicates he met Link in Ocarina of Time in the Lost Woods, at which point he had not met Tatl and Tael; he is shown to meet the fairies in the hollow log in Termina; and he clearly returns to the Lost Woods before he steals the Ocarina from Link. It is not clear whether the Skull Kid is aware he has traveled to another world; he refers to the place where Link "taught him the song in the woods", as if it were any other part of Termina. It is never stated how one is able to travel up the hollow tree and return to Hyrule.
Races and Government
The Hylians in Termina, sometimes called Terminans, are considerably different from those in Hyrule. They are more technologically advanced, as they use clocks and fireworks, and they are given no mention of having magical powers. They are considered to still be members of the Hylian race, however. They also share the same traits as Hylians. (Ex. pointed ears.)
In Termina, the Deku Scrubs are far more advanced than Hyrulean Deku Scrubs, and they have a distinct culture and religion. They are run by monarchy, and their sacred temple is the Woodfall Temple, which only Deku Scrubs can access without magic. The Deku and the monkeys of Southern Swamp are hostile towards one another, and it is said that a monkey kidnapped the Deku Princess. The Deku are lead by the hot-tempered Deku King.
The Terminan Gorons are very different from the Hyrulean ones. The Hyrulean Gorons live on the active, and therefore hot, volcano, Death Mountain, while the Terminan Gorons live in Snowhead Mountains, where they experience seasonal variations, including extreme cold. During Link's visit to Termina, the climate of the Gorons' habitat is severely affected as the Moon looms ever closer and the wintry curse is released from the Snowhead Temple. Terminan Gorons are a tribe "ruled" by the Goron Elder, just like their Hyrulean counterparts. The Hungry Goron mentions that the Rock Sirloin Link brings him comes from Dodongo's Cavern, which either shows that he is aware of Hyrule's existence, or that there is a place of that name in Termina as well.
The Zoras of Termina live in the Great Bay Region. In Termina, Zoras are more open than Hyrulean Zoras, and they will leave their home to travel, which is easily shown by a very popular Zora band called The Indigo-Go's that like to play in Clock Town and other densely populated areas. They also live in saltwater, unlike the freshwater-inhabiting Zoras of Hyrule. Zoras are born from eggs, which must be kept in water at a certain temperature and kept together if they are to survive. Zora children are born without legs or arms, implying that they possibly go through an amphibian-esque metamorphosis. Unlike the other species, Zoras seemingly have no central government or even any government at all, much different than the group of Zoras in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, who are ruled by King Zora XVI.
The Gerudo Pirates are Termina's version of the Gerudo race of Hyrule. Little is known about the history of the Gerudo Pirates, but it appears that, like the Hyrulean Gerudo, the race is either primarily or entirely female. It is unknown whether the Gerudo Pirates possess the Hyrulean Gerudo's prophecy of a single male being born every one hundred years, as no Pirates ever mention it. The Pirates inhabit a large fortress in the Great Bay Area. The Hero of Time, Link, comes across the Gerudos after they steal The Indigo-Go's lead singer Lulu's eggs. Little is known about the Pirates' dealings, but it is apparent that they are selfish and corrupt, willing to steal living Zora eggs in the pursuit of treasure, and are technologically advanced, having items such as motorboats and cannons.
While it is unknown if they were another race, there was once a civilization in Ikana, in eastern Termina, that died out due to a long history of war. The ancient race of Ikana, and the Garo, an enemy nation of Ninja spies had a bloody past between them. The Ikana were led by Igos du Ikana, who now sits on his crumbling throne in the Ancient Castle of Ikana. Link explores the ruins of the Castle and the temple in Stone Tower in order to free the fourth giant in the evil guardian mask of Twinmold. Now a wasteland haunted by vengeful spirits, virtually the only living people there is a researcher of the paranormal and his daughter Pamela, as well as the grave keeper, Dampé. Tingle also stops by occasionally to peddle the usual map or two. Ikana is the location of the hideout of Sakon the thief as well. Sakon's hideout also plays a prominent role in the Anju/Kafei sidequest if one chooses to follow it.
There are a few other entities in Termina that used to be alive, but have long since perished. An example of this is the mysterious ghost dancer, Kamaro, who dances every night at midnight on the large mushroom-like objects just to the North of Clock Town in Termina Field, waiting for somebody to pass on his legacy.
Carnival of Time
Also known as the Festival of Time, this is a festival central in the Terminan calendar. On this day, people wear handmade masks for good luck and walk along a walkway from the Festival Tower to the Clock Tower, where they sing an ancient song to the gods to wish for a good harvest and luck in the year to come. It is said that if a couple dedicate two masks to the sun and the moon and get married on this day, their marriage will be a prosperous and happy one. Told by Anju's Grandmother. This can be seen at the conclusion of the Anju and Kafei sidequest.
The Four Giants
Also told by Anju's Grandmother, this story is about the history of Termina, the dissolution of the one race into four different races, and how the Four Giants of Termina separated and kept watchful eyes over the people of the land. This story also clarifies details about the Skull Kid, an imp who befriended the giants some time ago. The Four Giants had decided it was time to separate to fulfill their duties as the guardians of Termina, and the imp, distressed by the parting of his friends, began to harass and terrorize the people of Termina with his tricks. The giants made it clear to the imp that he was to be banished from Termina, or they would tear him apart. After the imp left, the people rejoiced and worshiped the Four Giants as their deities.
Termina has been shown to be more technologically advanced than Hyrule, possessing modern hallmarks such as rock bands, mayors, clocks, hotels, bars, tourist shops, lotteries, photography, motorboats, conveyor belts, security alarm systems, indoor plumbing, and even plans for space travel (as seen on a poster in the Bomb Shop). A notable example is of Great Bay Temple, with flashing neon lights and numerous water-powered machines.
Because Tatl mentions that Nejirons "smell of gun powder", this may mean that guns have been developed in Termina, or, because Bombs require gun powder to explode, she could simply be referring to the fact that Nejirons are explosive.
The name Termina is most likely derived from the English word "terminal", meaning "will perish soon". "Termina" also means "(it) ends" in Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. This is most likely referring to the apocalyptic nature of Majora's Mask. The alternate meaning to "terminal" is that of a waypoint, possibly referring to the unnatural mode of travel between Termina and Hyrule. Eiji Aonuma stated that it was this terminal that was meant.
An 8-bit version of Termina appears as a map in Adventure Mode. Like Majora's Mask, the Moon will fall causing the Termina map to be reset. The goal of the Termina Adventure Map is to collect the Four Giants Item Cards and use them at the Clock Tower, to open up a new section of the map on the Moon, where the player will face Lana (in her Skull Kid outfit) under the control of Majora's Mask. Termina is also mentioned in the Historical Entries for Young Link, Tingle, and Skull Kid.