Majora's Mask Opera


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Hi. I'm M. Bulteau (Berlioz, around here). I'm a composer/writer, and I have my work online:

www.mbulteau.com

Far from being here to spam you, take that as a portfolio for your reference towards what I would like an opinion on from the community.

I have long delved into the depths of Majora's Mask dramatic possibilities, and being a composer/writer I am currently considering (after having enough material to start) creating a stage work of Majora's Mask, something big, serious (as in, professional), powerful and with one or two modifications that I assure change nothing of the story's core concepts at all. In fact they bring out the drama in full and allow for a stable adaptation to stage, instead of the many flaws that arise from taking a game structure into a dramatic set without the necessary reconstruction.

Musically speaking it would also avoid reducing itself to medley form. I would try my best to develop on every theme, taking them as bases to be grown on and to make a complete and organic work, instead of a patched-up musical track.

I would need to gather up all the available resources to write a score that would please me and all the other Zelda fans.

The hardest part would obviously be, afterwards, attempting to contact the actual composer, showing the product, and asking for his approval, perhaps his support, in having the work built and brought to life, for we all know an artist trying to climb always needs help from above, especially if they are using the work of those above as a vital basis. It is always a win-win situation, since artistic reinterpretations of any established medium always validate its existence further (a.k.a. mutual advertisement et al.).

I have my original work, both writings and compositions, as evidence of what I can do, and I am usually not one to make these kinds of adapted projects, but Zelda is something that has always fascinated me, and Majora's Mask is the one that always dug deepest.

I would like to know if the community would be interested in seeing such a project built.

Cheers,

M. Bulteau

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Posted · Report post

This seems like a really great and amazing project, especially if you can direct this in the right direction. Majora's Mask is pretty agreed upon as the most sinister and deep Zelda game to date. While Hyrule.net is probably not as powerful as to help you with the higher-ups, I can assure you that you sound capable enough to garner support from its users.

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Posted · Report post

I would be really interested in seeing a work as you describe. It sounds powerful and I wish you the best of luck in it.

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Posted · Report post

i know saha especially would make for a good critic, as he did a fantastic job on the Hero of Time movie. form how youre speaking, though, and your general introduction, this doesnt sound like the Hero of Time, though. thats a really good thing, if youve never seen it. it means your play sounds good, especially since youre worried about the accuracy.

i wonder if you also pitched to operation:moonfall when you finished, if that would help. i mean, theyre already trying to get nintendo to make a MM:3DS, and a finished, accurate play would make a nice "see how we love this series? see how much work went into this play?!" statement. (just a little shameless promoting there, since MM is [i]the [/i]zelda game i wanna play most)

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Posted · Report post

It sounds like a good idea, and you sound like the type capable enough to make it happen. If you want help from our website in the future just drop a line, and feel free to keep us updated on your progress.

Though, you would also want to be very careful with how you approach the story. You've got maybe two hours to get a full game campaign in. This website's community is very familiar with fans of the series attempting to recreate works from the games, and this is a problem they frequently run into. If you don't stay true to the story to a t, you're going to get bombarded with hate.

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Posted · Report post

Unlike most fans who decide to do things, you are actually capable. I've been listening to some of your stuff, and you DO RECEIVE MY APPROVAL. I'd say you should contact whoever controls Zelda copyrights and stuff beforehand so whatever effort you put into this isn't wasted. See if they'd be okay with a this-type thing being released, especially if you plan on putting it on for money.

Otherwise, I'd be intrigued by a Majora's Mask opera. I'd definitely come see it if it came around here, which would probably not happen. I'd buy the soundtrack? Good luck to you, and I hope you keep us posted :>

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Posted · Report post

Oh my god he makes these things virtually I must learn his ways

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[quote name='Ganondorf333' timestamp='1322499254' post='370435']
Otherwise, I'd be intrigued by a Majora's Mask opera. I'd definitely come see it if it came around here, which would probably not happen. I'd buy the soundtrack? Good luck to you, and I hope you keep us posted :>
[/quote]

what about DVDs?

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Posted · Report post

Thank you for your support so far.

pheonix, I am fully aware of the hate bombardment possibility, and I am expecting it because although the modifications involved in the setting of the work to stage do not change the story's core concepts at all, as I said, they do alter something quite important for those who take refuge on the heroic deed of a single individual (Link).

*prepares for the flame*

I have put enough thought on this (took me a while), and there is a difference people have to understand exists between media.

A book is a book. A movie is a movie. A game is a game. A stage drama/opera is a stage drama/opera.

The intensity of a stage drama comes from the concentration of the attention in a specific character or group of characters and the things that affect them. They can be related to something bigger, obviously, but it still has to restrict itself to a group that is small enough to build up the amount of weight it needs.

The reason a game like Zelda can't be adapted to stage at 100% in every single aspect is because a game is built as an interactive medium. A game like Zelda lives on diversity and exploration.

I chose Majora's Mask for a reason: In all of its diversity, Majora's Mask has the ability to captivate through the personal anguishes of the inhabitants of a dying world. Now, turning it into a never-ending list of equally important woes would be static and unimportant, and here is the key issue: So would turning a mute heroic character into a chore-handler for a world with living, thinking and feeling individuals.

For what I suggest, I ask for understanding from the part of the community in that I am convinced that I can heighten the theatrical power of such a world and what it is experiencing through this simple yet key modification:

Link is absent.

It is a what-if cautionary tale to the world of the audience (like Ikana was to the rest of Termina) telling of Termina's fate without the intervention of a savior, a Deux Ex Machina in Hylian form.

The core concepts remain the same, as I've said. The story revolves around promises, the whole world's mechanic and sense is exactly the same.

But this little big change allows me to make a humanistic injection of character build-up in the largest and best known side-quest of all Zelda games: Kafei and Anju.

By centering the story on Kafei and Anju, I can make it that Kafei's quest for the retrieval of the Sun Mask and the fulfillment of his promise comes out of his own accord, his own effort, and provide a fluid narrative of his tracking of Sakon and his treasure. The struggle of a last promise in a world fated to be destroyed.

Don't think Skull Kid and the mask Salesman will be undermined, on the contrary, I expect the Salesman to be a very important guide to the events in Termina and cross paths with Kafei later on, as he is the responsible for taking the mask to avoid disaster and then having Skull Kid steal it from him.

As I said above, a game is a game, and a game's diversity is made for interaction. In an opera, that diversity becomes harmful. It becomes dispersion. My aim is to make a big, serious and most of all effective work out of Majora's Mask, and you can take my word on the respect I have for canon. So much that instead of modifying or harmfully cutting Link's diverse actions to adapt the work, I would rather make it keep its sense simply by letting Termina exist nearly unchanged.

I understand and humbly accept all the flaming that might erupt from the canon-centered community, but I am sure of my abilities to make a bittersweet cautionary tale out of Majora's Mask for our own world to see. Zelda fans or not. And if it wishes, to compare to our own dangerously decreasing sense of trust and faith in people.

I ask of you the same sort of trust: What concerns me in this project will not disappoint.

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[quote name='Berlioz' timestamp='1322531417' post='370486']
Link is absent.
[/quote]

up until this point, i was thinking "i swear if he makes link talk..." and then you went and got my attention. im actually interested. like, sat up straighter on my seat and went "where did he get that ide--this could totally work." also, this was the point where i put away all my "excuuuuuuuse me, princess" jokes.

i feel like theres some way i could argue cannon [url="http://zelda.wikia.com/wiki/Split_Timeline_Theory"]timeline crap[/url], particularly with the adult timeline, in which termina is just one big fuzzy area between wind waker and OoTs adult timeline. basically, the timeline where link is absent. though, i should probably play MM before attempting to talk plot on this :< but given that its a different region and blah blah blah, the influences from a changed hyrule might/probably(?) would be pretty small.

also, ive been wondering about that salesman....i noticed he up and vanished over the seven year jump--did he go to termina at that point?

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Posted · Report post

Yeah, I think I love you.

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The idea of dropping Link from the story makes sense, and I can see how that would work. But if you're going to drop link from the story, you might not want to just stop there. When the savior of the world is gone, the premise changes entirely. Yes, it would still be the same planet, and everyone would probably die at the end. But I think if you go for that "Fulfill your promise before everyone dies" idea, you might not want to keep it centered around the zelda plot. If I were you, I'd take that premise and make my own world around it. The world is going to end in three days, and one lover wants to fulfill his promise in time. Introduce your own characters and setting to that. Doing Termina without link wouldn't exactly work, I think.

Inversely, you could have link present, but not as a main character. I wouldn't know because I never actually played Majora's Mask itself, but if I remember correctly, Link was not an important personality in the lives of the people until the final day. He ran around the city meeting everyone while he worked out what to do, and it was only in the final moments that he came out and stopped majora. So if I were you and I still wanted to do termina, I would have link silently running around on the stage in a "where's waldo" esque manner, in between scenes and in and out of songs. I'm saying it's a way for you to keep link in the opera without him being the main character. In the end he'd still come out and save the day.

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The issue with your first advice is that it would obviously be seen as a simple imitation of an already existing premise. I would much rather exalt the work that inspired me by going through it to express myself than just making something that "is like Majora's Mask only in a different place and with different people."

The issue with the second advice is that for the weight of the story to really be effective in the way I want to write it, to give it the darkest hue and at the same time increase its strength, the moon would have to fall. This can be justified by the course I am giving the story and what it will be focused on.

Promises are the recurring theme in Majora's Mask, and the lack of commitment to those promises or faith in people is Termina's downfall, propagated to its fullest by Skull Kid's trickeries.

I wish to make this hypothetical Terminan eventuality to be able to be interpreted as a cautionary tale for the real world, like Ikana was to the rest of Termina ("Haven’t you begun to understand? The kingdom being ruined and us left in this state… Isn’t it petty, little battles like this that have caused it? Believing in your friends and embracing that belief by forgiving failure… These feelings have vanished from our hearts" --- Igos du Ikana), without becoming a nagging moralistic story or an utopian world where good always triumphs through the hand of a hero, instead of the rest who inhabit the world.

By omitting Link and showing that there is such a thing as too late, irreversible situations and actual doom, while at the same time showing Kafei's resilience to keep his promise despite his knowing that everything will indeed end, I avoid both of these thoughts: "Someone else better than me will find a solution," and "If it's going to end, nothing means anything anymore and we're all worthless."

The Happy Mask Salesman, being the only one who can escape Termina, will serve as the one who clarifies the message. He will be the one who has lived through seeing the ultimate consequences befalling a people without faith in their brethren or the ability to forgive and understand each other, much like Skull Kid refused to understand why the giants had to leave, sticking to his own childish and selfish needs and becoming bait for Majora, Termina's [i]coup de grace[/i] already prepared by the Goddesses for Termina since the initial demonstration of hostility by the ancients (if you don't know what I'm talking about, [url="http://www.zeldainformer.com/2010/10/the-message-of-majoras-mask.html"]here's the best read of them all[/url]).

Link has always been considered as that mute character who is so for the inclusion of the player in the game. You can always name Link something else. He is the [i]link[/i] between you and that universe. [i]You[/i] in the game are the player. [i]You[/i] in an opera are the audience. In a dramatic stage work there is no active involvement of the audience with the story being enacted. There is, however, the passive action of observation, appreciation and thought. The active role of a player in a game would be, in a stage adaptation, turned into the observational role of the public. The latter then takes the following position, which is common to every work of art, from games to books, to movies, to operas, etc: They will process what they have seen and choose whatever approach they want to focus on to remember the work they were exposed to. The public [i]is[/i] always part of the work of art, because without them there would be no need for art at all.

I believe that, to avoid the two overreached conclusions between inverted commas I mentioned three paragraphs above, the best place for Link, the representation of the target of the work of art, is in what he has always been: Us.

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Posted · Report post

You can't remove the 3 day time limit for the play. It's integral to grasping the deeper concepts of Majora's Mask.

Majora's Mask is filled to the brim with deep subtext and hidden messages. Link is crucial to the story, and I'll tell you why. Majora's Mask, to me, isn't so much about the setting, the dark story, the gameplay, etc. Majora's Mask is about the player. It's about Link's (your) perception of the world. It's about Link remaining steadfast, heroic, honorable, and, most importantly,[i] innocent [/i]in a world that is perverse, cruel, cold...evil. It's about Link growing, maturing, and learning the true meanings of friendship. The whole game teaches us important lessons, which I will outline below.

Termina is dying. The mask has put a curse on the entire kingdom. The moon is crashing down, all of the citizens are suffering in one way or another, and suddenly an outsider (Link) invades the world. He doesn't belong. No matter what Link does...no matter how many people he saves or helps, it does nothing. The world resets after 3 days and it's as if he did nothing. Link relives, over and over, the cruel, dark story of Termina. At some point, the player (as Link) realizes something important. [i]You can't save everyone. [/i]There just isn't enough time. That's an important lesson for us to learn, and an important lesson for Link. He's used to being able to save everyone. How soul crushing it must be to realize that his actions are always forgotten. And everyone he doesn't save on that particular day...more often than not, something terrible happens. Yet, he presses on, because he believes he can make it right in the end. True heroism and courage.

Another important lesson is [i]true love endures, even in the worst times. [/i]Kafei has been turned into a child, yet Anju still loves him unconditionally. Even as the world is crashing down around them, these two cling to each other. Link has gone to great lengths to get these two together, and he watches until the very last second. Slowly, sadly, he pulls out the ocarina and brings everyone back 3 days prior.

The next important lesson is to [i]believe. Believe in friendship, and believe in yourself. [/i]The Happy Mask Salesman is pretty keen on instilling this lesson onto Link and, by association, the player. He says "Believe in your strengths. Believe." The Ikana King mentions friendship "Believing in your friends and embracing that belief by forgiving failure. These feelings have vanished from our hearts." And the moon children ask Link very philosophical questions about truth, happiness, and friendship. "Can I ask... a question? Your friends... What kind of... people are they? I wonder... Do these people... think of you... as a friend?" "Can I ask... a question? What makes you happy? I wonder... what makes you happy... does it make... others happy, too?" "The right thing... what is it? I wonder, if you do the right thing, does it really make everyone happy?" and, my favorite:

"Your true face... What kind of... face is it? I wonder... The face under the mask... Is that... your true face?" Majora's Mask is about masks. The entire game, Link is wearing different masks, doing different things, pretending to be different people. He disguises himself as a Goron and people think he's their legendary Goron. He disguises himself as a Zora and poses as Mikael, who actually died in front of Link. Throughout the whole game, Link has been many, many different people. But who is he really? What is his true face? This is an important lesson to Link and to the player. We should shed our masks. We should let our true faces shine.

In all, the lessons were: Remain steadfast and innocent, shed our masks, do the right thing regardless if it makes everyone happy, be a good friend to everyone, forgive your friends, believe in your friends, believe in yourself, true love endures all things, and you can't save everyone.

This was what I got out of Majora's Mask. I'm sure it's all up for interpretation, but I really like seeing it all unfold.

As for a play/opera, I would suggest doing it in acts, with each act representing a different 3 days. Let Link and the audience experience some of the best plot points of Majora's Mask (Anju and Kafei, escorting Malon's wagon and keeping her safe from the bandit attacks, Ikana castle, rescuing the goron elder from the ice, finding the mummified dad and the little girl, the moon children, etc) while confining each to the 3 days.

I think it would translate quite nicely as long as you kept those lessons I mentioned and teach the audience a new one each refresh.

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Posted · Report post

this is a great example of how, when given the same problem, artists will spawn completely different answers.

i think it really depends on your view of where Link and the audience stand in the story, and what you feel is the most important thing to get across. Berlioz is going for "what if there was no hero?", Pheos is more "this is what theyre doing when youre not doing their quests", and Chase is trying for a kainda "innocence in a twisted world", like what he picked up from the game.

i, on the other hand, need to go beat this over break, somehow.

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