Most people know that Nintendo had a pretty rough time making The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. The company wanted the game developed and released in less than two years, a monumental task for any studio. Unsurprisingly, developers struggled to meet deadlines, working overtime and pulling all-nighters to get things done on time.
However, it turns out that a lot of the game's dialogue was directly inspired by this period of crunch, including several lines from NPCs and even arguably one of the most famous lines in the entire Zelda franchise – "You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?"
According to an old issue of the magazine Nintendo Dream, unearthed by YouTube channel DidYouKnowGaming? (thanks Eurogamer), developers on Majora's Mask "put [their] feelings into the mouths of Termina's residents." One of the city's carpenters says something along the lines of "Damn! I'll have to stay up again… I wonder if I'll finish this," which is apparently a direct reference to when work on the game was getting backed up and developers needed to stay late to get things done.
As for the game's most famous line, developers made it so that the mask salesman spoke the line "You've met with a terrible fate" once development on Majora's Mask was nearing completion, likely to reference the feelings of developers when they discovered they'd have such little time to develop the entire game. It's also revealed that the moon falling in Majora's Mask was inspired by tension between Japan and North Korea at the time, as developers were worried about missile strikes.
Hopefully, working conditions over at Nintendo have improved dramatically since the early 2000s, and that there aren't any developers currently pulling all-nighters to try and get The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom out of the door. At least they've been given plenty of time for this one, as Tears of the Kingdom is still expected to launch on May 12, 2023, almost five years after the release of the last mainline title Breath of the Wild.
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