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Twilight Princess "darker Feel" Compared to Majoras Mask


The chosen one
May 13, 2010
I feel that twilight princess is a darker game than majoras mask. I think this because of the overall feel. Whenever you walk around in hyrule in tp it seems like a doom is looming over you but unlike mm you cant see it and you cant play a song to stop it (literaly unless you didnt understand the 72 hour mechanic majora will never win). I also feel that mm has a more cutsey art style and characters.


Just Some Dude
Apr 13, 2012
I'm pretty TP is the way it is partially because of the fan backlash in direction with WW.

After MM, many people were expecting the series to stay rather dark and "realistic", and the Space World demo to affirm this. However, when WW and its cel-shaded graphic came along, several fans felt the game would be "kiddy" and "silly". Mind you, I love WW, and its dark in its own way, but that isn't what a lot of people expected. So, when developing TP, they tried to correct this by making the game deliberately darker, more realistic, and more "mature".

TP and MM are both fairly dark and mature games, for sure. But I'd say they're pretty different in the way they accomplish this tonally. MM has an artistic maturity to it- it's a detailed, character-driven world, and it's all at risk due to the ever-present doom over their heads. This felt really real and organic to me. The more mature elements of MM were natural by-products of the game's story and its main themes, the central gameplay focus on side quests and time-based restrains, and even the game's development (the short development time for the game made the creators feel "pressed for time", and this feeling ended up being translated into the actual game). It just felt natural, because the all the little things logically lead to being mature.

While TP was dark, it felt more intentional, and honestly, forced about being so. Don't get me wrong, I like TP in its own right, but instead of feeling organic about having its mature themes, it felt like being dark was its main objective (and possibly so, given the backlash from WW). Instead of the dark elements being a by-product of the game's other elements, the other elements of the game tried to make the game feel dark.

If example, in MM you take on the form of a lowly deku sprout and get stuck in the doomed town toward the start of the game. In TP, you become a wolf, because that's just what form the Triforce of Courage conveniently allowed you to turn into. In MM, you had to save the world from the moon, because every three days it will crash into the earth. In TP, areas of the world literally become dark, and you have to save them from the darkest (the Twilight).

Again, while TP is dark and isn't bad by any means, I prefer Majora's Mask way of going about it by not forcing it. It depends how you define what "dark" is. I personally feel the darkness derived from the emotional and artistic aspects of MM are better.


The "feel" of the game for TWP is more realistic, and so darkness looks more realistic. It seems like it is truly in front of you. In MM however, you aren't shown the true feel of the darkness that is looming around you, but if go to the people around you, you practically see what the darkness is doing to the people there. So in conclusion, it is a mixed opinion, I feel that MM is darker due to what happens if you fail. Everyone you know, everyone you've struggled to help, gone...


Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
I don't believe what you mean by the feel is the word "feel", moreso how things look. TP [to me at least] felt like a classical hero story, like OoT. The game just LOOKED physically dark, whereas MM SEEMED dark. Besides, MM features death on too many levels, whereas the only deaths in TP are those of Link's enemies. People are just turned into spirits in the Light Realm, nothing more. It's nothing like seeing the citizens of Termina embrace each other as their death is literally seconds away.
Apr 7, 2012
Duck Land
it honestly depends on how you see dark.
twilight princess is dark in the respects of the shading and the overall character look.
however, storyline and music wise, majora's mask has a much more dark and ominous feeling.
even depressing at points.

godess reborn

Blame The Cricket
Jan 29, 2012
Turn around...
I think Majora's Mask was a much darker game in terms of the quest and storyline. There is a constant threat looming over you. If you talk to some of the people on different days, they gradually become aware that the moon is getting closer to Clock Town. It made me feel scared and sorry for them because they were nervous and had little clue what was to become of them on midnight of the third day. Some of the townspeople even start out by confidently stating the moon wasn't going to fall, but that confidence crumbles away as the days pass.

Twilight Princess is dark graphic and dungeon-wise. The overworld was done in muted tones, giving the game a dark look. The dungeons seemed like places the rulers of Hyrule might take people to punish or imprison them. Some of them literally are dungeons, with the remains of criminals still locked inside. I found them to have a very dark atmosphere, but not so much in the rest of the game.

Overall, I'd have to go with Majora's Mask because of the powerful threat and the townspeople's fear.
Jan 20, 2012
When I played Majora's Mask, I hardly ever got a dark feeling. The overworld wasn't dark at all, even at night time the sky seemed to have a little bit of light in it.. The enemies in the overworld weren't "scary" or hard to defeat at all, it just wasn't dark.

TWILIGHT PRINCESS: When I played Twilight Princess, however, I was scared the whole time I was in the twilight because it was so dark and creepy. Even when you were in the regular world it was extremely creepy! Especially when you were in the twilight or a wolf, there was hardly ever any light, even when it was daytime!

VERDICT: Twilight Princess is darker.

MAJORA'S MASK: The enemies in MM seemed like enemies you could find in any other game. They didn't have the dark, creepy, evil feel. They didn't really put out much effort to kill you, if you came near them they'd be like "oh, i guess i might try to attack this person later.." or that's what it seemed like at least.

TWILIGHT PRINCESS: The thing about Twilight Princess that feels darker is the enemies.. In TP, the enemies were all so dark, and you could literally see the evil resonating off of them. The enemies in TP were dead set on killing you! That was such an eerie, dark, bad feeling. Everywhere you went you were surrounded by enemies that had such powerful ways to kill you, and would stop at nothing! You could be so far away from an enemy and they would see you out of the corner of their eye and about 100ft away and be like "DANGER! MUST KILL! DO NOT STOP UNTIL I KILL!" It was scary, man...

VERDICT: Twilight Princess has creepier enemies.

MAJORA'S MASK: The plot in MM was not only eerie and dark, but it was sad also. Here you have this town of such happy, sweet people forced to face their mortality. Innocent people being taken over my evil masks, and a moon slowly crashing into the ground. The plot was so sad and dark that at times I felt like crying! When the aliens came down to abduct the barn, I was so sad. ):

TWILIGHT PRINCESS: The plot wasn't extremely dark in this game. I mean the whole Zelda thing was kinda dark, and when we found out Midna was actually a gorgeous woman in charge of the twilit realm, which is being taken over by darkness, that was a sad part.. but there really wasn't much else in the plot that was 'dark' or sad..

VERDICT: Majora's Mask has a darker plot..

Physical: If you only look "skin deep" or purely at the physical attributes of the games, Twilight Princess is obviously a much darker game.
Emotional: If you read more into the story and consider all things, Majora's Mask is a much darker game when it comes to the people, emotions, plot, etc.
VERDICT: For me, it is a very close tie between these two games. Since i however like to consider all attributes, physical and emotional, the emotional darkness in Majora's Mask slightly beats out the physical darkness of Twilight Princess, therefore I think Majora's Mask is a darker game.


The Rodent King
Jun 15, 2011
The Tree
The way I see it, MM is dark because it's sad and it's all about the end of the world. It's supposed to make you feel sad. TP is dark because it's supposed to make you feel scared, not sad. All of the artwork is in either dark colors or has a monotone color scheme except for a couple places. It also has creepier music than MM like when you're fighting one of the shadow beasts.

I kind of look at it as MM was kinda like a game where you were just supposed to go through and bash everybody out of your way and have a good time with it. TP was more like if you don't get it perfect, you'll die.

I'd have to say TP was darker becuase while I'm playing MM, it doesn't make me scared and it actually doesn't make me sad either because since the graphics aren't that good, I can't take the faces of most of the characters seriously but TP was really supposed to make you nervous and kinda scared which is why it seemed darker to me.
Overall, I'd argue that Majora's Mask is a darker game than Twilight Princess, I mean, how much darker than the world is about to be destroyed in 72 hours can you get?! It was also a very poignant and heartfelt experience. More so than any other Zelda game you connected with the characters knowing they would be soon annihilated. Twilight Princess certainly was doom and gloom with Zant and the Twili, however, I never felt that same urgency especially with most of the characters seeming unmoved with the devastation around them.

At this point, I'd like to highlight some very dark moments from both games and highlight why the ones in Majora's Mask were more dismal than those in Twilight Princess. As mentioned before, TP certainly had its fair share, however, that same appeal to pathos found in Majora's Mask was largely missing. Sure seeing Zant and the Twili for the first time, Link turn into a wolf, and Ganondorf slay the sage of water was "dark" so to say but that paled in comparison to stumbling into Termina and being mutated into a Deku Scrub, seeing the murderous and corrupted Skull Kid on top of the Clock Tower as well as laying eyes on the moon for the first time. It's the emotional appeal and exceptional character development that make Majora's Mask a much darker game than Twilight Princess.


didn't build that
TP's always been too monotone to have any real effect on me. Emotonally and tonally, it flatlined.

I still find Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past to be the darkest Zelda games in part because of the tonal shifts. Ocarina takes time to develop its characters and world before launching you into the classically "dark" segments, making it something of a top-notch hero's journey. A Link to the Past is more focused on its worlds, and it develops the Dark World as an ominous, all-consuming force. Both are quite powerful in their approach. Both play off of the childlike innocence of their fantasy world very well, and there is always a ray of hope.

Majora's Mask is absurdist, almost postmodern. It reminds me of "Rabbits" by David Lynch, or even Alice in Wonderland. I love its approach. It lacks subtlety, but it benefits from variety, and it plays off of lots of primal fears in its atmosphere. It's not JUST dark, which is another plus--there's plenty of comedy to go along with it. That makes the dark moments stand out. They don't exist in isolation, but are part of a larger narrative and tone, as they should be.

Twilight Princess is less "dark" than Ocarina of Time, A Link to the Past, and Majora's Mask, in that order. But those games are not good because they are dark--their darkness is a symptom of their good design. Other games, like The Wind Waker (which has a dark backstory and depressing conclusion but an overall cheery world), are not dark and are still better. By failing to establish the fundamentals, Nintendo failed to infuse Twilight Princess with the emotional resonance that would make its Hyrule "dark" in any positive way. Frankly, it looks like they set out to make a dark game, which is a mistake in a series known for its sense of adventure. The result is a world that isn't dark because it doesn't matter.

I will agree that TP is depressing, but it's only depressing because it feels empty. Everything, from its unsympathetic, boring characters, to its muted colors, to the sameness of its locations, to its off-putting protagonist, to its empty overworld, makes me want to leave. That's depressing. At least it's an anomaly--every other Zelda game is colorful, funny, and suitably innocent, at least to an extent.


There you are! You monsters!
Forum Volunteer
Feb 8, 2011
Majora's Mask is in no way dark. It has a dark theme to it, yes, but the game is very centered around its atmosphere. With the Moon coming down on Clock Town, it took on a surreal appearance for the entire 3-Day cycle. Workers ran around Clock Town aimlessly, some stared into the sky, and hurried on preparing to run away, whereas others continued to tend to their shops and ready for the carnival. Outside the central hub a series of misfortune arose from within each of the four regions: Southern Swamp was poisoned, the Mountains turned to an abrupt winter, Great Bay's water became misty, and the Ikana Canyon was infested by the undead. All this chaos stemmed from a malicious mask which turned everything inside outwards as if it was a game.

On the flipside, Twilight Princess immediately placed Link into a world that was ruled by shadow. There are several elements that extended beyond suspense (which MM had mostly). Stalking through the worlds of darkness was scary and uncertain, especially when the Twili Beasts appeared out of nowhere. The music, although atmospheric, mirrored the dismay that derived from their presence, and fighting the beasts took a long time for me to get used to them without feeling some sentiment of misery. But nothing was more unsettling than Zant's Hand slowly drifting after Link while he carried the Sol outside to the courtyard...twice. That scared me tons more than Redeads freezing Link in place with their shrieks and strangling the life from him, and I think it's worth noting that I was a kid at that time.

The way I measure things is very different from most other people, because my measuring is done through definition and the levels of extremity in terms of topic. For this I'd say that Majora's Mask, again, is not dark, but a sad and thoughtful, a pensive, experience in Link's life. Twilight Princess was rampant with dark and suspenseful moments in the game. The evil in TP nearly always felt present, even more so than the Moon's constant descent, because you were actually living in it during several points of the game (i.e. the areas covered by shadow and the Twilight Palace). And other times, like King Bulbin showing up to kidnap Ilia and Colin, then facing off with you on the bridges, and elsewhere, made my heart pound, they were so epic and intense at the same time. Nothing dark about that perhaps, other than the pale lighting...

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