LINE BY LINE (Majora’s Mask True Story) by Javed Sterritt for The Hyrule Journals on YouTube
Nearly four years after his first Zelda essay1, Javed Sterritt has published his video about The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. I remember being stirred by Javed’s Ocarina of Time video back in 2019. I wrote about it back at DualShockers just a few days after the video was published.
There’s no better way to kick off the new year than by watching this documentary.
Now, me being me, not only am I watching for the story, but I’m studying the editing, pacing, and style. Javed seems to use some widescreen, HD texture pack modified version of the two N64 classics.2 I am often a purist when it comes to representing game footage, but the use of these enhanced versions enhances the presentation of the video.3 The story is enriched as you are immersed in the footage.
I love the desk Javed uses in some shots. The lighting and texture is warm. I particularly loved his shot of the Game Boy Color. Slick cut on the placement of the console as well.
Now, continuing the theme of me being me, I immediately noticed the Macintosh Powerbook G3 used at the 10:09 mark. I also noticed the version of Excel on its display was the Microsoft Office 98 for Windows, not the Macintosh Edition. 😅
The theme of isolation that is prominent throughout Majora’s Mask (so I’m told) is represented in the game’s development. Not just from the top creative brass or the programmers, but even down to the translation and localization. I know what it feels like to stare at tens of thousands of lines in Excel and wondering if you’ll ever reach the end. I do not know what working on one of the most important sequels ever feels like. Jason Leung’s story is spot on and told in a thoughtful and wonderful way.
Update (1/5/23): Javed has taken down the original upload of Line By Line citing translation issues. I’ve got the quote below and will update the link when a new one is provided. Props on taking the video down, swallowing the hit to view count and the algorithm all for the sack of accuracy. Maybe he’ll change the Excel footage too?
I’ve had some wonderful people from the Zelda and localising community point out some incorrect translations in the doco. After some consideration, I’ve decided to go and fix these issues and reupload. Will post the new link soon. Thank you everyone and sorry for the inconvenience.
Update (1/11/23): Javed has uploaded the new version of Line By Line. The links above have been updated. I think he swapped the PowerBook…
1. Perhaps I should call it a journal entry instead.
2. The Ocarina of Time version could be the PC port, while Majora’s Mask version might be modified with texture packs. Writing up this tiny paragraph sent me down the mod path for these games. Now I have the reverse-engineered PC port of OoT on my iMac. The community has done some buck wild stuff.
3. Can I even be called a purist when I capture and stream old games off FPGA systems or pass old consoles through an upscaler? Wouldn’t purity require showing off these games through an RF cable? Javed’s own use of CRT filters and effects could be argued as more "pure" than my own typical representation. But I digress from this philosophical tangent.