Termina, the world Link explores in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, is a twisted place, full of the sad stories of characters on the brink of apocalypse. One such story, according to a popular, all-but-confirmed fan theory, hints at the dark origins of Deku Link, one of Majora’s Mask‘s player transformations.
Link’s two other transformations in Majora’s Mask – Goron Link and Zora Link – are accessed via masks imbued with the spirits of dead members of those species. The Goron Mask contains the spirit of Darmani, a hero who died while attempting to save the Snowhead mountains, and the Zora Mask contains the spirit of Mikau, a musician mortally wounded by pirates as he tried to save his bandmate’s eggs.
Players see these two spirits transferred into their respective masks, but Link’s Deku form is first created as a Skull Kid curse and then later separated into the Deku Mask, so players aren’t directly informed which Deku spirit is at the heart of the transformation. Despite this, several Majora’s Mask scenes heavily imply the source of the mask’s power, so fans have come up with a compelling theory as to its true identity.
Early in Majora’s Mask, players find a tree that resembles the twisted face of a Deku Scrub. Link’s fairy companion, Tatl, comments on how the tree looks like Link’s Deku form, and the Deku Butler later tells Link he reminds him of his son. During Majora’s Mask‘s end credits, the Deku Butler is then seen with the twisted tree, apparently mourning the loss of whoever it represents, thus connecting Deku Link, the tree, and the Butler’s son. The theory posits that Skull Kid somehow removed the spirit of the Deku Butler’s son, killing him, using his essence to curse Link, and leaving behind only the sad-looking tree.
Further evidence can be found when Link plays the “Elegy of Emptiness” song in Deku form. Rather than creating a statue of Link’s transformed self, the Elegy produces a likeness of his masks’ original spirits: Darmani, Mikau, and a young-looking Deku Scrub with sad, downturned eyes and three leaves on its head. This statue is assumed to be what the Deku Butler’s son looked like in life, as it resembles the twisted tree more than even Deku Link. The amount of evidence pointing to the Deku Mask’s former life as the Deku Butler’s son makes it one of The Legend of Zelda’s more straightforward theories, but nonetheless a particularly tragic one.