When James Joyce was writing Ulysses, he declared: “I want to give a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city suddenly disappeared from the earth it could be reconstructed out of my book.” Dublin was Joyce’s city: his hometown, his muse, and the setting of his entire literary corpus. But the encyclopedically chronicled Dublin we encounter in Ulysses is not a Dublin of Joyce’s recent experience. It is a Dublin reconstructed from memory while Joyce wrote the novel in Switzerland, Italy and France. He couldn’t venture outside to verify a detail. He couldn’t pop down to the pub to observe the neighbours. He had to trust that during his years at home, he’d paid enough attention.

Perhaps Joyce’s incredible cartographic achievement is only possible because his enormous novel takes place over the course of a single day. Maybe his remarkable memory for space was subsidized by the severe restriction he placed on his narrative’s scale of time. That’s impressive enough: Ulysses is a nearly perfect remembrance of one whole day.

But imagine if it took place over three.

Memento Majora is a fansite dedicated to The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, written entirely from memory. It was created by me, Matthew Parsons, for the Critical Distance Fansite Jam 2024. Once I decided to make the site, I cut myself off from looking up any information about Majora’s Mask, I avoided screencaps and video, and I didn’t allow myself to replay the game. As such, the content of this website is incomplete and highly inaccurate. Hopefully, it is also pleasantly unorthodox and personal.

I think I’ve played through Majora’s Mask three times in my life, but it might have only been two. I know I played it as a child, and that I finished it long before I ever got past the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time. And I know I replayed it in 2020 in the depths of lockdown, when its apocalyptic tone took on a new significance. I may have played it one other time between those two, but I can’t remember the details so it’s possible that it never happened.

Regardless, Majora’s Mask is the game from my childhood that I look back on most fondly. I didn’t play a lot of games back then, and my sense of nostalgia is more strongly tied to other things. But for reasons I’m sure I’ll explore elsewhere on this website, Majora’s Mask stuck with me. For every hour I’ve spent actually playing it, I’ve spent several retracing its geography in idle daydreams. Those daydreams will be my sole reference material while creating this site.

“Imagination is memory,” Joyce once said, and Ulysses is his greatest act of imaginative remembering. His recreation of Dublin is shockingly precise, but its many inaccuracies are as telling and suggestive as what he got right. I hope that by attempting to recall Majora’s Mask from memory, I can offer a picture of what’s actually memorable in the game, and present it from an unusual angle with no pretense of objectivity. And I hope that you recognize I’m referencing James Joyce on this Zelda website not because I’m being serious but because I’m being silly.