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The Ancient Power

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By Niraven   |   Watch
Published: October 26, 2012
© 2012 - 2019 Niraven
It's finally finished after months and months! My entry for :iconthehistoryofhyrule:'s annual calendar contest. This year's theme is "History of Hyrule".

Edit: My artwork was one of the 12 winners and landed the October slot! :D Thank you so much to *Woodland-Mel for hosting the contest, and all of you who were so supportive of my artwork! I also added one more easter egg to my description below, so keep reading. :).

“It is called Majora's Mask. It is an accursed item from legend that is said to have been used by an ancient tribe in its hexing rituals. It is said that an evil and wicked power is bestowed upon the one who wears that mask. According to legend... the troubles caused by Majora's Mask were so great... the ancient ones, fearing such catastrophe, sealed the mask in shadow forever, preventing it's misuse. But now, that tribe from the legend has vanished, so no one really knows the true nature of the mask's power...”

A theory I decided to put into motion. Impa enters the Lanaryu Mining Facility of the Past with a Timeshift Stone, in order to remove Majora's Mask and seal it away in shadow. After viewing the extinction of the Ancient Robots, it was clear Hyrule's safety was at stake. When I first played Skyward Sword, I was immediately struck by the similarity in the music between Lanaryu Mining Facility and Majora's Mask's theme. I found the vibrant colors reminiscent of the mask, and found it interesting that even if the Thunder Dragon was saved, the Ancient Robots still all died out. I theorized they could have discovered or created the Mask, seeking an alternate power source as the Thunder Dragon ailed. Electricity could easily be viewed as “a hexing ritual” by the rather medieval races that we've seen throughout Zelda games. Impa's time portal also very much reminded me of the portal through which Link enters Terminia, which is often referred to as “Hyrule's shadow”. There are so many more details I could share on similarities, but then this description would go on and on and on-- my original document going over similarities was well over 900 words. So, I will spare you reading it here and instead let my artwork tell the story.

Edit 2: Extra details! This only popped into my head just after I finished this artwork, but given I shared it with a couple people below, I decided to go ahead and add it up here, too. The Timeshift Stone that Impa is holding is actually quite special, as it's just the right size to be the stone that would later become the Ocarina of Time. I was tickled to learn that Hyrule Historia suggested that the Ocarina of Time was made from a Timeshift Stone, and I think it makes wonderful sense, being in Impa's care, taking care of the Royal Family's Treasure for generations. In addition, I think it'd be a delightful bit of irony if the very Timeshift Stone that was used to obtain and seal away Majora's Mask, ended up meeting the mask (and conquering it) yet again in another form. Perhaps this is why the Skull Kid was drawn to the Ocarina in the beginning of Majora's Mask, seeing as the mask recognized the presence. I always thought the mask looked surprisingly focused on the Ocarina when picked up for the first time, more so on that than any other object or time throughout the game.

I really tried to challenge myself in creating a scene, and an artwork that told a story, which was way out of my comfort zone. The original artwork size is 3300x2063 pixels.

Enjoy! :)

The Legend of Zelda © Nintendo.
This original concept was created by me.
Do not use or redistribute without permission!
Image size
3300x2063px 3.05 MB
Adobe Photoshop 7.0
anonymous's avatar
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KijiaNeal14's avatar
KijiaNeal14Hobbyist General Artist
Having a bit of trouble seeing Lanaryu Mining Facility as that...would you mind telling me? I'm interested!
Dark-Coco's avatar
Wow this is amazing! So beautiful.
Spire-III's avatar
Spire-III General Artist
I may have commented before, but I will once more. This, conceptually is completely on par with the direction I want to see Zelda taken. Further exploration of the Sheikah, the undeniable presence of "the eye", and the secrets behind Hyrule's shadows. Twilight Princess peered into this ether, but left us with even more questions (not complaining there!). This represents exactly what I love about Zelda. Impa, the Sheikah, Majora's Mask, and the control of time. This is a most apt piece for a history contest and I am thrilled you won. Please keep up the good work. You aren't afraid of color and your attention to lighting has developed greatly. If I could offer one solid piece of advice, I'd say this piece could benefit from less 'airbrush' quality shading; starker shadows, sharper highlights. The Sheikah and Majora's Mask radiate darkness, but this piece radiates light even in the presence thereof. As such, stronger shadows might connote that supreme balance between the subjects at hand.

Past/Present, Light/Shadow, Good/Evil. It's all here, and yet, the lines between the dichotomies seem to blur.

Might I ask: Is Impa traveling to the past to withdraw Majora's Mask? Perhaps so she can seal it away, changing a dark history she, or her predecessors failed to prevent? I would love to see more work expand on this exact mythology, whatever it is you've in mind. OH. I just read the description. Of course I decided to read it after commenting.

Great work Niraven!
Niraven's avatar
NiravenHobbyist General Artist
Thanks for your comment (and my apologies for the late reply)! I've been really wanting to try out a more "painterly" style, with stronger, bolder strokes and less soft airbrushing. Alas, the soft stuff is my comfort zone, and it's really hard to break out of and felt too risky on a contest piece. Plus, I tried to keep the "light-hearted" colors of Skyward Sword, instead of blending with the stark, sharp style of Majora's Mask. Somehow it felt harder to use starker contracts with that in mind.

I'm not sure I'd do any more work on this subject, but maybe one day... :)
Warmgoldster's avatar
I read your theory and it makes sense but would the ancient power impact be the fierce deity mask because a lot of think the interlopers were the creators of the majora mask 
TestingLabRat's avatar
TestingLabRatHobbyist General Artist
This is just an incredible piece of artwork! You did an amazing job!
Niraven's avatar
NiravenHobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :)
pastapiggypiggy's avatar
pastapiggypiggyHobbyist Digital Artist
this is so EPIC
Niraven's avatar
NiravenHobbyist General Artist
Thank you :)
Narutotoro's avatar
There's one little problem with your theory, if the ancient robots had anything to do with the mask, they far more likely discovered it, than made it. The mask is pure evil in nature but the robots aren't, it's powers are pure magic and the robots aren't. They can't be the ones who created it, it's not possible (I'm pretty sure it's one of the dark interlopers who did it).

But you're right, the robots would probably try to use the mask as an alternate power soure after discovering it. But as usual, something went horribly wrong and they were wiped out along with the thunder dragon.

Sorry if I was being nitpicky. I'm just pointing out my views, that's all. And I do love the scenery. If I saw the Majora's Mask in SS, I'd be like OMG. :jawdrop:
LegendofKorraFan101's avatar
LegendofKorraFan101Hobbyist General Artist
What's the writing say? Something like Here lies the Majoras Mask of the Ancient Robots or something, right? Great piece!
Niraven's avatar
NiravenHobbyist General Artist
Yeah that sounds about right. :) And thanks!
Meeshell-Art's avatar
Meeshell-ArtProfessional Artist
excellent artwork as always :D question though, why is Majoras Mask there?
Niraven's avatar
NiravenHobbyist General Artist
Thank you!

It was part of a fun theory I had. I go into more detail in the artist's comments. Doesn't cover everything, but covers the gist. :)
FwooshEye's avatar
FwooshEyeHobbyist General Artist
I really like the picture and the possible connections you wrote about it, though I couldn't help but thinking on one thing...
If the Ocarina of Time was made out of a Timeshift Stone (an idea I really like), it must have been very annoying to make. I mean, Link can bash on them with his sword and stuff, so it must be a quite hard mineral and so on. Meaning they might not have been able to drill the inside or so, but instead removing microscopic pieces little by little with a chisel. I can see it in my mind...

Activated. Inactivated. Activated. Inactivated. Activated. Inactivated. Activated. Inactivated. Activated. Inactivated. Activated. Inactivated. Activated. Inactivated. Activated. Inactivated. Activated. Inactivated. Activated. Inactivated. Activated. Inactivated. Activated. Inactivated...

Poor guy who had to make it!
Rosyan's avatar
RosyanHobbyist General Artist
Very interesting theory... And suddenly it explains the ocarina`s powers.
FierceDeityGirl's avatar
FierceDeityGirl General Artist
I love that theory!! I never would've thought of it... -_- And fantastic artwork!
Niraven's avatar
NiravenHobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :D
Ghostly-Host's avatar
Ghostly-HostStudent Photographer
I like your theory. It could very well be right. :)
limbothedonkey's avatar
limbothedonkeyHobbyist General Artist
wonderful picture! the first time i saw the time shift stones i was like "its pre-ocarina of time!" so when i read the edit in the description i was like "called itttt!" XD
Mellifera-imiya's avatar
Mellifera-imiyaStudent Filmographer

:party: :party: :party:
Niraven's avatar
NiravenHobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :D
Bleachbender's avatar
BleachbenderHobbyist General Artist
wow that's really interesting to read, I never noticed all these little things, I need to pay attention to this when continuing my heromode file in SS.
This is one of the things I love in general about the contest entries, so many that are not based on concrete canon events but people being very creative and putting a lot of their own thought and reflection into their pieces.
You moved out of your comfort zone for this? That was a good choice! You should keep doing this : )
I love the contrast between the vibrant colors of the area affected by the timeshift stone and the present, and you're right it really fits Majoras Masks color scheme.
I also like the light rays with the dust dancing in it.
anonymous's avatar
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