Why is There a Bank in Clock Town in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask?

By Dan Portson
October 29, 2019

 
Am I the only one who constantly listens to Queen’s “Save Me” while playing Majora’s Mask? It’s my favorite title of the Zelda franchise, and also my favorite game that allows me three days to buy a $500 mask and listen to an old lady tell stories all night in exchange for “candy”. Who quizzes a person after telling them a story? Frankly, it’s rude.

As far as the game’s themes go, I could probably go on about the fragility of time, or how the moon is actually slowly creeping further away from Earth each year (3.8 cm further as a matter of fact), but all that has already been said. I don’t want to waste any of your time, because time is precious. Time is also money. Money, I say? I’m glad I brought that up. Don’t you think it seems odd that this is the first, and arguably only, Zelda title that involves you having to open up a bank account? A real-world, cumbersome responsibility stitched right into the fabric of a game about the precious nature of time.

In Ocarina of Time, during the first ten minutes of the game, you were practically forced to find a job in order to move the plot along. You could not leave the forest until you found a sword and purchased a shield…you know, like, with money. However, in Majora’s Mask, all you have to do is find a mask, and you have a whole 3 days to do that. After hanging out with a scarecrow and waiting for bubbles to collide in the multi-verse, you approach the Skull Kid when the time is right, and that’s it. You don’t really need to purchase anything. In fact, every item you receive has been bartered for (ie. entry to the observatory, land deed…), or was just found lying around, as in the Moon’s Tear.

The only thing you have the slightest urgency in purchasing is a map (at least for those first three days). Also, why is there a financial institution in Clock Town, but no storage facility for your weapons or important items? Oh yeah, that’s right…because you get to keep those whenever you travel back in time. Why do you get to keep your important items and weapons, but you don’t get to keep your stashes of rupees every time you spiral down the vacuum tube towards “Day 1 – 72 hours remain”?

It doesn’t really seem like Termina is much of a capitalist society that depends on banks to fund their big-business owners. Other than the ma and pa shops, the only business that seems to be happening around there is construction, and correct me if I’m wrong, but those construction workers don’t seem to be doing much of anything. One of them just stands and laughs at a sign on a building for three days. Is everyone’s money being lent to the ma and pa’s of Clock Town? Is that why there’s a bank account? To keep them afloat?

From what I can tell, there is plenty of money hanging out in the fields or in chests stashed above buildings. I don’t think money-lending plays a huge factor in why there’s a bank in Clock Town. Unless…the Skull Kid brought that beggar over from the Hyrule realm. Why would he do that, you ask? He did it to fulfill one very nefarious and very particular purpose: to steal my money. I mean, the bank is literally a hole in the wall. Also, the Skull Kid obviously doesn’t like me already, which is quite apparent seeing as he steals my horse and turns me into a Deku Scrub. I think he’s jealous because, like White-Ra, I have the special tactics (Starcraft joke).

I know what you’re thinking, there are many various characters that are leading many various parallel lives in Termina that have nothing to do with Hyrule whatsoever. What makes the beggar so special? All of these characters would most likely have something (or everything) to lose if they dropped their lives and moved to Termina all on the Skull Kid’s orders. However, the beggar from Hyrule is the only character who has nothing to lose and would even benefit from leaving his old, begging life behind to become a banker. He could keep some money off the top, and the rupees would never stop coming. Ok, here’s a scenario: You have 600 rupees deposited in the bank account, and you take out 500 to pay for a dumb All-Night Mask. How can the Skull Kid be taking my money, if it’s obviously still in the bank account?

The two obvious answers are using counterfeit rupees to replace mine, or the Skull Kid gets protection money from all the ma and pa shops. I mean, why not both, right? Wrong. Even though the Skull Kid could easily intimidate the local businesses enough to pay for protection, it would be protection from himself and I’m sure there’s a Palindrome Effect, or some other scientific anomaly that takes place if that were to happen. And I think it would be way too much of a hassle to keep on making fake rupees. It could actually be a lot simpler than that.

First let’s start with what we know: 1.) There is a door that leads from Hyrule to Termina, and the Skull Kid has been through it (arguably multiple times). 2.) Link goes back in time BEFORE the moon hits Termina every three days. This third, and final, factor is the MOST important, and I’m sure you’ll realize what it is before you even finish reading this sentence. 3.) There is a pocket in space where rupees magically appear out of thin air (and vases/boxes rematerialize) within the confines of Hyrule’s Caste Town.

Every time after Link deposits money and goes out into the field to do something heroic, the Skull Kid travels through the door to Hyrule, pays a visit to Hyrule’s Room of (Rupee) Requirement and replaces all of Link’s deposited money into the bank. He then pockets Link’s hard-earned cash for himself (giving a little interest to the beggar for helping him out). When Link travels through time, the Skull Kid travels back with Link, leaving the old beggar in Clock Town, finds the beggar again in Hyrule and repeats the process.

I mean, why wouldn’t the Skull Kid have the ability to travel through time? Link can do it with a plastic toy, and the Skull Kid has a full-on voodoo, black magic mask. Also, why would the Skull Kid steal MY money, when he could just continuously steal Hyrule Castle Town’s money? The Skull Kid gets more satisfaction out of stealing Link’s money (just like he did his horse and ocarina, and the Mask Salesman’s mask), but that’s pure speculation of course. All I know is that I didn’t need to fill out any paperwork to start using that bank, and I think that’s just a little suspicious.