“Alright, Cheetah. Where are we going?” The two of us are standing in the middle of my hallway. We lost Candra a long time ago, but Cheetah’s being quite paranoid. He’s led us this way, that way, and the other place just to make sure Candra didn’t tag along where Cheetah wanted to go.
Cheetah gives me a big toothy grin. “Close your eyes–and no peeking!”
A small sigh escapes my throat, but I close my eyes anyway. Cheetah then takes my hand. “You’ve been working too hard,” he states as he starts pulling me along. “We’re not going to do anything big, but I think a revisit to some of your favorite daydreams would do you some good!”
Now I’m intrigued. I have a lot of favorite daydreams. “Okay?”
“Keep your eyes closed!” The air suddenly shifts. There’s a breeze with wildflower scent where the hallway was still air. The tiles beneath my feet shift to the crunch of grasses and the buzzing of bees and dragonflies dance in the air. Sunlight glides on my skin like the hug of a campfire. I can tell we’re in an open field and it brings a smile to my face. Trouble was, I have a lot of daydreams that occur in open fields, so I can’t narrow down where we are.
“Don’t open your eyes yet!” Cheetah squeezes my hand in excitement. “Wait until we get to the top of the hill. Oh! Watch your step!” He says after I trip on a rock. “Where do you think we are?”
“Well, gee, Cheetah. I don’t know. I can think of at least five of my story ideas that have fields. Not to mention there’s a bunch of fantasy stories, games, books, and movies I’ve seen that have fields in them. It’s kinda hard to narrow it down.”
Cheetah laughs. “Good! Then you have no idea where we are! Are you ready to find out?”
The wind picked up, telling me we reached the top of the hill. “Where are we, Cheetah?”
“Open your eyes!”
The hill is layered with green and golden grasses. We stand on a dirt path with thousands of footfall treads stamped upon it. Yet, it’s what lays in the distance that brings a smile to my face. Our path leads to an open drawbridge. Sturdy stonework walls guard a wattle and daub town within. I’d recognize those red roofs anywhere and in the further distance is a magnificent castle–or at least as magnificent as 1998 gaming graphics can make it.
“Hyrule.” We’re standing in Hyrule Field in the 1998 version of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. I look at Cheetah and my smile stretches my face. He’s dressed himself up in Link’s blue tunic. “You wanted to come to Hyrule?”
“Yeah!” Cheetah’s flicking his tail in his excitement. “You remember all the daydreams you had here? All the hours you spent playing this game without actually following the storyline?” He places his hands on his hips and nods toward his outfit. “I’m the Midnight Knight from those daydreams!”
Blush rises to my cheeks. I had forgotten about that. There were a lot of video games I played without actually following the story. I’d create one in my head and run around the map like I was following that story. The Midnight Knight that Cheetah was talking about was about this game’s main character: Link, having multiple personas depending on the tunic he wore. Everyone knows Link wears green, but I’d switch him to the blue tunic–like Cheetah’s wearing–to ‘turn him into’ the Midnight Knight. In my mind, no one knew who the Midknight Knight was. Kinda like a Superman verses Clark Kent kinda deal. I glanced up toward the sunny sky. “Cheetah, you realize the Midnight Knight only came out at night, right?”
“Yeah, but the Castle Town Market isn’t open at night!” He grabs my hand and starts pulling me toward the drawbridge down the hill. “Come on! I want to play some of the market games! And maybe we could try to sneak into the castle and see Zelda herself!”
I laugh. “We gotta stop at the Temple of Time too!”
Before we even reach the market, Cheetah’s diverting us again. There’s a small room in the guardhouse, just inside the drawbridge, that’s full of clay pots. Cheetah has to smash every single one before we can even move on. The market is as busy as I imagined it being. Like an American Renaissance Festival, there’s people everywhere. Crowds gather around the market stalls, twins converse beneath a tree, a guy runs around with a bag of his belongings on his back, and a couple–completely enthralled with each other–dance near the fountain. Medieval settings like this were always my favorite. Seeing the characters, the buildings, and remembering all the adventures I had here, makes me think of how I built my stories. I wonder what things are similar and what are different? Candra would know.
“Are you sure it was a good idea to leave Candra behind?” I look at Cheetah, but he’s trying to find all the buildings that had minigames.
Cheetah shrugs and a smirk slides on his face. “Yeah, he’ll be fine.”
Cheetah’s tone suggests he’s just saying that to say it. I think he’s just enjoying not having Candra around for once. My moon man could always be a little strict at times, but that’s just because he means well. My mouth is fully loaded to give Cheetah a lecture about how he and Candra are meant to get along, but a different building catches my eye. “Oh my goodness.” I stop in my tracks and a smile widens my face. At the edge of the square stands a building with a large, happy drama mask over the doorway. “The Happy Mask shop!” I grab Cheetah by the arm. “We have to go inside!”
The Happy Mask Shop is definitely one of my favorite shops in Ocarina of Time. Like how I made Link have multiple personas while wearing different tunics, he also had multiple personas with the different masks on. Not to mention, the Happy Mask Salesman is a creepy dude that starts out the game’s sequel: Majora’s Mask.
Cheetah doesn’t fight me when pull him into the shop and just like I remember, the Happy Mask Salesman is behind the counter with his squinty eyes and ever pleasant smile. His hair is perfectly combed and he wears purple and gold like he’s some kind of royalty. He’s a good character, but there are a lot of fan theories about him in Majora’s Mask. Not to mention, I have a fanfic about him that’s based off the Ben Drowned Creepypasta.
As soon as we walk in the door, the Happy Mask Salesman give a delighted and quiet, chuckling hum. It sends shivers down my spine all because I remember how things go in my fanfic. Cheetah pushes right past me. “OH! I like that one!” He points to the Keaton mask. “Aw, but can I have that one!” He points to the Bunny Hood. “Will it make me faster?! I wanna go faster!”
The Happy Mask Salesman hums again. “Each mask has it’s own story. The Keaton Mask is 15 rupees, but the Bunny Hood is 50.”
Cheetah deflates and he bears his empty pockets. I start laughing. “You wanted to play the minigames in town and you didn’t bring any rupees?”
Cheetah flattens his ears. “I just assumed everything would be free for us since we’re in your head.”
I huffed. “Sorry, Cheetah, I’m short on cash here too.”
Determination slaps itself on Cheetah’s face and he tightens his fists. “Then we’ll just have to make our own rupees! I got a couple from those pots earlier, but we can get more by killing bad guys, right?”
“Great!” Cheetah snatches my hand. “Come on! Let’s go get rupees! I know where we can go!”
“W-wait! Cheetah!” I don’t have time to protest. He’s already pulling me out the door faster than I can go. “We better not be going to a dungeon!”
“We’re going somewhere I saw you gathering rupees a couple days ago!” Cheetah’s already dragged me halfway across the market. “Hold on tight!”