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THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME

A SCREENPLAY

 BY SHANE KENT KNOLLTREY

 

FADE IN:

 

The SOUND OF A CHILD’S SHOES ON MARBLE, frantic, DRAWING CLOSER over time, accompanied by A CHILD’S HEAVY, LABORED BREATHING.

 

ON BLACK the title, in the FAR LOWER LEFT:

 

“The Legend of Zelda”

 

INT. TEMPLE OF TIME – DAWN.

 

A large ceremonial hall covered in WHITE MARBLE with a CIRCULAR ROCK PLATFORM at the center.

 

An 8-YEAR-OLD CHILD comes racing into the hall in the distance, running unsteadily. His LABORED BREATHING sound is louder. A CLOSE-UP as he stumbles against a WHITE MARBLE WALL reveals copious BLOOD STAINING; he is leaving a TRAIL OF BLOOD as he runs up to the CIRCULAR ROCK PLATFORM.

 

A TORTURED SCREAM erupts from far away down the hall.

 

The 8-year-old child collapses near the PLATFORM, crawls on his knees and then lands FACE DOWN on the floor. A TRAIN OF BLOOD moves over the MARBLE FLOOR from the boy to the base of the PLATFORM. AN EERIE HUM rises.

 

THE BOY’S EYES reflect the circular stone platform; unnatural WHITE LIGHT rises. THE CHILD’S HEAVY, LABORED BREATHING rises also; the breaths come quicker and his eyes fall to unsteady saccades.


SLOW ZOOM ON THE BOY’S EYES.

 

THE CHILD’S BREATHING stops and his EYES stop moving. The EERIE HUM reaches its peak.

 

ON BLACK, CENTER:

 

“Ocarina of Time”

 

EXT. DESOLATE FIELD – TWILIGHT.

 

A large field of ruined, petrified trees. The sun is setting red on the horizon.

 

An OLD WOMAN sits in the dirt, shrouded by a makeshift tent with a SIMMERING POT boiling between her knees which she stirs with a HUMAN BONE. This is KOTAKE. She appears old beyond belief. As a DISTANT OBJECT approaches on the horizon she MUMBLES to herself indistinctly.

 

KOTAKE

    “...mmmm...hmmm... Making mushroom stew, I am...”

 

The DISTANT OBJECT is revealed to be a hooded horseman. He draws nearer.

 

KOTAKE

“...mmmm... hmmmm... toil and... toil and...”

 

The rider dismounts at a distance and approaches KOTAKE; This is ADULT LINK. He is a 20 year-old young man. He sits across from her with the SIMMERING POT between them. KOTAKE continues mumbling; LINK’S CLEAR BLUE EYES peer out from under his grey hood.

 

KOTAKE

(Staring down)

“And... toil and... and...”

 

LINK

“A sweet smell, old woman.”

 

Kotake stirs her pot, grinning.

 

LINK

“It smells like a memory.”

 

KOTAKE

“Memory? Memories! Sweet and fleet... a treat: a treat! Toil and... toil..”

 

The HUMAN BONE in her hand spins even faster in the pot. We see that there is no fire under this pot, despite the fact that the contents are at a slow boil. Kotake finally looks up at Link:

 

KOTAKE

“Making mushroom stew, I am!”

 

LINK

“A sweet, sweet smell.”

 

Between the pair on the ground a FILTHY PINK RIBBON sticks out of the dirt; it is the kind worn in a child’s hair.

 

Kotake breaks out of her trance, as if seeing Link for the first time. She grins.

 

KOTAKE

“You, my hooded friend: wizzrobes haven’t a need for horses, do they?”

 

Link’s horse stands some distance behind the pair; at these words she BRAES and PAWS the ground.

 

LINK

“I’m not a wizzrobe, old woman; I’m not a creature of magic.”

 

Kotake stares at the dun-colored cowl on Link’s head, eyeing its every nook and fold with suspicion.

 

KOTAKE

“You say no, so no.”

 

She ladles portions of the stew into small EARTHENWARE CUPS: one is for herself, and the other she hands to Link.

 

KOTAKE

“From where do you come?”

 

LINK

“From the East, old woman.”

 

KOTAKE

“Down the tributaries of the Lake of Leagues?”

 

LINK’S EYES STARE OUT from beneath the cowl.

 

KOTAKE

“Down in the hollows of the Great Fen... but you must confess to me, my opal-eyed child, that the swamp-folk of the marsh do not ‘pierce’ one so with their gaze...”

 

LINK

“Have my eyes so ‘pierced’ you?”

 

KOTAKE

“You would certainly pierce some.”

 

LINK

“And have I so ‘pierced’ you?”

 

KOTAKE

(grinning)

“Hehehe! I am not ‘some’. And you are not swamp-folk. From where do you come?”

 

Kotake begins SLURPING down the stew in her bowl; it trains down the sides of her chin, changing in consistency from hot, chartreuse-colored stew to DRIED RED BLOOD as it drips.

 

LINK

(leaning forward)

“I come from Utter East, old woman.”

 

Kotake stops slurping. She sets her bowl down.

 

KOTAKE

“Through marsh and fen... beyond the hilly fields that slope o’er the Eastern Palace... past the rotted caves of dark men’s malice... where the Lake of Leagues turns from sweet to salt, and then sweet again: where they call it ‘Lake Hylia’, for the honor of long-dead men...”

 

ADULT LINK

“And then further still, old woman: where the lake opens up to salt, and where the bodies of water bear no names.”

 

KOTAKE

“No names and no memories: nameless and lonely with the rest of the land. How far have you come, traveler?”

 

Link’s eyes wander across the blasted wasteland all around them; they focus on a LARGE MOUNTAIN far away in the distance behind Kotake: this is DEATH MOUNTAIN. On one side of this mountain SMOKE RISES, as if from a town, and across the way from that a BANK OF BLACK CLOUDS stands, unmoving and unyielding.

 

Link shakes his head.

 

LINK:

“Not far, now...”

 

KOTAKE

“You tell a truth, now? Hah! You have not come from the shores where the old sun once shone! You did not come from the ancient land of Old Hylia, boy.”

 

LINK

“You say no, so no.”

 

Kotake’s grin widens; she takes to her bowl of stew with malicious glee, SLURPING down the brew with renewed gusto. When finished she wipes her chin:

 

KOTAKE

“How far does foolish mortal man fall when he stoops to pitiable lie, eh? From a stoop to a fall, and that you can’t deny!”

 

Kotake quickly scrapes the remainder of the small cauldron of stew onto the dirt; she mashes up various STRANGE HERBS and BERRIES into the vessel, leering at Link all the while. She takes up the HUMAN BONE once again, stroking it with DELICATE MOTIONS.

 

KOTAKE

“But, then again, how much of life could mortal man hope to bear without delusion at his side? Hehehe!”

 

Kotake hugs the pot with her knees once again: the contents quickly begin to SMOLDER and then openly burn.

 

ADULT LINK

“Tell me: how deluded are you, old woman?”

 

Kotake begins stirring the new contents of the pot, but the BONE she uses quickly disintegrates.

 

LINK

“Kotake...”

 

The woman looks up at Link, SURPRISED.

 

KOTAKE

“M... making mushroom stew, I am...”

 

LINK

“How far did you fall, Kotake? How deluded were you to ever think he might forgive you? Didn’t you know— you of all people— that he is not in the business of ‘forgiving’?”

 

Kotake takes Link’s hand through his cloak, gently pulling his ARM out from the cloak, and then stroking his wrist with DELICATE MOTIONS. She CHOKES UP as she speaks.

 

KOTAKE

 “How far is there to fall?”

 

LINK

“No matter the distance, there’s always a few feet more...”

 

Kotake pulls Link closer to her, lips wet with saliva.

 

KOTAKE

“M... making mushroom stew, I am...”

 

CLOUDLY GREEN STEAM rises from the pot.

 

LINK

“And just where are your mushrooms, Kotake?”

 

KOTAKE

“What good is a plant compared to an animal?”

 

The CLOUDY GREEN STEAM rises up over Link’s face; his eyes dilate and begin to develop SMALL GREEN FISSURES along the blood vessels.

 

KOTAKE

“What taste is mushroom flesh to animal blood?”

 

Link’s head bows closer to the pot; the green ruptures in his eyes expand. DARK GREEN SLIME begins draining out his nose. Sweat blossoms on his chin, slowly turning greenish in hue. Link’s breaths slow.

 

KOTAKE

“Taking life from you, I am!”

 

Link MUTTERS INDISTINCTLY as Kotake CACKLES.

 

A SMALL BULGE at the peak of Link’s cowl moves quickly down the front of Link’s cloak; a magnificently BRIGHT BLUE PINPOINT OF LIGHT emerges from Link’s neckline. It arcs through the air and finally rams into his face head-on, radiating BRIGHT WHITE SPARKS against his lips and nose.

 

Kotake continues CACKLING as Link’s EYES quickly revert to their original blue. He SNARLS and throws his cloak off.

 

A VERY LONG ARMING SWORD emerges from underneath, white with an ornate hilt, marred in several places with DARK RED STAINS. This is the “DHISE SLAIGHRE” (‘dee-say slug-ear’).

 

Link rams the sword through KOTAKE’S MIDSECTION, pinning her to the thin tent pole behind her; the STEW POT falls to one side on the ground and instantly TURNS TO ICE. Kotake screams with pain.

 

LINK

(snarling whisper)

“Have I so ‘pierced’ you, Kotake?”

 

The woman MOANS. Staring down at Dhise Slaighre her face becomes serious; she looks up at Link, nodding at first, but then she grins and reverts to CHORTLING:

 

KOTAKE

“N— no m— muh— master are you!”

 

Blood gums up the woman’s lips; Kotake SPITS at Link, and then she dies.

 

The PINPOINT OF BLUE LIGHT re-emerges from under Link’s dun-colored cowl; this is NAVI, the fairy. She is a lithe-bodied blue creature with serious, malicious eyes. She is ¾ of an inch tall. Navi lands on Dhise Slaighre’s hilt and ‘SKIS’ DOWN THE BLADE, coming to rest against Kotake’s still body. She grins with satisfaction upon confirming the old woman’s death, looking back at Link with sinister approval.

 

Link TOYS with a very small RED EARRING in his RIGHT EAR. He GRUNTS noncommittally.

 

LINK

(nodding)

“Yeah: a lot like a pig, right?”

 

Link stumbles off some distance, holding his stomach with one hand. We see that there is a small, OLD SCAR on his forehead.

 

NAVI flies up to and sits upon link’s shoulder, glaring at him. Link finally retrieves Dhise Slaighre, pulling it from the old woman’s body. As he draws it out the BLOOD ON THE BLADE seems to dry, resulting in a new stain (we see approximately four other such ‘high-water’ marks on the blade).

 

Link stares at Kotake’s slumped body, appearing very ill at ease. After a moment he regains his composure and then he SPITS on her.

 

FADE OUT.

 

EXT. DESOLATE FIELD – DUSK.

 

The same field; the light is far more wan, now.

 

LINK’S HANDS carve out a small hole in the dirt. He takes the EARTHENWARE CUP Kotake handed to him and pours the foul green liquid into the hole. He covers the patch with dirt and then bows his head against one knee, SOMBERLY MEDITATING.

 

A VOICE sounds behind him; it is androgynous in tone.

 

VOICE

“To whom do you pray, traveler?”

 

Link quickly rises and turns, unsheathing Dhise Slaighre.

 

A figure stands in the shadows of a petrified tree, their clothes that of a fleet warrior; the outer layer comprised of patchwork scarves and shawls, all ruffling in various directions in the wind.

 

VOICE

“Prayer is outlawed here, you know, along with hope.”

 

LINK

“Identify yourself.”

 

VOICE

“That’s my question.”

 

The figure steps out of the shadows; we see that their face is largely covered with a ratty white shawl. Upon emerging from the shadows the FIGURE’S EYES are (very, very briefly) shown to be a deep, penetrating DARK VIOLET. As soon as the figure notices THE SWORD in Link’s hand they stop walking forward.

 

VOICE

“But, first, you should probably answer my other question: to whom do you pray?”

 

LINK

“To the Golden Goddesses of Old Hyrule; that’s who.”

 

VOICE

(laughing)

“What possible concern could Goddesses made of gold have about creatures made of flesh?”

 

LINK

“They care enough to give us hope.”

 

VOICE

“You’ve violated both the laws of this place, then; both of ‘his’ laws...”

 

The figure begins a predatory semi-circle around Link; Link draws up the Dhise Slaighre and squares himself into a defensive posture.

 

LINK

“What are you, then: the enforcer of those laws?”

 

VOICE

“Hardly...”

 

The figure steps out of the shadows; as they do there is a FAINT BRIGHT FLASH encompassing the entire screen. When the figure emerges they stand before Link with changed eyes: bright RED instead of violet.

 

VOICE

“I am not, but you must think yourself to be quite the lawgiver.”

 

The figure nods its head at the sword in Link’s hands.

 

VOICE

“After all, that is no mere arming sword. You bear the Dhise Slaighre, stranger: you must think yourself to be something else, indeed.”

 

LINK

“I am not the owner of this sword—”

 

VOICE

“The way you so readily wield it, you could have fooled me...”

 

KOTAKE’S DEAD BODY still lies against her tent post some distance from the pair.

 

LINK

“There’s more to all this than you know. That woman deserved—”

 

The figure walks closer to Kotake’s body.

 

VOICE

“This is no ‘woman’. And yes: of course she ‘deserved’ it.”

 

The figure removes one black glove and cups Kotake’s cold chin in their hand: we see a tattoo on the figure’s backhand of a WEEPING EYE. The figure’s bright red eyes quiver.

 

VOICE

“His surrogate mother. One of them, at least. I shouldn’t be happy just for that, not just for that reason...”

 

The figure looks off to the side at the SMALL MOUND OF DIRT where Link buried the contents of his cup. It then looks back at Kotake’s dead body.

 

VOICE

(whispering)

“Farore help me: I am, though...”

 

Finally the figure disinterestedly turns Kotake’s dead head to one side, allowing the rigid body to fall into the dirt. The figure stands, pulls its glove back over its naked hand and turns toward Link, who is still standing at the ready with his sword.

 

VOICE

My name is SHEIK, owner of Dhise Slaighre—”

 

LINK

“I told you that I don’t own this sword. I use it in its owners’ stead.”

 

SHEIK

“Its owners?”

 

LINK

“The royal family of Hyrule and its current proper owner: the princess of Hyrule—”

 

SHEIK

“The princess? Ha! The princess of Hyrule no longer exists, stranger!”

 

LINK

“She is dead?”

 

SHEIK

“She might as well be; if she weren’t then I would be most interested in making her so.”

 

LINK

“You are an agent of the king of thieves, aren’t you?”

 

SHEIK

I am a shadow, stranger. A sorry remnant of a bygone time. In another time I’d be a servant, but now I’m only a shadow. One of many forced to suffer and struggle for the utter stupidity and immaturity of the princess of Hyrule! You have the look of one who’s traveled far and long, stranger, but I doubt that in a ten-thousand mile-long quest you could ever find such a foolish, unthinking little bitch as her.”

 

Link takes one step towards Sheik, reflexively, but he stops as quickly as he started, regaining his composure. He lowers the Dhise Slaighre as a sign of good faith.

 

LINK

“What do you know of her, anyway?”

 

SHEIK’S RIGHT EYE sparkles dimly. Another FAINT BRIGHT FLASH fills the screen, this one accompanied by a very brief SEPIA-TONED image of A GROUP OF CURIOUS-LOOKING CHILDREN— all around 8-to-12 years of age— standing before the brick wall of a castle courtyard (...INSERT DISTINCTIVE BACKGROUND IMAGES EASY TO RECOGNIZE ON SIGHT...). Standing in their midst is a boy with bright red eyes wearing juvenile HEADGEAR similar to Sheik’s.

 

LINK’S FACE scrunches; he blinks uncomfortably.

 

Sheik turns around and begins to walk off. Link chases after him.

 

LINK

“Answer me! What do you know about the princess of Hyrule?”

 

Sheik TURNS HIS HEAD and glares at Link.

 

SHEIK

“Little. What I do know is that she is unworthy of your devotion...”

 

Sheik faces away from Link, staring at the LARGE MOUNTAIN in the distance and the small plumes of smoke rising off one side.

 

SHEIK

“Long have I hunted for the fiend of the wasteland steppes: the Gerudo witch Kotake. Her list of crimes grew long in the time she’d been banished from his court and cast out into the wastes. There were many names on her ‘menu’...”

 

LINK

“If you’ve been searching for her for so long then how is it that you found her here, and now? What brought you to this place?”

 

SHEIK

“The Dhise Slaighre— that sword you wield— it is not an instrument that can travel this land unnoticed...”

 

Link takes several more steps towards Sheik.

 

SHEIK

“His surrogate mother is dead; thank you for that much, at least. As for your sword, you should use it as you will, stranger, but it will provide no comfort to you. I advise you to leave this land and its suffering to those sworn to bear it.”

 

Sheik pulls out a small, shining marble from under his wraps. He looks back at Link one last time.

 

SHEIK

“In the best of all possible circumstances we will not meet again...”

 

Link moves closer to Sheik, who quickly throws his marble against the ground; it explodes with bright light and smoke. When all this clears Link is left standing alone in the field.

 

NAVI emerges from Link’s cowl and flits about; Link looks around with confusion, finally discovering a set of horse tracks. Following them with his eyes he sees a SMALL CLOUD OF DUST on the horizon moving towards the LARGE MOUNTAIN in the distance; Sheik is retreating on horseback.

 

Link races to his horse and unties her from a petrified tree, but he suddenly stops and shakes his head. He slowly walks his horse to a ridge and surveys the land below him: the wasteland of Hyrule.

 

NAVI rests on his shoulder.

 

LINK

“Immature... unthinking little bitch?”

 

NAVI looks up at Link with an UNPLEASANT SMILE.

 

LINK

“You agree with him, don’t you?”

 

NAVI looks back out at the view before them.

 

LINK

“It was a mistake, Navi: she made a mistake. She couldn’t be held responsible...”

 

NAVI arches a brow, unconvinced. Link SHAKES HIS HEAD.

 

LINK

“She can’t. And now, to think that the princess may be dead: that makes things worse, I think...”

 

NAVI shakes her head, skeptical.

 

LINK

“There was us too, you know: how much do you blame us, Navi? How much do you blame me?”

 

NAVI stares down at her feet, scowling.

 

LINK

“We... we just made a mistake...”

 

PAN across the desolate wasteland of Hyrule, stopping on the DISTANT MOUNTAIN and the STATIONARY THUNDERSTORM roiling on its far edge.

 

FADE OUT.

 

EXT. HYRULE FIELD – MIDMORNING.

 

TWELVE YEARS BEFORE the previous scene. It is a field of rolling green hills; a stark contrast to the wasteland of modern-day Hyrule (ie: from the previous scene).

 

A RICKETY WOODEN CART lumbers up a dirt path led by two horses walking abreast. It is driven by a 10-year-old girl with strawberry-blond hair clad in a simple white tunic and sandals; this is MALON. The back of the cart contains CLUCKING CHICKENS, sacks of flour, barley and milk crates.

 

An OVERWEIGHT MAN WITH A THICK BLACK MOUSTACHE lies in the back of the cart; this is TALON. He SNORES loudly.

 

MALON

(singing)

“Hey chick-a-chucka, hey chick-a-me...

Dough in the bread pan; dough chick-a-lee...”

 

Talon’s SNORING from the back of the cart crests; Malon glances back at him with annoyance. She looks down at the PAIR OF HORSES BENEATH HER and smiles; she is holding one rein in each hand: one for each horse. She takes one of these reins with a firm grip and continues singing.

 

MALON

(singing)

“Try come-a-callin’, try chick-a-see...

Pick chick-a-chika, pick chick-a-me!”

 

Malon pulls one rein taut, causing the cart to veer off sharply in one direction; Talon goes tumbling out the back, waking with a start in the dirt. He leaps up, confused, and struggles to get back up on the cart, which Malon (smiling) spurs to a greater speed. Talon struggles with and accidentally tears open a SACK OF BARLEY, which begins to spill out onto the dirt.

 

TALON

(out of breath)

“Uh... er... Malon, honey: my turn driving, is it?”

 

We hear MALON’S OVERLY-SUNNY VOICE from the front.

 

MALON

(singing)

“Hey chick-a-chucka, hey chick-a-me...”

 

TALON

“Malon... uh... Malon!?”

 

The cart rolls off with Talon precariously struggling to climb back in, CALLING out to the girl and MALON SINGING as she drives.

 

PAN back over the trail and DISSOLVE to a similar stretch of trail, this one surrounded by a copse of thin-necked trees. Far away in the distance are thicker groupings of much larger trees, ultimately plunging into a MASSIVE, DARK GREEN FOREST.

 

The sound of a CHILD’S SHOES ON DIRT tromp in regular intervals; PAN-UP from the trail to reveal a pair of KID’S BOOTS walking over the ground. PAN-OUT reveals a child of 8 dressed in GREEN SHORTS and GREEN TUNIC, a leather utility sash draped over one shoulder from which a SLINGSHOT and other ‘sundry items’ hang. The sash extends to his back, from which is slung an unpainted woodwind instrument: a FAIRY OCARINA. He is carrying two SMOOTH STONES in his dominant left hand, absently SCRAPING THEM AROUND with his fingers. The child’s eyes are blue; this is YOUNG LINK.

 

A HIGH-PITCHED SQUEAL rumbles from the child’s stomach; Link stops walking momentarily and stares down. He soon resumes his journey.

 

Navi the fairy emerges from one of the small pockets on Link’s shoulder sash (being one of those ‘sundry items’). She lands on top of the boy’s scraggily, PLATINUM-BLOND HAIR. Link SCRUNCHES his face in annoyance and wags his head, causing the fairy to take to the air very briefly before settling on his head once again.

 

NAVI

“You’re hungry, aren’t you?”

 

Link shakes his head.

 

NAVI

“Oh. You sleepy, then?”

 

Link shakes his head again.

 

NAVI

“Tiiiiired?”

 

Link shakes his head again.

 

NAVI

“Ya’ mopey? You seem a bit mopey, to me...”

 

Link screws HIS EYES up as far as he can, glaring towards the top of his head with displeasure.

 

NAVI stares down at Link, lying prone on his hair and absently kicking her legs; she nods.

 

NAVI

“Mmm-hmm. Mopey: that’s the word...”

 

The trees lining the trail grow scarcer as he walks along.

 

NAVI

“You need to eat something, you know.”

 

Link ignores her words.

 

NAVI

“You’re not going to eat anything, are you?”

 

Link shakes his head.

 

NAVI

(sighing)

“You really are an impossible little boy, you know. Hey: it’s gonna be really hard to look so mopey when you pass out from hunger, you know, and if you really enjoy being mopey so much you might as well give-in to your stomach.”

 

Link ignores Navi.

 

The fairy shuttles off Link’s head and lands on THE BOY’S NOSE. She stares him down (while Link, meanwhile, must cross his eyes just to view her at all).

 

NAVI

“Hey: you can sulk all you want, but you need to live, too.”

 

Link continues walking, even with the fairy perched on his nose.

 

NAVI

“What would she think of you not eating, huh? How would that make her feel? Betcha anything she’s worrying enough about you already without you making sure that something bad happens to you, you know?”

 

Link stops walking; he BALLS HIS LEFT FIST.

 

Navi flies off Link’s head and hovers over his shoulder.

 

NAVI

“You’re... angry, aren’t you?”

 

The boy SNARLS, and then he throws the STONES in his hand with all his might; he strikes a tree trunk beside the road. The whole tree quivers, and then a small leafy tree branch suddenly falls from the sky and clobbers LINK, burying him in leaves as the boy SCREAMS.

 

Link emerges from the leaves in a prone position, dirty, and with a few GRAINS OF BARLEY wedged in his mouth. He blinks, and then sucks air into his lungs, swallowing the grain as he does so. He blinks again, then stumbles out of the leaf pile and nabs some more BARLEY GRAIN lying in the dirt, ravenously wolfing them down as he stumbles along the trail in search of more morsels.

 

NAVI follows behind him.

 

NAVI

“Hmph. You were hungry!”

 

The fairy crosses her arms and looks on at the boy with concern:

 

NAVI

“And you are angry...”

 

FADE OUT.

 

EXT. CASTLE TOWN – AFTERNOON.

 

A grand WALLED CITY, complete with massive arched CITY GATE, DRAWBRIDGE and MOAT. Etched stonework dominates; all stones are a clean, light-colored gray with distinctive bright speckling (identical to the stones in SHEIK’S VISION, pg. 15).

 

A couple of CHICKENS mill about on the path to the drawbridge, CLUCKING. One of them eyes and moves toward a PIECE OF BARLEY on the ground but is beaten to it by a pouncing LINK, who wrestles the morsel away from the chicken and devours it. Navi hovers overhead.

 

NAVI

“The chicken would’ve tasted better, don’t you think? You haven’t got a spit, have you?”

 

Link turns his head and spits at the fairy, who nimbly dodges the salvo.

 

NAVI

“Oh, that’s very cute...”

 

Link smiles, then he gazes up at the massive DRAWBRIDGE and MOAT below. He steps forward cautiously. NAVI perches on his nose once again.

 

NAVI

“You got any clue where we’re going, or are you as in the dark as I am, huh?”

 

Link crosses HIS EYES devilishly. He snaps his hand through the air, snatching Navi right off his nose and holding her tight in the balled fist of his hand. He continues walking over the drawbridge.

 

NAVI

(muffled in the boy’s fist)

Not funny! Really not funny! Hey, listen! Hey! Hey, listen: I’m serious! Hey!”

 

Link crosses the ARCHED CITY GATE and enters the capital of Hyrule: CASTLE TOWN.

 

A MASS of people bustle through the narrow streets, especially in the MARKETPLACE at city center. LOUD CHATTER, several COMPETING SOURCES OF MUSIC and ANIMAL SOUNDS dominate.

 

One man works a large crowd at his vending stall (which bears a strange tarp over its top unlike others in the plaza, resembling a gigantic onion): he is tall and thin, oriental, with a wrinkly face and a seemingly permanent, creepy Cheshire cat grin. This is the HAPPY MASK SALESMAN. He struts back and forth before his stall carrying a massive rucksack laden with different masks.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

(cavorting)

“Come one, come all,

Come big, come small!

Come near, come far,

Come clear, come call

on the most wonderfully wondiferous,

amazingly alliaceous,

curiously cumulonimbusical

Happy Mask Shop: home to Hyrule’s greatest purveyors of happiness! See here, my dreary denizens of Castle Town: who do you wish to be?”

 

The Happy Mask Salesman quickly dons a mask from his rucksack: that of a GORON WARRIOR.

 

Of THE LARGE GROUP OF SPECTATORS one boy, standing up front with a group of small children (where they can see) SMILES.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

“A Goron warrior, maybe? Munching down rocks deep within the crags of Death Mountain? Why, with this wondrous bit of craftsmanship at your side you’ll have dodongos running from your very presence in no time!”

 

MURMURS from the CROWD.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

“Or... perhaps...”

 

The Happy Mask Salesman quickly switches out his Goron mask for a ZORA MASK.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

“...an elegant, magnificent Zora Aalenaut?”

 

The salesman sways his body and waves his arms in an interpretive dance.

 

A GIRL among the group of children in the front row GIGGLES.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

“Sail through any sea with ease! This enchanting race may have died-out of our lands and lay buried in the fossil record, but now they live again, just as sure as the shallows of their old haunt glow blue; they live through the magnificence of the master crafters here at the Happy Mask Shop!”

 

The salesman rips the mask away, his unsettling grin still beaming.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

“Or, perhaps, something from our best-selling ‘celebrity personalities’ line?”

 

The salesman digs into his rucksack and ROOTS AROUND, leering up at the crowd.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

“Introducing... a Happy Mask Shop exclusive: in honor of the Royal Family, and in celebration with all the citizenry of Hyrule... a captivating, commanding presence to be adored with absolute bliss and not to be missed, or missed-out on... Her Royal Highness— daughter of His Majesty the King of Hyrule and Heir-Apparent to the Throne—”

 

The salesman finally finds what he’s looking for: he quickly dons a mask depicting a child of about 8, but the proportions are ODD and the overall appearance GROTESQUE.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

“Crown Princess Zelda, herself!”

 

All crowd chatter STOPS, replaced by uneasy murmuring.

 

The salesman removes the mask and holds it up to the side of his head, looking back and forth between it and his audience apologetically.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

(Quietly and quickly, as in ‘fine-print’ reading)

“Slight precaution: objects in mask may appear less attractive than they really are...”

 

UNEASY MURMURS continue.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

“Oh, come now: good citizens!”

 

He puts away the ZELDA MASK and retrieves another more curious one: this mask depicting a GIANT EYE CRYING A VERY LARGE TEAR. This is the MASK OF TRUTH.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

“Life is but a magnificent masquerade! Why, the vital essences of entire worlds are carved into the stately oak frames of our masks. What better pathway to utter delight: to utter happiness?”

 

SLOW ZOOM on the MASK OF TRUTH.

 

PAN through the crowd from the POINT OF VIEW of the SALESMAN: everything has a faint ruby tint, as if seen through red glass. As the camera pans we can hear the THOUGHTS of every person in center screen, faint, and reverberating as if in an echo chamber:

 

                          WOMAN

“That Aalenaut mask would be perfect for Susan—”

 

YOUNG BOY

“...—those actually his real teeth?”

 

FARMHAND

“Well, we could scare the whole sheep flock into line with that ‘princess’ mask...”

 

BEARDED MAN

“...such disrespect towards the Royal Family—”

 

TEEN GIRL

“...wonder if he carries any faces that look like those ‘Gerudo’ women I saw at Castlebridge—”

 

OLD WOMAN

“...thought the Royal Princess would look a little better than that—”

 

PAN DOWN and RIGHT

 

NAVI

“...this guy’s full of shi—”

 

PAN FARTHER DOWN and RIGHT

 

CENTER on LINK, standing in the front of the crowd with his head cocked to one side, staring at the man quizzically. Notably, there is NO INTERAL MONOLOGUE from the child, only an (actually spoken) GRUNT of curiosity.

 

The SALESMAN removes his mask, staring at Link with more interested eyes (his grin, however, remains firmly intact).

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

“So, my young friend...”

 

The man shimmies his body, causing the rucksack on his back to spill out three different masks against the floor: one a ZORA MASK for the woman in the crowd, a ZELDA MASK for the farmhand and, for the teen girl, a mask depicting a brown-skinned warrior female with flaming red hair; the latter is a GERUDO mask.

 

The crowd MURMURS as all these masks appear before them. In their rush to examine the curious trinkets they push past Link and the Happy Mask Salesman. The Mask Salesman bows down closer to Link.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

(holding the MASK OF TRUTH up beside his own head)

“One thousand out of one thousand-and-one are babbling brooks: they have some very interesting surfaces, to say the least...”

 

The Salesman waves the MASK OF TRUTH before his own face, very slowly and in one deliberate motion.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

“...but still waters—”

 

The Salesman taps the boy’s forehead; Navi hovers up near Link’s head, circling in a protective formation. For his part Link merely stares up at the Salesman’s finger as it taps his skull.”

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

“—they run deep.”

 

His GRIN widens.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

“And such waters can be so very dangerous, indeed!”

 

CLOSE-UP on the midsection of a woman in LIGHT WARRIOR’S ARMOR. She pushes through the crowd and, upon reaching the Happy Mask Salesman the woman grabs him by the scruff and pulls him up to his tiptoes.

 

WOMAN

“I should teach you a thing or two about ‘danger’: knave!”

 

She is shown to be a dead-ringer for the mask in the teen girl’s hands: a GERUDO WARRIOR.

 

GERUDO WOMAN

“‘Danger’ follows anyone who would choose to carve out such abasements toward the Gerudo race!”

 

She points at the GERUDO MASK.

 

HAPPY MASK SALESMAN

“Oh... ah, oh!”

 

NAVI still hovers near Link’s head.

 

NAVI

“I dunno; you’d think this ‘Zelda’ girl would have more of a right to be upset...”

 

The crowd scatters around uneasily upon the Gerudo woman’s appearance. This commotion causes the SHOP’S TENTPOLE to be knocked over, sending the onion-shaped awning falling, causing further chaos. When the crowd clears and a semblance of order is restored Link is revealed to be lying on the dirt, legs spread, with the MASK OF TRUTH between them.

 

There is no sign of the HAPPY MASK SALESMAN. The GERUDO WOMAN is shown amongst the crowd, looking for the man in vain; she finally walks off with a snarl, joining a small group of similarly-dressed and similarly-appearing GERUDO WOMEN.

 

The boy GRUNTS in confusion; he picks up the mask and walks off, stepping backwards slowly and always facing the now-upturned tent. He doesn’t turn away until he crosses a side-street leading away from the market.

 

EXT. PATCHWORK ALLEYWAYS – AFTERNOON.

 

A maze of narrow streets and alleys cloistered off from Castle Town’s larger main roads.

 

After worming through many alleyways and narrow lanes Link comes to an alley opening up on a much larger street: the ROYAL ROAD. Some of the city’s TALLER BUILDINGS flank this great street. Far away in the city background there is a divergence in the lane: part of the road winds UPWARD in back-and-forth zigzags culminating in a grassy plateau containing HYRULE CASTLE. This is the ‘HIGH ROAD’. The other divergence slinks down in another cardinal direction; it stops abruptly against another CITY GATE, identical to the one Link passed through earlier, but covered in moss and decay and bearing an image of the WEEPING EYE over its arch. The street leading down to this city gate is the ‘LOW ROAD’. This city gate— an extremely direct route to Hyrule Caste— is the SHADOW GATE.

 

MANY PEOPLE mill about in both directions as Link watches from his place in the alley. Eventually he surveys the mask in his hand, fumbling with it, and then he puts it on.

 

We see through his RED-TINTED VISION as many people walk by; Link catches RANDOM, UNIMPORTANT THOUGHTS from many of them.

 

MALON walks down the street in the direction leading away from Hyrule Castle. Her THOUGHTS echo aloud:

 

MALON

“How much time could that louse Talon take up there? What’s he doing? ‘Oh, Malon: these meetings with the royal quartermaster take time!’ Lazy lay-about better not be sleeping! Those crates of milk over at Castlebridge will sour in the time it takes him to check-in with the guards! And what about all those sacks of grain? Their security’s a joke! Someone might steal them!”

 

Malon stares at Link (ie: the camera) as she passes, looking him up and down curiously and with a QUIRKY SMILE. We hear more of her echoing thoughts.

 

MALON

“Hmmmm, a little... lumberjack?”

 

Navi emerges from Link’s leather shoulder sash as the boy removes the Mask of Truth.

 

NAVI

“Woah! How cool is that!? Just think: with this piece of hardware you could do all kinds of things! I mean, you could—”

 

A HIGH-PITCHED SQUEAL erupts from Link’s stomach; the boy looks down, and then back up with a determined glower.

 

Navi hovers before his face.

 

NAVI

“Um... you’re not going to... are you?”

 

Link looks back and forth along the street and then darts out, seeking street signs and directions.

 

NAVI

“Okay: this is why nobody ever puts this kind of absolute power in the hands of little kids... all they can think of is their stomachs. If the Great Fairy herself popped up to grant you a wish right here and now you’d probably wish for all of the world’s grass to turn into slabs of roast beef!”

 

Link glances back at Navi, sardonic.

 

NAVI

(Sighs)

“Don’t get me wrong: I’m with you, of course. If this means that you’ve decided to start eating again...”

 

Navi hovers CLOSER to Link’s face, an affectionate maneuver, but Link soon pulls his head back and tromps off down the Royal Road with Navi in tow.

 

DISSOLVE CUTS as Link meanders around town, at one point we see an old man staring down at the boy and pointing with his hand in one direction, as if Link has just asked him a question.

 

The last DISSOLVE CUT shows the boy walking down the broadest section of the High Road, right before it begins worming up around the hill leading to Hyrule Castle.

 

EXT. CASTLEBRIDGE – AFTERNOON.

 

Hyrule Castle sits high up on the land, perched on a steep hill. A picturesque WATERFALL runs down that golden green hill, ending in a small lake down at Castle Town’s center. The ROYAL ROAD arches over this lake right in front of the waterfall. This place— a massive raised platform over the water— is the beginning of the stretch of track called the HIGH ROAD, colloquially referred to as ‘CASTLEBRIDGE’. Soldier barracks, storerooms, very high-end mercantile shops and a select-few citizens’ domiciles flank this natural bridge of land.

 

Link meanders around this bustling area, passing by the imposing ROYAL GATE leading to Hyrule Castle.

 

The many rows of storerooms Link passes have different PLACARDS identifying the tenants; Link reaches one that reads ‘PERISHABLE GOODS AND LIVESTOCK, LON-LON RANCH’.

 

Navi hovers in front of the signage.

 

NAVI

“‘Malon’... ‘Talon’...”

 

She faces Link.

 

NAVI

“‘Lon-Lon’.”

 

Link GRINS.

 

INT. LON-LON STOREROOM – AFTERNOON.

 

A moderate-sized wooden storehouse filled with rickety wooden shelves and hay flooring; a SMALL PEN for chickens sits in a corner. MILK CRATES sit opposite, shelved on racks filled with ice. Between them many rows of GRAIN SACKS, FLOUR and other staple crops rest on shelves. This is a below-surface room; small street-level windows line it.

 

Link KICKS IN one of these and shimmies into the room, falling ungracefully onto the hay floor.

 

Navi flies up and inspects the busted window.

 

NAVI

(sighing)

“Breaking and entering...”

 

She turns to see that Link has found the row of MILK CRATES; the boy removes one ice-cold bottle, unscrews the cap and begins greedily guzzling the fluid.

 

NAVI

“...it does a body good, I guess...”

 

INT. LON-LON STOREROOM – EARLY EVENING.

 

PAN UP from a set of emptied milk jugs and torn crop sacks; Link lies with his head against a grain sack, dozing.

 

The BLUE SPARK of Navi’s body slowly appears over Link’s ear (she having lost consciousness at the same time as the boy). She jets off Link’s body and butts-up against his nose, waking him.

 

NAVI

(whispering)

“Hey! Hey, listen! Did you hear that?”

 

Link looks up at her, sleepy, and shakes his head, returning to his nap.

 

We hear a GIRL’S VOICE from somewhere outside the storeroom.

 

GIRL

(singing)

“Hey chick-a-chucka, hey chick-a-me...”

 

Link’s eyes open wide and the boy bolts upright. He scrambles to the STOREROOM DOOR, but realizes that this is where the singing is coming from. The GIRL’S VOICE is closer, now.

 

GIRL

(singing)

“Dough in the bread pan; dough chick-a-lee...”

 

Link races to the window he shattered to enter the room only to find himself far, far too short to reach it. As he HOPS UP AND DOWN frantically Navi hovers overhead.

 

NAVI

“You’d think all that milk would’ve kicked in by now...”

 

Link GLARES UP at Navi.

 

The latch on the STOREROOM DOOR begins to turn.

 

NAVI

“Hey, c’mon: it sounds like it’s just one little girl. You can take on a girl, can’t you?”

 

Link stop hopping up and down and looks back at the door.

 

Seconds later the door opens and MALON enters with a small sack of flour over her shoulder. She takes a few steps into the room and then immediately Link SPRINTS BY, aiming for the open door. The SLINGSHOT on his sash, however, gets caught in Malon’s HAIR BRAIDS and propels both children into the doorway where they tumble one over the other. Link eventually comes to rest atop the supine girl, palms pressing down on her collarbone and his knees pinning down her legs.

 

MALON

(dazed)

“Little... lumberjack?”

 

NAVI

“Hey! Yeah! Lock her in the storeroom! Tie her up in one of those sacks! Knock her on the head with a milk jug!”

 

Link looks over at Navi, his face scrunched with INCOMPREHENSIBLE DISGUST.

 

NAVI

“Oh, yeah... maybe not, I guess...”

 

Instantly MALON’S FIST comes up and catches Link on the CHIN (CAMERA remains stationary on NAVI). The boy flies off her body (and off-screen) with a loud GRUNT. We hear him land on the floor.

 

NAVI

“Ouch...”

 

INT. LODGINGS ABOVE THE LON-LON STOREROOM – EVENING.

 

A small COMMON ROOM with wooden table and tiny HEARTH; this serves as quarters for MALON and TALON during their trips into Castle Town with their goods. The looming presence of HYRULE CASTLE stands outside with light from its ARCHED GOTHIC WINDOWS clearly visible.

 

Talon, Link and Malon sit around the table, Link beside Malon with a small packet of ice held up to his chin.

 

TALON

“A—hahahahahahaha!!!”

 

MALON

“It’s hardly funny, you know...”

 

NAVI

(Hovering over Link’s shoulder, speaking to Link)

“Well, it kinda was if you were there...”

 

Link inaccurately SWATS THE AIR beside his shoulder.

 

TALON

“Boys and their stomachs: always churning up a recipe for disaster! If you really had such a need to fill your belly, dear boy, you could’ve checked our help-wanted sign out front.”

 

NAVI

(to Link)

“That would’ve involved a bit more effort than we thought was required...”

 

TALON

“Anyway, it’s just as well: I need a good set of hands at the moment, little or no...”

 

MALON

“What? You wanna hire him on? But he broke our storeroom window! Y’know how many rupees it’ll cost to fix?”

 

TALON

(slapping Link’s shoulder)

“I have an idea, and that’s why we’ll be paying our little chum here in squares instead of diamonds...”

 

BOTH CHILDREN look up at Talon curiously.

 

TALON

(holding up three fingers)

“Three square meals a day, and snacks between to reward good effort. After all, what would a boy become without a little extra sustenance between meals now and then?”

 

MALON

(looking the overweight man up and down)

“Thin?”

 

TALON

“You’ll work off the cost of that window in no time, kiddo, and perhaps you’ll even leave town with a few rupees to your name. My daughter and I always stay in Castle Town for some time during the quarterly grain drive.”

 

Talon looks over at Malon.

 

TALON

“Although we’re liable to be here a tad shorter than usual this time around, what with all the official rigmarole surrounding the Castle’s current ‘guests’. These Gerudo visitors have everyone in the Castle all out of sorts; the sooner their crown prince what’s-his-name finishes his business with our King the better.”

 

MALON

(pointing at Link)

 “But if we just let Fairy Boy here go around free as a bird he might run away! How would we get our money back for the window then?”

 

TALON

“What do you suggest, honey: we tie him up in a grain sack and lock him in the storeroom at night?”

 

NAVI

(to Link)

“That seems unduly harsh...”

 

A HIGH-PITCHED SQUEAL erupts from Link’s stomach. Everyone takes note.

 

TALON

(laughing)

“Trust me, Malon: a small stomach is as tight a leash as anything.”

 

He turns to Link.

 

TALON

“I don’t suppose you’d go running off wily-nilly, would you?”

 

He pokes at the boy’s EXTREMELY SLENDER midsection.

 

TALON

(smiling)

“You’re skin and bones, after all, and we might as well do something about that, eh?”

 

Link RECIPROCATES THE SMILE.

 

Talon touches the short sleeve of Link’s GREEN TUNIC.

 

“Ah, and with some proper work clothes you’ll fit in quite nicely—”

 

Link’s demeanor immediately changes; he shies away from Talon’s touch, gripping his shirt sleeve reassuringly, his EYES INTENSE.

 

TALON

“Er... now, then again: maybe green is more you’re color, huh?”

 

Link winds down a bit, scooching back to his original place on the wooden bench.

 

A small BLACK POT on the hearth starts boiling over with a FRAGRANT STEW. Talon jumps up and attends to the dish.

 

TALON

(smelling the aroma with approval)

“Ah! Well, anyway— for the moment— let’s see about getting you a little ‘advance’ on your work...”

 

Malon turns in her seat to face Link.

 

MALON

“Alright, Fairy Boy: if you’re gonna work for us and all we might as well get along, so put ‘er there.”

 

Malon QUICKLY EXTENDS HER HAND for a handshake, causing Link to reflexively SHRIEK and flail backwards, consequently falling off the bench onto his back (again: OFF SCREEN)

 

Navi still hovers in the air where the boy had been sitting; Malon looks up at the BLUE PINPOINT OF LIGHT (NOTE: it is not clear that she can understand the fairy’s words).

 

NAVI

“He’s a super kid, really.” (pause) “Uncoordinated, but super...”

 

EXT. CASTLEBRIDGE – MORNING

 

An indeterminate number of days since the last scene.

 

The same RICKETY WOODEN CART (from page 18) sits outside the Lon-Lon Storeroom. Link walks out of the storeroom burdened with burlap sacks (to the point that only his bare knees and leather boots are visible. He tosses the sacks into the cart with a GRUNT and wipes his forehead.

 

There is a RUCKUS coming from the direction of the ROYAL GATE leading to the Castle. CONFUSED and ANGRY SHOUTS are heard. Link follows the sounds to the gate, where three armed soldiers of Hyrule have their hands full with a situation: four FEMALE GERUDO SOLDIERS shout at TALON who, for the moment, is shielded from the women by the Hyrule soldiers.

 

TALON

“Why? What? All I said was—”

 

GERUDO WOMAN #1

“What gives you the right to accost a Gerudo soldier, wretch?”

 

GERUDO WOMAN #2

“Perhaps the cur would enjoy a trip down the waterfall for his trouble?”

 

TALON

“I only asked for my knife back!”

 

A tall, imperial-looking Gerudo female stands behind the other women; she motions to GERUDO WOMAN #1 with her head.

 

LEAD GERUDO WOMAN

“Our sister says she does not have this man’s instrument, thus it is so.”

 

She crosses her arms.

 

LEAD GERUDO WOMAN

“This dishonorable accusation is reprehensible; the man deserves just punishment...”

 

Link stands far apart from this scene, watching.

 

The lead Hyrule soldier among the group attempts to mediate.

 

HYRULE SOLDIER

“Ma’am, maybe if we all just calmed down and acted with good faith; if your fellow soldier could just empty her pockets we’d have the truth for sure, and I assure you that any falsehoods in this man’s story would be treated most seriously—”

 

GERUDO WOMAN #1

“You will not do any such thing! A warrior of Gerudo would never deign to be subjected to such indignity!”

 

LEAD GERUDO WOMAN

“It would be regrettable, don’t you think, if some trifle such as this were to strain our relationship? Especially on the eve of our new-crowned prince’s arrival to pledge his loyalty and support to your kingdom? Would it not be a shame for Hyrule to wait another 100 years for the next Gerudo lord to mend relations?”

 

Link stands far apart from this, but now he is wearing the MASK OF TRUTH on his face. The boy removes it and slings it over his back; he now bears a DARK SCOWL.

 

The lead Hyrule guard approaches Talon hesitantly.

 

HYRULE SOLDIER

“I’m sorry, Mister Talon, but I think it’s for the best that we take you into custody, for now.”

 

TALON

“What? I’ve done nothing wrong! I— I only wanted my knife back. Here: she can keep the blasted thing, if it’s so important to her—”

 

HYRULE SOLDIER

“Even then, Mister Talon, it’s for your own good that we get you out of here; these ‘ladies’ are liable to do anything at the moment, and we’re under strict orders from His Majesty the King: we can’t rightly control them! It’s only until things cool down—”

 

TALON

“But the perishables in my wagon!”

 

A SHOT of all the participants in this episode from the WAIST-UP; a scraggily mop of platinum blond hair comes sailing through the bottom of the screen; Link races by GERUDO WOMAN #1, gripping one of the belts on her waist as he does so. By the time he has made it to Talon’s side a SMALL SILVER KNIFE with opal ornaments on its hilt clanks on the ground between Gerudo Woman #1’s feet. It is a squat-bladed, razor-sharp OYSTER KNIFE.

 

Everyone stops speaking; noises are replaced by BACKGROUND SOUNDS of the waterfall behind them and commerce continuing further down Castlebridge.

 

The LEAD GERUDO WOMAN steps up to GERUDO WOMAN #2 slowly.

 

LEAD GERUDO WOMAN

“What dishonorable treachery is this?”

 

GERUDO WOMAN #1

“Nabooru... this— this is not...”

 

NABOORU

“—the behavior of a dignified Gerudo soldier? I concur.”

 

GERUDO WOMAN #1

“Whom would you believe, Nabooru: your sister, or these pale-skinned Hyrule pisshe—”

 

Nabooru quickly backhands the woman, causing a spurt of blood to sail out her nose.

 

NABOORU

“I trust my eyes first and foremost! Get out of my sight!”

 

The OTHER GERUDO WOMEN depart. Nabooru retrieves the SILVER OYSTER KNIFE from the ground and stands before the guards, Link and Talon.

 

NABOORU

“You have... my apologies...”

 

There is a long pause. Finally Nabooru flips the knife in the air, violently and quickly; everyone (Link, the guards and Talon) square their bodies defensively (almost as if choreographed) and GRUNT in preparedness. Nabooru, however, hands the knife hilt-first to Talon.

 

NABOORU

“Gerudo abide their word; Gerudo live with honor. I am... embarrassed.”

 

Talon takes the knife back, quietly thanking the woman.

 

Nabooru walks up the hill, GLARING SINISTERLY AT LINK. She gives the Gate Guard a withering stare; he quickly opens the gate and allows the woman onto the Highroad leading up to the Castle.

 

Navi flies out from under Link’s leather shoulder sash.

 

NAVI

“We’re making all kinds of friends today, aren’t we?”

 

Talon kneels down beside Link, staring at Nabooru as she walks off.

 

TALON

“Tch! Gerudo may live with ‘honor’, but the definition is what’s lacking, to me.”

 

He turns his head to face Link.

 

TALON

“You’re just a wellspring of usefulness, aren’t you my boy? Thanks for that: you saved a whole cart of merchandise from spoiling back there. Heh! I thought I was picking up a stock-boy when I took you on, but it seems I also got a little bodyguard, to boot, doesn’t it?”

 

Talon stands up and pats the boy’s head; he starts walking, then stops and removes the KNIFE from his pocket. Talon tosses the OPAL-ADORNED OYSTER KNIFE back through the air; it comes to rest in Link’s left hand. The boy takes it up and looks at Talon quizzically.

 

TALON

“Well, bodyguards need their weapons, don’t they? You can hold onto that for me for awhile, can’t you? I haven’t had much use from that since last summer at the lakefront (LOCATION?). Tch! It’s been lucky for me, at least. Well, until today...”

 

Talon walks off, leaving Link to ADMIRE the elegant oyster knife.

 

INT. LODGINGS ABOVE THE LON-LON STOREROOM – LATE NIGHT.

 

It is extremely late at night; the HEARTH along one wall of the room is lit only by the faintest GLOWING EMBERS. There is light from HYRULE CASTLE outside, too, very faint from few windows, EERIE in the darkness.

 

TALON lies on a mat against the far wall of the room (with no bed sheets), sleeping beside the hearth. On the other side of the small table, nearest the room’s window, MALON sleeps on the floor beneath a sheet. Both Malon and Talon wear pajama-type clothes and FLACCID, POINTED SLEEPING CAPS on their heads (Talon’s is BLUE, Malon’s GREEN).

 

LINK sleeps in the center of the room, between the pair, beneath a sheet like Malon but wearing his normal GREEN TUNIC AND SHORTS. His LEATHER SHASH is draped over a chair back beside him.

 

The boy TOSSES AND TURNS in his sleep, murmuring very faintly. There is a BRIGHT FLASH across the screen: an EXTREME CLOSEUP of a SWORD HILT (It is the Dhise Slaighre, but nearly unrecognizable as such). Link SPASMS a bit after this. Another BRIGHT FLASH reveals an EXTREME CLOSEUP of a glittering stone wall (PANNING FAST across it), superimposed with another FLASH of a pair of YOUNG (CHILDISH), VIOLET EYES in slight profile, staring into the camera. Link’s body becomes more still upon this image.

 

(cue creepy, MINIMALIST MUSIC)

 

Another SERIES OF FLASHES reveals an EXTREME CLOSEUP of a DARK MAN’S FACE; his eyes appear JAUNDICED. On the FIRST FLASH he is not facing the camera, however SUBSEQUENT FLASHES bring his face into the forefront, and, finally, reveal him staring into the camera with a SINISTER grin.

 

Another BRIGHT FLASH of the SWORD HILT, identical to the first, but this time the camera PANS DOWNWARD VERY QUICKLY, revealing a little more of the overall blade.

 

A BRIGHT FLASH of those JAUNDICED EYES, much closer than before, and with a more sinister, seemingly PAINED SCOWL.

 

Then there is another sequence, this one is not a flash but a FUZZY MEMORY: a child (a boy) lies asleep on a HALF-CUT LOG inside a very small TREE-HOLLOW hut (his face hidden), lying beneath a DELICATE GREEN SHEET. It is RAINING torrents outside the hut, which is enclosed only by a RATTY BROWN SHEET. FOOTSTEPS, first light but soon extremely loud, sound outside. The green bed sheet MOVES slightly; a CLOSEUP on the hut entrance shows a pair of LARGE, ‘CRUEL-LOOKING’ BLACK RIDING BOOTS moving in front of the hut, walking off beyond the tiny domicile.

 

(creepy, MINIMALIST MUSIC quickly and unexpectedly CUTS OUT, leaving silence, except for distant CRICKET CHIRPS)

 

Link wakes with a start, SITTING UP quickly with a hand on his heart; he is SWEATING PROFUSELY and BREATHING HARD. The boy waits a moment to catch his breath, staring down at his lap. He finally looks up and towards the WINDOW, staring out at HYRULE CASTLE in the distance.

 

The boy moves closer to the window, crawling on HANDS AND KNEES and puts his head up against the windowpane (the castle is reflected in his EYES).

 

An EXCEEDINGLY BRIEF FLASH of the YOUNG GIRL’S VIOLET EYES again fills the screen (very, very brief: verging on subliminal). The boy blinks in confusion.

 

Link’s head rises and falls slightly in rhythmic motion; it is revealed that he is directly above the sleeping MALON, with his hands on her stomach and shoulder. Link’s eyes WIDEN in surprise.

 

Malon MUTTERS NONSENSE and then reflexively ‘sleep-punches’ Link directly on the chin; the boy falls backward and goes down with a thud.

 

EXT. CASTLEBRIDGE – MORNING

 

Talon sits in the wooden cart at the reins. It is fully stocked with goods buried beneath a GRAY TARP in the back. Link comes around front and CHECKS THE REINS on both horses.

 

TALON

“Nothing like an early start to a productive day, eh? Beautiful sunrise! It keeps one’s spirits from spoiling, as well as our goods, naturally!”

 

Talon points to the BACK OF THE CART.

 

TALON

“And this stuff isn’t the kind that should be left to spoil. Oh, no! I’m taking the choices bits of our harvest up to the Castle, today.”

 

He looks down at Link, who is still busy tightening the reins on the horses.

 

TALON

“And you’re coming with me.”

 

Link looks up, SURPRISED.

 

TALON

“After all: it seems I could use a ‘bodyguard’ in this kind of climate. How’s that sound to you?”

 

Link scrambles up into the back of the cart, seating himself atop a GRAY TARP.

 

TALON

(smiling)

“I thought so. Now, then: be sure to mind your manners and do what I say...”

 

The cart starts MOVING. It reaches the ROYAL GATE and the guards open it; the cart rumbles through.

 

TALON

“I know that you’re a gabby little charmer, but it’s best if you speak to no one, especially given current circumstances up there.”

 

He looks back at the boy as the cart moves up the HIGHROAD.

 

TALON

“And, for the Goddesses’ sake: don’t touch anything...”

 

The cart MOVES OFF, passing the castle gate and ascending the High Road. On the way up to Hyrule Castle the cart moves by several AUGUST STRUCTURES, including one massive, GOTHIC-LOOKING ‘CATHEDRAL’ set into the land beside Castlebridge (it is perched beside a large drop-off into the lake below). This is the TEMPLE OF TIME.


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