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October 26, 2012
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The Ancient Power by Niraven The Ancient Power by 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!
Add a Comment:
 
:icondark-coco:
Dark-Coco Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014
Wow this is amazing! So beautiful.
Reply
:iconxelianthought:
xelianthought Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013
Awesome! 
Reply
:iconspire-iii:
Spire-III Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013   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!
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Hobbyist 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... :)
Reply
:icontestinglabrat:
TestingLabRat Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is just an incredible piece of artwork! You did an amazing job!
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconpastapiggypiggy:
pastapiggypiggy Featured By Owner May 18, 2013  Student Artist
this is so EPIC
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner May 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconnarutotoro:
Narutotoro Featured By Owner May 9, 2013
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:
Reply
:iconlegendofkorrafan101:
LegendofKorraFan101 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What's the writing say? Something like Here lies the Majoras Mask of the Ancient Robots or something, right? Great piece!
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah that sounds about right. :) And thanks!
Reply
:iconmikadel:
Mikadel Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
excellent artwork as always :D question though, why is Majoras Mask there?
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist 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. :)
Reply
:iconfwoosheye:
FwooshEye Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
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!
Reply
:iconrosyan:
Rosyan Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013  Student General Artist
Very interesting theory... And suddenly it explains the ocarina`s powers.
Reply
:iconfiercedeitygirl:
FierceDeityGirl Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I love that theory!! I never would've thought of it... -_- And fantastic artwork!
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :D
Reply
:iconprincesscarol:
PrincessCarol Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student Photographer
I like your theory. It could very well be right. :)
Reply
:iconlimbothedonkey:
limbothedonkey Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist 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
Reply
:iconmellifera-imiya:
Mellifera-imiya Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Student Filmographer
Congratulations!!

:party: :party: :party:
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :D
Reply
:iconbleachbender:
Bleachbender Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Student 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.
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :D
Reply
:iconideya-freak:
Ideya-Freak Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012   Traditional Artist
Sorry for taking forever to make a proper comment for this picture- I've been mulling over what to say that would actually do it justice.
First off, I have to say I'm super impressed by how smooth all of your lines and shapes. It might seem silly for me to point that out, but I feel like clean lines really help make the background- especially for the SS game, since the factory had nothing but shapes and bright colors that would need nothing but the cleanest execution to recreate. In other words, you did wonderfully portraying just that type of style from the game!
Next, your detail work is as magnificent as ever! I can tell you really took time to make all the markings look nothing short of perfect, clean, and in unison.
Also I loooove the dust in the light. It's such a small but effective detail because it really helps illustrate the transition of past and present space. :)
The composition is very nice too! I like that you put the mask in the center, and bordered it with modern, dusty pieces of scenery. Especially with your choice of neutral, earthy tones that bring out the colors of the center without dulling them out. And I love the robot, he really looks like he's covered in dust!
Also, I've always been really impressed by your theories within the Zelda verse! I think this was incresibly clever and blended two games very well, despite how different they were!
Good luck in the contest! You have such a magnificent entry! <3
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks Dare! <3
Reply
:iconideya-freak:
Ideya-Freak Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012   Traditional Artist
Yw! <3
Reply
:iconstormsworder:
Stormsworder Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student Writer
I definitely like that theory. It's always interesting to see what people can come up with for the Zelda universe ^^ This piece came out absolutely amazing. I love it, Niraven :D Fantastic job!
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconstormsworder:
Stormsworder Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Student Writer
^^ You're welcome!
Reply
:iconluifex:
Luifex Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
this is an amazing concept :love: love how you have majora's mask there =P hehe
i also like the old style building and the newish building merge with the power-future-thingy
Reply
:iconjadesublime:
jadesublime Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
This takes my breathe away......
Reply
:iconbyrch:
byrch Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Wow! This is amazing! The colors are just right, the composition is beautiful, and your theory is AWESOME! From reading one of your comments, I never thought of the Ocarina of Time being made from a timeshift stone, but that totally makes sense! It's so cool!
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :D
Reply
:iconbyrch:
byrch Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconjujulica:
Jujulica Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a wonderful piece! I love how you've melted Termina and Hyrule together! Love it!
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconjnredmon:
JNRedmon Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
Your theory is genius. This is awesome. That is all.
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconlinkstar-number1:
LinkStar-Number1 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
This is really cool! And your theory makes sense. I'm also glad that I'm apparently not the only one who thinks that Majora's Mask came from Hyrule and not Termina.

I have a few theories about the mask myself. ...Well, they're more fanfiction ideas than theories, but still...
Reply
:iconthe-first-magelord:
The-First-Magelord Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
ooooo This is really groovy Niraven!
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconrain-of-ashes:
Rain-Of-Ashes Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Huzzah, more love for Majora's Mask!
There's so much that's obviously going on behind the scenes in LoZ games, I LOVE to see theories like this. Things that may or may not be connected, but so fun to think about!
(I would love to see that 900 word essay!)
I'll definitely have to go back and listen to the Mining and MM music. :P
I love the bright colors, that eerie stare of the Mask, and Impa is of course fantastic.
Good luck in the contest!
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :D
Reply
:iconra-ooo:
Ra-ooo Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh wow, beautiful and well-executed concept; I never made this connection myself but now that you mention it, yes I really do see it! The amount of sense this makes, makes it all the more eerie... A civilization that freely altered time and had control of such advanced technology, who's to say they didn't go even further with it. Maybe even in an attempt to combat the pirates..?
Ha this painting is great, it really fuels more thinking into this concept and illustrates your idea gorgeously. For working out of your comfort zone, you really excelled! This is time well spent if you ask me~

The staging and colors are working so well, all the important elements are easily identifiable and don't get lost amidst each other. There's a really nice flow via the lines that the colorful patterns and Impa make, and it makes a nice arc through the main scene down to the ancient robot. It makes this painting so easy to take in, and gosh is there a lot to take in too! Perfect amount of detail, keeping it full but not cluttered, especially not in important areas like behind Impa's head.
Your coloring is beautiful too, the shading and depth, especially in Impa, very nice.
Ahah I feel like I'm kinda gushing, I'm just really enjoying this piece! Majora's mask was possibly my favorite Zelda game, and the idea that this could be where it started, so perfect..~
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I actually re-read this comment a few times. :giggle: It makes me so happy to read this, like I've officially gotten that "it was worth it" reward, if that makes sense. Every artwork is a learning experience for me, and to learn I've excelled and learned so much and it's apparent, brings me a lot of joy and a sense of accomplishment.

It means a lot to me that MM was your favorite game and that this concept works so well for you. I especially love that seeing this artwork, it made you really mull over it, too, going over the concepts and details and getting excited about it. The more I worked on this artwork, the more even small things started making delightful sense to me. For example, Impa is holding a Timeshift Stone (a small one, so it's portable, but it does the job) as she approaches Majora's Mask. I really wanted the mask to actually come across not only as there and powerful, but also watching her, in a way. I knew Hyrule Historia hinted (to my delight upon reading) that the Ocarina of Time is hinted/suggested to be made from a Timeshift Stone. I actually didn't piece together until I completed the artwork that the stone I depicted Impa holding, could very well be the one that produces/becomes the Ocarina of Time. It'd make sense having it start and remain in Impa's care, protecting the Royal Family's treasure. Also, with the idea that Majora's Mask is watching her, I like the idea that it'd "recognize" the Timeshift Stone that removed it/helped seal it away, and hence why Skull Kid was drawn to the OoT in the beginning of Majora's Mask. I always thought the mask's eyes appeared surprisingly focused on the ocarina when Skull Kid picked it up, and it'd be fun to think that same Timeshift Stone, in another form, aided in bringing about the end of the mask again.

I'm really glad this artwork came across as it did for you. Thank you so much for your comment. :hug:
Reply
:iconra-ooo:
Ra-ooo Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ahhhhhh! ;u; oh my, well! Wow, I'm so glad I could do that for you! And sorry for taking a couple days to even respond myself!
You really did a fantastic job on this though. It could be a good testament to how far you've come, and something to look back on as a point in your progress. Because it really is an exceptional piece!

And wow! Man your theories just keep coming!
Wow that's so cool to learn that the Ocarina might be a timeshift stone! Ha that makes so much sense too! Oh man I need to get one of those books myself...
But yeah, your tie-in in this picture is just all the more brilliant! Three games united in this one scene, beautiful..!
And what you're saying about the mask's focus, oh my gosh. I really do see it now, the same look in your picture, and in that cutscene from MM. The story in your painting just keeps getting deeper and deeper, ahhh I'm looking at it over and over as I'm responding and it's just so perfect.

This really is a picture to get excited about! XD I love this kind of thing, and your theories here are flawless~ As is the execution of them into this picture that tells such a growing story!

Oh my goodness, these will all be my new headcanon now hahah. This just makes such delicious sense~
You're so welcome for the comment! Thank you for making this beautiful picture and sharing your story with all of us!
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:hug:
Reply
:iconmellifera-imiya:
Mellifera-imiya Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Student Filmographer
Cool. Those moths and months are totally worth it!
Reply
:iconniraven:
Niraven Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconsarinilli:
Sarinilli Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Looks amazing...I just wish I could read the text... can you tell Impa to move the stone to the right for a moment? hehe
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