(Background artwork of Featured Image by @Alamy)

One of my favorite enemies in the Legend of Zelda are the redeads, especially those of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. They contain more depth than most enemies you experience in these games. When you play the Sun’s Song in Ocarina of Time they become stunned. When you kill one of them and their body falls over, the surrounding Redeads walk towards it to watch as it fades away. Walking slowly past them is more effective than running by because they are blind. And in Majora’s Mask when you put on a certain mask they dance!!

For many years I’ve wondered why those redeads danced. Garo around the Canyon reveal that they were once a part of a dancing troupe in life. There’s not much further reasoning to that, however. But is there more purpose to this than just comedy? It’s a fun and almost like an Easter Egg, but its still a part of normal gameplay. So what was the point?

I think Nintendo likes to base some characters in their franchise off of real world occurrences and religions. There is a larger theory about that written here.

In the original version of N64 Ocarina of Time, many know that the music in the Fire Temple, and the design on the Mirror Shield were changed. The chants and shield design were said to be of Islamic origin and were not appropriate for this game. They were taken out and replaced with a different, but similar tune and image in future editions of the game.

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The original Mirror Shield featuring the Moon
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The redone Mirror Shield with Gerudo Markings

In Skyward Sword’s Ancient Cistern, there is lore behind the design of the temple. Theorists say that it is based off of Buddhist ideals. You can find that whole theory here.

If this is something that is reoccurring with Nintendo, then something I found in history could very well be what these dancing redeads were based off of.

In 1518, now France, then Strasbourg, experienced this strange and unexplainable plague. Hundreds of people gathered in the streets and danced until they passed away from exhaustion. No one was ever able to figure out why this began, but some theories mention issues with their blood or even drug induced dancing. The people in power over Strasbourg were said to even encourage this dancing in efforts to stop the plague by funding musicians to play music throughout the event.

Whatever the case, these hundred of people danced until they eventually died. Because Nintendo is known for taking from history, I believe this is what created the idea of the dancing redeads.

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Dancing for Eternity

What do you think about this theory?
What other events do you think Nintendo took from history and used in their games?
Tell me about it in the comments below!

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