Interview: Operation Moonfall

Being the resident Majora’s Mask obsessive, I jumped at the opportunity to interview one of the founders of Operation Moonfall and Zelda Universe Webmaster, Cody Davies.

For those that don’t know, Operation Moonfall is a fan-led attempt to bring Majora’s Mask to the 3DS following an interview with Eiji Aonuma stating that if there was enough fan support for a 3DS remake of the game, Nintendo might actually put it out there.

As someone who valiantly champions Majora’s Mask as the best game ever (I will debate this to the death), and who thinks that it never got a fair shake as one of the last titles released for the N64, I am very glad to see that something like this may happen.

How did Operation Moonfall get started? Is it an official project of Zelda Universe?

Operation Moonfall started when we heard the news that Eiji Aonuma had announced that he wanted to see fan support for Majora’s Mask, and considering that ZU is basically already a coordinated Zelda fanbase, we thought it would be the perfect project for us.

I wouldn’t call it exactly a “ZU project” though — both in the sense that we had heavy support from the other Zelda fansites and affiliates who collaborated with us on this, and in the sense that we can’t really own a “fan” operation because at its heart it’s the fans that are making this into something big, not us. All that we can lay claim to is the “marketing” aspect of actually reaching the fans in the first place — they do the rest.

How did you come up with that PERFECT name?

While the idea for the operation itself was spawned from Eiji Aonuma’s statement, our planning on how to actually implement the operation was heavily influenced by the other Nintendo petition that was going at the time — Operation Rainfall. As such, it just made sense for it to be a bit of an homage to the name, and when we realised the pun that we could pull off we knew we just had to use it.

On a related note, we also managed to unintentionally pull off a THIRD pun with that name — along with Operation Rainfall and the moon from Majora’s Mask, the name also nicely links to yet another huge fan petition also going at the same time — the one for Megaman Legends 3, which goes by the name FlyMeToTheMoon.

Have you coordinated at all with the leaders of the other movements?

I sent their official contact e-mails some messages asking for collaboration back when we were first launching, but unfortunately never got a response back, likely just due to them getting a lot of mail.

We have made an effort to promote these other fan projects on our own Facebook group though, because the more the fan groups combine their efforts the more effective they will be.

How has Operation Moonfall been progressing?

It has been taking off exceptionally well. Our Operation Moonfall Facebook group already has, as the meme goes, over 9000 fans, which is great because it allows us to coordinate things with the fans and also to have a base to support other such fan projects in the future, and the petition is already closing in on 16,000 signatures after just a week.

Have you heard anything from Nintendo?

Only to an extent. Those who sent e-mails to Nintendo of America have been receiving a stock response of sorts about how “no official announcements have been made”, but that doesn’t really mean anything because obviously a) that’s all the customer support people from NoA really can say as people who only have access to the current facts of Nintendo’s release schedule and not, say, the executive boardroom of Nintendo of Japan and b) in our experience that’s the sort of vague response that greets every question asked to NoA customer support ever.

But it’s only been a week, so to expect an announcement so soon on such a major undertaking that would take months of coordinating and deals and production would be completely unrealistic.

What is your next move?

For now, we plan to just continue helping the petition and Facebook group along, because it’s nowhere near saturation point right now. There are tens of millions of Zelda fans out there, and quite a lot of them would be interested in Majora’s Mask 3DS.

Assuming that Skyward Sword gets released on schedule this year (and thus all the old fans reappear back to Zelda fansites and we get that boost of new Zelda fans that we haven’t gotten since Twilight Princess five years back), my goal is to reach 100,000 signatures by the end of the year.

In the future we will likely also use the Facebook group for coordinated reminder pushes and such. I think we can only grow from here on out and look forward to seeing what kind of stuff we’ll be able to do in just a few months’ time.

Any plans to make pushes at upcoming events like PAX and Gamescom?

Unfortunately, as I live in Australia and international flights are expensive, I’m unlikely to be able to go to these big conventions personally to coordinate things, but I’d be happy to see fans push it and if people are interested in the idea we can start creating flyers and such for people to print out and take with them. In fact, if Destructoid is interested in the idea of making pushes there; they’re more than welcome to spearhead those particular pushes themselves. 😉

So… what else would you say to rabid Majora’s Mask fans (like myself) who want to guarantee this operation’s success?

Well, first off, that you’re not alone in your love for Majora’s Mask! While initially the game was seen as a bit of an oddity that wasn’t the “Ocarina of Time 2” that the fans were hoping for, but over the years the game has become more and more favored as the game of choice for Zelda fans. It just has so much character and so much depth.

For example, did you know that there’s a story behind the Stone Tower Temple – a story reminiscent of the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel about pride, defiance and the Goddesses? Or that Anju is worried that Kafei has eloped with Cremia from the ranch? Or that that brave swordsman of the Swordsman’s School is absolutely terrified of death? Probably not, because the game doesn’t force you on it, but just leaves it there subtlety for you to find.

That said, if you want this to succeed then the main thing to do is of course promote it! Contact your friend, who posts for a gaming blog, or make a video, or make a thread in your local forum community, etc. Any and all of it helps.

I have to ask, what is your favorite Zelda game?

This is unlikely to be a surprise to anyone, but Majora’s Mask.

If you would like to support the project, you can add them on Facebook, Twitter, sign the petition, or check out their site.

Cody and pals also started recreating Hyrule in Minecraft. Check it out here.

Daniel Starkey