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Why is there Keaton grass (i.e. the grass that moves and disappears when you cut it, which when you have the Keaton mask you realize has a Keaton inside), if you don't have the Keaton mask at the beginning? Does this actually serve a purpose in the game?

closed as off-topic by Gigazelle, Ivo Coumans, Virusbomb, Lore Friendly, Marco Geertsma Nov 13 '18 at 12:57

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions about Game Design and Development are off topic. This includes speculative questions about developer intent, with respect to both mechanics and narrative. You might want to ask over at GameDev.SE, but be sure to read their FAQ" – Gigazelle, Ivo Coumans, Virusbomb, Lore Friendly, Marco Geertsma

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Part of the design philosophy (or so it appears to be) of Ocarina of Time and Majoras Mask is to show you how the world works and drop hints via NPCs, rather than explicitly explaining what each mask does and how it can be used. A few NPCs in the game will mention something vague about why the plants move around like that, but the player needs to know that these particular circles are different and significant and they need to figure out the interactions for themselves. This is part of the exploration aspect of the game. Exploration is not limited to world-space, but can extend to game mechanics and story.

The purpose of the grass moving even when you can't do anything with it is to teach you about game elements without telling you what they are. How would you know to try the keaton mask there if it hadn't moved before? The world needs to be consistent, but slightly mysterious. You cannot explore a world you know everything about. The game says "Here is the world", and the world never changes unless you change it. So, the grass moves when you cut it? "Why?", you ask. That drives exploration. It encourages you to solve the mystery.

Part of this is the concept of "gating" in game design: you show the player a lock and that they want to get beyond that lock. The player then, through their own action, opens the lock with some "key", and gains access to the rewards. The grass is the lock, the Keaton mask is the key, and the Keaton himself as well as the quiz is the reward (which leads to a piece of heart).

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    Great answer. So, basically you think it's to introduce the strange grass as something mysterious that's worth exploring? – Juan Carlos Coto Nov 17 '15 at 20:25
  • Yes, exactly that. – Premier Bromanov Nov 17 '15 at 20:29
  • Great answer, but it sounds like speculation. – user106385 Nov 17 '15 at 21:48
  • @Timelord64 true. I'm unmarking the answer to see if there's a better one. Will re-mark if not. – Juan Carlos Coto Nov 17 '15 at 22:22
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    @Timelord64 sure, but unless you find direct evidence from a developer to such a simple question, this is the most logical explanation you will find. It's present everywhere in games. This is just another example of that. And not only is this the most logical explanation, it serves to teach the querent how this game design system works. – Premier Bromanov Nov 17 '15 at 23:03

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