Deku Scrubs, also known simply as Dekus, are a tribe of small forest creatures that spit Deku Nuts at their enemies when threatened. They are plant-based creatures that have skin seemingly made of wood and hair and "clothing" made of leaves and flowers. They usually appear in a small flower-like tuft of foliage which they hide within when threatened. They often appear as enemies, but despite their antagonistic nature they tend to be friendly, at least when they believe it to be in their own benefit. They appear in Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Oracle of Ages, Oracle of Seasons, Four Swords Adventures and The Minish Cap.
Characteristics and Appearances
Ocarina of Time
Deku Scrubs first appeared in Ocarina of Time, where they primarily appear as enemies Inside the Deku Tree where they are subordinate to Gohma. Here Link learns of his ability to deflect their nuts back at them with his Shield for the first time. Unlike other enemies, once struck they will not be destroyed, and will run around in a panic. When Link approaches, they will plead for mercy and offer him some advice to progress through the dungeon.
A group of three Deku Scrubs appear prior to Gohma's room, guarding the doorway. Unlike previous Deku Scrubs, these enemies will become stunned on the stop when hit, and will not give up unless Link defeats them in the correct order, a secret revealed by Deku Scrub defeated previously in the dungeon. This can be remembered using the phrase "twenty-three is number one". When Link beats them, they reveal to Link the strategy to use in order to defeat Gohma.
In the Master Quest version of the game, the Deku Scrub that reveals the correct order is replaced by a Mad Scrub, and the order to defeat the three Deku Scrubs is changed to 3 1 2. Link can only discover this new order by trial and error.
- Main article: Business Scrub
Business Scrubs are Dekus that have taken to selling certain items, but they will only offer these items once Link defeats them. Business Scrubs appear within the Lost Woods but are also common in many caves and secret holes in the rest of Hyrule. While most of their deals are extortionate, some of them will offer important items such as a Heart Piece or even the ability to carry more Deku Sticks or Deku Nuts.
- Main article: Mad Scrub
Mad Scrubs appear in the Sacred Forest Meadow when Link is young, and also in Kokiri Forest as an adult. Unlike regular Dekus, these are far more aggressive and will attack in bursts, and will make no attempt to bargain with Link and can be destroyed in battle.
Regular Deku Scrubs also appear in the Lost Woods, most notably in the Forest Stage. Here, a group of Deku Scrubs will judge the "face" of any vistor who stands on the stage, and reward them depending on what they think of it. This reward varies from Rupees, nothing at all or a hail of Deku Nuts. If Link visits with the correct mask, he will meet a large Deku Scrub who will offer him a greater reward. According to him, the Skull Mask looks like the Deku's sacred forest totem.
One normal Deku Scrub also appears in the Lost Woods making his home in the top of a tree from which hangs a small drum-like target. If Link hits the center of the target three times in a row, he will be granted a larger Bullet Bag.
Majora's Mask explores a different side of this species, in which there is a functioning society composed entirely of Deku Scrubs, known as the Deku Tribe. They are situated in the swamp of Termina under monarchial rule. The Deku Royal Family is composed of a King and a Princess, who are served by guards, yes-men, and a butler whose son had died mysteriously prior to the game. The Deku of the swamp are also hinted to have a sophisticated education system. However, if an unknown stranger ever goes near a Deku, it will attack; walking close to them forces their passive bodies into their Deku Flowers. Dekus normally live in either a nest or a Deku Flower, and if other Dekus try to enter without permission, they usually become enraged. Some Deku have propellers on their heads which allow for flight.
Skull Kid also turns Link to a Deku Scrub at the beginning of the game. When Link was healed, he received the Deku Mask. Link in his Deku form was able to perform spinning attacks, shoot Bubbles, perform a Deku Flower Jump and glide using spinning flowers, hop across water and have the ability to retreat into a hardened nut-like shell for defensive purposes, but it is unclear if other Dekus share these abilities.
Mad Scrubs also appear in the Deku Palace and Woodfall. Like in Ocarina of Time, these Dekus do not attempt to be friendly with Link and can be destroyed in battle, usually leaving behind a Deku Flower for Link to use.
In Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, Deku Scrubs are scattered throughout Labrynna and Holodrum's lands and caves. Most of them are non-violent Business Scrubs that trade freely with Link. Some sell staples such as Mystical Seeds and Bombs, though most Business Scrubs sell Shields. The largest population of Deku Scrubs appears in a forest in western Labrynna in the past, appropriately named Deku Forest.
Of the two games, Oracle of Seasons is the only one to feature hostile Deku Scrubs. These Scrubs behave similarly to the ones in Ocarina of Time: they shoot seeds at Link from afar and hide themselves when he approaches. Deflecting their seeds back at them with the Shield will cause them to surrender, at which point they will offer Link helpful advice. Two such Scrubs appear on Mt. Cucco, one of which has a sign next to it that forbids the use of shields and deflecting seeds, comically revealing its weakness.
There are also three friendly Deku Scrubs who have roles in sidequests. One of them is located in the Lost Woods and plays a role in the Oracle of Seasons trading sequence. After playing the Phonograph for it, it will tell Link how to find his "Secret Spot," where the final reward for the trading sequence, a greater sword, is located. In a Linked Game of Oracle of Ages, a friendly Deku Scrub appears in Deku Forest. He can be heard singing a "secret" (the Deku Secret) called "Love the Seed," which is apparently quite popular among Dekus. Link tells the secret to another singing Deku that appears in a cave west of Sunken City in Holodrum, who also loves the secret song but can't remember the last half. As thanks, the Deku increases the size of Link's Seed Satchel.
The Deku Scrubs of the Oracle series are unique in that they appear to be individualistic creatures, given that most of them remain distanced from one another and they are never seen to interact. In fact, the singing Deku Scrubs are the only ones that refer to others of their own kind. The supposedly popular Deku song, "Love the Seed," is the only indication that these Deku Scrubs share any form of culture. Only the friendly Dekus that aren't Business Scrubs demonstrate musical inclination, however.
Four Swords Adventures
Four Swords Adventures features a group of Deku Scrubs living in the Lost Woods. They are similar in appearance to the Dekus of Majora's Mask. These Deku Scrubs were awoken from their slumber by Ganon transforming the forest into the Lost Woods. They look forward to the expansion of the Lost Woods to cover all the forests of Hyrule, at which point they can travel freely. If someone gets lost in these woods, they are said to transform into a Deku Scrub. Despite being tied to the woods, they are able to travel beyond the forest using underground passageways, and later appear in Frozen Hyrule where they have taken to a new game they call Terrorpin Hockey. Despite working for Ganon, none of these Dekus will attack the four Links, and will speak freely with them, assuming they are not a threat.
The Minish Cap
Dekus can deal with water, but if they happen to venture in deep areas they will hop on the water to survive drowning. Like plants, too much water can hurt them. Luckily, Dekus are usually light enough to stand on lilypads, granting safe travel over the swampy waters that the Dekus of Termina call home. In Deku form, Link is able to skip across water, but can not swim. Dekus are also highly flammable, and rightly so, as they are wood-based creatures.
- Dekus have a unusual way of speaking that often involves making the noise "pi" after sentences. This was removed from the translations of most games, but was left intact in some instances such as in Four Swords Adventures.
- Deku Scrubs have yet to make an appearance in the Adult Timeline, in which Hyrule was flooded. Though a conclusive statement cannot be made yet, this would suggest that, the Deku were not rescued from the Great Flood with the rest of the races, or otherwise quickly died out after the event.
- "It is susceptible to fire, since it originates from plants." (Majora's Mask manual, pg. 25)
- "How did you know our secret?! How irritating! It's so annoying that I'm going to reveal the secret of Queen Gohma to you! In order to administer the coup de grace to Queen Gohma, strike with your sword while she's stunned. Oh, Queenie... Sorry about that!" — Deku Scrub (Ocarina of Time)
- "Please forgive me, master! I'll never do it again! If you spare me, I'll teach you something cool. You will never beat my brothers up ahead unless you punish them in the proper order.The order is... 2 3 1 Twenty-three is number one! Do you think I'm a traitor?" — Deku Scrub (Ocarina of Time)
- "All of the young Deku Scrub brothers agree...you look exactly like our sacred forest totem! As an offering from us, please accept these Deku Sticks. We will also enhance your carrying skills! Abracadabra! Alakazaaaam!" — Deku Scrub (Ocarina of Time)
- "Cool! You're great! You scored three perfect bull's-eyes! I have to give a neat present to such a wonderful person! Please take it!" — Deku Scrub (Ocarina of Time)
- "This is the palace of the Deku Kingdom. Only those on official business may enter!" — Deku Scrub (Majora's Mask)
- "Wait! Wait! Hang on! This is my private property. Don't try using it when I'm not around!" — Deku Scrub (Majora's Mask)
- "Fear not, for the magic has been sealed inside the mask. When you wear it, you will transform into the shape you just were. When you remove it, you will return to normal." — Happy Mask Salesman (Majora's Mask)
- "Ehhhh, I'm sorry... Only Deku Scrubs can play here." — Deku Scrub (Majora's Mask)
- "I surrender! In return, I offer my advice! If you are lost in the woods, travel west, then south, east and north, taking each step in a warmer season." — Deku Scrub (Oracle of Seasons)
- "I surrender! In return, here's a tip! On the summit of the mountain in the east are Spring Bananas! Many people will want them!" — Deku Scrub (Oracle of Seasons)
- "I surrender! In return, I offer my advice! Even if you have a key, you still need a keyhole! Foolish brother! The keyhole is on the summit!" — Deku Scrub (Oracle of Seasons)
- "I surrender! In return, I offer my advice! Even if you have a keyhole, you still need a key. Moronic brother! The key is in the valley in the west." — Deku Scrub (Oracle of Seasons)
- "No shields!!! No deflecting seeds allowed!" — Sign (Oracle of Seasons)
- "Dee! What a tune! I love it! I'll teach you the way to my Secret Spot! If temperatures rise as you go far to the west, you'll find it!" — Deku Scrub (Oracle of Seasons)
- "Love, love the seed! This secret is all the rage among Deku Scrubs now! Want to hear the rest?" — Singing Deku Scrub (Oracle of Ages)
- "I can't remember the last half of "Love the Seed," the hit secret among us Deku Scrubs. "Love, love the seed!" What's the next part? Do you know it?" — Singing Deku Scrub (Oracle of Seasons)
- "The Deku Scrub west of Sunken City in Holodrum loves this secret! I do, too! You should pay him a visit!" — Singing Deku Scrub (Oracle of Ages)
- "Yes! Yes! That's it! It touches me everytime I hear it! In return, I'll make it so you can carry more seeds! Come back with your Seed Satchel full with all five kinds of seeds!" — Singing Deku Scrub (Oracle of Seasons)
- "Thanks to Ganon, we were awakened from our slumber!" — Deku Scrub (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Soon, Lord Ganon's power will change all of Hyrule's forests into Lost Woods! Once that happens, we'll be able to travel freely!" — Deku Scrub (Four Swords Adventures)
- "The Lost Woods is our birthplace! If you wander lost here for too long, you too can become a Deku Scrub!" — Deku Scrub (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Make sure that all who enter the forest remain here! Lord Ganon's orders! But we're trying to build an underground road that will let us go anywhere... Anyway, we've hidden every single shovel we could find! If there are no holes, no one will ever find our road. We're absolutely brilliant!" — Deku Scrub (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Oopipi.... I've done it! I've created a gentlemen's game for Deku Scrubs. I call it... Terrorpin Hockey! The rules are simple. You send Terrorpins spinning and then cut them! Cutting them when they're not spinning is lame. But when they are, it's cool! Oopipi! It's so fun! Don't you see how fun it is?" — Deku Scrub (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Unfortunately, we scrubs have a tendency to spit nuts when we speak! Everyone got scared and ran away, and no one would buy anything! This is a terrible place to do business! I'm going back to my cave!" — Business Scrub (The Minish Cap)
- "Thanks to Ganon, we were awakened from our slumber!" — Deku Scrub (Four Swords Adventures)
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese|| デクナッツ (Deku Nattsu)
三つ子のデクナッツ (Mitsugo no Dekunattsu)
| Deku Nuts|
Deku Nuts Tripets
|French||Peste Mojo||Mojo Pest|
|Chinese||德库果 (Dékù Guǒ)||Deku Fruit|
|The Races of the Zelda Universe|
|Ancient Robot · Ancient Tribe · Anouki · Cobble · Dark Interlopers · Dark Tribe · Demon · Deity · Deku Scrub · Fairy · Garo · Gerudo · Goron · Ho Ho Tribe · Human · Hylian · Keaton · Kikwi · Kokiri · Korok · Lokomo · Minish · Mogma · Oocca · Parella · Rito · Salona · Sheikah · Skull Kid · Subrosian · Tokay · Twili · Watarara · Wind Tribe · Yamatami Tribe · Yeti · Yook · Zora · Zuna|