Dondongo artwork from Ocarina of Time
|Game(s)||The Legend of Zelda|
Ocarina of Time
Oracle of Ages
Oracle of Seasons
Four Swords Adventures
|Non-canon Appearances||Animated series|
The Legend of Zelda comic
Link: The Faces of Evil
Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon
Cave of Ordeals
The Dodongo has drastically changed in terms of appearance and little in behavior over subsequent titles, going from a Triceratops/rhinoceros-like look in The Legend of Zelda to that of a bipedal lizard in the Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask era to more of a gecko-like visual in Twilight Princess, although King Dodongo of Ocarina of Time is still referred to as the "Infernal Dinosaur", despite its lizard-like appearance. Physically, these creatures have very tough hides, ribbed with green scales that serve two purposes: as an armor of protection from any type of attack, and as hard covers that insulate the animal from the harsh, volcanic climate in which it usually resides at. In that same vein, Dodongo also have very large mouths in proportion to their body. These grand cavities, while vital for scavenging and eating, also function as the species' primary vulnerable site, as the rest of their body is covered in thick, impregnable scales. Another vulnerable site that the Dodongo has, is the tip of its tail. The Dodongo's tail unlike most of their body isn't covered by thick impregnable scales making it a major vulnerable point. However, Dodongos can also harm Link with their tails by sweeping them around in a full turn. If the sweeping tail manages to make contact with Link, it will knock the hero off his feet damaging him. These scales, however, can prove useful around Hyrule, for example, Gorons use them to make their heat-resistant Goron tunics, one of which Link can purchase in Ocarina of Time. Strangely enough, however, in A Link to the Past, the Dodongos' smaller relatives, called Kodongos, don't have these armor-like scales, but are immune to Bombs and smoke.
However, in titles such as Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess, but not exclusively, the tail of the Dodongo functions as a secondary weak spot - Link must strike the tail with his sword in order to vanquish the being, causing the foe to explode in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, respectively. Titles such as Oracle of Ages, Oracle of Seasons, and Four Swords Adventures focus on the mouth as the only site of attack, in comparison, while The Legend of Zelda incorporates a Dodongo with a weak underbelly. After using the Bomb as the primary weapon against these foes, often a single stab at the injured Dodongo body would be sufficient enough to defeat it.
While these enemies are often hard to defeat, they are quite slow moving creatures, easily avoided or confounded into showing their weak backside or revealing their mouth. Dodongos have been known to leap small distances and breathe fire as well, pausing for a beat with their mouths open wide before unleashing a bellow of flames.
Dodongos seem to make quite the popular Boss, appearing in several titles to date as such, the most prevalent being Ocarina of Time, where the massive King Dodongo makes an appearance at the end of the Dodongo's Cavern. A Dodongo makes a boss appearance in The Legend of Zelda as well, and as such in Four Swords Adventures, in the Oracle titles and in BS The Legend of Zelda, where they all fall victim to the popular strategy used to defeat them in most other games: through use of the Bomb. Unlike Dodongos of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, more than one Bomb must be used to vanquish these foes, and rightly so, as they are not only bigger, but stronger than their commonplace counterparts. Exclusively in Oracle of Seasons, Link must equip the Power Bracelets to hoist the boss into Floor Spikes after assaulting it with a Bomb. Like in all Zelda games, the Dodongo boss, and all bosses in general, will drop a plot-specific item upon defeat that must be obtained to continue the game's story.
The Baby Dodongo is a fairly harmless but annoying foe which can be easily defeated with the sword. They are found in Dodongo's Cavern in Ocarina of Time. These enemies will burrow up from underground, moving quickly and directly attacking Link in small groups whenever he is in close proximity. They can also jump up above Link and attempt to ram him, which can be blocked with the Hylian Shield. Once defeated, it will explode. The resulting explosion is capable of harming Link but can be used strategically against soft or rock walls in the place of Bombs.
- Main article: Dimitri
Not all Dodongos, however, are hostile creatures. In Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, there is a benevolent Dodongo in Spool Swamp by the name of Dimitri, who co-operates with and helps Link in Holodrum and Labrynna. Dimitri is a River Dodongo, and like his name implies, he can swims across deep water and up waterfalls to help Link gain access to previously outlying areas. Due to the type of Dodongo Dimitri is, he doesn't breath fire like his wild counterpart but he still has the large mouth, great for eating Link's foes. In order to reach him, the Strange Flute (which will later be identified as Dimitri's Flute) is needed, especially to summon him at will in both games.
In Oracle of Ages, Dimitri is first found on Crescent Island after obtaining the third Essence of Nature from the Moonlit Grotto, being pestered by some Tokay, mistaking him for a "Red Fish." They ask Link if they can have his Ember Seeds to eat in return for the fish, and flee after suffering from heartburn. Afterwards, Dimitri thanks Link and helps by returning him to mainland Labyrnna.
In Oracle of Seasons, Dimitri is first found being attacked by the Great Moblin's henchmen after the second dungeon. If Link pays them a total of 80 Rupees, they will leave him alone. Dimitri will then thank Link and join him, turning the Strange Flute into Dimitri's Flute. He also has a second encounter, in which he is being pestered by children whilst Link is searching for the Zora's Flippers, but can only be seen if Link has Ricky's or Moosh's Flute instead.
In Majora's Mask, not only are Dodongos larger and stronger than their Ocarina of Time counterparts, there are two types of Dodongos in the area: there are smaller versions of Dodongos in the North-East area of Termina Field that grow to larger sizes as they migrate to the North-West section of the field. In said title, the Dodongos strangely reward Link with large quantities of cash upon defeat: the Big Dodongo yields a Purple Rupee when destroyed, and as for a regular Dodongo, 20 Rupees is the prize. Also in Majora's Mask, in Termina Field near the entrance to Ikana Canyon, there lies a grotto that contains two big Dodongos. After they are defeated, Link obtains 100 Rupees (dropped by the foes) and a Piece of Heart from a chest nearby.
Across the series, the primary weakness exploited in this species is in the use of explosives. Link has two options: he can throw Bombs into their mouths, and can even leave the Bomb near the creature, exploding to deal external damage, and sometimes to stun. In the case of external explosion, this method often stuns the Dodongo, leaving it up to Link to go in with his trusty sword to finish off the foe. However, the most successful way to annihilate these enemies lies in the internal digestion of such Bombs, where damage infliction is certain. In Twilight Princess, shooting an Arrow directly aimed into the throat of a Dodongo will cause them internal damage, like putting a Bomb in their mouth, thus killing them instantly. Interestingly, the tails of the Dodongos seen in Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess are vulnerable to attack as well.
- The name Dodongo could be derived from the Japanese onomatopoeia for an explosion, "dodon". This could serve as tip for Japanese players to reveal their weakness to explosions.
- In The Legend of Zelda, Dodongos are said to be a rino-like species, but in later games are reptile.
- In Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, Link says the phrase "Boy, I can't wait to bomb some Dodongos!", which became an internet meme.
- "Oh, this isn't good. I brought my bombs all this way, and then I dropped 'em. I was gonna use them on the monsters around here. You should watch out for them. I mean, if they can toast me, they're sure to burn you to a crisp." — Goron (Four Swords Adventures)
- "A giant rhinoceros. It hasn't got so much attack power, but it bounces off attacks with its thick hide." (The Legend of Zelda manual, pg. 37)
- "Fashioned from a sporty blend of Dodongo hide and Bomb Flower fibers, the Goron Tunic allowed Link to survive the intense heat generated within Death Mountain Crater." — The Great Hyrule Encyclopedia, Zelda.com (jsp).
- "Baby Dodongo: Watch out for its leaping attack! It will explode after it's defeated!" — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
- "The problem is those things have skin as hard as rock. Even with my strength, it's a waste to hit them. I can't even make a dent! But then it came to me! They may be tough on the outside but weak on the INSIDE! So right when they open their mouths to breathe fire, gulp! And then... BLAMMO! What a great idea! ...But then I dropped my bombs in the lava!" — Goron (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Dodongo: Watch out for its fiery breath! Use (Z) Targeting techniques!" — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
- "Zelda! Behind you! [...] A dodongo!" (The Legend of Zelda (Valiant Comics), pg. 7 [To the First Power])
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||ドドンゴ (Dodongo)||ベビードドンゴ (Bebī Dodongo)|
|Spanish||Dodongo (TLoZ, OoT3D)||Minidodongo (OoT3D)|
|French||Dodongo (OoT3D)||Bébé Dodongo (OoT3D)|
|Korean||도동고 (Dodongo)||베이비 도동고 (Beibi Dodongo)|
|Chinese||多东哥 (Duōdōnggē)||多东哥宝宝 (Duōdōnggē Bǎobao)|