|Game(s)||Ocarina of Time|
Four Swords Adventures
|Notable Member(s)||Ganondorf, Twinrova, Nabooru, Aveil|
The Gerudo (pronounced /ɡɛˈɹuː.doʊ/, ghe-ROO-doh) are a race of humans introduced in Ocarina of Time. They are warriors of reputation, feared and respected in the countries they inhabit.[according to whom?] Due to a biological quirk, the race consists almost solely of females. A single male Gerudo is born into the tribe every hundred years. He is destined by Gerudo law to become their king. Ganondorf is the only Gerudo male to have appeared in The Legend of Zelda series.
The Gerudo as a race or tribe have so far been featured in Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Four Swords Adventures. In other games, Ganondorf is the only confirmed Gerudo except for Twinrova, who also made an appearance in the Oracle games.
The Gerudo as they've thus far appeared held the following looks: round ears, a sharp bird-like nose, brown skin, amber eyes and red hair. Which of these are actually unmistakable Gerudo traits is unknown due to their small established role throughout the series. A few characters have appeared in otherwise Gerudo-less games who at minimum seem to reference the race, but who lack various elements shown on established Gerudo. As such, any variations to their appearance can not be considered of value to pinpointing the Gerudo race.
Their skin color has been shown to come in two variants: a common light brown and an olive-greenish version seen on Twinrova and Ganondorf, though their skin may be darker due to age. Recent games have made some adjustments to Ganondorf's look, changing his nose from "long" to "big" while his ears have become slightly pointy—far from Hylian-like, but still less round than what they have once been. Whether this has any significance for the Gerudo race as a whole is unknown.
A rather peculiar aspect of Gerudo physiology is that the race consists of almost solely women, with a male being born only once every hundred years. The exact nature of this phenomenon is never explained, leaving many questions unfortunately unanswered. It is known however, that at least during the Ocarina of Time era the lack of males among the Gerudo is countered by them taking boyfriends from other human races. This establishes that heterosexual relationships are common in their nearly all-female society.
Some members of the race have been shown to possess magical skills. Given the focus the Gerudo put on physical training, this seems to be either a rare or otherwise unused ability. Furthermore, Gerudo might be able to reach a very high age, though the only suggestion to this was related to Twinrova, not exactly a most standard example of a Gerudo.
The Gerudo have an Arabic theme to them and seem to be based on the Amazons, a "real world" tribe of warrior women. Being a warrior race, they have been shown to use weapons such as glaives, dual scimitar swords and bow and arrows. In Ocarina of Time, they are capable equestrians, while they prefer the use of boats in Majora's Mask due to their role as pirates.
Generally, they have been shown to be a somewhat reclusive race that does not take well to outsiders on their territory, which in Hyrule constitutes the whole desert area. Though not without nobility, they've mostly been depicted as thieves to the other races. The Gerudo appreciate talent when they see it and do accept non-Gerudo among their ranks if they manage to prove themselves.
Ocarina of Time
In Ocarina of Time, the Gerudo live in the Gerudo Desert, specifically Gerudo Valley, which is located in the northwest of Hyrule. The Gerudo pay a lot of attention to the security of their domain. In order to reach the valley, one first has to cross a bridge over a deep canyon and stream flowing to Lake Hylia. In the past, it is heavily guarded by several Gerudo and a gate. In the future, those defenses are gone; instead, the Gerudo have decided to simply destroy the bridge to prevent outsiders from reaching their domain. Presumably they themselves use horses to cross the gap, like Link did.
After the bridge comes Gerudo's Fortress, in which the Gerudo supposedly live. Guards are everywhere throughout the large stone structure, which contains a lot of cells used for imprisoning anyone who dares to enter Gerudo territory without permission. Gerudo Valley ends with a huge gate that the Gerudo use to make sure no one enters Gerudo Desert without their approval. As it is home to a warrior race, they've also created themselves two training courses, one for horseback and archery training and one for an all-around test of skill. Despite this hostile outset, they do accept outsiders within their ranks, provided that they first prove themselves worthy.
Ganondorf, being the lone male at that time, is their king and "god". His second-in-command is Nabooru, who is highly respected by the other Gerudo, but rebels against Ganondorf because she does not approve of his ways. Nabooru herself also has an unnamed second-in-command, who keeps watch over Gerudo's Fortress while Ganondorf and Nabooru are gone.
Link's first encounter with a member of the Gerudo tribe was when Princess Zelda asked him to look through one of the windows of Hyrule Castle. It was then he and Ganondorf saw each other for the first time and Link's quest to stop Ganondorf started. The rest of the tribe he met later during his quest, at first during his younger years when the Gerudo's tight security at the bridge took away any chance of proceeding into their domain. In Link's older years however, the broken bridge was an obstacle easily passed with Epona's aid. Oddly on the other side, he met the Carpenters' Boss, head of the carpenters, who informed Link that his workers had gone missing after they had taken up the plan to join the ranks of the Gerudo. To that, he added a request that Link would look for them. Accepting Mutoh's request, Link headed into Gerudo territory. He managed to bypass the guards and find the first carpenter, now a prisoner in Gerudo's Fortress. Before he could set him free, a Gerudo guard, armed with dual scimitar swords, challenged Link to a battle. Link managed to defeat her and went on saving the remaining three carpenters, battling another Gerudo guard each time. When he saved all carpenters, he was approached by Nabooru's Second-in-Command, who complimented him on his success and gave him the Gerudo Token, which allowed him to freely move within the Gerudo territory.
From then on, Link didn't need to sneak through Gerudo Valley anymore and could participate in the Gerudo training courses. In addition, Link was also allowed entrance to the Gerudo Desert and was finally able to reach the temple of the sixth Sage: the Spirit Temple, guarded by the Desert Colossus. There, he met Sheik again, who taught him the final song and gave him a hint on how to use it. After going back to his younger years, Link used the song to warp - past Gerudo defenses - back to the Spirit Temple, where he met Nabooru, the leader of the Gerudo, who revealed that though Ganondorf was King of the Gerudo, she denied him for his cruelty and wanted to put an end to his evil. Her plan was to infiltrate the Spirit Temple, which acted as a hideout for Ganondorf and his minions, and do whatever she could to sabotage their plans. Unfortunately, to do that she needed the treasure, the Silver Gauntlets, kept in a part of the temple that she was too big to reach. Impressed with Link's attitude, she opted to ask him to help her by getting the Silver Gauntlets for her.
While Link managed to get the Silver Gauntlets, he was unable to ever hand them to Nabooru, because she was spotted by Koume and Kotake and taken away. Again, Link traveled through time, as an adult able to enter the Spirit Temple with the Silver Gauntlets from the past. Deep inside the temple, he encountered the two Gerudo witches who had abducted Nabooru seven years ago and an Iron Knuckle. Annoyed by his presence, they sent the Iron Knuckle after him, who Navi noted to be "not an ordinary enemy". Upon defeating the Iron Knuckle, its difference was revealed: it was Nabooru all along, brainwashed into servitude of Ganondorf for the past seven years. Her regained freedom was cut short when Koume and Kotake decided to abduct her again, to which Link followed the two into the heart of the temple for battle. Though strong and utilizing their "Double Dynamite Attack", the Gerudo witches lost to Link. As such, the Sage of Spirit could awaken: Nabooru, who was more than thrilled about the possibility of revenge this position offered.
The Gerudo reappear in Majora's Mask, this time in the role of pirates. Interestingly, they keep the name "Gerudo", even though this tribe does not live in Gerudo Desert or anything with a similar name. Instead, they live in Great Bay, specifically Pirates' Cove, in a fortress called Pirates' Fortress, which they keep heavily guarded. Their leader is named Aveil and seems to be the Terminan counterpart of Nabooru's Second-in-Command.
Compared to their Hyrulean counterparts, the Terminan Gerudo are much more cruel. Prior to Link's arrival in Termina, they stole the eggs of one of the Zoras, Lulu. When her friend Mikau came to get the eggs back, they beat him up such that he died of his injuries. During Ocarina of Time, Nabooru spoke in disgust of such acts. In context, it's telling that the Terminan Gerudo have no prison cells within their fortress and instead deal with intruders by throwing them out over the fortress' walls. Security is much tighter, with an integrated use of the sea that makes entrance impossible to any non-aquatic creature. Unlike the Hyrulean Gerudo, Link is never able to befriend them, despite hints that they do respect the skills of outsider-warriors.
When Link was able to travel to Great Bay, he met a dying Zora named Mikau. The latter told Link that he was on a mission to retrieve the eggs of a Zora named Lulu, which were stolen by the Gerudo. Feeling the embrace of death grow tight, Mikau begged Link to finish what he had started and return the eggs to the Marine Research Laboratory. Link accepted and headed to the Pirates' Fortress. Using his newly acquired Zora Mask, he found an underwater entrance into the fortress and managed to bypass the first group of guards. Traveling through the sewer system, which was unguarded, but filled with traps, he found his way deep into the fortress. After bypassing some more guards, Link managed to overhear a conversation between Aveil and one of her underlings. It was revealed that the Skull Kid had told them that the Zora eggs were a key element in obtaining a treasure that would be lying in the Great Bay Temple. It was also stated that they had lost three of the eggs when they were attacked by sea snakes. By shooting a beehive hanging from the ceiling, Link scared Aveil and her underlings away and stole one Zora egg and the Hookshot from them (which they had stolen from the fisherman near the entrance of Great Bay earlier). Making use of his new tool, Link explored the rest of the fortress in search for the remaining three eggs. In doing so, he came face to face with three guards, each of which guarded another Zora egg.
Link was later informed that the Gerudo were looking for a Zora in green clothing. During the end of the game, they were also seen heading somewhere (possibly the sea snakes' lair) on a boat, only to be heading the other way immediately thereafter.
Apart from the Gerudo pirates, Koume and Kotake made an appearance as well. They do not seem to be connected to the pirates of Great Bay. They live in Southern Swamp, where they respectively host the boat cruise and have a potions shop.
Four Swords Adventures
Unlike in the other two games, the Gerudo in Four Swords Adventures are not hostile to outsiders. Their domain lies in the Desert of Doubt in the southwest corner of Hyrule. Unlike before, they do not live in a fortress, but in tents, while they do still guard the entrance to the desert. They have a good reputation in Hyrule, not being thieves or pirates this time.
When Link entered the Gerudo village, he was initially denied access to the desert. Ganondorf had entered the desert prior to the events of Four Swords Adventures in search of the fabled pyramid, which is a violation of the laws of the Gerudo. This pyramid, which was located in the desert, was sacred to the Gerudo and rumored to contain enormous power. The Gerudo were aware of Ganondorf's lust for power and realized what his intentions are. However, they assumed that he would not make it that far and eventually perish in the desert. Because of Ganondorf's actions, they had blocked the road to the desert. Upon learning of Link's quest, they reopened the gate so that he could pass.
The names of the Gerudo and Gerudo Desert were likely chosen based on the enemies introduced in The Adventure of Link and A Link to the Past, the sand-dwilling Geldarm (ゲルドアーム, Gerudoāmu) and Geldman (ゲルドマン, Gerudoman). Within the Zelda universe, the name-connection actually begins in Skyward Sword, with the Gerudo Dragonflies living in Lanayru Desert. One page of the Hyrule Historia, showing the Gerudo Alphabet, implies that Nintendo originally intended for the Gerudo to be translated as Geldo.
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- In featuring only one Gerudo, The Wind Waker did shed an interesting light on the race's life in Hyrule:
|My country lay within a vast desert. When the sun rose into the sky, a burning wind punished my lands, searing the world. And when the moon climbed into the dark of night, a frigid gale pierced our homes. No matter when it came, the wind carried the same thing... Death. But the winds that blew across the green fields of Hyrule brought something other than suffering and ruin. I coveted that wind, I suppose.|
- "A kid like you may not know this, but the Gerudo race consists only of women. Only one man is born every hundred years... Even though our laws say that lone male Gerudo must become King of the Gerudo, I'll never bow to such an evil man!" — Nabooru (Ocarina of Time)
- "His sharp, bird-like nose is characteristic of the Gerudo." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 148)
- "Once every 100 years, a special child is born unto my people. That child is destined to be the mighty guardian of the Gerudo and the desert. But this child, its heart grew twisted with every passing year. The child became a man who hungered for power at any price." — A Gerudo (Four Swords Adventures)
- "They say that Gerudos sometimes come to Hyrule Castle Town to look for boyfriends." — Gossip Stone (Ocarina of Time)
- "But I'm only 400 years old!" — Koume (Ocarina of Time)
- "In Gerudo society, those who have great skill in horseback riding and archery are well respected. How about trying horseback archery at the Gerudo's Fortress? If you have a horse, a Gerudo from the fortress will set up your challenge." — A Carpenter (Ocarina of Time)
- "I am the Gerudo master of horseback archery! On top of that, I'm the Gerudo master of horseback riding! Want to try horseback archery for 20 Rupees?" — A Gerudo (Ocarina of Time)
- "They say that the horse Ganondorf rides is a solid black Gerudo stallion." — Gossip Stone (Ocarina of Time)
- "Pirates' Cove ahead. Tourists are not welcome." — Sign (Majora's Mask)
- "I've seen your fine work. To get past the guards here, you must have good thieving skills. I used to think that all men, besides the great Ganondorf, were useless... but now that I've seen you, I don't think so anymore! The exalted Nabooru, our leader, put me in charge of this fortress. Nabooru is the second-in-command to the great Ganondorf, King of the Gerudo Thieves. Her headquarters are in the Spirit Temple, which is at the end of the desert. Say, you must want to become one of us, eh? All right, then! You're in from now on! Take this. With it, you will have free access to all areas of the fortress!" — Nabooru's Second-in-Command (Ocarina of Time)
- "Link! Wait up, buddy! Hoo hoo! Head south from here to reach Lake Hylia's full, rich waters. If you go west, you'll find Gerudo Valley. There's a hideout of a gang of thieves on the other side of the valley. Well, you're free to go anywhere you want! Ho ho ho...hooo!" — Kaepora Gaebora (Ocarina of Time)
- "I am a master craftsman. Those Gerudo thieves...they broke the bridge. I want to fix it, but all of my workers are gone! They said working as carpenters isn't cool, and they went to the Gerudo's Fortress to become thieves..." — Mutoh (Ocarina of Time)
- "Hey, rookie! Are you going into the desert? I'll open this gate for you, but... You can't cross the desert unless you pass the two trials." — A Gerudo (Ocarina of Time)
- "They say that Gerudos worship Ganondorf almost like a god." — Gossip Stone (Ocarina of Time)
- "She's just a little girl, but she commands a lot of respect among the Gerudo, Kotake..." — Koume (Ocarina of Time)
- "What happened? Did he see you? Don't worry. He doesn't have any idea what we're planning...yet!" — Princess Zelda (Ocarina of Time)
- "We must not let Ganondorf get the Triforce! I will protect the Ocarina of Time with all my power! He shall not have it! You go find the other two Spiritual Stones! Let's get the Triforce before Ganondorf does, and then defeat him!" — Princess Zelda (Ocarina of Time)
- "Hey, you! If you're going to the fortress, would you mind finding out what my workers are doing over there?" — Mutoh (Ocarina of Time)
- "I have no idea where you come from, but you must have a lot of guts to make it past all the guards around here! All of my fellow carpenters are imprisoned somewhere in here. If you can get us out of here, we'll repay the favor somehow! But be careful! There're sure to be Gerudo guards somewhere around here.... Woo! Watch out!" — Ichiro (Ocarina of Time)
- "Gerudo Thief - When she drops her guard, attack! If you don't defeat her, you'll be captured!" — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
- "From now on, you're free to come and go as you please through the gate to the desert. You'll find the Spirit Temple, where the exalted Nabooru lives, out there in the desert." — Nabooru's Second-in-Command (Ocarina of Time)
- "You obtained the Gerudo's Membership Card! You can get into the Gerudo's training ground in their hideout." — N/A (Ocarina of Time)
- "Gerudo Training Ground - Only registered members are allowed!" — Sign (Ocarina of Time)
- "Hey, rookie! Are you going into the desert? I'll open this gate for you, but... You can't cross the desert unless you pass the two trials." — A Gerudo (Ocarina of Time)
- "Past, present, future... The Master Sword is a ship with which you can sail upstream and downstream through time's river... The port for that ship is in the Temple of Time... To restore the Desert Colossus and enter the Spirit Temple, you must travel back through time's flow... Listen to this Requiem of Spirit... This melody will lead a child back to the desert." — Sheik (Ocarina of Time)
- "I want to ask you a favor... Will you go through this tiny hole and get a treasure that's inside? The treasure is the Silver Gauntlets. If you equip them, you can easily push and pull very heavy things! No, no, no, kid! Don't even think about taking this treasure for yourself! The Silver Gauntlets won't fit a little kid like you if you try to equip them! I want you to be a good boy and give them to me! Ganondorf and his minions are using the Spirit Temple as a hideout. Only the Silver Gauntlets will allow me to sneak deep into the temple. Once there, I'm going to steal all the treasure inside and mess up their plans! How about it? Will you do it?" — Nabooru (Ocarina of Time)
- "Iron Knuckle. Something's strange... This is not an ordinary enemy!" — Navi (Ocarina of Time)
- "By the way... I really messed up... I was brainwashed by those old witches and used by Ganondorf to do his evil will... But isn't it funny? That a person like me could turn out to be the Sage of Spirit! And now, I'm going to fight them as one of the six Sages! Heh heh... I'm going to pay them back for what they did to me!" — Nabooru (Ocarina of Time)
- "One! Two! Three!!! Oh, baby, baby, listen to me! The carnival's beginning soon. We're the ones they're waiting to see. But that girl, our vocalist... She laid some strange eggs. And she's lost her voice, You can't hear what she says. Whoa-oh! In Great Bay now somethin' is a-happenin'. Is it now? Oh! Baby, listen to me. I don't wanna beg. Gerudo Pirates! They stole that girl's eggs. I went to stop the Gerudo Pirates, then pow and bam! I got knocked down, and here I am! Baby! If I die like this... Even if I die... It won't be in peace... That's for suuure! Somebody, please rescue her eggs before the pirates take their toll. Oh, somebody, somebody, please heal my soul. That's all... Thank you!" — Mikau (Majora's Mask)
- "The security at the Pirates' Fortress is tight. Sneaking in is no easy task. If you're set on meeting those beautiful pirates, try going to the valley on the other side of town!" — Fisherman at Great Bay (Majora's Mask)
- "The Pirates' Fortress usually is closed off by an iron gate, so you can't get in from here. And even if you did get in, it's not like the pirates would welcome you." — Zora near Pirates' Fortress (Majora's Mask)
- "Have you been to see Lulu out in back by the ocean? Ever since the pirates stole her eggs, she's just been standing out there gazing at the sea and sighing..." — Evan (Majora's Mask)
- "Wait!!! The Zora eggs are the only clue we have about that dragon cloud floating over the bay... If what that strange, masked one says is true... And if we can get our hands on the treasure that lies sleeping in the temple in that dragon cloud... Then we can spend the rest of our lives living the good life! So get a move on and go find them! Now!!!" — Aveil (Majora's Mask)
- "Silence! That's why the Zoras can't send for any help! Now that the eggs are gone, the Zoras should be frantically searching for them. If we don't hurry, the Zoras will get to them before we do! There are four eggs here now. Hurry! Go find the other three eggs before those sea snakes eat them!" — Aveil (Majora's Mask)
- "See, it was long ago when I used to use this thing called a Hookshot to catch fish off the coast... But I was attacked by these pirates, and they took it away with them. They say...it's a legendary treasure. And I just happened to swipe it from the bottom of the sea, so I hold no grudge against 'em." — Fisherman at Great Bay (Majora's Mask)
- "The pirate found you! Use Z targeting and look for your chance. You're caught if you don't win." — Tatl (Majora's Mask)
- "The pirates were just looking for a Zora dressed in green clothing. Isn't that you? It sounded like the pirates had some unfinished business to settle with you... Did you do something?" — A Zora (Majora's Mask)
- "Welcome. It's been a long time since we've seen any travelers here. This village is our home. We are the dwellers in the desert, the Gerudo tribe. The village is in a bit of an uproar contending with a man who broke our laws. We can't do much for you, but make yourself at home." — A Gerudo (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Ganon... I've heard that name before. No, wait... It was Ganondorf... But, no... That man was of the Gerudo tribe. I can't imagine these creatures worshiping some desert nomad. There's a Gerudo village in the desert. I doubt there is any connection, but it cannot hurt to check the village. Beyond the village lie ruins and an ancient Pyramid. They are so old that no living creature knows very much about them. All I can tell you is that no one who sets foot in the pyramid ever returns. If one of the Maidens is there, I fear for her safety." — Red Maiden (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Tell me, travelers, what brings you to these borderlands? Hmm... I see... You come on word of the maidens, eh? Yes, this Ganondorf you speak of is a member of the Gerudo. But his intent is unknown to me. He has flouted the law and fled for the pyramid. To reach the pyramid, one must first pass the trial of the Desert Temple. The villain Ganondorf will no doubt draw his last breath failing this trial. We've blocked the road to the desert to keep other fools from coming. But considering the crisis in Hyrule, we've no reason to stop you brave lads. Go to the entrance of the village and speak to the guards at the gate." — Gerudo leader (Four Swords Adventures)
- "The Gerudo honor the desert. They are trustworthy and pure of heart. I cannot imagine one of them is the King of Darkness..." — Red maiden (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Curse that Ganondorf! He broke our laws and left for the pyramid... I don't know what he plans, but I am worried..." — A Gerudo (Four Swords Adventures)
- "The pyramid is sacred to our people. To have a criminal such as him enter... His presence stains its holy ground." — A Gerudo (Four Swords Adventures)
- Gerudo Alphabet
|Names in Other Regions|
|Spanish||Pirata Gerudo||Gerudo Pirates|
|French||Les Gerudos||The Gerudos|
| The Gerudos|
|Chinese||格魯德族 (Gélǔdé Zú)||Cerudo Clan|
|格鲁德族 (Gélǔdé Zú)||Gerudo Clan|
|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|