Artwork of a Dodongo from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
|First appearance||The Legend of Zelda (1986)|
|Latest appearance||The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Nintendo Switch) (2019)|
The Legend of Zelda series
The Legend of Zelda
In The Legend of Zelda, a Dodongo first appears as the boss of the second labyrinth, Moon, where an old man gives the vague hint that it "dislikes smoke." In later dungeons, they are found as generic enemies, often in groups of three. Trios of them also act as bosses in the Second Quest. To defeat them, Link can feed them two bombs directly, or stun them by having them in a bomb's blast radius, before finishing them off with the sword, rewarding him with four bombs. Dodongo is among the only bosses to not shoot projectiles, and is also the only boss capable of visibly changing direction. Despite looking like Triceratops, the English manual instead calls them rhinoceroses.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
Highly abnormal-looking Dodongos appear in pairs as minibosses throughout The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, first appearing in Key Cavern. The Nintendo Power guide refers to them as Dodongo Snakes. They have no eyes or legs, large-lipped mouths taking up their entire fronts, and black bodies divided between a rounded head and a wholly-spherical body. When fed a bomb the sphere in back will briefly inflate, and in Link's Awakening DX, their blue details will briefly turn green. They will typically turn away if a bomb is placed in front of them, meaning placing the bombs must be timed well. After three bombs, each will explode, and leave behind a fairy. Unlike most minibosses, Link is not barred from leaving any of the areas featuring them, likely as the required item cannot be used infinitely.
According to Hyrule Historia artwork, the game's version of Dodongo was conceptualized as 「ドドンゴ ウナギ」 (Dodongo Unagi, or "Dodongo Eel").
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Dodongos are depicted as rare enemies, appearing in Dodongo's Cavern, having been placed there by Ganondorf after they had long been driven out. Here, they are bipeds, with green scales on their bodies and gray scales on their heads, a distinction that is made clearer in the 3DS version. Unlike previously, they are capable of breathing fire, specifically in long streams after deeply inhaling. Here, they can be defeated by placing bombs or Bomb Flowers in front of them when they are not inhaling or breathing fire. It is possible for one to walk into a bomb placed a substantial distance in front of one before it explodes, at which point it will also simply eat it. Another way to defeat them is by repeatedly attacking their tails. After each attack on the tail, they will rapidly spin around to hurt Link. After they get damaged enough, they will collapse and then violently explode.
Aside from the generic Dodongos, Baby Dodongos are shown, along with their leader, King Dodongo. A huge Dodongo skeleton makes up part of Dodongo's Cavern, with its skull concealing a passage in the main room. Crude cave artwork of a Dodongo also appears in Goron City.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Dodongos appear on the north side of Termina Field. In the daytime, three can be found underneath the stone mushroom-shaped platforms. One is the same size and strength as the ones in Ocarina of Time. It gives a red Rupee or three blue Rupees upon defeat. There are also two larger ones that take more hits and are more difficult to feed bombs, as well as having to be fed multiple bombs to be defeated in this manner. Depending on how much outer damage is given, they may need to be fed up to three bombs. Each large one gives a purple rupee upon defeat. They can additionally defeated by constant hits with Goron Link's rolling attack or with Epona, with the former also being able to push them great distances, such as to the Astral Observatory. Two more large ones can be found in a grotto in the vicinity at any time, each giving purple rupees. Defeating both causes a treasure chest with a Piece of Heart to appear. The ones in the grotto do not respawn until a new three-day cycle is started.
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
In The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, a Dodongo is the second boss, located in Snake's Remains, which resembles the Moon labyrinth in shape. It moves slowly about the room, occasionally stopping to breath out two fireballs or charging forward. To damage Dodongo, Link must first feed it a bomb when it prepares its fire attack, then use the Power Bracelet to throw it onto a bed of spikes in the center of the room. When Dodongo is defeated, Link can obtain the second Essence of Nature, the Gift of Time.
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
In The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, a trio of small Dodongos act as a boss in the Tower of Flames. They walk around slowly, occasionally stopping to open their mouths, eventually letting out a stream of fire. While their mouths are open, they can be fed a bomb to damage them. It takes three bombs to defeat each, at which point they will violently explode. Two later appears at the end of Realm of the Heavens. Defeating them causes the Big Dodongo to appear.
Due to how the hitboxes are programmed in the game, it is actually possible to feed two Dodongos the same bomb at once in this game if their mouths are close enough.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Dodongos appear as enemies in Goron Mines and a few other locations, now looking like crocodilians with gecko-like feet. Both their feet and their weak tails now glow orange. They have the ability to crawl up walls, typically doing so on surfaces to which the Iron Boots are magnetically attracted. Likely due to the dungeon item being the bow and bombs not being available until Darbus is saved, arrows can additionally be shot down their throats while they inhale to prepare flames.
Dodongos appear as enemies in both Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon. In the former, they only appear in Glutko; the latter game has them appear in various locales across Gamelon, such as Dordung Cave and Shutoy Lake. They appear gray in both games, and attack by headbuttting Link or Zelda. Dodongos can be defeated by throwing a single bomb at them, or by being caught in the blast of an exploding bomb. In The Wand of Gamelon, they are less resistant towards attacks, and can be defeated with the Power Glove, many sword strikes, or enough power blasts.
In the introduction of The Wand of Gamelon, Link specifically looks forward to bombing some Dodongos when he travels to Gamelon.
Dodongo was used to represent a section titled "Dodongo dislikes:" in the magazine Nintendo Power. The section noted gaming features commonly viewed as negative, and was partnered with a section called "A winner is:" which referenced the line "A WINNER IS YOU" from the game Pro Wrestling.
Names in other languages
|From Dodon, onomatopoeia for explosion|
|Spanish||serpiente dodongo||dodongo snake (Link's Awakening)|
Dodongo Snake (Link's Awakening)
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Player's Guide, pages 69, 78, 80.
- "Tower of Flames, 3-3," 15:44, Krow's Graveyard