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|First appearance||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time|
|Latest appearance||Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity|
The Gerudo tribe is a desert-dwelling warrior tribe that is almost entirely female. Once every 100 years, a single male is born into the tribe, and according to tradition, he is to become their king. Gerudo have their own language, and typically forbid males from entering their settlements. Despite this, Gerudo women develop strong romantic interests. Gerudo typically have dark skin, red hair, and prominent noses.
The Legend of Zelda series
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Gerudo are introduced as a predominantly-female tribe of hawk-nosed thieves who inhabit Gerudo's Fortress, and worship at the Spirit Temple in the Desert Colossus. generic NPC Gerudo wear white and have varying hairstyles. One blocks the bridge in Gerudo Valley in the past, and another is found next to a cow near the river. In the future, one guards the gate to the Haunted Wasteland, and two more operate the Gerudo Training Ground and the Gerudo Horseback Archery minigame. Veiled, purple-garbed Gerudo with spears known as Gerudo guards patrol Gerudo's Fortress. If they see Link, they will throw him into a holding cell. Two can also be seen on the inaccessible side of Gerudo Valley in the past; getting to them through hacking or glitches will cause them to throw Link in the river. Gerudo Thieves wielding a pair of scimitars appear as mini-bosses throughout the fortress. They are led by Ganondorf, Nabooru (who is brainwashed by Twinrova for opposing Ganondorf), and a different Gerudo later named Aveil. After Link defeats four Gerudo Thieves and frees the four carpenters, Link gains the approval of Nabooru's subordinate, and is given a Gerudo's Membership Card denoting him as an honorary member.
In the original version, Iron Knuckles contain Gerudo heads behind their helmets. In the 3DS remake, however, only the one containing the brainwashed Nabooru does so visibly. However, a Gerudo torso is still visible.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
In Termina, Gerudo are instead ruthless pirates in the Pirate's Fortress in Great Bay. They were told by Skull Kid that a great treasure could be found in the Great Bay Temple, and as such they hinder anyone else's efforts to enter it. They also steal Lulu's eggs and mortally wound her boyfriend and bandmate Mikau. All pirates shown act as enemies, and are led by Aveil. Righ before Link travels to the temple on the Turtle's back, a small group of the pirates attempt to reach it in a small boat, only to be swept away by the whirlwind surrounding it. A fisherman in Great Bay trades Link a seahorse if he gives him a picture of a pirate. Koume and Kotake are in the Southern Swamp, but it is not shown if they relate to the pirates in any way.
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
Gerudo inhabit the Desert of Doubt, and are found in a village of five tents at the start of the first level there. Instead of thieves, they are a trade-based society, and are friendly to outsiders. In fact, the Red Maiden specifically calls them "trustworthy and pure of heart." Ganondorf is reborn into the tribe, and steals the trident from the pyramid to become immensely powerful, which has caused the Gerudo in the village to become panicked.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Gerudo society is reinterpreted and expanded. They inhabit the Gerudo Desert, specifically Gerudo Town. Unlike Gerudo's Fortress, Gerudo Town is depicted as a lively cultural center. Gerudo are again not thieves, and in fact are in opposition to the thieving Yiga clan, who live in a stretch of Gerudo Desert pushing into Gerudo Highlands. However, Gerudo do still keep a strong warrior division. Tying into this, Gerudo are redesigned to be much taller than Hylians and have prominent abdominal muscles, both of which are treated by a guard as defining features of the race. Like Hylians and Sheikah, they also have pointed ears in this appearance. The leader, Riju, is said to be fairly young, but is only a small amount shorter than Link. Gerudo Town does not allow males to enter (aside from the similarly single-gendered Gorons), though it is indicated that most Gerudo but the town's guards are apathetic about the law. Many sell various items in stalls in the center of Gerudo Town. Due to the lack of males in their town, there are classes to teach Gerudo how to act in potentially-romantic situations. Gerudo are sometimes seen traveling the land looking for a suitable husband, and some of the sellers mention they have families outside of town. A popular sport for Gerudo is Sand Seal riding. A few Gerudo children are also seen, and are around the same height as children of other races in the game.
Gerudo language, previously limited to symbols, is fleshed out. For example, "man" and "woman" are "voe" and "vai," respectively, while the word "good" is translated as a prefix "sav'." Of note is that despite the previous statement regarding a Gerudo male being born every century, no mention of a male Gerudo existing is made in this game, aside from a passing mention of Ganondorf from ages past.
In the present, the Gerudo are being menaced by both the Yiga clan, who stole the priceless Thunder Helm, and the malice-possessed Vah Naboris, which threatens to consume the desert in a lightning-filled sandstorm. Link is able to speak with Riju about helping with their problems by disguising as a woman. After he does, he is granted champion Urbosa's scimitar. He can be lent the Thunder Helm if he solves all minor quests involving Gerudo.
In Creating a Champion, the pointed ears are noted as a difference from their original design, and brings up two hypotheses for the change. One of them is simply a gradual evolution from crossbreeding with Hylians so often, while the other indicates a more supernatural possibility, with the shame of having produced Ganondorf leaving them more willing to listen to the voices of the gods as Hylians are said to.
Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer featuring The Legend of Zelda
In Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer featuring The Legend of Zelda, Gerudo are well-integrated with Hylians and Hyrule. They have their own settlement known as Gerudo Village, which is in Gerudo Desert and next to Gerudo Ruins. The leader of the village, Barriara, keeps watch over their prince, a young incarnation of Ganondorf. The Gerudo in this game are predominantly mechanics, with Barriara having a metal claw arm and a large amount of machinery appearing around the area. Additionally, the shopkeeper states she invented several musical devices to try and get Ganondorf to open up to the world, one of which became sapient and escaped.
In the future Hyrule, the Gerudo are one of the only two civilizations not destroyed by Ganon, along with the hidden Deku Scrubs in Deku Village. They now host a battle championship in the Gerudo Arena. Despite their laws, they refuse to follow Ganon's lead due to his evil, but still officially consider him their king.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
In Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, Gerudo appear with their designs from Breath of the Wild, appearing as a type of troop allied with the Hyrulean army. They are led by Gerudo Captains, which can be told apart by being taller with larger ponytails and hips. When they first appear, they are hostile due to Urbosa being impersonated by Master Kohga of the Yiga clan, though once the real Urbosa appears they join the Hyrulean forces. Many challenges involving them also pit the player against the Yiga clan, though in certain drills the player battles the Gerudo again for practice.
In earlier releases of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the Gerudo symbol is a moon and star, which heavily resembles an Islamic symbol of the star and crescent. Due to a rule at Nintendo about religious imagery at the time, later revisions and games replace it with a symbol initially shown on a shelf in Aveil's room in Majora's Mask. The new symbol shows a diamond shape with a horizontal wrench-like swoosh going through the center, with circles on either side of it. The Gerudo symbol appears in many places throughout Ocarina of Time, notably on switches and pushable blocks. Due to Majora's Mask replacing it with an image of the titular mask, the Gerudo symbol's constant appearances may be in reference to Ganondorf being the main antagonist. The symbol has also been used on the clothing of other villains, namely Onox, Veran, and Astor.
Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer featuring The Legend of Zelda (Gerudo Arena operator)
Names in other languages
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time species
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask species
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures species
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild species
- Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer featuring The Legend of Zelda species
- Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity troops