The Gerudo's Fortress, also known as the Thieves' Hideout, is located at the far end of Gerudo Valley and is the gateway to the Haunted Wasteland. It serves as the hideout for the race of thieves known as the Gerudo who heavily guard the entire fortress. As such, any trespassers will be immediately caught and thrown into a cell high above the complex.
Gerudo's Fortress is a confusing and sophisticated structure with a maze-like interior and halls, which lead to various parts of the outside of the fortress. Both in the outside and the inside, naginata-armed Gerudo are on patrol; inside, they are reinforced by Gerudo Warriors armed with twin scimitars who will fight any intruder, and either kill them or throw them in a cell.
When Link travels to the fortress, he is thrown into a cell if he is spotted by a patrolling guard; however, Link can manage to escape by using his Hookshot on a wooden, opened window if jailed. The only way to get around the complex is to shoot an Arrow with the Fairy Bow to the patrolling Gerudo, stunning them instantly. This allows Link to freely explore the fortress, although he will still need to use his stealth abilities to keep himself from getting caught and getting thrown into the cell.
Link's objective while in the Gerudo's Fortress is to rescue the four captured Carpenters that are being kept in scattered prisons throughout the structure. Any time the young hero finds a carpenter inside a cell, he must talk to the prisoner who, after explaining his situation, will cause for a Gerudo Warrior to appear from behind. Link must defeat her without receiving too much damage; otherwise, Link will get thrown back into the cell. If Link successfully defeats the Gerudo Warrior, she will escape and leave behind a Small Key which will open the Carpenter's cell. Once all four of the Carpenters have been freed, Nabooru's Second-in-Command will commend Link for his skills and grant him the Gerudo Token, allowing him free access to the entire fortress.
Now that Link is an honorary member of the Gerudo race, he is granted entrance to the Gerudo's Training Ground, as well as permission to participate in the Horseback Archery Range; moreover, the gates to the Haunted Wasteland will open, which eventually leads to the Desert Colossus, home to the Spirit Temple.
The central room of the fortress constitutes a kitchen and a one-table dining hall. A cauldron of red liquid boils above a fire against a wall. There is a red Rupee hidden in the cauldron. Link can drop into it and collect the Rupee by using the Hookshot on the wooden beam overhead. However, he cannot climb out of the cauldron and will take continuous damage from the heat. Donning the Goron Tunic causes him to sustain damage less frequently, giving him the opportunity to take aim with the Hookshot and pull himself out.
- In several places inside the fortress are skulls of what appears to be a combination of goats and birds. It is unknown whether these are idols or some type of hunting trophies.
- If child Link warps to the Desert Colossus and makes his way through the Haunted Wasteland, he will find a Gerudo guarding the back entrance to the fortress. She looks exactly like the one guarding the front entrance and even shares the same dialogue.
- Via a glitch, child Link can explore Gerudo's Fortress. On top of his would-be jail cell lies a Piece of Heart, which can be collected like any other. This would technically make it the 37th piece in the game.
- The Odd Mushroom, which is part of the Adult Link Trading Sequence, can be found in a treasure chest in the Fortress if opened by child Link. This implies that early on, the Fortress was supposed to be explored by child Link.
- The Desert is the second largest area in the game to use the same theme tune (the largest is the field areas, which use the Hyrule Field theme).
- Strangely, if Link defeats one of the Gerudos guarding the jail cells of the carpenters, takes the resulting key, and tries to use it on a different carpenter's door, the door will not open and Navi will tell Link that "This is not the correct key... The door won't open!" In all other areas of the game (and in the majority of the series), a small key will open any locked door in the area.
- "The Gerudo's Fortress is located beyond this gate. A kid like you has no business there." — Carpenter (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...." — A carpenter (Ocarina of Time)
- "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! [...] 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)
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||ゲルドの砦 (Gerudo no Toride)||Gerudo's Fortress|
|French||Forteresse Gerudo||Gerudo Fortress|
|SpanishEU||Fortaleza Gerudo||Gerudo Fortress|
|SpanishLA||Fortaleza gerudo (OoT3D)||Gerudo fortress|
|Regions in Ocarina of Time|
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